Wellspring Memorial Day Ritual 2009

The following was performed at Wellspring 2009.  

Grounding/Centering meditation

Now that we are all gathered together, I invite you to make yourselves comfortable. Close your eyes, and open your ears, and open your minds, and open your hearts. Breathe deeply, and with each breath, release your tensions and worries. With each breath, feel yourself grow more and more relaxed.

Open yourself to your surroundings. With your eyes closed, allow your other senses to expand.

Feel the earth, solid and strong, beneath your feet. Feel the wind as it caresses your cheek.

With each breath, taste the sweet, clean air. Draw in the scents of the forest, the perfume of the flowers, the crisp scent of leaves, the earthy musk of the soil.

Hear the small sounds all around you. Listen to the air sighing through the treetops, the sounds of birds and small animals that make their home here.

Immerse yourself in this time, in this place, in the living realm.

For many, the world as defined by our five senses is the limit of reality, but we know better. And so I now invite you to look beyond the living realm to the land of the dead. Breathe deeply, and open yourselves to that place that lies beneath and beside our own world.

Open yourselves to the presence of the honored fallen-the warriors who gave their lives for our safety and our freedom. Feel them draw near. Feel the power of their sacrifice, and welcome them among us. For tonight we come together in their honor, to pay tribute to their memories and to give thanks for the liberty that is ours by virtue of their struggle and commitment. Tonight we celebrate Memorial Day-a day of remembrance and reflection.

Now, I invite you to open your eyes and prepare to enter our ritual space, and join together to pay homage to the fallen, the honored, the beloved dead.

Process in to a drum beat, cense with sage, aspurge with water, leave ego in a jar at entrance.

Earth mother

Earth Mother, as is our custom, we make our first offering to you, for without you, we would not exist. We are all your children, and through you we are connected to one another and to the intricate web of life that binds all creatures. You nurture us and sustain us throughout our lives, and in the end, you welcome us once again into your warm embrace, just as you so lovingly cradle the mortal remains of our fallen heroes.

Earth Mother, we offer you our gratitude, our praise, and our love. We call to you and ask that you join us here, and we give to you these tokens of our affection and devotion.

Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice!

Bardic Inspiration

I call on our ancestors that inspired us as a country.

I call on Thomas Pane who set us on the path to becoming a country with his pamphlet Common Sense. It was your words that inspired a loose collection of colonies to join together and fight to become the country we are today. Fill us today with your skills of oration, so we may say what we mean to say.

I call on Henry David Thoreau who inspired generations with his poetry and actions. It was your experiment with returning to a simple life at Walden Pond that inspired many of transcendentalist movement. Your poetry spoke of nature and natural living like none other of your time. Your words have inspired great leaders generations after your death. Give us today your mastery of language to speak in poetic tongues.

I call on Louis Armstrong, who was one of the most influential musicians of the first true American sound, Jazz. Your call on the trumpet and your skill with the vocals inspired scores of people to take up music. Although you were not the first, you are the one that made the scat style of singing, and pure improvising to become an accepted and loved music. Share with us your skill for melody and harmony.

Thomas Pane, Henry David Thoreau, and Louis Armstrong. Come and join us tonight. Fill us with inspiration. May we speak only the truth. May we say what needs to be said. Inspire us, Ancestors of Inspiration. Accept our Sacrifice!

Hallow the Hallows

Portal Song:

CHORUS
By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky
We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high.

Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,
Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,
Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,
Come we now to the Well, together we sing:

CHORUS

We will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,
We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,
We will kindle a Fire, A light 'neath the Moon & Sun,
We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar.

CHORUS

Gather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,
Gather we at the Tree, Below & above,
Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,
Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love.

CHORUS (with gusto)

(Words and music by Ian Corrigan ©Stonecreed Grove, ADF)

Open the Gates: Bald Eagle being gatekeeper

Bald Eagle! Great symbol of our country. Your image is on the great seal, holding arrows of war and the olive branch of peace. You show you're ready to defend our country bur are always looking for peace.

You are a creature of the sky. You walk the earth. You feast on carrion. You are a being of all worlds.

Noble Bald Eagle! We call on you to join us this evening. We ask you to aide us by taking our words afar. Be our communicator. Spread our message wide

Great, Noble Bald Eagle! Accept our Sacrifice!

Now Noble Bald Eagle, join your magic with mine. Let the fire open as a gate. Let the well open as a gate. Let the tree be the crossroads between all the worlds, open to our voices and to the spirits. Let the Gates Be Open!

Call on the Outdwellers to accept our offering

All you of the outer dark. You from outside our kin and friends. Those that want to join us only to disrupt. We honor and respect you, but we ask you don't disturb us.

Outdwellers, Accept this offering and trouble us not. (offering of beer is placed in Outdweller's shrine open, but not poured.)

Ancestors

Ancestors! You who we find here in our Nemeton. You who walked the land of Brushwood, and who's spirits continue to do so. We offer you welcome!

Ancestors! You who helped found this great country. Our founding fathers and mothers. Those who sacrificed their lives to stand up for a United States of America. Ancestors of America, we offer you welcome!

Ancestors! You who are kin of those in ADF, and of those gathered here in our Nemeton. You have walked the world before us and have helped us become who we are. Ancestors of our blood and kin, we offer you welcome!

Ancestors! We call to you. We invite you to join us at our fire. Aid us and guide us in our celebration of Remembrance Day.

Ancestors, Accept our Sacrifice!

Land Spirits

I call upon the spirits of the land, and offer you welcome.

I call to the natives of this place, to all the beings, both seen and unseen, who call this land home, and offer you welcome.

I call to the natives of this nation, of America, to all those spirits of this great land, both seen and unseen, who have called this country home throughout the ages. I call to those native spirits of the wilds, both known to us and unknown, who have dwelt here since time before memory, and offer you welcome.

I call to those beings of the land, both seen and unseen, who are not native to these shores, but who came here more recently, brought from across the seas by our ancestors, carried in their hands, in their heads, and in their hearts and offer you welcome. I call to all those whose seeds flourished in this fertile soil, both those who joined peaceably with the native ecosystems, as well as those who have yet to find a happy equilibrium, in the hopes that reconciliation may yet be achieved, and I offer all of you welcome.

I call to all the spirits of nature, seen and unseen, to join us.

Land Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

Shining Ones

Shining Ones!

Shining Ones! All the deities that are here at Brushwood. Those that are here all the time, and those that visit on occasion. The Gods and Goddesses of Brushwood, we offer you welcome.

Shining Ones! All the deities that are indigenous to the United States.

The Gods and Goddesses of the native people, and those that were here even before them. Deities of the United States, we offer you welcome.

Shining Ones! All the deities that were brought here to the Americas by our ancestors. Those of our native lands, and those that look over us in our personal lives. The Gods and Goddesses of the folk and their ancestors, we offer you welcome.

Shining Ones! We call to you. We invite you to join us at our fire. Aid us and guide us in our celebration of Remembrance Day. Gods and Goddesses, Accept our Sacrifice!

Statement of Purpose and Precedence

Memorial Day is a time to remember and thank those that fought for our country, and who died for our country. It was first started shortly after the Civil War in 1968 with General Order Number 11 of the Grand Army of the Republic where they placed flowers on the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery on May 30th. After this, Remembrance Day as it was called, was celebrated at different times in various states, with the southern states being the furthest from May 30th.

It wasn't until 1971, when all federal holidays were changed to create three day weekends, that it was moved to the last Monday of May. In 1915, John McCrae wrote one of the most popular poems to read on this day, In Flanders Fields. Monia Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.

It was these poems that started the tradition of wearing poppies on this day. Sadly, in our time, we often forget why we have this holiday. For many, it's just the unofficial start of summer. We have come here though to honor our ancestors that have died in battle, for this is their day.

Beings of the Occasion:

War Dead! You who have fallen while in battle. We call on you this day as a day of remembrance. You sacrificed your life for your causes. You made the ultimate sacrifice.

We call on those in one of the most powerful monuments to your deaths, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. As it says in relief on your tombs:

Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God

This is the final resting place of a solider that has fallen but unable to be identified. The soldiers come from the Great War, World War One, from World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Ancestors that have died in battle! We call to you this Remembrance Day. Join us in this day of your honor.

Mighty War Dead! Accept our sacrifice!

Praise Offerings to the War Dead:

Reading of proclamation by President Obama

Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2009

Memorial Day, 2009

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For over two centuries, Americans have defended our Nation's security and protected our founding principles of democracy and equal justice under law. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of these freedoms.

Members of the United States Armed Forces have placed our Nation's safety before their own for generations. From the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, these brave patriots have taken on great risks to keep us safe, and they have served with honor and distinction. All Americans who have enjoyed the blessings of peace and liberty remain in their debt.

As we remember the selfless service of our fallen heroes, we pray for God's grace upon them. We also pray for all of our military personnel and veterans, their families, and all those who have lost loved ones in the defense of our freedom and safety.

Today, as we commend their deeds, we also bear a heavy burden of responsibility to ensure that their sacrifices will not have been in vain. This means that, as we uphold the ideals for which many have given their last full measure of devotion, the United States must never waver in its determination to defend itself, to be faithful in protecting liberty at home and abroad, and to pursue peace in the world.

In respect for their dedication and service to America, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 25, 2009, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. I urge the press, radio, television, websites, and all other media to participate in these observances. I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States, and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

Barack Obama

President of the United States of America

Open to anyone else that wants to make an offering

Moment of silence and raising of flag to full mast

As is tradition, we will now raise the flag to full mast.

Last offering is a wreath that is burnt with our prayers and thanks to the war dead. This is done while singing When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Patrick Gilmore, 1863

When Johnny comes marching home again Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home.

The old church bell will peal with joy Hurrah! Hurrah!
To welcome home our darling boy, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The village lads and lassies say
With roses they will strew the way,
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home.

Get ready for the Jubilee, Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give the hero three times three, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now (pick up wreath)
To place upon his loyal brow (lay wreath on fire)
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home.

Let love and friendship on that day, Hurrah, hurrah!
Their choicest pleasures then display, Hurrah, hurrah!
And let each one perform some part,
To fill with joy the warrior's heart,
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home.

Take Omen

Hallow the Waters

Ancient and Mighty Ones! We have honored you on this day of remembrance. Fill these waters with the blessings we have just heard. Fill these waters with your blessings! Behold the Waters of Life!

Drink the Waters

Thank the War Dead

To all those who have died in battle and have joined us here in our day of remembrance. We thank you for the sacrifice you have made, and we thank you for joining us here. War Dead! We Thank You.

Thank the Shining Ones

Shining Ones! Gods and Goddesses of those gathered here, of this country, and of this lovely land of Brushwood. We thank you for aiding us in our works this day. Shining Ones! We Thank You.

Thank the Land Spirits

Nature Spirits, I call to you again to offer thanks. I call to the spirits of this place, I call to the native spirits of this nation, and I call to the spirits that traveled to this new land along with our own ancestors and give you thanks for your presence.

Land Spirits, we thank you!

Thank the Ancestors

Ancestors! Those of the folk gathered here, those of this country, and those of Brushwood. We thank you for aiding us in our works this day. Ancestors, We Thank You.

Thank the Outdwellers

All you of the outer dark. Those that are not our kin and friends. We thank you for not disturbing our rite. You upheld your end of the bargain, and we will now uphold our end. Outdwellers, Accept our Sacrifice (now pour the beer).

Thank the Bardic Inspiration

Thomas Pane, Henry David Thoreau, and Louis Armstrong. We called on you to inspire us, and that you have. We thank you for giving us the words we needed to say, and inspiring us to say them. Thomas Pane, Henry David Thoreau, and Louis Armstrong, We Thank You.

Thank the Bald Eagle and close the gate

Bald Eagle! You are the symbol of our country. We called on you to be our gatekeeper, and to spread our words far and wide. You most certainly have done this, and we thank you for all that you have done.

Now, Noble Bald Eagle, I ask that you once more join your magic with mine, and let the fire become but flame. Let the well become but water. Let this tree become a tree once more. Let the Gates be Closed!

Thank the Earth Mother.

Earth Mother, as always, we welcome you first, and to you we give final thanks and tribute. We offer up our gratitude for all that you have done for us, for all the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. Beloved mother of us all, we thank you for your presence-in our rite and in our lives.

Earth Mother, we thank you!

Recessional: Gods Bless America, Irving Berlin, 1918

Gods bless America, Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
Gods bless America, My home, sweet home.
Gods bless America, My home, sweet home.