Christmas Day we went to church. Greenery and candles lined the pews and walls, along with native antherium, ti leaves and weaved palm fronds. We sat in a pew and faced the high altar, waiting for the service to begin. At 10:30, the bells in the chapel rang joyous tunes. Still facing the front, we waited for the choir to enter in front of us, but we heard another sound. A conch shell called parishioners to enter the church. A conch shell. Only in Hawaii. But wait….
during the Prayers Of The People, the priest from Tennessee, prayed for King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. And the choir sang the Queen’s Prayer – in Hawaiian!
The Queen’s Prayer translated to English:
Your loving mercy is as high as heaven and your truth so perfect. I live imprisoned in sorrow; you are my light; your glory, my support. Behold not with malevolence the sins of humankind, but forgive and cleanse.
And so, O Lord, protect us beneath your wings and let peace be our portion now and forever more.