Chapel & Spiritual Development
As the first founding tradition at St. George’s Episcopal School, students and faculty
have attended daily chapel since the school was founded in 1996.
Worship lies at the heart of St. George’s Episcopal School. It forms the center of our spiritual and religious growth, and having the entire school gather for chapel at the start of each day shapes our very identity, mission, and ministry. All students, faculty, staff, and administration participate in daily chapel.
While the Episcopal Church’s central act of worship is the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion, St. George’s School, with its diverse congregation, celebrates this sacrament only on special occasions and only for students in grades three through eight. Daily chapel services, while not necessarily derived directly from the Book of Common Prayer, use its traditional structure and prayers.
- Worship consists of prayers, songs, and a homily or chapel talk, and we strive to create worship that is both meaningful and interesting for students.
- Students take leadership roles by serving as readers, prayer leaders, musicians, and acolytes.
In the 8th grade, students begin a series of writing “Chapel Talks”, and while it is a good oratory practice, it also gives students a chance to speak with confidence about their passions, and it allows students to get to know one another on a deeper level. Students work closely with a faculty member while writing a Chapel Talk.
At it’s core, Chapel Talks develop interpersonal communication skills, the ability to grow personally through reflection and writing, and the ability to gather together in worship to know each other more fully.
One day a week, students meet by division for a more age-specific chapel time. These chapels also involve prayers and songs, but instead of a homily, students are given the opportunity to explore the theme or passage for the month in a more hands-on way, with the goal of finding concrete ways to apply Biblical teachings in everyday life.
Division Chapel includes the opportunity for students to participate in community service projects. Projects have included making Almsgiving Cups during the season of lent for the purpose of collecting coins to be donated to Emmaus House in Atlanta; making paper prayer rings to lay on the altar in the chapel; decorating water bottles with encouraging notes to go to hurricane victims; and, making ‘alleluia butterflies’ for the Easter season.
On Fridays, we conclude the school week together by sharing in our special “Celebration Chapel,” where a variety of student accomplishment is recognized, where birthdays are celebrated, and where our mission and ministry as an Episcopal school is joyously expressed. Parents are invited to attend any chapel services with their children, although participation in the Friday chapels is especially appropriate.
On many Fridays, the high school students participate in celebrating younger students’ birthdays and accomplishments as a way to encourage interaction and leadership.