Leaving your home can be an emotional time for many reasons. Our homes are places of many memories, special events and achievements, and for some a much loved and treasured garden.  Award-winning poet, historian and author, Dr Jane Simpson first sensed the need to write a liturgy to farewell a home 20 years ago when her parents sold the family home of 42 years. However, it wasn’t until the Christchurch earthquakes that the lack of any liturgy really showed. She argued the need for a liturgy to farewell a home in an academic article and this led to her writing the liturgy itself. Her book, The Farewelling of a Home: a liturgy, was launched on February 20th this year at the Transitional Cathedral.

Rev Rawinia Douglas became the first householder to use it.  Rawinia and her husband were moving back up north to be closer to family.  Marjorie Smart was there and had this to say “It was lovely to be present with old friends on this special occasion.  The words felt very appropriate in each space, and there was a lovely sense of whānau and whānaungatanga overall. It was indeed a completion of that part of the family’s life here.  And I know that they felt vey good about it.”

Margaret Brand has recently moved out of her home and into an apartment; when she heard about the book, she jumped at the chance to use it.  She said that “The booklet Farewelling of a Home was very helpful.  I would have liked more time and included others who have also shared special times in my home.  Somehow the last days just seemed to have flown, and it was just one foot after the other.  But to be able to move from room to room remembering, blessing each room, and saying “thank you” was special.  It was good to have a liturgy to follow. I recommend it wholeheartedly.” 

The author says on her website “The purpose of this new liturgy is to remember, say goodbye, grieve the loss of a home, and proclaim hope. It has been written for householders in a range of different contexts: to mark life-changing transitions (such as moving into a retirement village or into care), when forced to leave by economic factors, and when made homeless by natural disasters. The publication of The Farewelling of a Home: a liturgy has prompted people to look back on their lives, to key transitions that went unacknowledged and problems unresolved.” You can read more on the website: https://www.poiema.co.nz/ 

If you or someone you know think this is something that you would like to do for your home or want to know more about, please ask one of the prayer ministers or contact the parish office. We have several copies of the booklet for use at St. Barnabas