This commemoration was approved at General Convention 2018, and will appear in a future edition of A Great Cloud of Witnesses.
Return to Lectionary
Last updated: 14 Sept. 2019
LILI'UOKALANI OF HAWAII
QUEEN AND HYMNOGRAPHER, 11 NOV 1917
Lili'uokalani; September 2, 1838 – November 11, 1917) was the first queen regnant and last sovereign monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, ruling from January 29, 1891, until the overthrow of the Kingdom on January 17, 1893. She was the composer of "Aloha 'Oe" and numerous other works.
Lili'okalani was born on September 2, 1838, in Honolulu, on the island of Oʻahu. She was married to American-born John Owen Dominis, who later became the Governor of Oahu. In 1877, after her younger brother Leleiohoku II's death, she was proclaimed as heir apparent to the throne.
Liliʻuokalani ascended to the throne on January 29, 1891, nine days after her brother's death. During her reign, she attempted to draft a new constitution which would have restored the power of the monarchy and the voting rights of the economically disenfranchised. This threatened pro-American elements in Hawaii, who overthrew the monarchy on January 17, 1893. The overthrow was bolstered by the landing of US Marines under John L. Stevens to protect American interests, which rendered the monarchy unable to protect itself.
The coup d'état established the Republic of Hawaii, but the ultimate goal was the annexation of the islands to the United States. After an unsuccessful uprising to restore the monarchy, the oligarchical government placed the former queen under house arrest at the 'Iolani Palace. On January 24, 1895, Lili'uokalani was forced to abdicate the Hawaiian throne, officially ending the monarchy.
Educated by American Protestant missionaries from a young age, Liliʻuokalani became a devout Christian and considered herself a "regular attendant on the Presbyterian worship". She was the first member of the royal family to consistently and regularly attend service at Kawaiaha'o Church since King Kamehameha IV converted to Anglicanism.
During the overthrow and her imprisonment, [Anglican] Bishop Alfred Willis of St. Andrew's Cathedral had openly supported the Queen. Bishop Willis visited and wrote to her during her imprisonment and sent her a copy of the Book of Common Prayer. Shortly after her release on parole, the former queen was baptized and confirmed by Bishop Willis on May 18, 1896, in a private ceremony in the presence of the sisters of St. Andrew's Priory.In her memoir, Lili'uokalani stated:
That first night of my imprisonment was the longest night I have ever passed in my life; it seemed as though the dawn of day would never come. I found in my bag a small Book of Common Prayer according to the ritual of the Episcopal Church. It was a great comfort to me, and before retiring to rest Mrs. Clark and I spent a few minutes in the devotions appropriate to the evening. Here, perhaps, I may say, that although I had been a regular attendant on the Presbyterian worship since my childhood, a constant contributor to all the missionary societies, and had helped to build their churches and ornament the walls, giving my time and my musical ability freely to make their meetings attractive to my people, yet none of these pious church members or clergymen remembered me in my prison. To this (Christian ?) conduct I contrast that of the Anglican bishop, Rt. Rev. Alfred Willis, who visited me from time to time in my house, and in whose church I have since been confirmed as a communicant. But he was not allowed to see me at the palace.
- more at Wikipedia