Spring Equinox 2003 Unity Rite
Spring Equinox 2003 Unity Rite
Raven's Cry Grove, ADF Unity Rite Module for Spring Equinox Ritual 2003, to occur during praise offerings phase of ritual dedicated to Eostre Saturday, March 22, 2003, 3:00pm PST. Written by Todd Covert, Senior Druid and Dedicant Priest.
Note: The concept for the ADF Organizational Unity Rite dates to April 2002. The responsibility for writing and facilitating a ritual observance at each High Day that will promote the cause of a greater sense of community within diversity is rotated among the members of the ADF Clergy Council. The first such rite was hosted by Grove of the Sacred Crows, ADF, in Massachusetts at Bealtaine 2002. The liturgy below is designed to integrate into the Raven's Cry Grove Spring Equinox liturgy written in 2001 by Douglas Dean and still serve as the foundation for a meaningful pan-IE offertory rite for other Groves, Protogroves, and solitary members. A list of the Groves and Protogroves of ADF and their founding dates can be obtained by contacting the ADF Office.
After the presiding Druid of the rite calls for praise offerings and individual offerings have been made by participants, five of the Druids (D1-D5) come forward to the Tree. One carries a two parchments: one with the names of the members of the ADF clergy and one listing the names, locations, and founding dates of the Groves and Protogroves of ADF. The others bear a goblet of spring water, roses, colorful ribbons or garlands, and a bouquet of flowers which includes an eight-pointed star.
D1: This day we honor Eostre, goddess of the Spring of the Anglo-Saxon folk. The lady Eostre had kindred goddesses honored by the other peoples of the ancient world and we turn to them at this time to strengthen and renew our community.
As members of the folk of Ar nDraiocht Fein, we seek at this auspicious moment in the passage of the year to honor the unity and the diversity of our community.
We are united in our kinship with the Ancestors, the Spirits of the Earth, and the Shining Ones and we are united in our service to all who likewise seek to honor the Kindreds.
We celebrate our diversity, as Our Druidry embraces the traditions of many ancient Indo-European peoples.
And so, we turn to Eostre and her sisters—bringers of renewal for so many of the peoples who give us inspiration—to bring renewed commitment to our community, to its leaders, its fellowships, its members worshipping as individuals, and the many other people who are our brothers and sisters.
D1 passes the parchment with the names of the clergy among the participants.
D1: These are the clergy of Ar nDraiocht Fein—share your good will for them as you read their names.
D2 then speaks.
D2: Aurora of the Romans!
Flying across the sky as herald of the Sun,
The tears from your passage falling as the dew.
Purify the hearts of those who would lead us in worship,
Nourish and refresh them on their way.
D2 pours spring water at the base of the Tree. D1 starts the parchment with the list of Groves and Protogroves around (and places the list of clergy at the Tree when it has been passed around).
D1: These are the Groves and Protogroves of Ar nDraiocht Fein—share your good will for them as you read their names and the many communities they serve.
D3 then speaks.
D3: Eos of the Hellenes!
O rosy-fingered mother of the Winds,
Who daily opens the gates of the Dawn.
As the fellowships of Our Druidry are many,
Let your children the Four Winds embrace and strengthen them all!
D3 places roses at the base of the Tree. D1 places the parchment of the fellowships there when all have viewed it.
D1: We do not neglect those in our community who honor the Kindreds as individuals and as families.
D4: Ushas of the Vedic peoples!
You rise each day as though newly born,
Bashful maiden dancing in splendid robes.
Join as a bride and dance with each of our folk,
Give them strength and delight in their path.
D4 decorates the Tree with garlands or ribbons.
D1: And we above all proclaim our fellowship with all who honor the Kindreds, whatever their path.
D5: Aushine of the Lithuanians!
Whose eight-fold dawn star brings new strength,
Whose flowered cross proclaims the joy of Spring.
Grant strength of purpose to those on the old paths
And bring them joy whenever they may meet.
D5 places the star and flowers at the base of the Tree.
D1: Eostre! In whose name we gather!
By these gifts, to you and your sisters of the dawn and of renewal,
Proclaim the strength of all our Fellowship
To all the realms you bless with tidings of the Spring!
So may it be!
The rite continues with offerings by the people to Eostre as matron of the festival.
Ritual and Practice