Q. What are the “morning verses” the children and teachers recite in Waldorf schools?
A. Mornings at Waldorf schools usually begin with the recitation of prayers written by Rudolf Steiner. These prayers are usually disguised as "morning verses," but in fact they are clearly prayers. For example, the "morning verse" written for the four lower grades includes the following words :
"I reverence, O God,
The strength of humankind,
That thou so graciously
Hast planted in my soul ...
From Thee come light and strength,
To Thee rise love and thanks.”
This "verse" addresses, praises, and thanks God — it is undeniably a prayer, and as such it demonstrates that Waldorf schools are religious institutions. Knowing this, Rudolf Steiner instructed Waldorf teachers to disguise the nature of the morning verses. "I ask only one thing of you. You see, in such things everything depends upon the external appearances. Never call a verse a prayer, call it an opening verse before school. Avoid allowing anyone to hear you, as a faculty member, using the word ‘prayer.’” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 20.
Sometimes Waldorf schools change the wording of these "verses" to disguise them further, and sometimes they use other, less distinctly religious verses.
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