At St Gerard’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. We encourage the children to nurture a relationship with God through words, symbols, song, gestures and silence. Prayer is such an integral part of school life and can take place in a variety of contexts other than those specifically structured.
Central to our prayer life in St Gerard’s is the weekly Gospel Assembly and Key Stage Collective Worship that take place each week. Children participate in a variety of ways: praying, reading, singing, preparing a display to emphasise a specific focus of the Collective Worship, to name but some. In addition to Collective Worship, we also have class Masses which are celebrated by Bishop John Rawsthorne, 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.
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 joyful Carol Service at Christmas.