Thursday, March 19, 2020

Solitary Religious Service for a Time of Pandemic

           Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I'm Anne, always Anne, and today I'm offering some terrific free advice. We could all use something free right now.

In troubled times, religious worship takes on even more significance. I remember during 9/11, the churches were packed. Sadly, we can't pack ourselves into anything right now, even if we feel the need to access the Divine more than usual.

This is where solitary-practicing Pagans can lend a hand. This post is long because it contains the text of a ritual that I have practiced for a long time, doing all the roles. It's a broad and general ritual, which I will make even more broad by suggesting deities instead of leaving specific deities named.

Christian teens, you can totally do this! Just plug in "God." And take a good look at the rest of this, because it might have some real appeal.

If you're comfortable in your solitary practice, you go! I'm so happy for you.                                    

Ritual for Solitary Worship

If a specific speaker is identified, just read all those roles.

Herald:        By the Light of the Sun and Moon, by the Power of Sea and Stone, by the Beauty of Flower and Field, I will now undertake this moment of worship. This is my ceremony to honor the Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits. 

Druid 1:       Let us take three breaths…
                        Together with the Earth beneath us…
                        Together with the Sky above us…
                        Together with the Sea around us…

Druid 2:       I have sought this holy light, in the Sun’s (or Moon's) sight, to celebrate this, a Rite of Worship. Let all disturbing thoughts be laid aside. May I be granted peace from all quarters, for only with peace can the work proceed.

Face East:              I salute the Hawk of Dawn, from which rises the warmth of the Sun. I call upon the Powers of the East. May there be Peace in the East!

Face South:           I salute the Great Stag in the heat of the chase, and the crucible of the Sun. I call upon the Powers of the South. May there Peace in the South!

Face West:             I salute the Salmon of Wisdom, who dwells within the sacred waters of the pool from which all rivers flow. I call upon the Powers of the West. May there be peace in the West!

Face North:           I salute the Great Bear lighting the darkened sky at night, whose path marks the fruiting of the bountiful Earth.  I call upon the Powers of the North. May there be Peace in the North!

Back to Center:                 May there be Peace throughout the whole world.

Druid 1:       Gods and Goddesses of this most sacred place, I ask for your blessings in this my  ceremony. I will recite the prayer that unites all Druids.

                 Grant, O Gods and Goddesses, thy protection, and in protection, strength,
                        And in strength, understanding,
                        And in understanding, knowledge,
                        And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice,
                        And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
                        And in the love of it, the love of all existences,
                        And in the love of all existences,
                        The love of the divine and all goodness.

Face in the direction of your choice:           Why do I come today to the Gods?

            I honor the power of the Gods in every season, as all times and seasons are important to the life of humankind. I celebrate growth, the dance of life, vibrancy shimmering through the day and night. I honor the sun in the sky, with its many faces, as it makes the transition from its northernmost rising at the summer solstice toward the south for the winter. I honor the waning of the year, the slide into darkness, the harvest home. I honor the Wheel of the Year.

Druid:            I will let my sickle down
                        As the nourishing ear is in my hand
                        I will raise my eye to the heights
                        I will turn on my heel to the right

Druid:                As the sun travels
                             From the eastern quarter to the west
                             From the northern quarter to the southern quarter
                             As the sun rests at center, I will honor the Gods.

Druid:        Let us meditate upon the things in our lives that nourish us, the things that we wish to preserve in troubled times. 

All: Meditate quietly.

Druid:  Think of how you can open yourself to that which would smooth you and soften your way as you pass along this challenging path. This is a time for meditation: for relaxing what is hard and sharp and becoming at peace with the elements of time and tide. Think of the power you have to protect yourself, and those things which are outside your control. Both of these are sacred. They are the way of the world.

At this time you address your deities personally, petitioning them for clarity or asking them to hold you and your loved ones in the Light. Any concerns or celebrations are acknowledged. Stay in the presence of the Divine as long as you like. You can kindle a bonfire, do a dance, some drumming or singing, or even make a craft. At the end of this period, complete the ritual as below.

Druid 2:      This time has passed; may it come again in the fullness of the year. As the celebration ends, let its fire be lit in my heart. May my memory hold what the eyes and ears have gained.

 (3 times) 
I swear, by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand.
Mark, O Spirit, hear me now,
Confirming this, my sacred vow. 

 Three Awens or other closing spiritual exclamation

Druid 2:       May the spirits of the four directions be thanked for their blessings.


Face East:              In the name of the Hawk of Dawn, from which rises the warmth of the Sun;  I thank the Powers of the East.

Face South:           In the name of the Great Stag in the heat of the chase, and the crucible of the Sun, I thank the Powers of the South.

Face West:             In the name of the Salmon of Wisdom, who dwells within the scared waters of the pool from which all rivers flow, I thank the Powers of the West.

Face North:           In the name of the Great Bear lighting the Darkened Sky at night, whose Path marks the fruiting of the bountiful Earth, I thank the Powers of the North.

Return to Center:                 May the harmony of the land be complete.

Herald:         May the blessings of the Divine be always with us. I declare this ceremony is now closed in the apparent world. May its inspiration continue within my heart.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

This is great, Anne -- thanks!

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e said...

Thank you for sharing this practice! Just reading it made me feel a little better. I have saved it for future use.