Prayer & Liturgy
The Nature of Prayer & Liturgy
We believe that Christian worship in a Catholic school celebrates God’s presence in our lives. Prayer & Liturgy is concerned with giving glory, honour, and praise and thanks to God in response to the eternal invitation to enter into relationship, made possible through the mission of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
The Place of Prayer & Liturgy in the School
As an integral part of the Catholic school environment prayer & liturgy considers the needs of all who participate in it. Worship is inclusive for:
- those who are part of the worshipping community in parish and in church
- those for whom school may be their first and only experience of worship
- those from other Christian backgrounds or none
- those from other faith backgrounds
- be simple, including a range of experiences in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings
Prayer & liturgy is an educational experience that all members of the school community derive benefit from.
The Aims of Prayer & Liturgy
We believe that Prayer & Liturgy in our school aims to provide opportunity for all pupils and staff:
- To come together to worship God
- To contemplate something of the mystery of God
- To reflect on spiritual and moral issues
- To explore their own beliefs
- To respond to and celebrate life and reinforce positive attitudes
- To experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit
- To develop a common ethos and shared values
- To enrich religious experience
- To grow in liturgical understanding and development
- To reinforce prayers which are part of the Catholic tradition
- To encourage participation and response, whether through active involvement in the presentation and planning of worship or through listening and joining in the worship offered
- To take time out ‘to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to.’
- To acknowledge diversity and affirm each person’s self-worth
The Programme of Prayer & Liturgy in the school
Prayer & Liturgy is organised in a variety of ways:
- The Mass is at the centre of all liturgical worship at St Mary Immaculate and is celebrated at school on a regular basis.
- Prayers are said in the classroom.
- Pupil participation is most important: children contribute, organising their own collective worship in the classroom, appropriate to their age, once a week.
- There are many opportunities for children to write and lead prayers in class and school assemblies.
- Hymns are an important part of the prayer life of the school, and the children have a large repertoire of religious songs that can be used within the classroom, assemblies or at Mass. A weekly hymn practice is timetabled for the whole school. The wonderful Mrs Graham, a musician and parishioner, leads the music in preparation for Mass.
- We ensure that pupils are aware of the liturgical calendar and key events in the Church. The symbolism of colours is made clear from the Reception class: purple for penance (Advent and Lent), green for ordinary times of the year and white, gold for important feasts.
Each class has its own prayer area and table displaying religious artefacts, books, children’s prayers, candles and a crucifix, etc.
Class teachers use the diocesan prayer & liturgy planner to support children when leading acts of worship: Gather, Listen, Respond and Go Forth.