A Blessing for Graduates

A pastor friend asked for a blessing for graduates which includes the presentation of Bibles. Here’s what God and I came up with.

Congratulations and Godspeed to all our graduates! – Lisa <><

A Blessing for Graduates
ONE, SOME OR ALL SINGING:
I suggest using verses 1 and 4 of the hymn This Is a Day of New Beginnings (United Methodist Hymnal #383).

ONE VOICE:
We gather here today to praise God, and to honor those who have reached the milestone of graduation from high school, technical school, college, or graduate school. We celebrate what they have become through God’s grace and pray blessing over all that is yet to be.

The graduates enter. This may be a formal procession where each enters alone or on the arm of a loved one, or they may simply move forward from where they are seated. After the graduates make their way to the front of the sanctuary, they turn to face the congregation. At this time the graduates introduce themselves or are introduced by an announcer. The introduction should include their name, where they are being graduated from, and their next steps. The various speakers in the service are encouraged to stand facing the graduates, rather than stand behind them.

ONE VOICE:
God’s Holy Word declares that before you were even formed, God knew you.
While in your mother’s womb, God foresaw a gracious and good purpose for you.
At your birth, God’s very breath filled you with promise and life.

CONGREGATION: Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

GRADUATES:
Compassionate God, thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for blessing me with spiritual gifts, talents, opportunities and accomplishments. Help me to nurture them. Open my eyes to using them for a greater good. Open my heart to following you faithfully in love, compassion and action.

CONGREGATION OR REPRESENTATIVE (YOUTH DIRECTOR, LAY LEADER, ETC):
It is our joy and privilege to present you with a Bible in celebration of your graduation. When you read it, remember how proud we are of you. And remember how deeply you are loved by God and all of us. God’s Word will bring you wisdom far beyond what any human can provide.

The Bibles are distributed to the graduates.

CONGREGATION OR ONE VOICE: Proverbs 3:1, 2, 5, 6 (NRSV)
King Solomon advised his son, “My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

GRADUATES:
Gracious One, thank you for your Word. I accept it and treasure it as a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Thank you for every person who has loved me, supported me, and invested in me along the way. Multiply the wisdom, skill, and faith they have shared. May it live and grow in me and in every person I influence.

The congregation is invited to lay a hand of blessing on the graduates. The graduates could kneel at the front of the church and the congregation could come to them. Or the graduates could walk out into the congregation and the congregation could gather around them.

ONE VOICE:
Mighty God, bless and protect our graduates as they journey on. Provide for their needs. Defend them from every enemy and distraction. Remind them to lean on your strength. Your steadfast love and faithfulness have brought them through trouble, sorrows and setbacks. Your steadfast love and faithfulness will help them face the future unafraid. To you be all the glory and honor and praise, now and forever. Amen.

Everyone passes the peace of Christ as they return to their seats.

compilation and original prayers © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

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