Prayers for a Baccalaureate Service

Almighty God, Creator of life and Source of all truth: we ask thy blessing upon this school and those who are graduating.

Thou hast given us searching minds to gather knowledge and seek the truth; grant that those who are graduating may grow not only in knowledge, but in wisdom, and in the knowledge and love of thee.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

Keep them alert in spirit and loyal to the truth; preserve them from faithless impatience, from pride and laziness, and from doing any shoddy or unworthy work.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

When they go astray, correct them; when they are corrupted through prejudice, pride, or selfishness, awaken their consciences that they may amend their ways; when they fail, give them courage to begin again.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

Watch over those who answer the call to service in the armed forces; keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

Go forth with them all as they pursue their dreams, seek adventure, accept new responsibilities, discover themselves;
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

Grant that they may do the work which thou givest them to do, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as thy servants and for the common good.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

Bless the homes from which they come; bless their families and all who love them, and who now rejoice with them at their achievements.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

Bless all who have taught and encouraged them through the days of their youth: their teachers and pastors, counselors and friends, and all who have given them guidance and support.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

And bless these graduates: purify their motives and their goals, and give them a measure of usefulness and purpose in the world which thou hast made and redeemed.
                    Lord, in thy mercy.
                    Hear our prayer.

O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

These prayers are adapted from several sources, including The Book of Common Prayer and Robert Rodenmayer's classic, and long out-of-print, The Parson's Prayerbook, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960).  The final prayer is a familiar adaptation of a prayer of John Henry Newman.

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