2023 Oratorical Festival, Sunday, March 19, 2023

Learn About the 2023 Oratorical Festival

The St. John's Oratorical Festival is under the direction of the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It provides an opportunity for students in grades 3-12 to write and talk about their faith.


The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions:

  • Elementary Division (parish festival only) for students in grades 3–6
  • Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
  • Senior Division for student in grades 10–12

Students are encouraged to write an essay* according to the division guidelines and topics provided below. Those in grades 3 to 12 may choose to speak in our Parish Oratorical Festival on Sunday, March 19, 2023. Only the Junior and Senior Division speakers are judged by a panel consisting of three judges and one time-keeper. The top speakers in our Junior and Senior Divisions will represent our parish in the Metropolis of Boston Oratorical Festival. The top speaker from each Metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocesan Oratorical Festival, which is hosted by a different Metropolis each year.

All participants at the National Finals will receive awards from:

  • the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund ranging from $500 to $2000
  • the FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism Scholarships (to be announced)

Finalists at any level are eligible to receive the Chrysostom Scholarship to Hellenic College ranging from $2,500 to $30,000 per year.

Important Dates


Learn more about the Oratorical Festival »

2023 Topics & Resources

Writing Assignment for Grades 3-12

For the 2022-2023 Religious Education year, we encourage teachers in grades 3-12 to add a writing assignment to their class curriculum based upon the Oratorical Festival division topics listed below. It is our hope and prayer that this writing assignment will encourage more of our students to not only write about their faith but also inspire them to share their writing publicly by speaking in front of our community in our Parish Oratorical Festival on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

Elementary Division (grades 3-6)

The Elementary Division offers children the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about the Orthodox Christian Faith while gaining confidence and self-esteem. In addition, it provides an incentive to children for later participation in the Junior and Senior Divisions of the Oratorical Festival.

Elementary students who are comfortable with public speaking, may speak for up to one minute on a topic of his or her own choosing related to the Orthodox Christian Faith.

Topics in the past have included:

  • My Patron Saint Is...
  • My Nameday is Important to Me Because…
  • Making the Sign of the Cross Is Important to Me Because…
  • Fasting is Important to Me Because…
  • My favorite story in the Bible is…
  • My favorite Saint is…

Junior Division (grades 7-9)

Students in grades 7-9 may choose to write either an essay or a poem on one of the five prepared topics from the Department of Religious Education of the Archdiocese.

  • Essays should be 450-500 words
  • Poems should be 8-30 lines (poems are not judged)

Students in grades 7-9 who wish to speak in the Oratorical Festival are given a 3-4 minute speaking time.

Senior Division (grades 10-12)

Students in grades 10-12 may choose to write either an essay or a poem on one of the five prepared topics from the Department of Religious Education of the Archdiocese. 

  • Essays should be 550-600 words
  • Poems should be 8-30 lines (poems are not judged)

Students in grades 10-12 who wish to speak in the Oratorical Festival are given a 4-5 minute speaking time


Don't Forget to Register!

Registration for our Parish Oratorical Festival will open on January 1, 2023. 

Our Parish Coordinators

The Oratorical Festival coordinators for our parish are Andrew Constantinou and Marietta Brooks. Our coordinators are here to promote the Oratorical Festival in our community, encourage our students to participate, and work closely with the participants to fine tune their speeches and to build up their confidence in speaking.

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