You are not signed in as a Premium user; you are viewing the free version of this program. Premium users have access to full-length programs with limited commercials and receive a 10% discount in the store! Sign in or Sign up today!

Matariki Liturgy

Sacred Heart or Brother Sun?

June 24, 2022  0


New Zealand will nationally celebrate an indigenous holiday for the first time Friday, and the Catholic Church is joining in.

Church Militant's Aidan O'Connor takes a closer look at a liturgy for the stars.

The Catholic Church in New Zealand is helping to commemorate a pagan ritual surrounding Matariki, a cluster of stars, with a prayer service Friday.

Matariki is the indigenous name for the cluster Pleiades, historically worshipped in native Maori culture in association with a wind deity.

In an attempt to "accommodate diverse religious beliefs and practices," Catholic dioceses in the island country are allowing a Matariki liturgy.

The service was promoted by the Liturgy Centre in Auckland and can be explored under the diocese's liturgy resources page.

Loosely imitating the Liturgy of the Word, the Matariki ritual begins with a Canticle of the Sun.

It continues with an opening prayer and exhortation to remember "Just as Matariki now rises ... so too, our loved ones rise to new life."

Scriptural readings follow, required to be from the so-called nonsexist Inclusive Bible.

Nine candles are then ceremonially lit, each symbolizing an element of creation.

The service ends with an expression of faith where those attending chant "Matariki is a new beginning ... Matariki is the eyes of God ... Matariki is a time of seeing."

Faithful Catholics are noting that stars' rising coincides with the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

St. Francis Xavier parish announced a Matariki liturgy for Friday morning, mentioning the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart as a "diary" entry.

Critics are getting flashbacks to the idol Pachamama, fearing Catholic prelates are once again attempting to inculturate pagan rituals.

As well as promoting the star ritual, the diocese of Auckland provides Catholics a creation rosary and creation stations — spinoffs of their traditional counterparts.

By commenting on you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines

Never miss a Vortex!

Search The Site

Previous Episode
Sexual Revolution Politicized
The Ruth Institute's war room
June 24, 2022
Subscribe to the Vortex audio podcast

Latest Shows

The Vortex
LGBTQ "Catholic" Liars
How can they face the truth?
November 30, 2022
Evening News
November 29, 2022
Hard-hitting news and analysis through an authentic Catholic lens.
The Daily Beat
November 29, 2002
Theology, politics and culture through an authentic Catholic lens.
November 30, 2022
Get briefed on today's top stories with Christine Niles.
Red Top Report
DEFCON 3 on Thanksgiving
Politics and religion.
November 23, 2022
Mic’d Up
Found in Translation
Never-before-read Catholic works.
November 20, 2022