Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Liturgical Writing 2


1.  Define "votive offering" and write a prayer (including stage directions if applicable) for a votive offering. (100 words for definition; minimum 75 words for prayer)
            A votive offering is a type of sacrifice that is “made in consequence to a vow” (Thomas).  In these offerings, a promise is made to a specific deity or kindred in exchange for specific blessings to be received.  Essentially, the vow is made and if the desired outcome occurs then the deity has accepted your vow and the appropriate offerings should be made.  However, if the desired product does not come to fruition, then the vow has not been accepted, and the person making the vow does not owe the offerings they had promised.  These offerings can range greatly, from the creation of a shrine, to a certain libation being given (Thomas, Sacred Gifts 97-98). 

Mighty Hermes, herald to the gods,
Guide to lost souls, and friend to travellers,
Great persuader, cunning and swift,
I make this offering to you now and
call to you as the guardian of the road.

{pour mead into the fire}

As I make this offering,
 know that I have more to give:
I pray that you grant us safe travels.
Allow us to reach our destination,
And return home again safely
Without hazard or dangers along our way.
If you grant us safe passage,
Making our journey swift and clear,
I will bring forth a case of my finest mead
And offer it all to you.
This is my vow to you, mighty Hermes.

2. Write three prayers, one each for three of the following occasions (no minimum word count):
Lighting a Sacrificial Fire  
Mighty Hestia, goddess of the living flame,
and keeper of the home,
guide us with your light.
By lighting this fire,
We claim this space as our own,
And with your name and your blessing,
the fire is lit, a hearth ablaze,
in the heart of this sacred space.
{Light Fire}
With this fire, may our hearts be warmed,
And our homes bright.
By worshiping at our communal hearth
may our community be strong and unified.

Meal Blessing  
Earth mother, glorious goddess who supports and sustains all living things,
Thank you for providing us with nourishment and fulfillment,
And the gift of this wonderful food. 
We are grateful for your blessings,
and the blessings of the nature spirits who have given their lives so we can live.
May this food bring strength, joy, and peace to each of us.
Earth mother, we thank you!

Remembering a Recently-Passed Ancestor  
Sly Fox, quick to spring, quick to act,
And quick to disappear.
You came into our world, unexpected,
And left us all too soon,
With a void that can never be filled.

But, silly Fox, your departure is not your end,
For your memory lives on,
In the hearts of all of those you left behind,
And your name echoes,
In the dreams that we’ve fulfilled.

Old Fox, my promise to you is one I won’t forget,
The tales will still be told,
And the story will continue
Travel well, dear friend,
I’ll look for you in the shadows. 

This is a prayer that I wrote to my mentor when he passed away.  He often went by the name “Fox.”   Fox and I had big dreams of being able to start a grove together, and he passed away before that was able to happen.  However, I continued with that dream, created a grove, and named it after his production company, Prairie Shadow. 

3.  Write two prayers, one each for two of the following occasions:
First Day at School
Mighty Kindreds,
Today my son steps into the world,
Starting the foundation for his future.
I ask that you watch over him, and guide him.
Grant him patience and perseverance
For those times where school is hard.
Grant him joy and laughter
To spread to those around him,
And let him have fun
And enjoy these moments
That I know will pass too quickly.
Mighty Kindreds, thank you for standing by his side
When I cannot be there to hold his hand.

Blessing a House
{Light candle}
A flame is lit, to bring light and warmth to this home,
Mighty Hestia, glorious goddess of the hearth,
We ask that you bless this home and all who dwell here.
You who embody home and harmonious community,
Guide this family with your light.
And let your hospitality be shown through them.
Through this flame, let their hearts be warmed,
Through this flame, let their home be bright.
Mighty Hestia, bless this house. 

4. Write a magical working for a full ADF rite suitable for use in a group setting, including stage directions as appropriate. (no minimum word count)
This is a healing working could be performed within a group healing ritual. I would do a COoR ritual with Brigid as the being of occasion and then in the working section, do the following:

Each participant is handed a white candle.  Brigid’s candle is lit as this working is started. 

Brigid, glorious goddess of fire,
We call to you now. 
Mighty goddess of healing,
We ask for your aid.
I pray to you to ask for the healing of our friends and loved ones.

The first participants candle is lit from Brigid’s candle, and the flame is passed from person to person while intoning, letting the volume and energy build. 

May your flame burn away all of their illnesses,
May your strength help to ease their pain,
May your blessings heal their wounds.
Let them to be whole and happy.
Send your healing wisdom to their bodies,
So they can heal both seen and unseen.
Send your energy to restore them,
and bless their healing with peace.

Mighty Brigid, merge your magic with ours
Let your blessings flow to our loved ones.
Let them feel your strength,
And let them be healed! 

Glorious Brigid, let our loved ones be healed!

All:  Glorious Brigid, let our loved ones be healed!


5. Write one complete ritual for an ADF High Day. The ritual must be substantially original and suitable for use in a group setting. (no minimum word count)
Initiating the Rite
The group processes from the entrance to the altar singing We Approach the Sacred Grove: https://www.adf.org/rituals/chants/processional/we-approach-the-sacred-grove.html

Purification
Ritual participants will wash their hands and enter the ritual space.   After all have been purified:

Druid 1:  As humans, there are times where we feel frustration, disappointment, or anxiety. Before we begin our rite, let us work to heal those emotions in ourselves so we can enter the sacred space with a good heart. I’d like you all to close your eyes and take a moment to look within yourself for these troubles, or others that may be bothering you.   Once you have located those feelings, take a deep breath in, and blow out hard, blowing those negativities into a bubble in front of you.  Take as many breaths as you need to in order to fill your bubble.   Now that your bubble is filled, I want you to blow them away from yourself, down the path that leads away from this space.  Blow the bubble further down the path and as it reaches the end of the road, watch it sink into the Dark Earth.  Deep in the Dark Earth are bronze vats with lids of lead and latches of iron.  Watch your bubble sink into one of these vats and be sealed inside and locked into place where it doesn’t come up again.  I want you once again to take a deep breath, but this time, I want you to breath in the joy and gratitude from the world around you.  Breathe deeply and feel it fill those places that the troubles have left behind.  These are gifts the earth has given back, cleansing gifts for you to take forward.   Open your eyes, and now, we are ready to continue with our rite. 

Honoring the Earth Mother

Gives cornmeal to Hannahannah

Druid 3: Hannahannah, wise mother goddess, advise giver, and purifier of gods, we ask you to join us in this rite.  Grant us your strength and wisdom.  Through you, the cycle of life is restored.  Eternal, revered, and blessed, Hannahanna, we ask you to uphold this rite.  Welcome Hannahanna
All: Welcome Hannahanna!

Statement of Purpose:

Druid 1:  Today we celebrate the First Harvest and the story of Telipinu.  In this season, the first of the harvest is brought in from the fields.  While the days are still warm, before long the world will begin to cool as the darkness grows longer.  Telipinu, God of harvest and fertility, is with us now allowing us to reap the rewards of a successful growing season.  We celebrate Telipinu’s gifts and the sacrifices from the earth so for our continued nourishment. 

(Re)Creating the Cosmos

We continue this celebration by re-creating the cosmos through the Fire, Well, and Tree.   

Well:  Druid 3:  Water of the well, gateway to the Underworld, carry our words to our beloved dead.  Act as a door through which we may honor them.  Clear water of the well, accept our offering. (Give offering of silver)

Fire:  Druid 2:  Primal fire, Glory of the Sun, fire of the hearth.  Your radiant heat inspires life.  Light bearer and power of the stars, gateway to the Shining ones.  Sacred fire, accept our offering.  (Give offering of oil)

Tree:  Druid 1:  Great tree, you who span the three worlds.  Your roots go deep and drink from the waters of the well and your branches rise high into the heavens.  Great tree, accept our offering. (Give offering of incense)


Opening the Gates

Druid 2: We will now invite a Gatekeeper to watch over our rite, and aid us in opening the Gates to the Otherworlds.

Gives alcohol to Arinniti.

Druid 3:  Arinniti, Goddess of the Sun, Hearth Fires, Temple Flames, and the Fires inside the earth, queen of Heaven and Earth, keeper of the sacred fires of all realms, aid us as we re-create the cosmos and call our Kindred near.  We ask that you guide our journey tonight. Help us to walk between the worlds and traverse the realms.  
Druid 1: See the flame leaping forth from the ritual fire.  See the mist arising from the well, warmed by the fires deep in the earth, flame and mist joining at the eyan-tree, forming a meeting place between the realms.  Arinnti, merge your magic with ours, and Let the Gates be open!

All: Let the Gates be open!

Inviting the Three Kindreds

Give birdseed to the Nature spirits.

Druid 2: Nature spirits, creatures who live in the realm of Inara, goddess of the wild animals, we ask you to join us in this rite.  You who live in the forests, fields and plains, you who play in the running and still waters, we call you to our sides and ask you to join us by the fire.  Welcome, Nature Spirits!

All:   Welcome, Nature Spirits!

Give bread to the Ancestors.

Druid 3: Ancestors, guides and guardians, beings who dwell in the Dark Earth with Lelwani, kin of blood and spirit alike, beloved dead both named and un-named, we call you to our sides and ask you to join us by the fire.   Welcome, Ancestors!

All:   Welcome, Ancestors!

Give mead to the Gods.

Druid 1: Shining Ones, the Thousand Gods of land, sea, and sky, those who are familiar and those who are strangers, we call you to our sides and ask you to join us by the fire.  Welcome, Shining Ones!

All:  Welcome, Shining Ones!

Key Offerings
Druid 2: Today we’ve gathered to celebrate the first harvest, and the gifts we receive from Telipinu, while also remembering the suffering caused by his wrath.  Telipinu was the son of the mighty storm god.  He was a master of fostering agriculture, and with his help, fertility was abundant.  One day, he was angered, the reason still unknown. Telipinu put his left shoe on his right foot, and right shoe on his left, and with this all joy seemed to leave the world.  Mist seized the windows, smoke filled the houses, and fireplace logs were stifled.  Mother sheep rejected their lambs.  Telipinu went away and took with him all the grain, luxuriance, growth, and abundance.  He went to the moor to hide from the world.  While he was there, cattle, sheep, and humans could no longer become pregnant, and those already pregnant couldn’t give birth. 
Druid 3: The Thousand Gods found themselves hungry and thirsty, and while they could eat, they were never full, and their thirst was never quenched.  The gods began to worry and searched for Telipinu from the high mountains to the deep valleys but no one found him.  Finally, Hannahanna sent a bee to search.  The other gods questioned her, telling her that her wings were too small and he was too weak, but she had faith in her companion.  The bee flew and searched until finally it came upon Telipinu, sleeping in the moor.  The bee stung his hands and feet to wake him, and then rubbed him with wax to purify him.  Telipinu returned to the city, but he was still quite displeased, so the people of the city began to make offerings.
Druid 2: They offered him honey, asking to allow the sweetness to sweeten his temperament. They offered grapes, reminding Telipinu of the goodness that lives inside a grape, bearing the gift of wine behind its skin, and asking that the goodness of the grapes bring goodness to his heart.  Finally, they began to pray.  “Telipinu, anger is a burning fire, and just as this fire, let your anger be extinguished” and with that, the extinguished the flame of their hearth.   This prayer finally got his attention.  Telipinu looked at the land around him, and saw the consequences of his actions.   He began to calm and as he did the mist left the winds, smoke left the homes, and altars were again in harmony with the gods.
Offer honey/grape to Telipinu at appropriate times, and extinguishes flame.
Druid 1:  We now call upon Telipinu and ask him that he join us in this rite.  Telipinu, son of the mighty storm god, you who returned the sun from the dark sea, and bring bountiful gifts to the world of man, we have gathered here today to celebrate your gifts and hear of the hardships that come when you are gone.  We now call to you, Mighty Telipinu, to join us in this rite.  Telipinu, revered god of the harvest; fertility, abundance, and nourishment you provide to those who hold your blessing.  Mighty friend to mankind and provider of gifts, both wonderful and useful, we call you to our sides and ask you to join us by the fire.  Welcome, Telipinu!

All: Welcome, Telipinu!

Druid 2:  Now is the time to give offerings to any of the Kindreds that you would like to honor.  Come up as you will and bring your offerings either to the plate or bowl; you may choose to say some words in honor of those you are offering to, or you may speak your intentions in your heart.

After all are done, give final offerings.

Prayer of Sacrifice

Druid 3:  "Honor to the Nature Spirits, Spirits of this land and place! Honor to the Ancestors, mighty dead who have gone before us! Honor to the Gods and Goddesses of many names! Accept our offerings!"

All:  Accept our offerings!

Omen

Takes omen.

Druid 2: "Do the Kindreds accept our offerings?"

Response.

Druid 2 "What blessings do the Kindred gift to us?"

Response

Calling for/Hallowing/Affirming the Blessings

Druid 1: In our tradition, a gift calls for a gift.  Having offered to the Kindreds, we seek their blessings in return.  Mighty Kindreds: nature spirits, ancestors, Gods, Hallow these waters! Bless our lives with wisdom and peace as we drink these sacred waters. Behold the waters of life!

Druid 2: By the blessing of all the Kindred, and mighty Telipinu, may we be filled with abundance and joy.  From good to good and gain to gain, throughout the turning year.  Honor to the Kindreds!

Druid 3:  Now, I ask, do those gathered here wish to receive the blessings Kindreds? Then let them be shared.
The Waters are passed and all participants share the waters.

Thanking the Beings

Druid 3:  As we prepare to depart, let us give thanks to those who have aided us! Telipinu, god of the fields, friend to mortals, we are honored to celebrate the first harvest with you.  Mighty Telipinu, we thank you!

All: We thank you.

Druid 2: Spirits of the land, sea, and sky, creatures of Inara, you who dwell in the forests, fields and plains, may there be peace between us until we meet again.  Nature Spirits, we thank you!

All: We thank you.

Druid 1: Ancestors, kin of heart and blood, heroes, guides, and guardians, you who dwell in the Dark Earth with Lelwani, may your courage continue to guide us on our path.  Ancestors, we thank you!"

All: We thank you.

Druid 3: Shining Ones, Thousand Gods and Goddesses both known and unknown, deities of land, sea, and sky, may your wisdom continue to light our way.  Shining ones, we thank you!"

All: We thank you.

Druid 2: Arinitti, keeper of the sacred fires of all realms, we thank you for acting as our guide tonight.  May you continue to guide us on our paths.

All: We thank you.

Closing the Gates

Druid 1: Now let the Fire be flame, the Well be water, and the tree be but wood.  Let all be as it was before.  Mighty Arinitti, I ask you to once again join your magic with mine and together, let the Gates be closed!

Motions closing of Gates.

All: Let the Gates be closed!

Thanking the Earth Mother

Druid 3:  Hannahanna, Wise mother, for your support and sustenance. We thank you!

All: We thank you.

Give remaining offerings to Hannahannah.

Closing the Rite

Druid 2: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Kindreds have answered! Let us go out into the world secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the Kindreds and that we go forth under their protection.  The ritual is at a close.




Works Cited

Thomas, Kirk. Sacred Gifts. Tuscon: ADF Publishing, 2015.

—. The Nature of Sacrifice. September 2015 <https://www.adf.org/articles/cosmology/nature-of-sacrifice.html>.





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