On Wednesday it is the great feast known as Samhain or Winter Nights. During my ritual I use the following “statement of purpose”….
Say: “As I stand here on this celebration of Winter Nights, the sacred wheel of the year continues to turn. As my ancestors did in ancient times, so tonight I honour the old ways. The harvest is in from the fields and they lie empty. The livestock has been brought down from the pastures and the people return to their homes for feasting. The leaves have changed colour and are falling from the trees. All is at an end. Summer is gone, winter is coming, the frosts and cold nights wait on the other side. It is the time of rest, of contemplation, of death. It is the time of liminality and transition as tonight the veil between worlds is thinnest. It is the night of the ancestors, a time to remember, honour and feast to those who have died, our loved ones and all life throughout vast history. They are not gone but live on within me and I will remember them. Just as they have become one with the earth again, so too will I someday. I thank the earth mother for all she has given me this season and for the abundance of the harvest. I celebrate and look forward to winter, a time of sacred darkness, a time to meditate on the cycle of death and rebirth.”
I also have special element in my ritual devoted to the ancestors and so I say and do the following: –
I stand before the veil on this night when it is thinnest —
I pray that those who have crossed before me hear my words.
As the season turns, as the darkness reigns,
I make my call:
Grandmothers and Grandfathers of Ages past.
Beloved Dead of Blood, Spirit and Place,
I remember and honour you this Winter eve,
And give you thanks for your Wisdom,
Guidance, Protection and Blessings on my life.
I pray that you continue this in the coming year.
You whom I have loved and lost,
You whose blood runs in my veins,
You who sacrificed that I might be here,
I thank you.
You who inspired and influenced my life,
You whose feet trod this sacred land before me,
You who gave your lives that I might eat and live.
I thank you.
Thank you for giving me the gift of existence.
Thank you for the examples of your lives.
Thank you for the love shown
By those of you who shared your life with mine.
On this holy eve of Winter Nights,
I remember and celebrate your lives
and I light a candle now in thanksgiving.
(Light a candle for each relative, stating their name as you do)
In silence I now stand to honour my ancestors.
(Stand in silence for one minute, head bowed)
Wes Hal Mighty Dead,
I pray that you watch over my family, friends and I,
And grant us Health, Wealth and Wisdom in the days to come.
Let me live a life that brings honour to you.
And may my memory of you live ever on.
Know that you remain in my heart this day and always,
Ancestors, accept this offering!