You may have noticed in my last post I said that the Morning Meeting part of Morning Time was like the announcements in church. This is no accident. By its very nature Morning Time is a liturgy-an order of service, just like a church service and it serves the very same purpose. It is a way for symbol and meaning to come together in ways that bind the heart, soul, mind, and body together with the memory even with our genetic code, I am guessing.
This liturgy is closely tied to Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
In recent years, James K. A. Smith's book Imagining the Kingdom (Cultural Liturgies): How Worship Works has swept through classical education circles. I only heard about it this summer and frankly, I had not thought of Morning Time as a liturgy before reading the book, but that is undeniably what it is and why it is a powerful tool for educating ( or better yet, capturing the imaginations) of our children.
We have always opened with our MM (announcements) followed by a time of prayer requests and prayer. Later we read different passages of Scripture for both knowledge, story and memorization. I try to alternate between Old and New Testaments each day.
After hearing another talk on liturgy and education by Jenny Rallens (Incorporating Liturgy), I also added in the prayer of repentance:
"Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned
against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we
have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved
our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the
sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may
delight in Your will, and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your Name.
This is committed to memory through daily reading.
We also sing and praise God, something that at times I have struggled to continue but do continue in the faith that to sing together is important.
All of the above are directly related to Christian worship but as we move through Morning Time and move into other less 'spiritual' studies, we continue on through the routine. This closely ties our worship to our reality. We praise God and we read history and there is not a gap between the two.
The three overriding elements of Morning Time are Truth, Beauty and Goodness. After moving through our secular and sacred hodgepodge of elements we finally come to the end of our MT where we read what is usually our most fun book. Right now that is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
As I finish up, this sometimes irreverent book, I look at the boys and say, "The Lord be with you" and they respond, "And also with you." I find this highly appropriate.
Because this last element is new this year, I often forget to do it. In that case, when I am saying goodnight to the boys at the end of the day, I then do it and that too is highly appropriate.
Morning Time ties our daily life to our sabbath and reminds us that we are creatures made in the image of God. This then clothes our entire school day in a truth and hope that is hard to escape.
Suggestion of the Day for Morning Time Memory:
The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
The third day he rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
I believe in the Holy Ghost:
I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
The forgiveness of sins:
The resurrection of the body:
And the life everlasting. Amen.