It’s on!  This year’s Oratorical Festival will be by Video submission 

Video Format Speech Guidelines

As with the in-person format, the focus will be the speech and the speaker’s delivery. Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Film the speech holding the video device in a landscape/horizontal position.
  • Keep the background simple. (Example: a painted wall or a closed door)
  • Do not add any video effects.
  • State your division and topic number and read the topic before beginning the speech. (Example: “Senior Division, Topic #2, ………..)
  • Use the following greeting: “Brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you!”
  • Do not make any identifiable personal references such as naming yourself, your priest, your city or your parish.
  • Dress in church attire.

Submit your Video before March 21!

Before March 21, upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and set it to “UNLISTED” so that only viewers with a link may watch it.  Complete the form (below) and include the link to your unlisted video. You will receive an email confirmation that your submission has been received.  Judging will take place between March 22 and March 27.

On Sunday, March 28, at 2:00 pm, please join the online parish Oratorical Festival using the parish’s general Zoom ID (sent out via email) or call the office for the Zoom ID.  Each speaker will be introduced and the finalists who will move on to the District Festival will be announced.

The Saint Paul’s Oratorical Festival Team

Maria Conley: MrsConley@stpaulsirvine.org

Dorothea Love: MrsLove@stpaulsirvine.org

Eve Tibbs:   etibbs@stpaulsirvine.org

Junior Division Topics (Grades 7–9) 

(Minimum 3 minutes, Maximum 4 minutes)

1. Discuss the challenges and opportunities of watching a church service that is live

2. Prayer is called a “conversation with God.” Discuss the meaning of prayer in
your life.

3. During the pandemic, people noticed that our natural environment became
cleaner. What can this teach us about our care for the natural world?

4. Why is the Church still relevant, especially for young people, in our increasingly
secular, post-COVID world?

5. Choose one parable from the Gospel of Luke chapters 15 or 16 that is particularly
meaningful to you and explain what we can learn from it.

Senior Division Topics (Grades 10–12) 

(Minimum 4 minutes, Maximum 5 minutes)

1. During the stay at home period of the pandemic, Orthodox Christians had to
find ways to practice their faith without attending church in person or
participating in parish activities. Discuss what you learned during those days.

2. In July 2020, a Turkish court gave permission for Hagia Sophia to be converted
from a museum into a mosque. Discuss the significance of Hagia Sophia in the
history of Christianity and the power of monuments like it to inspire religious

3. We live in a highly polarized society – left vs. right, personal liberty vs. common
good, and other issues where it seems everything is politicized. How are we as
Orthodox Christians called to navigate this environment?

4. St. Peter writes, “Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext
for evil; but live as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16). What is freedom and how
does it become a basis for being a servant?

5. In the Psalms we read, “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could
stand? But there is forgiveness with you.” (Psalm 130:3-4, NRSV). Discuss how
an Orthodox Christian understands sin, forgiveness, mercy, and repentance.

Oratorical Participant Video Submission

(Due by March 21, 2021)

Parent or Guardian Name:*
Parent Phone:*
Speaker Name:*
Speaker Division:*
Topic Number:*
Enter URL from YouTube or Vimeo for your unlisted Video: *

* means the field is required

Parent Email: *

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