A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

Te Tikanga Karakia mō
te Takahi Whare

Prayers in a House after Death

Returning to a house after the death of a family member can be a painful experience for a family. Friends may support them by accompanying them and sharing in a meal.

In this service the Church marks the family's return home. It reflects the continuing care for their well-being as they take up their life again. In Te Takahi Whare and the meal, the house is re-hallowed for the now smaller family. This is marked by a formal entry into the house.

The service takes place at the earliest possible time after The Funeral Service. Where possible, every room is visited, either by the minister alone or by the minister leading the bereaved family and friends.

In this service the English parallels rather than translates the Māori text.

This service is normally conducted by a priest. A duly authorised layperson may take the service.

If it is the custom of the people concerned that the house should be sprinkled with water, the water should be sanctified before the service. (The form of sanctifying is given at the conclusion of this service.)

This service may be adapted as appropriate for use in other places.

Where possible, the service should begin outside the house.

The Entry

The priest says

In the name of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The peace of God our heavenly Father,
and of Jesus Christ, the source of peace,
and of the Holy Spirit, the comforter,
come upon this house
and all who live here.

The priest and people now enter the house, the priest saying

Open, O God, the door of this house;
enter it and let your light shine here,
to drive away all darkness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For as by a man came death,
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

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

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.    Amen.

If water is to be used the priest shall visit various places, inside and outside the house, and sprinkle water, saying

We sprinkle this place
to wash away the effects of all evil,
whether of people, or of spiritual powers,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Concluding Prayers

The priest prays

Lord Jesus Christ,
by your holy apostle you have taught us
that our sorrow should not be without hope
for the dead that rest with you;
visit with your compassion
those who mourn the loss of their loved ones,
and wipe away all tears from their eyes;
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

the Father of mercies and giver of all comfort,
look down in pity and compassion
upon your sorrowing servants;
lighten the burdens
which weigh them down in soul and body;
shelter them from the forces of evil;
let the light of your presence shine upon them
and give them perfect peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A hymn may be sung.

The Lord be with you.
The Lord bless you.

Be at peace.
Thanks be to God.

The priest may give a blessing or the following may be said.

The God of peace,
who by the blood of the eternal covenant
brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
make you perfect in every good work,
working in you that which is pleasing and good;
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

When water is to be sanctified, the priest shall say

Almighty and everliving God,
in baptism you give water a holy use to wash away sin:
sanctify this water
as a sign of cleansing from all the powers of evil;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who triumphed over evil on the cross,
and now lives and reigns with you for ever.