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Author Topic: Effective public ritual  (Read 1285 times)

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Eternal Seeker

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Effective public ritual
« on: August 29, 2009, 10:17:29 PM »


The most powerful worship service I have ever attended was a Pagan Yule service at UU church of Indianapolis. This was not because of the Pagan theology, but the format. UUI has no built in pews, so the Pagans put the chairs in the round, with the leaders in the center. Everyone was given candles. Near the end of the service, the candles were lit, and they started a spiral dance towards the center, singing “This Little Light of Mine”. When we got to the center, we put our candles in a sand box- not extinguishing them, but setting them upright, still burning. By the time I made it back to my seat, “my little light” had become part of a mighty united blaze... it touched a very primitive part of my soul; I felt as if it was the force of our faith, not blind cosmology, that was driving winter back. I watched others return to their seats and gasp when they turned and saw the spectacle they had helped create; many had tears in their eyes. No one who was there that night will ever forget it.

It’s not a question of theology; it didn’t matter whether it was Jesus or Sol Invictus being born that night- most Pagans take those stories just as symbolically as most UUs. It was the ritual and the participation that produced the effect. The leaders of that Pagan Grove were not ordained ministers, they didn’t have Doctorates of Divinity. They merely knew how to worship, how to refresh the soul. They knew how to create a sense of belonging, even if it was your first time.

So if you're nervous about the first time you perform a ritual in public- whether it be a couple friends or a hundred strangers- there is the secret to your success- draw them in, borrow their strength and goodwill- it is their ritual as much as yours.

peace,
ES
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AmberRaven

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Re: Effective public ritual
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2009, 11:47:02 AM »

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

I'm performing my first open ritual for Mabon and I'm rather nervous!!!!!
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Eternal Seeker

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Re: Effective public ritual
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2009, 12:11:15 PM »


You're welcome! I won't tell you not to be nervous, because you will be; at least I was. Just remember that they're there to share the joy with you, they're on your side.

peace,
ES
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