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 Prayer and Worship

To pray is to respond to the wonder and mystery of life. In the Christian tradition prayer fosters a personal and living relationship with God as Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Worship of God is described as private when it occurs anywhere and at anytime. Liturgy is public worship centred on Christ. Worship can be expressed through bodily gestures or postures, in rites and ceremonies through the incorporation of dance, drama, media, music and visual arts. These can all have powerful potential to enhance the quality of prayer and worship experiences.

Prayer and worship in a Catholic school help create a sense of purpose and identity within the community. They draw the community into an understanding of our shared humanity, link us with the Church throughout the world and send us out to share our Good News.

Three elements of Prayer and Worship are:

  • Christian prayer
  • celebrating liturgy and sacraments
  • ritualising everyday life

Christian Prayer

At St Pius School ethos and charism are expressed in the following ways:

  • Teach and use a variety of traditional prayers and devotions for individual and communal use (Our Father, Hail Mary)
  • Prepare and disseminate a calendar to ensure prayerful perspective in celebrations of liturgical seasons (Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Advent), feasts (Mary Help of Christians, St Mary MacKillop, St Pius V) and significant events (ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day)
  • Model and explain gestures used in prayer celebrations (Sign of the Cross, sign of peace, blessings when attending Mass)
  • Immerse students in diverse experiences of prayer (traditional prayers, Christian Meditation, labyrinths, mandalas, Lectio Divina, litanies and mantras)
  • Incorporate symbols when developing prayer experiences (candle – flame, religious and seasonal symbols, paintings, coloured fabrics)

 

Celebration of Liturgy and Sacraments

  • Develop clear expectations about procedures and practices for the reverent celebration of liturgy (St Pius Behaviour Matrix – clear expectations of how to behave in church)
  • Encourage and support student participation in parish and Archdiocesan liturgies (School/Parish Mass, St Mary MacKillop feast day Mass in St Stephen’s Cathedral)
  • Support students and families engaged in sacramental preparation and celebration (recognition and prayer for candidates in the school newsletter and on assembly)
  • Promote and support the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) within the parish
 

Ritualising Everyday Life

  • Ritualise Rite of Passage (Year 6 Rite of Passage liturgy and celebration as they transition to secondary, welcoming new staff, births in the community)
  • Look for opportunities to include elements of hope, joy ad celebration in ritualising everyday events in the life of the students (sporting and cultural awards, ICAS awards, ‘Remarkable Moments’)
  • Include prayer rituals in day-to-day procedures (prayer to start all meeting including P & F and Board Meetings, Staff Meetings, PD)
  • Make use of symbolic and ritual actions that are reminders of the sacredness of individuals (sprinkling with water, sign of peace, placing of hands)
  • Design appropriate and meaningful rituals for use on retreat/reflection days (camp liturgy on creation and appreciation of friendship)
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