Blessing of Backpacks and Beginnings

A few weeks ago we had a Blessing of Backpacks and Beginnings during worship. We blessed everyone returning to school – Divinity school professors, two-year olds headed to their first day of preschool, school counselors, Sunday school teachers, and homeschoolers. The litany we used is adapted from Worshiping with Children. The prayers are adapted from another church that I cannot for the life of me remember. If it’s your church let me know and I’ll provide the link!

It was awesome to see a little more than half of our congregation come forward for this blessing. We then handed out buttons that said “I am for you,” a reminder that no matter where we go, we are never alone.

Leader: When it’s the night before school or class, and I’m excited or nervous or tired I remember..

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: When I’m waking up to start the day I remember…

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: When I’m getting on the school bus, in a car, on a bike, or walking I remember…

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: When I meet my new students, teachers, and friends I remember…

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: When I am a friend to those who are lonely, sad, or afraid I remember…

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: When I must do something difficult that stretches my mind and my patience I remember…

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: When it is time to rest at the end of the day I remember…

Children: Jesus is with me.

Leader: Students receive this blessing: May God open your hearts and minds to new discoveries. May you find friendship in unexpected places. May you be gentle and gracious to those who are in need. And may God protect you throughout your days. May all that goes into these backpacks and out of them again be blessed.

Teachers, staff, and administrators, receive this blessing: May your gift of teaching awaken minds to new ideas and expand hearts beyond boundaries. May your desire to educate evoke the unique gifts of each student and the deep desires of each heart. May your story-telling and support inspire imagination and creativity and your example lead those you teach to be generous and noble. And, as you bless your students on their way, may you delight at the gift your life offers to the future.

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