Prayer and collective worship
Prayer, reflection and worship are at the centre of what we do here at Christ the King. Throughout the year, we celebrate religious events by saying mass, holding liturgy services, adoration and some of the sacraments as a whole school.
In 2018, we introduced class masses for our children and families, which are celebrated with Fr John Cahill, typically on a Monday afternoon, roughly twice a term. A class from each site comes together to experience this intimate service, and learns a little more about the meaning and symbolism behind different elements of the mass. Last year, Fr John focused on teaching the children about the vestments priests wear for mass and what the garments represent. The children loved seeing Fr prepare for mass in this way, as it is usually done in the sacristy. This year, Fr John is teaching the children how to lay an altar, and why we have these special artefacts on display during the service. The children have enjoyed hearing about the links that can be made between the altar and the stories of Jesus’s life. For example, Fr John taught the children that the white altar linen is a reminder that Jesus laid down his life for us, and He was placed in a tomb wrapped in white linen.
To help the children come to know the mass better and encounter Christ, we have purchased child-friendly Mass cards so the junior children can help the infant children to follow the responses the congregation say during the mass. We hope it will help them to better understand what is happening in the celebration of the Eucharist.
To find out when your child’s class mass will be taking place, please see the Mass and Liturgy planner at the bottom of this tab. Alternatively, you can look on our school diary, which can be accessed via the homepage.
Our school has a culture of prayer, which is central to everyday life at our school. Teachers make use of a range of daily collective worship forms, such as child-led liturgies, Christian Meditation and Lectio Divina. The children have received sessions with Sr Anna, who has explained the importance of being present with God, and allowing him into our minds and hearts.
Lectio Divina was introduced to the children following the previous Diocesan Canonical Inspection, where it was suggested that the children would benefit from another form of prayer. Lectio Divina focuses around short passages of scripture, and allowing the words and meaning to have an impact on you. Children are encouraged to say which words stand out to them and why, and how the passage makes them feel. Lectio Divina can be a great way to encounter Christ, as you open up your heart and allow scripture to speak to you. This year is the Year of the Word, and so we will be having an increased emphasis on scripture throughout the school community so that children become more comfortable with interpreting their own meaning from scripture.
The children are now well-versed in Lectio Divina, and so if you would like to try it at home with your family, please see the Lectio Divina Guidance Document attached at the bottom of this page. Children are encouraged to take home the scripture they explored at school and share this with their families. Alternatively, you can choose any extract from your Bible to focus on in this way.
Child-led liturgies are planned using the Extra-Ordo-nary Calendar from NDCYS, which gives the children a weekly theme on which to focus their worship. Class liturgies are planned and delivered progressively as the children move throughout the school. Please see the Child-Led Liturgy Progression Document at the bottom of this page to find out how your child’s year group plans and delivers this form of worship.
Please also see the Culture of Prayer document for further information about daily worship and prayer.
Home/School prayer and worship links
Homework is sent for families to complete together throughout the year. This ranges from talking about the mission statement to exploring ways to encounter Christ at home. During October, we hold a Rosary Club, where we invite the children to bring in their own Rosary beads from home. In November, we ask our school community to submit names of loved ones to be remembered during the feast of All Saints and All Souls. During Advent, a travelling Nativity is sent home to encourage families to share the story of Jesus’s birth. Similarly, during Lent, prayer bags are sent home to help families pray together throughout this important season.
Parents and carers are invited to all school masses and class masses, and are encouraged to leave comments about the services in our Reflective Journal, which is available at the front of the school.