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At St Gabriel’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 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 Gabriel’s is the celebration of the Mass. The Eucharist is the very core, the very essence of our Catholic life and therefore is celebrated with the whole school and the extended community once a fortnight on Friday mornings when our Parish Priest is available to celebrate Mass with us. Children participate in a variety of ways: praying, reading, singing, playing musical instruments, preparing a display to emphasise a specific focus of the Mass, to name but some. Occasionally, a particular class may celebrate Mass in the school hall 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, Ordinary Time, Lent, Advent or Easter. During all these times of prayer, both staff and pupils are involved in leading and participating.
If you would like to see the prayers we say in school, please click on the Catholic Life section of our website, then click on Year Group Prayers.
The school is blessed in having two very supportive priests (Fr Michael White and Fr Jagadish Kurapati) 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 leading an Advent and Lenten Mass, the celebration of the sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation and a beautiful, joyous KS1 and KS2 Carol Service at Christmas.
It is thus our aim at St Gabriel’s to provide our children with opportunities to experience a variety of forms of prayer that help each individual in the school community to foster their own relationship with God.