How Hawaiians Celebrated the Precious Gift of A child

The Ho`ola`a Dedication Blessing Ceremony

Hawaiian Baby Blessing DedicationThe ho`ola`a is adapted from ancient Native Hawaiian tradition. The Hawaiian word “hoolaa” means to consecrate, dedicate or make sacred. In ancient Hawaii, the birth of a child especially the first-born male, was celebrated with a consecration ritual including invoking the presence of the family aumakua or primordial guardian spirits and then celebrated with a feast. This act of dedication is an important rite because it acknowledges that a ohana (family) is willing to commit to the responsibility of rearing the child in love, and righteousness and affirms the child’s spiritual connection to Ke Akua (God) and with the spirit of the aina or land. It helps to “clear the way” for the child to walk the path of life under the care, protection, and guidance of the ohana, designated spiritual guides or Godparents.

Why Should We Have a Ho`ola`a Dedication for Our Child?

Hoolaa ceremony for babyThe gift of a keiki (child) is truly one of the greatest blessings in life. Therefore, it is befitting that we gather as family and friends to celebrate this precious makana (gift) and to welcome the child into a spiritual life. Many families from all over the world come to us for this beautiful blessing ceremony each time they have a child.  This ceremony has similar characteristics of a Christian baptism but it is not considered a baptism in traditional baptism where the child is welcomed as a member of a specific religion or church.

Who Performs the Ho`ola`a?

The blessing is performed exclusively by Kahu Silva. Kahu embraces Christian values but regards himself as more spiritual in belief rather than religious, and universal in practice. He recognizes and respects all beliefs and spirituality as paths in which individuals may freely choose to practice their formal religion and their personal connection to a higher Creative Force of their choice.

Is Kahu Silva Affiliated with a Church?

Yes. Kahu is the senior minister of the Aloha O Kalani Ministry (AOK) (non-profit 501c3, tax-exempt) a small independent non-denominational ministry and education center incorporated in 2000.

Where is the Ho`ola`a Performed?

Family celebrating baby birthday at Kualoa BeachThe ideal location is a site which is regarded as a pu`uhonua (place of refuge, peace and sanctuary). Kualoa Regional Park on the eastern coast Oahu is such a site – one of the most sacred and culturally and historically significant in the islands. In ancient times, it was also the residence and a training ground for our alii (chiefs, people of royal lineage). Additional appropriate sites are other beach parks including those in Kailua, Waimanalo, Makapuu and parks including Ho`omaluhia in Kane`ohe, Keaiwa Park in Aiea, churches, or other indoor or outdoor settings including one’s home or a commercial reception area where parents and friends may gather.

What Happens During the Ho`ola`a?

Normally, an ancient ceremonial chant performed by Kahu summons the presence of Ke Akua and the heavenly hosts to bless the occasion. The traditional Hawaiian hookipa or welcome is shared in accordance with Hawaiian hospitality and etiquette. The child, carried by the parents and accompanied by spiritual the godparents if any, and the ohana, are invited to particiapte. The hoolaa consecration ritual begins with the cantillation of very ancient Hawaiian dedicatory prayers and blesses the child using the appropriate sacred elements in accordance with the traditions of his kupuna (ancestors).

When & How Are Blessings Scheduled?

Blessings are normally scheduled at 10:30am weekdays. For more information and to receive a reservation form, please email us using our contact form.



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