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The Six Nations Championship

United with a common passion

by Helen Gwynne-Kinsey

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To come to a better understanding of some aspects of Christian worship by comparing them with actions and emotions felt by Rugby Union players and supporters during international test matches.

Preparation and materials

  • Note that this assembly is written for a Welsh audience, but can be easily adapted to suit any of the home nations.
  • Be able to show the Welsh national anthem being sung at a rugby match. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM4mIlYKG9s

  • Plan in advance for a group of pupils to bring rugby scarves into the assembly, and prepare them to hold them in the air and wave them back and forth.

Assembly

  1. Pupils with scarves are to hold them in the air and wave them back and forth while singing patriotic words. This should be an encouragement to other pupils to sing along too. When the students are in their seats, begin the assembly.

    It should be pretty obvious to many of you that one of the most important sporting events held every year in the United Kingdom and Ireland is (about to get) underway. The Six Nations Championship is an opportunity for the top Rugby Union players from the nations of Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy to play each other in order to show who the best team is.

    When people come together to support their national team they are united with a common passion, and they show this in a number of ways. You will have noticed that some of your friends have brought along their scarves today, which they wave proudly as a sign of their loyalty to the Welsh team.

    Likewise, when the home team scores a try or a penalty their supporters rise to their feet, hands in the air, and celebrate. How wonderful it feels to be among people who have the same beliefs as you, and who can feel the joy of the occasion, and feel passionate about the cause.

  2. Singing plays a very important part in rugby matches. Voices raised in song create a very special atmosphere which is conveyed to the players. It reminds them that the crowd is with them, and willing them to do well. One of the most important songs at a rugby match is the singing of the national anthem. Watch the following clip and see how the anthem touches and unites the players at the start of the match. Show the video clip of the Welsh national anthem being sung by the members of the Welsh team.

  3. If you have ever been to an international rugby match, and have sung together with others with your heart full of joy, united with the same passion for victory, standing and raising your hands in the air, then you have been experiencing many of the same things that Christians do during worship.

  4. When Christians meet together for worship, it is with a common purpose. They are united in their love for God, and they express this love by singing, raising hands, and being united. 

Time for reflection

Watch the clip of the Welsh national anthem once more, and then hold silence at the end.

Prayer
Dear God,
let the unity, joy and strength which we feel when we are united for a common cause be something which continues with us through daily life.
Help us to support each other as a school community, and show our loyalty and devotion at all times. Amen.

Music

‘Bread of Heaven’ (Guide me, O thou great Redeemer/Jehovah) (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 188)

Publication date: September 2015   (Vol.17 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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