Ceremonies of Aloha
Pili will work with you to create heart-felt, personal, joyous, inspired, transformative, and memorable wedding ceremonies that uniquely reflect your personalities, heritage, worldview, and aspirations.
Pili is frequently asked to perform weddings based on Hawaiian culture and tradition, including Hawaiian music and chant, but he is not limited to Hawaiian weddings. From the simplest to the most elaborate, he has also performed weddings with elements honoring Japanese, Mexican, Jewish, Italian, Filipino, Buddhist, Hindu, Earth-centered, and other traditions. He is always eager to expand his knowledge of the world’s rainbow of cultures, and looks forward to learning about your traditions from you and incorporating them into your ceremony.
Pili will meet with you several times before your wedding, to ensure that you and he have a complete understanding of how your wedding can be as beautiful and fulfilling as you have dreamed it would be. He will arrive early before the rehearsal and the wedding itself, and will oversee all aspects of the ceremony, so that you can let go of details and be joyfully present in the profound experience of your day.
Pili is delighted to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples, and welcomes the growing nationwide movement to honor the fundamental right of all couples to full, legally-recognized marriages.
Blessings for Homes, Businesses & More
In addition to weddings, Pili has performed various blessing ceremonies, including book launches, house blessings, and blessings of animal companions. (Scroll down for more information.) He has performed opening and closing ceremonies for the Peace Village Festival and the Inlakesh Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and was one of the ceremonialists at Luisah Teish’s 2014 Festival of the Bones, an event honoring the ancestors, in Oakland, California.
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One Hawaiian word for blessing, ho‘omaika‘i, also means to thank, congratulate, praise, or improve. A variation, ho‘opōmaika‘i, includes the understanding that the things we bless, as well as our power to bless them, are gifts from Spirit.
When we express our gratitude, affection, approval, and aspirations in the form of a blessing, we are calling upon Spirit to echo our intentions and amplify our mana (spiritual energy or life-force) – to resonate with our authentic good will and appreciation of the gifts we have received and will continue to receive.
Pili will perform blessings for births, birthdays, anniversaries, homes, gardens, businesses, goals, intentions, classes, animals – if you read something about Pili doing a “horse blessing”, it’s probably not a typo for “house blessing” – as well as voyages and vehicles. Beings, ventures, objects, and ideas of all kinds can be honored. He will also lead memorial services designed to celebrate the life of a departed loved one, and create a sense of community, continuity, and renewal in ceremony.
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A typical blessing ceremony appropriate for a family home is presented here. Blessings for businesses, births, vehicles, healings – and of course weddings and memorials – draw from the same traditional elements and follow a similar pattern.
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- The family and guests are welcomed to the blessing ceremony with the Mele Ho‘okipa (chant of welcome).
- Pili explains the purpose of the ceremony and the Hawaiian values that keep aloha alive in the home.
- The introduction concludes with a Hawaiian song appropriate for the blessing (vocal accompanied by guitar).
- The house blessing formally begins as Pili chants our gratitude to the four directions: East, the rising sun – we greet the light that renews life; West, the setting sun – we offer thanks for the gifts we have received that day; North – we look to Hōkū-pa‘a (North Star) for guidance on our way; South, from where our ancestors journeyed to Hawai‘i – we honor those who came before us.
- A series of oli (chants) welcome the ancestors and release the house from the limitations of the past, filling it with Mauli Ola (the Breath of Life), and freeing the people it shelters to live in balance, harmony, and aloha.
- Pī kai (blessing with ti leaves and salt water): Pili, along with the family, visits each room in the house, offering specific blessings for each room.
- Pili and the family rejoin the guests, and a special blessing is offered for all those present, conveying wishes of health, friendship, wisdom, courage, adventure, happiness, prosperity, and most importantly, aloha.
- Finally, the hosts offer their guests small portions of banana and sweet potato, embodying the masculine and feminine principles which are now free to manifest in balance and harmony in the newly-blessed house.
A complete blessing ceremony typically lasts 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the type of blessing (house, business, boat, baby), the size of the house or business, and the number of guests.