Bicentenary of New Zealand’s first Christmas sermon

Samuel Marsden preaching the first Christmas sermon in 1814 (click for image credit)

Samuel Marsden preaching the first Christmas sermon in 1814 (click for image credit)

On Christmas day 1814, Reverend Samuel Marsden preached the first sermon in New Zealand to local iwi. His service was held under the patronage of Ngāpuhi chief Ruatara who also acted as his translator. Marsden began with Psalm 100 and then preached from Luke 2:10: “Behold I bring you glad tidings of great joy”

At Christmas time, the hymn Te Harinui, which is a hymn based on this first sermon, is heard in churches around New Zealand.

On 21 December this year Governor General Jerry Mateparae opened the Rangihoua Heritage Park in Northland. This opening was timed to recognise the bicentennial (1814-2014) of the first sermon.

Leave a comment

By posting comments you signify that agree to and accept the Terms and Conditions of this Blog.

Please enter current year *