2011 Oratorical Festival

Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America




The 2011 Oratorical Festival theme is:

Explain how love is related to service.”



Thank you for your interest in St. Nikolai of Zicha Oratorical Festival 2011.  We are happy to provide you with the information that will guide you in this spiritual journey that will enrich your life as an Orthodox Christian teen.

Please read all instructions carefully.  If after reading everything you happen to have any questions, we suggest that you contact your local parish priest or our Youth Ministry Committee at youth-ministry@earthlink.net

May our Lord bless you and guide you in this blessed endeavor!

What is St. Nikolai of Zicha Oratorical Festival?

St. Nicholai of Zicha Oratorical Festival is a yearly oratorical contest in which the youth of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, ages 14-18, are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the Orthodox faith, writing and oratorical skills in the English language.

Is this the first Oratorical Festival?

St. Nikolai of Zicha Oratorical Festival 2011 is the fourth one.  The first one took place in Detroit in 2006 where each diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America was represented with one oratorical festival delegate.

So then, the competition starts first within each diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church?

Yes.  Your diocese (this is either your diocesan office/coordinator or director of Christian education) will announce the time, place, and other pertinent information about submitting your written paper and place of competition on your diocesan/regional level.  We will list all coordinators for each diocese to make it easier for you to contact them:

  1. Midwestern/New Gracanica – Fr. Dragan Petrovic, ph 317-374-3414m,  fr.dragan@st-nicholas-indy.org
  2. Metropolitinate of Libertyville – Fr. Radovan Jakovljevic, ph. 847-549-0798, religiousedu@yahoo.com,
  3. Eastern Diocese – Fr. Rodney Torbic, ph. 724-966-7428, stgeorge@alltel.net
  4. Western Diocese – Fr. Russell Radoicich, ph. 406-723-7889, rradoici@yahoo.com
  5. Canadian Diocese – ph. 905-878-3438, webmaster@istocnik.com

Please, give me more information about the text itself, e.g. length, how to organize it, etc.

  • First, you should know that your written text of oration will be judged on the following criteria: how the theme was developed, subject adherence, and overall organization of the text, usage and grammar, creativity.
  • Second, the length of your written text should not be more than 1100 words or 10 minutes of oration.  The text can be anywhere from 600 – 1100 words or 6 to 10 minutes of oration.
  • Third, we suggest that you memorize a great portion of your oration.  This will help you to look at your audience during the oration.
  • Fourth, the body of your text has to be well developed, i.e. your opening statement has to be very strong; the main body of your text has to have the theme well developed, and the conclusion also has to be strong and clear to your audience that you have finished your oration.

Here is more information for written text:

  1. All orators must be communicants in a parish or mission of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.
  2. Each contestant must currently be a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior in High School.
  3. Text must be typewritten – double-spaced, using 8 ½ x 11 paper. Participants must submit their entry text copy and if possible, should include a disk or CD copy.
  4. A brief personal résumé (including full name, age, parish, and city, grade in school, church school, and civic activities, awards, future vocational goals or plans, etc.) using the form at the end of this section must be submitted with your written text.
  5. The “Permission to Travel” form must also be submitted with the written text. If chosen to be a finalist, the entrant must participate in the second phase of the competition which is the oral presentation phase. A written authorization from his/her parents gives the finalist permission to attend the National Youth Conference for the National Oratorical Festival. This form appears at the end of this section.

For Finalists (each diocese will be represented with one finalist):

In addition to rules 1-5 above, written orations which are selected for the oral presentation competition phase of the festival (finalists), must follow these additional rules:

  1. Important to keep in mind if your written oration is selected for oral presentation: As you write your oration, please keep in mind that if your written text is selected and you will deliver your oration, there are time limits to which you must adhere. Time limits for orations when delivered are as follows:

Minimum                Maximum                  Leeway

High School Division: 6 minutes              10 minutes                   30 seconds

If the orator speaks BEYOND the leeway time, nine (9) points, divided amongst the three judges, will be deducted from his/her final score. An additional nine (9) points will be deducted each time that leeway is exceeded.

  1. In the oral presentation:
    1. Only gestures, intonation, eye contact, and other methods of physical communication can be utilized. Props and costumes are not allowed.
    2. Since the oration is a speech, not a sermon, contestants are not to use the opening: “In the name of the Father…”


Name: _____________________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________________


Phone Number: ______________________________________________________

Age: __________ Email address: ________________________________________

Parish/City: _________________________________________________________

School Grade: ___________________________________

Awards: ___________________________________________________________







Future Vocational Goals/Plans: _________________________________________






Activities (Church/School/Civic): _______________________________________





(High School Division Entrants Only)

I, _________________________________________________, give my permission for

(Parent/guardian name)

_________________________________________________ to attend the National

Youth Conference and Oratorical Festival in 2011 at _____________________________

(place, date and time to be announced)

_________________________________________ in the event he/she is selected as a finalist.


(Parent/guardian signature)

Festival Theme

This year’s festival theme is:

St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the people of Galatia, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  (Galatians 5:  13)  Explain how love is related to service.

Speaker Tips:

If we are called to freedom, what are we freed of? Likewise, what does St. Paul mean in his words,

“…only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh..?” In believing that the way of life in the Holy Spirit, the way of faith and love, is expressed through service to God and one another, St. Paul clarifies

what true service is.  What are your thoughts on this, as it relates to your own life?

The greatest example of service was seen in the Life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Not only did He heal the sick and raise the dead, He also washed the feet of His Disciples.  When they argued over which of them was worthy to sit at the Lord’s right hand, He lovingly chastised them with those words recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel.  By His Life, He demonstrated that true greatness comes in serving, NOT in ‘lording one’s authority’ over others.

We are all called to be servants of the Lord, whether we are young, or old; child, or adult; clergyman, or layperson   There are many forms of service to Him, and each of us is called to

be “Christ-like” to all He puts in our midst.  In essence, how we serve Him determines where we will spend our Eternal life.  This then, is the context of our Festival Theme for our participants:  discovering, through prayer, study, and action, how they serve our Lord and His Church in their lives!


Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Matthew, Vol. 1B, New Testament (HC)
Confession and Forgiveness, (VHS) (DRE)

Confession: The Healing Sacrament, Jim Forest (Pamphlet) (DRE)

Festival Icons for the Christian Year, John Baggley (DRE)
Mary, the Untrodden Portal of God, George Gabriel (L&L)
Mary and the Fathers of the Church, L. Gambero (L&L)

Orthodox Christian Beliefs: Real Answers to Real Questions from Real People, Stanley Harakas (DRE)
Preparing for Confession, L. Joseph Letendre (DRE)

Repentance and Confession in the Orthodox Church, John Chryssavgis (DRE)
The Akathist Service, George Papadeas (DRE)
The Akathist Hymn, (VHS) – (SW)
The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 7, Matthew, Vol. 7 (HC)

The Orthodox Faith, Vol. IV, Spirituality, Thomas Hopko (DRE)

The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, The Birthgiver of God, St John Maximovitch (L&L)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, Archbishop Vasilios of Iveron (ALEX)

What the Church Fathers Say About . . . Vol. I, George W. Grube (DRE)

Vendor Contact Information

Department of Religious Education (DRE): (800) 566-1088
Holy Cross Bookstore (HC): (800) 245-0599
Life and Light Publishing (L&L): (952) 925-3888
Conciliar Press (CONC): (800) 967-7377
St. Tikhon’s Bookstore (TIK): (888) 454-6678
Alexandre Press (ALEX): 514-738-4018
Spiritual Works (SW): 877-774-0217