What exactly is a benediction? A benediction is a short, concise blessing from scripture that can be a challenge, an assurance, a promise, or principle to live by. It can also pronounce protection, comfort, abundance, or some other word of assurance. It represents a joyful call to unity, faith, patience in trial, and faithful practice for the church based on the unchanging and unfailing God.
The word benediction means “to say good, to voice good thoughts, to pronounce”. What makes good thoughts good? If they are rooted in the unfailing promises of God. A benediction rooted in scripture will fulfill itself because it must come to pass (Christ will present you blameless), or is reflecting on a truth that is already evident (The Lord is your refuge). Whatever is true fulfills itself.
The reading aloud of a benediction at the conclusion of a church service is often a reflection on the point(s) of the sermon, and is one last scripture-saturated blast at the congregation before they go out into their week. It takes the pressure off of the leader to say something clever, original, or made up. Since it is from the word of God, we can rest assured that it will not return void.
Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of a few benediction passages loosely categorized by topic. Some have been reworked/retranslated (all are based off the ESV) in order to make them more conducive for the public reading at the end of a service. Some also were in the middle of a sentence, and so the grammar had to be adjusted.
I’d recommend you memorize at least one or two of the following passages just in case you leave your Bible in your seat, lose your place, or forget which passage you chose (yes it can happen to you!). Ideally, you have a few in your head beforehand and as you listen to the sermon you prayerfully narrow down which one you want to use, then bookmark it for quick reference to read after the last song.
If you have more you would suggest, leave in the comments below! These are the ones I use the most. Click here for a larger list of benedictions from Sovereign Grace!
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 46:1-3 (reworked)
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
we will not fear.
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Perseverance in Doing Good
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Hebrews 13:20,21 (reworked)
20 Now may the same God of peace who, by the blood of the eternal covenant brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, while working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
II Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Ephesians 3:16-21 (reworked)
16 May God grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(could stop there or keep going, or use only these last 2 verses)
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
I Thessalonians 3:12-13
12 May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
Romans 15:5,6 (Also Perseverance)
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 13:11
11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
II Thessalonians 2:16,17
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
II Corinthians 4:5-6 (reworked)
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord… 6 For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (can cut out vs 5 to shorten)
II Peter 1:2,3
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
II Corinthians 13:14
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father — to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.