To use the Good Friday story to remember people who are special to us
by Pat Livingstone
Suitable for Key Stage 2
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.
- Quietly sing a reflective song together around the candles - see song suggestions below. Allow time to look at the candles afterwards.
- Listen to readings about the death of Jesus. Short extracts from all four Gospels would be appropriate.
- 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.
- Introduce the idea of a cairn - marking a burial place with a pile of stones.
- 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.
- One by one, the children add their stones to a pile, to build the cairn.
- End with silence.
'Kum ba yah' (Come and Praise, 68)
'The Lord's my shepherd' (Come and Praise, 56)
'A still small voice' (Come and Praise, 96)