Ritual Mechanics, #6

Describe three different methods of Calling/Hallowing/Affirming the Waters, as used by at least two different active ADF Priests. Explain the actions done, the reason for those actions, and any specific magical work the Priest does during the Calling/Hallowing/Affirming of the Waters. Provide an original script with stage directions for the Calling/Hallowing/Affirming of the Waters based on one of these methods.

From my own experiences at Cedarlight with rituals led by Reverend Caryn MacLuan, her experience with Hallowing the Waters is what I am most familiar with:

Children of Earth, breathe deep and remember your roots, we have come here tonight to pray for (enter prayer here). We have gifted the gods and now we ask for their blessings. Let us ask them to speak to us. (Voice prayer in the form of a question)
Seer: Reads the omen and speaks it to the folk.
Children of Earth is it your wish that we receive this blessing?
All: It is!
Children of Earth will you heed this blessing?
All: We will!
Children of Earth do you accept this blessing?
All: We do!

(If the waters are in chalices, then the appropriate number of people need to come forward and hold them up. I have found that 1 set of chalices per every 20 people is a good match and does not draw this section out too long)
Sacred ones, holy ones, (names of deities of occasion), we have honored you, we have gifted you, and a gift calls for a gift!
Fill these chalices (or whatever container you are using) with your blessings! (Say something about the omen here and tie it into the blessing.)
(Names of Deities of Occasion!) Behold the Waters of Life!
All: Behold the Waters of Life
(The Cupbearers proceed around the circle clockwise and as they offer the cup to each person they say, “the waters of life” and the person replies, “the waters of life.”
(I definitely like a song or drumming/rattles during the passing of the waters)

From Reverend Sean Harbaugh, his take on Hallowing the Waters is as follows:

“Right before the Hallowing of the Waters, I fill two chalices.  One with 50% whiskey and 50% water, and the other with straight soda water (non-alcoholic).  I raise these above my head and explain to the folk, as I call upon the waters, to envision the offerings given and the blessing flowing back into the cups.  I then say “Ancestors Hallow the Waters, Nature Spirits Hallow the Waters, Shining Ones Hallow the Waters”.  I present the chalices and say “Behold the Waters of Life!”

My own methods are a little more simplified, but still include some similar elements.  We generally do two chalices, one with water and one with mead or alcohol for our Waters of Life.  Once our prayers have been accepted, I start the process.  I generally like to reiterate certain parts in ritual for those unfamiliar with ADF and the COoR, so sometimes I briefly explain what is happening:

We have given praise and bestowed offerings before the Gods. Gifts from us to the earth, to the Gods, and now from the Gods, to the earth, to us. Let us receive their blessings in these waters so we may go forth in strength and love.  Behold the Waters of Life!

While this is being said, I hold both chalices high towards the heavens.  When finished, we start the process of offering chalices around the ritual circle.  Often times we will involve other ritual participants and direct them to hold up the chalices and pass them around in the same fashion.  Usually the liturgist will drink last.

I always find it important to involve attendees whenever possible so they feel they are contributing their energy in ritual.  This is a good part in ritual to do this as they do not have a speaking part if they might be shy 🙂  I do like Caryn’s Call and Response involvement though, so I may tweak mine a bit to ask if the audience accepts the blessings.

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