Pagan Funeral

In the Druid tradition, each of the great “rites of passage” is marked in the calendar by one of the fire-festivals: death, or Parting, is marked by Samhuinn, 31 October to 2 November, when the old Celtic year ends and there are three days of No-Time before the new year begins. Birth, and consequently Naming, is marked by Imbolc on 1/2 February—the time when the snowdrops appear and we can sense the first stirrings of spring. Mating, the Great Rite of making love, is marked by Bealteinne on 1 May, when the forces of spring are in full flood. Marriage, the formal recognition of having found a long term partner after the explorations of the spring time of one's life, is marked by Lughnasadh on 1 August. This forum is for discussing the ceremonies and customs associated with each festival and for all of the rites of passage in our lives.
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wolfsbane
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Pagan Funeral

Postby wolfsbane » 17 Oct 2010, 10:16

Hey all,

Im after some advice. My Fathers funeral was a week ago and t was held in a christian church.
He was buried in a wicker coffin at a green site and will have a tree planted instead of a head stone.
I would however like to hold my own ceremony for me and some close friends and family and i need some help on how you would hold this.

Thanks to all in advance
Love & Light
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Tynan Elder Oak
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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 18 Oct 2010, 16:46

Dear Wolfsbane, did you get any support with this? What happened?

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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Davin Raincloud » 18 Oct 2010, 23:52

Hey all,

Im after some advice. My Fathers funeral was a week ago and t was held in a christian church.
He was buried in a wicker coffin at a green site and will have a tree planted instead of a head stone.
I would however like to hold my own ceremony for me and some close friends and family and i need some help on how you would hold this.

Thanks to all in advance
Love & Light
Wicker coffin? Green site? Tree? That sounds pretty awesome. :hug:

I guess what you want is not a funeral, because you already had that, but some sort of post-funeral wake service? Rememberance service?

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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Crystal Dragon » 19 Oct 2010, 12:13

Hi Wolfsbane,

I was so sorry to read about your recent loss. The following site may be of some interest to you and I would also add that when you do your own ceremony, perhaps when the tree is planted, any words you say that come from your heart and treasured memories you may share with those present, will be just fine.

www.pagan-transitions.org.uk

Blessings,

CD
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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 19 Oct 2010, 17:16

Hi Wolsbane.... Here is what I like to do... you will of course take as much or as little from this as you like....

I would go to the place of internment, or a sacred space of your own and call in the quarters, and the peace, making sacred space in your usual manner.

When doing so, go counter clockwise, starting in the West, Thanking those in the gateway there for being our ancestors those we care about and those upon whose shoulders we stand and asking those in that gateway who have gone before to take care of your Father, to welcome him in to their presence, you know the kind of thing, go with your own intuition...

Turn to the South, thank all the beings in the South for the days your Father had under the sun, those days where he lived a full life and felt the blessing of the Earth beneath him etc...

Turn to the East and thank those in the East for all the beginnings in your Father's life, all the new experiences he had and for the bright mornings given to him through out his lifetime etc....

Turn to the North, and thank those in the North for the treasures in his life, some of which may have come from times of depth and darkness, that the great mother that from her womb your Father came, and to her womb he now returns to rest until such time as he is ready to come back on to the wheel of life.

Bind the weave by invoking your diety/great Spirit/Awen, and thank the before named for their enfolding love/care and provsion during your Father's life....

Light a candle, burn some incense and meditate for a while on these things that come to mind, cry if you need to laugh if it comes bubbling up, but let those rich and deep emotions have their flow and healing space. Be real... admit your sense of loss and grief and acceptance that this comes to us all and yet there is hope....

When ready, un-weave your circle, leave an offering and go in peace.

Hope this helps a little. Holding a space for peace and acceptance for you. :hug:

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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby river otter » 22 Oct 2010, 22:37

Hello Wolsbane

http://www.pagan-transitions.org.uk/rites.html

sorry to hear of your loss

after the death of a friend I was looking for a poem that I like and came across this site, it may give you some ideas if you have not yet had the ceremony for your father


River Otter

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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby wolfsbane » 23 Oct 2010, 07:44

Hi Wolsbane.... Here is what I like to do... you will of course take as much or as little from this as you like....

I would go to the place of internment, or a sacred space of your own and call in the quarters, and the peace, making sacred space in your usual manner.

When doing so, go counter clockwise, starting in the West, Thanking those in the gateway there for being our ancestors those we care about and those upon whose shoulders we stand and asking those in that gateway who have gone before to take care of your Father, to welcome him in to their presence, you know the kind of thing, go with your own intuition...

Turn to the South, thank all the beings in the South for the days your Father had under the sun, those days where he lived a full life and felt the blessing of the Earth beneath him etc...

Turn to the East and thank those in the East for all the beginnings in your Father's life, all the new experiences he had and for the bright mornings given to him through out his lifetime etc....

Turn to the North, and thank those in the North for the treasures in his life, some of which may have come from times of depth and darkness, that the great mother that from her womb your Father came, and to her womb he now returns to rest until such time as he is ready to come back on to the wheel of life.

Bind the weave by invoking your diety/great Spirit/Awen, and thank the before named for their enfolding love/care and provsion during your Father's life....

Light a candle, burn some incense and meditate for a while on these things that come to mind, cry if you need to laugh if it comes bubbling up, but let those rich and deep emotions have their flow and healing space. Be real... admit your sense of loss and grief and acceptance that this comes to us all and yet there is hope....

When ready, un-weave your circle, leave an offering and go in peace.

Hope this helps a little. Holding a space for peace and acceptance for you. :hug:
Thanks for this. I will give it a try this weekend. Bright blessings to you all :)
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Re: Pagan Funeral - request for more info from Oz

Postby MiriamSPia » 24 Oct 2010, 13:29

No offense, but my mother and I might both like to know how to find these green sites and to make the arrangements for the wicker coffin and the tree rather than the headstone. I hope it wasn't a money problem.

Anyways, hope the funeral was alright. Obviously, it is a challenging loss - I am grateful that my parents are currently still living. Two are in their 70s and one is approaching 60 or else she had reached it - she's 17 years younger than my father, and there is another one - a 'new' stepmother who is in her late 60s. Anyways, the good news is they are all alive.

I hope that you are able to receive all of the support that you need.

Thank you for sharing information.

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Re: Pagan Funeral - request for more info from Oz

Postby wolfsbane » 25 Oct 2010, 08:48

No offense, but my mother and I might both like to know how to find these green sites and to make the arrangements for the wicker coffin and the tree rather than the headstone. I hope it wasn't a money problem.

Anyways, hope the funeral was alright. Obviously, it is a challenging loss - I am grateful that my parents are currently still living. Two are in their 70s and one is approaching 60 or else she had reached it - she's 17 years younger than my father, and there is another one - a 'new' stepmother who is in her late 60s. Anyways, the good news is they are all alive.

I hope that you are able to receive all of the support that you need.

Thank you for sharing information.
Obviously this one may not be appropriate for yourself but this is where my father was buried. It also lists prices. Spk to the funeral director and they will help you. I think in total with a double depth grave my mother paid roughly £4000. that includes the wicker coffin. One thing i will sat is believe it ornot the wicker coffin is really bloody heavy.

http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewto ... 36&t=37103
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Breanna » 03 Aug 2012, 13:10

So sorry to hear of your loss and sending you much love.

My own father died a month ago of liver cancer. He was a Christian and so the cremation and service at his church obviously reflected this. I spent many hours reseraching rites on the web and what follows is a mixture of three rites which I wove together to reflect my own 'druidry' and post here in the hope that they may help, if not you, others. I conducted the rite at the beach - my father lived in Cornwall and the beach was very appropriate.

The rite gave me a sense of peace and not closure, for as a friend gently reminded me "death ends a life not a relationship".

The Sacred Rite of Parting
Spirits of this circle, spirits of this place, spirits of this land we ask for your guidance, inspiration & blessings on this our Parting Rite for David _____________.
Let there be peace in the East, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the South, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the West, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the North, so let it be.
Let there be peace through all the Worlds. So let it be.
We gather in peace, soul to soul, within this sacred place and with clear intent. We stand in the eye of the Sun and upon this hallowed Earth, so to witness the sacred Rite of Passing for David _____________. We come to honour him.
The circle is cast tightly.
Calls to the Four Directions using words such as these.
EAST : We call upon the Hawk of Dawn who soars in the clear pure air, who sees far and flies swift and true between the worlds. We call upon the Powers of this east & ask that you may bless and inspire this rite.
SOUTH : We call the Great Stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the sun, whose strength of purpose protects the herd from harm. We call upon the powers of the South & ask that you bless and inspire this rite.
WEST : We call upon the Salmon of Wisdom who dwells within the sacred waters of the pool, who gives the gift of knowing this world and the worlds beyond. We call upon the powers of the West & ask that you bless and inspire this rite.
NORTH : We call upon the Great Bear of the starry heavens and the deep fruitful earth. We call upon the Powers of the North and ask that you may bless and inspire this rite
We honour the Spirits of the skies that guide us to stretch & grow; breath of life, soft breeze and chasing winds; feathered folk who know the dance of freedom upon the wing.
We honour the Spirits of the earth that holds and feeds us; mud of our lands, rich and fertile soil in which we deeply root; rocks and stones, gems of the earth, you who give us stability underfoot.
We honour Spirits of the open seas that wash and shape the shores of these lands; meandering rivers, guiding our direction.
We honour Spirits of this place. Know that you are honoured here.
THE ANCESTORS ARE HONOURED
I call in peace to the ancestors of these sacred islands, you whose feet have walked the fields and forests, the valleys and hills, those whose hands have worked the earth and touched the waters of the seas, you whose stories lie in the mud and sing in the wind, whose breath we now breathe. I call to you that we may feel your presence here, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of our spiritual heritage, teachers of old who guide us now, whose wisdom whispers in our hearts and minds. I call to you that we may hear your wisdom here, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of our blood, those to whom we are joined through birth and death, heart to heart, womb to womb, whose love and tears, strength and weaknesses, remain as stories in our bones. I call to you that we may accept the gifts you bring, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of David _____________, those of the blood line. Gathering together as the hidden company on this sacred day, joining those who have come to say farewell, guiding the soul of David and honouring his life, know that you are welcome here in peace.
May this rite be blessed by your presence. May we have ears for those who have gone before.
BLESSINGS:
As the spiral path leads to the centre, closer to the source,
May Spirit embrace you, David _____________, as its own.
Returned are you to the Fire, to the power of transformation
Returned are you to the Earth, to the comfort of the Mother
Returned are you to the Water, to the realms of Healing
Returned are you to the Air, to the breath of life
And we wish you well.
As the moon waxes and wanes,
As the seasons turn from Spring to Winter,
All endings bring new beginnings.
Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the shades of night to you
Moon and stars, always giving light to you.
Blessed be.
THE FEAST
Let us now make our feast, sharing all we have with our ancestors and the one departed.

Malt Loaf and a bottle of Tribute

Mother Earth, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors we give you thanks.
Father Sky, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors, we give you thanks.

The first apple is offered back to the earth and the spirits of the place.
The second apple is given to the ancestors and the deceased – thrown or placed into the sea.
We offer apples, fruit of this sacred land, that he who has departed will know he is loved and remembered.


THE FAREWELL
May those who have gone before prepare a joyous welcome among their company in the blessed land. May understanding grow there with the stories told, may nourishment be found in the food of angels, with remembrance of love and the soul’s release into perfect freedom. So may it be.

David, rest from you travels in this existence and when you are well rested and ready for your new adventure to begin, may you hear our words on fresh breezes, an ancient blessing on your new journey.

May a new road rise to meet your feet,
May a gentle wind be always at your back,
May the Sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall softly upon new fields,
Until we meet again
May spirit guide you safely to a new land.
So may it be.
In order to allow the spirit of our companion to make the journey in strength, we must now hand over to those from the other worlds who would guide him.
There is a period of silence.

THE CLOSING OF THE RITE
We give thanks to all unseen who have blessed this ceremony, to you who have come in peace, seen and unseen, ancestors of this sacred land and of our spiritual heritage, we give you thanks for your presence, your guidance and inspiration. To those joined in blood to the one honoured in this rite, David _____________, we give you special thanks. Return to your realms in peace, as in peace you came. With thanks, with respect we bid you farewell.
May the Spirits of the Four Directions be honoured.
NORTH : By the power of the great bear in the starry heavens and the deep and fruitful earth, we thank the spirits of the north for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
WEST : By the power of the Salmon of wisdom that dwells in the sacred pool, we thank the spirits of the west for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
SOUTH : By the power of the great stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the Sun, we thank the spirits of the south for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
EAST : By the power of the Hawk of dawn that flies in the clear pure air, we thank the spirits of the East for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
Spirits of this circle, Spirits of this place, guides and guardians of David _____________, we thank you for your inspiration, guidance, protection and blessings on this rite of parting. We ask that you continue to watch over and inspire David _____________ in his journey. This circle of honour and love is now open but it is never broken. So may it be. I declare this the Rite of Passing Ceremony for David _____________ closed in the apparent world may its inspiration continue in our beings.


Sent with much love from beneath the shelter of the oaks
Breanna
...
/i\
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fulbert-avebury
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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby fulbert-avebury » 04 Aug 2012, 14:15

Breanna, this funeral rite of parting is beautiful; thanks for sharing it.

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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Whitemane » 16 Jun 2014, 13:34

I used these fabulous words to frame my memorial event for my wife.

They were such a challenge to recite, but it was such a feeling of healing and gratitude to use them.

Thank you so much.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

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Re: Pagan Funeral

Postby Reuils » 16 Jun 2014, 22:05

I like both of the rights suggested . So much more meaningful than the traditional Christian funeral service. I hope whichever you choose will bring you peace and an ability to remember your Father with joy.

blessings,

Reuils /|\


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