A common occurrence in many congregations is a backpack blessing service. BuildFaith.org has a great article on these services at Blessing of the Backpack’s 6 Tips for Success.
At EYCArkansas, we began wondering what this would look like with an older mindset and as part of a youth group or youth Sunday school meeting. We used prayers from Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People, the Book of Common Prayer and the New Zealand Prayer Book and came up with a great liturgy that any group can use. We have shared below a copy that you can take and print or edit to your heart’s content.
During the service youth are asked to bring an item that symbolizes their upcoming school year. This might things like a textbook, uniform or sports equipment. These are then placed in the center of the room together before the prayers are said.
Also during the service tokens such as bookmarks can be given to each youth with a prayer or quote of comfort for them to carry throughout the year.
Back to School Blessing Editable Document
Back to School Blessings Bookmark Editable Document
Thomas Alexander has been on staff for the summer with the Episcopal Church in Arkansas. He was on the EYE 2014 Mission Team and will be a Deputy to the 2015 General Convention.
Randall Curtis is the Ministry Developer for Young Adults and Youth for the Episcopal Church in Arkansas. He is also the President of Forma and on faculty with the Certificate in Youth and Family Ministry Program with Forma.