This year, the High School students have taken responsibility for training and facilitating students in grades 1 to 8 in the Spiritual Friday services.  Following the worship traditions practiced in bhakti temples worldwide, and established by the Founder – Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, students engage in centers: bathing and dressing the Deities, preparing the arati, bhoga and flower offerings, practicing Kirtan tunes and instruments.

These high schoolers have been learning to serve during Spiritual Friday since Kindergarten. It has been an eye-opening experience to witness their ability to manage the younger teams respectfully and lovingly.  Gandiva Penate summarized her task in an offering to Srila Prabhupada recently.  “The spiritual master is expertly delegating and engaging everyone in service. It means I need to guide them in what to do, step by step. I respect them enough to know that they can get the job done. ” She cited the story of Hanuman and the spider, stressing that Lord Rama accepts every service as equal, whether big or small.  With this mood, she and her other high school peers work with younger students in developing their confidence in doing it right.

And there’s much to do!  During the first hour, classrooms are like busy bee workshops. Cleanliness, punctuality, attention to detail, and many more qualities are being developed at a fast pace. After preparing, students actually perform the arati, lead the kirtans and give the lectures. Take a look at some of the pictures!

Padayatra offers acaman to students to get started.  This session, he guides middle schoolers in dressing Lord Jagannath.

Arjuna guides the bathing and dressing routine for the brass Deities of the Lord.  Children are reminded to see the Deity as their personal friend and choose Their clothes and jewelry with love.

Gandharvika prepares each article of offering on the tray.  Devaki and Veda prepare the bhoga offering.

Jamuna and Nitai have worked with the kirtan leaders to practice the different parts of the tune and the instruments. Students discuss different dancing steps and how to sing and dance at the same time.  Eventually, the kirtan spontaneously erupts into too much fun as the whole room becomes ecstatic!  Students end the program with personal messages to the Deities and yummy offerings of prasadam. Happy Spiritual Friday!