Tag Archive | ritual scripts

Genesia Rite

Honoring: Ge/Gaia and the Dead
Date: 4 Boedromion (18 September per HMEPA)
Region: Athens

This is a chthonic ritual and should, if possible, be held after dusk.

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
Offerings—do not offer wine, as this ritual honors the dead and therefore is a chthonic ritual. Milk or water or honeyed water are some libation options; pour it out directly, do not drink. Likewise, other offerings (cakes or flowers, for example) should not be consumed but rather burned or buried.
Libation bowl and plate
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 a stick 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

O Gaia, great goddess, mother of all who live and die,
kind and gracious one, you carry the dead within your heart
as you carry the living upon your back. O Ge,
we stand upon your sod, you bear our weight, you give
us food and drink, our lives are yours, to nurture
or to take. Gaia from whom all existence springs,
we call to you with gratitude and praise.

O ancestors, first fathers, first mothers, we honor you,
O you whose blood runs in our veins, whose labor lay
the stone on which our houses stand. Long gone your days,
long gone your names, long gone the stories of your lives,
and yet we know you well, we know your might,
we know the bonds of kin and clan. Ancestors,
we call to you with gratitude and praise.

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

Statement of purpose

We gather tonight to honor those who walked this world before us, our fathers’ fathers’ fathers, our mothers’ mothers’ mothers, all the founders of our families, all our forebears; we gather to remember. We gather too to pay homage to great Gaia, whose might brought forth all life, whose goodness sustains us.

Prayer to Gaia

O Gaia who is the source of all that is,
O first of first mothers, O giver of life and lives,
we call out to you. To you we owe life and being,
to you we owe existence. We thank you,
O goddess, for your care of the living and the dead.
We pray to you, O goddess, for your favor.

Prayer to the Ancestors

O ancestors, fathers and mothers long gone
from the world, great of wisdom, great of might,
we call out to you. To you we owe our lives;
to you we owe our fortunes. We thank you,
O kind ones, for luck granted and blessings bestowed.
We pray to you, O gracious ones, for favor.

Libations

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

To Gaia whose might creates and sustains us,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Ge!

Pour out offering onto the ground (or, if indoors, into the libation bowl to be poured outdoors later). Participants do not drink. Refill cup if necessary.

To those who gave us blood and breath, lineage and life,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O ancestors!

Pour out offering onto the ground (or, if indoors, into the libation bowl to be poured outdoors later). Participants do not drink.

Offering of food and/or flowers to the ancestors

Hold up the offering.

Ancestors, you who walked this world before us,
on whose work we build, in whose footsteps we follow,
whose faces we see when we look on our children,
whose voices we hear when they speak, we pray to you,
take this offering given with love and reverence.

Give offering in its entirety, either onto the ground if outdoors or on an offering plate if indoors, to eventually be burned or buried.

Thanks

We thank you for your presence this day
as we honor your might and your memory.
We thank you for your many blessings,
for the great gifts you grant to men and women.
With love and devotion we remember 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.


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.

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Democratia Rite

Democratia

Honoring: The goddess Democratia (Democracy)
Date: 12 Boedromion
Season: Would be appropriate during civic or patriotic holidays, or on election days.
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
Libation
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.

Purification of participants

Light stick 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

We call to gracious Democratia, goddess so dear
to us, so dear to those who honored our gods of old.
O goddess who gives a voice to all, who ensures
that the mighty hear our pleas, attend to our needs.
O goddess in whom reside our duty and our strength,
granter of wisdom with which to wield our rights
and pay our debts, to whom we are responsible,
for whom we fight and die, Democratia, goddess
of a hand both open and firm, we praise 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 gather to honor Democratia, great goddess of democracy, whose gifts to mankind are great. We thank you, O goddess, for the gift of freedom and the ability to exercise it. We thank you for our choices, both wise and foolish, and the will to make them. As the ancients did, we know your worth and treasure you for it, and we know as well the need to hold to you. May you be with us, O goddess, always and forever.

A prayer of thanks

To Democratia, wise one, fair one, well known
to the ancients who named you thus, friend of those
with the will to work within the world, that it may
be made better for all. Goddess, we thank you
for our freedom, we thank you for opportunity,
for the right to be heard and the right to decide.
Each time we think of the greater world, each time
we act with purpose and intent, each time we go
to cast our vote, we thank you and we honor you.

Libations

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 Democratia, who grants us each a voice and a vote,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Democratia!

Pour out some drink into the libation bowl; 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.


For more information on ritual format, see my other blog at http://hearthfirehandworks.com/2015/09/22/festivals-some-elements-of-hellenic-ritual/.

A PDF version of the ritual script is available here.