Samhain Ritual 2011

This year’s ritual is different to last year, mostly because it was also drawing in the elements of the scapegoat study that we’ve been doing. I’ve put it below, if anyone wants to borrow ideas – most of it already comes from other sources (which I’ve tried to put in brackets after each relevant section) -hope the formatting transfers easily!

Samhain “Small Ritual”

The beginning of the year in the Celtic Traditions
The beginning of winter, after the harvest has been gathered in, a time of waiting
A time to celebrate with a community around a fire
A time to hope that the stores last the winter, that spring returns in time
A moment of remembrance for loved ones departed and for spiritual awareness
A moment to pause and reflect and celebrate
The Turn of the Year

All: The Love of your creator be with you
Reader: God’s blessing be yours,
And well may it befall you;
Christ’s blessing be yours
And well be you entreated;
Spirit’s blessing be yours,
And well spend you your lives,
Each day that you rise up,
Each night that you lie down. (from Carmina Gadaelica)
All: We have been loved by God from before the beginning (Julian of Norwich)
Reader: We are not alone
We live in God’s world; (Iona Community Worship)
All: And so everything has being because of God’s love. (Julian of Norwich)

* A time for goodbyes & for remembering*
(may light candles; Playing:Mumford & Sons – Timshel)

The Night Stair by Alison Swifen ( A meditation on the Yew Tree)
A silence like no other
Is ne’r day in the
morning. The world is
sleeping off the ill
effects of the
old year and
it is too soon to
speak any
story into the new.

Quiet as thick
flakes of snow. Quiet
as the rising and falling
of a child’s sleep. Quiet
as the sleep of
the dead,
under the yew.

as the abbey church at
candlefall when
Amens are said,
and on the air,
before the latch drops,
behind the night stair,
the last echo of God
breathing in our

In the themes of both remembrance and our recent one of looking at the ideas of the scapegoat, we read all of Hebrews chapter 9.

(listen – Hildegard of Bingen – Spiritus Sanctus vivificans vita
Enya- Athair Ar Neamh
Sufjan Stevens- The Lord God Bird)

Lectio Divina: 1 John v 5-9
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Confession & Reconciliation

*We pause in silence to recall and remember thoughts, words, and deeds which we would rather leave dead & buried in the old year.
In silence we bring these to God in our hearts.*

All: We confess to God and in the company of all God’s people that our lives and the life of the world are broken by our sin.

Reader: When the world could wait no longer,
All: The carpenters took up their tools,
They made a cross for God’s own Son,
Fashioned from wood and skill of human hands
Fashioned from hate and will of human minds
Reader: He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,
All: For Us He Grieved.
Reader: He was summoned to the judgement hall,
An enemy of the state, a danger to religion,
All: By Us He Was Judged.
Reader: He was lashed and scourged with cruel whips
All: By his stripes we are healed.
Reader: He was nailed to the cross by human hands,
All: Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh.
Reader: He died, declaring God’s forgiveness.
He rose on the third day, transforming death.
He ascended into heaven, that he might be everywhere on earth.
He sent the Holy Spirit as the seal of his intention.
He sets before us bread and wine, and invites us to his table.
This is the place where we are made well again.
All: And All will be made well.
Reader: For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world,
All: But that the world, through him, might be saved.
(Iona Community Worship)

*We share communion together*

(can use the following as pass the bread and wine/juice to one another)

The Body of Christ, broken for you.
The Blood of Christ, shed for you.

Reader: Rejoice therefore, O my soul, for God wills thy reconciling;
Seize hold upon his outstretched hand to tell thee of reconciling love.
All: God help me and encompass me,
From this hour till the hour of my death.
(Carmina Gadaelica)

Reader: We are not alone.
We live in God’s world.
All: We believe in God,
Who has created and is creating
Who has come in Jesus to reconcile
And make all things new.
Reader: We trust God,
All: who calls us to be the church;
To love and serve others,
To seek justice and resist evil,
To proclaim Jesus,
Crucified, dead and risen;
Our Judge and our hope.
Reader: In life, in death, in life beyond death,
All: God is with us: we are not alone.
Thanks be to God.

Reader: Therefore, with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,
We sing to you.
All: With all the angels of light who envelop us,
With all the saints before and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west,
We sing to you.
Reader: And with our loved ones,
Separate from us now,
Who yet, in this mystery, are close to us,
We join in the song of your unending greatnes.
All: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.
Reader: Kindness in our face
And the Spirit’s grace
Wisdom in our speech
As we speak to each;
O Lord Christ, thou art
Love within the heart;
In love may we greet
Though a foe we meet.
(Carmina Gadaelica)

All: May the God of all people and the Lord Jesus Christ,
Give us grace and peace this night and every night.



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