03 September 2012
Two new Eucharistic Prayers for school and church use are
published today - both composed to involve children and capture
their imaginations as fully as possible in the preparation and
celebration of Holy Communion. They are available alongside
practical guidance from the Liturgical Commission helping
celebrants turn an ordinary school room into an exciting place of
worship; and they are available in a range of print and digital
formats to suit schools and churches (full details below).
Endorsing the new prayers, the Revd 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
Recognising that the attendance of children at all-age
celebrations has increased, and taking account of the Dearing
Report's emphasis on the importance of the Church's mission work
with schools, the General Synod commissioned the House of Bishops
to compile the prayers in 2008.
Using direct, visual and vivid language, the two prayers may be
incorporated within the current framework of Common Worship
services either within Holy Communion: Order One or A Service of
the Word with Holy Communion.
Guidance material encourages celebrants to think carefully about
how best to prepare a room that may also be used for school dinners
or gymnastics, and "use imagination and allow space for an entire
liturgical experience", "leaving room for 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.
Alongside the free online versions of the two new Eucharistic
Prayers , 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 as a booklet
(ISBN 978 07151 2225 9, £5.99) from booksellers or direct from CHP.
- A Kindle Edition of the booklet is
- The services and guidance are also available in Visual
Liturgy Live, CHP's worship-planning software.