Prayer and Liturgy
Prayer is the raising
of the mind and heart to God.
The faith of the Catholic Church. Ed Rt Rev D. Konstant.
What is Prayer?
At the heart of the Christian faith is the belief in a God who communicates with people. God calls every human person into a loving relationship in which all can find the help, support, encouragement and healing which will enable them to fulfil the purpose of their lives as individuals and as part of the community, “the Body of Christ” to which, through Baptism, they have been called.
As with every relationship, our relationship with God can only grow through communication. Prayer is the way in which we engage in communication with God.
In these unprecedented times, when we may feel like our whole world is spinning out of control, we can turn to prayer to be our stability, our calm and our tranquillity.
Prayer helps us build power and confidence over the doubts and confusion we are experiencing.
The strongest relationships in our lives are with people we have chosen to spend time with. Prayer is the way children will develop a close, personal relationship with God. They will learn that God loves them and will listen to their prayers.
Prayer will teach our children that when they make a mistake, there is help and forgiveness available to them, to make it right.
Prayer in Our School
A rhythm of prayer should be established in the life of the school, so that it becomes the ‘heartbeat’ of the community.
Traditionally there are points in each school day when prayer takes place:
In the morning before the start of each school day
Before and after meals
At the end of the school day
Before the beginning of any significant action
In our school, adults:
- Provide many opportunities for pupils to pray
- Provide pupils with meaningful prayer experiences
- Assist pupils to develop the language of prayer
- Teach pupils the traditional prayers of the Church
- Help pupils to develop habits of prayer
Obviously, this will look different from a 2-year-old in the Pre Nursery to a 7-year-old in Year 2; we carefully sequence our prayer ‘expectations’ so that each step on a child’s ‘prayer journey’ builds upon the last and ensures they have the foundations for a life of prayer. Through prayer we support our children to:
Contemplate something of the mystery of God
Explore their own beliefs
Reflect on moral and spiritual issues
Respond to and celebrate life
Experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit
Develop a common sense of ethos and shared values
Enrich religious experience
It is never too late to begin praying with your child. You might start the day with a simple prayer for something s/he feels needs to be prayed for. Simply encourage your child to join their hands, close their eyes and be still. Then ask them to complete a simple sentence, such as
- Lord, I thank you for…...
- Lord, I am sorry for…...
- Lord, help my friend…
- Lord, help me to be more….
Perhaps at the end of the day you could ask children what their “highs” or “lows” were and pray for them together.
There are lots of simple prayer books and Bibles available for young children on the Internet. Emily Pearson encourages children to pray, listen to the Word of God, reflect and put into practise the teachings of Jesus in her weekly Prayer and Liturgy sessions. These can be accessed using the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwLxITgMAWvEyVz6OkySxig/videos Emily provides a video each week to celebrate that Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word for Children.
Nursery Ash Wednesday Liturgy
Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 8AJ