A new Prayer and Liturgy Directory for Catholic schools, colleges and academies in England and Wales has been launched at a conference in York.
The directory was presented to dioceses on 17 October by a host of speakers including Dr Sue Price, Director of Pastoral Outreach at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, and its editors Martin Foster, Director of the Liturgy Office for the Bishops’ Conference; and the Revd Professor Peter McGrail, Subject Lead for Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Liverpool Hope University.
Titled To love You more dearly and published by the Bishops’ Conference and the CES, it is the first such document to support prayer and liturgy coordinators, senior leadership teams and governors and others in implementing the understanding of the Catholic Church in prayer and liturgy.
Communal prayer forms a major part of the spiritual life of the school and to pupils’ moral and spiritual development, with participants invited to recognise God’s action in their lives and that of the school. For example, this can include classroom prayer at the beginning or end of the day, and prayer at the start of a staff meeting.
The Directory has been approved by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and was subject to a number of wide-scale consultations with practitioners which helped to shape and develop the text.
In the preface the Most Revd George Stack, Emeritus Archbishop of Cardiff and Chairman of the Department for Christian Life and Worship, and the Rt Revd Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds and Chairman of the Department for Education and Formation, write: “In Catholic schools and colleges across England and Wales, teachers and other adult members of the school community have long supported the life of prayer and liturgy within their schools with imagination and dedication.
“We hope that this directory will affirm what is good practice, while also setting a high bar to which all can aspire.”
Topics covered include the use of music; celebrating sacraments; devotions and more. Sections can also be used to provide focused guidance as follows:
- in developing school policies and systems
- in directly planning prayer and liturgy
- as a focus for evaluating practice
- in staff formation
- as reference points for Catholic school inspectors to support their judgments
Part of a series, the document follows on from To know You more clearly, its Religious Education counterpart published earlier this year.
The title of the new Prayer and Liturgy Directory, To love You more dearly, is taken from a prayer by St Richard of Chichester, a Bishop in the 13th century remembered for his generosity to the poor, mercy shown to sinners, and reform of the liturgical life of his diocese.
Supporting resources for schools, based on the directory, are currently being prepared.
To love You more dearly was drafted and edited by experts including Martin Foster, Director of the Liturgy Office for the Bishops’ Conference; the Revd Professor Peter McGrail, Subject Lead for Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Liverpool Hope University; Philip Robinson, Chief Inspector of the Catholic Schools Inspectorate; Catherine Bryan, Deputy Director of the CES; Dr Nancy Walbank, CES Religious Education Adviser; Elaine Arundell, Primary RE Adviser for the Archdiocese of Westminster, and of the National Board of RE Inspectors and Advisers (NBRIA); Matthew Dell, Senior Lecturer in RE at St Mary’s University, and of Association of Teachers of Catholic Religious Education (ATCRE); Deacon Paul Mannings of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, and of NBRIA; Jane Porter of the Association of Catholic Chaplains in Education (ACCE), and Cardinal Newman School, in Luton; and Peter Ward of NBRIA.