5th week of Eastertide 

Our Word of the Week this week is

Witness

To be a witness involves two things. The first is seeing something happen that you remember and that has an effect on you. The second is telling others about what you have seen. The first disciples were witness to the resurrection and we too can be witness to Christ when we recognise him at work in our world. The question is, how will you tell others what you’ve seen so that the Good News continues to be heard?

For the next few months we are going to have mini Acts of Worship in our forms as we can’t get into the Hall. It will either be a recorded Act of Worship or a script for you to read and follow. If it’s a script, open each section in order and read it through, choosing a different person to lead each section! For today’s Act of Worship you will need 5 plain pieces of A4 Paper.

Gather

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we are thinking about witness. Being a witness to the faith can be hard sometimes, and it is a challenge set by God for all of us to stay strong in the face of adversity. Let’s take a moment to listen to the song below before we hear our scripture for today.

Word

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.

“You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.

“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

This scripture reminds us that God has created us all to be proud witnesses to our faith. A key thought in both the pictures of salt and light is distinction. Salt is needed because the world is rotting and decaying, and if our Christianity is also rotting and decaying, it won’t be any good. Light is needed because the world is in darkness, and if our Christianity imitates the darkness, we have nothing to show the world. To be effective we must seek and display the Christian distinctive. We can never affect the world for Jesus by becoming like the world. If we do this we are letting our light shine and not hiding it, just as the scripture says. This is no easy feat and will sometimes require us to be brave, to stand out from the crowd and be a true witness. 

Response

Spend some time reflecting on the questions below. Find peace in the silence, close your eyes if you need to, and really take a moment to stop and think.

Think about a time when you’ve had to stand out from the crowd, or stand up for something you believed in. How did it feel? Has there been a time when you should have stood up, but haven’t? Why didn’t you? How could you be a better witness to your faith? How could you encourage others to be witnesses?

During the month of May, we often spend time reflecting on our Mother Mary. She was a true witness to God, facing challenges and always putting her trust in Him even in the darkest times.

We are now going to pray some prayers from the Rosary, a form of prayer often used to reflect on Mary and her dedication to God. Pray the prayers together, pausing in between, with half the class saying the text in bold, and the other half the normal text.

 

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, Amen.

 

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

Mission

Your mission this week is to witness to the faith. Each morning, spend time talking about how you have been witnesses in the last 24 hours. What have you done to help others and to show others Christ’s love? At the end of the week, write up a list and share them in the comments below.

We end our prayer this morning with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

This week’s word of the week video has been put together by some of The Becket’s fab Chaplaincy Team. We interview some of the staff and students at The Becket to find out what being a witness means to them and we hear some of the Good News they have witnessed recently!

It’s now time for you to reflect on how you might have answered some of the questions we heard in our word of the week video. Have a moment of time to think about your answers and then share with the people next to you and the wider group. We would love to hear some of your answers in the comments below!

When have you witnessed Christ in your life? What is a piece of Good News you have witnessed recently? Do you have any advice for how we can share the Good News? Who do you think is a good example of being a witness?

Witnessing for Christ - Our God Given MissionWitnessing for Christ - Our God Given Mission

Let us pray…

Dear Lord,

Give me the strength and courage to be your witness.

Help me to always be true to myself and stand up for my faith and beliefs.

May I be your witness by spreading the Good News to the people I meet, so that they may feel your love and joy in their lives.

Amen

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we are going to watch the Extra-ordo-nary from NDCYS. They are talking all things Witness, and once you’ve watched it take a look at the challenge below.

Your task today is to create a poster to stick on your form rooms that shares all the ways you have seen Christ at work in the world. Pass the paper around the room and allow everyone the opportunity to share an occasion when you have witnessed God at work.

Pin your witness testimonies somewhere visible in your form rooms for others to see…And continue, throughout Eastertide to continue to bear witness to the Good News!

What Is Your Good News? - The DiscipleMakerWhat Is Your Good News? - The DiscipleMaker

Let us pray…

Dear Lord, may the Holy Spirit inspire in us to open up our doors and to listen to and share your Word.

Give us the boldness today to speak about you and all the good things we have witnessed that come from you.

May we use our words and speech for good and strive to make a positive difference with our words.

Let our speech always be filled with grace and always bring grace to each conversation and interaction we have so people come to know you.

Amen.

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

May – The Month of Mary 

As we heard in the word of the week video on Monday, Mary is a great example of a witness. In fact Mary was Jesus’ closest witness throughout his life, death and resurrection.

Mary is not only the mother of Jesus, she is a heavenly mother to all of us! She wants us to live like Jesus and one day she wants all of God’s children to be with her in heaven  As we live on earth, Mary wants us to talk to her. When we say the Hail Mary or pray the Rosary, we are praying to God with Mary and through Mary’s intercession. 

How can we celebrate the month of Mary?

For hundreds of years, Mary has been a month dedicated to Mary. Around the world, Catholics make a special effort to spend time with Mary.

We place crowns on her head  We lay flowers at her feet  We pray the rosary or sit silently with Mary  We reflect on how Mary bravely said ‘YES’ to God’s plan

May, The Month of MaryMay, The Month of Mary

Next week we are going to celebrate Mission Week as a whole Trust and reflect on how Mary inspires us in our mission to be witness to Jesus and to continue to share his Good News over 2000 years later!

As we reflect on the theme of Witness this week, we are going to pray a decade of the rosary as a class. As we pray this decade, we are going to ask Mary to be with us and inspire in us to be like her, a loyal witness to Jesus.

Please choose 12 volunteers to help with the leading of prayers in today’s decade of the rosary. You will be helping reading the first half of a prayer in the red font and then everyone else will join in and lead the text written in black. 

A Decade of the Rosary

Read and reflect on piece of scripture or prayer intention  Pray the Our Father – 1 reader  Pray ten Hail Marys – 10 readers Pray the Glory Be – 1 reader 

Reader 1 – The Scripture

Reader 2 in red, everyone else read text in black

Readers 3 – 13 lead 10 Hail Marys, everyone joins in with second half of Hail Mary

Reader 14 lead Glory Be, then everyone join in

Well done and thank you for praying a decade of the rosary with us this morning!

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Be Inspirational