The Book of Common Prayer
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    Prayer Books in the Arosi Language


Arosi is an Austronesian language spoken by about 7000 people on the northwest end of Makira, an island in the Solomon Islands. Makira was known previously as San Cristobal or San Cristoval, and until the 1880s, was called Bauro by the Melanesian Mission. David Griffiths, in his Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer, lists Arosi and Bauro as two of five dialects of the San Cristoval language, while Ethnologue has five different languages (including Arosi, Bauro, and Owa) spoken on this island.

A large number of Anglican publications have been produced for use on Makira. Those in Arosi include the following; the last three texts are presented here:

Hate Hasuri Ra Ni Inoni Do Re Mataia Ni Rihunga Inia Kauraha. “Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Bauro [sic Arosi] language”, attributed to John Coleridge Patteson. St. John's College, New Zealand: Printed at the Melanesian Press, 1858. (external link)
Griffiths 146:1

Na Collect Rago Mana Tarainei Rine Haarahesi Heetei, Mana Gana Rago.
Collects, Occasional Prayers, and Hymns.
Norfolk Island: Melanesian Mission Press, 1907.

Rumatari, ani R ihunagi.
Norfolk Island: Printed at the Melanesian Mission Press, 1910. Griffiths 148:1
A very limited translation of the 1662 BCP. Includes Daily (Morning & Evening) Prayer, Prayers, the Ten Commandments, and several hymns.

Na Book Ni Rihuai.
Portions of the Book of Common Prayer, with Hymns, in the language of Arosi:
Summer Hill, New South Wales: Melanesian Mission Press, 1945.

E Rin Ei Ha’arahesi Nau Maea Ni Melanesia Ha’ate Ni Arosi, Hanuato’o.
A Liturgy for Melanesia in Arosi.
Honiara: Provincial Press, 1980.

Thanks are due to Richard Mammana, who transcribed all three texts presented here; to Thomas Rae, who proivided the 1945 Arosi BCP; and to Dr. Michael W. Scott, who provided the 1910 and 1980 texts.

altar at St. Paul's, Heuru
Altar at St. Paul's, Heuru
(photo courtesy Dr. Michael Scott)

  Page last modified 14 April 2011


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