15 October 2013

starting out simple (CGS)

As you'll have gathered from my previous post, some CGS presentations are very simple indeed. In Level 1, Part 1, we're being shown presentations designed with the needs of 3- and 4-year-olds in mind. These children are expanding their vocabularies, able to learn terminology - chalice, paten, ciborium, tabernacle - but, "They don't want the whole liturgical history of the altar: including when the priests faced east and when it was that they turned to face the congregation..."*

Of course not, I thought. What a silly, unnecessary thing to say. 

* [This was not a direct quote. I can't remember what our trainer's actual over-the-top example was.]

She presented the gesture of Genuflection for us. I experienced this as consisting of little more than demonstrating and naming the movement. In fact, in the first presentation it is simplified down to a movement of the legs, with no accompanying sign of the cross. 

(licensed photo by Mulier Fortis)

But then I got into my group of three assigned to write up an album page for the presentation. And it was at this point that I really felt the benefits of my experience in Godly Play (and, dare I say it, the discipline of having trusted Berryman's scripts). 

Because in writing up the presentation notes (akin to a Godly Play script), one of my partners wanted to include a list of situations in which genuflecting is appropriate. Moreover, my partner's language made no distinction between genuflect (which in English means coming down onto one knee, briefly) and kneel (to be on both knees, usually for longer than it takes to genuflect), so their presentation included both postures. And then there was a debate about using respect or reverence to explain the theology of it. 
(licensed photo by
Fr Lawrence Lew, OP)

(I hadn't predicted any theological discussion - just a Wondering question encouraging the child to ponder the gesture's significance.)

I began to see the need for stressing simplicity and brevity!

  • Our trainer was much more gracious than I'd managed to be about my co-trainee who wanted to assemble so much information. Click here to read more.

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