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Stone remembrance

To use the Good Friday story to remember people who are special to us

by Pat Livingstone

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

Note: This assembly has been used in special schools at primary and secondary level.

To use the Good Friday story to remember people who are special to us.

Preparation and materials

  • A Bible
  • Four people to read out biblical accounts of the death of Jesus
  • Candles arranged in the shape of a cross
  • A basket of stones
  • Quiet music

This is a different, more reflective style of assembly, which the author has used at a special school with children from primary and secondary departments. The pupils represented a number of faiths, including Muslim, Buddhist and Christian. It is probably most suitable in a small group context. It is offered here so that the ideas can be taken and adapted.

It deals with a sensitive theme, and could be particularly relevant if there has recently been a death associated with the community (see standing assembly on this subject if appropriate), or if a member of the group has suffered bereavement (see 3. below).

As the whole idea is meditative, there is no separate Time for reflection.

Assembly

  1. Quietly sing a reflective song together around the candles - see song suggestions below. Allow time to look at the candles afterwards.

  2. Listen to readings about the death of Jesus. Short extracts from all four Gospels would be appropriate.

  3. Talk about the story and how Jesus' friends must have felt. Be particularly sensitive here to any child who may be grieving for a loved one.

  4. Introduce the idea of a cairn - marking a burial place with a pile of stones.

  5. Play some quiet music while each child takes a stone, at the same time saying out loud the name of someone they want to remember (this could be someone known to them, such as a relative, or someone from history, or it could even be a pet). If they want, they can just say the name to themselves. You could ask them to remember friends or other people who have moved away, rather than those who have died.

  6. One by one, the children add their stones to a pile, to build the cairn.

  7. End with silence.

Song/music

'Kum ba yah' (Come and Praise, 68)
'The Lord's my shepherd' (Come and Praise, 56)
'A still small voice' (Come and Praise, 96)

Publication date: March 2001   (Vol.3 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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