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Marsden Ruatara Proper Preface

Marsden and Ruatara
Samuel Marsden meets Ruatara at Rangihoua

I was asked to write a proper preface for the bicentenary of the first Christian service in Aotearoa New Zealand. That service was on 25 December 1814 and is described by Samuel Marsden here. Ruatara, the Maori, Nga Puhi, chief in partnership with Samuel Marsden, Anglican priest, brought the Gospel. This was followed by the first recorded celebration of the Eucharist here (“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.”)

If you proclaim this text, there is no requirement to credit. If you print, share, or project this text please indicate, “used with permission @ Rev. Bosco Peters www.liturgy.co.nz”

It is our duty and our joy
to give you thanks and praise, O God,
creator and sustainer of the universe.
All you make is very good.

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.

With all who stand around your table,
in earth and heaven,
from every culture, land and tongue,
joining all creation
we sing the never-ending hymn

You may use this in A Form for Ordering the Eucharist (NZPB/HKMA pp 512ff; revised here) or in TEC’s BCP An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (PDF); (or go to The (Online) Book of Common Prayer/ The Holy Eucharist/ An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist). If you are just using an addition within a common preface, you could use

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.

I am grateful for Rev. Ngira Simmonds translation:

Ko tō mātou takohanga, tō mātou hari ki te tapae atu ō mātou whakawhetai, whakamoemiti, e te Atua, te kaihanga me te kaiwhakauka o ngā mea katoa. Nāu ngā mea katoa i hanga, a, he pai te katoa.

Ka tapae atu ngā whakawhetai mō tēnei kāinga i raro i Te Taki-o-Autahi. Ka mea atu te moana me te whenua, te ngāhere me ngā maunga, ngā awa me te mānia ki tō pōike me tō ataahua.

Nāu i karanga ngā iwi ki tēnei whenua, nāu ano hoki i homai tō Tama, Ihu Karaiti, hei arawhainga ma mātou.

Ka whakawhetai atu mātou i tēnei ra mo, Ruatara nāna i huakina te ara mo te Rongopai, mo Te Mātene, nāna i hari mai ngā kupu o te harinui, a, mo te whakawhetai-nui tuatahi, o tēnei Hakarameta Tapu ki tēnei whenua.

Mai i a mātou, mai i te katoa, e tū ki tou Tepu, mai i te Rangi me te whenua. Mai ngā iwi katoa o te ao, ngā whenua katoa, me ia Reo o ia iwi, ka tautitotito atu mātou i te himene-mutungakore.

If this Te Reo Maori version is used, the conditions above apply, and please include “translated according to Rev. Ngira Simmonds”.

I chose today to launch this preface because Sunday would normally be the feast of Ruatara (The Fourth Sunday of Easter obviously takes precedence, but I cannot see any issue with Ruatara being part of that service); Monday is the feast of Samuel Marsden.

Today is the Twentieth Day of Easter.

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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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