A Commencement Prayer

Spirit of Love, descend upon our hearts
Meet us in this hour
as we pause along the way.

For, here we stand
at the end of a long road,
a road on which those gathered here
have traveled far.

They have learned much,
done great things,
seen the world,
and known a time of great change and challenge.

As they contemplate the stretch of road that lies before them,
there is no doubt anxiety:
anxiety about jobs,
continued education,
plans for the future.

There are questions they ask and worry:
Have they learned enough?
Do they know enough?
Have they accomplished enough
to be prepared for the road ahead?

Place in their hearts an awareness of all they have to celebrate:
Their families and friends,
Their professors and staff,
Their beloved alma mater
—all who have helped them along the way.

But even more,
as we gather to celebrate what has been
Take away any anxiety of purpose
Strengthen their many talents and skills
and instill in them a confidence in the future.

Grant also, that they may realize
That they are not defined by what they have learned
They are not defined by what they know
or by what they have done.

They are defined by whose they are
and by the hope they carry in their hearts.

For theirs is a hope that can change the world;
a world of great need
a world of brokenness.
A world waiting for them.

Spirit of Love, descend upon our hearts,
Meet us in this hour
as we pause along the way.

And let us say: Amen.