It’s a long-standing Trinitas tradition to close out each day with the entire school singing the Doxology together. To lift our voices together and sing “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.” is the best way I know how to depart one another’s company. It is like we take all of the energy expended, the knowledge and wisdom pursued, the time invested in training affections, and the virtue cultivated and affix the postage of worshipful prayer to it before sending it heavenward for the day. It is a glorious experience. Even if the little ones sing a tad too loudly to be on key and I struggle to start on the same pitch two days in a row, it is a glorious experience.
To those watching and listening to the end-of-day singing of the Doxology at Trinitas this year, the students are exhibiting two behaviors that remind us that children learn best by imitation.
Coming from a faith tradition that encourages the lifting of one’s hands while singing the Doxology, I do so unconsciously. Although students are not expected to do the same nor have they ever received any instructions to do so, many of the youngest students instinctively imitate this particular expression of worship that they observe me doing.
Even older students pattern their behavior from what they observe in the adults around them. Early this school year, one of our music teachers, Mr. Varela, began intentionally positioning himself in the middle of the upper school young men during closing assembly and began singing harmony while the rest of us were singing the melody part of the doxology. Those around him took notice and now robust and beautiful praise pours forth from the mouth of our young men.
My point here is not to discuss the merits or demerits of one’s body posture during a worship service nor is it to encourage the singing of musical parts in worship, rather it is to remind us all of how impressionable our children are. From just a few minutes of observation at the end of a school day, these students are learning habits that will likely accompany them beyond the end of all of their school days.
Ponder this reality with me. What are your children seeing in you and those with whom you have placed them in community that will have a profound impact on their spiritual formation? Do they see mom and dad united in submission to the preached Word each week? Do they see you extending kindness and charity to the undeserving? Do they see their teachers relying on the Spirit for wisdom in the mundane decisions of the school day? Do they offer the sacrifices of praise as part of their daily liturgy?
Heavenly Father, make us mindful of the little eyes that are watching, and may we by your grace give them examples worthy of imitation.