Prayers of Taking Leave, Blessing and Commissioning

People shouldn’t just ‘leave’ a community. Whether it be church, a neighbourhood, a fellowship group or a campus ministry, people don’t just ‘move on.’ These are events that need to be marked with prayer. So at Wine Before Breakfast we have a tradition of closing the last service of a semester with prayers of taking leave. This litany was written by Brian Walsh. Feel free to adapt it and use it, with due acknowledgement. 

Leader     Let us pray.

Returning members     God of covenant love,
we give you thanks for you sustain us
with real food and real drink.

You nourish us
with friends as real as food,
with joy as clear as water,
with love as good as this meal.

Departing members
This is enough.
 We do not ask for more.
This is more than enough reason
to bless your name forever.

Leader                 Brothers and sisters,
                 when we pray for these sisters and brothers,
                  what is our prayer?

Returning members:  In our prayers for you we always thank God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for we know firsthand
your faith in Jesus Christ,
your love for all the saints,
and that you live in the light
of resurrection hope.

Leader      What is your deepest desire for these friends?

Returning members:    We pray that you will be filled
with the knowledge of God’s will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
so that you will continue
to live a life worthy of the Lord,
fully pleasing to him;
and that your life
will continue to bear fruit in every good work.

As you walk in faith,
bear the cross of Jesus,
serve the church,
and rejoice in your discipleship.

Leader                  And what do you want to say to
                 our brothers and sisters as they take leave
                  of our Wine Before Breakfast fellowship?

Returning members:        Beloved sisters and brothers:
take heed that you fulfill
the ministry that the Lord has
given you;
live in the truth,
care for the sick,
minister to the dying,
do not forsake the breaking of bread,
seek the peace of the city,
and practice resurrection.

Leader       We bless you, we give thanks for you,
                  we hold you in our prayers,
                  and we commission you.

Returning members                  The cross,
Departing members                  we shall take it.

Returning members                  The bread,
Departing members                  we shall break it.

Returning members                  The pain,
Departing members                  we shall bear it.

Returning members                  The joy,
Departing members                  we shall share it.

Returning members                  The gospel,
Departing members                  we shall live it.

Returning members                  The love,
Departing members                  we shall give it.

 Returning members                  The light,
Departing members                  we shall cherish it.

Returning members                  The darkness,
Departing members                  God shall perish it.

Returning members
Go forth, dear friends,
with our blessings
and our prayers.

Go forth in the power
of the risen Christ.

Go forth as envoys of the
coming Kingdom.

Go forth and bear witness
in all that you do,
to the love of God,
the redemption of Christ,
and the comfort
of the Holy Spirit.

Departing members                  Amen, thanks be to God.


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