A Prayer Service for Le Chéile Schools to mark Catholic Schools Week 2013
This service may be edited to suit the needs of the school and should in some way incorporate the new edition of the Le Chéile Charter and the new bookmarks that have been delivered to the schools recently. Choose Hymns to begin and end the service. The Le Chéile hymn “New Beginnings” would be appropriate and is available for download on the resources page.
The following symbols may be carried in procession or arranged in an appropriate and visible way.
· A candle to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world
· A Bible, to remind us that God reveals himself to us through the wisdom of the Scriptures.
· A crucifix to remind us of God’s deep and lasting love for us and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us
· An image of the School Crest to remind us of our school heritage
· A copy of the new Le Chéile Charter and the students’ bookmark.
· An image of the Le Chéile Logo as a reminder of our sharing together with other schools in the work of Catholic Education
The theme for Catholic Schools Week this year is “Communities of Faith Sharing the Good News”. It is a reminder to us that through our efforts to be faithful to the Gospel values that guide our school community we are helping to share the Good News of God’s love.
Ours is a school in the ……………………. tradition (e.g. Dominican, De La Salle, Holy Faith, Jesus and Mary, Louis, Ursuline). We acknowledge that we share in the rich heritage of our founder ……………who devoted her/his life to the work of education. We are happy to share in that heritage and to promote it through our belonging to the Le Chéile Schools Trust. In our prayer today let us reflect on the blessings we share and the challenges we face as we seek God’s help in becoming the best school we can be.
As we gather today we thank you for your presence with us.
Help us in our school community to be grateful for all the ways in which we are blessed in our teaching and learning.
May we become more and more like your son Jesus who, by his words and actions, showed your unconditional love for all people.
May we learn to be like him, trusting in you and reaching out to those around us.
May your Holy Spirit be the source of inspiration and wisdom as we journey together in faith.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord
Scripture Reading: The Second Letter of St Paul to Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you, for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and of self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord. Rely on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy – not because of anything we ourselves have done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me in the faith and love that is in Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit look after that precious gift given to you in trust.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus said to his disciples “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden and no one would light a lamp and put it under a bowl. A lamp is placed on a lamp stand where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord
We need to hear from time to time that we are gifted. We need to be reminded because we can easily doubt ourselves or we can hold on to the negative things we have heard about ourselves and if we believe those voices either from within or without we are not going to do well. The readings we have just listened to state two very important things. In one we are told that there is a gift of God within us – and that is a wonderful thing to hear. Even more so when we realise that the gift is a source of power. That power is the gift of the Spirit of God that lies within us. It is a power to do good, to recognise and use our talents in a way that makes our life creative and meaningful. However if the gift lies unwrapped, unopened, then it won’t be much use. In the other reading we are told that we are the light of the world. Jesus here is not only speaking to us as individuals but as a community. When we come together to share our gifts then we become a light to one another and to the world around us.
When we reflect on what these readings mean for us a school community we realise that they offer us a very positive and hopeful message. The Good News is that we can be a source of power for one another, enabling each other to be the best we can be, we can be a light for our community reminding those around us that even though we are going through bad times now when we put our trust in God and our energy into supporting each other then a bright light shines that will help us overcome any darkness that threatens us.
Today let us pray for the faith to believe that God is always with us, that we have been gifted with his power through the Holy Spirit and that together in our school community we are called to be a bright light that will help others to see the goodness of God.
Prayers of Intercession
1. For our school community
We pray today for all of us here gathered. May we always be open to receive your light and love so that our school can be a living example of faith in action. May we be true to the heritage of ……………………….(our founding congregation) and the inspiration of ………………….. (name of the founder)
Lord Hear us
2. For Leadership
We pray for the leaders of our country,our community and our Church. We pray especially for the leaders here in our own school community: our Board of Management, our Principal and Deputy Principal, our teachers and our student council. May they always make decisions based on justice and respect for the dignity of the human person.
Lord Hear us
3. For the le Chéile Schools Trust
We pray for the work of the Le Chéile Schools Trust. May all the schools in the Trust benefit from sharing together their values and vision and continue making a rich and dynamic contribution to education in Ireland.
Lord Hear us
4. For those who struggle with their faith
We pray today for those people who struggle to find God in the world around them, for those who find it hard to believe in a loving God. Lord, during this Year of Faith help them to feel the light of your guiding and comforting presence in their lives and help us to deepen our faith in your presence.
Lord Hear us
Martin Luther King once said that everything which is done in the world is done by hope. There is much to be done in our world today. Loving God, help us to face the challenges and promises of the life which you have given us with resilience and courage.
Lord Hear us
The Le Chéile Prayer
In the power of the Spirit
and in keeping with the traditions of our founding congregations
we pray that for students, teachers and parents alike; our schools
may be places of learning and discovery, places of hope and joy,
places of courage and confidence.
places of gratitude and generosity.
places of faith rooted in love.
Prayer to be posted in the staff room
You came among us as a teacher
To share with us the Good News of the Father’s infinite love.
In sharing your compassion and wisdom
You opened the eyes of the blind and unblocked the ears of the deaf
May we who are also privileged to teach learn from your compassion and wisdom
so that we too may encourage our students to see and celebrate their gifts
and support them in hearing and heeding the truth that will set them free.
As teachers may we always be willing to learn from your example of gentle service
May we become sources of hope and enthusiasm for the young people in our care
And may our work in school be always guided by the inspiration of your Spirit.