A Commencement Prayer for the Class of 2014

Let us pray.

O Great Mystery,
‘For everything there is a season
and a time for every purpose under the heavens.’

We thank you O Lord, Our God, ruler of the universe,
who has granted us life, who has sustained us,
and who has helped us to reach this season.

A time of celebration for all that has been:
for achievement and the satisfaction that comes
with having accomplished the work.
A time of celebration for all that will be:
A wide open road full of possibility,
A blank canvas on which to paint a life’s masterpiece.

For a season, these graduates were ours
And for that season we give thanks:
for the time they have been able to share with us.
for all those who brought them to us
thanks for the parents, family, and friends,
who nurtured, prepared, and encouraged them;
We give thanks for this University,
for the faculty and staff who taught our graduates
and guided them on their way;
forming and shaping them
for a life of service.
Continue, O Holy Spirit, to bless this University community,
its faculty and staff,
that they may continue in its work
of shaping the leaders of your people.

But before these graduates were ours,
they were yours,
and yours they remain.
Grant that in all the seasons of their lives,
in times of joy or tears,
in times of confidence or self-doubt,
of employment or unemployment,
of celebration or lament,
of welcome or alienation,
of success or failure,
of knowing or unknowing,
of hope or fear,
They may know that you are with them;
That they are not alone,
That they are bound up together with you
and with one another.

And now, O God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,
we pray that in all the seasons of their lives they may continue to be
beacons of hope and promise
to a broken world
a world in need
a world waiting for them,
and the hope they bring.

And let us say: Amen.

Delivered at the Commencement Ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences, May 11, 2014