2020 Oratorical Festival


We are pleased to announce that the Chicago Metropolis Oratorical and Fine Arts Festival will still take place.  While we cannot follow our usual in-person format, we have established a set of new guidelines and dates that will comport with the COVID-19 restrictions and allow us to recreate the spirit of the Festival in an online format.  Especially at this time, when, as His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael so movingly put, we have this deep yearning for the church.

During this time of uncertainty, we are blessed with time! While we are unable to congregate at our new parish home, we are able to still grow in our relationship with Christ on our own. This Festival provides our youth with the opportunity to stay close to Christ, while learning, writing and singing our hearts out! Please consider entering the Festival!

Please take note of the NEW dates and deadlines for the 2020 Oratorical Festival, which may still be adjusted by the Archdiocese.  Stay tuned to this webpage for any updates.  For more information about how to submit your Speech, Essay, Poetry, Iconography and Vocal Solo during this adjusted process, please contact Justin Glavanovits at justinglav@ascensiongoc.com


May 8:  Completion deadline for all Parish Festivals.
May 10:  Submission deadline for all Speeches, Essays, Poems, Icons, and Vocal Solos.
May 10:  Registration deadline for Participants advancing to the Metropolis Festival.
May 22:  Judging deadline for Chicago Metropolis.
May 24: Deadline for submission of Speech and Essay winners to the Archdiocese. 
June 7: Archdiocesan Winners announced.

Express Your Faith!  Represent your Parish!  Do you like to write?  Draw? Chant? Present your point in front of an audience? Then the Oratorical Festival is a good fit for you! The Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical and Fine Arts Festival is a longstanding tradition that provides a unique opportunity for our youth both to learn about their faith and to display their talents in the areas of Speech, Essay, Poetry, Iconography and Vocal Solo (new category as of 2019). Those who are successful at their individual parish festivals are invited to participate at the Metropolitan Festival each spring.

Please turn in your submissions to Justin Glavanovits at justinglav@ascensiongoc.com.  

This inspiring program will put you in the right mindset for reflection during your Lenten journey. 

NEW FOR 2020

The Metropolis is excited to announce that our youth may participate in as many as two separate events at the Metropolis Festival for the first time!  Also, the Festival is pleased to offer for a second year the category of Vocal Solo; therefore, this year's Oratorical Festival enables you to choose from one of the following categories: Speech, Essay, Poetry, Iconography, or Vocal Solo and compete in either the Senior Division (10th-12th grade); or, the Junior Division (7th-9th grade).  There are five topics in each division (see below) to choose from in the 2020 program. 

For a more in-depth look at each topic, click HERE.  Click HERE to access the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival 2020 Topics, Tips and Resources document.  It will give you all the information you need to partcipate.

If you are in 4th-6th grade, there's a program for you, too, that helps you reflect about your faith and help you practice for when you are older!  The purpose of the Elementary Division is to offer children the opportunity to express their feelings about their Faith and Church while gaining confidence and laying the groundwork for later participation in the Junior and Senior Divisions.  Click HERE for more information on the Elementary Division Program.  

If you are competing in the Junior level, your speech must be 3-4 minutes long.  An essay must range between 300-400 words.  Senior division speeches are 4-5 minutes long, and essays range between 500-600 words. Poetry must range between 8-30 lines and poets can choose from a number of different forms (sonnet, haiku, etc.). Iconography must be of Jesus Christ, The Theotokos, or a singular Saint; Byzantine or Russian iconography style must be used; and icons must range from 8x10 or 20x20 in size.  Music must be taken from an official list found on p 15 in the Oratorical Manual and be sung in Greek, English, or a combination thereof. All Modes/Tones are acceptable unless specified. Please note that the music list for the Junior and Senior Divisions is the same.

In order to apply, you must be registered in either the Sunday Church School program, Jr. GOYA/GOYA, or the Girls' Chant group, and fill out an official festival registration form found by clicking HERE.

Interested?  Read additional information below and speak to Pastoral Assistant and Youth Director, Justin Glavanovits, (justinglav@ascensiongoc.com | 847.482.1200) and/or your Sunday Church School teacher.  



Click HERE for more information from the Metropolis of Chicago Oratorical Webpage; and HERE to be directed to the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Website where you will find more information about this program sponsored through the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.  


Our Faith

The Orthodox Church
An ever-growing number of persons from various backgrounds are becoming interested in the Orthodox Church. Learn more»