Winter Commencement, December 17, 2017

O Source of all Life,
The days of our lives seem to slip past
with ever increasing speed,
Too easily falling into the shadows of the past.

For that reason, we pause at the milestones of our life’s journey
that we might reflect,
that we might give thanks
before the day is consigned to memory.
And so, today we give thanks
for all that has been,
all that has led us here to this season.

For the families and friends
who helped to form our graduates
as they set out on this adventure years ago.
For the learning they have undergone in this place,
for the faculty who brought instruction,
for the staff who supported them in their need,
for their willingness to be open to new experiences,
new understandings.
For the friendships and the relationships that sustained them,
the times of joy and sorrow,
of triumph and defeat.
For all the threads of experience
that have been woven into the tapestry of their lives.
For all this and more we give you thanks.

O Source of all Light,
we gather this day
on one of the shortest days of the year,
when the night is long
and the darkness deep.
When worries about the world
and the troubles of an anxious time seem to weigh heavily upon us.

But here, today,
in this season of lights in the darkness,
and on this fifth day of Hanukkah,
we kindle another light.
For before us, robed in blue,
stands a bright light of hope,
shining out into the world.
And as it is with the turning of the year,
so too will this light only increase.

O Source of all Hope,
We pray your blessing upon our graduates and give thanks for all that will be.
For the difference our graduates will make,
For the creativity they will offer,
For the gifts they will share,
For the wisdom they will continue to acquire,
For the passion they will bring,
For the imagination they will employ,
For the fearlessness with which
they will face the future
For witness they will make
to justice, to peace,
to inclusive community;
For the way they will change the world itself.

And now, O Most Gracious, Most Merciful,
we pray that
in the times of injustice,
they may be just,
in times of fear,
they may sow love,
and in times of darkness,
they may be beacons of light.
And let us say: Amen.

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