Liturgical Writing 2
- 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: Defense from Foxes & Hawks
I call on Persephone of the Low-Slung Girdle. Give ear to me O Radiant One! Besieged are the hens who dwell in my yard, hunted and devoured are they. Look kindly on my flock. Preserve them from the hunger of the fox. Shield them from the bright eye of the hawk. If they abide in safety until the coming of the first frost, then I will deck your shrine with two strings of solar lights and offer up to you a layer-sized boulder of rose quartz. Sweet Persephone, O Friend of Hens, defend this flock, I pray.
- Write three prayers, one each for three of the following occasions (no minimum word count):
- a piacular offering
to whom I’ve given freely.
Accept my gifts as they were meant;
tokens of respect and feeling.
And if, by chance or by omission,
I have slighted you in any way,
accept now this gift and let the scales be even.
- a meal blessing (written to be used in my Waldorf classroom before lunch and snacks)
our bodies, minds, and spirits gain
a healthy glow;
by this we know
through Nature’s bounty do we grow
- praise to accompany an offering
- Write two prayers, one each for two of the following occasions (no minimum word count):
- before casting a ballot in an election
Hail to Jupiter, First among Gods and men. Guiding the heavens through their movements, guiding the state through all adversity. You who make our leaders speak with wisdom. You who make our leaders act with honor. You who make our leaders shields of the citizenry. Give ear to me I pray. Mighty Jove, let me cast my ballot with will and courage. Let my decision be guided by your strength and by your powers.
- for blessing a house
- 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)
Items representing the occupations of the assembled folk should be in a large basket on the altar, one of these things should be a trowel. You will need a number of small cakes (crackers will work), some goat’s milk, incense, and a collection of seeds.
D1: “The Blessings of the Gods flows through us. Alight with their might and magic, let us turn our hands and our will to the work before us.”
Bard: “Our tools do the work to bring forth our prosperity. To be productive, they must be free from curses and ill-effects, they must be blessed and full of power.”
D1: Handing the basket to the Bard, removes the trowel and digs a hole in the ground “Come forward and give gifts to the Earth Mother”
D1 Picks up the plate of cakes and hold it for the folk to take a cake and drop it into the hole. When everyone has done this, pour the milk into the hole. Light the incense, use it to smudge the basket of tools.
D1: sprinkling seeds over the tools, “All ill will is broken and spent, the Earth is nourished and renews our tools. Filled with promise, our toils will bring us wealth and fulfillment. Hail to the strengthening Earth (all repeat)”
- 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)
Site description: Folk begin a short distance from the Nemeton. Halfway between the starting site and the Nemeton is a mound or altar dedicated to the Earth Mother. To one side of the Nemeton is a garden or altar dedicated to Persephone. The Well should be situated near this garden.
Needed offerings: Kykeon (barley water mixed with pennyroyal--pregnant/nursing women should not drink this), oil, salt, whiskey/vodka, tray laden with seeds/corn/grains, wine, 2 silver coins, dish of oats and wheat, plate of fat & bones, wreath decorated with seasonal flowers and greens, a dish of grains mixed with water,
- Initiating the Rite
- Musical Signal: sound the Tibetan temple bell x3
- Opening Prayer: “We gather to honor the spirits of this land, our beloved dead, and the gods of our people. Let us be of one purpose this night. Let us be one people this night. Let us be of the same will this night.”
- Purification - Before beginning the Processional, the folk will wash their hands and face with water infused with rosemary, cedar, and lavender.
- Folk process to the Mother Mound singing, “Come We Now as a People”
- Honoring the Earth Mother At the Mother Mound an offering of Kykeon is poured. “Ioulo, Mother of the Sheaves, your children call to you. O Greening Mother, where you walk, fruitfulness follows. Our bodies are made of your bounty. When we whither, you accept us into your arms. Demeter of the Grain, Demeter of the Harvest, Demeter of the Shorn Fields, we make this gift to you (pour a draught of kykeon). Earth Mother, accept our offering (all repeat)” Folk sing the Earth Mother chant x3
- Continue the Procession to the Nemeton; D1 carries a tray on her head filled with seeds, ears of maize, yellow dock, sorghum, and grains
- Statement of Purpose: “We gather to celebrate the autumnal equinox. To bid farewell to Persephone of the slender ankles. To mourn with Demeter as she turns her face from the growing world. We prepare ourselves for the final harvests. As our Ancestors have done before us, let us pray with a good fire (light the Fire). We honor Hestia (offer salt to the Fire), she who keeps the hearth. Hearth tender, accept this gift.”
- (Re)Creating the Cosmos: Folk sing the Portal Song. An offering of a silver coin is given to the Well. A libation of oil is poured to the Fire. Kykeon is poured at the base of the Tree.
- Opening the Gate(s) - “Come unto the Grove O Hermes, who knows the secrets hidden both beneath the poles of heaven and underneath the Earth. Come unto the Grove O Hermes, thou of many names. Come unto the Grove O Hermes, benefactor who doest good to all the world. You fleet-footed messenger, you who knows all roads that have been and will be, give ear to me. Come unto the Grove, accept this gift (pour oil on the Fire) and let our rite echo in the halls of the heavens. Come unto the Grove, accept this gift (offer a coin to the Well) and let our rite echo in the halls of Hades. Come unto the Grove, accept this gift (offer oats and wheat around the base of the Tree) and hold the Gates for us this night.”
- Inviting the Three Kindreds
- Nature Spirits: (begin by touching the ground)”I speak with the voice of my people. I speak to the spirits of the soil. I speak words of welcome. (standing and throwing arms wide) I speak to the spirits of the stems and trunks. I speak to the spirits of the living world. I speak words of gratitude. (Reaching arms overhead) I speak to the spirits of the winds and the clouds, starry and vast. I speak to the spirits of all wild places. I speak words of respect. Spirits of this place, Spirits of this land, welcome us as we welcome you. (Offer grains mixed with water around the nemeton) Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice (all repeat)”
- Ancestors: (speaking over the Well)”The living speak to those in the fields of Asphodel. We speak to those in the fields of Elysium. We speak to those in the Isles of the Blessed. Hear our words O beloved dead. We honor the Ancestors of our blood, of our heart, and of our souls. Remember us as we remember you (pour whiskey or vodka into the Well). Ancestors accept our sacrifice (all repeat)”
- Gods:(Hold aloft a plate of fat and bones)”We call on the Gods who dwell in heaven, in air, and water; the Gods who dwell on the Earth and beneath it; the gods who dwell in the fiery elements. Give ear to us O Immortal Ones. Draw close and accept your share. Hhonor us as we honor you (offer most of the fat and bones to the Fire, but keep a portion back) Gods and Goddesses, accept our sacrifice (all repeat)”
- Key Offerings -
- Invitation of Persephone: “Persephone of the sunlit field; Persephone, with red-stained lip; Persephone, beloved by grains; Persephone of the deepest throne; Persephone of the white cypress; Persephone of the mirrors; Persephone, moved by Orpheus; Persephone of the lyre’s tear; Persephone of the Traveler’s gift; Persephone of the hens; Persephone of the secret seed; Persephone of the melted snow; Persephone of the shining stones; Persephone of the wreathed grave; Persephone of the paw-paw; Persephone of the garden. We call to you. (offer wine to the Fire) Give ear to us O Persephone. We entreat you to revel with us once more before you depart for your shrouded realm. (offer wine to the fire) Persephone,accept our gifts (all repeat).
- Praise Offerings: The folk are invited to make offerings. Wind up the offerings with the Lay of Hades.
- Prayer of Sacrifice: Persephone, you greening branch, you swelling grain, your time upon the fields of the living draws to a close. We honor you as you keep your bargain. We honor you as you take the warmth of life to the realms of the Dead. We honor you as you mount your queenly throne. (hold aloft a wreath decorated with seasonal blooms and greenery, take it to the PawPaw tree in the Ancestor garden) Persephone, Fare you well, bless us as you pass (hang the wreath on the tree). Persephone, accept our sacrifice (all repeat)
- Omen: Take the omen using geomancy disks
- Calling (asking) for the Blessings if the Omen is favorable: Litany of the Waters
- Hallowing the Blessing: (holding hand over the wine jug) “Let this wine be filled with the Blessings of our Gods (reiterate what the Omen said). As you drink, accept these gifts and be Blessed.” (share the wine)
- Affirmation of the Blessing: “Within us flow the Blessings of Persephone and Demeter, we will defend the spark of life through the darkness of the barren season. Persephone’s gifts shall not be lost while we remember”
- Workings (if any)
- Thanking the Beings in reverse order
- Closing the Gate(s): “Celestial messenger of a thousand techniques, who held the gates for us this night, accept the final portion as your share (offer the remaining fat and bones to the Fire) and accept our gratitude. This task is completed now, let the Gates be closed.”
- Thanking the Earth Mother “Demeter of the shining hair, accept this gift before you turn to your grief (offer remaining kykeon) know that we, your children, weep for you as you weep for your fair one with the low-slung girdle. Earth Mother, your children are always grateful to you”
- Thanking the Hearth-tender: “Hestia, hearth keeper, for tending our Fire and feeding the flames, we offer you our thanks.” Offer salt to the Fire.
- Closing the Rite “children of Earth, go now in peace. This rite is ended.”
Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1985. Kindle Edition
Thomas, Kirk. The Nature of Sacrifice. ADF. Web. 17 Sept. 2015. <https://www.adf.org/articles/cosmology/nature-of-sacrifice.html>.