Collective Worship

Worship in St Mary’s School is more than just a legal requirement.

It is an integral part of school life and central to the Catholic tradition.

Collective worship takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share in it:

  • Those who form part of the worshipping community in church;
  • Those for whom school may be their first and only experience of church;
  • Those from other Christian traditions – or none;
  • Those from other faith backgrounds.

The Aims of Collective Worship

Collective Worship in St Mary’s School aims to provide opportunities for all pupils and staff:

  • To contemplate the mystery of God
  • To reflect on spiritual and moral issues
  • To explore personal beliefs
  • To respond to and to celebrate life
  • To experience a sense of belonging and to develop community spirit
  • To develop a common ethos and shared values
  • To enrich religious experience
  • To grow in liturgical understanding and development
  • To pray using  prayers which are part of the Catholic tradition
  • To reinforce positive attitudes
  • To participate fully
  • To take time out ‘to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to.’

Collective Act of Worship

The ‘Collective Act of Worship is an integral part of our school day. We gather together at some time each day for Prayer. On occasions, Children are encouraged to experience silent and reflective prayer.

Worship may take a variety of forms:

  • Sacramental Celebrations
  • Other Liturgies, including assemblies- whole school and class
  • Hymn singing
  • Celebration/Praise assembly
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Monday Whole School Assembly based on Sunday’s Gospel
Tuesday Hymn Practice
Wednesday Class Liturgy
Thursday Statements to Live By/Whole School Class Liturgies (Led by Class Teachers)
Friday Celebration Assembly – ‘Shining Lights’

When we plan Collective Worship at St Mary’s, we use the planning documents created by the NDCYS. We also use their resources to help us evaluate our liturgies too. Their wonderful Extra-Ordo-nary document (attached below) can be a useful tool for liturgy planning, especially for Wednesday’s class liturgies.

Definitions of some forms of worship:

Collective Worship is the way in which we connect spiritually with God, our creator, following the example of Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit. This comes in a multitude of forms and there is no right or wrong way to give glory to God.

Mass is at the centre of the celebration of our faith. We celebrate the mystery of the Eucharist as a faith community, praising alongside our parish community of St Mary, Our Lady of The Rosary. Fr Dominic is our parish priest.

Liturgy has a distinct, formalised format that mirrors that of the Mass. There are four sections: Gathering (coming together as a prayer community); Word (listening to God as found in the scriptures); Response (prayer time, reflection or action to digest and ponder over God’s word); Mission (taking the message from the liturgy out into our school, home, community and beyond).

Prayer, according to St. John Damascene, is the “raising of one’s mind and heart to God.” This can be vocalised or internal, contemplative prayer. We can use traditional prayers of the Church or our own thoughts and words.