The first reading of the Fourth Sunday of Lent shares the anointing of King David, Israel's greatest king, by the prophet Samuel see 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a. In that spirit, share the following prayer experience with your students to remind them of their own royal qualities.
- Secure a large plywood cross suitable for tacking. Place it in your prayer space.
- Place a candle near the cross.
- Prepare a recording of instrumental, reflective music.
- Print each student's name and your name too on a 3” x 5” card.
- On stick-on notes, write the name of one quality associated with royalty, for example: courageous, loyal, bold, friendly, honest, prayerful, wise, sincere, loving, reliable, intelligent, musical, poetic, strong, quiet, kind, trusting, sensitive, faithful, helpful, fearless, hopeful, thoughtful, shrewd, truthful, honorable, respectful, optimistic, joyful, forgiving. You can repeat some of the words on different stick-on notes. Make available more notes than there are students. Post the stick-on notes on the wall in or around the prayer space.
- Assemble the class in the prayer space. Pass out the name cards randomly, making sure a person doesn't get his or her own name. Tell them to fold the card once and not to let anyone know what name they receive. Then, say:
David must have found it nice to be a king. You have heard the phrase “royal treatment” before. To get royal treatment is a luxury. And yet, each of you possess many of the qualities of a truly special or royal person. Some of these qualities are posted around the room. In your hand, you have a card with a person's name on it. This person is your prayer partner for this experience. What I would like for you to do is to find a quality on a stick-on note that best describes your prayer partner. When you find a quality, take it, sit down, and stick it under the person's name on your card.
- Join in the exercise yourself. When everyone is seated, light the candle and continue. Say:
I will begin by announcing my prayer partner's name and the quality I feel expresses something of who he (she) is. After I share, I will tack the person's name to the cross, a symbol of a Christian's royalty as won through the Blood of Jesus. Then someone else can share.
- Play some background music. Announce your prayer partner's name and quality using this format:
My prayer partner is Mary Jo, whose royal attribute is patience.
Tack the person's name to the plywood cross.
- After everyone has shared and tacked a name card to the cross, ask the students to extend their right hands to the cross. Conclude by offering this prayer from the Rite of Baptism:
At Baptism, God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ freed us from sin, gave us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed us into the Christian family. With the chrism oil of Salvation, we were anointed priest, prophet, and king. May we continue to live always as a member of Christ's Body, sharing everlasting life. Amen.