Repentance and temptation – Great Lent week 6

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Activities inspired by Tending the Garden of our Hearts



Click to download (4 MB)

On the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the Church celebrates St. Mary of Egypt. Saint Mary holds a special place among the Saints: she is the model of repentance (μετάνοια, a change of mindset) – the central point of Great Lent. By her life, Saint Mary proves that no sin is grave enough to separate us from the love of God – He is always there, waiting for us to return to Him so He can fill us with the abundance of His Grace.
Tending the Garden of our Hearts is a wonderful Lenten resource by Elissa Bjeletich and Kristina Wenger. It can be found as an Ancient Faith book/audiobook or as a podcast series. It consists of daily Lenten meditations for children and their families. Every day, there is a new lesson (perhaps a Bible story, Saint’s story or desert father’s anecdote), followed by questions to help build discussion in the family. The meditations are arranged around weekly themes inspired by the Sunday of Lent that opens the week. In addition, there are weekly ideas and activities.
Week 6 at Tending the Garden of our Hearts deals, among other topics, with repentance and temptation. We were inspired by this very helpful resource, and are sincerely thankful to its creators for allowing us to put together some printables for relative activities targeting the younger children. They can be used both at a family and at a Sunday School setting.

Scripture verse sticks

scripture_verse_sticks_webElissa and Kristina discuss Scripture passages that can help guide us at the end of our Lenten spiritual journey. Please hop on to their website for details.

Motivated by this discussion, we created a set of Scripture verse sticks, a quick, simple, and inspirational craft. These sticks can be used as prompts for reflection and discussion, or as motivational bookmarks. They could also make a thoughtful Pascha gift.

The repentance cup


This is a game to help teach young children about repentance. As mentioned in Tending the Garden of our Hearts, when we lead a repentant life, God is able to fill us with His Grace. In this way we are like an empty cup, which is only ready to be filled when repentance is present. This game can help explain this rather abstract concept to young children in a more concrete way. The object of the game is for the player to fill his/her cup by spelling out the word “repentance”. Detailed instructions can be found inside our printable packet above.

Raising of Lazarus paper puppets


For the end of Great Lent week 6, Elissa and Kristina suggest acting out the story of the Raising of Lazarus. In our printable package above, you can find paper puppets that can be used for this purpose, together with instructions on how to make and use them.

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS was the very first topic we created material for here at Orthodox Pebbles, so we have a very special fondness for it. Don’t miss our whole lesson plan on the Raising of Lazarus, including short background, icon, activities, storytelling resources, crafts and recipes.


Click to download.


  • Be the Bee video ep.#28 – Time to Repent, from the Y2AM of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For more, visit

  • Sermon on the Sunday of St Mary of Egypt, by †Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (Bloom)

Special thanks to Y2AM for allowing us to embed their videos into our webpage.

Scrapbooking paper used in the illustrations: