Rite of Peace for All

by Rowan Fairgrove, 1999

Create Sacred Space

An altar in the center is set with 3 candles - blue, green & yellow - set in a triangle. Symbols/Images of the Gods, Ancestors and Land should also be present.

The Priestess stands at the center and says:

Priestess: The sky above us (draw spiral three times above)

The sea surrounds us (define a circle)
The earth beneath us (touch and ground in the earth)
Thus the Realms make sacred our circle.

She lights the three candles for the realms and says:

The fire of inspiration infuses the realms and links all beings to the inner fire of divinity.

Call Witnesses

Priest: Hear us, O Mannanon, Horseman of the crested waves
Lord of Emain Ablach,
That fruitful land where rivers pour forth streams of honey
And salmon leap from the womb of the white sea
Lord of the silver branch whose golden apples bring peace and healing
Lord of the Cup of Truth
We invoke thee for thy gifts
Come from the western isles
and bless our circle with your wisdom
Be welcome in our midst

When the calling is complete All say:

We stand outside of time, in a place not of earth, as the Old Ones did before us we join together in His name.

Priestess: Hear us, O Boann, Opener of the Bright Well
Lady of the Five Salmon, holy fish of knowledge
Lady of the Nine Hazels
Whose purple nuts drop into your waters
Your sacrifice sends forth the five streams of our mortal senses
And unlocks the power of the seer and the poet
We invoke thee for thy gifts
Come from the source of life below
and bless our circle with your knowledge
Be welcome in our midst

When the calling is complete All say:

We stand outside of time, in a place not of earth, as the Old Ones did before us we join together in Her name.

Priest: Hear me, O Ancestors
Parents of all that live
Ancestors of my body and path
We invoke thee for thy gifts
Come from the land of eternal youth
to witness and aid in our rites
Be welcome in our midst
When the calling is complete All say:

Be welcome in our midst.

Priestess: Hear me, O Spirits of the Land
Foundation of growth and life
Spirits of rock and tree and earth
We invoke thee for thy gifts
Come from the body of the land which surrounds us
to witness and aid in our rites
Be welcome in our midst

When the calling is complete All say:

Be welcome in our midst.

The Story - Toward a Declaration of a Global Ethic.

In 1993 at the Parliament of the Worlds Religions, a document was put forward called Toward a Declaration of a Global Ethic. Here are excerpts from that document which describe the story to which we're here to write a new ending. The preamble to the Declaration begins:

The world is in agony. The agony is so pervasive and urgent that we are compelled to name its manifestations so that the depth of this pain may be made clear.

Peace eludes us ... the planet is being destroyed ... neighbors live in fear ... women and men are estranged from each other ... children die!

This is abhorrent!

Skipping now to the Declaration itself:

We Declare... We are interdependent. Each of us depends on the well- being of the whole, and so we have respect for the community of living beings, for people, animals, and plants, and for the preservation of Earth, the air, water and soil.

We take individual responsibility for all we do. All our decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences.

We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. We make a commitment to respect life and dignity, individuality and diversity, so that every person is treated humanely, without exception. We must have patience and acceptance. We must be able to forgive, learning from the past but never allowing ourselves to be enslaved by memories of hate. Opening our hearts to one another, we must sink our narrow differences for the cause of the world community, practicing a culture of solidarity and relatedness.

We must strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance to reach full potential as a human being. We must speak and act truthfully and with compassion, dealing fairly with all, and avoiding prejudice and hatred. We must not steal. We must move beyond the dominance of greed for power, prestige, money, and consumption to make a just and peaceful world.

Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first. We pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our minds, by meditation, by prayer, or by positive thinking. Without risk and a readiness to sacrifice there can be no fundamental change in our situation. Therefore we commit ourselves to this global ethic, to understanding one another, and to socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly ways of life.

We invite all people, whether religious or not, to do the same.

(Given at the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions, September 4, 1993, in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America. Text of Declaration and Principles 1993, Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.)

Statement of Intent Priestess: At the center of our circle is the Triskelion, at its heart there burns a fire, a divine presence, the spark of life that unites all things -- here the three sacred realms join and become one. Here in the center we look out upon the three realms, and we call to their powers to bless this circle of peace which we create together.

I invite you to join me as we commit ourselves to a culture of non-violence, respect, justice, and peace in which all may find health and growth, balance and hope, progress and inspiration. May peace prevail in our homes, may peace prevail in our streets, may peace prevail in our nations, may peace prevail on earth.

Let us send healing the hurts of the centuries
Let us send hope and growth, to replace hate and killing.
Let us send respect and inspiration, to replace despair and sorrow
Let us create a circle of protection.
Let us create a circle of healing.
Let us create a circle of justice.
Let us create a circle of renewal.
And let us envision these circles as a spiral,
see them repeat, spreading out until
through all the world may peace prevail on earth

Chant

Priestess: Powers of Land, Sea and Sky
Gathered in our Sacred Grove
Lend your power and your blessing
Biodh sé mar sin (pronounced Be shay mar shin)

All: Lady weave your web of change
Bring the world to peace again
Let us all be kin together
Biodh sé mar sin

Each person who feels moved to do so should state what they will do to bring peace, ending with the phrase Biodh sé mar sin which is echoed by the rest

Cakes & Ale

Bless the food and share it togher and with each of the witnesses.

We bless this bread. We bless this ale.
We bless the Land that nurtured it and the Sun that gave it power.
We bless all hands, seen and unseen, that have brought it to this place.
May it nurture all here, seen and unseen.

Close

Priestess: Spirits of the Land, Foundation of growth and life
Thank you for witnessing our rites
May there be peace between us now and always.

Priest: Ancestors, Parents of all that lives
Thank you for witnessing our rites
May there be peace between us now and always.

Priestess: Boann, Lady of the Nine Hazels
Thank you for witnessing our rites
May there be peace between us now and always.

Priest: Mannanon, Lord of the Cup of Truth
Thank you for witnessing our rites
May there be peace between us now and always.

Snuff three candles for the realms and say:

Priestess: The sky above us (draw spiral three times above)
The sea surrounds us (define a circle)
The earth beneath us (touch and ground in the earth)
Thus the Realms make sacred our lives.
Let the circle be open but unbroken.

The fire of inspiration infuses the realms
and links all beings to the inner fire of divinity.
We hold this flame in my heart as we from this place depart.


Copyright 1999 Rowan Fairgrove. May be freely performed. May not be reprinted without permission.

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