The ADF Core Order of Ritual for High Days

posted on September 1, 2021
Related: Dedicant Path, Ritual Structure, COoR

The following is the Core Order of Ritual (COoR) for ADF High Day rituals as approved in late 2006 by the ADF Clergy Council.

This is not a complete re-write of our current Order of Ritual, but rather a clarification of what we’re already doing, meant to answer the questions, “Just what ritual steps are the minimum necessary for a High Day rite to be considered an ADF ritual?” and “In what order should these steps take place?”

Certain actions/concepts below are “suggested”, often listed as “may include” or “is most commonly represented or included”. In these cases, the main heading is required for a rite to be called “ADF”, just not all the choices listed—and there may be other acceptable choices as well that aren’t listed.

However, where the word “must” appears, this is a required action. Remember that there is usually a strong cosmological or theological reason for each part of the rite to appear where it does. Some modifications to the COoR are expected, including additions to the main headings and particularly steps from past Orders of Ritual not specifically listed here, but any such modifications should have a particularly strong justification.

Note also that following the Core Order is a listing of things an ADF ritual does not include.

Core Order of ADF Ritual for High Days

  1. Initiating the Rite – May include:
    • Musical Signal
    • Opening Prayer
    • Processional
    • Establishing the Group Mind
  2. Purification – This must take place prior to Opening the Gates
  3. Honoring the Earth Mother
  4. Statement of Purpose
  5. (Re)Creating the Cosmos
    • Sacred Center must be established in a triadic Cosmos
    • The Three Worlds or Realms must be acknowledged
    • The Fire must be included
    • Sacred Center is most commonly represented as Fire, Well and Tree
  6. Opening the Gate(s) – Must include a Gatekeeper
  7. Inviting the Three Kindreds
  8. Key Offerings – This will commonly include:
    • Invitation of Beings of the Occasion
    • Seasonal customs as appropriate
    • Praise Offerings
  9. Prayer of Sacrifice
  10. Omen
  11. Calling (asking) for the Blessings
  12. Hallowing the Blessing
  13. Affirmation of the Blessing
  14. Workings (if any)
  15. Thanking the Beings
  16. Closing the Gate(s)
  17. Thanking the Earth Mother
  18. Closing the Rite

Items that ADF Rituals Do Not Include

  1. Elemental Cross Symbolism (the 4 Elements)
  2. Casting Circles in public ritual
  3. Calling Watchtowers or Elemental Guardians
  4. Calling the dual-theistic “Lord” and “Lady”
  5. Acknowledgement of one divine being with power over all
  6. Blood Sacrifices
  7. Non-Indo-European mythic and deity motifs

(ADF members may wish to view a Core Order of Ritual Tutorial on the Member site)

posted on September 1, 2021 | Related: Dedicant Path, Ritual Structure, COoR
Citation: "The ADF Core Order of Ritual for High Days", Ár nDraíocht Féin, September 1, 2021,

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