St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions:
Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6 Junior Division for students in grades 7–9 Senior Division for student in grades 10–12
The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level. Two finalists in each district division represent the district at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival. The top speaker in each metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocese Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.
All eighteen finalists at the Archdiocese Finals participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to the top speakers. Currently, the top three speakers of each division receive college scholarships of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. This year, each Honorable Mention speaker was awarded $500.
Scholarships are also awarded for first, second and third place in the Junior and Senior Division.
2022 Oratorical Topics
Junior Division (Grades 7–9)
Share what you learned about yourself after a “technology fast” of at least 21 days. What can we learn about our relationship to God and the world by fasting?
In our personal prayer and liturgy, we usually make requests of God. Discuss why we make these petitions and how God fulfills them.
Choose a saint whose life has been important to you or your family. Discuss what you find most inspiring about this saint and what others can learn from how they lived their life.
Discuss how you would share your Orthodox Christian faith with a visitor to your parish.
Discuss your favorite Church service of the year and why it is meaningful to you
Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
Discuss the significance of Orthodox iconography (historically, symbolically and/or artistically) and how icons enhance our worship.
From the earliest days, Christian worship has been community-based, not only solitary, and Christians formed communities where the members learned from and took care of one another. Why is it important to be part of a Church community, and how is this relevant today?
The Orthodox faithful pray to the saints for physical healing and we have examples of saints like Cosmas and Damian who were doctors. What does this teach us about the Orthodox perspective on faith, health, and medicine?
Discuss ways that a young person can respond to God’s call to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength and one’s neighbor as oneself (see Luke 10:27).
In every Church service, we pray for “peace in the world,” usually many times. Yet, war and violence persist. What is the Orthodox Christian approach to war and violence?
Archdiocese Oratorical Festival Information Link
Metropolis of Denver Finals ~ April 1 - 3, 2020
More informaiton about the 2022 Metropolis of Denver Oratorical Festival coming soon!
Archdiocese Finals ~ June 3 - 5 2022
The Archdiocese finals will be hosted by the Metropolis of Denver, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Dallas, Texas