Valentine’s Day (14 February)
by An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore the ways in which love can be shared.
Preparation and materials
- You will need some images of Valentine’s cards and the means to display them during the assembly or have some large Valentine’s cards with clear graphics that you can hold up and show the children.
- Choose a popular, cheerful song about love and have the means to play it at the beginning and end of the assembly.
- For the word game in the ‘Time for reflection’ section, you might want to write on a flipchart, whiteboard or use other digital means of displaying the words.
- Play your chosen love song for a minute or two, then display the images of Valentine’s cards or hold up one or two of the large Valentine’s cards so that all the children can see them.
- Valentine is thought to have been a Christian martyr in the third century, at either the time when Claudius was emperor in Rome or perhaps later in that century. It is thought he was martyred because he refused to worship an idol.
Over the centuries since, 14 February, Valentine's feast day, has become a day when lovers send greetings cards to each other and so Valentine has come to be regarded as the patron saint of lovers. For Christians, Valentine’s Day is also an opportunity to remember God's love for us all, which is shown in many ways.
- Show some more examples of Valentine’s cards. You could ask the children if they have any examples they’d like to show or if they have sent any themselves!
- Note the tradition that the cards are often sent without a signature. Develop the idea that it can be a mystery as to whom the declaration of love has come from!
Time for reflection
Using the flipchart, whiteboard or other means, play a word game in which the children build longer words around the word 'love', such as 'gLOVE', 'pulLOVEr', 'cLOVE', 'pLOVEr', 'cLOVEr leaf'.
With some of these words, you can draw a connection to love itself. A glove or pullover, for example, can be associated with warmth and, therefore, caring.
Help the children to think about the meanings of any words they do not know and, in this way, encourage them to see that we sometimes need to think about the deeper meanings of love and why we give and receive it.
Ask the children what they think love is. Invite them to write or share their answers and suggestions.
When you have considered the list the children have made, you could read the famous ‘Love is . . .’ passage 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, ending it at 'Love never ends' and discuss the two lists briefly>
Help me plant seeds of love in the garden of your world.
Let them grow to be strong plants of happiness for everyone I meet today and every day.
- The children could use newspapers or interview members of a family as ways of finding examples of love being shown. They could tell the stories they find to others and discuss what good came from each instance.
- The children could make their own Valentine's cards, illustrating how love can be shown.
Your chosen love song
'Brother, sister, let me serve you' (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 91, 2008 edition)