The Diocese of Ely Education Directorate

Is your Church School Worship BLESSED?

B Biblical 

L  LiturgicalPicture1

E Ecumenical

S Seasonal

S Symbolic

E Eucharistic

D Diverse

 

B – All acts of collective worship in a Church school contain Christian elements and teaching – the Bible, and Bible stories retold at an appropriate level, should figure regularly in worship.  Themes can be built around some of the big Biblical epics, such as the story of Joseph, or e.g. parables of Jesus.

L – Liturgical refers to the structure of worship and this is where features from Church practice can be used.  The liturgical format of an act of collective worship is best described as gathering, engaging, responding and sending.  Both the gathering and sending can use familiar responses such as “The Lord be with you” “and also with you”.  Responding includes using some of the great prayers of the Church, including the Lord’s Prayer itself.

E– The Anglican Church is an Ecumenical Church and in the same way Church schools can draw freely on worship materials from other Churches, especially those found in their locality.  Materials from the World Church, particularly songs and prayers, can also be used.

S– The round of the Church year – beginning in Advent – passes through special festival seasons which tell the Christian story over the pattern of the year.   Church schools will naturally organise their worship themes around the great festivals of Christmas and Easter, and also include other special days and celebrations, tying in with their parish church.

S– Thinking of symbolism opens up the question of how the hall is prepared as a worship space, including the use of cross, candles, and other Christian symbolism.  Calendars of the Church’s Year can also be used as displays, linking collective worship with Church practice.  Symbolism also includes the use of symbolic actions e.g. in sharing food together in class based acts of worship.  Symbols which are in constant use can become wallpaper and it is important to keep revisiting their importance and meaning with each new intake of pupils.

E -Nationally about 20% of Church schools regularly include a Eucharist or Holy Communion service as a part of their collective worship provision.   Schools wishing to explore the possibility of a school based Eucharist should do so in close co-operation with their parish and consult with parents.  All pupils should have the opportunity of learning about the Eucharist in RE.

D – Worship is a rich experience which take many forms from quiet meditative reflection to exuberant celebration.  Schools can draw on  many different worship styles and resources to give pupils a generous diet of worship experiences.