Saturday, February 28, 2015
A Requiem Rite (Funeral Service) at Enchantments
This morning I had the sad, but important duty of conducting a Requiem Rite at Enchantments. A Requiem Rite is an old way of saying Funeral Service. A lovely lady who is a graduate of Enchantments lost her father recently, and asked me if I would conduct a service.
I chose a beautiful and profound Requiem Rite as written by Ms. Janet Farrar and Mr. Stewart Farrar in "The Witches Bible" which is still in print, and I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful Rite which when conducted uses a golden bowl, a silver cord and a hammer.
Earlier in the week, I took an earthenware bowl and spray painted it gold, and then spray painted the wooden handle of the hammer gold and the metal top of the hammer silver. Then for the Rite itself, I had the woman whose father had passed bring a silver cord. The silver cord is an ancient spiritual concept of the spirit or soul of man or woman which is connected to the physical body with a silver cord. We wrapped the silver cord around the golden bowl, which in this ritual represented the physical body.
The words are spoken " Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain or the wheel be broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to Goddess who gave it . . . "
Then I handed the silver and gold hammer to the daughter and untied the silver cord from the bowl. We covered the bowl with a black cloth and the daughter took the hammer and broke the bowl, symbolically releasing her father's spirit from this Earthly plane of existence to allow him to travel unencumbered to the Summerland, the Pagan version of Heaven.
We then had a Priestess who acted as the Maiden for this ceremony gather up the silver cord and walk to the Watchtowers of the West, the Gates of Death and Initiation, and offer the cord up to them. Then the Maiden walked the silver cord to the Watchtowers of the East, the Gates of Renewal and Rebirth and offer up the cord to them. The silver cord was then lain at the foot of the Eastern Realms until after the ceremony when I gathered the silver cord up and presented it to the daughter for her to keep.
After the Requiem Rite was concluded we held a Love Feast in the honor of the deceased and everyone socialized, ate, visited and remembered the one in whose memory we gathered. It was a beautiful, sad yet joyous gathering and I feel everyone took away from the experience something special for them.
It's not everyday we get together to conduct a Requiem Rite but just as a Christian funerary service is, for Pagans, it is about remembering and honoring the one who has passed. And being there to comfort and support those left behind.
Peace and Happiness
© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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at Saturday, February 28, 2015