619

Tama ngakau marie (Son of God, Whose Heart Is Peace)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s children are not called to come before God’s throne with a list of accomplishments, or merits or goodness; they are called, says Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 26, to come with the humility that “…offers nothing but our need for mercy.” Such a cry for mercy comes from our “dying-away of the old self” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 88) which expresses that we are “genuinely sorry for our sin and more and more…hate and run away from it” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 89).

 
The gifts of renewal and pardon come only “through true faith” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, Question and Answer 20) and are “gifts of sheer grace, granted solely by Christ’s merits” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, Question and Answer 21). The very act of faith is to plead for his mercy.

619

Tama ngakau marie (Son of God, Whose Heart Is Peace)

Confession

God of compassion,
in Jesus Christ you did not disdain the company of sinners
but welcomed them with love.
Look upon us in mercy, we pray.
Our sins are more than we can bear;
our pasts enslave us; our misdeeds are beyond correcting.
Forgive the wrongs we cannot undo;
free us from a past we cannot change;
heal what we can no longer fix.
Grace our lives with your love and turn the tears of our past
into the joys of new life with you. Amen.
[John Paarlberg in Reformed Worship 34:8]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Righteous God, in Christ you became sin for us.
You took what we are so that we might become what you are.
But we confess that often we ignore our sin.
We confess that too often we do not confess.
We keep silent about the sin that clings to us.
But our sins are too great a burden for us.
Forgive us. In Christ take away our iniquity.
You are our stronghold, our hiding place.
May we confess our sins, that we might then rejoice
and be glad in you and in the righteousness
that flows over us as a mighty stream of grace. In Christ, Amen.
[Reformed Worship 34:19]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Confession and Assurance
Son of God, you who set prisoners free, give our souls release. We are trapped by our lies, by our lusts, by addictions to habits that break us. Give our souls release. Ease the bondage of our will, so that seeing what is good, we do it, and love to do it, and so find our soul’s release. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
619

Tama ngakau marie (Son of God, Whose Heart Is Peace)

Tune Information

Name
TAMA NGAKAU MARIE
Key
G Major

Musical Suggestion

Simple harmonies and a beautifully balanced melody make this a joy to sing. As an alternative, consider having a choir or soloist sing stanza 1 as a call to worship, with the congregation responding by singing stanza 3. Later, during a time of confession, have everyone sing stanza 2. 
— Global Songs for Worship
619

Tama ngakau marie (Son of God, Whose Heart Is Peace)

Hymn Story/Background

This hymn is a prayer asking God for love, forgiveness, and release from evil, so that one can be safe and warm in Jesus’ arms. It is a traditional hymn of the Maori, the original inhabitants of New Zealand. Set in G major, it is simple, sincere, and passionate.
 
The native peoples in the Pacific are known for their open-throat singing style, which is light and lyrical and evokes flowing water or spring breezes. Harmonically, their songs reflect traditional practices that are skillfully integrated with idioms learned from Western missionaries. Thus, four-part harmonic singing is popular anywhere in the Pacific nations. In addition to the Western tonic (1-3-5), dominant (5-7-2), and sub-dominant (4-6-1) chords, other tones that do not belong to the chords are added at times. In other songs, tenors and basses may create their typical counter-melodies with strong chest voices.
 
Because the Maori language is easy to pronounce, all are encouraged to sing at least one stanza of this hymn in the original language to feel the song’s original flavor. According to some Pacific traditions, the hymn may be sung softly without clear breaks between phrases. Thus, members of the congregation or choir may take turns breathing at different points but not at the end of any phrase. It would also be good to accompany this hymn with a guitar playing broken chords. One can imagine singing this hymn at dusk, near the beach of a Pacific island, admiring the beauty of the golden sunset and the roaring waves and feeling the caresses of the cool breezes…while remembering God’s love and praying for mercy.
 
I-to Loh, Hymnal Companion to “Sound the Bamboo”: Asian Hymns in Their Cultural and Liturgical Context, p. 375, ©2011 GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago
— I-to Loh

Author Information

Shirley Erena Murray (b. Invercargill, New Zealand, 1931) studied music as an undergraduate but received a master’s degree (with honors) in classics and French from Otago University. Her upbringing was Methodist, but she became a Presbyterian when she married the Reverend John Stewart Murray, who was a moderator of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. Shirley began her career as a teacher of languages, but she became more active in Amnesty International, and for eight years she served the Labor Party Research Unit of Parliament. Her involvement in these organizations has enriched her writing of hymns, which address human rights, women’s concerns, justice, peace, the integrity of creation, and the unity of the church. Many of her hymns have been performed in CCA and WCC assemblies. In recognition for her service as a writer of hymns, the New Zealand government honored her as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit on the Queen’s birthday on June 3, 2001. Through Hope Publishing House, Murray has published three collections of her hymns: In Every Corner Sing (eighty-four hymns, 1992), Everyday in Your Spirit (forty-one hymns, 1996), and Faith Makes the Song (fifty hymns, 2002). The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, for which she worked for a long time, has also published many of her texts (cf. back cover, Faith Makes the Song). In 2009, Otaga University conferred on her an honorary doctorate in literature for her contribution to the art of hymn writing.
 
I-to Loh, Hymnal Companion to “Sound the Bamboo”: Asian Hymns in Their Cultural and Liturgical Context, p. 468, ©2011 GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago
— I-to Loh
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