Primary Diocesan Advisers for Religious Education Dublin Diocese
Prayers in the Alive-O Programme
Paidreacha I mBeo go Deo
Prayer Services and Rituals
“To Be Learned”
Bible Stories and Scripture
Poems for Children
Posters in Alive-O Beo go Deo-Postaer
Junior Infants Alive-O This programme is divided into 5 main themes which the child explores throughout the year through the use of stories, poetry, song, video, prayer, art and craft and suitable play activities.
These themes are:
Christmas and the Birth of Jesus
These are interspersed with lessons on the Liturgical Year and on the natural seasons wherein the children are helped to develop an awareness of God’s presence.
In the first year in school, the children are also taught:
Every day the lesson ends with prayer. They are also introduced to the story of St. Brigid as well as the Christmas and Easter story.
Senior Infants Alive-O 1
The content covered in the Junior Infant programme is further developed in the child’s second year in school by an exploration of the following areas:
God’s presence with them always
God’s care for them and their care for others
The changing seasons
Peace as a foundation for subsequent lessons on reconciliation in first and second classes
The with the Liturgical Year is strengthened including a focus on November as a month of praying for the dead and in March the children are introduced to St. Patrick.
All the prayers learned in Junior Infants are repeated and the children now learn:
They are also taught about the church building, and what they see there. They are also encouraged to visit the church.
First Class Alive-O 3 Many of the lessons here lay the foundation for the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion in Second Class. In term 2 four of the lessons focus on central aspects of the Eucharist for example: Shared Story, Shared Meal, Shared Memory and Shared Living. The link with the Liturgical Year is deepened with the introduction of a lesson on Lent and the inclusion of 3 Stations of the Cross.
They are also taught about the Rosary, with the focus this year on the Joyful Mystery. This year the children are gradually being introduced to the responses and prayers used in mass. The little Beings are presented to the children for the first time. Having reinforced their essential goodness their concept of sin and wrong doing is developed as they enter into the world of these characters who are “being” destructive, violent, selfish and losing their tempers.
St. Columba is the Irish Saint introduced. They are introduced to many stories from the life of Jesus. Among those covered are:
*These prayers are particularly relevant to those children preparing for First Penance and First Holy Communion.
Second Class Alive-O 4 The main theme of this years programme is community. It can’t be presumed that all children have experience of community, so this year’s programme tries to work out of the concept implied by community and seeks to highlight the nature of what connects us to others. Through poems, stories etc. the programme explores and celebrates the ways people are connected. The main themes of this years programme will focus on the following:
Jesus as the one who calls, Jesus as the one who teaches and Jesus as the one who nourishes.
St. Gobnait is introduced as the Irish Saint
The Liturgical Links are further strengthened by further reference to Lent.
Prayers learned in the second class programme include
Prayer to Jesus
Act of Sorrow
Prayer for Forgiveness*
Prayer after Forgiveness*
Prayer to the Trinity
Prayers to Mary
Prayers to the Holy Spirit
Prayers before Communion
Prayers after Communion
These prayers are particularly relevant to those children preparing for First Penance and First Holy Communion.
Third Class Alive-O 5 The third class programme contains a number of connected themes among them are:
Beginnings and endings
The reign of God
These themes are all interrelated however the main in third class this year is covenant.
The introductory lessons focus on new beginnings and looks again at Baptism and how the children live their Baptism when they respond to God’s call. God’s reign is explored using the Gospel stories of the healing of the centurion servant, the calming of the sea of Galilee and the healing of the paralysed man. The theme of covenant is introduced when the Bible is used to highlight moments when such awareness emerges in a distinctive way.
The stories of:
Abraham and Sarah
Mary (The Angelus)
All contribute to highlight an awareness of covenant to the children. At The Last Supper, Jesus spoke of the new covenant and we begin to see the full dimension of this new covenant that God has established with us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Additional prayers to be learned in Third Class are:
Comhartha na Croise
Sé do Bheatha Mhuire
Glóir don Athair
The Apostles Creed
Fourth Class Alive-O 6 The theme of the fourth class programme is nourishment. The aim of the programme is to nourish or nurture God’s gift of faith. The children are lead to a deeper awareness of their experience of nourishment and at the same time towards acknowledgement of God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit – as the source of all nourishment.
The introductory lesson in term 1:
Lead the children to a wider appreciation of creativity in the world that God created. The creation story taken from Genesis 1 helps the children to see the unique power of God in creating the world. There they see what God made is good and that they are made in the image and likeness of God. Through the story of St. Francis the children are helped to consider their own response to the spirit of God in creation.
Mary is introduced through the story of the wedding feast in Cana and it is envisaged that this lesson will be done in October, the month of the Rosary, where the joyful and sorrowful mysteries are revised and the glorious mysteries are introduced.
There then follows a set of lessons on “Nourished by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God sent Jesus as nourishment and the children are led to consider the many levels at which Jesus nourishes people. Death is also introduced as a topic for the children to discuss and there is a prayer service for the feast of All Saints and All Souls.
Two commandments are introduced to the children 1. Love God and 2. Love your neighbour. The children hear the story of the Good Samaritan and through it they hear the understanding of neighbour that Jesus proposes.
Christmas time and the children are helped to think of the nourishment that Christmas brings at ever level.
In term 2 the lessons look at:
The nourishment by the Trinity and lessons on the Sacrament of the anointing of the sick shows the children the ongoing care of sick by the Church and sees it as a continuation of the care of Jesus for the sick.
The Church as the Body of Christ helps the children to look at their home parishes and what is required of people in parish life. The children are helped to become more aware as members of the Body of Christ whether at work or play.
Lent and reconciliation are introduced as links between Lent and the time Jesus spent in the wilderness after his Baptism.
In term 3: The risen Jesus is reflected post Easter through the encounter of Mary Magdalene with the risen Jesus.
Eucharist is introduced to help the children to come to an understanding of the Mass as sacrifice and there is an opportunity for a class Mass.
The concluding lessons of this term highlight the Old Testament and the Bible as a source of nourishment for Jesus as well as for them.
The lesson on the Holy Spirit helps to explore the nature of the working of the Holy Spirit in the world today.
The story of St. Canaire is introduced to the children with the concept of pilgrimage.
Additional Prayers to be learned in Fourth Class are:
St. Patrick’s Prayer
Care for me Lord
We are the Body of Christ
Prayer to the Guardian Angel
Prayer before Playing
Prayer after Playing
Prayer on opening a book
Prayer on closing a book
Prayer on opening a Bible
Prayer on closing a Bible
Fifth Class Alive-O 7 For pupils in fifth class who will be celebrating Confirmation this year, Alive-O 7 offers thirty two lessons to be covered over the course of the year. For pupils who will not be celebrating Confirmation this year, Alive-O 7 offers thirty lessons to be covered over the course of the year. These latter pupils will not engage with the two lessons on the celebration of Confirmation, i.e. lesson 10 and 11 of term 2.
The major theme of this years programme is Spirit. This is an appropriate theme as for many it is the year they will begin a two year preparation for Confirmation. The theme of Spirit besides dealing with the Holy Spirit also covers the notion of Spirit in general. It is the Spirit of God in Jesus who moves us to faith, hope and love in the first instance. The work of parent, teacher and priest in Religious Education is a work of co-operation with the Holy Spirit.
We suggest the following sequence for the first five lessons in Term 1
Lesson 3 Week 2
Lesson 4 Week 3
Lesson 2 Week 4
Lesson 5 Week 5
Lesson 6 Week 6
In term 1 after the opening prayer ritual the programme begins by exploring:
The spirit of prophecy through an engagement with clay and by an examination of the prophetic call, children are led to discern the Spirit behind people’s lives and events concluding with the work of the spirit in Jesus. Modern day prophets such as Bono, Gandhi and Sr. Veronica are also discussed.
The mysteries of light are introduced as a lesson on Mary. These mysteries celebrate major events in the public ministry of Jesus by the power of the Spirit.
The lesson on the lives of St. Kevin and St. Lawrence O’Toole gives good example of the Christian life lived and graced in the Spirit.
The Commandments are also presented not just as a set of rules but rather as inviting pathways leading from slavery to freedom.
The remaining lessons focus on Advent as a time of waiting and seek to act in a countercultural way to what is becoming a commercial spirit leading up to Christmas.
In term 2 a weaving activity which is central to these 5 lessons aims to reinforce the notion of a unity in life despite the various colours, strands and fabrics encountered the first five lessons deal with:
The call of the Spirit for children to grow and develop to their full potential. This call to grow in faith, community, morality and love is a holistic one represented by the seamless garment. Lent and Holy Week are also presented in this term. Alive-O 7 deals with the Liturgical Year as a unit and attempts to show that in following the Church’s Liturgical calendar we, in spirit re-enact, relive and celebrate the saving action of God through Jesus in the power of the Spirit.
Lessons on the Sacrament of Confirmation are included for the convenience of the teacher preparing for Confirmation in Fifth class and may be omitted if children are to receive the sacrament in sixth class next year. Lessons dealing with the symbols of the Holy Spirit are taught in fifth class.
In Term 3 post Easter the theme of Spirit is continued and - the various forms of presence of the risen Jesus at Mass is explored, through the power of the Spirit.
There are lessons on: Growth/life after Confirmation and for those who have not yet received the Sacrament these set of lessons may be adapted to grow/celebrate Christian commitment after Easter in the form of a four act drama over 6 weeks.
Additional Prayers to be learned in Fifth class are:
Hail Holy Queen
Prayers the Holy Spirit
Prayers for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Responses during the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation (Sacramental classes only)
Sixth Class Alive-O 8 For pupils in sixth class who will be celebrating Confirmation this year, Alive-O 8 offers thirty two lessons to be covered over the course of the year. For pupils who will not be celebrating Confirmation this year, Alive-O 8 offers thirty lessons to be covered over the course of the year. These latter pupils will not engage with the two lessons on the celebration of Confirmation i.e. lesson 4 and 5 of term 2.
The major theme of this years programme is creative relationship. Creative relationship between the natural world, in the life of human beings, in encounters with the living God through God’s Word, in the Liturgical life of the Church and as witnessed to by the coming of God’s kingdom. These relationships are described as being “creative” because they are life-giving, dynamic and graced.
In term 1 the first six lessons develop the theme that was began last year in
Alive-O 7 as it is explored in these lessons:
It encompasses “relationship” in the natural world, in the world of language, mathematics, science and in the life of human beings. These set of lessons help us ultimately to see all creative relationships based on the love of the Blessed Trinity.
Lessons 7-12 looks at the Sacraments in general and deal specifically with each of them individually. The lessons are introduced dealing with gathering symbol and ritual and word in relation to Sacraments. The aim of these lessons is to develop a “Sacramental mentality” i.e. a capacity to appreciate Sacramental “reality” as different from but rooted in reality as we live it every day. The Sacraments are seen as privileged meetings or encounters with the Risen Jesus, opening up the possibility of a creative relationship with the Risen Lord.
Term 1concludes with a - Nativity play in three acts to be engaged with over the course of the four weeks of Advent. The theme of the Nativity play is that of “word” – the creative relationship between the Word of God in scripture and the Word of God in the person of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In Term 2 the first set of lessons deal with the –
Creative relationships that is established with the Spirit of God through Confirmation. Lessons 1-3 deal with call to witness, a call, implicit to both Baptism and Confirmation and are similar to the lessons found in Alive-O 7. The Confirmation specific lessons are carried in this section under Celebration of Confirmation 1 and 2.
These lessons are also to be found in Alive-0 7 for the convenience of schools who celebrate Confirmation every second year. They have the choice to alternate programmes. These lessons are very well illustrated on the accompanying video/Dvd and is it highly recommended as a very useful teaching tool for the Sacrament.
Mary is also contained in term 2 and is seen as a role model for creative relationships with creation, with others and with God. The major feast days of Mary are also looked at in this lesson.
Lent and Easter are also introduced in this term and the lessons focus on how embarking on a creative relationship with God brings one on a journey – a journey to Baptism (Lent), a journey to the Cross (Holy Week) and ultimately a Journey, to glory (Easter).
In term 3 the lessons on Easter is a continuation of the lessons on Lent prior to holidays. The theme of creative relationships is further developed over the course of 7 lessons. In the first of these lessons the reign or kingdom of God is explored in relation to children and childhood. It offers and understanding of “kingdom” as “right relationship” or “creative relationship” between all the elements in a situation. The remaining lessons take this approach further by exploring creative relationships in six other settings, the body (lesson 3), children (lesson 4), in an economic setting (lesson 5), in an ecumenical setting (lesson 6) from an ecological point of view (lesson 7) and in kingdom-forever (lesson 8).
Please note that lesson 3 in term 3 contains
The sex ed. Content and should only be taught in conjunction with the policy on RSE in the school and with approval from the parents and Board of Management.
Additional prayers to be learned in Sixth class are:
Act of Faith
Act of Hope
Act of Love
Responses during the celebration of the Sacrament of confirmation (Sacramental classes only)