Pagan Blog Project: Ritual of Ancestor Veneration for Samhain

Ancestor veneration is as old as the earth itself, it roots us to our world and our work. Below is a ritual that I wrote with the help of my fellow coven students. Special thanks to S and L, who know who they are. Feel free to use this, change it, let it flow. I have changed it a bit to take out the stuff that is unique to our group.

Materials needed: Basket (with altar supplies), cakes and ale, plate for ancestors, drum and beaters

EVOCATION

    EAST:

      Brother Eagle of the morning skies,

      Who teaches us to dance upon the breezes and

      through the storms of life.

      Join with us and bear witness to our celebration this night.

    SOUTH:

      Brother Wolf, silver under the moon,

      Who blesses us with the fires of passion,

      that we might add our song to the night sky,

      Join with us and bear witness to our celebration this night.

   WEST:

      Sister Salmon, flashing light through the current of life,

      Who graces us with your gifts of wisdom

     and helps us learn from our dreams,

     Join with us and bear witness to our celebration this night.

    NORTH:

      Sister Bear, deep within the forests of memory,

      Who helps us to find and celebrate our roots

      so that we might connect the branches of our past

      to the new growth of our future,

      Join with us and bear witness to our celebration this night.

 EVOCATION OF DEITY

      Grandmother Earth,

      You give us shelter and food each day,

      You support us as we walk this earth

      and embrace us when we return with the setting sun.

      Please accept our prayers and blessings this night

      as we circle to remember our roots.

     Grandfather Sky,

      crowned by the sun and the moon and the stars,

      You watch over us as each day passes

      and grant us the gift of another sunrise and another sunset.

      Please accept our prayers and blessings this night

      as we circle to embrace our honored dead.
THE WORK

      HPS: The circle is now cast and we stand between the worlds. We gather here tonight to honor our ancestors, those of our blood and bones, and those of our passion and wisdom and freedom. We seek to renew our connection to the past, strengthening our community and nourishing our roots. Our ancestors are our foundation. They pass on knowledge and wisdom. They offer support and advice and they champion us through times both easy and challenging. Please join me tonight as we throw open the gates to the Otherworld and invite the spirits and ancestors to join our circle.

   SPIRIT BLESSING

      “Tonight the veil is thin and the gateway open.

      Tonight we call out to those who came before,

      who bless us with our roots and wisdom.

      Tonight we honor our sacred dead.

      Spirits of our ancestors, we call out to you

      and we welcome you to join us for the night.

      We know you watch over us always,

      protecting us and guiding us on our paths

      and tonight we thank you.

      We invite you to join us in our celebration.

      We call out to those who are remembered

      and those who are forgotten,

      those who live on in their loved ones memories

      and those who have no loved ones left to remember them.

      We invite all who come in blessed spirit

      to join our celebration tonight.”

      HPS: From the circle around the fire to the family around the television, storytelling has always been one of the oldest forms of magic. We invite you to join in as we share stories from our ancestors. At the end, we welcome your stories as well, to add to the magic of the night.

(This is where the people running the ritual tell stories of ancestors, either their own or from around the world)

Energy raising

Cakes and Ale, plate for the ancestors

   SPIRIT BLESSING: LICENSE TO DEPART

      “Spirits and ancestors, both remembered and forgotten,

      We thank you for the time you have spent with us.

      Our memories are richer and our roots grow deeper

      with your guidance and wisdom.

      We bid you farewell, knowing that the gate closes once more

      and the veil falls back into place.

      We remain separate but never separated,

      as the Wheel turns once more.

      Blessed be.”
LICENSE TO DEPART

      We ask of Grandfather Sky

      the wisdom to live in peace with all peoples.

      We ask of Grandmother Earth

      the wisdom to live in harmony with all things in nature.

      Fill us with light, give us the strength to understand and the eyes to see.

      Teach us to walk the soft earth as relatives to all that live.

      Blessed Be.
   NORTH:

      Sister Bear, thank you for your presence this night.

      May we always have your roots to guide us.

      Blessed be.

    WEST:

      Sister Salmon, thank you for your presence this night.

      May we always have your currents to help us dream.

      Blessed be.

    SOUTH:

      Brother Wolf, thank you for your presence this night.

      May we always have your music to inspire us.

      Blessed be.

    EAST:

      Brother Eagle, thank you for your presence this night.

      May we always have your wind to move us to dance.

      Blessed be.

(This is where my group usually sings a song and then goes to eat)

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