It can be a challenge to write an expressive invocation that celebrates a retiring co-worker or friend while being inclusive of those of all faiths attending the celebration. Though many think of an invocation as a type of prayer, invocations are foremost a way of offering thanks for service and blessings and calling on a higher power to continue to bless and guide the guest of honour. As you write your invocation, keep the religious language nonsectarian and focus on the contributions and future of the retiring teacher.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Jot down some notes about the retiring teacher before you begin writing the invocation. Consider his contribution to the field, how he has improved others' lives and the wishes you have for his future.
Determine the tone for the invocation. Consider the traits of your guest of honour. Does she has a quick sense of humour? Is she formal in her dealings with others? Match the tone of your invocation to the teacher's personality so that she feels you have written a speech individualised for her.
Open the invocation with a religion-neutral greeting. If you want to have a formal, prayerlike invocation, using the phrase "Dear God" generally encompasses people of all faiths. Alternately, a religion-free invocation might begin with an inspirational quote from a famous author or statesman.
Comment on the contributions the retiring teacher has made and the ways he has touched the lives of co-workers, students and teachers. This part of the invocation is about honouring the gifts the teacher has exercised in his career.
Offer words of wisdom and guidance, and best wishes for the teacher. If the teacher is religious, you may ask God to protect and guide her as she moves into a new phase of her life.
Close the invocation by offering your best wishes. For a religious invocation, you may close with the traditional "amen."
Tips and warnings
- Keep the invocation under three minutes so you don't lose the attention of those attending the retirement celebration.
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