Our Department serves several important ministries of our church, including JOY, GOYA, Altar Boys. Our mission is to strengthen the relationship of young Orthodox Christians with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, encouraging them to become active sacramental participants in the life of the Body of Christ. The ministries offer them the opportunity to experience the Faith, ultimately leading them to Salvation. These ministries are not “organizations” or “clubs,” but rather a ministry of the Church–a gathering of the faithful who share the same ages and common interests.
Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the Three Holy Children rejoiced.
And the Prophet Daniel proved a shepherd of lions as of sheep. By their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.
Apolytikion of Daniel the Prophet and the Three Holy Youths
The Three Holy Youths (Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego) are the patron saints for all Youth Ministry programs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. During that time, King Nebuchadnezzar created a law stating that all those in the land were to bow down and worship his golden idols.
If the anyone chose not to, they would be thrown into a furnace and burned to death.
It came to the attention of the King that three children were refusing to worship these idols. Enraged by their refusal, the king brought the three youths before him, commanding them to bow down before the idols.
The youths, steadfast in their faith, would not bow down, and King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into the furnace.
God sent an Angel into the furnace with the youths in order to protect them, cooling the flames.
The youths danced and sang praises to God, the very praises we sing on Great and Holy Saturday: “Praise the Lord and exalt Him to all the ages!”
The king, amazed that they had not been harmed, declared their God to be the True God. They are commemorated each year on December 17th.
This account from the Old Testament can be found in the 3rd chapter of the book of Daniel.