Honolulu, March 7

Last Sunday morning Debbie and I worshiped at Honolulu’s Kawaiaha’o  Church, the second oldest church in Hawai’i.  Also established through the efforts of The Rev. Hiram Bingham, it is in some ways more historic than the oldest church (the Moku’aikaua Church in Kona of which I wrote earlier), in that it sits across the street from ’Iolani Palace, the home of the later Hawai’ian royalty from King Kamehameha III to the last regent, Queen Lili’uokalani.  Its location afforded a good deal of interaction between the missionaries and the local rulers.  The church also established the first missionary school, where young native Hawai’ians could learn to read and write.  In fact, one of the solid benefits the missionaries effected in their earliest years here was the transliteration of Hawai’ian into a written form, with English translation included, so that in the span of less than 35 years Hawaii’ans could read and write.  Historically, this is an astonishing accomplishment.

Another benefit we experienced  first hand was the integration of music into the religion and culture.  Before westerners came to the islands, native music, while filled with spiritual integrity and historical story-telling, was monotonal: literally, it was one note chanted in a variety of expressions.  I say we benefited because Sunday’s worship at Kawaiaha’o was filled with magnificent music from start to finish.  The festive vestments of the choir you see below was reflected in the joy they brought to their sacred music.  The service featured choral music, instrumental pieces, a couple duets (the minister took his place at the piano and sat in on a set), members of the congregation were invited forward to join the choir at one point, and the church itself boasts a magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ, built in Boston, disassembled, shipped to the church and rebuilt.  (For reference, the Mormon Tabernacle also employs an Aeolian-Skinner organ.). It was a wonderful worship experience, and I’m grateful we had the opportunity to attend.

The photos below include the church itself, the choir, and a marker honoring Rev. Bingham.  Following the pictures are the links to this Sunday's bulletin and service.

While tomorrow you set your clocks ahead an hour into spring, we will be setting ours ahead an entire day as we fly from Friday into Saturday; we leave Hawai’i at 9:30 am, fly nine hours and arrive in New Zealand Saturday at 4:30 pm.  Aloha!

Honolulu Church

Honolulu Church Choir


Hiram Bingham marker


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From the North: Take CT Route 9 South to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn left; we are 1 mile on the right.


From the South: Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn Right; we are .8 miles on the right.

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