The Blessing of a Ship
This Sample Service is part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more services, prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.
THE BLESSING OF A SHIP
The minister/chaplain shall say:
Seeing in the course of our duty we are set in the midst of many and great dangers, and that we cannot be faithful to the high trust placed in us without the help of Almighty God, let us pray for his blessing upon this ship and all who [will] serve in her.
The chaplain shall ask for God's blessing on this ship, using this ancient call (from the Gaelic Blessing, 1589):
I call upon you to pray for God's blessing on this ship.
May God the Father bless her.
Bless this ship.
May Jesus Christ bless her.
Bless this ship.
May the Holy Spirit bless her.
Bless this ship.
Let us pray for those involved in the life of .... [name of ship]
Lord, we give you thanks for those who built this ship, for those who designed and installed its equipment and those who [will] use it. We pray especially for the captain and crew, and for all who run and maintain this vessel. May all they undertake be in accordance with your will and supported by your blessing. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray for our homes, and particularly the homes of those away for long periods at sea.
O God, who sent your Son Jesus Christ to live in an earthly home for our sakes; we ask your blessing on our homes and all members of our families. Grant that we may always remain faithful to them and they to us, and help us to remember that, though time and distance separate us, we are all bound together by your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Part of the Prayer of St Francis:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace
Where there is hatred, let us sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy.
A prayer for perseverance:
O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished which yieldeth the true glory; through him who, for the finishing of thy work, laid down his life, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
THE BLESSING CEREMONY
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who has made heaven and earth.
Let us pray:
O Lord God Almighty, let your blessing be upon this ship, and upon all who serve and sail in her. May good success and your protection always be with them; in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father... Amen.
O eternal God, Lord of land and sea, be pleased to receive into your almighty and most gracious protection this vessel and those who sail in her. Preserve them from all dangers at sea, that they may return in safety to enjoy the blessings of the land. Bless the fruits of their labours, that through them your will may be done and your name glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Go forth in peace, be of good courage, hold fast to what is good, render to no-one evil for evil, strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, help the afflicted, honour everyone, love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all evermore. Amen.