AN ORDER FOR THE LEAVE–TAKING OF A CHURCH BUILDING

This order is intended to be used within the final service of worship held in a church building or sanctuary that is about to be razed or that is hereafter to be used for other purposes. The service as a whole should follow a pattern familiar to the congregation, with this order concluding the service. If the service begins in an old building or sanctuary and continues with a procession to a new building or sanctuary and a service there, this order should immediately precede the procession. If this order is being used by a congregation that is disbanding, the italicized words within brackets [] and An Order for Disbanding a Congregation may be added.

 

Included in the bulletin or in the earlier portions of the service may be:

 

1) A brief history of the congregation and of its building(s)

 

2) Reminiscences by members of the congregation

 

3) A listing of former pastors and leaders

 

4) Greetings from former pastors, some of whom may be present and participating in the service

 

LITANY OF THANKSGIVING *

 

Blessed be the name of God,

   whose Word has long been proclaimed within this hallowed place.

R  We give you thanks, O God.

 

As generations have prayed their prayers and sung your praises here,

   your Spirit has blessed countless worshipers. R

 

We have celebrated the Lord's Supper here

   and been nurtured by it through our journey in faith. R

 

We have rejoiced here as believers have confessed faith in Christ. R

 

Here we have baptized our children and mourned our dead. R

 

As new families have been created through marriage,

   we, our parents, and our children have vowed at this altar

   to love, honor, and cherish always. R

 

From within these walls many have gone out to serve you in the world. R

 

As we go now from this house into a further journey of faith,

we give you thanks, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

HYMN * Suggested from UMH:

 

563  Father, We Thank You                                     102  Now Thank We All Our God

565  Father, We Thank You                                     393  Spirit of the Living God

92  For the Beauty of the Earth                                 558  We Are the Church

 

 

As this hymn is sung, the Bible, sacramental vessels, cross, and other objects may be removed from their places in the chancel and held by designated persons until they are carried out during the recessional hymn.

 

A statement may be made regarding the disposition of the pulpit, Lord's table, baptismal font, and other furnishings that cannot be carried out during the recessional hymn.

 

[DECLARATION OF DECONSECRATION]

 

The bishop or bishop's representative (who may be the pastor) may say:

 

This building,

   having been consecrated

             and named the Name  United Methodist Church,

together with the land on which it stands and all objects remaining in it,

   we now deconsecrate and release for any honorable use.

We declare that it is no longer

   the place of meeting of a United Methodist congregation.

 

If the congregation is disbanding, a Declaration Disbanding the Congregation immediately follows the Declaration of Deconsecration.

 

A response such as Tino tenda Jesu (United Methodist Book of Worship, Hymn 203) or  Shalom to You (UMH 666) may be sung.

 

CLOSING PRAYER *

 

O God, as in your great goodness

   you have blessed the many ministries carried on

            by this congregation in this building,

so, now and in the days and years to come,

we pray that you may greatly bless your many ministries

   in your ongoing Church.

Bless those persons who have worshiped in this building,

   and will now be worshiping

             in their new building (in other congregations and other buildings).

As disciples of the risen Christ,

   may we be channels at all times of your steadfast love;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER

 

RECESSIONAL HYMN Suggested from UMH:

 

671  Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing                 664  Sent Forth by God's Blessing

117  O God, Our Help in Ages Past

 

See also other hymns.

 

GOING FORTH *

 

If the congregation is moving to a new building nearby, the procession begun during the Recessional Hymn may continue to the new building, where there may be an opening service of worship.

 

 

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Copyright:  “An Order for the Leave–Taking of a Church Building and An Order for Disbanding a Congregation” Copyright © 1992 UMPH.

Categories: Services Related to the Church Building

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