Matariki Service, St Andrew's on the Terrace, Wellington

Matariki: Children of Earth and Sky

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love received demands love returned
Love towards us, love going out from us

For this service which takes its inspiration from Matariki, we have tried to use te reo Māori appropriately, to acknowledge the sources of mihi and waiata, readings and graphics, and to accurately translate or transliterate) from English into Māori for some parts of the liturgy.

For many of us, however:

Mo te taha ki te reo Maori, he akonga noa iho tatau.
(As far as the Maori language is concerned, we are only learners.)


[Note: we found the service went over time – especially as we celebrated communion that day - and suggest you edit and/or substitute readings, hymns etc relevant to your community.)


Whakaria mai /How Great Thou Art [1]

E te Atua —Alleluia Aotearoa 31

Where mountains rise to open skies — Alleluia Aotearoa 155


God of all time, all seasons of our living — Alleluia Aotearoa 49

Let there be respect for the earth (Colin Gibson) - downloaded from

Waiata: Te Aroha


In place of the lectionary readings (The Word in Texts), we read the following:

The Creation: from 'Paki Waitara: Myths & Legends of the Māori', Queenie Rikihana Hyland, 1997, Reed Books

Contemporary reading: Kua wheturangitia koe (after Sappho) © Fionnaigh McKenzie , 2005, Wellington NZ [contact c/- St Andrew’s on The Terrace]

Introduction to Maori Star Lore by Kay Leather — Kay's links are to Atainga a Mahaki iwi and Mangatu Marae through her paternal grandfather. Her Maori family name is Te Puru.


Māori creation traditions by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal. 'Māori creation traditions', from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

“We are the ashes of dead stars” - Extract from Tomorrow’s Catholic , by Michael Morwood ( Twenty-Third Publications, April 1997 ISBN: 0896227243)


Lights of the world

Prayers of the People: In kauri and icon, in bread and wine… we celebrate

Litany of Celebration

All © Bronwyn White, 2005, Wellington NZ [contact c/- St Andrew’s on The Terrace]

Karakia mo te Kai downloaded from

STARS for Liturgy of Celebration: We had baskets of small gold stars [you could use cut out stars of any size – perhaps children could make them the previous Sunday] to share with congregation. The stars represent ancestors and those gone before us, and are reminders to be “lights in the world”. While people brought forward family photos etc, we played a CD of music by Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns.

WHAKATAUĀKI (Proverbs) & MIHI downloaded from

RESPONSIVE BLESSING: Aotearoa Litany by Anne Powell (in Firesong, Steele Roberts Publications Ltd, Wellington, NZ)

PHOTOGRAPH used on Order of Service:

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION: Photographs, graphics, hymn lyrics and whakatauāki were shown during the service, to add visual interest, illustrate the readings and waiata. This is not essential, but if you would like to do the same, you can download images from various Matariki-themed websites or get in touch with Bronwyn White (St Andrew’s on The Terrace can provide contact details) for website addresses or copies of the photos we used.

The service was prepared and presented by members of our ad hoc Liturgy Group.

In the weeks beforehand, we placed the notice (below) in our e-newsletter and Orders of Service, letting the community know it would be a different type of service from the usual, and inviting people to help with readings and take part in the liturgy.

(As well as the Sunday service, members of the community prepared and took part in a PARISH MATARIKI MID-WINTER CELEBRATION on the Saturday evening. To welcome the Matariki constellation and the passing of the winter solstice, we gathered together for a festive meal, an audio-visual presentation and great music, including waiata which we learned and sang together.)

Matariki : Celebrating Aotearoa’s New Year

St Andrew’s on The Terrace—Sunday [date]

Next Sunday our service is inspired by Matariki: a time to prepare, learn, share and celebrate.

Our service will include a liturgy of:

  • Acknowledging family—time for remembering those who have passed on from this world
  • Sharing our resources
  • Celebrating our culture, language, spirit and people
  • Dreaming and setting goals for the future.

If you can—please bring some or all of:

  • photographs of your whānau and tipuna (ancestors)
  • ideas about the future—personal or community goals—and for respecting Mother Earth
  • food items for [Peter’s Pantry basket] [your local food bank] [towels or men’s clothing for the night shelter (in bags for easy transportation, please)]

If you are reasonably fluent in te reo Māori—or at least, confident in reading some Māori words as part of a mainly English language reading, we’d love for you to take part.

Please talk with [name] after today’s service, or email to email address

Order of Service


MIHI (leader and response)

HYMN / WAIATA: Whakaria mai /How Great Thou Art

PRAYER / KARAKIA: Lights of the world


TIME WITH THE CHILDREN / Te taimi o nga tāmariki


HYMN / WAIATA: E te Atua


Korero (i): The Creation (Queenie Rikihana Hyland)

Korero (ii): Contemporary reading—poem (Fionnaigh McKenzie)
Korero (iii): Introduction to Maori Star Lore (Kay Leather)

HYMN / WAIATA: Where mountains rise to open skies


Part (i): Māori creation traditions ( Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal)

Part (ii): “ We are the ashes of dead stars” – Extract from Tomorrow’s Catholic (Michael Morwood)

HYMN / WAIATA: Cosmic Celebration

LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY - People share news and notices and visitors are welcomed—

Panui: Te wairua o te whanau; Haere mai o to manuhiri



THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE - In kauri and icon, in bread and wine… we celebrate

(Bronwyn White)


HYMN / WAIATA: God of all time, all seasons of our living


HYMN / WAIATA: Let there be respect for the earth


WAIATA (instead of Threefold Amen): Te Aroha

MATARIKI - a time for:

Whakapapa: Pinepine te kura, hau te kura

Acknowledging the family—

Remembering those who have passed on from this world to the next.

Takoha: Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te iwi

Sharing and kindness—

To acknowledge what we have and what we have to give.

Papatuanuku: Me aro ki te ha o papatuanuku

Respecting Mother Earth—

To learn about the land and the forest.

Ranginui: Mauri tu, Mauri ora

Looking Skyward—

Look towards Ranginui, at the stars patterns in our skies.

Dream and set goals for the future.

Hakari: Kanapanapa mai ana a Matariki

Matariki Shines on the New Year—

To celebrate our culture, language, spirit and people


Kaiārahi (leader):

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kua tae mai

ki tēnei whare karakia.

Haere mai e te whanau.

Haere mai e te manuhiri.


Greetings to everyone.

We pay tribute to whose who have passed on -

You who have become stars in the cloak of Ranginui.

We pay tribute to the living.

In acknowledging the Almighty

We greet the land, sea and the sky.

Welcome, welcome, welcome to this place,

to this house of prayer.

Gather together

As one

I greet you, Greetings to us all.

Nga tāngata (the people—response):

Tēnā koutou

tēnā koutou

tēnā tātou katoa.

We celebrate today with traditional Presbyterian solemnity,

With Pasifika joyousness and with celebrity razzmatazz*.

We pay tribute to those barrier-breakers and culture-shifters

who help us see the world through other eyes

who, like Matariki, sometimes called the eyes of God,

Shine for us with new ideas and old knowledge re-presented

Letting us in, to different or parallel worlds.

Especially we give thanks for those who do this through arts and music

story and film, dance and song.

* NOTE: We played a CD of Howard Morrison and dance band, rather than organ or piano music.

Our first hymn combines an old Pakeha traditional hymn with an interpretation in te reo Maori – presented on CD with celebrity razzmatazz.

Let us celebrate, as we sing together – Whakaria Mai

HYMN / WAIATA: Whakaria mai /How Great Thou Art

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
thy power throughout the universe displayed
Then sings my soul my saviou r God to thee:
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul my saviour God to thee
How great thou art; how great thou art.

Whakaria mai
Tōu ripeka ki ahau
Tiaho mai
a roto i te pō
Ki kona au
Titiro atu ai
Ora, mate
Hei ahau koe noho ai

Translation (not sung)

your cross to me.
Let it shine
out of the dark.
There I will be
In life, in death
let me rest in thee


Lights of the world ( Bronwyn White)

Light of Matariki stars

Light of Marama – the moon

Light of Ra – the sun

Light of worlds and galaxies

Reflect off us

Shine in us

That we may be light-sharers



Nga tamariki – children of earth and sky

Caring for our mother the earth

Our father the sky

the atmosphere around us;

dreamers and scatterers of stars.





Let us be light.

Let us shine!



We light the rainbow room candle each week to celebrate the inclusiveness of our community, and especially our children who, later, will be going to their “rainbow room” programme.

TIME WITH THE CHILDREN / Te taimi o nga tāmariki

Story for the children.

Mihi - Children say together:

Write it in the sky

Write it in the land

Write it in the heart of the people

The greatest thing is love

Tihei Mauri Ora! Behold there is Life!

PASSING THE PEACE—Te Rangimārie HYMN / WAIATA: E te Atua—Alleluia Aotearoa 31

E te Atua aroha mai

E te Atua aroha mai

E te Atua aroha mai

ake ake tonu e

E te Atua manaaki mai

E te Atua manaaki mai

E te Atua manaaki mai

ake ake tonu e

E te Atua awhina mai

E te Atua awhina mai

E te Atua awhina mai

ake ake tonu e

THE WORD IN TEXTS Korero (i): The Creation (Queenie Rikihana Hyland)

In the beginning, before there was light, the world as we know it was darkness and nothing - Te Kore, the Nothingness.

Te Pō-nui - The Great Night
Te Pō-roa - The Long Night
Te Pō-uriuri - The Dark Night
Te Pō-kerekere - The Intensely Dark Night
Te Pō-tiwha - The Gloom-laden Night
Te Pō-tangotango - The Night to be Felt
Te Pō-tē-kitea - The Night Unseen

Out of the stillness and dimness the beginnings of life stirred from the nothing.

Rangi-nui, the Sky Father, looked down with loving eyes into the beauty of Papa-tū-ā-nuku, the Earth Mother. He had longed for her from above and slowly they moved towards each other until they came together and were joined in a close, loving embrace.

The offspring of Rangi and Papa were numerous, and they lived in the cramped darkness between their parents. The Sky lay on the Earth and no light could come between them. Her coverings were rank low weed, and the sea was dark and putrid.

At length the children of Rangi and Papa came together to decide what should be done about their parents so that they could stand, stretch and grow. "Shall we kill our parents or shall we separate them?" they asked.

Tū-mata-uenga, the fiercest son and the god of war, said simply: "We have no choice. Let us kill our mother and father!"

But Tāne-mahuta, father of all the forests, protested and said, "No, no, it is better that they be prised apart. Let our father stand high above us and our mother remain close to us below and continue to be our nursing mother."

[The story continues with the activities of Rangi and Papa’s children; we will leave them trying without success to force the heavens from the earth.]

Finally, Tāne-mahuta, over an immense length of time as he grew as the kauri tree, very slowly was able to move his parents apart. But Rangi, the Sky, looked down upon his wife and in his longing shed vast quantities of tears so that much of the land was covered by the sea. Papa, the Earth, looked up at her husband and in her yearning she too wept for him.

Tāne-mahuta looked about him and felt sorry for his mother Papa in her nakedness. He raced about the land clothing her body in all the beauty of living things not dreamt of in the dark world. Trees, birds, bees and living things of every hue and colour he brought to life. He urged the creatures to sing and flit about the forest to bring cheer to his mother in her unhappiness.

Looking up, he sought also to clothe the darkness of his father, Rangi, who sprawled cold and grey in the vastness above. He took the bright sun and put it on Rangi's back, and the shining moon and put it in the front. He travelled through the heavens and found a garment glowing red. This he spread from east to west and north to south. But once in place he decided it was too much and in his haste to rip it off a small fragment remained in the west. This can still be seen today at the time of the setting sun.

But still he was not happy - the nights were long and dark before Marama the Moon brightened the night sky.

Tāne-mahuta journeyed far to the ends of the world: to Maunganui, the Great Mountain, where the Shining Ones lived, and which he gathered into a great basket and spilled into a dark blue mantle, forming the Milky Way; and to Mahiku-rangi, to the House of the Guardian of the Stars, where he sought and was given the morning stars. The four sacred holders of the world [Hira-utu, Fish by the Land; Hira-tai, Fish of the Sea; Pari-nuku, fish by the Sea; and Pari-rangi, Cliff of the Heavens] he placed at the four corners of the compass.

Lastly he took the five stars [Ao-tahi, Puaka, Tuku-rua, Tama-rereti and Te- Waka-a-Tama-rereti ] and he formed a cross in the south - Taki-o-Autahi.

When finally his work was finished Tāne-mahuta looked up in awe at Rangi, his father, and declared that truly his beauty was indescribable; he was an ariki, like his beautiful forest- and fern-clad wife Papa-tū-ā-nuku beneath him.

Korero (ii): Contemporary reading Kua wheturangitia koe - after Sappho ( Fionnaigh McKenzie)

After the moon turns

I wait for you —


tilts over the horizon

rivers wick away

the darkness you leave

the water tapu

in your wake

I wait for light —

our sun burns alone.

Korero (iii): Introduction to Maori Star Lore (Kay Leather)

In the long evenings after sunset, the stars slowly appear like little suns lighting up the inky black velvet of the night sky. Swimming across the darkness is Te Ikaroa (the Milky Way), the great fish of Rangi, the Sky Father.

In an unpredictable world, the stars were predicable, unchanging, and immortal. Stars always rose in the East, and set in the West. The same constellations always appeared with each season. It never happened that a new pattern of stars, one never seen before, would suddenly appear in the East.

In bygone days, Tohunga Maori (Maori wise men and women) with a special knowledge of the stars spent much time studying the stars. The movement of the nga whetu (the eternal shining ones) followed a seasonal cycle, as did the Earth below, so that their rising and setting marked the progression of the seasons. Certain stars were said to bring the seasons into existence and to send down to the earth the foods that became available at the times of the year associated with them. Such links were the basis of a celestial calendar.

In common with many ancient cultures, tohunga looked for the rising (rebirth of the stars from the fires of Te Ra - the Sun) at dawn, just before sunrise. For many Polynesian groups the appearance of Matariki (the Pleiades), a pretty star cluster in the constellation of Taurus, towards dawn (late May in Aotearoa - New Zealand), marked the beginning of the New Year. Matariki is usually a woman. The seven stars that could be seen with the naked eye were considered to be Matariki and her six daughters.

The end of the year was identified with Matariki’s disappearance in the west as darkness approached. This was the direction and time of day traditionally associated with death and sorrow. The start of the New Year was marked by her reappearance in the north-east before dawn. The east was associated with light, life and wellbeing.

When Matariki first reappeared, she and her daughters were greeted with songs lamenting the loss of those who had died in the previous year. But the singers’ tears were joyful too, because the New Year had begun.


Hear what the Spirit (Wairua Tapu) is saying to the people (nga tāngata):

Thanks be to God / Kia ora ki te Atua

HYMN / WAIATA: Where mountains rise to open skies—Alleluia Aotearoa 155

Where mountains rise to open skies

Your name, O God, is echoed far,

From island beach to kauri’s reach

In water’s light, in lake and star.

Your people’s heart, your people’s part

Be in our caring for this land,

For faith to flower, for aroha

To let each other’s mana stand.

From broken word, from conflict stirred

From lack of vision, set us free

To see the line of your design,

To feel creation’s energy.

Your love be known, compassion shown

That every child have equal scope:

In justice done, in trust begun

Shall be our heritage and hope.

Where mountains rise to open skies

Your way of peace distil the air,

Your spirit bind all humankind

One covenant of life to share!

REFLECTION / KŌRERO WHAKATAU Part (i): Māori creation traditions – (Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal)

Every culture has its traditions about how the world was created. Māori have many of them, but the most important stories are those that tell how darkness became light, nothing became something, earth and sky were separated, and nature evolved. Through the spoken repetition of these stories, the world is constantly being recreated.

Common themes in creation stories

Although various tribes tell different versions of the creation story, there are some themes in common. Most describe movement from Te Kore (nothingness) to something, and from Te Pō (darkness) to Te Ao (light). The separation of earth and sky always features, as does talk of how the gods were responsible for making the natural world.

Common threads in creation stories

Stories about creation have preoccupied people the world over. Every culture has developed and continues to develop an explanation of the origin of the world that speaks meaningfully to contemporary experience. These explanations take numerous forms, including the scientific, artistic and mythological.

Mythological creation traditions arise from a reflection on the nature of life and existence. Once, mythologies were the most common explanation of existence. Every society had a mythic narrative about the origin of life, the nature of being human, the forces of the natural world, and the design of the cosmos. Although unique in their content, Māori creation traditions can be seen in this wider context.

Creation genealogies / Creation and renewal

Often creation is summed up in lists, showing processes in the natural world. For example, the growth of a seed is described in a list that traces the movement from shoot to hair root. These ‘genealogies’ emphasise how life is constantly being recreated.

Some versions of the Māori creation story also include ‘genealogical’ charts, which list organic processes in terms of cause and effect. The following sequences, recorded by the Reverend Māori Marsden of Te Tai Tokerau, describe growth of various kinds.

One tells of the germination of seeds:

Te Pū (shoot)
Te Weu (taproot)
Te More (laterals)
Te Aka (rhizome)
Te Rea (hair root)

Another describes the increase of energy:

Te Rapunga (seeking)
Te Whāinga (pursuit)
Te Kukune (extension)
Te Pupuke (expansion)
Te Hihiri (energy)

Yet another depicts the growth of wisdom and knowledge:

Te Mahara (primordial memory)
Te Hinengaro (sub-conscious wisdom)
Te Whakaaro (seed word)
Te Whē (consciousness)
Te Wānanga (achieved wisdom)

Finally, a sequence outlines the rise of space and time, which existed before Ranginui (the sky) and Papatūānuku (the earth):

Te Hauora (breath of life)
Te Ātāmai (shape)
Te Āhua (form)
Wā (time)
Ātea (space)

These sequences do not describe a central act of creation, but are rather an attempt to understand the perennial process of life itself.

Creation and the Māori world view

Often a mythological creation tradition is so compelling that it can influence all aspects of life. In this way customs, practices and institutions can become an expression of a culture’s foundation story. Many aspects of the Māori world view are influenced by the essential elements of the Māori creation narrative.

A model for behaviour

Creation stories give people a way of looking at their world. These stories tell us about individuals acting in particular ways and securing their position in the world. They stand, therefore, as a model for individual and collective behaviour and aspirations. Legendary heroes act as exemplars of human potential. By capturing the sun, entering the underworld, or fishing up an island, Māui represents the character of the individual who can bring about change and development in a community. The ascent of Tāne through the 12 heavens to obtain the baskets of knowledge symbolises an individual striving toward insight and understanding.

Creation and the oral tradition

Pūrākau (mythological traditions) are statements about the nature of the world, and their repetition echoes the creation story. Every time creation whakapapa (genealogies) and kōrero (stories) are recounted, the world is ritually ‘recreated’.

Many of the gods who represent the divine character or spirit of an aspect of the natural world, such as Rongomātāne of cultivated foods, are included in a genealogical chart, the recitation of which establishes a fundamental relationship between humans and the natural world.

Many Māori creation traditions use symbols of childbirth, the growth of trees, thought, energy and the fertile earth to convey the idea of constant, repeated creation. [A] key aspect of the traditional Māori world view [is that] these symbols convey the idea of a world in a state of perpetual ‘becoming’.

The influence of creation traditions

Creation stories have influenced many aspects of the Māori view of the world. The gods who shaped the natural world, for instance, are seen as role models for human behaviour.

And the repetition of stories and genealogies is seen as a creative act that mimics the original creation of the world.

Part (ii): “We are all made from the ashes of dead stars” (Michael Morwood)

In Tomorrow’s Catholic, Michael Morwood writes about how "a difficulty arises when theology becomes so tied to a particular world view or understanding of the universe that its statements come under threat of being irrelevant if there is a dramatic shift in worldview or cosmology."

First he paraphrases Brian Swimme:

"As you are reading this page, electricity is flowing through your nervous system. On this flow depends all your thinking, your sensations, emotions, and, in fact, your very aliveness.

Ions in the brain ebb and flow as part of this movement, but do not move of their own accord; they have to be stimulated and it is energy soaked molecules in the brain which do this. The molecules get their energy from the food you eat.

In turn the food received its energy from the sun. Of vital importance are the photons which the food receives from the sun because it is these photons, photonic energy, that create the movement of the ions in your brain at this very instant.

The sun produces the photons in its core, where atomic fusion creates helium atoms out of hydrogen atoms and in the process, photons are released in sunlight.

What is most remarkable about all this is that you can trace the process back: the ions in the brain depending on food, the food dependent on photons produced in the core of the sun, the sun resulting from previous supernova explosions when stars exploded and all of this resulting from and a participation in whatever happened in the first moment of the beginning of this universe…

...this photonic shower from the beginning of time powers your thinking… Fires from the beginning of time empower you right now – this instant. What you are thinking and feeling this very moment is possible only through the cosmic fire. Your entire nervous system is rich in this fire.

"We are all made from the ashes of dead stars".

The primeval fireball existed for twenty billion years without self-awareness. The creative work of the supernovas existed for billions of years without self-reflective awareness. That star could not, by itself, become aware of its own beauty or sacrifice. But the star can, through us, reflect back on itself. In a sense, you are the star…

You are that star, brought into a form of life that enables life to reflect on itself. So, yes, the star does know of its great work, of its surrender to allurement, of its stupendous contribution to life, but only through its further articulation – you."

This is a different story about who we are, and its magnificence and grandeur have the capacity to call us into a new consciousness about the response we humans give to life and the respect we give to the rest of creation.

When we consider the development of the universe and our place in it, our sense of wonder cannot fail to be awakened. When we move on to consider the size of the universe, we should give our sense of wonder full rain, for we are now in the realm of an awesome reality, totally beyond our imagination."

Morwood goes on to discuss this in relation to our views of God:

What does all this information about our universe do to our image of God? Each of us has to answer that for ourselves. At the very least our contemplation of the vastness and the wonder, the sheer awesomeness of our universe might put us in touch with the necessity of being "expansive" in our image of God. At the same time we might be more wary of the ways we have "boxed" God, localized God, and limited God within the confines of our images. In colloquial terms, can we allow our image of God "to blow our minds"? Can we try to grasp the smallest insight, in wonder and awe, into the immensity of with whom and with what we are dealing when we try to image the reality we name as "God"?

Even if someone wants to object that the idea of universes is simply scientific theory, the point remains: is our image of God capable of dealing with the theory? Or will we dig in our heels, as in the Galileo affair, and say this concept cannot possibly be entertained because it does not fit in with our theological notions?

Let us pause and consider how this new worldview challenges some of our images of God and ways we think of ourselves in relationship with God.

If God is truly everywhere, even to the limitless vastness of the cosmos and beyond, where does my prayer go when I pray to God? What, who, am I imagining "hears" or "listens to" my prayer? Can and will I think about this, wrestle with the challenge of the questions, and engage the wonder of relationship with Immense Awesomeness and Immense Mystery?

Let our God of presence, love, creativity, freedom and life be beyond our imagination! Let us learn to live in greater awe and wonder as we contemplate and own the contemporary story of human development on planet Earth in this magnificent universe. Let us look more carefully at our response to the gifts of life, intelligence, reason, choice, and love as we contemplate our uniqueness. Let us be more reverent and sensitive towards planet Earth and its life systems which nurtured us into existence.

HYMN / WAIATA: Cosmic Celebration (Words: Ian Cairns. Tune: Hymn to Joy)

Celebrate the cosmic birthing,
Flash of primal energy:
Swirling gases, densing matter
Stuff of galaxies to be.
Celebrate the life-force pulsing
through these 15 billion years,
Trillion, trillion stars emerging
From the cradle of the spheres.

Celebrate the white-heat furnace-
life evoking mother sun;
Celebrate her planet-offspring
Nine, in cosmic dance as one.
Celebrate her favoured daughter,
Earth, in cloak of fragile green;
Cragging rocks, and sounding ocean-
Surface-lashed, beneath serene.

Join the mystic dance of species,
Chaining, weaving, circling, one
Strong-competing, close depending,
Life swift ending, new begun.
Sing our senseful keen awareness-
Form and sound, scent, taste and hue.
High achieving, passing, transient-
Living, dying born anew.


People Share News and Notices and Visitors are Welcomed—

Panui: Te wairua o te whanau

Haere mai o to manuhiri





Kaiārahi (leader) Aroha mai, aroha atu

Ngā tangata: Love towards us, love going out from us

During this liturgy, we will invite those who have brought gifts to share, to bring them forward.

LITANY (Bronwyn White)

Matariki is a time to prepare, learn, share and celebrate.

We acknowledge our whanau, and remember those who have passed on from this world;

We share our resources;

We dream and set goals for the future;

And we celebrate who we are, and our life in this place –

this community, this beautiful homeland – Aotearoa;

this world, this universe.


In our liturgy of celebration,

We share a part of our lives, our hopes

a portion of our resources and gifts.

Some of us have brought photographs of our whanau and tipuna – our family and forebears.

We value families and caregivers of all sorts and shapes and sizes;

And we honour those who have gone before us

The stars in the skies, in our lives

Who shine on in us and in our descendents

Children of earth and sky.

We share our memories and stories – and we receive a star to symbolise our dead.

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.


Matariki is a time of thanks for the good harvest

And for sharing what we have for the good of all.

We all have times of needing help:

Whether financial support,

words of encouragement with a dream or project or relationship,

the loan of a home or a car,

financial help,

professional counselling or the open ear, or arms, of a friend

when the days are dark

and the world feels like Te Kore, the Nothingness.

To those who have shared and supported

and loved us back to the light

we give thanks

and thankfully, we share what we have with others.

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.

If you have photographs of your family,

Food for [name local food bank] or gifts for the night shelter,

Please bring them forward now and take a star - and then return to your seats.

KARAKIA (Hirini Melbourne / Richard Nunns CD)


At Matariki, we pause to stargaze

To dream our dreams

And plan our actions for a better world,

An earth transformed, made new.

We think of the things we can do

To make poverty history;

To care for our mother the earth

To savour and conserve her resources;

To invigorate and sustain this community of faith.

So we share our hopes and dreams,

By writing them down, or sharing them with our neighbour.

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.


And we celebrate our cultures and languages,

Our spirit and our people:

Nga tikanga, nga reo

Nga whenua, nga tangata.

Where we can right past wrongs

Where we can support our nation’s leaders to act righteously

on our behalf

where we can make a difference, by our attitudes of openness

to what we do not know

where we can honour the history of our tangata whenua and our settler or immigrant forebears

where we can welcome newcomers: migrants and refugees,

those who seek justice and freedom in a new country

where we honour the aspirations of our young people

whose dreams & language, music & culture

we don’t always understand

where we can walk in others’ shoes and share their load

let us give of our lives, our resources, and our hearts.

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.

If you have written your ideas about the future – personal or community goals – your intentions for action, your suggestions for respecting our father sky, our mother earth and acting justly towards our sisters and brothers

And if you would like to share your offerings of money please bring them forward now – and take a star: to honour the memory of those who have gone before, and of our own place as reflectors and sharers of light.

For those who would rather remain in the pews, an offering basket and a basket of stars will be handed around; please give and receive your gifts.

Welcome to these many gifts

Let us stand to give thanks for all that we have shared:

Welcome to these many gifts.

You came from the earth’s resources

From the sky resources

Gifted by Antares the star of cultivation

By humanity in this life.


Let us be sustained on all things


securely united together

for endurance

for strength and good health.


We share the prayers of the people:

In kauri and icon, in bread and wine

In worship and shared meals

With kumara and puha

or fish and chips

or haggis and scotch

We celebrate who we come from, who we are

and who we are yet to be –

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.

Wairua Tapu

whispering in a small voice

or shouting in water’s fall and siren’s wail

Creative Spirit that dances across the water

Soaring Spirit of mountain

Wild Spirit of wilderness

Speaking from burning bush, from tussock and hebe

from desert road and city street

We give thanks for our hikoi of faith

For our dreams of righteousness and acts of justice.

We give thanks for this place [name your community]

[St Andrew’s on The Terrace and for Crossways community house]

places of sharing and celebration

where we can feel at home and be refreshed,

and for all they mean to us as whenua,

our place to stand and take a stand

our turangawaewae

We give thanks for weekday visitors and concert-goers

performers and spectators

entrepreneurs and bureaucrats

dancers and addicts

and for our selves:

makers and breakers of promises, and of bread

[We join with those who have written prayers and requests in the book… ]

We give thanks that the table of hospitality is open to all

That we may come as manuhiri

But go forth together, as tangata whenua.

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.

Let us say together the Prayer to the Eternal Spirit (by Jim Cotter)

HYMN / WAIATA: God of all time, all seasons of our living—Alleluia Aotearoa 49

God of all time, all seasons of our living,

Source of our spark, protector of our flame,

Blazing before our birth, beyond our dying

God of all time, we come to sing your name.

Here in this place where others have been building,

we come to claim the legacy of faith,

take, in our turn, the telling of your story

and though we tremble, speak your hope, your truth.

Spirit who draws our fragile selves together,

Spirit who turns a stranger to a friend,

be at this table where we greet each other,

Be in the peace we pass from hand to hand.

Let us not die from poverty of caring,

Let us not starve, where love is to be shared.

Come, break us open to receive your healing:

Your broken body be our wine and bread.


Kua horahia te kai
Nā ngā atua i homai
Tane Mahuta

Kia ora katou

This food has been laid out before us
Given to us by the atua
Tane god of forest
Haumia god of cultivated kai
Rongo god of kumara and peace
Tangaroa god of the sea

Thank you all

COMMUNION LITURGY HYMN / WAIATA: Let there be respect for the earth (Colin Gibson)

Let there be

respect for the earth,

peace for its people,

love in our lives,

and delight in the good,

forgiveness for past wrongs,

and for now a new beginning.


Kaiārahi (leader):

May the blessings of our ancestors be upon us all.

They set the pathway for us all to follow.

They gave us our heritage,

and instilled in our hearts our culture

and righteousness to assist us in whatever we do;

with honour and a clear mind, and with love for each other.

Let us hold fast to this belief.

Responsive blessing (Aotearoa Litany, Anne Powell)

Kaiārahi (leader) ( responses in italic: )

Green of fern refresh us

Feathers of keruru warm us

Rocks of Moeraki encircle us

Waters of Taupo bathe us

Dive of gannet focus us

Arc of rainbow protect us

Stars of the Southern Cross guide us

Now and always…

[Instead of singing the Threefold Amen, we sang this waiata}

WAIATA AMINE (sung twice): (Translation – not sung)

Te aroha

Te whakapono

Te rangimarie

Tatou tatou e



and peace

Be with us all


Ki a Bronwyn White kōrua ko Fionnaigh McKenzie

mō te mahi kei muri, me te mahi kei mua

mō te rā nei.

Tēnā rawa atu ki a Pam Ormsby kōrua ko Ken Irwin

mō te tautoko me ngā kupu tohutohu.

[1] We played a CD of Howard Morrison and dance band, rather than organ or piano music. This is why the introduction includes the words, “ Our first hymn combines an old Pakeha traditional hymn with an interpretation in te reo Maori – presented on CD with celebrity razzmatazz.”