Here is my benediction from the last Sunday of the year. The idea (and phrase) to “bless the year” came from John O’Donnohue. His blessing of the year is different from mine, but there are echoes of his here, especially in the phrase “bless the year for all you have learned, all you have loved, and even all you have lost” (as I tell my students, acknowledging sources matters!).
Give thanks for the gifts which the year that is ending has brought you; for surprises of grace that came your way when your hope was nearly gone; and for love which found you when you were at your lowest.
Bless the year for all you have learned, all you have loved, and even all you have lost. Bless the year for what you have discovered. Bless the year for who you have become.
Even more, bless the God in whose hands all our years unfold.
Go now in the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Amen.