Graduation & Baccalaureate Resources

The following selections and listings were prepared in response to requests for prayers, litanies, and other suggestions for use in graduation and baccalaureate services. We invite you to share prayers and other worship resources that could be included on this page. Send your suggestions to [email protected].

Selections from The United Methodist Hymnal are denoted by UMH. Selections from The United Methodist Book of Worship are denoted by UMBOW. Selections from The Faith We Sing are designated TFWS.

Baccalaureate Litany

This litany seeks to invite people of various faith traditions to share in an act of reflection, self-offering, and prayer. Although it seeks to involve different groups present for the service (students, parents, faculty, and religious leaders), it will be more effective if it is adapted to the user's particular context. People may read wherever the litany applies to them.

Leader: Today is a gift from God. Gathered on the edge of a milestone, we offer to God what we have to give- ourselves and the stirrings of our hearts and minds. Let us bless God.

All: Blessed be God!

Graduates: Strange, surreal, like a high peak where we can look back over the way we've come and ahead to where we have not yet walked. Exciting! Scary! We're ready!

All: Blessed be God!

Parents and family members: Where did the time go? Suddenly babies have become young women and men, explorers and natives in a world in which we are aliens.

All: Blessed be God!

Faculty: We did our job- coaching, challenging, encouraging, risking our passion in hope that they would not only turn the tassel, but believe in themselves as gifted, loveable people who are contributors in a world that needs them.

All: Blessed be God!

Religious leaders and members: Tradition and vision mean so much to us: God, love, justice, faith, hope, kindness, the Tem Commandments, the Great Commandments, and the five pillars. With you, we have continued to learn the way of peace and life. May the holy and divine Life of the world be a pathway for you as you commence your journey and find your way.

All: Blessed be God! How good it is, Great Spirit, to share this moment on tiptoes: grateful, alive, feeling whole and entering into the rest of our lives. Thank you for this milestone. Blessed be God!





Blessings (Celtic forms)

Eternal light shine in our hearts.
Eternal goodness deliver us from evil.
Eternal power be our support.
Eternal wisdom scatter the darkness of our ignorance.
Eternal pity have mercy on us
That with all our heart and mind
and soul and strength we may seek thy/your face
and be brought by thine/your infinite mercy to thy/your holy presence.
(Alcuin of York 8th century)


May the memories of grace shared this hour
be a delight and inspiration to us.
May the Most High increase charity in us.
May the Sun of Heaven shine through us.
May the Winds of Love move us to compassion and service.
May we go forth...
God seeing in our eyes,
God touching with our hands,
God caring through our generosity.
(Daniel Benedict 2001)

Copyright © 2002 Discipleship Ministries. These blessings may be used freely for any noncommercial purpose as long as long as the following copyright notice appears:
Copyright © 2002 Discipleship Ministries. Used with permission.


(See "A Franciscan Blessing" under "Online Resources" below.)

"For Graduates" UMBOW, 536

Songs and Hymns
"Lead On, O King Eternal," UMH, 580
"This Is A Day of New Beginnings," UMH, 383
"Now Praise the Hidden God of Love," TFWS, 2027
"I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry," TFWS, 2051
"God the Sculptor of the Mountains," TFWS, 2060
"I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me," TFWS, 2153
"Christ Beside Me," TFWS, 2166
"A Mother Lined a Basket," TFWS, 2189
"The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve," TFWS, 2241

Online Resources

Opening Prayer for a Baccalaureate Service by Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson

Prayers for Graduation Ceremonies byThe Rev. Jay Moyers

Categories: Worship, Worship Planning, Lectionary Calendar, Civil Observances, Commencement/Graduation