It's back to school time and the Church of England has fittingly published two new Eucharistic Prayers for school and church use.
The prayers have been composed to involve children and capture their imaginations as fully as possible in the preparation and celebration of Holy Communion.
Guidance in print and digital formats has been put together by the Liturgical Commission to help celebrants turn the canteen, gym room or classroom into an exciting place of worship for the children.
The guidance encourages celebrants to “use imagination and allow space for an entire liturgical experience”, as well as "silence and mystery”.
It suggests inviting children to make bread and banners, and play uplifting music on their own instruments, and covers practical matters such as the height of the Communion table.
The Rev Mary Hawes, National Going for Growth (Children's and Youth) Adviser said: “These prayers have been specially written to unlock a child’s imagination whilst being arresting and brief so that they can be learned by heart.
"Children can lead particular sections and engage with worship through art and music. I fully commend their use in churches and schools.”
The General Synod commissioned the House of Bishops to compile the prayers in recognition of the increase in attendance of children at all-age celebrations, and the Dearing Report, which stressed the importance of mission work in schools.
The prayers can be found on the Church of England website
Church House Publishing (CHP) has published the texts and guidance in a range of useful formats:
- Common Worship Additional Eucharistic Prayers: with Guidance on Celebrating the Eucharist with Children is available from Church House Publishing
- A Kindle Edition of the booklet is available at Amazon
The services and guidance are also available in Visual Liturgy Live, CHP’s worship-planning software. Visit www.visualliturgylive.net
for more details.