Preparation for worship
His People's Way of Talking by M. Hollings. Madeleine Simon and M. Isittock (Mayhew MeCrimmon).
Teach Us to Pray (St Paul Publications).
'rhe Giver of Life, by M. Carey (SPCK).
The Message of Easter: Child of Nazareth by B. Haworth (NCLC).
Modern Stories for School Assembly, edited by D. M. Prescot and B. B. Frampton (Blandford).
A great deal of work being done in cateehetics is in the context of liturgy. In fact, teachers are realising more and more that the fitting response to the Gospel message is a response to Christ in worship and prayer, which makes our efforts in living the message really effective and fruitful.
The vital need for informed and creative preparation so that participation is spiritually, emotionally and physically pussiblew is offering a major challenge for teachers and priests. A recent book, which outlines the efforts made in one parish, is very encouraging. In Ills People's Way of Talking, there is a wealth of ideas and experience on which to draw. Father Michael Hollings and his team involved a wide section of the parish in discussing, planning, praying and contributing to the Liturgy of the Word in particular.
Many teachers have experience of planning class Masses in school, which do reflect joint preparation that results in a real celebration ol Christ's presence. Through artistic, musical and dramatic' activity, as well as growth in knowledge arid understanding, pupils are learning real joy in worship.
Because these celebrations are compared to the Sunday adult liturgy and the latter is usually found to be less inspiring, teachers have been criticised for making young people dissatisfied with their parish liturgy. This book could he the source of ideas that can he shared by parish and school, and parish catechetical groups.
Many teachers and priests are Very aware of the need for this kind or sharing and this book will be of great help in developing this most important area in the lives of young Catholics, as well as giving adults nevs opportunities to appreciate the liturgy and play their full part in celebrations.
Without growth in personal prase', religion remains just a set of beliefs and ideals of life. The basis of' our relationship with God
is Openness to his desire to communicate with us. How do we respond in prayer? Teach us to Pray is a book designed for anyone who would like to learn to pray, from the age of nine or ten upwards. It was first published in
It is important that children realise that prayer is a real activity that demands effort and training. In this book down to earth advice and simply presented techniques in getting ready to pray and in learning what silence means in prayer are combined. There is a good selection of Biblical material and prayers of children themselves. There are also suggestions for use of the body in prayer.
The book could be used in class and in prayer groups and could also be made available in school chapels for personal use. It fills a great need.
r[he Giver of life, by Michael Carey, presents themes for daily meditation in Lent on the work of the Spirit. This is useful for older adolescents and adults and, again, the keynote is simplicity and spontaneity.
The great feasts of Easter and Christmas are often celebrated in drama. Two new plays by Betty Haworth present familiar events From a slightly different angle and in straightforward and simple language.
Assembly resousces 4re always welcome. A new selection of stories from the Blandford series contains a variety of topics, although some of the stories may he rather long for some audiences. '
The material could also be useful for lessons, as it deals with work for justice and help for those in need by a variety of people of our own time, who are not so well known.