Back to School Blessings Liturgy

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.

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Walk an Online Labyrinth

Online Contemporary Labyrinth is an online translation of a contemporary labyrinth. The original is described as ‘an interactive installation for spiritual journeys’. It consists of a pathway mapped out on the floor for visitors to follow. During this journey participants pause and listen to a piece of music and a meditation. They also undertake some symbolic action or ritual.  With this online version the pieces of music are the same (make sure your speakers are turned on) but the actions and activities have been translated to suit the medium.

Lectio Divina in Youth Groups

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to listen to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo’s description remains fundamental.
In order to practice lectio divina in a youth group, select a time and place that is peaceful and in which you and your whole group may be alert and prayerfully attentive.

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Compline on one sheet (Front and Back)

One of the great services that youth ministries often do is Evening Compline.  This became a staple for me in youth ministry with the youth leading the service.

To simplify this and make it easier for a new youth to pick up and lead this I worked on getting Compline on one sheet of paper front and back.  Compline formatted for Youth Groups 

Please know I did make decisions by selecting readings and selecting some  of the prayers when there is an option.    You can find the full formatted Book of Common Prayer here.