A ritual structure explanation

I have adapted the Core Order of Ritual for ADF for my use and want to share and explain each section of the ritual itself.

Gathering – The call to come together for worship is made by some sort of musical signal, a horn, a gong or bells, are perfect.  Once the signal is given participants should process to the ritual fire/well either in silence or with some sort of group unity song, poem, statement or chant or chant. 

Centering Meditation – A ritual meditation to help the group get into the mindset of meeting the gods and ungods and to aid in creating a group mind set to the purpose of worship.

Honoring the Local Land Goddesses – ADF requires that each ritual begin with honoring the ‘Earth Mother’.  As reconstructionists we do not deify the planet but we do deify the land and rivers.  The spirit of this section is to honor the life giver and we meet this requirement by honoring the local rivers as the goddesses of the land; the givers of life to our region.

Establishing the Grove – Even when using a space that is well worn with sacrifices we re-sanctify the area by building a sacred grove.  A hearth fire, a well and a bile are established and blessed.

Parting the Mists – While the gods are imminent and the spirits are local, the ancestors are in the Otherworld, so the mists that separate our world from the world of our ancestors must be parted to allow them to come through.  

Inviting the Gods and Ungods – We do not invoke, or summon our gods, the spirits or the ancestors to witness or accept a sacrifice.  We invite them as guests to our grove, attendance is up to them.

Praise and Offerings – We offer praise and make offerings to the three groups of beings that are important to our religion.  The gods, the nature spirits and the ancestors.  This section may change each ritual to offer praises to specific beings as well, such as to our grove Patron at Midsummer or the Land Goddesses at Fall Equinox.  You will notice that our form of praise is to give toasts to the gods and ungods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available.

The Omen – When giving offerings it is wise to ask if they are acceptable.  The omen is the time to ask and if not accepted an opportunity to make further offerings or ask what else can be done.

Receiving the Blessings of the Gods and Ungods – We have given gifts to the gods and ungods, and now we ask for a gift in return.  We ask for good set aside for the occasion to be blessed so that the people may receive the blessings by eating the food.

Thanks the gods and ungods and closing the mists – One should always thank guests for stopping by and close the door once they are gone.

Taking down the Sacred Grove – While the sacredness is never dispelled by our words, the physical representations should be removed or snuffed.

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