Prayer and Liturgy
At St Francis Xavier, Prayer and Liturgy are an integral part of the fabric of day-to-day school life. The children pray together daily whenever they gather at the beginning of the day, before lunch, after lunch and at home time. The children take parts in daily liturgies in a wide variety of ways including as a whole school, key stage, in their class, as part of our prayer group or with our parish community through Mass. The children actively lead liturgies themselves throughout the school and are given the opportunity to prepare spaces for prayer and worship, choose scripture readings, apply creative techniques to help them and their peers respond to the message of scripture and to identify how what they have reflected upon will shape their own thinking and actions as they work to achieve their mission.
As a school, our program of prayer and liturgy is closely aligned with the Liturgical year, with special periods of the year and feast days marked in their own special way. We work closely with our parish priests, Fr Darren and Fr Henry, to ensure that all of our pupils receive a rich spiritual education in line with the Catholic tradition. Our pupils' families are encouraged to attend special whole school celebrations - see our liturgical calendar for more information.
At St Francis Xavier, all members of our community embrace the school's mission 'Achieving excellence together with God's Love' by following what Jesus teaches us in the Gospel values. Each half term, we focus upon two Gospel virtues as the focus for our whole school and key stage Liturgies and reflect upon what actions we can take in order to ensure we are following Jesus' teaching. This virtue is introduced in our Monday assembly by Mr Hoyes, the children reflect upon this more deeply in their key stage assembly on a Tuesday or Thursday and then on a Friday we celebrate as a whole school where we have seen examples of Jesus' teaching lived to the full.
With the focus of our liturgy being prayer we visited the prayer room. We looked at the healing heart and read some of the names people have asked for prayers for. The children's mission is to use the prayer room and the healing heart to pray for someone in need in their lives.
Children in Nursery have been talking about what makes us brave and when we have been brave. Children spoke about who helps them be brave when they are a little less brave. Children talked about their parents, teachers and other family members and prayed for them all.
Year 3 explored the life of St Francis Xavier during our RE lesson. We reflected on his achievements and what it means to be a saint. Our mission is to be inspired by St Francis Xavier by spreading the good word of God. Here are the children's responses to our Liturgy:
"My favourite part was the prayer because it was a time to reflect on all of our worries."
"I felt at one with Jesus and part of God's family."
"It felt calming to reflect with St Francis Xavier."
"My favourite part was finding out St Francis Xavier baptised over 30,000 people into the family of God."
Nursery class have been exploring the word Hope. Children had time to reflect with lovely music and each child took it in turns to hold our hope stone and say what they hoped for. There were some beautiful suggestions from our youngest children in school!
Year 3 Liturgy focused on the rosary beads and their importance. Here are the children's responses to the Liturgy:
"I felt happy because it is a time where I can speak to God."
"The liturgy made me feel peaceful because it was a time to reflect and feel calm."
"My favourite part was exploring the different beads on the rosary."
"My favourite part was where we said the Hail Mary prayer."
Nursery have been looking at the Rosary beads as October is the month of Rosary. Children enjoyed learning about the Rosary beads and were able to take home their own Rosary beads that they can use at home to pray!
Nursery have been learning about how God made them. We talked about how God made everyone and God made the world and prayed for everyone in our family.
Our Daily Prayers