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Worship: Backpack/Back-to-School Sundays

resources from judicatories, including re-opening guidelines and online worship videos; online hospitality & participation; engaging children, youth, and intergenerational; lectionary & preaching; liturgy, music & liturgical arts; tech & copyright helps;

Liturgical Elements

"Be Curious" Backpack TagsIllustrated Ministry's Be Curious. Ask Questions. backpack tags are 'designed to inspire both children and adults to embrace their inquisitive nature and explore the world around them' and are accompanied by a free Back-to-School Worship Liturgy.

Backs of three children walking together wearing backpacks.BACK TO SCHOOL BLESSINGS & PRAYERS free download from The Rev. Jennifer McNally (St Anne's Episcopal and dinner church Table 229; St Paul, MN) and The Rev. Anna V. Ostend Moore (St Mark's Episcopal, Minneapolis)

Blessing of the Backpacks Toolkit image 1Traci Smith offers an entire toolkit for preparing for Blessing the Backpacks, including:

  • Instruction Sheet
  • Liturgical Elements (3 simple prayers and printable blessing card)
  • Parent Letter
  • Family Promo Postcard
  • Social Media Images

 Faith at Home author, Wendy Claire, shares the excerpted Backpack Blessings.

A Service of a New School Year by the Rev. David Henson, Trinity Episcopal Church, Asheville, NC; abbreviated and adapted by St Paul's, Chattanooga, TN to include a greater emphasis on social action.

Pillowcase Prayers

Instead of backpack tags, this church gave away pillowcases with a bedtime prayer in hopes of encouraging family prayer practices at home.

Backs of three children walking together wearing backpacks.Back to School Blessings & Prayers: A Handout

for use at church or at home 

Kara Root from in the hereandnow blog offers this Hedgehog Blessing (for Back to School).

Going back to school is always accompanied by a swirl of emotions. This is especially true in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Stephanie Crowder offers this Spirit-inspired prayer to bless the fall season and the return to school.

austin-pacheco-uZkgI3opcvE-unsplash.jpgRev. Angela Denker offers this ABC Prayer for those going back to school - and the parents and communities supporting them.

MennoMedia offers this free Blessing for Teachers and Learners.

Back-to-School Worship LiturgyFrom Illustrated Ministry: a FREE Blessing of the Backpacks and Back-to-School Worship Liturgy - includes a Call to Worship, Opening Prayer, Blessing of the Backpacks Liturgy, Prayers of the People, Closing Prayer, and a Benediction.

Vibrant Church CommunicationsVibrant Church Communications offers Blessed with Hope Stickers, and Joy + Peace Stickers, Backpack Tags, and Digital Assets (for welcoming everyone back to the church program year).


Abuelita's Secret: Alma Flor Ada, Jacobo Muñiz: 9781478868019:  Books     All Welcome Here     Little Mole Goes to School

Judicatory Resources

Cecilia Salamanca, left, and a young friend carry school backpacks. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS BACK TO CHURCH & SCHOOL

Pray, bless, support: Ideas and aids for back-to-school ministry

By Kathy Noble

Back-to-School Resources & Ideas

If you want to get your fall kickoff Sunday off to a great start, consider teaching your community an upbeat new song, “Welcome Home.” Check out the lyric video here.

There are many options for accessing this music and teaching it to your community:

  • Share it from Apple Music or Spotify
  • Purchase the sheet music and chord charts from us here
  • If you have a CCLI license, you can access the song on SongSelect
  • Purchase stems and different mixes for this song on MultiTracks

Blessing of the Backpacks: 6 Tips for Success

Churches should absolutely honor and bless students and teachers at this important time. One popular method is a “Blessing of the Backpacks” ceremony. This is a very simple event which can make a HUGE impact. Here are our tips and suggestions:

Back To School Donation Tree Apples

Many parents, grandparents, and other caring adults are happy to donate items for classrooms but don’t know what teachers really need. Putting out these apples allows teachers to get the items specifically needed for their room.


Stickers & Tags

Back To School Gift Tag First Day of School Tag Printable image 1 Hand out bags of Smartfood Popcorn with THESE tags on them at a back to school fair. They can be edited to have your church name at the bottom. Give out extras at your Blessing of the Backpacks Sunday and encourage students, teachers, etc., to share them with others on the first day of school.