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The Book of Common Prayer
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Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Merelava language



Portions of the Book of Common Prayer
in the Merelava Language


Merelava or Merlav is a language spoken by over 1500 people in the Diocese of Vanuatu. It is used on Merelava (also called Mere Lava and Merlav) and Merig, two of the smaller islands in the Banks Group of northern Vanuatu. These islands were an early success story for the Melanesian Mission, which first made contact with them in 1863 through a visit by John Coleridge Patteson on the Southern Cross. Merelava was also the home island of Clement Marau (c. 1857-1926) and William Vaget (c. 1860-1916, pictured below), two of the earliest Melanesian clergy; both are commemorated today on the calendar of the Anglican Church of Melanesia.

This 1975 text, like all pre-1980 liturgies used in Vanuatu, includes intercessions for both Queen Elizabeth II and the President of France. Before this date, Vanuatu was known as the New Hebrides and was governed jointly as an Anglo-French condominium. These services are translations of the corresponding liturgies in A Melanesian English Prayer Book, first published in 1965.


Preparation for Holy Communion
Na Salsalmat Be Gangan Nu Roñ . . . 1-2

Holy Communion
Na Le Tambe Gangan Nu Roñ . . . 3-16

Morning Prayer
Na Tatar Tolo . . . 17-23

Daily (Evening) Prayer
Na Tatar Ravrav . . . 23-27


"Church at Merelava, Banks Group"
Thanks are due to Richard Mammana, who transcribed the text and wrote the introduction. Bp. Terry Brown supplied a copy of the original 28-page booklet published by the Church of the Province of Melanesia Press.



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