Liturgy and Prayer at St Bernadette’s School
“The first task in life is this: prayer. But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but prayer of the heart; gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord.” Pope Francis.
As a Catholic primary school, collective worship is a vitally important part of life at St Bernadette’s. In worship we acknowledge God’s presence in our lives and we respond to this through prayer.
Growing Closer to God
In its simplest form, prayer is defined as “talking to God.” It is a personal time of opening our hearts to our Heavenly Father and bringing everything in our hearts to Him. Prayer can be a powerful force for change in our lives, and the importance of doing it on a daily basis is instilled in our children.
Communication is the foundation for success in any relationship. When we communicate openly and freely with each other, we learn to know each other as individuals. This principle also applies to our relationship with God. By talking to God, we can learn more about who He is and what plan He has for us.
Prayer Has a Purpose
It is important that our children and our staff understand that there is a purpose to prayer. Jesus frequently prayed during His life on Earth. He had a reason for doing so. Our prayers are something that God deeply desires. But our prayers are not for His benefit; as a perfect Divine Being, God is complete in His power and knowledge.
Children will pray four times daily in school. They are expected to learn a variety of traditional prayers as they move through school, but they are also expected to write their own prayers and have an understanding that prayers fall into five main categories: praise, adoration, thanksgiving, intercession and prayers of petition. Children will have the opportunity to take the class prayer bag home each week, to encourage families to pray together. The expectations for each year band can be seen below.
The Liturgical Year, also known as the Church Year or Calendar.
It consists of the cycle that determines when different Seasons of the Church, holy days, feast days, including celebration of Saints, are observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years at Mass for the Gospel and other readings.
Aside from the readings, the Liturgical Calendar also determines the interior decoration of a Church, the Priest's vestment colours (distinct liturgical colours are used in connection with different Seasons), the timing of spiritual seasons and practices such as Lent, and much more.
The Year is divided into seven main parts. The shortest but most holy being the Sacred Pascal Triduum. (The three days leading up to Easter.)
The Churches year starts with Advent in November or December and ends the following November or December with the Feast of Christ the King.
As a school community, our prayers and liturgy can have a different focus throughout the liturgical year.