May the love of God embrace us
May the grace of Jesus challenge us
The power of the Holy Spirit renew us. Amen
(WCC Assembly 2022)
May the boldness of God’s Spirit transform us,
May the gentleness of God’s Spirit lead us,
May the gifts of God’s Spirit equip us to serve and worship you
now and always.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
(In Spirit and in Truth, Canberra Assembly Worship Book, #53, adapted)
May God the Great Creator,
go on creating within us,
Christ Jesus be our company
and the Holy Spirit surround us
with eternal grace. Amen.
(Source: Dorothy McRae-McMahon)
Triune love, you were with us at the beginning of time
Stay with us till the end of time.
You were with us when our lives were formed.
Remain with us till the end of life.
You were with us at the rising of the sun.
Be with us when the day is done.
In every detail of this day
Let me be fully alive
To the words I speak, and those I hear,
and to the eloquence of the silence where no words are spoken
Let me be fully alive
To the work I do
How I prepare, how I pursue it
share it and complete it.
Let me be fully alive
to the people I see this day –
friend or stranger, easy and difficult.
Let me be fully alive today
to every instant,
to the pulse of God at the heart of all things.
Let us see this day as a gift from God
Let us take it, enjoy it, make it our own and share it with others.
Grant us strength to survive,
Grant us grace to be generous.
Grant us courage to stand tall for all that is good and fair. Amen.
(Source: Malcolm Doney, All Hallows on the Wall)
May the love which overcomes all differences
which heals all wounds
which puts to flight all fears
which reconciles all who are separated
be in us and among us, now and always, Amen.
And the blessing of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be upon you this day and for ever more. Amen.
(Source: Malcolm Doney, All Hallows on the Wall)
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ, the light of the world to you.
(Source: John Rutter, an arrangement of a Gaelic blessing)
Go out into the world in peace, and in Christ’s name be –
the humble who make others proud
the poor who have riches to share
the weak who help others be strong
the empty who overflow with loving kindness.
And the largess of the love of God,
and the treasure of the grace of Christ Jesus,
and the buoyant health of the Holy Spirit
will be with you now and forever. Amen.
Blessing and Dismissal
We thank you, loving God, that we have gathered in your presence and shared in worship. Now may we go forth into the world, confident that we are your children, knowing that you have called us by name. In our daily life, may we align ourselves to your will, seeking direction to follow the plans you have for us which give us a hope and a future in Jesus Christ, and may we have patience in the waiting. In the challenges and joys we face, may we be assured that we do not face them alone. Let us go in peace, hope and love, in the name of our compassionate and powerful God the Son our Saviour, and the comforting Holy Spirit. Amen.
(World Day of Prayer 2022)
We take a risk
and we place ourselves
at the service of the Gospel
knowing that to do so
will involve us in a struggle
that is both inner and outer,
knowing that we have come
to a point where we cannot
make sense of life without God.
We take a risk today
by leaving this community
to go and create community,
knowing that to do so
will put us in conflict
with those who seek their own self interest.
We take a risk today
that in going our separate ways,
You, Jesus Christ, come with us
and that is all that matters.
So send us out now,
we are ready to come with You. Amen.
As we end this time as a gathered community,
we prepare to serve in all the scattered places of our lives.
Go in the knowledge that God our Creator
sustains and supports you in this service.
Go with the assurance that Christ Jesus equips you
for service amongst the strangers
and the friends of your life.
Go with trusting reliance on the Spirit
who enables you to bear witness,
to care lovingly, and to work for justice.
And may God’s peace go with you:
Deep peace of the running waves to you;
Deep peace of the flowing air to you;
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you;
Deep peace of the shining stars to you;
Deep peace of the Son of Peace, to you. Amen.
(Source: Rev Dr John Squires)
We have gathered, embraced by the love of God,
embraced by the love we share together this day.
We have gathered, inspired by the life and witness of Jesus,
inspired by the life and witness we make together as we re-member Jesus this day.
We have gathered, empowered, enlivened and encouraged by God’s Spirit,
empowered, enlivened and encouraged by the community we make together.
And now, let us go, to be bearers of hope and light and love,
to be makers of peace, justice and joy.
We go in the name of God. Amen.
(Source: Sandy Boyce)
We move from this place of worship with the words of encouragement first offered to the church in Thessalonica (based in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)
Go now, for you are chosen and sent in the Spirit. Pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. Keep what is good, avoid every kind of evil. To all in need bear witness that the time has come when the Sovereign Lord will save his people. And may God who gives peace make you holy in every way; May Christ Jesus clothe you with salvation and victory; and may the Holy Spirit speak through you with the good news of hope.
May our lives be signs of God’s love, symbols of hope and carriers of grace. Amen.
May God take us on our journey
May we follow you as Christ
Lead us where we may not expect
Bring out of us gifts and talents that we could not imagine having
Teach us things about ourselves and others which are surprising
and are the beginning of wisdom.
May God lead us to connect with people in ways beyond our thinking
Experiencing difference which jars and challenges our sense of normal
Exposing us to needs that awaken our compassion
And give us cause to act for good.
May God confront our beliefs and dogma,
Expose us to realities and experiences which stretch your belief and faith,
Shattering the illusion of certainty which we try to cloak ourselves in.
May God take on the way of the Christ,
Not along easy or comfortable roads,
But on the way to the cross
Leading us as Spirit
Towards the promised end.
(Source: Jon Humphries, Prayers that Unite)
May the Christ who walks on wounded feet
walk with you on the road.
May the Christ who serves with wounded hands
stretch out your hands to serve.
May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart
open your hearts to love.
May you see the face of Christ in ev’ryone you meet,
And may ev’ryone you meet see the face of Christ in you. Amen.
May the path that you walk
be ever guided by justice and light
By the truth that you stand.
May it show, into the land.
May the words of Christ
disturb you all your life.
The road you’ve chosen is not easy
– yet, here you stand!
(from the song, The Path, by Jason Mann, adapted)
May the God who shakes heaven and earth,
whose Spirit blows through the valleys and the hills;
whom death could not contain and
who lives to disturb and bring us life;
bless us with the power to endure,
to hope and to love. Amen.
(Source: Elizabeth Raine)
Let us embrace the work and wonder of this day
with fresh commitment.
May we go forward together
in the power of the love of God
in the company of Jesus Christ
and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go forth to sing God’s good news to others.
Go forth knowing
that you do not lack anything you need
to be a servant saint of God.
Go forth to bethat servant for others.
You have met God revealed in unexpected places.
Go forth to reveal God to others.
And may the God of timeless gifts,
surprises and revelations
go with you on your journey. Amen.
My wish for you
Is that you continue
To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness
To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart
In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter
To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined
To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you
To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely
To put the mantel of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless
To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise
To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected
To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good
To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit
To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing
Happily in the sea of infinite substance
Which set aside riches for you
Before you had a name
And by doing so
You and your work
Will be able to continue
(Source: Maya Angelou)
May Jesus who is the living Bread
feed you, and give you strength to do his work.
The Light of the World
shine on you and
shine through you.
The Good Shepherd
guide you safely
through the green pastures
and through the dark valleys.
The Resurrection and the Life
raise you up to
newness of life.
The Way, Truth and the Life
lead you in His Way
feed you with His Truth,
heal you with His Life.
The True Vine
bear fruit through your living
as you abide in Him.
The Alpha and Omega
Be your be-all
your glory now
and through all eternity. Amen.
(Source: Ian Cowie, from ‘A Book of Blessings’ by Ruth Burgess)
For New Year/Christmas/Easter/Lent/A Blessing of Angels
May the angel of the annunciation bless you, inviting you daily to awaken to the God life within you.
May the angel of Joseph’s dreams bless you, stirring your spirit to trust the many ways that the Mystery whispers to you.
May the angel of birthing bless you, calling forth wonder awe and gratitude for all that has helped you to become your true self.
May the angel of Bethlehem songs bless you, tickling your soul with laughter and Joy, heralding hope and good tidings to you.
May the angel of the journey to Egypt bless you, guiding you and protecting you as you travel to the inner and outer roads of your life.
May the angel of the desert wilderness bless you, bringing courage when you experience bleak intense searching and struggle.
May the angel of prayer bless you, gathering you closely to the divine Beloved who longs for your embrace.
May the angel of the children on the lap of Jesus bless you, helping you to see the beauty and freedom of your inner child.
May the angel of the agony in the garden bless you, offering you solace in your times of tribulation.
May the angel at the tomb of resurrection bless you with faith, assuring your faith and trust that all shall be well.
(Source: Rupp, Joyce 2000. Out of the Ordinary: prayers, poems and reflections for every season, p. 60)
Sisters and Brothers in Christ.
Go in peace
May God our Creator renew in us the creative Spirit
that brings healing and life to all creation.
May Jesus the Christ, sustain us in boundless grace and love
May the Holy Spirit fill us with courage to be bearers of God’s hope in the world,
The love of the faithful Creator,
the peace of the wounded Healer,
the joy of the challenging Spirit,
the hope of the Three in One
surround and encourage you,
today, tonight and forever.
(Source: Kathy Galloway, The Pattern Of Our Days, Wild Goose Publications, 1998)
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness in the world.
All things break.
And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
A Celtic Blessing
May the blessing of Light be on you
Light without and light within,
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
And warm your heart till it glows like
A great peat fire, so that the stranger
May come and warm himself at it,
And also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in two windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the Rain be on you
The soft sweet rain. May it fall upon your spirit
So that all the little flowers may spring up,
And shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the Great Rains be on
You, may they beat upon your spirit
And wash it fair and clean,
And leave there many a shining pool
Where the blue of heaven shines,
And sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the Earth be on you
The great round earth; may you ever have
A kindly greeting for them you pass
As you’re going along the roads.
May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it,
Tired at the end of the day,
And may it rest easy over you when,
At the last, you lay out under it;
May it rest so lightly over you,
That your soul may be out from under it quickly,
And up, and off, and on its way to God.
(Source: unknown, but posted on Godspace here)
May God our Creator renew in us the creative Spirit
that brings healing and life to our world.
May Jesus the Christ, uphold us in grace and love.
May the Holy Spirit fill us with courage
to be bearers of God’s song of hope in the world. Amen.
May the Love of God
be the ocean that you sail on
And the grace of God
bring you calm in stormy days.
May the Word of God
guide you to your destination
And the breath of God
speed you safely on your way.
(Source: John Birch, Godspace)
Go with a tender and grateful heart, remembering that you may be the only gospel that your neighbour reads this week. So, in all you say and do, spread the grace of god, the love of Jesus and the friendship of the holy spirit. You are blessed by the grace, love and friendship of our Creator, and now you are commissioned to share it by being a blessing in this world. Amen
As our faith and commitment deepen along that journey of discipleship, so our lives begin to reflect the love and grace of God shown to us, and we in turn become points of light in an often dimly lit world, or the salt that adds something special to the recipe served up by the world. At home or at work, people begin to see something of the God we serve, and may even be drawn to a place where they too might hear that gentle whisper and respond.
The beauty of God
be reflected in your eyes,
the peace of God
reside within your heart,
and the love of God
be the focus of your life,
this day and all days.
(Source: John Birch, Godspacelight)
On our hearts and on our homes:
the blessing of God.
In our coming and our going:
the peace of God.
In our life and our believing:
the love of God.
At our end and new beginning:
the embrace of God to welcome us
and bring us home.
(Source: Koinonia: Services and Prayers. The Lutheran World Federation, 2004)
May God grant you and yours
the peace of all things calm,
the place to hide from harm,
the light that shines in dark,
the heart’s eternal spark.
A door that’s open wide to
the guest who waits outside.
Hospitality, warmth and cheer
by your hearth, no matter where.
O, oft and oft and oft, goes Christ
in the stranger’s guise.
He is the light, the truth, the way
May He be with you this very day.
(Source: edited and adapted from the 1st millennium Celtic Oral Tradition)
Go into the world with no debt but love,
for love will not harm, will do no wrong
to your neighbour.
Go into the world with no law but love,
and you will keep God’s commandments
of love and honour.
Go into the world with no prayer but love,
and God will be with you, Christ
will be in you, Spirit will be around you. Amen.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you,
who, swift as the wave and pervasive as the air,
quiet as the earth and shining like a star,
breathes into us His Peace and His Spirit.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
(Source: Gaelic blessing)
Commissioning and benediction
Friends in Christ, companions on his life-giving way; go well into the unfolding week. Behold beauty along your paths, seek conversation with that which you fear, hold fast to conviction yet let go of limited perspective. Remain in love. Live out of love. and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the goodness of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you and for you, now and always. Amen.
Live as you were created.
Be God’s people in our fragmented world.
(Source: Tim Graves, Liturgy Bits)
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life
(Source: John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
(written after US 2016 elections)
Go forth into a world divided. Yet know that God dwells even there, in all places, in this time. And also know that there is no real division for everything is in God and God is with all. We are one in God’s oneness. Be aware of that sacred presence. Let it strengthen you. Let it transform you.
Build shalom. Love with abandon. Abide in peace.
(Diana Butler Bass)
Go now in peace,
for Christ has called you to live in peace
among your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Go now in courage,
for Christ has called you from the places of your life
to be agents of redemption and partners in healing.
Go now in joy and thanksgiving,
for Christ is our light!
Go now as one body,
to love and serve God as you love and serve the world!
(Elizabeth Dilley, and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website)
May God’s joy be in our hearts
and God’s love surround our living.
Each day and night and wherever we roam,
may we know God’s presence.
In growing and learning, in joy and sorrow,
in friendship, in solitude,
in beginnings and endings,
may God keep us and bless us all the days of our lives.
May the blessing of God – the Beginning, the End, and the Everlasting,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.
(Source: The Pattern of our Days)
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you
The love of the faithful Creator,
The peace of the wounded Healer,
The joy of the challenging Spirit,
The hope of the Three-in-One
surround and encourage us
today, tonight, and forever.
May the blessing of God – the Creator, the Healer,
and the Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.
(Source: The pattern of our days – Iona)
May God, the brightness of the universe, bless us.
May Jesus, the light of the world, disturb us.
May the Holy Spirit, energy of the cosmos, strengthen us.
May we be blessed with the power to speak ad live the gospel all of our days. AMEN.
(from an Iona liturgy, by Mary McHugh and Patricia Stoat)
A compilation of scriptural and topical benedictions here.
May God’s extravagant love consume you,
Christ’s life and passion inspire you,
And the Spirit compel you to do ordinary things
with extraordinary love.
And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy
Spirit be upon you and remain with you always.
We go out in peace
in the courage and grace of Christ
to share God’s extravagant love. Amen
(Source: Frontier Services Sunday 2013)
May you live this day
Compassionate of heart
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness
Courageous in thought
Generous in love. (John O’Donohue)
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”
(Source unknown, but published on Uniting Network Australia email)
We are sent out from our service of worship, to worship God in Service – to be God’s people for Christ and for the world. As you enjoy the goodness of God’s love today among friends and family, and in the goodness of creation, walk in the light of the Risen Lord …
May the keeping of Christ be about you.
May the guarding of God be with you
to possess you,
to protect you,
to accompany you on all your paths,
And may the dancing of the Spirit be around you,
each day, each night,
each night, each day. AMEN.
(adapted, Kate McIlhaggaghs, from Rex Hunt’s Liturgies)
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow each soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. May today there be peace within. Amen. (followed by passing of the peace).
Quoted by Gunilla Norris in Lectio Divina:A Steadying Way, in Weavings: a Journal of the Christian Spiritual life, Volume XXV, Number 4, Do not be anxious about tomorrow.
A collection from Rev Dr Garry Deverell:
As we go from this stillness, let us rejoin the dance of life. There too it is the crucified and risen one who is our partner and guide. May his gaze keep you honest and true. May his spirit enlighten you that we may dance lightly in the whirling, swirling world. Amen.
Christ with you sleeping, Christ with you waking, Christ with you watching, Christ with you working, Each day, each night; each day, each night.
As you go, remember that the Spirit whispers in your ear all the day long. She whispers her message of love and liberation; she beckons for you to follow her into paths as yet unimagined. Go from this place as people of the Spirit, people unafraid to dream and to vision, to lament and to protest, to work and to pray until the Kingdom is come.
Go in peace. And God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit fill you with a flame of love for all the world.
Go into the world as living stones. Stones who are uniquely beautiful in all the creation. Stones make beautiful by the harshness of the journey. Stones which make ripples in the ponds of politics. Stones which cause the evil ones to trip and fall. Stones which God is using to build a temple of love for all who long for justice.
Go into the world in hope. Don’t give in to either despair or fanciful thinking. Commit yourself, in tough-minded love, To all the good that is growing in the world. And discipline yourselves, always, to obtain that pearl of great price which is Christ our Lord.
Go now into the new moments of this day. Greet each new experience as sacred. Welcome the possibility of each second, each hour, with a deep sense of thankfulness. And the blessing of God will surely pour down upon you, wildly, extravagantly, generously.
God encircle us with fire of the Spirit God encircle us with waters of birth God encircle us with saints and apostles God encircle us and keep us in love.
In the name of God, I bless this assembly with water. May these droplets be holy for us a drowning and a birthing a flooding and a watering a burying and a rising again. In the name of God: Maker, Child and Spirit Holy. Amen.
May God go before, to show us the way; May God shine above, to lighten our world; May God lie beneath, to bear us up; May God go beside, to companion our journeys.
May God’s peace go before you and God’s kindness behind you and God’s comfort beside you. In the name of Christ. Amen.
May the grace of God – Wisdom, Word and Spirit – rest and abide within each breast this holy day. In the name of Christ, Amen.
May you take the yoke of Christ, fashioned by the carpenter’s son for your shoulders alone. May you wear it with pride and with commitment. May you wear it with humility and with joy. And may all the angels of God companion you as together we plough the fields of Christ’s harvest in this world, and the world to come. Amen.
O God who goes before: Give us wisdom enough to live this week in places of communion with you. Give us courage enough to follow you into the difficult places we’d rather avoid. Give us love enough to bear patiently with the hurts and struggles of our friends. Give us peace enough to accept and nurture our own selves. Amen.
All you appointed to shine like stars in the universe, why are you so afraid? Do you fear that the darkness will engulf your little lights? If the whole world were like the noonday sun, then would your lights be dim! In the darkest night of the world, it is then that your flame is strongest: in the chill of outer darkness you become God’s shrine of vision, and warmth for everyone who draws near.
The peace of God be with you, the peace of Christ be with you, the peace of the Holy Spirit be with you and with all you love, for an hour, for ever, for eternity. Amen.
May the touch of the tender Father uphold you, the soul of the sorrowing Son befriend you, and the fire of the wandering Spirit warm you. In the name of Christ, Amen.
May the Lord God bless you and protect you,
fill your heart with tenderness and your soul with joy,
your ears with music and your nostrils with perfume,
your tongue with a song giving voice to hope.
May Jesus Christ the living water be behind you to protect you,
before you to guide you, by your side to accompany you,
within you to console you, above you to bless you.
May the life-giving Spirit
breathe into you that your thoughts may be holy,
act in you so that your work is holy,
draw your heart so that you love what is holy,
strengthen you that you will defend what is holy.
May God make a home in your heart,
water its dryness, and melt its coldness,
kindle in your innermost soul the fire of his love
and bestow upon you a true faith, and firm hope, and a sincere and perfect love.
(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015)
We have listened to the Scriptures which we honour and treasure, and we have been nourished together at one table of the Word. We will carry this holy Word out into the world with us,
for we are joined in one mission, to be Salt of the Earth, to be Light to the World, and to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord.