Monday, June 11, 2012

A prayer of thanksgiving, on the return of the Uto Ni Yalo and her crew:

God of the Vanua and the Wai Tui,
Creator of our land, sea and sky and all creation;
We gather our hearts and minds together,
So that as one we can give you thanks and praise,
honour and glory.
We are here in the tradition of our ancestors,
to welcome travellers, welcome warriors, 
welcome messengers of your peace,
to welcome your sons and daughters.
We are here to give you thanks for keeping your promise.
As we gathered together so many days and nights ago to seek your protection,
Your guidance, your blessing on this vaka, her captain and crew,
as they prepared to cross our liquid home of Oceania.
Thank you for hearing our prayers.
We thank you for Brother Sun, for Sisters Moon and Stars,
for guiding our seafarers across the waters.
We thank you for your Word which has been a light to their path.
We thank you for Mother Ocean,
who has welcomed, protected, nurtured and taught her children during their journey.
We thank you for the creatures of sea
– for Brother Qio and Sister Vonu who have kept them company,
– for those who gave of themselves as sustenance to the hungry crews.
We thank you, O Lord,
for bringing our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters
husbands and wives, fathers and mothers back to us.

For the joy we experience in this reunion,
For this time of celebration,
For this time of sharing of adventures and lessons learned,
And for the sacred task you have entrusted this crew with as the voice of the Ocean;
We say “Vinaka Vakalevu”
We say “F’xi’a”
We say “Dhanyavaad”
We say “Thank you”

May your name be forever praised
May we always experience your empowering love
May your Spirit always fill our sails and guide us through dangerous reefs
Until we reach the lagoon of your Peace.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Written by James Bhagwan, Chaplain Fiji Voyaging Society.
Read by Rawiri Paratene the Canoe arrivals ceremony in Suva on 11/6/2012

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