By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Ohana is a Hawaiian Christian custom of prayer, either at the beginning or end of the day, that happens at home. It might include neighbors or guests or other friends who are over as the sun goes down. It might be prayed at the kitchen table, on the porch (the Hawaiian lanai), at the bedside of a sick family member, or out under the evening sky. Sometimes it would include ukulele or guitar, or hymns sung a capella. The prayer below is from the closing prayer of an Ohana service and would typically be prayed by the grandmother or other matriarch in the household.
Let us pray:
We give thee thanks, Lord Jesus,
For all under our roof this night;
For our family and friends,
Wherever they may be.
We remember especially now those names
we say in our hearts before thee: _________.
For the aloha which binds us together
With thee and with one another,
We praise thy name.
On all families,
Known to us or unknown,
We ask thy fatherly blessing,
Now and always.
—Edith Wolfe, Hawaii, U.S.A.