Halau plans hula in Mother Marianne's canonization

Vatican today is sensitive to cultural expression

 UPDATED 10:11 AM HST Oct 10, 2012
HONOLULU -

Traditionally, the Catholic Church does not allow dance to be a part of Mass.  But the Vatican today is sensitive to cultural expression.

One halau plans to make hula an integral part of Mother Marianne's canonization pilgrimage.

Keep your eyes on the hands.  Despite a ban on dance, liturgical hand movements are now allowed in some services.

For St. Damien's canonization celebration in Belgium and Rome, Keali'ika'apunihonua Ke'ena A'o Hula told a story of sacrifice in Kalaupapa.

Now three years later, the halau and its kumu are ready once again.

"The mele we're doing to honor Mother Marianne was written by our own Kahu Kauhani Aiu," said Kumu Hula Leimomi Ho.  "I said to him, 'Kahu, we need a mele for Mother Marianne.'  And so he wrote the words and because I liked the mele Lili'e, to honor our queen, I used that mele, borrowed it, and I used that mele for the words that Kauhani wrote."

The halau will also perform at an American embassy event honored the two American blesseds soon to be canonized, Marianne Cope and Kateri Takakwitha, a Mohawk missionary.

"Their dances that they do -- that's their language.  So for us, our hula, we share stories," said Ho.

Because of budget constraints, the halau will send only two musicians and six dancers this time.  But the number is significant since Mother Marianne brought with her six sisters to serve in the hospitals of the Hawaiian Islands.

Do you want to print this page now?