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St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School "Together, through our words and actions, our work and play,We point towards Christ, each and every day"

Prayer & Liturgy

Liturgy, Celebration of the Word, and Prayer form a continuum with a celebration of Mass on a Solemnity of the Church (e.g., Ascension of the Lord) at one end and silent meditation at the other. Of course, there are areas of overlap between the categories. The word ‘Worship’ is not used to denote a distinct category in the Prayer and Liturgy Directory. In Catholic terminology ‘worship’ is not generally used to name and describe a distinct type of prayer or event. Worship is about living our lives in a way that recognises that everything we have is a gift from God and that everything we do should give glory to God. That, of course, does include prayer but the scope is broader. With that understanding of worship, it will be seen that the purpose of education in a Catholic school is to know and love Christ and to open the vision and imagination of pupils to the wonder of living in God’s world, and the responsibilities that follow from this.

 

Prayer and Liturgy Directory 2022

Liturgy 

 

Liturgy is a formal act of the Church. The official liturgical books, such as the Roman Missal and the Lectionary, set out the structure to be followed, the words to be spoken, the gestures to be performed and the symbols to be used when celebrating a Liturgy. 

(Prayer & Liturgy Directory)

 

Liturgies celebrated in our school include:

 

Sacrament of the Eucharist (Mass) - Celebrated at least once every half term in school by all the children and staff and once per term in the parish church for KS2 children.  Family, friends, and parishioners are warmly welcome to join us at school to celebrate Holy Mass.

 

Sacrament of Reconciliation - During Advent and Lent all eligible children have the opportunity to receive this sacrament at school. Children who have not completed the sacramental preparation programme join us for a reconciliation service and time of reflection. 

 

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament - Benediction

 

Celebration of the Word

 

Celebration of the Word follows structural patterns found in the liturgy. The term is used for celebrations that are created for the school community and not directly taken from the liturgical books of the Church. The most common example would be services which are built around the proclamation of scripture and are based on the structure of the Liturgy of the Word in the Mass.

(Prayer & Liturgy Directory)

 

Liturgical Prayer celebrated in our school include:

 

Gospel Celebration of the Word - every Monday, to explore the previous Sunday's gospel reading

Faith in Action Celebration of the Word - every Wednesday, to explore how to use the principles of Catholic Social Teaching in our lives.

Advent Service - ministered by our KS2 children for family, friends, and parishioners in our parish church every Advent

Remembrance Service - ministered by Year 6 for our school community in November

May Procession - ministered by children from YR to Y6 in honour of May for our family, friends, and parishioners

Stations of the Cross - ministered by our KS2 children for family, friends, and parishioners during Lent both at school and in the parish church.

Class Celebration of the Word - planned and ministered by each class once per term, parents and friends are invited to join us

Prayer Leaders - Children can apply to be a Prayer Leader each term. The Prayer Leaders plan, prepare, and lead celebration of the word for their class every fortnight. 

 

Prayer

 

Prayer is the heartbeat of our school day.  Although prayer times have a clear structure, they rely less on formal elements taken from the Liturgy. Texts used may include familiar prayers as well as prayers written for the occasion but there is also scope for spontaneous prayers, for example, intercessions. Giving space for appropriate silence forms part of the prayer.

 

Prayer in our school:

 

Morning Prayer - prayed in class at the beginning of the day.  In Year R and Year 1, we use a set prayer but from Year 2 upwards, the prayer changes weekly to reflect the Liturgical Year. 

Midday Prayer - We pray in class before breaking for lunch.  At Key Stage 1, the children also pray the Hail Mary which progresses at Key Stage 2 as the children pray the Angelus together before returning to class for their afternoon lessons.

Evening Prayer - prayed either in class or together as a whole school community.  We pray the Guardian Angel prayer just before we go home. 

Lectio Divina - ministered by our parish deacon or by class teachers for children across KS2.  A time to reflect upon the scripture and listen to the voice of God.

Special Spots - a form of meditation using our beautiful school grounds

The Lunchtime Rosary - prayed during October and May to honour our Lady

Prayer Intentions - Each class has a prayer intentions board.  Every Monday, the children and staff are invited to offer their intentions for the week.  These intentions are included in our morning and evening prayers.

Prayer in meetings - every staff and governor meeting begins with a prayer.  The children also begin their meetings with a prayer - House Meetings, School Council Meetings

Lay Liturgical Ministers - Children

 

The principles of active and conscious participation are important during all liturgy, celebration of the word, and prayer opportunities provided for and celebrated with children. Everyone at SJB is invited to participate spiritually and prayerfully. Silence also has an important place and value in enabling participation.

 

Children are supported to take up different ministry roles during liturgy, celebration of the word, and prayer:

  • Altar Servers
  • Solo and group singing
  • Providing recorded music or playing a musical instrument
  • Reading scripture passages or a reflection
  • Leading us in prayer
  • Bringing up the gifts of bread and wine during the offertory
  • Lighting the candles

 

Pupil Prayer Leaders plan, prepare, and lead celebration of the word for their class. 

Teaching your child how to pray

 

Prayer is communication.
It can be spoken or silent. It can be a song or a story. It can be a picture or a dance.

 

Prayer can be done as often as you like.
Every week. Every day. Every hour.

 

Prayer can be done however you want.
There’s no right or wrong way to pray.

 

Prayer can be shared, but doesn’t have to be.
It can be done alone or with a favourite toy. It can be done with friends, family, or pets.

 

Prayer can be done anywhere.
It can be done in your room or at the kitchen table. It can be done out in the playground, at the park, or even at the zoo.

 

Prayer can be done in any mood.
You can be happy, sad, angry, scared, or confused when you pray.

 

Prayer can be for yourself or someone else.
If you know someone who could use a little help — add them to your prayers.

 

Prayer doesn’t need a certain structure, length, or specific words.
Whatever words you use, long or short, however your prayer comes out is fine.

 

Prayer doesn’t need a special occasion.
There are certain prayers appropriate to special occasions but you don’t need to wait for a special time to pray.

 

Prayer doesn’t have to be a request.
It can also be used to give thanks for what you have already received. “Thank you,” is a perfect prayer.

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