Oku ʻi lalo he ngataʻangá  ʻa e ongoongó ni he lea faka-Tongá

The Queen Mother of Tonga’s favourite hymn was revealed tonight as hundreds gathered in mourning to remember her in South Auckland.

It was the Free Wesleyan Church hymn 398 in which the lyrics were apparently written by late Dr James Egan Moulton in 1890s.

The hymn, known as “ʻOiau he ʻOfa ʻa e ʻOtua”,  was sung tonight during the memorial service.

It is now performed in two different tunes, one of which was composed by Samuel Stanley (1767 – 1822), while Arthur Henry Mann (1850 – 1930) composed the other version.

The first line of the hymn tells listeners, in Tongan, about the great love God has given to all human beings.

In the first verse it says that that love “leads and follows me in front and back and on the left and right sides”.

This photo was uploaded to Facebook by Nusifaifio Vave Pahulu who says the pianist is the Queen Mother Halaevalu Mataʻaho in a performance in Britain.

The second verse refers to Jesus as he is in agony on the cross and compares him to someone without a place to live. Having that in mind, no one can explain how great Jesus “looked after me”, the hymn goes.

The third verse refers to Jesus and how he came to the world and prepared places for his people to rest.

The Queen Mother was regarded not just as a very significant royal figure, but also a very humane person that cared for and loved her people.

She was well known for her passion about providing assistance to those with disabilities.

Her willingness to establish a facility in Tonga for people with disabilities in the early 1980s saw the Ālonga Centre became the largest charity organisation to provide assistance to Tongans suffering from the effects of blindness, disfigurement, paralysis and mental disorders.

The Queen Mother’s initiative allowed Tongans with disabilities to receive special treatment in the kingdom from staff who were employed to look after patients 24 hours a day.  A great deal of financial assistance for the programme was sourced from overseas donors.

The two-hour service this evening was attended by Princess Pilolevu Tuita, Princess Lātūfuipeka Angelika Mataʻaho Tukuʻaho,  Hon. Sālote Maumautaimi Tukuʻaho as well as the royals’ immediate family.

The Queen’s coffin is currently resting at ‘Atalanga until next week when it will be flown back to Tonga.

Queen  Mata’aho was a pianist and was very passionate about religious music.

Mourners were welcomed to the church by the Free Wesleyan Church president Dr ‘Ahio.

He asked that the people of Tonga pray for the royals at this time of sorrow.

About the hymn:

Dr Moulton, an English-born Missionary,  composed hundreds of hymns during his time in Tonga.

When creating new hymns he would either translate the original lyrics from English to Tongan, or he would couple borrowed English music together with Tongan lyrics of his own creation

It was not immediately clear how Dr Moulton composed the 398 hymn and why.

1 COMMENT

  1. FAKATOKANGAʻI ANGE: ʻOku ʻikai ngofua ke hiki ʻa e ongoongó ni ʻo toe pulusi ʻi ha feituʻu kehe hangē ko hano cut and paste ʻo pulusi ʻi he Feisipuká. Kātaki ka ʻokú ke fie ʻave ongoongó ni ki he mītia fakasōsialé ngāueʻaki pe ʻa e share button ʻa e Feisipuká. ʻOku mau ʻamanaki ʻe fakaʻapaʻapaʻi ʻa e fakatokangá ni.

    Fotu he himí e natula fakatuʻa ‘o e Kuini Fehuhú lolotonga hano manatua ia ‘e ha lau teau he poo ni

    Kuo ʻilo eni e himi manakoa ʻo e Taʻahine Kuini Fehuhu ʻo Tongá he poó ni lolotonga ia ha fakatahataha hifo ha lau teau ke manatua ia ʻi Saute ʻAokalani.

    Ko e himi fika 398 eni ʻa e Siasi Uēsiliana Tauʻatāina ʻo Tongá ngalingali ko e faʻu ʻe Toketā ʻIkani Molitoni fakafuofua ki he 1890 tupú nai.

    Ne hivaʻi e himí ni he pooí ni lolotonga ʻa hono fakamanatuá.

    ʻOku taku ʻa e Taʻahine Kuini Fehuhú naʻe ʻikai ko ha taha pe ia ʻo e Fale ʻo Haʻamoheofó ka ko ha fefine ʻo anga fakatuʻa mo ʻi ai ʻene tokanga makehe ki hono kakaí.

    Ko e himi 398:

    ʻOiau he ʻofa ʻa e ʻOtua
    ʻOkú ne fuʻu kāpui au
    ʻAlu ʻi mui p emo muʻa
    Toʻohema mo toʻomataʻu

    Sīsū naʻe ʻikai t eke maʻu
    Ha pot uke mālōlō ai
    ʻI hoʻo mamahi he ʻakau
    Naʻe liʻekina he tamai

    Ka ko ho tauhi kia au
    Ko hai ʻe ala fakahā?
    Ko hoku falé kuo maʻu
    Lelei pe ʻa e mālōloʻanga

    Tuʻu mai ʻa e ngaahi kongakau
    ʻO langi hangē ko e ʻā
    ʻIo ko Sīsū ʻoku haʻu
    ʻO ngaohi ʻa e tokoʻanga

    Fanongo hoku ʻatamai
    ʻO tuku muʻa ho ilifia
    Ko Sīsū ʻoku leʻo mai
    Ko hai ʻe ala ʻohofia?

    Ne ne ʻiloa he ʻofa mo tokanga ki he kau faingataʻaʻiá.

    Ko ʻene mokoi ke langa ʻa e Senitā ʻĀlongá he kamata mai ʻo e taʻu 1980 tupú ne hoko ai ʻa e senitaá ni ko ha fuofua kautaha lahi ia ʻi Tonga ke tokangaʻi makehe ai ʻa e kui, heke, mamatea mo e kau ʻatamai vaivai ʻo kehe mei he ʻuluaki kautaha ne ui ko e OTA pe ʻOfa, Tui mo e ʻAmanakí.

    ʻI ai hono kau ngāue mavahe ke tokangaekina kinautolu pea hoko foki ʻa e senitaá ni ko ha feituʻu pau ke huʻu kotoa ki ai ʻa e ngaahi tokoni mei muli ki he kau faingataʻaʻia ko ʻeni ʻi Tongá

    Ne meʻa ʻi he ouau houa ʻe uá ni ʻa e Taʻahine Pilinisesí Pilolevu Tuita kae pehē kia Sālote Maumautaimi lolotonga ʻeni ne tōtōfā pe ʻa e meʻafakaʻeiki ʻi ʻAtalanga ʻi ʻEpisomo.

    Ko Kuini Mataʻaho naʻe tā piano pea ne ne manako he ngaahi meʻa fakalotú mo e mūsiká
    .
    Ne talitali ʻa kinautolu kau tēngihia ʻo e Taʻahiné ʻe he Palesiteni ʻo e Siasi Uēsilianá Dr ʻAhio.

    Ne ne kolea ke lotua mo hūfia ʻa e Fale ʻo Tupoú ʻi he taimi faingataʻá ni.

    Hangē ko e himi ʻe lau teau ne faʻu ʻe Dr Molitoní ne hanga ʻe he misinale Pilitāniá ʻo liliu hangatonu mai ʻa e lea ʻo ha himi lea ʻIngilisi ki he lea faka-Tongá pe ko ʻene nō mai ʻa e fasi ʻo ha himi ʻIngilisi ka ne faʻu atu ha lea Tonga ʻo fasiʻaki.

    Kaekehe ʻoku ʻikai mahino pe ko e fē founga ne faʻu ʻaki ʻe Molitoni ʻa e himi 398 pea ko e hā e ʻuhinga ne faʻu aí.

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