Graduation Benediction by Rev. Karen L. Munson, Kents Hill School, 2012
Right now, you are feeling truly empowered: by your accomplishment, by a sense of relief, and by the possibilities of what comes next. We send you forth with these blessings:
May you know the power of physical health and never fail to care for the gift of your own body.
Will you say thank you to your coaches and teachers who have given you the power of understanding and caring for these miracles you walk in?
May you claim the power and privilege of friendship, which was and is your own classes’ chosen core value. Will you say thank you to friends in your class as well as those who have come to celebrate with you?
May you be blessed by the power of true knowledge that is never satisfied with itself, but always curiously hunger for more.
Will you say thank you to teachers who have spoon fed, force fed, and joined you in the feast of learning?
May you never, ever forget the power of family, both born and made Who support you in more ways than you will ever know.
Will you say thank you to your families?
May you always carry humbly the power of being able to serve, using your privilege as educated people to transform this world and recognizing the inherent worth of all kinds of work,
Will you thank those who have cooked and cleaned , mowed and moved, fixed, faxed and raised funds on your behalf?
May you cultivate a sacred center.
Will you, in whatever way you understand it, thank the source of being itself for the privilege of being alive on this precious planet?
And now go with our blessing, each of you to be a blessing.
Invocation by Rev. Karen L Munson, Kents Hill School, 2011
Before you were even formed, God knew you. While in your Mother's womb, God named you. At your birth, God's breath filled you with life. Today we celebrate what you have become at this moment in time. Will you pray with me?
Holy One, In the midst of our pride and excitement Grant that we may acknowledge the wonder of our origins And the mystery of the horizon before us.
May your peace and blessings be upon us As we share these brief moments of celebration for what has been accomplished and gratitude for what has been given.
Help us to acknowledge the fathers, mothers, sisters, Brothers, grandparents…families whose sacrifices Made life in this learning community possible.
Help us to savor the sweetness of friendships Forged over months and years of life together.
Help us find words to thank those who have loved us when we felt unlovable and believed in us when our own hope failed.
Who knew we are capable of more than we ever dared dream And challenged us to believe it too. And when the words are not enough,
Give us bear hugs and face splitting smiles to say the rest. Draw we who watch into this moment with wonder, As these amazing young people turn with grace and dignity toward their future in the great dance for which you provide the music of the cosmos.
And all the gathered people said, AMEN
Benediction by Rev. Karen L Munson, Kents Hill School 2011
What an extraordinary mixture of exuberance and gratitude, of relief and anticipation, we feel.
(open hands) God of Hope, send us forth from this place with a vision that compels us to create a better world. Keep us hopeful.
(cupped hands) God of comfort, sustain us in the times when obstacles arise, when doubt, confusion or mistrust threaten to rule the day. Make us comforters
(uplifted hands) God of surprises, help us never be so sure of ourselves or so set in our expectations that we lose our ability to learn. Keep us curious.
(Namaste) God of Wisdom, guide each of us in the right path which keeps us in your company and the company of all who serve your loving purpose. Give us wisdom.
(Clasped hands with neighbors) God of strength. give us a hunger for justice, a justice that lifts the world’s most vulnerable and lends the strength of all to the needs of each. Make us strong.
(lift clasped hands) God of Compassion, take the seeds of kindness, respect, curiosity and camaraderie that have been planted in this community and especially in this class of 2006 and with your spirit blow them out into the world, rooting them where they will find purpose and joy.
(open hands) And all the gathered people said: AMEN.
Commencement Benediction by Karen L. Munson, Kents Hill School 2010
(Invite the graduates to stand)
You are so close to the end of this ceremony. You are so close to stepping in between time.
Not quite what you were, Not quite what you will be.
The scholar Phyllis Tickle compares graduation to Janus (Ianus), the Roman god of gates and doorways (ianua), of beginnings and endings, .of past and future (thus-January). Janus seems to come from both the Latin verb to go, ire, and the Sanskrit “yana” meaning transitional movement.
You are quite ready, and perhaps -a little- not quite ready, to go. You are standing in transition. What you choose to do, who you choose to be, will change our world.
I invite you to join in five turns, Acknowledging this in-between gate.
Turn your heads toward the mountains behind you. May God bless you with vision that always seeks to see a little further. Repeat after me, “Thank you.”
Turn your heads toward the fields. May the memory of muscles stretched inspire you to care for your bodies over the course of a lifetime, until you lay down them down to rest in God’s arms. Say, “Thank you.”
Turn your heads toward the places you’ve lived. May God guide you to hospitable places and to becoming hospitable people. Say, “Thank you.”
Turn your heads toward your teachers. May God bless you with wisdom to seek worthy guides without forgetting those who have brought you to this gateway. Say, “Thank you.”
Turn your heads toward those who brought you here, May God bless you with families and friends who love you from here to there, from then to when. Say, “Thank you.”
May it be so.
Invocation by Rev. Karen L. Munson, Kents Hill School 2009
We gather here in gratitude and awe this morning, Celebrating these children who you, gracious God, have allowed to touch our lives.
We watch them with wonder for they have unfolded and molded themselves before our very eyes and we are amazed.
We gather, all of us, glimpsing the web of friendships, families, teachers and taskmasters who pulled us out, pushed us on, helped us up.
We are grateful for the times of “a-hah,” and “oh no,” and “are you sure” And “yes, yes” that made each stronger.
We are grateful for your hand that held us safe and lifted us up Even when we did not recognize that you were there.
Make us mindful of your grace moving in our midst this morning, In every wise word, every kind glance, Every giggle that bursts forth, every tear that rolls down, Every thought of the past and every hope for the future.
Benediction A Franciscan Blessing
(adapted call and response format by Rev. Karen L. Munson, Kents Hill Shool, 2009 from liturgy by Saint Marks Episcopal Church, St. Louis, MO, http://saintmarks-stl.org)
Introduction: The ancient affirmation, "Amen" means "may it be so."With that in mind, I invite you to respond "Amen" each time I raise my hand.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. AMEN
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. AMEN
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. AMEN
May God bless you with wisdom to know that you do not always need to be right. AMEN
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. AMEN
May God bless you with eyes to see beauty in all people and places and hands to shape artful purpose from whatever life brings you. AMEN
And may the Blessing of God, who Creates, Redeems, and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. AMEN