11 August, 2017

Farewell Liturgy

Here is a ODT Farewell Liturgy A5 Booklet and a PDF Farewell Liturgy A5 Booklet

As a church, we do well at good-byes in funerals. But what about when someone leaves us? I like to create a sense of praying our goodbyes in other situations too. This liturgy happens after the confession at 8:00 and 9:30am service on a Sunday. We have used it for parishioners retiring to other areas, those who shift out of the area and staff leaving. We have offered it to disgruntled parishioners leaving, but the offer has not yet been accepted. I also used a form of it when Whangarei Parish decided to split itself up further, into three districts. The idea is that it brings a sense of closure, and allows us to name the insecurities around change.

Beginning of farewell (this is not on the screen)

God of our beginnings and endings, we celebrate all we have shared with (person/people leaving named) and ask your blessing as she/he/they continue(s) on her/his/their journey. May the love that is in our hearts be a bond that unites us forever, wherever we may be. May the power of your presence bless this moment of our leave-taking; this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.

Psalm 121/139 (adapted)

1 You, O God, will guard us from all evil:
you will protect our lives.

2 You will protect our going out and our coming in:
both now and for ever.

3 Where can I flee from your Spirit:
or where can I flee from your presence?

4 If I climb to heaven, you are there:
if I lie in the grave, you are there also.

5 If I take the wings of the morning:
and dwell in the depths of the sea,

6 Even there, your hand shall lead me:
your hand shall hold me fast.

Glory to the Father and to the Son: and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now: and shall be forever. Amen.

Farewell readings to be read by different people, they are not on the screen

Philippians 1. 3, 4, 9

I thank my God, every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel. And this is my prayer, that love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ we may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Exodus 13: 21-22

The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

John 3: 5-8

Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 16: 21-24

When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-9

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Farewell Prayers

These are on the screen, (person/people leaving named) come(s) forward…


As you journey onward,
we ask forgiveness where we have failed you;
we give thanks for all you have given us;
we assure you of our love and prayers.


As I/we leave, I/we ask forgiveness where we have failed you; I/we give thanks for all that you have given to us; we assure you of our love and prayers.


As you experience the pain of change,
and the insecurity of moving on,
we pray that you may also experience
the blessing of inner growth.


I know that God goes with me/us.


As you meet the poor, the pained,
and the stranger on The Way,
we pray that you may see in each one
the face of Christ.


I know that God goes with me/us.


As you walk through the good times and the bad,
we pray that you may never lose sight
of the shelter of God’s loving arms.


I know that God goes with me/us.


As you ponder your decisions
and wonder over the fruits of your choice,
we pray that the peace of Christ
may reign in your heart.


I know that God goes with me/us.


We give thanks to God for the gifts and talents that God has given you, and that you were willing to exercise these gifts here. God has blessed us through you


I give thanks to God for the ministry here.

Laying on of hands

We now invite forward those who would like to come and lay hands on those leaving, to pray for them.

The Peace

We praise and thank you, God of the journey, for our brother(s) and sister(s) who is/are soon to leave us. We entrust her/him/them into your loving care, knowing that you are always the faithful traveller and companion on The Way.

Shelter and protect her/him/them from all harm and anxiety. Grant her/him/them the courage to meet the future, and grace to let go into new life; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Then each person present may make the sign of the cross on the forehead of those leaving, saying,

Go in peace, for our God goes with you.

‘The Sign of Peace’ is exchanged.

The service now continues on with our normal service

We use this alternate dismissal…


Go into this moment in faith and may the Holy God prepare a holy ground for you, Christ Jesus take your hand on the way and the Spirit surround you with grace.