Oct 3, 2011

Children's Sabbath: Prayer of Blessing

Some congregations will be observing Children’s Sabbath this weekend.  Children’s Sabbath is an annual program designed to promote awareness of children’s needs and our responsibility to meet their needs.

Here’s a blessing for children written by Rev. Elsa Peters for the United Church of Christ. She’s based it on I Thessalonians 1:1-10, one of the suggested scripture texts for October 16, 2011.

In an introduction to the prayer, Rev. Peters writes:

Even as we experience the assurance of God’s love and mercy, we must still struggle with the justice issues facing our children. In some of our churches, children living in poverty and in violence are unknown to the church family.  While these children remain in our prayers, we cannot see their faces in our regular gatherings for worship.  Most of our congregations do have children – whom we love and adore. On this particular Sunday, bless the children that you can see, and invite, imaginatively, children whom you cannot see, but who still need the blessing of our commitment to justice for them.  During the Children’s Time, or at a special separate moment in worship, invite all of the children forward. Invite adults to encircle these children and extend their hands over the children, as one person prays.

Bless the Children
(based on I Thessalonians 1:1-10)

Grace and peace to you, our children.
We will always give thanks for you.
We pray for you constantly because we love you.
We love you just as God loves you.
We know, children of God, that God loves you so much.
There are no words to express it.
There are no wonders we can perform.
But, we know that the power of God is in you.
We can see it upon your faces.
You remind us of God’s love.
Teach us to see the world as you do.
Surprise us with the wonders you see.
Show us what gifts God has given you.
And we will bless you, and protect you,
and we will always give thanks for you.
We will bless you in the name of our God.
We will bless you again and again.
Grace and peace to you, our children.
Grace and peace to you who show us God’s glory
shining through your faces. Amen.

— written by the Rev. Elsa A. Peters, Pastor of the First Congregational UCC in South Portland, ME.  She blogs at http://impossiblethingswithgod.blogspot.com/.

For more resources for Children’s Sabbath, see the United Church of Christ website. 

For more worship resources related to this text, or other texts for October 16, 2011 (the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost), click on Proper 24A in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.  For other blessings, click on Blessings in the list of “Labels” at the lower right.