Prayer and Liturgy
Where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.
Prayer and liturgy play a fundamental part of daily school life. It enables us to all join together as one in prayer and worship. Collective worship provides an opportunity for pupils and staff to come together as a class, group or school community and express praise and thanks giving to God. It provides an opportunity for the children to be still and reflect on life’s events and questions of meaning and purpose; to foster respect and deepen spiritual awareness and reflect on the teachings of Jesus and the nature of God. It is a time to affirm Christian values and Catholic virtues and share in each other’s joys and challenges.
Pupils are encouraged to learn a range of traditional prayers in each year group, but are also encouraged to formulate their own personal prayers. (Please follow the link below to see the progression of prayer learned in each year.)
Every classroom has a focal point for prayer which is appropriate to the liturgical season.
The first task in life is this: prayer. But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; the prayer of the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord.
Children are introduced to a variety of different ways of praying.
- quiet reflection / meditation
- spontaneous prayer
- praying together
- writing our own prayers
- prayers through music
- learning traditional Catholic prayers
All classes are named after a saint and children are encouraged to pray to their special saint.
Types of Collective Worship
Collective Worship is distinct from other kinds of prayer experiences, for example, prayer at the beginning and end of the school day and grace before meals. Collective worship can be adult or pupil-led. It follows the four-part structure, which reflects the liturgical pattern: Gather – Listen – Respond – Mission
Pupil-led Collective Worship
In EYFS and KS1, pupils are introduced to the four-part structure and they become familiar with well-known bible stories, simple prayers and symbolic actions. They are progressively included in the planning and leading of Collective Worship, supported closely by teachers until they are ready to lead their own Collective Worship.
In KS2, pupils plan and lead their own Collective Worship experiences which are personal and highly original.
Children are welcome at all Masses. During the first half of the Sunday 9.30am Mass, younger children are invited to join the Children’s Liturgy group in the Parish Room. Children should arrive before 9.30am in order to start the group session on time.
The group is for children aged 3-8 and during each session we aim to present the Gospel for that Sunday, in a way that they can understand. The children will participate in about 30 minutes of prayer, readings and activities, specially tailored for their age group.
The children then return to the main church for the Offertory Procession, where Fr Peter will invite one of them to explain to the congregation what they have learned during the liturgy.
New children are always welcome to join the group and, for the very young ones, a parent is welcome to stay with them.
Children who have completed their First Holy Communion should attend the full Mass in the church, but are welcome to join the Children’s Liturgy group up until the 2nd term of Year 4, or if they are helping a younger sibling.
Our aim is to make the children’s experience of the church a meaningful one, helping them to grow in the faith of the Catholic Church and develop as active members of our parish community.
If you would like your child to attend Children’s Liturgy, please speak to Fr Peter.