Cats are not the only ones to whom names matter. Working in a large London secondary school knowing names is essential. There is nothing more dis-empowering than to not know a child's name. There is nothing that demonstrates more effectively to a parent that their child is not loved and cherished in school than the staff not knowing the child's name. The teacher who is looking at a photo-crib sheet on a parent's evening has lost already.
Over the years I have developed a number of techniques for learning names: a photo album on my desk; going back to the same lessons at the same time and hoping the teacher hasn't changed the seating plan. Often I develop a 'funny' rhyming association, even nonsense word that i may use with the child. It's not 100% but it all helps.
Language is powerful. I would say that language is one of the principal tools we have used in school to transform learning and behaviour. We ensure that we provide children with the vocabulary to describe learning; a bit like the Buddha's numerical discourses we have three Trinity Values; Three Trinity Pillars; Three elements to Trinity etiquette. Five 'Rs' of learning and so on.
In the bible Adam was asked to name the creatures; his first job of work. as Christians we celebrate the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, bow our heads at the name of Jesus, and even of the saints on their feast days. And today, September 12th Christians remember the Most Holy name of Mary, mother of Jesus. This feast is one that has a very clear biblical basis, almost to the point of obligation 'from this day all generations will call me blessed', and should therefore present no problem to any bible believing Christian.
So here are some texts for the Most Holy Name of Mary that you may care to use:
from the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mass 21 The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This text is richer than the one in the latest edition of the Missal and is from a different formulary, where it is credited to the Proprium missarum Societatis Mariae.
This collection offers not only a very rich set of masses (46 in all) but also very good introductions to each mass.
In the introduction to this set the name of Mary is celebrated as:
- a name of honour
- a holy name
- a maternal name
- a name responsive to need
Lord our God,
when your Son was dying on the altar of the cross,
he gave us as our mother
the one he had chosen to be his own mother,
the Blessed virgin Mary;
grant that we who call upon the holy name of Mary, our mother,
with confidence in her protection
may receive strength and comfort in all our needs.
Prayer over the gifts
look with favour on the gifts we offer
and grant that our hearts may be enlightened by the holy Spirit,
so that in imitation of blessed Mary, ever Virgin,
we may seek to be faithful to Christ, your Son,
to live only for him,
and to please him in all we do.
Father, all-powerful; and everliving God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
through Jesus Christ our lord.
In no other name is there salvation;
at his command every knee must bend,
in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
But by your loving providence,
the name of of the Virgin Mary also
should echo and re-echo
on the lips of your faithful people
who turn to her with confidence
as their star of hope,
call on her as their mother
in time of danger,
and seek her protection
in their hour of need.
With thankful praise,
in company with the angels,
we glorify your power
as we sing with one voice:
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
you have given us new strength
at the table of your word and sacrament;
grant that by the guidance and patronage of blessed Mary
we may turn away
from all that dishonours the name of Christ
and seek only what brings it into good repute.