Blessing for Fruitfulness: Rituals for Entering and Leaving the World of Work

2002, 4 pp
Most people spend the majority of their adult years gainfully employed in the world of work. Young adults are often eager to get a job, earn a living, and make a difference in the world. 40 or 45 years later, older adults may be just as eager to relinquish their work roles and responsibilities and look forward to the more leisurely pace of retirement.

The desire to serve or be useful does not end, however, when employment ends. Nor does the call to Christian discipleship end. Because much of our life of discipleship occurs in the work-world, the church needs to be alert to recognize and bless the ministries which occur there. It also needs to highlight the potential for ongoing ministry in the post-work years and bless the energy and creativity invested there. Two pivotal events in the life cycle offer the church such an opportunity: one of those is our entry into the world of work; the second is our departure from gainful employment. At such times we need a heightened sense of God's presence through the Spirit, and we also need the care and support of our sisters and brothers in the faith.

The following rituals of blessing may be incorporated into Sunday morning worship or small group settings. Labour Day weekend, with its secular celebration of work, might offer an appropriate occasion for such recognition and blessing in the church. The rituals include suggestions for scripture readings, songs, storytelling, prayers of blessing and ritual actions.

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