Matariki - Winter Solstice 2005, St Anselm's Union Parish South Karori

St Anselm's Union Parish South Karori, June 19 2005:

Time for reflection

Winter, season of hidden mystery –
of death that leads to life
sleep that leads to reawakening
reflection that leads to action . Bill Wallace.


Call to worship 

Leader: In the time of darkness, light emerges:

People: Light to guide us on.

Leader: In the heart of a southern winter

People: We celebrate the turning of the earth

Leader: In the calendar’s mid year

People: We celebrate the new year, Matariki.

Leader: God, you dance in the stars
promising Spring hope and light and love.

People: We join ourselves to the earth in transformation and renewal
naming ourselves our home in this place.

HYMN: Tune WOV 176 OR The Mystery Telling page 22

Throughout this winter season,
in nature’s mid-year womb,
Christ grant your life and laughter
to lighten frosty gloom-
to lift our flagging spirits
beyond these short-lived days
to Advent and each coming
which fills our lives with praise.
You come as puddles crackle
beneath the children’s feet;
You come in lifeless branches
outlined against the sleet;
You come when lives diminish
as smog envelopes all;
You comes as snow which blankets
earth’s grime beneath its fall.
You come as fire and candle
and all that warms the heart;
You come in party feasting
in music, dance and art;
You come in ancient stories
of years that are no more;
You come as liberation
and power for all the poor.
We seek to know your presence
in grey days and in bright;
in all the earth’s abundance
and during nature’s night.
But when we cannot see you
through blindness or through pain
enfold us in your dying
and rise in us again.
Bill Wallace: Tune: Tyrolese or Aurelia

The children celebrate Matariki

In the candle lit at night there’s a gleam of dawn
and the darkness all about is too dim to put it out
Brian Wren

The Teachers made a cardboard backdrop for the Sanctuary of a long line of hills, and the children were behind this and moved the Sun across the sky, then the stars to show the rising of Matariki: They then showed crops which the Maori planted kumara, etc and placed these in from of the backdrop.

News from the pews

Offering and dedication

Leader: Winter God, dormant and distant,
starkly challenging our self-absorption,
we need your austerity to nudge us into a warm
compassion for your suffering ones.

People: Take the gifts of our minds and our hands,
they are never enough but we offer them in faith to
you. Amen

As children go to Sunday School


Leader : God of winter, we praise you
God of soaking rains
of hail and snow, wind and storm

People: Of torrents surging down creek beds,
streams filling reservoirs,
and tanks full and running over.

Leader: God of brisk winter mornings
of frosted paddocks under moonlight
of warm socks, coats, and gloves
heaters, radiators, and glowing fires.

People: God of little children splashing in puddles
sailing make-believe boats in flooded gutters
of raincoats, and umbrellas, and gum-boots,
and the scent of hot soup from the kitchen.

Leader: God of winter, glorious winter,
the unpopular, slandered season
yet one filled with renewed hope
for farms, town and city.

People: God of life- sustaining winter,
author of recreation and providence

renewing the roots of life

God of glorious winter,
blessed is your name
in all the earth. (Abridged. Bruce D. Prewer, Australia .)

Bible readings

Hebrew Scriptures: Genesis: 21:8-21

Gospel: Matthew 10:24-39

A Winter affirmation;

Leader: As we arrive at the Winter solstice,
we acknowledge friends who warm us-
with coffee or a meal, letters from far away,
the loan of a new or old and cherished book,
a drink after work, e-mail messages, open fires and arms
and hearts.

People: We thank you for friends warming us.

Leader : As the constellation of Matariki
reappears during the waning of the June moon
we acknowledge the foods brought by Matariki,
the hospitality of others and of ourselves.
We are thankful that we can choose to miss breakfast,
to work through lunch, to grab a snack,
knowing that in a world where many are hungry,
we have plenty to eat and to share.

People: We thank our partners in occupation and recreation,
We give thanks to those who help provide for our food
and drink and shelter,

Leader: As the days shorten and colours fade from earth
We remember those who mourn,
and celebrate the lives of those who have died.
As the leaves fall and carpet the cool earth,
our memories turn scarlet and brown and golden

People We acknowledge the winter of loss and mourning;
and remember those who live on in their influence in
our lives .

Leader: In the season of mid winter festivities, as jester and fool we
acknowledge the greening force, in nature’s vegetation and
in us.
We shout, “Your health” and think of those whose lives are
touched by disease, we send thoughts and healing energy to
those who are unwell, and send love to soothe and to heal.

People: We give thanks for greening life, for the promise of new
life from the depths of Winter, and for our well-being.

Leader: In Winter darkness, when we doubt our doubting and question our lack of faith
We celebrate questioning and uncertainty.
For those who are too sure, we wish the gift of unknowing;
For those who know they are right, we wish the adventure of uncertainty
For those who are afraid to disbelieve, we wish the risk of asking questions, For those who vacillate, we wish the heart’s ease of choosing what not to believe.

People: When winter chills us and we think with nostalgia of certainty and assurance,
We celebrate the fire of our questioning,
The passion of our searching
The integrity of our quest.

Bronwyn White. 1997. Wellington


Echo Carol. Singing the Circle.1

To our winters Jesus brings
light and warmth and dancing,
meeting frozen lives and hearts-
freeing and enhancing.
Christ affirms each person’s worth
Spreading hope through all the earth
Praise the Gospel child,
Praise the Word made flesh
Praise Christ
Praise God in Winter
Winter and forever.
Sound the trumpet, sing for joy,
God’s new age is dawning,
bringing justice for earth’s poor,
ending bitter mourning.
To the blind who cannot see
God in friend and enemy,
Christ brings light and truth,
God brings light and truth
Brings light
Brings light to people
Light within the darkness.
Through our fears and frailties
see this light as danger
and the thought of loss of power
fuels our fires of anger
Hanging tortured on the tree
Adam bound and Adam free
Christ invites us all
God invites us all
Invites each person
To this way of suff’ring
Hidden in the darkest night
lies the joy of Easter;
from the grave there springs new life
rising from disaster,
free us God to serve the world
let your love in us unfold.
Serve the Gospel child
Serve the broken world
Serve Christ
Serve God in winter
Winter and forever.

Tune Echo Carol, d’Aquin Words.Bill Wallace.


Included these two carols:
Scottish Psalter 50 (Cranham)
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow
Snow on snow
In the bleak mid winter
Long ago.

The holly and the ivy
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir.


Harvest of darkness. Tune WOV 652

It was dark in the dawn of time
When the waters of chaos seethed.
Darkness was brooding across the abyss
Till the Spirit gently breathed.
Slowly she hovered across swelling waves
Till the world from the chaos emerged.
Then the rest in the dark was transfigured with light
As the Spirit worked out her plan.
It was dark in the rocky cave
Where the body of Jesus lay.
Resting down deep in the heart of the earth
Till the stone was rolled away.
In the still night he’d stayed hidden away
In the cold of primeval gloom.
Then the rest in the dark was transfigured with light
As the Spirit worked out her plan.
It is dark in the moistened earth
Where the seed for a season lies
Buried down deep as a dry pregnant husk
Till the earth is pushed aside.
Nurtured by warmth, it has waited alone
Till the time to spring up has come
Then the rest in the dark is transfigured with light
As the Spirit works out her plan.

Prayers for others

We asked for the Light of Christ to shine to bring healing, justice, wholeness
To areas in our world, individual countries and regions, and in the lives of people, where there is conflict, disaster.

HYMN: AA 89 Light of lights.


May the blessing of light be on you
Light without and light within
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great fire
and strangers may warm themselves
as well as friends
And may the light shine out of the eyes of you
Like a candle set
In the window of a house
Bidding the wanderer to come in
out of the storm.
May you ever have a kindly greeting for people
as you’re going along the roads
And now may the Lord bless you
and bless you kindly.
Irish blessing.

Followed by the sung threefold Amen.

Leader: Lord of the dawn, where your people live in darkness

People: Let your light sweep in.

Leader: Lord of the evening, where your people fear the night

People: Let your light sweep in.

Leader: Lord of the night, where your people pray for morning,

People: Let your light sweep in,

Leader: Lord of our lives, as we grow into a new year of hopes and possibilities,

People: Let your light sweep in.

Melanie Frew

God, in all the changing seasons of our lives,
In darkness and in light, in sorrow and in joy
In our success and in our failures,
You are our keeper and companion.
In that confidence we leave this set-apart place
Knowing that you go with us. You are the dawn for which we wait and
The hope by which we live by, The warmth for which we long,
Our freedom now and forever