beautiful monsters: Rainbow Room Matariki Liturgy

January 01, 2003

Rainbow Room Matariki Liturgy

Matariki Liturgy

For the service led by the Rainbow Room Children at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. The children wrote some of the liturgy, chose from a selection of poems to read, and made star decorations to hang from the cross and under the balcony. We decorated the walls with Matariki posters from the Maori Language Commission, and The Green Rule posters from Faith and the Common Good. The congregation joins in the responses in bold itallics. Most of the hymns are from Alleluia Aotearoa


GATHERING – written by Jono, Matthew & Chris

Haere mai
We come to this place
of kindness and welcoming
We come to worship God
We come to welcome God
with our prayers and songs
We come to think of people
who have died
and who shine like stars around us.
We come to thank our lucky stars
for warm homes, for hearty food and clean water
We come to share
the starlight of love.

CALL TO WORSHIP – Written by Bonnie & Victoria

We are gathered in this sanctuary of light.
Here in the presence of God
We are sheltered from the world of darkness.
Today we meet as the family of God
We come in the bright joy of celebration
We come in the dark sorrow of loss.
In all times and places
we come to rejoice and give thanks.

United we come as one
Together we stand
All races, religions and genders.
We enter this place of worship,
Coming forth to God’s name,
To try and become the people
We have always hoped to be.
Now we stand, gathered
To spread hope, truth and light
In a time of darkness.
In all times and places
We come to rejoice and give thanks.

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.


Mihi ki te whenua
Greetings to this land
To the icy June winds that race across the harbour
To the Tararua mountains, dusted with snow
To the harbour, storm-tossed and grey
He mihi aroha

Mihi ki nga mate
Greetings to the dead,
to our ancestors
who laid down the path we walk on
and to loved ones
whose absence still aches like an open wound
He mihi aroha

Mihi ki a koutou katoa
And warmest greetings to all of you
If this is your first visit to St Andrew’s
or if you have returned after an absence
we welcome you.
Your presence enriches us
and this time together.
He mihi aroha.

This candle symbolises inclusiveness
everyone is welcome in our community.



(Usually an adult gives a talk for the children, but when the children lead the service we have a talk for the adults. For Matariki we talked about Whakapapa, and interconnectedness. We asked the adults to think of stories about where people are descended from. Examples include Adam & Eve, Rangi and Papa, stardust (big bang), amoebas (evolution) etc. A lot of these origin stories suggest that we have common ancestry – with other humans, but with the rest of the planet too. We did a demonstration of this interconnectedness, with volunteers playing the parts of a tree, tui, weta, soil, rain, worm, etc. Ribbons were used to show which of these were connected to each other. Then we demonstrated what would happen if one part was taken away –everything connected to this web would feel the tug and then the web would collapse.


Ezekiel 17:22-24.
Mark 4:26-34

The Night Sky, by Joy Cowley

Oh God, when I stand under the stars
I am filled with nameless awe
at the immensity of your presence
and I wonder how, in my daily thinking
I can make you so small.
Oh Holy One, the All of existence
How can I claim to know your mind?
How can my tiny words describe the Word
that brought this universe into being?
Could it be that I worship and idol
of my own making?
In your all-pervading presence, you know
The limitations of the human heart.
Have you given us this night sky
this vision of galaxies growing and unfolding
to remind us that we have two gods
one that we make in our image
and the One who made us?
Oh God, I stand under the stars
filled with nameless awe.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.


E Te Atua Aroha
Kia whakatapu tou Ingoa
Loving God, in whom is heaven
May your name be kept pure
Kia tae mai tou rangatiratanga.
your new day come, your will be done
on earth as in heaven

Homai ki a matou aianei
he taro ma matou mo tenei ra.
With the bread we need for today feed us
Murua o matou hara,
Me matou hoki e muru nei
io te hunga e hara ana ki a matou.
In the hurts we absorb from one another,
forgive us.

Aua hoki matou e kawea kia whakawaia;
Engari whakaorangia matou i te kino:
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great too endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

Nou te ihi, te wehi
Te mana aroha
ake ake ake
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
Now and forever.

HYMN Our life has its seasons AA 113

Our life has its seasons,
and God has the reasons
why spring follows winter,
and new leaves grow,
for there’s a connection
with our resurrection
that flowers will bud
after frost and snow
so there’s never a time to stop believing,
there’s never a time for hope to die,
there’s never a time to stop loving,
these three things go on.

There’s a time to be planting,
a time to be plucking,
a time to be laughing,
a time to weep,
a time to be building,
a time to be breaking,
a time to be waking,
a time to sleep,

There’s a time to be hurting,
a time to be healing,
a time to be saving,
a time to spend,
a time for grieving,
a time to be dancing,
a time for beginning,
a time to end.


Matariki is a time to learn about whanau and to remember those who have passed on from this world. We put a paper star (actually a star shaped post-it note) inside each service sheet, and at this point the congregation were invited to write the name of someone who had died in the past year, or an ancestor, on the star, and place it on a dark blue sparkly cloth up the front. Some of the kids wrote the names of pets, because they didn’t know any people who had died.

WAIATA – Whiti Te Marama by Hirini Melbourne

Whiti te marama
i te pō
tīaho iho mai koe
hei karu mō te mata )
o te pō ) x 2

Ki te kore koe
te karu o te pō
pōuri ana taku ara e ) x 2

Tō an ate rā
ki te moe e
tīaho iho mai koe
hei karu mō te mata )
o te pō ) x 2

Hoki ana ahau
ki te moe e
tīaho iho mai koe
hei karu mō te mata )
o te pō ) x 2

Shortest Day, a poem by Brian Hardie

God, we are hankering after more light
We are tired of short days and long nights.
Our feet hardly touch the floor,
We only seem to begin the day
when night closes in on us,
and we are preparing again for our beds.

God, we need more light to brighten up our day.
We need more light to find our way in the world.
We need more heat to take the stiffness out of our bones,
So we can keep up with life and laugh on at the world.

God, too much darkness makes life dull,
even on the best of days.
Lift off this dim bewilderment.
Let the bright light of your love
shine into our world to brighten up the horizon.

God, we are sick of being in the dark.
We want to feel your penetrating insight
calling in the summer, shrugging off the winter,
waking up the spring,
to make our spirit glad, and bright, full of play.

God, on the shortest day
we are craving a bit of light,
to stave off our week of night.
Make your presence felt
with fresh enlightenment,
to lift us up with the wonder
of your dawning insight, today.

Another theme of Matariki is conservation.
and respect for the earth.

A poem by Nancy Wood

The earth is all that lasts.
The earth is what I speak to when I do not understand my life
nor why I am not heard
The earth answers me with the same song
that it sang for my fathers when
their tears covered up the sun.
The earth sings a song of gladness
The earth sings a song of praise
The earth rises up and laughs at me
Each time that I forget
How spring begins with winter
and death begins with birth.

REFLECTION – DVD - Renewing the Sacred Balance

HYMN Jesus Comes to me as a springtime Tree – AA 77

Jesus comes to me as a springtime tree
and I receive him as a springtime tree
Fragrant the blossoming of the child
fresh with laughter, free and wild
and carrying the green of summer.

Jesus comes to me as a summer tree
and I receive him as a summer tree
Warm in the sun and richly laid
with patterns of growth through
light and shade
and carrying the fire of autumn
Jesus comes to me as an autumn tree
and I receive him as an autumn tree
Seasons of ripeness, brightly ablaze
like a torch in the quietness of closing days
and carrying the wood of winter.

Jesus comes to me as a winter tree
and I receive him as a winter tree
Gentle the cross and gentle the snow
gentle the path where he and I go
carrying the buds of spring.



Winter Blessing by Michael Leunig

We give thanks for the blessing of winter:
Season to cherish the heart
To make warmth and quiet for the heart
To make soups and broths for the heart
To cook for the heart and read for the heart
To curl up softly and nestle with the heart
To sleep deeply and gently at one with the heart
To dream with the heart
To spend time with the heart
A long, long time of peace with the heart
We give thanks for the blessing of winter
Season to cherish the heart.

Hymn Come to our Land AA 26

Come to our land, come to our hearts
Spirit of peace, spirit of truth
bring in the spring, the hope and the green
Spirit of growth and spirit of youth
And all our people will sing together
Wairua Tapu, holy your name
there’s one great Spirit in all creation
one great Spirit of God!

Come to our land, come to our hearts,
Spirit of life, breath of new birth
teach us to care for water and air
nourish the seed and cherish the earth

Come to our land, come to our hearts
Spirit of bush, Spirit of bird
speak to the soul of Aotearoa
joy in your world, and joy in your word.



In our circle of prayer today we think of all those
who are working to care for our fragile earth.
We remember those who work to nurture te reo Maori,
teachers and learners alike.
We pray for all those who strive for peace and understanding
amongst the peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand


BLESSING – written by Fionnaigh

As we near the shortest day of the year
we teeter on the brink of a promise
of hope and light.
The cold winds of winter
whisper of spring.

May the beauty of the earth
Fill you with wonder.
May the love of your ancestors
wrap around you like a cloak.
May this new year be bursting with possibilities
unfurling like fern fronds.
May your life be filled with blessings
as numerous as the stars.

E te Atua (AA 31 tune Kum ba yah)

E te Atua aroha mai x 3
Ake ake tonu e x 2

E te Atua manaaki mai x 3
Ake ake tonu e x 2

E te Atua awhina mai x 3
ake ake tonu e x 2


Posted by Fionnaigh at January 1, 2003 05:44 AM | TrackBack