What is Celebrancy?
A celebrant is a person who helps create a ritual with you, for your rite of passage or other life event. The celebrant will then perform, or enact, that ritual for you as a private ceremony, or as a public celebration. These ceremonies can include:
- Baby naming or blessing
- Mother blessings & birth rites
- Coming of Age: Young adults, mother /father, and crones/sages
- Wedding / Handfasting / Commitment
- Funeral / Parting / Divorce
- Other blessings
The Druid Celebrant Cerri Lee: Basics, and sample Handfasting, Baby Naming, Coming of Age, Croning, and Funeral ceremonies
More to come…
Training & Ordination
OBOD Celebrancy Training– online courses based in the UK, Serving the Living and the Dead (funerals) and Celebrating Life (weddings, handfastings, renewals of vows, namings and welcomings). Each course consists of 6 sessions for a fee of about $305, and the courses are open to the public. (Note: the Celebrating Life course will not provide the ministerial or court credentials required to perform weddings in the US.)
Circle Sanctuary’s Ministry Training Program – training is offered each year during the Pagan Leadership Institute, held during Pagan Spirit Gathering, Circle Sanctuary’s week-long national/global Summer Solstice gathering held near Chicago, IL.
Master’s Degree Programs, Cherry Hill Seminary – Includes Pastoral and Chaplaincy programs
Become an Ordained Minister (Universal Life Church)
Wedding / Handfasting / Divorce
NOTE: Marriages are a legal contract and most states require those performing marriages to have ministerial or court credentials. (Often with a required registration of ministers in each county, for instance.)
Druid Wedding Ceremony- pages 57 to 61 of the Order’s Bardic Companion booklet
Marriage Laws By State (Universal Life Church)
Wedding Ceremony Script Generator (Universal Life Church- with options for Pagan/Wiccan and other faiths)
Renewal of Wedding Vows
Renewal of Wedding Vows
Needed items: Light peat brick for outside fire, mead for everyone
Druid: Welcome, Welcome everyone. We are gathered here, in the beautiful garden, under the eyes of the Sun and Moon, and support by the nurturing Earth beneath us. We are here to bear witness to a re-dedication of the scared vows between these two loving people. This time has been set aside for this gathering of family and friends.
- Let us joins hands to form a form a circle of friendship and love. Let us take 3 breaths together:
- Take a long slow breath for the Earth beneath us
- Take a long slow breath for the Sky above us
- Take a long slow breath for the Seas that surround our Sacred Lands
You may release hands
We call to the spirits of this circle, the spirits of this place. We call to the Ancestors and Guides of Mate 1 and Mate 2, we ask you to join us here in the sacred place to bear witness, to give your guidance, protection, inspiration and your blessings on this celebration of love and honor.
Before any work can be done, there must be Peace
- May there be Peace in the North – light candle
- May there be Peace in the South – light candle
- May there be Peace in the West – light candle
- May there be Peace in the East – light candle
Time for Magic: cast the Circle (Celebrant)
Let the Circle be blessed and consecrated with Fire and Water (two friends)
Friend 1: By the Hawk of Dawn that flies in the clear, pure air we invite the spirits of the East, of Air, Spring, clear vision and thought, to bless us with their presence. We ask that they too bear witness and bless this day with their guidance, and inspiration.
Friend 2: By the Great Stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the Sun we invite the spirits of the South, of Fire, Summer, of personal will and manifestation, to bless us with their presence. We ask that they too bear witness and bless this day with their guidance, and inspiration.
Friend 3: By the Salmon of Wisdom that dwells in the sacred pool, we invite the spirits of the West, of Water, Autumn, healing and dreaming, to bless us with their presence. We ask that they too bear witness and bless this day with their guidance and inspiration.
Friend 4: By the Great Bear in the starry Heavens and the deep fruitful Earth, we invite the spirits of the North, of Earth, Winter, the time of cleansing and renewal, to bless us with their presence. We ask that they too bear witness and bless this day with their guidance and inspiration.
(5 minutes to get to this point)
We are here for this couple to re-affirm their vows
- Mate 2 and Mate 1 – Please face each other, now hold each other’s left hand –
- Musicians – play _________
Take cord and start a wrap around hands
_____ and ______, when you first joined hands and hearts (___) years ago, you did not know where life would take you. Marriage is a precious gift; a lifelong dedication to love and a daily challenge to love one another more fully and more freely. You promised to love, honor and cherish one another through all things. Life has surely brought you both wonderful blessings and difficult tribulations. Therefore, you have fulfilled your promise.
The vows you will now renew are a solemn pledge of love and are a reaffirmation of your commitment to one another. Please face each other and join hands.
Mate 1, if you wish to reaffirm your love for Mate 2, then look into their eyes and into their heart and repeat after me:
On this day ___ years ago, I promised to love you and cherish you, all the days of my life. I hereby reaffirm that promise, in the presence our friends and family. Mate 2 you have been my best friend and companion, but most of all, you have been my beautiful loving ____ for all these years, and I renew my pledge to you today, of my eternal devotion.
Mate 2, if you wish to reaffirm your love for Mate 1, then look into their eyes and into their heart and repeat after me:
On this day ___ years ago, I promised to love you and cherish you, all the days of my life. I hereby reaffirm that promise, in the presence of our friends and family. Mate 1 you have been my best friend and companion, but most of all you have been my handsome loving _____ for all these years, and I renew my pledge to you today of my eternal devotion.
Re-Dedication with Talismans
Mate 1 and Mate 2, you have chosen to these talismans represent the ties that bind you together as _____ and ______. They are an endless power that protects your marriage union which shall be eternal.
Mate 1, please place this necklace on Mate 2, and repeat after me:
Please wear this necklace it as a sign of my love and a notice to all the world that you have chosen me to be your ________.
Mate 2, please place this necklace on Mate 1, and repeat after me:
Please wear it as a sign of my love and a notice to all the world that you have chosen me to be your _______.
Let these serve as the symbol of your continued love and commitment to each other and may they also serve as a sign of your continued happiness and joy.
Mate 1 and Mate 2, may the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May your joys be sweet as spring flowers
As bright as a fire when winter winds blow
As countless as leaves that float down in the fall
As serene as the love that keeps watch over all.
And may you live the days of your lives in peace, love, and happiness.
Mate 1 and Mate 2, having witnessed your vows of affirmation with all who are assembled here, and by the authority of love itself, I do affirm that you have expressed your desire to continue your journey as _____ and ______.
You may seal your vows, and confirm your continued commitment and love for each other, with a kiss.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you, once again as ____ and ____, Mate 1 and Mate 2 !
We are also joined by a very special person – child’s name, please join us
Child – please place your hand in the cord
- Do you love your _______?
- Do you love your _______?
- Do you promise to listen to them?
- Do you wish to join with them as a family?
- Will you wear this necklace?
- Everyone, please recognize Child Parent’s last name!
Druid: Everyone The _____ Family !
Druid – opens circle
Druid – allow everyone the exit, then thank the spirits of the quarters and open the circle. Dispense of left over water and earth to the spirits of place.
By Richard Abbott, OBOD Druid Companion
A Druid Wedding Ritual
_____ Park, the small island between the arched bridges on the walking path, couple and officiant in the middle, guests standing in a circle around couple, each “element” stands at their cardinal direction on the circle, mark circle in snow beforehand. Officiant welcomes guests to stand in circle before procession. Guests are welcome to take photos. Programs will be handed out by ______?
Cast & Props:
Wedding Party: ______ (MOH), _______ (Bridesmaid), ______ (BM), _________(Groomsmen)
Guardians of Elements: ______ (Water), ______ (Fire), ______ (Air), ______ (Earth)
Items Needed: Stone (Earth), Tall candle (Fire), Feathers (Air), Spring Water, Whiskey, Cords for handfasting, lighter, marriage license and pen
Play the song ___________
Groom with parents, groomsmen on South bridge
Bride with parents, bridesmaids on North bridge
Groomsmen and bridesmaids walk first to meet each other at the circle followed by Groom with parents and Bride with parents doing the same.
Casting the Circle:
Officiant: Welcome to the wedding of (Groom) and (Bride). To honor the promise they are making together, we shall begin by making space for that promise by calling on the four directions.
Walks to the element in the East.
With the blessing of the hawk of dawn soaring in the clear pure air, I call upon the powers of the East!
Air: Spirits of the East, powers of air, bless these lovers with every breath they take and offer kind words and listening ears!
Officiant walks to the element in the South.
Officiant: With the blessing of the great stag in the heat of the chase, and the inner fire of the sun, I call upon the powers of the South!
Fire: Spirits of the South, powers of fire, warm their days and nights with passion and growth!
Officiant walks to the element in the West.
Officiant: With the blessing of the river otter of wisdom who dwells within the sacred waters of the pool, I call upon the powers of the West!
Water: Spirits of the West, powers of water, may their love run deep and strong as the rivers of all the world!
Officiant walks to the element in the North.
Officiant: With the blessing of the great bear of the starry heavens and the deep and fruitful earth, I call upon the powers of the North!
Earth: Spirits of the North, powers of earth, give them a strong foundation on which to stand.
Officiant walks to the center to stand before the couple.
Honoring the Ancestors:
Officiant: To stand here today, is to stand in the presence of those who came before us. We are grateful for the family, friends, and all ancestors who join us only in spirit. May their presence, their memory, always guide and strengthen the couple.
Officiant pours a small mouthful of Whiskey on the ground in offering to the ancestors.
Officiant: With the aid of the elements and your family, you’ve come today to make a vow of marriage. Do you, (Groom) come here freely to seek the bond of handfasting with (Bride)?
Groom: I do.
Officiant: Do you, (Bride), come here freely to seek the bond of handfasting with (Groom)?
(Bride): I do.
Officiant wraps handfasting cords around Groom and Bride’s joined hands while saying the following:
Officiant: Then before the gods, goddesses, and these witnesses, I bind you with this cord. It is the bond of love alone that joins you. Let it not be a restriction, but a loving sharing. Stand together, but not too close, for nothing thrives in the shadow of another. Listen to the music of the other’s heart and appreciate it for its own beauty, and do not insist that your songs are the same. Let your love stand firm, like the mountains of the earth; let it sing like the wind in the trees and burn like the midsummer fires. Let your love flow like the tides of the sea, freely and always moving, soul to soul.
(Groom) & (Bride) together:
I offer you my body, that we may know pleasure together.
I share with you my mind, that we may find wisdom together.
I open my soul to you, that we may grow in spirit together.
I offer you my heart, that we may love each other, wholly and unselfishly.
Officiant, Groom and Bride together: So mote it be.
Officiant holds hands up for guests to respond “So mote it be!”
Officiant: The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the cords and tie them again, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making of and remaking of this union.
Chords are are removed
Officiant: As a daily reminder of these cords and promises, may you now exchange rings and personal vows.
Groom: handwritten vows
Bride: handwritten vows
Marriage license is signed
Officiant: Now that you have joined yourselves in marriage, may you strive always to meet this commitment with the same spirit you now exhibit. We all bear witness to this ceremony you have just performed and you may now call yourselves by those old and respected names, husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
Releasing the Circle:
Officiant: Before we leave, let us thank the spirits of this place.
Officiant walks to the element in the North.
In the name of the great bear of the starry heavens and of the element of earth, I thank the powers of the North.
Earth: May peace be ever in the North.
Element North turns to face outside of the circle and walks to join other guests.
Officiant walks to the element in the West.
In the name of the river otter of wisdom and the element of water I thank the powers of the West.
Water: May peace be ever in the West.
Element West turns to face outside of the circle and walks to join other guests.
Officiant walks to the element in the South.
In the name of the great stag and the element of fire, I thank the powers of the South.
Fire: May peace be ever in the South.
Element South turns to face outside of the circle and walks to join other guests.
Officiant walks to the element in the East.
In the name of the hawk of dawn and the element of air, I thank the powers of the East.
Air: May peace be ever in East.
The circle is now open but remains unbroken in our hearts! May we all carry the love and peace found here out into the world!
The couple encourages you to join them at ______ for drinks and dinner. They will be taking a few short photos with immediate family and the wedding party here but will join you shortly.
Funerals / Partings
Funeral planning checklist (Universal Life Church)- to help you and the family of the deceased get started
Funeral Ceremony Script Generator (Universal Life Church)
The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over by Starhawk and M. Macha NightMare (1997)
Sacred Rite of Parting
The Sacred Rite of Parting
Spirits of this circle, spirits of this place, spirits of this land we ask for your guidance, inspiration & blessings on this our Parting Rite for David _____________.
Let there be peace in the East, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the South, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the West, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the North, so let it be.
Let there be peace through all the Worlds. So let it be.
We gather in peace, soul to soul, within this sacred place and with clear intent. We stand in the eye of the Sun and upon this hallowed Earth, so to witness the sacred Rite of Passing for David _____________. We come to honour him.
The circle is cast tightly.
Calls to the Four Directions using words such as these.
EAST : We call upon the Hawk of Dawn who soars in the clear pure air, who sees far and flies swift and true between the worlds. We call upon the Powers of this east & ask that you may bless and inspire this rite.
SOUTH : We call the Great Stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the sun, whose strength of purpose protects the herd from harm. We call upon the powers of the South & ask that you bless and inspire this rite.
WEST : We call upon the Salmon of Wisdom who dwells within the sacred waters of the pool, who gives the gift of knowing this world and the worlds beyond. We call upon the powers of the West & ask that you bless and inspire this rite.
NORTH : We call upon the Great Bear of the starry heavens and the deep fruitful earth. We call upon the Powers of the North and ask that you may bless and inspire this rite
We honour the Spirits of the skies that guide us to stretch & grow; breath of life, soft breeze and chasing winds; feathered folk who know the dance of freedom upon the wing.
We honour the Spirits of the earth that holds and feeds us; mud of our lands, rich and fertile soil in which we deeply root; rocks and stones, gems of the earth, you who give us stability underfoot.
We honour Spirits of the open seas that wash and shape the shores of these lands; meandering rivers, guiding our direction.
We honour Spirits of this place. Know that you are honoured here.
THE ANCESTORS ARE HONOURED
I call in peace to the ancestors of these sacred islands, you whose feet have walked the fields and forests, the valleys and hills, those whose hands have worked the earth and touched the waters of the seas, you whose stories lie in the mud and sing in the wind, whose breath we now breathe. I call to you that we may feel your presence here, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of our spiritual heritage, teachers of old who guide us now, whose wisdom whispers in our hearts and minds. I call to you that we may hear your wisdom here, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of our blood, those to whom we are joined through birth and death, heart to heart, womb to womb, whose love and tears, strength and weaknesses, remain as stories in our bones. I call to you that we may accept the gifts you bring, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of David _____________, those of the blood line. Gathering together as the hidden company on this sacred day, joining those who have come to say farewell, guiding the soul of David and honouring his life, know that you are welcome here in peace.
May this rite be blessed by your presence. May we have ears for those who have gone before.
As the spiral path leads to the centre, closer to the source,
May Spirit embrace you, David _____________, as its own.
Returned are you to the Fire, to the power of transformation
Returned are you to the Earth, to the comfort of the Mother
Returned are you to the Water, to the realms of Healing
Returned are you to the Air, to the breath of life
And we wish you well.
As the moon waxes and wanes,
As the seasons turn from Spring to Winter,
All endings bring new beginnings.
Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the shades of night to you
Moon and stars, always giving light to you.
Let us now make our feast, sharing all we have with our ancestors and the one departed.
Malt Loaf and a bottle of Tribute
Mother Earth, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors we give you thanks.
Father Sky, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors, we give you thanks.
The first apple is offered back to the earth and the spirits of the place.
The second apple is given to the ancestors and the deceased – thrown or placed into the sea.
We offer apples, fruit of this sacred land, that he who has departed will know he is loved and remembered.
May those who have gone before prepare a joyous welcome among their company in the blessed land. May understanding grow there with the stories told, may nourishment be found in the food of angels, with remembrance of love and the soul’s release into perfect freedom. So may it be.
David, rest from you travels in this existence and when you are well rested and ready for your new adventure to begin, may you hear our words on fresh breezes, an ancient blessing on your new journey.
May a new road rise to meet your feet,
May a gentle wind be always at your back,
May the Sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall softly upon new fields,
Until we meet again
May spirit guide you safely to a new land.
So may it be.
In order to allow the spirit of our companion to make the journey in strength, we must now hand over to those from the other worlds who would guide him.
There is a period of silence.
THE CLOSING OF THE RITE
We give thanks to all unseen who have blessed this ceremony, to you who have come in peace, seen and unseen, ancestors of this sacred land and of our spiritual heritage, we give you thanks for your presence, your guidance and inspiration. To those joined in blood to the one honoured in this rite, David _____________, we give you special thanks. Return to your realms in peace, as in peace you came. With thanks, with respect we bid you farewell.
May the Spirits of the Four Directions be honoured.
NORTH : By the power of the great bear in the starry heavens and the deep and fruitful earth, we thank the spirits of the north for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
WEST : By the power of the Salmon of wisdom that dwells in the sacred pool, we thank the spirits of the west for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
SOUTH : By the power of the great stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the Sun, we thank the spirits of the south for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
EAST : By the power of the Hawk of dawn that flies in the clear pure air, we thank the spirits of the East for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
Spirits of this circle, Spirits of this place, guides and guardians of David _____________, we thank you for your inspiration, guidance, protection and blessings on this rite of parting. We ask that you continue to watch over and inspire David _____________ in his journey. This circle of honour and love is now open but it is never broken. So may it be. I declare this the Rite of Passing Ceremony for David _____________ closed in the apparent world may its inspiration continue in our beings.
By Breanna, for public use on OBOD Message Board
Coming of Age
Naming Ceremony- page 56 of the Orders’ Bardic Companion booklet
Circle of Elders
RITE OF THE CIRCLE OF ELDERS
1. A group of Elders is convened at a suitable place. The members can be people who have gone through a formal Croning or Saging ritual, or people who by virtue of their age, experience and wisdom are recognized as Elders within their community. It is suggested that elders be a least 50 years of age.
The person seeking to be recognized shall wait outside the circle until summoned.
2. Ritual. The Ritual is led by an elder familiar with ritual work (Elder 1).
Elder 1. We are gathered together here today/tonight because there is one who seeks to join the Circle of Elders, as Crone/Sage/ Wise Person.
I would ask each one of you to take a few deep breaths and ground themselves so we may create an appropriate space for this work. Each Elder here follows a different path and seeks wisdom from different Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors.
I would ask that each of you take a minute to seek blessings upon this Circle of Elders according to your own path.
(When this work is completed and Elder 1 is satisfied that a sacred space has been created, the Seeker is brought to the East side of the circle by Elder 2.)
Elder 1. Who comes to the circle of Elders and what does he/she seek.
Elder 2. (Name of Seeker) comes to the Circle of Elders and seeks to become one with the Circle.
Elder 1. Bid him/her welcome and bring them forward.
(The Seeker enters the circle and faces East.)
Elder 1. We welcome you Seeker, but must know more of your life before we can be sure you are ready to join this Circle. Are you prepared to tell us briefly of your life?
Seeker. I am prepared.
Elder 1. Face then the East and tell us of your life and deeds as a child.
Seeker. (Tells briefly of his/her life as a child.)
Elder 2. Face then the South and tell us of your life and deeds as a young man/woman.
Seeker. (Tells briefly of his life as a young man/woman.)
Elder 3. Face then the West and tell us of your life and deeds as a grown man/woman.
Seeker. (Tells briefly of his life and deeds as a grown man/woman.)
Elder 1. It is well and good we have learned of your life before. Know now that your youth has passed, as have your years as both a young and grown man/woman.
Before we continue we must be certain that you have known certain things
Elder 2. Have you ever held a crying child to comfort it?
Elder 3. Have you ever struggled and prevailed over something that you thought was impossible.
Elder 4. Have you ever served just causes for the benefit of your fellow men and women.
Elder 1. It is good to know you have experienced these things.
The time now approaches to face the North. It is fitting that you do so now as Samhain approaches and the time death, of letting go, and pruning is upon us. To face the North is to face the Shimmering Gate through which we all shall pass. Are you ready to face the North and the shimmering Gate?
Elder 1. Face then the North and answer but a few more of our questions.
Seeker. (Faces north.)
Elder 2. Have you seen the face of death?
Elder 3. From what God or Goddesses do you seek blessings for this, the last part of your life?
Elder 4. What oath would you make to them?
Elder 1. With the Blessing of this Circle of Elders I welcome you. Know that you have walked the long path and you are ready to join the Elders.
Please accept this token to remember the long path and your entry into the Circle of Elders.
Please meet the other members of the Circle and take your place in the Circle
Elder 1. I thank you all for attending here. I would ask each of you to take a moment to ask your God, Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors to give their blessings to the work that has been done here.
Our work is now finished until another seeks to join us. I hereby declare this Rite of the Circle of Elders closed in the Apparent World. May its inspiration continue within our hearts and beings.
By RidgeDruid at OBOD Message Board
Passage of Youth Into Adulthood
This rite was originally written for the general audience sections for a young woman’s rite of passage. There is a part that was done by the women (family and friends) only, and I do not know what they did. A good chance to get your creative juices going.
Also, if you were to perform a rite of passage for a young man, you could switch the roles of ceremonial leaders, e.g. have female guards of the Northwestern gate. The Knight of Honor could be of any gender, but would preferably be a loved family member and good friend of the youth (kind of like a Godfather/Godmother in Christianity).
The rite was held in the context of modern Druidry. I am, however, presenting it here with more flexibility, which, I may add, would require some creative input from you.
- Male Ceremonial Leader (Druid/High Priest etc.)
- Female Ceremonial Leader (Druidess/High Priestess etc.)
- Knight of Honor
- Parents and/or care givers (2)
- Guardians of the circle (2)
- Green Man or similar figure
- Lady of the Lake or similar figure
ACTING ONLY ROLES:
- Two males or females at the Northwestern gate.
YOU MAY NEED
- An altar with whatever decoration, but at least one central candle
- Bowl filled with water
- Some form of lighter
- A sword, axe, dagger or the like
- Cut flowers, preferably gathered by the celebrated youth, while contemplating his/her childhood
- Two of the youth’s toys
- A personal candle for the youth, with two wickers
- Two candles (long and thin) for the parents/care givers
- Twine or rope long enough to span the whole perimeter of the circle of attendees
R I T E O F P A S S A G E
All participants including the family with the youth enter the ceremonial space and form a circle. In the Northwest, there should be two persons next to each other, who will later step to the side to create a gate in the circle.
- Announcing the intent to conduct a ceremony
- Opening the gates to the four directions
- Blessing of the circle with the elements of your path
GUARDIAN 1: Leave the cares of the apparent world behind you and lay all disturbing thoughts aside. Pause for a moment and allow yourselves to breathe in the goodness of Mother Nature around you.
GUARDIAN 2: Accept these symbols of light and life. (Both Guardians hand out little trinkets to all).
HERALD: Let it be known to all present: We have come here from far and near, from where the Sun rises to where He sets allowing the moon to take His place in the firmament until it is Her time to relinquish the night into day. We have gathered here to celebrate the rite of passages from child to wo/manhood.
FEMALE CELEBRANT (facing East): We call upon you, Maiden, Mother, and Crone, and ask for your blessings and protection for this rite, for this young person passing through the third gate of life.
(Facing into the circle): We call upon you, Spirit of this land, and upon you, ancestors of all of us gathered, and ask for your guidance and inspiration in this ceremony.
MALE CELEBRANT (walks around the circle and, starting with the northern one of the two persons in the Northeast, unrolls a twine, which the participants take in both their hands as the Male Celebrant passes by them. The end of the twine is being cut after the eastern one of the Northeastern gate grabs it): Now that we have created this visible circle, may a kindly ask you, as you hold this twine, to load it with your thoughts of love and support for Name of the youth and infuse it with your blessings.
FEMALE CELEBRANT: I ask you all to now lay down the twine to your feet, thus forming a visible circle, with you creating a wall of protection around it.
MALE CELEBRANT: Let us now light the candle, ignite the fire that ignites life itself, the fire of creation that brings forth the Land, the Sea, and the Sky.
The Knight of Honor lights the main candle on the altar.
MALE CELEBRANT: Maiden/Lad, step forward. Are you ready to begin your journey into Adulthood?
YOUTH: I am
FEMALE CELEBRANT: Have you been told about the journey? Are you ready to make the sacrifices required?
YOUTH: I am.
Male Celebrant motions Parents/Caregivers and the Knight of Honor forward. Parents/Caregivers stand on either side of , the Knight of Honor behind her/him.
MALE CELEBRANT: , have you symbols of your youth to leave in the care of your parents?
YOUTH: I do. (Youth hands one item to her mother and one item to her father, toys s/he associates with her/his childhood.)
PARENT/CAREGIVER 1 (places their hand on Youth’s shoulder): Take a deep breath with me, dear folks present, and let the strength of the Land enter your bodies from beneath your feet. Let the solidity of the rock provide a foundation for my daughter’s/son’s future life. (They light a candle on the altar.)
PARENT/CAREGIVER 2: (places their hand on Youth’s other shoulder): Take a deep breath with me, dear folks present, and let the power of the Sea enter your bodies from around you. Let the fluidity of the water provide my daughter/son with flexibility, yet with the awesome force of the wave crashing against the rock, and with the subtle might of the steady drop that hollows stone. (They light a candle on the altar.)
KNIGHT OF HONOR: (places their hand on both of Youth’s shoulders from behind, on top of her parents’/care givers’ hands): Take a deep breath with me, beloved family, and dear folks present, and let the vastness of the Sky enter your bodies from above. Let the swiftness of air fulfill with the lightness of a breeze and with the power of a storm.
The Parents/Caregivers and the Knight of Honor take their hands off Youth’s shoulder, and each walk three steps back, to give her/him room.
The Knight of Honor hands the Male Celebrant his sword. The Male Celebrant then walks around Youth and plunges the sword into the ground before her/him.
MALE CELEBRANT: Pull this blade out of the soil like young Arthur pulled Excalibur from the rock and cut your ties to your childhood.
Youth pulls the sword, gently turns around and cuts her “ties” with a few graceful motions. The Knight of Honor throws a loose bunch of flowers in the air behind the Youth, through which s/he cuts as well. Youth hands the sword back to the Knight of Honor.
FEMALE CELEBRANT: , you have now cut the ties to a previous part of your life. As a child, you flowered and blossomed, lived with little care and responsibilities. But while this has now passed, it shall not be forgotten. Nor will the ties to your family. As a token of remembrance, pick up a flower of your choice, and make it a keep-sake for the times you want to dwell in the memories of your childhood and to always remember your blessings.
(After Youth picks a flower, the Female Celebrant hands her a 2 wicked candle and says.)
FEMALE CELEBRANT: , this candle represents the light of youth and the continuing flame it brings to adulthood. Now let <Name of parents/care givers> light the candle so you may always find your way home.
(Parent/Caregiver 1 takes their candle and lights one wicker of the Youth’s candle and Parent/Caregiver 2 takes theirs and lights the other.)
The Knight of Honor takes the sword and steps to the Northeast of the circle. The two Gate Keepers step aside to create a gate.
MALE CELEBRANT: Knight of Honor, may I kindly ask you to cut a temporary opening in the circle, to let through the procession of wo/men.
The two Gate Keepers hold the two ends of the twine next to each other, and the Knight of Honor cuts through them. Meanwhile, all wo/men step into the circle.
MALE CELEBRANT: The time has come now, , that you leave this circle for a short time. Take the fire of creation with you, as the wo/men of the circle take you to the secret and sacred rite of initiation into wo/manhood.
Beginning with the Fe/Male Celebrant, followed by the Youth carrying the light and the Parent/Caregiver(s) of the same gender, all wo/men exit the circle clockwise in a procession through the gate.
HERALD: Behold, all present, the wo/men proceeding through the Northeastern gate for their most secret ancient rites of passage.
Secret wo/men’s Rite. Refreshments for the participants staying back.
One of the wo/men signals the end of the rite and the Green Man/Lady of the Lake (the respective other gender of the youth) leads them back.
The wo/men proceed back through the gate into the circle and take their places as they walk the circle sunwise, while the Youth and the Green Man/Lady of the Lake
MALE CELEBRANT: Hail and welcome, wo/men of the tribe. But I see there I one other waiting outside the circle. I bid them enter and be welcome.
The Green Man/Lady of the Lake enters followed by the Youth and by the Lady of the Lake
GREEN MAN: I am he who protects youth and the growing. You see in me the representation of life and light, sustenance and growth.
LADY OF THE LAKE: I am she who protects the years of adulthood. You see in me the representation of maturity and of parenthood.
GREEN MAN: Hail to all. I introduce to you .
MALE CELEBRANT: First may want to share some personal words. , please give all who remained here a chance to welcome you personally, before you choose your new place in the circle of this community. (Youth walks around sunwise and greets folks who stayed back.) May the Gods and Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors give you the strength and wisdom to choose your rightful new place in all your circles and communities.
FEMALE CELEBRANT: First may want to share some personal words. Is there anyone present who wants to share a brief thought for these women’s life journeys?
People with thoughts come forward. When it appears that all who wish have spoken, The Green Man Steps forward:
GREEN MAN: Hail to the Children of Life. Hail to the Maidens and Braves.
LADY OF THE LAKE: Hail to the Mothers and Fathers. Hail to the Crones and Sages.
BOTH: May Peace and Harmony bless all of our lives.
Youth steps into the center of the circle, facing the Celebrants. Female Celebrant and Male Celebrant take incense and a bowl of water, walk around the Youth, waving the incense and sprinkling them with water.
A blessing to the childhood past
A blessing to the passage into wo/manhood
A blessing to the future wo/man
A blessing to a plentiful harvest
A blessing to a loving partner
A blessing to a safe life
A blessing to the family
A blessing to the circle
A blessing to the community
HERALD: It is the hour of recall. Let us <announce the next step of the typical ending of rites in your path>
- Closing the gates into the four directions
- Thanking Gods, Goddesses, Spirits, and Ancestors for their blessings, guidance, and inspiration
Please feel free to use and share, as a whole or just some parts- Christian Brunner, September 2017.