The Opening And Closing Exercises

The Order of Exercises for the Sunday School of The Mother Church and of branch churches, given on page 127 of the Church Manual, is the valued provision of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy. She wisely provided for assembly exercises preceding and following the instruction in the classes. These opening and closing exercises are a part of the spiritual education of the Sunday School children, and as such they have an important place in each session. It is well, therefore, that the children learn to appreciate them so that no portion will be passed over lightly, but each step will be followed with interest.

The call to order by the superintendent is a loving summons to pupils, teachers, and officers to unite in thoughtful attention and joyous expectation. The exercises begin with a hymn. Children of whatever race or nationality, tiny tots happily taking their first steps in the understanding and application of Truth, and older boys and girls rejoicing in ever-unfolding views of God's goodness and love, unite in expressing in song their gratitude to the one Father-Mother God.

What more effective opening could have been planned? For Christian Science teaches that gratitude for blessings already received prepares one to receive more. If any argument of fear, of selfish interest, or of any other phase of discord claims to be intruding into the thought of anyone present, it should be dissipated with this united outpouring of gratitude and praise. It is well that teachers call the attention of the children to the fact that if they will look for it, they can find in the words of the opening hymn some truth which relates to the subject of the Lesson-Sermon, and which they can make their own for all time. Each of our Leader's hymns contains spiritual truths that are applicable to all lessons, and some Sunday Schools begin each session with one of these because of its spiritualizing effect on thought.

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Testimony of Healing
With a heart overflowing with...
November 15, 1947

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