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God and Time Embrace

Prayer Services for School and Parish from Gate Ma

ISBN13: 9781847302311

ISBN10: 1847302319

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  • Collected from GATE magazine, these prayer services for school and parish provide practical and imaginative ways in which to lead groups of students and young people in liturgies and meditations. They will help draw young people, as well as adults, into a deeper embrace of God and all his creation. These complete services are ready to use as they stand; alternatively they can be consulted as a guide or provide inspiration for the creation of your own special and unique services.

  • Byrne Kathleen

    Gerry Campbell

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    This resource for second-level schools is one of the handiest and most thorough resources to come on the market in several years. The text is collected from GATE (God and time embrace) magazine and consists of prayer services for both school and parish situations. All the resources are practical and highly imaginative and can be easily catered for large or small groups.

    The book is set out into easily identifiable sections, starting with three prayer services to mark the beginning of the new school year for three different levels. The resources for celebrating friendships (old and new) in your school are great for adapting to the needs of new first year classes on a getting to know you basis, while the material supplied can easily be adapted to older classes. The various chapters go on to supply resources for Autumn, remembrance in November, Advent, Spring Time, Lent, end of year (including graduation), exam time and a prayer and meditation service dedicated to understanding the Holy Spirit.

    Even the fact that the book is spiral bound shows that mentality behind the work: making it easy for teachers, chaplains and priests to be inspired and to have creative resources at their fingertips.

    The resources use meditation and prayer as well as readings, prayers of the faithful and reflections. Suggestions are given for music and ideas and each service is prefaced with notes on preparation, further ideas, ways in which the students can use tools such as journaling, time out, even seeds and planting to prepare for the service. Students are at the centre of each of the services and all the resources are easily adaptable not just for different year groups, but also for times when there is a whole-school liturgy or prayer service.

    The authors of book, Fr Gerry Campbell and Kathleen Byrne demonstrate their immense experience in this area through the way they note that not all schools have a church or chapel to use for their services, so each service is set up around a Prayer space and the directions and suggestions reflect this. Ideas for a sacred space are practical and easy to use. All of the services in this comprehensive book will help second level students of all ages (as well as their teachers and chaplains) into a deeper embrace of God and his creation, as well allowing a greater spiritual understanding of the individual and community who come together to engage with these services.

    M?íire Byrne, Intercom, September 2010



    Ask the students to focus on their goals for the new school year and their personal gifts.

    This focus can be done in class by letting students have some quiet time to write down their goals and dreams for the year ahead , personal and academic. This exercise will be totally private. The students will put their completed work in envelopes, which will be sealed and returned to the students at the end of the school year. These envelopes can be placed in the class box of dreams (something you may want to start in your own classroom).

    The same can be done for personal gifts. The focus will be on what are the gifts I have that will make my dreams a reality? and what personal gift will I consciously develop this year? These can also be placed in the class box of gifts (again, something that you may wish to have in the classroom).


    A particular class might take responsibility for setting up this space. Each class might prepare a symbol representing their own class gift; for example, generosity, humour, diligence, etc. The new classes could have a symbol representing openness or willingness to learn. These symbols will be placed in the sacred space.


    The procession may include celebrant, readers and representatives from each class carrying their box of dreams and box of gifts. The boxes will be placed in the sacred space. After the celebration, the students may take some time to examine the symbols.


    ENTRANCE (See music suggestions at the end of the service)


    Father, As your Spirit guides us and your loving care keeps us safe, be close to us during the coming school year, and in your mercy listen to those who call on you. Strengthen and protect us in your kindness and draw us closer to you. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


    First Reading: Isaiah (43:1-5)

    The Lord who created you says, Do not be afraid , I will save you. I have called you by name , you are mine.

    When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; Your troubles will not overwhelm you.

    When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt; The hard trials that come will not hurt you.

    For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you. I will give up whole nations to save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honour. Do not be afraid , I am with you.


    Psalm (See music suggestions)

    Second Reading: St Paul to the Romans (12:6-12)

    We are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak Gods message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do so generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do so cheerfully.

    Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold onto what is good. Love one another warmly as Christian brothers and sisters, and be eager to show respect for one another. Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.


    Gospel Acclamation (sung)

    A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (25:14-29)

    The kingdom of God is like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his masters money.

    After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.

    Master, he said, you entrusted me with five talents; see, I have gained five more.

    His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your masters happiness!

    The man with the two talents also came. Master, he said, you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.

    His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your masters happiness!

    Then the man who had received the one talent came. Master, he said, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.

    His master replied, You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

    Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.



    Leader: For everyone who has will be given more. The Word of God assures us that when we develop our gifts we will have abundance. Let us in our prayer ask for real belief in ourselves, our gifts and our abilities, so that the coming year for each of us will be rich in fruitfulness.

    Student 1: We pray Gods blessing on the coming school year; on our work, our dreams and our aspirations. May each of us be filled with a spirit of cooperation and may we share our gifts so that the very best may be achieved. Lord hear us.

    Student 2: For our teachers , that they will be given the awareness, insight and patience to lead us to new paths of discovery. May they be free from stress and anxiety and may peace flow through their work. Lord hear us.

    Student 3: For our families and friends who love and support us. May the Lord bless them for their patience and generosity and may bonds be strengthened through mutual openness and care. Lord hear us.

    Student 4: We pray for those who doubt their abilities. May their fellow students always be at hand to encourage, support and offer practical help when and where it is needed. Lord hear us.

    Student 5: We pray that our belief in our abilities will never fail, and when self-doubt threatens may our fellow students always be ready and willing to encourage and support us. Lord hear us.

    Student 6: We pray that this year will be one blessed with care, love and generosity. May bullying and struggles for power be seen by all as destructive to both the perpetrator and the victim. Lord hear us.

    Leader: Creator God, we place this school year with all its plans, hopes and dreams before you. Pour out your spirit on all our endeavours. Let us never be so rushed or pressed for time that we forget the little kindnesses for others. In spite of study and commitments, may we all find the space to ponder what guides our thoughts and decisions each day. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen.


    Father, we praise you and we bless you. You have made us and we belong to you. You are not distant. You have revealed yourself and your great love for us in all your wonderful works.

    We see you in the strength of mountains, the solitude of deserts, and in gentle and refreshing rain. We see you in the height of skies and ocean depth, in birds that soar and fish that swim. We see you in the hope of sunrise, the relief and rest of sunset. All your works proclaim your love.

    As children, surrounded and protected by the warmth of a fathers love, we join all creation in rejoicing, in celebrating your great care and concern for us. It is in this spirit that we raise our voices and praise your name.

    Holy, Holy (sung)

    Father, we thank you for speaking your greatest word of love to us: Jesus Christ. He came to show us clearly who you are. He taught us how to call you God and Father. We are your children, your image. We thank you that when we sinned you sent us Jesus Christ, our brother, to free the child in each of us to grow in your life and spirit.

    And of all he said and did, we thank you for his greatest gift to us. On the night before he died, Jesus gathered his friends together for a meal and shared with them his life and love.

    While they were at supper, He took some bread, gave thanks, broke it, and passed it among them saying:

    Take this all of you, and eat.
    This is my body given up for you.

    Then he took the cup of wine, said the blessing, and gave it to them saying:

    This is the cup of my blood, poured out for people everywhere so that sins may be forgiven.
    This is a new and everlasting covenant.
    Do this in memory of me.

    Father, we thank you for Christs life among us, the example he has left us of how to live a life of love. We gratefully recall his death, and how he shows us a way to die to self and live for others.

    And finally, we remember the hope we have in Jesus resurrection and ascension: the hope of the seed that falls into the ground, the hope of the grapes that yield to crushing, the hope we cling to with childlike tenacity, the hope of new and fuller life.

    Together, now, as a community of believers, we proclaim the fullness of our faith:

    Acclamation (sung)

    Send us your spirit, Father. The spirit Christ has promised us, so that the child in each of us can grow.
    Help us rediscover creativity and imagination and all the ways in which we can be most like you.
    Give us your eyes and restore our vision. Teach us to discover you in the present moment you have given us.
    Help us to seek and find you where you are to be found in the ordinary day-to-day living of our lives.
    We make our prayer to you, Father, in the name of the Son, Jesus, who is our hope.
    Through him,
    With him,
    In him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    All glory and honour is yours,
    Almighty Father,
    For ever and ever.

    Amen (sung)

    Dream Big

    If there were ever a time to dare,
    To make a difference
    To embark on something worth doing
    It is now.
    Not for any grand cause, necessarily ,
    But for something that tugs at your heart
    Something that is worth your aspiration
    Something that is your dream.
    You owe it to yourself
    To make your days count.

    Have fun. Dig deep. Stretch. Dream big.
    Know, though, that things worth doing
    Seldom come easy,
    There will be times when you want to
    Turn around, pack it up and call it quits
    Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself
    And that you are not afraid to learn by trying.

    Persist. Because with an idea,
    Determination and the right tools,
    You can do great things.
    Let your instincts, your intellect
    And let your heart guide you.

    Trust. Believe in the incredible power
    Of the human mind
    Of doing something that makes a difference
    Of working hard
    Of laughing and hoping
    Of lasting friends
    Of all the things that will cross your path
    Next year, the start of something new
    Brings the hope of something great.
    Anything is possible
    There is only one you
    And you will pass this way but once.
    Do it right.

    (Author Unknown)
    Recessional (See music suggestions)


    Entrance: Shout To The Lord by Darlene Zschech Come, Now Is The Time To Worship by Brian Doerksen
    Psalm: As The Deer by Martin Nystrom
    Offertory: I Will Be The Vine by Liam Lawton One Bread, One Body by John Foley
    Communion: There Is None Like You by Lenny LeBlanc More Precious Than Silver by Lynn DeShazo Awesome God by Rich Mullins God Will Make A Way by Don Moen
    Recessional: Be Thou My Vision, Ancient Irish Hymn Go Light Your World by Kathy Troccoli Open The Gates by David Haas The Summons by John L. Bell

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