|The grade 4’s proudly posing with their Bibles after the Liturgy (enlarge)
|As students progress through the grades at IHMS, they eventually reach a point where they’re independent enough to use a bible on their own for scripture reading and research. That point of independence is reached by grade 4 when they receive their own personal bible, the “Good New Bible” during the school’s October Liturgy.
|For some of the grade 4’s, this is their first personal bible. For many others, however, it isn’t. Students attending catechism classes often receive a similar bible a month earlier in September. But the October Liturgy is special because the grade 4’s experience a “sense of community” with their classmates and with the rest of the school by receiving their bibles together as a class.
|This is similar to the sense of community that the grade 2 students experience after receiving their first communion as a class in June, even though by that time most of the grade 2’s had already received Holy Communion in their respective parishes a week or two earlier.
Receiving the Good News Bible is a milestone event for the grade 4’s. It’s a requirement for their religious program, and is used by the students throughout their stay at IHMS. For many students, it’s their first personal bible, so in addition to being a useful tool for religion classes, it also carries a lot of sentimental value. When they finally leave IHMS at the end of grade 8, the graduates take their bibles with them.
|Most people would probably agree that the Bible can sometimes be difficult and complicated to read and understand. For younger and inexperienced readers, this is even more of an issue. To solve this problem, a simpler, modern translation called “The Good News Bible” was created for this purpose.
The grade 4’s were presented with their Good News Bibles on Thursday, October 30th during the school’s monthly Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral. It was an important day for the grade 4’s – they had practised and anticipated this day for a long time.
Mrs. Halayda and the grade 4’s spent a lot of time preparing for the October Liturgy. First of all, they made a list of intention topics for each class from grade 1-8. Each homeroom teacher then chose and wrote an intention based on the topic selected (this is typical for all monthly Liturgies). Also, a student from the class responsible for the Liturgy usually reads the Epistle, but in this case the entire grade 4 class recited the Epistle together from memory. At the end of the Liturgy, everyone sang the lyrics to the song “Good News”.
|Grade 4’s on the altar with their Bibles during the Liturgy
The presentation of the bibles took place after the Epistle. First of all, Msgr. Michael Buyachok blessed all the bibles. Next, Mr. Picklyk, the school principal, called the students individually to come forward to receive their bibles – “the Good News of Jesus Christ”. Finally, four students read special intentions about receiving the Good News Bibles.
|Msgr. Michael Buyachok and Mr. Picklyk handing out the Bibles
Since the presentation of the bibles is such an important event, there were a lot of parents and grandparents present at the Liturgy. Every bible was personalized with an individually created bookplate on the inside listing the student’s name and date of presentation.
|Grade 4 student Anton A. shows off his new Bible (left photo). Each student’s name was entered onto a bookplate that was attached to their Bible (right photo).
The grade 4 students enjoyed preparing for the special occasion, and at the end of Liturgy, the entire class posed in front of the altar to have their photo taken with their Good News Bibles.
|A group photo taken at the Cathedral (enlarge)