For the next two posts I am pleased to welcome Jenifer Gamber as guest blogger. Jenifer is the mother of two young adults and author of Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People and My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church. She also leads retreats and workshops for Christian educators working with youth.
Milestones and Changes
Many people have recognized the need for the Church to recognize milestones in the lives of people of all ages. They are points at which we can gather with one another to name these events and affirm God’s blessings throughout our lives.
Some are celebrations such as the completion of high school, college, or apprenticeship or transition from work to retirement. Others are pastoral such as the death of a newborn or the separation of two people made one through a blessing.
I believe that every person is born with a spark of the Holy within that seeks to know and be known. That Holy spark is evident in the deep gaze of a baby into the one who mother’s her. We see it in the joyful swirling body and arms of a child on a warm sunny day—soaking in the beauty of the day. It is evident in a teenager’s pull toward abiding friendship and romance. This spark seeks expression and a language. And the church can give that spark language to express God’s movement in their lives through liturgies and blessings.
And fortunately we have a number of resources to do so. Here are some:
- Changes: Prayers and Services Honoring Rites of Passage published by Church Publishing.
- Blessings and Rituals For the Journey of Life by Susan Langhauser, Abingdon Press.
- Call on Me: A Prayerbook for Young People by Sharon Pearson and Jenifer Gamber, Church Publishing also includes prayers for milestones particularly for teens and youth adults for a variety of occasions including graduation as well as applying for a job.
Filed under: Liturgy