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Each of the four Advent devotionals includes a scripture reading, message, prayer, keiki lesson, and hīmeni (hymn). KS Cultural Specialist and musician Hauʻoli Akaka is featured in each devotional's corresponding video singing hymns of hope, peace, joy and love.

KS creates Hawaiian-focused Advent devotionals

Nov. 26, 2014

Contributed by Nadine Lagaso

Kamehameha Schools has created a set of Hawaiian-focused devotionals and video hymns for the four weeks leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, which Christians refer to as Advent.

Although the tools were designed with students in mind, they can also be used by families or individuals to celebrate the coming of Christmas.

“We use Advent devotionals to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ birth,” says KS Hawaiʻi Kahu Ruth Farrell, who helped spearhead the development of the tools. “We hope the devotionals will cause those who read them to pause during the holiday hubbub and reflect on the true reason for the season.”

Each devotional includes:

  • A scripture reading in ʻolelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) and English
  • Some manaʻo (thoughts)
  • Questions to ponder
  • A pule (prayer)
  • A lesson, pule and activity especially for keiki
  • A hīmeni (hymn) with corresponding video

The devotionals were the brainchild of Farrell, fellow Kamehameha kahu (chaplains) Kalani Wong and Kordell Kekoa, Vice President of Campus Education Dr. Rod Chamberlain, and KS’ Ho‘okahua Hawaiian Cultural Vibrancy Group, represented by Cultural Specialist Hauʻoli Akaka.

“One of our hui’s goals is to move from thinking of our Hawaiian and Christian values as two separate pillars and instead see them as interwoven,” says Farrell. “We decided that this Advent project would be a great place to start.”

The devotionals honor the deep Christian faith of KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. “Our Princess’ birth is during Advent, so in some ways, this is our gift to her. It’s something we’ve worked on to help others connect to Ke Akua (God), whom she loved and worshipped.”

Introducing the Advent devotionals
KS Campus Education Vice President Dr. Rod Chamberlain and Cultural Specialist Hauʻoli Akaka explain the purpose of the Advent devotionals and their place in the celebration of Christmas.


How to use the Advent devotional
KS campus chaplains – Ruth Farrell, Kalani Wong, and Kordell Kekoa – give suggestions on how to use the Advent devotional, in the classroom or at home.


Following are the suggested hīmeni (hymns) for each week of the Advent season, performed by KS Cultural Specialist Hauʻoli Akaka. The hymn lyrics can be found in the weekly devotional. Each hīmeni shares a sentiment celebrated during Advent:  hope, peace, joy and love.

Advent Week 1
Theme: Mana‘olana (Hope)
Hīmeni: ʻO ʻOe ʻIo – (You Are ʻIo)

Advent Week 2
Theme: Maluhia (Peace)
Hīmeni: Pō Laʻi Ē (Silent Night) 

Advent Week 3
Theme: Hauʻoli (Joy)
Hīmeni: Nū ʻOli (Glad Tidings)

Advent Week 4
Theme: Aloha (Love)
Hīmeni: Aloha Pū Mai Iaʻu (Jesus Loves Me, Too)

KS Advent Devotionals

Hawaiian-focused devotionals and video hymns created for use by KS students, families and others during the Advent season. (See videos below.)

Developed by KS chaplains Ruth Farrell, Kalani Wong, and Kordel Kekoa, and Cultural Specialist Hauʻoli Akaka of KS’ Ho‘okahua Hawaiian Cultural Vibrancy Group.

To honor the deep Christian faith of KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

Each weekly devotional will also be posted to the KS I Mua Newsroom on Mondays, December 1, 8, 15, and 22.

The Advent project hui extends a heartfelt “mahalo” to KS Senior IT Trainer Edmond Mak who produced the videos, Graphic Designer Kelly Shishido who created the devotional print piece, and retired Education Program Analyst Lester Muraoka who helped get the program off the ground.

The devotionals were developed by a hui including KS Hawaiʻi Kahu Ruth Farrell, KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong, and KS Kapālama Kahu Kordell Kekoa.


Kaipuolono Article, Newsroom, Campus Programs, Hawaii, Kapalama, Maui, Community Education, Department News, Features

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