A rich tradition of worship exists in many Anglican schools, from large public services to regular chapel worship for students, and services for staff and families. The school prayer or hymn often has a significant place in the worship tradition. These well-known components may be supplemented by a large number of additional worship resources and may be adapted in preparing worship to celebrate Anglican schools at diocesan, city, regional, deanery, parish, or school level.
Services of Thanksgiving and Celebration
Some dioceses/provinces already organise annual services at which schools, staff and students give thanks to God for this remarkable educational and missional enterprise. These diocesan/provincial services provide a model for others to hold similar services. The following resources provide a starting point for planning.
Order of Service
The various services in A Prayer Book for Australia (1995) provide a wealth of flexible material. The rites of Morning and Evening Prayer set out a clear pattern for worship that allows for hymn/song, opening sentences, Bible readings, reflection/sermon, Affirmation of Faith, Collect, Lord's Prayer, Blessing, hymn/song. The Service of Praise and Proclamation (APBA, p.34ff) is especially recommended, along with the various daily services (APBA, 381ff).
For Eucharistic worship, the Third Order (APBA, p.167ff) gives flexibility, and Thanksgiving 5 (APBA, p.139ff) provides opportunity for greater congregational involvement.
APBA has many other resources to be explored. Prayers, litanies and confessions for various seasons and occasions are found at p.181ff. Occasional prayers include that for Australia (p.203), and Places of Learning (p.206). A collection of Thanksgivings is found at p.218ff, and Blessings on p.221.
Other resources include:
- Aiken, N, Prayers for Teenagers, London, SPCK, 2003.
- Erickson, S E, School Chapel Services and Prayers, New York, Church Publishing Inc., 2007.
- Tilson, E & P Cole, Litanies and Other Prayers, Nashville, Abingdon, 1989.
- Wild Worship Group, A Wee Worship Book, Glasgow, Wild Goose Publications, 2002.
A Prayer for Anglican Schools
We hold before you the Anglican School communities
Throughout Australia and give thanks for our communion with one another.
We celebrate the diversity for which we are known ? the uniqueness and value of our many parts.
Empower us to serve our students, their families and our schools with the love of Christ.
Guide us in our planning, preaching and teaching, that
Your name be known and revered.
May we continue in the ancient call to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God. (Mic 6.8)
We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Light.
A Collect for Anglican Schools
God of wisdom, source of all truth, we pray for teachers and students in Anglican schools here and around the world. May we search for the truth and use it for the good of all. Enable us to grow in wisdom, and live in the love and understanding we see revealed in Jesus. May we learn to love you and to serve others in your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Readings for School Celebrations
(The Contemporary English Version, or another modern translation, is recommended for school use.)
Recommended selections from the Old Testament
- Leviticus 19.1-2, 17-18 (Reconcile differences)
- I Kings 3.11-14 (Solomon asks for wisdom)
- I Kings 8.54-61 (Solomon's prayer)
- Proverbs 4.5b-9 (Wisdom and good sense)
- Proverbs 4.10-19 (The right and the wrong way)
- Isaiah 58.7 (Help others)
Recommended selections from the Psalms
- Psalm 1.1-3 (Happy are they who follow God's way)
- Psalm 15.2-5 (Obey God in everything)
- Psalm 18.13, 28, 29 (The Lord's light)
- Psalm 36.5-9 (God's constant love)
- Psalm 101.3b-5 (Follow God's way)
- Psalm 122 (A song of praise)
- Psalm 145.1-3 (Thanking the Lord)
- Psalm 146 (Happy are those who trust in the Lord)
- Psalm 16.1-3, 11 (I trust in God for safety)
Recommended selections from the New Testament
- Acts 2.42-47 (The believers learned and prayed together)
- Romans 12.9-13 (Let your love be sincere and welcome others)
- I Corinthians 2.1-11 (Telling about Christ)
- Philippians 1.3-11 (Understand how to make right choices)
- Colossians 3.12-14 (Bear with others in kindness)
- 2 Thessalonians 3.1-5 (The Lord leads us to understand God's love)
- 2 Timothy 4.7-8 (I have finished the race)
Recommended selections from the Gospels
- Matthew 5.1-12a (The Beatitudes - teaching us how to live)
- Matthew 5.13-16 (You are the light of the world)
- Matthew 6.25-29 (God the Creator takes care of everything)
- Matthew 18.1-5 (Who is the greatest in the kingdom?
- Luke 2.41-52 (Jesus in the Temple)
- Luke 10.29-37 (The Good Samaritan)
- Luke 17.7-10 (The duty of the servant)
- John 13.31-35 (The new commandment)
- John 15.12-17 (Love one another as I have loved you)
Hymns/Songs recommended from 'Together in Song, Version 3' (Australian Hymn Book II in electronic edition)
- #14 O Lord, make me know your ways (Psalms 25: 1,4-5, 8-10, 4)
- #29 Clap your hands, all you nations (Psalm 47)
- #152 Joyful, joyful we adore you
- #157 O Lord of every shining constellation
- #165 Praise our God, the great Creator
- #167 How deep the riches of our God
- #168 For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God
- #178 Praise the God who changes places
- #181 Come, O God of all the earth
- #190 Colourful Creator, God of mystery
- #236 Jesus' hands were kind hands
- #258 You are the Word, who calls us out of darkness
- #261 Lord, you are the light of light to mne
- #272 In the presence of your people (Psalm 22)
- #414 There's a spirit in the air
- #416 Great God, your Spirit, like the wind
- #417 Loving Spirit
- #419 Like the murmur of the dove's song
- #428 Help us, O Lord to learn
- #430 Your words to me are life and health
- #453 We limit not the truth of God
- #464 Seek, O seek the Lord
- #468 We are your people
- #469 This is the truth we hold
- #474 Gather us in
- #477 Jesus calls us here to meet him
- #541 Hallelujah! We sing your praises!
- #547 Be thou my vision
- #552 Come, my way, my truth, my life
- #560 All my hope on God is founded
- #648 Help us accept each other
- #650 Brother, sister, let me serve you
- #616 What does the Lord require?
- #624 Christ be my leader
- #628 In faith and hope and love
- #666 We are marching in the light of God
- #668 Tough the earth lightly
- #670 Jesus put his song in our hearts
- #675 Shine, Jesus, shine
- #681 Lord, let me see you
- #685 The power of your love
- #686 Lord Jesus, we belong to you
- #687 God gives us a future
- #691 Faith will not grow from words alone
- #712 Create in us a clean heart, O God
- #717 Give thanks with a grateful heart
- #739 Nothing can trouble
- #743 Praise and thanksgiving let everyone bring
- #753 You are holy, you are whole
- #754 You are my hiding place
- #755 You shall go out with joy
- #787 Christ be our Light
- #790 Goodness is stronger than evil
- #793 Darkness lay upon the waters
- #795 Holy Spirit, living water
- #796 O Lord, our Lord
- #802 O God you search me