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First Christian Service in New Zealand

Oihi
My photo of Oihi Bay – site of the first Christian Service in Aotearoa New Zealand

Tomorrow is 200 years since the Gospel was first preached in Aotearoa New Zealand.

it being Christmas Day, I preached from the Second Chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, and tenth verse: “Behold! I bring you glad tidings of great joy.” The Natives told Duaterra [Ruatara] that they could not understand what I meant. He replied that they were not to mind that now for they would understand by and by, and that he would explain my meaning as far as he could. When I had done preaching, he informed them what I had been talking about.

Samuel Marsden’s journal.

Marsden and Ruatara
Samuel Marsden meets Ruatara at Rangihoua

We give you thanks for this our home under the Southern Cross.
Sea and land, forest and mountain, river and plane
declare your bounty and your beauty.
You brought people to this place
and give us Jesus to be for us the Way.

Today we give you thanks
for Ruatara who opened a gateway to the gospel,
for Samuel Marsden, who brought glad tidings of great joy,
and for the first celebration of this Holy Sacrament in our land.

Proper Preface

Marsden Cross
My photo of the base of the Marsden Cross in Oihi Bay

In the evening I administered the Holy Sacrament on board the Active in remembrance of our Saviour’s birth and what He had done and suffered for us.

The first recorded Eucharist celebrated in Aotearoa New Zealand – Samuel Marsden’s journal.

Samuel Marsden
Samuel Marsden preaching Christmas Day 1814

Te Harinui

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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