Download: Collective Worship Policy – April 2023 [PDF]
Download: Prayer Booklet [PDF]
At St Matthew’s we always strive to provide quality experiences of prayer and liturgy that support pupils’ spiritual development. These communal acts of prayer and the liturgical celebrations of the Church form part of everyday life in our school. Every child is given the opportunity to pray by giving praise and thanks to God using traditional prayers of the Catholic Church and many other sources of prayer that enable this to take place.
The children are encouraged to nurture a relationship with God through words, symbols, song, gestures and silence. Prayer is such an important part of school life that it can never be confined to ‘timetabled’ slots but may take place in a variety of contexts other than those specifically structured.
Central to our prayer life in St Matthew’s is the weekly Collective Worship and prayer assembly on a Monday morning. Children participate in a variety of ways: praying, reading, singing, playing musical instruments, preparing a display to emphasise a specific focus of the Collective Worship, to name but some.
In addition to Collective Worship, year groups regularly attend our local church to celebrate Mass with our parishioners, in order to further help their understanding of the richness of the Eucharist.
Other opportunities for prayer take place within the classroom at the start of each day, before and after lunch and again at the end of each day. Prayer in the classrooms and in assemblies always includes use of symbols and a focal point for prayer which is appropriate to the liturgical season, for example, Lent, Advent or Easter. During all these times of prayer, both staff and pupils are involved in leading and participating.
We are very lucky in having two very supportive priests (Fr Connor and Father Dominic) within the parish who are in school regularly helping our children to experience what it means to belong to, or take part in the worshipping community of the Church. The children are fortunate to be able to experience the richness of the liturgical life of the church in many ways throughout the year such as the Stations of the Cross during Lent and a Advent Service at Christmas.
The Nature of Collective Worship
We believe that Christian worship in a Catholic school is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into relationship, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
The Place of Collective Worship in the Life of St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School
Collective Worship at St Matthew’s Primary School provides opportunities for pupils and staff to come together to worship God. It will have Christ at its heart and, while respecting diversity of belief and commitment, will be Catholic in character, reflecting the liturgical tradition of the Church. We endorse the belief that Collective Worship takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share in it.
Worship in this school is more than just a legal requirement. It is an integral part of school life and central to the Catholic tradition. It will be related to the ‘day to day life, aspirations, and concerns of the school.’ (Education Reform Act 1988.)
Prayer Life at St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School
Prayers in class daily – Morning Prayer, Grace before and after lunch & Hometime prayer.
Monday – Whole School Worship led by the leadership team.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday – Collective Worship in class. This will be planned and led by children and staff following a weekly or current theme.
Friday – Whole School Worship and Merit assembly led by the leadership team.
Prayer and Other Resources
For families who wish to pray together at home many resources can be found at;
External Link: http://www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/
Fr. Denis Blackledge SJ, Jesuit Parish Priest of Saint Francis Xavier’s Church in Liverpool delivers a series of armchair retreats.
External Link: Armchair Retreats
Archbishop Malcolm invites us to pray together with him through these times:
God Our Father,
each person is precious to You.
You are the Giver of life.
Have mercy on us and protect us at this time,
as the coronavirus threatens health and life.
You are an ever-present Helper in time of trouble.
Watch over those who are suffering,
give strength to those who are aiding the sick
and give courage to all in this time of anxiety.
We ask this of you in the name of your Son.