Ariannasage (paganrose) wrote in md_era,

MD_ERA Samhain memorial Ritual

Here is the Samhain memorial ritual that I wrote for the MD_Earth Religions Alliance...

Samhain Ritual ~ October 25th, 2003
By: Jennifer Harvilak
Done at Cedarhurst Unitarian Universalists Church

Calling of the Quarters
It is in memory that we gather here this evening.
Each of us have lost loved ones and pets, and each of us
have gone through the pain of those losses and the stages of grief.

As time passes, each of us have begun the slow process of healing,
yet there is still a place in our hearts that can never again be filled.
With each loss, we have been touched...never again to be the same as before.

We have lost spouses and children, parents and siblings.
we have lost cousins and grandparents, Aunts and Uncles.
We have lost loving pets, good friends and mild associates.
We have been affected by the lives and deaths of our ancestors,
and by the loss of others who we may never have met,
but who's existance changed us just the same.

It is with all of these in mind, that we call out to the divine
in all of it's many faces, forms, and names.
Come sit a while with us, so that we may share with you our thanks.

To all those who have gone on, we call out to you now.
we wish for you to come and celebrate with us, the joy of our shared memories.
We remember each of you in our hearts and our minds.
each of you have touched our lives, either directly or indirectly...
and for this we remember each of you and your impact on us.

When someone dies, there is always sadness when those we love go away.
BUT, there is also happiness...happiness for time shared.
Happiness for the memories that bind us together, even in death.
Happiness for sleigh rides on fresh snow, late night movies, and
for holidays where each of us spent precious time together.

we are so thankful for all that we have gained
from having known those who eventually had to go on.
Yes, we could have avoided all the pain of loss by never
having them in our lives...but this means that we would
also have missed all of the love and beauty that we gained in knowing them.
That love and beauty FAR outways the sadness of their passing.
It is that love and beauty that sustains us...that and the
knowledge that those who have gone on are still with us in spirit.

Death is not the end.
It is a natural transformation that each of us will one day be embraced by.
This does not mean that we will cease to be or that our lives mean nothing.
Our physical forms are simply a shell for a spirit that is timeless and unbreakable.
Our love, too, lives on...reaching out through memories instead of physical touch.
Do not fear for your loved ones...they are still with you, always watching, always remembering.

It is because of our love and our memories and our wish to stay connected that we gather.
It is right and good that we remember those who's life here is done and who now walk another path.
It is right and good that we reflect on our own mortality and our lust for life.
It is right and good that we look back in happiness on the time we have been given.
It is right and good that we realize that those who have gone on, live through us.
Because of this, we ourselves must live life to it's fullest,
even when life throws us it's curves and it's twists. This is the lesson of death.

It is now that we reach out to our loved ones in rememberance and gratitude...

***Read all names from list slowly while lighting candles and placing them on the alter, then have each person come up and tell about their pictures, and if they wish to they may light a candle if one has not already been lit for their loved one.***

***Next light candle for Andys mom and breast cancer victims***
***Next light candle for soldiers lost and for the sniper victims of last year***
***Next light candle for the victims of the September 11th attacks***
***Next light a candle for the victims of the inquisition, stating that most may not have been witches, but they died due to the fear of what we ourselves have chosen as our path...and are therefore our kindred***
***next light a candle for all of our ancestors, whose lives, choices and deaths guaranteed us our own***

***Ask if anyone else wants to come up and say anything, or lead any prayers***

We ask you now, dearly departed, to continue to influence our lives.
We ask that you continue to watch over us and to lend us your wisdom throughout the year.
We loved you in life and we love you still!

We call out to the divine in thanks for the blessing of life that allows us precious time to learn, to grow, and to remember...
But also for death which helps us to take nothing for granted.
Without death, life would not be as sweet...
for it is with life AND death that destinies are made and fulfilled.

I now call on each of you to look within yourselves.
Find the joy of life...realize what blessings you have.
Look within your mind and your heart and find the memories that lurk there.
Feel the connections you still have to those who have gone on before you.
They are still with you, and they too are thankful for all of their blessings.
They are thankful and they remember.

It is now that we bring this circle to a close. To our loved ones on the otherside, stay with us this evening to celebrate our shared memories. If you must now go, we understand and send you off rejuvenated and in love and peace.

To the divine Mother and Father, if you wish to so with our love. If you must go, we send you off with love and peace.

To each of us here this evening who took time off from busy lives to come and memorialize those close at heart..thank you. Stay and celebrate, or go in love and peace.

***we now light a candle for the living. We now light a candle for the deceased. We now light with them combined, the candle of interconnectedness. Blessed be and happy Samhain!

Release the Quarters
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