Blest Are We Closing Celebration
This celebration is intended to close the academic year and bless children, youth and teachers for the rest and renewal of summer vacation. It can best be celebrated in a gym or large room setting, each class or group forming a small circle.
|•||In advance, share the celebration with your teachers, and show them where their classes will be seated (use the floor or arrange folding chairs in circles for each class).|
|•||Each teacher should help her or his class community identify the blessings experienced during the year and print responses on a large poster board.|
|•||Invite each class community to select a person to hold the poster board, and another to read aloud the blessings during the celebration. Determine the order in which groups will present during the celebration itself.|
|•||Secure a prayer leader, song leader and keyboard person to play/sing the Blest Are We theme song.|
|Option: Blessings could be listed on gift boxes and a list of blessings prepared for the reader. Boxes can be lined up for display after each proclamation.|
Water in small bowls and small, leafy branches, one set for each class community; poster board for each group participating; keyboard or cassette player; copies of Blest Are We theme song.
(Song leaders and musicians play/sing “Blest Are We” until every one has entered and is seated in a class circle facing the musicians.)
|Leader||We close our school year, by gathering together to celebrate the blessings of the past year. This has been a time when God’s favor has rested upon us, and we want to share with one another the blessings that each of us has experienced. I now invite the representatives of the first group to stand and share their blessings.
|(Beginning with the first group, a child/youth carries the poster board of blessings and a class representative reads the blessings aloud standing before the entire gathering. After the blessings are read, the person with the poster begins forming a line to exhibit the posters. The reader returns to his or her class community. This continues until all blessings have been shared.)
|Leader||We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings named by this community. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for your presence. We now ask that you continue to bless us as we venture into the summer.|
|Leader||Each of you has been called, as were the disciples at Pentecost, to go out to teach, to heal, to make whole and to pray, always speaking words of love and forgiveness. Jesus has promised that he always will be with you.
I now invite teachers to bless each child or youth that has been in their care this past year.
|(Classroom teachers call each child or youth by name and softly proclaims the following blessing while sprinkling him or her with water. The child or youth stands for the blessing, and responds “Yes.”)
|Teachers||[Name], may this water refresh you. May your summer be filled with fun and good works. At all times, will you live as a disciple of Jesus?|
|(Sing the refrain of “Blest Are We” after every two or three readers. When all have finished, conclude the celebration with the following pledge.)
|Leader||God has given us the blessing of life. We are awed by God’s generosity, and called to give thanks and praise. Please repeat after me the following words:
Thank you, God, for the blessings of this past year.
Thank you, God, for the blessings of one another.
Thank you, God, for the coming blessings of summer. Amen.
Sing as many verses of “Blest Are We” as you feel appropriate.