Tag Archive | apollo

Prayer to Artemis and Apollo to Protect the Young

To swift-footed Artemis and far-shooting Apollo,
dear children of Leto and thundering Zeus,
I pray to you, O gods, watch over ______________
as they travel through the world, keep them safe from harm,
guard them from evil, protect them from all ill,
grant them the strength to overcome all obstacles,
grant them the resilience to recover from loss,
grant them the wisdom to find their way through the dark,
grant them true friends to join them on their journey.
Show them the joy in life, the pleasures of today
and the promise of tomorrow. Give them the gift
of a mind turned ever toward happiness and hope.
Be with them, O gods, in good times and bad;
favor them with insight and good humor, with the courage
to choose freely and the wisdom to choose well.
I pray to you, bless them with your many gifts.

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Pyanepsia Rite

Honoring: Apollo
Date: 6 Pyanepsion (19 October per HMEPA calendar)

Season: Fall harvest
Region: Athens

Items needed:
Bowl of water and stick (incense, punk, or natural) to light and douse
Candle, matches or lighter to light the stick
Bowl of barley
Eiresione*
Libation
Offering of panspermia, a dish made with beans and grains**
Libation bowl
Cup

In the ritual script, italicized text refers to directions and actions and isn’t meant to be spoken.


Procession

Assemble and prepare to process to the altar.

We go to the holy place with reverence and love, to honor the gods.

Proceed to enter the sacred space.

Purification of participants

Light the stick or incense and extinguish in the bowl of water, creating lustral water.

May all be made pure who wash in this water.

Pour water over the hands of each person so that they may rinse their face and hands in the lustral water.

Purification of space

Pass the bowl of barley among the participants so that each may take a handful of barley.

May all that is profane be gone from here!

Each person throws barley onto the altar, gently if indoors, with force if outside.

Invocation

Apollo, wise and mighty son of thundering Zeus
and great and gracious Leto, we honor you,
we praise your power. Apollo, friend of the poet
and the hero, long ago your favor fell
on Theseus, son of sea-dwelling Poseidon,
who slew the monstrous Minotaur of distant Crete.
Great perils followed Theseus upon his journey home;
once safe ashore, he made to you an offering,
a small and simple meal, yet richer than a feast
of kings, for with it were the ship’s stores bare.
Apollo who keeps at bay all ill and evil,
who wards each gate and door, I praise and honor you.

If ever we have honored you, poured out sweet wine
in reverence and love, O great ones, deathless ones,
hear now our prayers, grant now your blessings. Praise be to you!

Statement of purpose

Today we celebrate the Pyanepsia, remembering the many gifts given us by Apollo and offering him our thanks and our praise. Today we call to him to bless our homes, placing the eiresione over the front door as a sign of prosperity and plenty, and a reminder of our faith in the goodness of the gods.

The Eiresione

Hold up eiresione.

“The eiresione brings figs and cakes,
honey golden-sweet, oil to anoint us,
and good strong wine to make us sleep.” (Traditional chant)

May all within these walls be blessed;
may all within these walls be favored;
may only that which is good enter through this door:
health, wealth, and joy, good friends and good fortune!

Bring eiresione to front entrance, hang securely over door. Return to altar.

Alternatively the eiresione may be hung over a shrine or altar where Apollo is honored in your home.

Libations and offerings

Pour wine, milk, or other liquid offering into cup, hold up filled cup.

To noble Hestia, who ever comes first and last,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Hestia!

Pour out some drink into the libation bowl; hold up cup, refilling if necessary.

To Apollo, whose might protects and sustains the children of men,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Apollo!

Pour out some drink into the libation bowl. Place plate of panspermia or other bean/grain dish on the altar.

Apollo, we offer you this simple dish, in thanks for your many gifts and blessings, and in memory of the great service you performed so long ago for Theseus and his crew, for which they offered you the last of their meager provisions in thanks for your protection during their long and perilous journey. May it please you, O great god.

Hold up cup , refilling if necessary.

To noble Hestia, who ever comes last and first,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Hestia!

Pour out some drink into the libation bowl; hold up cup, refilling if necessary.

We share this drink among ourselves with love for the gods
and gratitude for all we have been given.

Pass the cup among the participants.

Thanks

We thank you, O gods, for your presence this day
as we celebrate your festival with reverence and joy.
We thank you, O gods, for your many blessings,
for the great gifts you grant to men and women.
With love and devotion we praise and honor you.

Close

We leave this holy place, with reverence and gratitude for all we have been given. The rite is ended.

Step away from the altar and leave the sacred space.


* The eiresione is an olive branch decorated with wool and hung with other items, possibly including fruit, bread, honey, oil and wine, which was offered during the Pyanepsia at Apollo’s temple as well as being hung at private homes after being carried through the streets by troupes of boys.

** The panspermia is a dish made from beans, grains and seeds. You can attempt to recreate the original dish, or you can use a modern equivalent (such as red beans and rice), as long as the ingredients are those that would be left when the larder was nearly empty—at the end of a sea voyage, for example, or before the new harvest has been reaped—so that the feast represents a gift that is both humble and significant.

Please note that if you are unable to prepare the panspermia dish, that section of the ritual may easily be omitted. Not everyone is a cook, not everyone is able to make food offerings in their home. 🙂


A PDF version of this ritual script is available here.

For more information on ritual format, see Some Elements of Hellenic Ritual at my other blog.

Prayer to the Gods for the National Day of Prayer

May Hestia, who warms the hearth and brightens the home,
who is ever first in the hearts of mankind,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May great Zeus, bearer of the firebolt, granter
of rule to the worthy, upholder of the right,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May peerless Hera, friend of those who seek the joy
of marriage, the solace of companionship,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May grey-eyed Athena, protector of cities,
keeper of wisdom, who favors the virtuous,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May Demeter of field and flower, mistress
of all that grows in the earth, founder of the feast,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May golden Aphrodite, whose gift it is
to bring us together in love and compassion,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May swift-footed Hermes, guide of words and meaning,
who clears the way for unity and understanding,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May bright Apollo, lover of knowledge and beauty,
who keeps away all ill, who banishes all blight,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May Artemis of the woodland, mistress of beasts,
guardian of all that is innocent and wild,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May noble Persephone, queen of light and dark,
comfort of the sorrowing and the bereft,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

Apollo

Shining Apollo, bright-haired son of Zeus,
strong of arm and flawless of form, of all the gods
none are your equal in beauty or grace. Apollo,
of Leto were you born on well-favored Delos;
in Athens and in Sparta and in all the lands
were you honored. To you did men and women
offer prayers for health and healing in days of old;
to you did the poets call for inspiration,
O leader of the lovely Muses. Apollo,
driver of all ill and evil from the land,
in Delphi were you served by the faithful Pythia,
with whom you shared your prophecies.
Apollo, never has your glory been forgotten;
throughout the centuries have artists turned to you
for light and vision. Great god, I praise you and your gifts.

Prayer to Apollo for Inspiration

I call to you, bright Apollo, son of Zeus
and gentle-natured Leto, god whose many gifts
have enriched our lives, skillful maker of music,
crafter of words whose poetic might brings wonder
to the world of men. Shining Apollo, master
of the Muses, inspiration in art and song
is yours to give. I pray to you, O Phoebus,
touch my soul with beauty, touch my heart with light,
grant me the vision to transcend the self,
grant me the spirit to share what I see.

Prayer to Apollo in Time of Plague

Fair Apollo, son of thundering Zeus who holds
in his hands the order of the world, golden god
who parcels health and illness to all as is fit,
who holds the door against disease or lets it in,
all at your will. Apollo, we thank you for health,
we thank you for the gifts of modern medicine
and the gifts of traditional cures and healing.
We thank you a world in which plague and pandemic
are uncommon. Yet what is rare still exists,
O Paean, and is as deadly as ever it was.
Great Apollo, kind-hearted god, I pray to you,
protect us from all ill. Keep from our gates infirmity
and affliction, turn away the epidemic and the blight.
Apollo, mighty one in whose power it lies
to bless us with relief from all maladies,
to end a pestilence, I pray for your favor.

Apollo

Shining Apollo, bright-haired son of Zeus
and tender-hearted Leto who bore you on the shores
of free-floating Delos, brother of Artemis
of the silver shafts, lover of truth who knows
what will be, who grants the gift of foreknowledge
to those who seek, patron of the wise Pythia
who sits at the center of the world. Apollo,
friend of the lovely Muses, player of sweet songs
upon the lyre, healer of plagues, defender
against all evil, ever-youthful one whose hands
are deft, whose arm is strong, whose bow-string taut and thick
looses a rain of arrows, enough to dim the sun.
Fairest of gods, long of lock and smooth of cheek,
laurel-crowned one, I thank you for your blessings.