Welcoming Ritual for an Associate Member

Welcoming Ritual for an Associate Member

Welcoming Ritual for an Associate Member

This ritual is for an 'associate member'-type category, that we have chosen to call: 'Friend' (or Cyfaill (kuh-VIE-eelH)). See the End Note for a funny story.

Other Welsh terms:
Tylwyth o Ddar Rhudd - "Family of the Red Oak" (Full members)
Llyfr o Cyfraith - "Book of Law" (our Bylaws)
Gadael he Bod! - "Let it be!" ('You said it!')


Cyfaill Rite of Joining

Priest:

The members of this Grove are like a close family. We have promised to support each other to an extraordinary degree. And the members of any family also have a circle of friends - people who care for them and wish them well. We like to formalize this bond of friendship with a ceremony and a special name: ‘Cyfaill’. Is there any here who wish to become Cyfaill o Ddar Rhudd?

<The candidate/s step forward, bringing a bottle of their favorite beverage.>
<C: I do.>

And have you fulfilled the requirements of our Llyfr o Cyfraith?
<C: Yes.>

Are you ready to exchange our Oaths of friendship?
<C: I am.>

Candidate recites, or repeats after Priest:

I, ________, extend a hand in friendship to the Clan of the Red Oak.
Extends hand, palm up
I swear to respect the laws and customs of the Red Oak Grove.
I swear to hold the honor and confidences of the Red Oak Grove in high regard.
I swear to _____________________________(promise/s of candidate’s choice)
I so swear by/on/in the eyes of _______________________(candidate's choice)

<each additional Cyfaill takes the oath in turn, each placing their hand, palm up, on top of the pile of open hands>

Priest:

I, Bardd Dafydd, on behalf of Tylwyth o Ddar Rhudd, extend a hand
in friendship to you, ____________. (name each candidate)

<Priest places his right hand on top of the pile of hands and left hand on
bottom of pile, making a sandwich>

We swear to honor you as a friend for as long as you abide by your Oath.
We swear to respect your beliefs and your ways.
We swear to value any contribution you choose to make to the Red Oak Grove.
In the eyes of these witnesses, we so swear.

Tylwyth only: We so swear.
By the Fire and the Well and the Tree, we so swear.

Tylwyth only: We so swear.
In the name of Don and An Dagda, Brigantia, Llew,
Rhiannon and Cernunnos, we so swear.

Tylwyth only: We so swear.

Do you have a contribution for the Cup of Friendship?

<Take bottle from each and pour some into Cup>

The Priest holds it up and says:

As we share this cup, so may our lives be shared - In peace and in friendship.
Priest drinks then says:

Gadael he Bod!

Priest offers the Cup to each candidate, in turn. The candidate holds it
up and says:

As we share this cup, so may our lives be shared - In peace and in friendship.

Candidate drinks then says:

Gadael he Bod!

The group of Candidates offer the Cup to each person in the Circle, saying
in unison:

In peace and in friendship.

Each person drinks and then says:

Gadael he Bod!

Priest:

Behold - Cyfaill o Ddar Rhudd! Welcome!

Tylwyth and Cyfaill:

Welcome!

../../../Library/---------------------------

End Note

We performed this to welcome our first three 'Friends', and it was totally awesome! We worried that the combination of three randomly selected beverages might turn out to be undrinkable. As a joke we tried to anticipate the worst combinations we could imagine. Myrddin won with the following:

  • Beer
  • Soda
  • Tomato Juice

We thought about coordinating the beverages, but decided it might be more fun to see what happened. When the candidates arrived, they had brought:

  • Beer
  • Irish Mist
  • Amaretto
  • Irish Cream!!!

Yuck! We all fell out laughing (this was pre-Ritual). This was far worse than our worst fears! Then I noticed that there were four bottles and only three friends. "Who brought two choices?" I asked. It doesn't matter, two of them said (they were friends and had come together) take whichever two you want. I left the Irish Creme on the table and hoped for the best. So we mixed:

  • Beer (a strong Viking Ale)
  • Irish Mist
  • Amaretto

You should have seen the faces of the participants as I did this. Then I drank first. My face lit up. "This is delicious!", I cried. No one believed me. As the Chalice went around, first to the new Friends, then presented by them to each Member and Guest, it was fun to see each person's face turn from suspicious to delighted. "Hey! It *is* good!" many of them said.

We decided the setting had a lot to do with the experience. Anyway, it was great. I recommend it - both the Joining Rite and the recipe!

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