Ash Wednesday Collective Worship

KS2 Teaching:

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KS1 is similar, but hugely simplified.

Objective:

To enable young people to encounter the idea of sin, the need for repentance and the wonderful opportunity of grace at a level which is appropriate to their age and faith development but which culminates in a key stage appropriate response and act of worship which reflects both traditional and creative methods of expressing the solemnity of Ash Wednesday

Strategy

Throughout the day (as timetabled), Fr. Simon to visit each year group. Each class to produce artistic/creative responses to that session and the meditation in each session which are then offered at the end-of-day act of collective worship which culminates in one of the Church’s finest multisensory rituals: ashing

Outline

Each theme below to be differentiated for each year group.

  • Recall Pancake Day / Shrove Tuesday
  • Identify today as Ash Wednesday
  • Set Ash Wednesday in context of Lent, Holy Week and Easter
  • Describe Ashing: where the ashes come from and what they are used for
  • Burn a Palm Cross with a blow torch to make the link clear
  • Doing Bad Things
    • The reality of bad things in the world, in the playground
    • How bad things affect relationships
    • How people feel when bad things are done to them (Golden Rules?)
    • Opportunity to recap School values
  • Bad things make God sad = sin
  • The effect of saying sorry and meaning it
  • The promise of forgiveness
  • The reality of grace
  • Opportunity for personal reflection on our actions
  • Including guided silence and reflection with music and images (visual)
  • Ritual with stones and large pot of water and/or cairns of stones scattered and then rebuilt depending on year group (kinaesthetic)
  • Task:

Draw/Paint/Collage in small groups/individually (decided by class teachers) pieces to offer reflecting on Ash Weds.

Examples might be:

• Ink ripple prints recalling the water/stones ritual earlier
• Charcoal as an art medium, recalling the Ash
• Collage of news items/internet images of things for society to repent about (older age group)
• …or of course any others thought up by Young People, Art Manager, Class Teacher etc!

Collective Worship

Gathering Song: King of Kings, Majesty

Mr Davey recaps the day’s Ash Wednesday activities

Collect

Lord,
protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this day holy by our self-denial.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Gospel: John 21:1-19

Retold in first person in the style of my next book Frontline Evangelism with Young People

1 Later, Jesus appeared again to his followers by Lake Galilee. This is how it happened: 2 Some of the followers were together—Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the two sons of Zebedee, and two other followers. 3 Simon Peter said, “I am going out to fish.”
The other followers said, “We will go with you.” So all of them went out and got into the boat. They fished that night but caught nothing.

4 Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore. But the followers did not know it was Jesus. 5 Then he said to them, “Friends, have you caught any fish?”

They answered, “No.”

6 He said, “Throw your net into the water on the right side of your boat. You will find some fish there.” So they did this. They caught so many fish that they could not pull the net back into the boat.

7 The follower Jesus loved very much said to Peter, “That man is the Lord!” When Peter heard him say it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around himself. (He had taken his clothes off to work.) Then he jumped into the water. 8 The other followers went to shore in the boat. They pulled the net full of fish. They were not very far from shore, only about 100 yards. [b] 9 When they stepped out of the boat and onto the shore, they saw a fire of hot coals. There were fish on the fire and some bread there too. 10 Then Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish that you caught.”

11 Simon Peter got into the boat and pulled the net to the shore. It was full of big fish—153 of them! But even with that many fish, the net did not tear. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat.” None of the followers would ask him, “Who are you?” They knew he was the Lord. 13 Jesus walked over to get the bread and gave it to them. He also gave them the fish.

14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his followers after he was raised from death.

15 When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these other men love me?”
Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Then Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 A third time Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was sad because Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you!”

Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. 18 The truth is, when you were young, you tied your own belt and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands, and someone else will tie your belt. They will lead you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!”

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Forgiveness Song

As the following song is sung, the art offerings are brought to the front. Candles are safely placed around them.

When I say I’m sorry
I know that You hear me
When I know I’m wrong
Your love will set me free

I’m sorry for not obeying
Sorry for sometimes straying
Sorry for things that make You sad

Liturgy of Ashing

Dear friends in Christ, let us ask our Father to bless these ashes which we will use as the mark of our repentance.

(Silent prayer)

Lord, bless the sinner who asks your forgiveness
and bless + all those who receive these ashes.
May they keep this Lenten season in preparation for the joy of Easter.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen

The Ashes are sprinkled with Holy Water

Every person, beginning with the priests are offered to be ashed. They are then given a small prayer card. They are ashed with the words:

Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.
God loves you. God forgives you. God restores you through Jesus Christ

They are then given a small prayer card which says:

Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.
 God loves you. God forgives you. God restores you through Jesus Christ
Bickleigh Down Primary School, Ash Weds 2013

If anyone declines Ashing, they will be offered a prayer of blessing and a card. If they decline both, they will be offered a card.

Fr. Simon recaps on forgiveness and grace leads the Lord’s Prayer (Traditional Version) and teaches a very silly song on forgiveness:

You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands
You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands
You’re forgiven and you know, so you really ought to show it,
You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands

Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet
Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet
Jesus loves you and you know it, so you really ought to show it
Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet

If you believe that God forgives you, say “We do” “We do”
If you believe that God forgives you, say “We do” “We do”
When you say that you are sorry, you no longer have to worry
God takes away your sin, so say “Amen”. Amen!

Simon Rundell (2011), Creative Ideas for Sacramental Worship with Children, Canterbury Press
Blessing

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness,
to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Our service is ended. Go in the peace, love and forgiveness of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Recessional Video

Matt Redman – Blesséd Be Your Name (source: Blesséd)

END

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