Hooding Ceremony Remarks by Rev. Courtney Richards

May 13, 2019

Graduates! It has a great ring to it, doesn’t it?! Graduates! Alumns!

As moderator of the Brite Alumn Council, on behalf of so many who have felt the sort of weird but entirely wonderful joy you’re sitting in right this moment, it is my great honor, to welcome you to the world of YES!

Yes, you did it. Even when you thought you couldn’t. God knew you could.

Yes, there’s more. I know you don’t want to think about it right this second, but the Holy One awaits all that will yet unfold in you.

Yes, this is real. After years and hours and carpal tunnel and insomnia and panic attacks and all the rest, you’re here!

Yes, this is for you. All that has risen in you as sacred, and needed, and just, and challenging, and righteous, and wondrous, and terrifying, and divine … all of that, is for you.

You are in a room filled with beloveds, sending you into a world filled with need, and also with hope. In that hope, and for those needs, and among those beloved, let us pray.

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Wondrous Creator, of all that is, and all that will be, and of us, we give you thanks and praise.

For the moments of uncertainty that have become days of triumph, we are grateful.

For your Spirit resting on us, and in us, and around us, to see us through til now, we are amazed.

For the classmates who knew us when, and who saw us through.

For the faculty, staff, mentors, and advisors who sat with us, pushed us, and would not let us give up, even on ourselves.

For the congregations, the hospitals, the community centers, the public spaces, where our faith has been challenged, and where you have yet been glorified.

You have called us. And claimed us. And we pray upon praying that you have also equipped us.

And we know that you will be with us always.

Advocate and Sustainer, Counselor and Redeemer, Creator and Life-Bringer.

God of many names, of all times and places and peoples, be ours. Make us yours. Not just in this moment of celebration, but in every moment, in every way, for all our days to come.

Amen.