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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii, 1864, 1885.

The Hawaiian Islands were first evangelized by sternly Calvinistic Congregationalists and by Roman Catholics. Neither group had much respect for the other or for the native Hawaiian culture and traditions. King Kamehameha IV, who was crowned in 1854, and his wife, Queen Emma, actively sought a branch of Christianity that was all-embracing, reconciliatory, and accepting of Hawaiian culture, yet orthodox and traditional.

They found such in Anglicanism. Queen Victoria served as godmother to their son. Under royal patronage Thomas N. Staley became Hawaii's first bishop, ground was broken for St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu, The Book of Common Prayer was translated into Hawaiian, the Queen's Hospital was founded, and several schools were established in the islands with Anglican clergy as tutors.

Kamehameha was only twenty-nine when he died. Queen Emma lived on for many years and became a symbol of dignity and Christian piety to the people of Hawaii. The Archbishop of Canterbury described her as one of the most saintly souls he had ever met.

We thank you for the witness of Kamehameha and Emma and for their work to build up your church. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O Soverign God, who raised up Kamehameha and Emma to be rulers in Hawaii, and did inspire and enable them to be diligent in good works for the welfare of their people and the good of your Church: Receive our thanks for their witness to the Gospel; and grant that we, with them, may attain to the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer, who with you and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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