Friday, June 18, 2010

Traditional Hawaiian Wedding Prayer

My cousin, Ryan McCormack, who is one of the most talented, spiritual, and beautiful souls that I know, is going to do a traditional Hawaiian wedding prayer for our wedding ceremony and also as the opening prayer for our reception.  Here's what he wrote about the reception oli ("O Ua Ao"):
The prayer/oli I want to do for the welcoming is called "O Ua Ao" and is an oli for auspicious new beginnings. It invokes the image of an emerging dawn at east O'ahu stirring the morning winds to caress the native grasses growing in the uplands.  It clears the way, and welcomes all to the celebration.  Ok, let me know what else you need.
Here's the transcription and translation of the ceremony oli, which is incredibly beautiful, excerpted from the “Pule Hōʻao,”  or traditional Hawaiian wedding prayer:

O `imi`imi o nalowale a loa`a
Loa`a ho`i ka hoa ē
Pupu`u ako o ke anu o ka Ho`oilo
Na ke aloha i kono e hui `olua ē
Eia loa`a maha
O haka moe
O haka i ka lani
Pili `olua ē, hō`ao ē
Moku ka pawa o ke ao
Ke mōakāka nei ka hikina
Ua hiki ho`i lā nui

Here all seeking is over,  the lost has been found,
A mate has been found
To share the chills of winter
Now love asks that you be united.
Here is a place to rest,
A place to sleep,
A place in heaven.
Now two are becoming one,
The black night is scattered,
The eastern sky grows bright.
At last the great day has come