My curiosity was piqued over a year ago when I first talked with Dr. Perrin and learned his vision for Schole' groups. It was specifically piqued, and I will admit a bit confused, when I heard him talk about the "liturgy of the classroom". I really wanted to understand what this whole idea of liturgy and education had to do with each other and get my mind around it all. So to understand it we need to start at the mall...
WHAT DO THE MALL
AND CATHEDRALS HAVE IN COMMON?
AND CATHEDRALS HAVE IN COMMON?
Dr. Perrin in one of his many videos I watched, talked about the "liturgy of the mall". I have never thought about the liturgy of the mall before now. I didn't recognize the liturgy until he described it's purposeful, planned out, aesthetic design, it's beauty and powerful messages of what success and living the "good life" really are. When kids go with friends they are fellowshipping in an embodied, full senses experience of; running water, beautiful plants, music playing, flowers throughout and each little store is waiting with their "priests and priestesses" to bring them into their beautiful temples filled with things upon which they should dwell and desire. This is liturgy. It's the well planned out scope and sequence of the capitalist society's beacon - the mall.
If you are like me and grew up Catholic, then perhaps when you hear the word "liturgy" you right away think of the Catholic Church. They are excellent at liturgy. Dr. Perrin talks about the experience of walking into a cathedral. When you walk into a cathedral your eyes are drawn upward, fellowship greets you, the sights and organ sounds all surround you with beauty and awe, the service is rhythmic, planned out, it has it's own scope and sequence as well. You can't help but come away awe inspired for God, fellowshipping and desiring Him, seeing Him beautiful, dwelling on His Word and His Character. I see it there. I see the liturgy.
While seeking two different end points, the mall and the cathedral have liturgical plans for the people they seek to influence. They both get that liturgy is a powerful persuader of man's heart. The mall and the cathedral have been designed by brilliant aestheticians! They're both very powerful in their ability to convince me to desire what they are immersing my senses in. Their beauty is what draws me to them and out of myself into their world. One drawing me away from God and one drawing me to God.
DO WE CONSIDER LITURGY?
So what are we doing with our children when we teach them at home? Are we making sure we have aesthetic embodiment built into our daily teaching at home? Do we think about what the kids are seeing, what that is causing them to desire and how that is addressing their body and senses? Our students are making up their minds, and making their decisions about what they love, every day we are teaching. What are we communicating to them to love? Are we surrounding them with Beauty, Truth and Goodness? Education is formation -so it has to involve the body. What they do with their bodies matters. Our schools both home and in community, would be more excellent and Godly if they were steeped in well thought through and planned out liturgy with embodied teaching at the heart of it all.
WHO MATTERS MORE?
LITURGY FOR THE HOMESCHOOL
It's also about creating rhythms they can expect like Morning Time each day to start your day together with what matters most. You can plan Tea for Tuesdays or a spring Poetry Cafe' each year and invite your extended family. Be creative, you get the idea - come up with things they can expect and count on to be part of their school rhythms each year. Provide beautiful greetings, blessings and poetry to fill their days, hearts and minds. Create a rhythm that they begin to look forward to - knowing that their day is earmarked by these rituals of blessing and order.
It's the prayerful ordering of your child's loves through steeping them in Beauty, Truth and Virtue.