An Order for The Blessing of Backpacks
and various & sundry implements of academic enterprise
Dear People of God, our forebears in faith observed with rites of prayer and thanksgiving their gratitude to god for all good things, offering special praise for those humble gifts whose daily service and less comely appearance did render them easily neglected. As we commence a new academic year, we bring before God those implements of utility that serve us quietly and faithfully, thus proclaiming the teaching of Christ Jesus that we serve one another without regard for reward, bearing one another’s burdens and sharing one another’s joys.
Celebrant and people
We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water. At the beginning of Creation your Holy Spirit moved over the water; by a huge flood you washed the earth clean and saved Noah; through a wall of water you led Moses, Miriam and the children of Israel out of slavery into freedom; in a river your Son Jesus received baptism and was anointed to be our guiding light; and in him, our life with you.
The people and celebrant continue
Now, by the power of your Holy Spirit, make+this water holy, we pray you, that all the humble gifts we present before you may be renewed and blessed for your service. Amen.
The Backpacks are aspersed (water is sprinkled/splashed on them)
The people and celebrant continue after the gifts are aspersed
Now bless+these lowly gifts, loving God, that their loyal presence and silent service keep us ever mindful of your grace in our lives. May we hold them in care and, following their example, be for one another the reliable friends these tokens are for us. Amen.
Adapted by The Rev. Peter M. Carey from a blessing by The Rev. Sam Portraro