Aroha mai, aroha atu

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

and all 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

 

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Love towards us, love going out from us.

 

We give thanks for weekday visitors and concert-goers

performers and spectators

entrepreneurs and bureaucrats

dancers and addicts

and for ourselves:

makers and breakers of promises, and of bread.

 

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.  
Amine

Waiheke Island 2012 © bronwyn angela white

© bronwyn angela white (2005)—Wellington, New Zealand

 

This litany and the ‘Prayers of the People’ were written (or adapted) for the Matariki Celebration service held at St Andrew’s on The Terrace , Wellington on Sunday 3 July 2005. 

They have been published as part of the whole service which is reproduced online in the ‘Special Services’ section of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website: http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/54.0.html