In chapel, students are invited to celebrate the goodness of life and to discover more about themselves, the world, and God through the worship of Jesus Christ. Chapel is the heart and soul of our school community. Students have many opportunities to participate in and contribute to our corporate worship. They are challenged to stretch and grow in their understanding and to respond to God and His world with love and compassion. Parents and grandparents are welcome to attend chapel.
Students at St. Francis come from many religions. We maintain the delicate balance between proclaiming our faith in God as revealed in Jesus Christ and the need to respect other traditions that are a part of our school community. We honor all persons; invite people from all denominations and creeds to work in and attend our school; strive for justice, peace, and understanding among all people; and respect the dignity of every human being.
In Primary School, students gather for chapel twice a week. These chapels are particularly enthusiastic and joyful! Students participate by carrying the cross, the Bible, candles, and the program basket. They share songs, drama, dance, and art at their services. Teachers supplement and complement the lessons from chapel in their classrooms.
Parents are notified by the teacher when their child’s class is making a special presentation. A favorite St. Francis chapel tradition is birthday pennies—on the chapel day closest to their birthday, students bring pennies that equal their number of years of age. Birthday students are recognized in chapel, and the pennies are donated to a child-centered charity.
Lower School students gather twice a week for chapel, where they begin to understand the importance of reverence and learn more of the Episcopal liturgy. Students are given special opportunities to serve in chapel services throughout the school year.
The Eucharist is celebrated on special holy days throughout the year. Students in kindergarten and first and second grades generally do not receive the bread and wine but come to the altar rail and fold their arms across their chests to indicate that they want to receive a blessing from the priest. They may receive the bread and wine during the Eucharist if:
- they have been baptized into the Christian faith and are accustomed to receiving the Eucharist in their home church; and
- one of their parents attends chapel with them or sends a permission note to the chaplain.
Students in third grade and above may receive the Eucharist if they have been baptized into the Christian faith.
Spiritual and character formation, moral development, and community service are key elements of religious education for Middle School students. They gather twice a week for chapel, where they have increased responsibilities for helping conduct the services. Students lead prayers and are given opportunities to share their thoughts and talents with their classmates. Occasionally, chapel is held in the Fine Arts Center, where students are given the opportunity to be more creative, experimental, and technological in their worship.
Middle School students who have been baptized into the Christian faith are welcome to receive the Eucharist. Those who have not been baptized are encouraged to come to the rail to receive a blessing from the priest; they should kneel at the rail and fold their arms across their chest to indicate they will not receive the bread and wine.