The Worship module of RESource provides resources for teachers to assist them in preparing for, and presenting, a variety of prayer sessions, and, if needed, to research, prepare and present information on the background to Christian prayer and the prayer forms explored through this resource. In addition, through the Liturgy link, the component enables Religious Education Coordinators and teachers access to extensive liturgy resources for the preparation of formal liturgical celebrations.
The Introductory pages for all the modules in RESource have been developed as teachable moments. The Introduction presents, in word, graphics and sound, a way into the essential understandings of the module. In the Worship Module, the introduction, which begins with the lectionary open and centred on Jesus Christ, revolves around images of the hands of people at prayer, and Christian and Catholic symbols such as candles, the rosary and the crucifix. It concludes with the hint that the whole of creation is part of our prayer, both as a source of wonder as God’s creation and a hymn of praise to the Creator. An essential element in the life of the Christian people, young and old, present and past, who make up the Church, – in short, all those who make up the People of God – is their prayer, liturgy and worship, where together and, at times, alone; aloud and in silence; they seek, explore and celebrate their communion with God and one another. Their prayer is assisted by the use of word, song and symbol as they step further into the mystery of Christian life. This component is more than an area of study. It is an aid to the practice of prayer and liturgy.
While the Ethics Module has twelve Arenas and the Scripture Module has two Arenas, the Worship Module has a single Arena. This Arena provides access to both prayer and liturgy resources and materials; for individual and communal practice.
For teachers in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, the Worship Module also provides access to extensive resources for liturgical prayer. These resources can be found on the right side of the Arena in the Liturgy Resource section. Access to these materials is restricted by username and password. Primary teachers and two teachers in each Secondary school have access to these materials.
The Internet is a valuable means for research and for prayer/liturgical resources. It can provide access to rich resources and engaging images to assist with the activity of prayer. Yet finding appropriate and reliable sites can also be frustrating and time-consuming for those who are not familiar with a particular subject area. While a site such as RESource is useful because it provides links to recommended materials, teachers and students will often be searching the Net for other resources than those offered here. How should they go about it?
INTERNET FOR RELIGIOUS STUDIES is a site that can help teachers and students become aware of, and learn how to evaluate, Internet resources in Religious Studies. This site describes itself as a ‘free, “teach yourself” tutorial that lets you practise your Internet Information Skills’. This site can be helpful in finding appropriate resource sites, in critically assessing them and in using them creatively. There are many valuable suggestions made about effective search techniques, and the review section is particularly helpful in providing criteria which will help you hone your judgments about the worth of particular sites.
The RESource Approach
The Prayer Arena proposes a four step process in the study of prayer, and in the preparation and practice of particular forms of prayer suitable to specific liturgical seasons and for various occasions. The four steps in the process are:
- Understanding the Tradition
- Preparing to Pray
- Taking Action
Through these steps specific themes or topics, suitable and relevant to particular liturgical seasons, are explored. While the majority of support material used comes from links to the Internet, the content of each section also provides a guide for the teacher which includes content and suggested activities.
The first step, ‘Understanding the Tradition’, provides the opportunity for background reading on a particular form of prayer. It will assist in developing an understanding and knowledge of the Church’s prayer traditions.
‘Preparing to Pray’ provides readings, images and practical resources to help reflection and to prepare for the time of prayer
‘Praying’ provides suggestions and resources for the experience of prayer, either individually or as a group. Prayers and prayer services are provided here.
In the final step, ‘Taking Action’, you are invited to open the door and move, transformed by prayer, into the world – responding to the needs of those who suffer in some way. Prayer will sharpen your awareness of, and your attentiveness to, the needs of others.
Liturgy Resource is a comprehensive range of Lectionary based liturgical and catechetical resources designed to assist teachers to better prepare for liturgy and to supplement and support their religious education classes.
Liturgy Resource has at its core the official Lectionary and Sacramentary texts. Building on this core, an extensive range of resources are available, including a complete liturgical calendar, planning forms and a planning guide, and prayer services for all occasions.
Liturgy Resource is password protected. All primary and secondary schools have a minimum of two licences (usually for the Principal and Religious Education Coordinator). Schools can access further licences through the principal’s mystaff/ priviledges link inmyclasses. For assistance with this process contact the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne helpdesk.
Religious Education Coordinators and other teachers in the Archdiocese of Melbourne can access Liturgy Resource here (link to login page).
Anthologies of Prayers
These sites provide many traditional Catholic prayers. The World Wide Web Sources on Prayer site provides Collections of Prayers (including ‘Catholic Prayers’), Praying with Scripture, Praying with the Saints, Prayers in Special Seasons and for Specific Situations or Occupations, writings about prayer, guides to and writings about the Rosary, as well as images of Prayer.
The Chapel site offers a reflection on the daily Gospel reading as well as daily prayer for the classroom. The Irish Jesuits’ site Sacred Space provides a process for daily reflection. The De La Salle Brothers’ Praying each day site provides daily reflections and prayers with an extensive range of links to other resources. The Passionist Fathers have a helpful site for daily prayer.
Resources for preparing and reflecting on the Sunday and daily readings are available on the US Catholic Bishops’ website.
Prayer in General
The Oratory contains a page of simple prayers and reflections.