Submitted for the 2017 Liturgist Guild Yearbook. Written by Ashley Price for Prairie Sky Protogrove and Converted from PDF by Willow Birch
Thank you all for coming today at this, the coldest time of year. More than ever today people are anxious, and afraid, and in danger of drifting apart and becoming alienated from each other and the world. But we’re here, now, attempting to remember older ways of connecting, both as a community, and with the world of spirit.
So, let us pray with a good fire.
Chime 9 times
To the Earth, our Mother
The Earth that bore us
The Earth that sustains us
The fertile, all encompassing Earth
We make due offering
Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice
All: Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice!
Spirit of Inspiration
I call now to awen, the spirit and force of inspiration. You who inspires the words of the poets
You who brings beauty into the world, come to us now. Awen, be with us tonight as we seek to honor the Gods and Goddesses.
To the spirit of inspiration, accept this offering!
All: Spirit of inspiration, accept this offering!
Spirits of Chaos, spirits of darkness
Spirits opposed to this work
By whatever name you are called, take this offering
And trouble not this working.
Statement of Purpose
We gather today in the light of the community fire to honor Brigid, Irish goddess of the triple flame. It is Brigid who bears the spark of poetry, who has the skill to shape metal into tools, who can heal both body and spirit. Her worship was so important to the Irish that they carried on their relationship with her even after converting to Christianity. And so this festival is known as Imbolc, and Candlemas, and St. Brigid’s Day. In our different ways, people throughout the western world join together to remember the light of the fire of community, the light of hope, which Brigid tends and brings into this world.
Far below our feet
A river runs through the earth
Silvered and sparkling
A gathering of offerings, and magic, and life
With silver I hallow this well,
Adding my own offerings to all those that have come before.
In the center of the world burns a flame
Kindled in the water and arising from it
It gives form to all in its light
And power to all who come to it.
First priest, first sacrifice, accept this offering
That this fire may bring us closer to the Divine.
With roots dipping into the deepest well
and branches touching the heavens themselves
The world tree stands, bridging the worlds.
Let this holly serve as that, and our prayers travel its trunk.
Let’s take a moment to close our eyes and bring our attention to the earth beneath our feet. Feel it’s solidness, its heaviness, its depth. Open your senses and see the life teeming below your feet. The grass growing, the mushroom network speaking, the insects tunneling bringing air and life to the soil. Find the roots of the trees cutting through this smorgasbord of life, and send your energy down with them. See yourself digging deeper into the dirt, feel the clay getting heavier, seeking water. Go deeper still, as the coolness surrounds you. There you’ll find the buried waters, filtered through the ground from decades and even centuries ago, a giant river coursing through the earth, bringing with it life. Send your roots down into that river, and drink deeply.
Let the deep water energy seep upwards, filling your roots. Climbing through the layers of soil, add your energy to the exchange that brings life. Draw that energy up, up through the roots, through your feet, through your bones, into your belly. Let the deep dark energy fill your being, and send it up even further still.
Reach above you towards the sky. Feel the wind moving your, the motion of the clouds, the dizzying dance above our head that makes us all so small. Feel the air get cooler, crisper, thinner as you send your energy up. See the light, the filter of air and clouds drifting away as your climb. Energy from unimaginable distances is raining down on you now; gather it up and bring it down. Feel the crystalline energy of the stars trickle down to your head, your neck, your chest. Let it mix with the cool dark energy from below. Like two colors blending, they swirl together and become one. Allow this new color to fill you, fill your aura, and seep outwards. Feel your connection now, to all of life, all the cosmos, all that’s come before and will come.
When you’re ready, open your eyes.
I call upon he whose castle lies beyond the ninth wave
He whose horses ride the white-capped waves
Manannan, Sea-King, hear my prayer
Accept this offering and open the Gates between the worlds
Let the well open as a gate
Let the fire open as a gate
Let the tree open as a gate
Let the gates be open, and magic flow between
Ancestors whose blood flows through our veins
Ancestors of spirit, whose actions guide and inspire
We make this offering in remembrance of you
As we have not forgotten you, may you not forget us
Ancestors, accept our offering
All: Ancient ones, accept our offering!
Spirits of the land I do you honor
Ancient mighty ones who still walk the Earth
Spirits of tree and stone, water and soil
Flight of birds and brush of breeze
In the dampening hush of the forest I call to you
Accept our offerings, and be welcome in this grove
All: Noble ones, accept our offering!
To the Shining Ones, those most worthy of worship
We give you this offering
God and Goddesses from lands across the sea,
you who look over your people wherever they are
Be welcome in this grove
Shining ones, accept our offerings!
All: Shining ones, accept our offerings!
I call to Brigid, brightest of arrows!
Keeper of the forge, you who transform by your art
Mere metal to the tools most needed
Brigid, sharpen and hone us for the work ahead!
All: Lady of the triple flame, we welcome you!
I call to Brigid, guide of the poets
Lady of double edged meanings and complex truths
The flame that guides all seekers
That brings refinement to all who search for it
All: Lady of the triple flame, we welcome you!
I call out to Brigid the healer!
You who bring comfort to all in your light
You whose light brings us together today
Grant us health and the power to heal
In both body and spirit, with your light, your power
All: Lady of the triple flame, we welcome you!
In this, the time of season’s turning,
As the dark of winter gives way to spring
Bringing new life, new hope, and new work,
We welcome you Brigid in our grove, and in our hearth
All: Lady of the Triple Flame, we welcome you!
With these offerings, we welcome Brigid!
Bread, from the hearth
Cloth, made with skill
And sage, an herb of healing and wisdom
Brigid, accept these offerings, and be welcome in our grove!
All: Brigid, accept these offerings!
Prayer of Sacrifice
Let my voice arise on the flame
Let my voice resound in the well
Oh honored ones,
Hear me now as I offer up this sacrifice
Accept my worship and reverence
Kindreds, accept these offerings!
All: Kindreds, accept these offerings!
We have come with prayers and offerings for the Gods and spirits, and now seek their wisdom.
How have our offerings been received?
What blessings to the Kindred offer in return?
What further work do the Kindred ask of us?
A gift given deserves a gift in return. Kindreds all, send your blessings to these cups, that we may share in your gifts! Brigid, make this cup be as your well, that we may drink of your blessings!
Behold the waters of life!
Drink now of these waters, and take into yourself the blessings you would wish to receive.
By fire and water the world was made
And by fire and water we receive the blessings of the Kindred.
I call up the power of the well
Hallowed with silver in honor of Brigid
To bless these crosses and the homes where they will rest
Like the folk of old, and today
We wove these crosses in remembrance of you, Brigid
And now ask that you hallow them
With the waters of the well may these crosses be hallowed. (repeat as needed)
At the center of every home, and every community rests a flame In one way or another, even with all our technology we huddle together in the light of the fire, seeking its warmth and illumination.
It is the fire which binds us together, kindled together, and maintained together, which sits at the heart of our community, and at this altar.
Over the past several months a flame has been kindled, and more and more draw to it each time we gather in its light. We all have different belief systems, different views of the divine, and have walked different paths to come to this place. But here we are, coming together every season to renew and deepen our connection to the spirits.
I invite you now to light your candle at the community flame, that you may bring it into your home and the work you do there.
To the kindreds all, Noble, Mighty, and Shining, I give you my thanks. Thank you for your aid and blessing, you who uphold my magic and this work.
Closing the Gates
I call once more to Manannan, keeper of the gates between the world. Manannan, now is the time to close the gates.
Let the well close as a gate
Let the fire close as a gate
Let the tree close as a gate
Let the gates be closed, and all be as it was, save for the magic we have worked here.
Thanking the Earth Mother
To the Earth Mother
Ground beneath our feet
You who uphold and sustain this world
We give you thanks.
With gratitude for all who have come
And peace and blessings for all in the world
Let us leave from this grove
This rite is now ended