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A Blessing for Finals

A table covered by papers, a notebook, and a coffee mug-- and a person's hand, writing with a pen.

This group blessing is designed to be shared by many voices or read by just one. Alex suggests creating an altar with a chalice and testing supplies (which are then distributed to students as they need them).

Speaker 1: We have come to the end of the quarter/semester/year. An end to these classes.

Speaker 2: We give thanks for the things we have learned: For the new questions that arose, the new passions kindled, for the wisdom and knowledge gained. We give thanks for the friendships that blossomed and the colleagues we have made. We are grateful for this time.

Speaker 3: We apologize for the missed opportunities: For the deadlines that were not met. For the readings that were left undone. For the papers that were late and were turned in not-quite finished. For the canceled meetings and the emails that were ignored. We forgive ourselves and each other.

Speaker 4: We acknowledge the sacrifices we have made: The late nights. The skipped meals. The moments of hard choices. We know that our worth is not based on our grades. The quality of our papers does not reflect on the quality of our personhood. That we are worthy of love especially when we struggle.

Speaker 5: We look forward to this time of transition: May we find comfort in the completion of work. May we rest in the mystery of unanswered questions. May we find ways to refresh our spirit and prepare for new times of learning. Just as the seed sprouts in the dark quiet of the soil, may we find ways to grow in this time.

Speaker 1: For all that we have shared, learned and grown; for the grace of missed opportunities and for obstacles great and small—we give thanks.


Alex adds: Finals can be a stressful time of balancing schedules, completing big projects, late nights, poor sleep, skipped meals, etc. The UU Campus Community at University of California-Davis shares a blessing for finals season. It is an opportunity to slow down, be grateful for all that was accomplished and offer grace for each other. It has become a cherished ritual before the rush of the last week of school.

About the Author

Alex Haider-Winnett

Alex Haider-Winnett is a lifelong UU. He holds an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion and serves as the Interim Director of Religious Education for the UU Church in Livermore (CA) and the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. He lives in Davis, CA and is a full-time dad and spouse....

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