Pagan Ritual & Prayer
A ritual and prayer, based on Irish tradition, for commemorating those who died on September 11, 2001.
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Pagan Commemoration Ritual

In Ireland, until recently, houses had a west-facing room, often with a window facing the sunset, that was reserved for the commemoration of family members who had passed over. In pagan times, the souls of the dead were supposed to gather in the House of Donn - an island off the southwest coast - and make the journey `beyond nine waves' to the blessed Summerlands where they would once more become young and beautiful, and live joyful lives. Here is a ritual you can do to commemorate the ones who made their passing on September 11th, 2001:

1. Choose part of a western wall for the shrine. This could be an alcove, shelf, window-sill, or small table. Cover it with a black or purple cloth.

2. Now arrange upon it mementos of relatives and friends who have passed over to the Summerlands this year, or in the recent past - photographs, small personal possessions or pieces of jewelry, and perhaps some branches, leaves or flowers.

3. You may also feel moved to remember individuals or groups of people throughout the world whose deaths this year have touched you deeply. Photos from newspapers, symbolic objects, poems, and so on, can also be added to the shrine.

4. Stand a candle by each one, and place a large candle in the center, symbolic of the One Light that unites us all.

5. At dusk, light the candles beginning with the central one, and sit or stand facing the shrine, contemplating each one in turn. Allow any emotions that may arise simply to be present, and express them naturally, as the Celts freely gave vent to their feelings at death.

6. If you are doing this in a group, you may wish to share stories, songs, poems, or words of inspiration, plus have each member of the circle give a short tribute to one or more of those remembered here.

7. Say the following prayer:
You are going home to your home of winter,
To your home of autumn, of spring, and of summer;
You are going home to the Land of the Living.
To the restful haven of the waveless sea.
Peace of the Seven Lights be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Joys be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Loves be upon you, beloved,"
On the breast of the Mother of Blessings,
In the arms of the Father of Life.

--Composed by Mara Freeman, author, lecturer, storyteller, and ArchDruidess in the Druid Clan of Dana. More on her website.
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