Installation Scripture and Prayer
Biblical text and holy words are an important part of the rite of installation. Giving the ceremony both context and history, no installation would be complete without installation scripture and especially dedicated prayer.
Finding bible verses dedicated specifically to installation is a difficult task as the spiritual ceremony is a mostly modern exercise. However there are many verses about pastoral encouragement and spiritual leadership. Below is a partial list of relevant text from the King James Bible online:
2 Timothy 4:1-5 - I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.
Acts 20:28 - Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
2 Timothy 4:2 - Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
1 Peter 4:11 - If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Romans 13:1-14 - Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Ephesians 4:11-12 - And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Isaiah 52:7 - How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Hebrews 13:17 - Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 - I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.
Joshua 21:45 - There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
John 1:1-51 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Acts 16:5 - And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Romans 10:15 - And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
1 Timothy 5:17 - Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
There is additional scripture that can be used to celebrate or mark the occasion of installation. See more examples here.
Every church will interpret its installation service slightly differently. Some churches mark installation during a special service; others celebrate the rite of passage within a traditional Sunday service. One of the consistent elements of installation involves prayer. The message of most prayers geared to honor installation offer support to a new pastor, elder or minister. These prayers ask for guidance and blessings for the individual being installed.
This installation prayer was written by Kathleen Rolenz with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Spirit of Life, known to us in beginnings and endings,
In possibilities and promises
We give thanks for all that has led to this moment,
And all that is yet to come.
We give thanks for those who mentored us—
The women and men in our lives who were our teachers,
Who said the turning words of encouragement
When we needed them the most—
We give thanks for this church that has seen and embraced so much change,
And for all those who have sustained this community of faith for many years past and
For generations to come.
We give thanks for this minister and all that she has given and will give
to the living tradition we share.
May the words we have spoken and the dreams we have shared and the faith we have renewed this afternoon give this minister wisdom, comfort, and courage for all the days ahead, for the way is often hard, the path is never clear, and the stakes are very high.
But deep down there is another truth,
She is not, we are never alone.
Bless us in that knowledge, O Spirit of Life,
and let the congregation say
The style of installation prayer varies greatly from parish to parish. Here’s a very different approach with much less structure. This YouTube video shows an installation prayer used in the installation of Pastor Andrew Arrowood as Pastor of Chapel North.