Year 13 Leavers Service
Opening Hymn - Mary of Gladness
Welcome to our seventh prayer service as a whole school community during our time of isolation. This is a special day for our Year 13s as it would have been the last day at school for many of them.
In the name of the Father…..
‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent.’ These words from today’s first reading sum up the message to our students who are going into the world to encounter new beginnings. Challenge yourself to try new things and do not be afraid to speak about what you believe is right.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you will be weeping and wailing
while the world will rejoice;
you will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn to joy.
A woman in childbirth suffers,
because her time has come;
but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering
in her joy that a man has been born into the world.
So it is with you: you are sad now,
but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,
and that joy no one shall take from you.
When that day comes,
you will not ask me any questions.’
“Even though I through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. Today in school we think of those in Year 13 who would have celebrated their final Mass together on their last day of school.
The path of taking exams after many months of study has been taken out of our control and the waiting of results will be different to previous years. We may have had a time of trouble and anxiety but remember every cloud has a silver lining and we will come through this together. This is the beginning of the journey of the students who are leaving our school community. We pray that our students will remember the happy times they have had at school and the many friendships they have made as they strive towards accomplishing their dreams. We also think of our staff and students who would have been going to Lourdes tomorrow, a place of Our Lady, to help the sick in our diocese.
Jesus speaks of pain that turned to joy and invites the disciples to be patient, as he was. He is not talking about an empty waiting, but sees an opportunity to grow in trust, to deepen our relationship with our loving God.
Jesus, I ask you now to help me to remain with you always, to be close to you with a passionate heart, and to accept patiently whatever you want of me. And make me a joyous person!
HYMN – I will be with you
You are a God of surprises.
I did not choose these days to be like this.
I might often have wished to miss lessons and exams:
but not like this.
Give me hope,
give me purpose every day.
Give me the words to say
that will make a difference for good
in the lives of those around me.
When I reflect on these times,
give me the grace to be able to say:
the world stood still, but my life did not.
You are the source of life
And in your light, we see light.
May each new day give me reason to thank you,
And to know your deep love for me.
Let us thank God for the precious memories we have of our time at Aquinas – for our staff who encouraged us, our friends who made us laugh and our family who supported us. May our faith continue to grow as we journey through the next stage of our lives.
Through Christ our Lord.
Closing Prayers and Final Hymn – Immaculate Mary
Let us offer all our prayers to Mary our Mother as we say…
Hail Mary full of Grace,
the Lord is with thee
Blessed art though amongst women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death Amen.
Let us say together our school prayer:
Christ, you are the centre of our school community
Help us to live together in peace
Help us to love one another as you have loved us
Help us to learn your ways so that the truth will set us free.
St Thomas Aquinas: Pray for us
In the name of the Father …..