Samhain 2: The Ceremony Of The Night Of The Long Shadows

The Ceremony Of The Night Of The Long Shadows
To honour our ancestors at this time of Samhain

Friday, 30 October 2020 at 8pm (UK Time)
Online Live-streaming via Tadhg’s FaceBook

For this ceremony you may need:

  • Three candles (though one may suffice)
  • Safety matches
  • One or more photographs of loved ones who have passed-on
  • Bowl of water

You might wish to use several photographs of many loved ones, or one photograph of one or two family-members that have passed-on, as representatives of all your ancestors. If taking such photographs to a physical ceremony do ensure you take only copies of the photograph/s to the ceremony, and not the original photographs. If participating at the ceremony at home, so display any photographs, safely.

The beginning/opening and closing/ending of this ceremony follows the usual style. The middle section is ‘the Work’, below, is especially about the honouring of ancestors, as it is Samhain.

This ceremony is will be broadcasted on Friday, 30 October 2020, at 8pm UK time, via livestream, Tadhg’s Facebook. Do check his facebook beforehand as it might be necessary for you to initiate a friends-link to view it, His link is at: https://www.facebook.com/tadhgjonathan.gardner

THE OPENING

The Purpose
Today we honour of ancestors at this time of Samhain. This is not to worship them, but to respect and honour them, and to remember them, too. 

You might have one or two people in mind, today, who have passed on, recent ancestors; or you might have have ancestors from far back that you want to honour them by name or in general;  in addition I would encourage you to also honour all ancestors of all times and space,  who are the family of humankind in that realm and who are connected to us, and vice versa. 

And so we will use this time to look back at that tree of life, to look at us, and to look ahead of those who are yet to come, who at one time, in the future, we also look back at us.

This ceremony may stir our emotions as we think of those whom we miss, but it is also about giving thanks for the life of our ancestors, those who are now in Bliss, and it is also about consoling each other and lifting each other up. Life continues in a different form.

 And, so let us honour of our ancestors.

On Rising
The Source of All is Spirit, and those who worship the Source of All must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24, The Book, paraphrase)

Calling The Quarters
Calling the Quarters, as we turn in sequence to face the four cardinal compass points, helps us to become fully present so we can deeply connect to the world around us, and create safe and sacred space for us all.

Facing East
Guardian of the East, Oh Ancient One of the air,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the wind.
All: We welcome you.

Facing South
Guardian of the South, Oh Ancient One of the fire,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the flame
All: We welcome you.

Facing West
Guardian of the West, Oh Ancient One of the waters,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the tides.
All: We welcome you.

Facing North
Guardian of the North, Oh Ancient One of the earth,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the land.
All: We welcome you

From the centre, perhaps adopting the orans posture 
Guardian of all, Oh Ancient of Days,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with your power.
All: We welcome you.

Call For Peace
The call for peace is an affirmation that there is peace amongst us, now; and that peace is offered to the world though not all embrace this, today, but one day will do so.

Is there peace in the East?
All: There is peace in the East.

Is there peace in the South?
All: There is peace in the South.

Is there peace in the West?
All: There is peace in the West.

Is there peace in the North?
All: There is peace in the North.

Throughout the entire land there is peace.

THE WORK: SPECIFCIALLY FOR SAMHAIN

It is said that if each generation is measured at about twenty-five years, and we have an idea in our mind of a five hundred span of time, then each of us has over two million ancestors. In thinking of our immediate ancestors or our family ancestors, do also think of the way that each one of us is connected to the global family of humankind. 

And, so…

The Three Form Honouring
We look back, and remember and honour those who have gone before us. That is, those of our generation or the previous generations. We look at the love and actions that many ancestors made to bring us to this time and maturity, and we are indebted to them.

For some we might remember good things and send love, and yet for some we might remember those who have passed on but who were unkindly to us and others. Let us be honest in remembering our ancestors in Bliss. 

And so, let us remember all our ancestors, too.

We remember and  honour them.
All: We remember and honour them.

[If you have one or more candles, do light one (or the only) candle here to remember and honour our ancestors. If you don’t have a candle, don’t worry, as I’ll light candle(s) vicariously, for you. We will also pause and meditation at this time.]

In the flow and ebb of life, we too stand in the tree of life. From our viewport we look back to those who have passed on. And, yet we look upward and ahead of those who are yet to come. Could it be that those future generations are looking back to us, and will, because of our love and action today, will honour you and I?

We remind and honour each other.
All: We remind and honour each other.

[If you have two or more candles, do light the second candle here to remind ourselves or honour each other. If you don’t have a candle, don’t worry, as I’ll light candle(s) vicariously, for you. We will also pause and meditation at this time.]

We have looked back in honouring our ancestors, reminded each other of our part in that tree of life, but also look ahead for future generations. With expectation and love we send well-wishes to those who are yet to be born, even as they may be looking back from their viewpoint. We send love and well-wishes to those yet to come.

We think ahead and send love to those yet to come.
All: We think ahead and send love to those yet to come.

[If you have a third candle, do light the third candle here to think ahead of those yet to come. If you don’t have a candle, don’t worry, as I’ll light candle(s) vicariously, for you. We will also pause and meditation at this time.]

“The sacrifice our ancestors gave yesterday
Gave us today and our tomorrow” 
(Stephen Robert Kuta)

“My ancestors offer me bliss, love, and light. I gratefully receive that which is for my highest good…” 
(Amy Leigh Mercree)

Remembering Our Ancestors In A Spiritual Exercise Of Writing
[If you have tissue paper and a pencil you might like to write a few happy memories to one or two ancestors on the tissue paper, or you might like to write a few lines as if writing a letter to some one or two that have passed on. 

Or, you might like to write names on the paper.

Once you have done that, then pause for a moment as you meditate, and then put the paper in the bowl of water to dissolve the paper.

If you don’t have paper or pencil, you can use this time to think, in your mind, what you would write on the paper, and imagine using that bowl of water to dissolve that paper.

Music will be played, now, for about two minutes or three minutes, as you do this.}

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders [us]…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 part)

“You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors.” 
(Toba Beta)

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”
(Khalil Gibran)

As we close, we remember that Samhain is a time of liminality, a place of a special threshold; it is a ‘thin place’, a sacred time where we draw near to our ancestors. And yet, they are never far from us, and they live, forever, in Bliss.

This time is a reminder for all of us, that the Friend, the Universe, God, is embracing all who have gone before us, who is embracing us today, and who will embrace all of those who have yet to come.

“I am as sure as I live that nothing is so near to me as God. God is nearer to me that I am to myself; my existence depends on the nearness and the presence of God.”
(Meister Eckhart)

CLOSING

Closing The Quarters
Facing East
Guardian of the East, Oh Ancient One of the air,
we thank you for your presence with us today.
All: We thank you.

Facing South
Guardian of the South, Oh Ancient One of the fire,
we thank you for your presence with us today.
All: We thank you.

Facing West
Guardian of the West, Oh Ancient One of the waters,
we thank you for your presence with us today.
All: We thank you.

Facing North
Guardian of the North, Oh Ancient One of the earth,
we thank you for your presence with us today..
All: We thank you.

From the centre, perhaps adopting the orans posture 
Guardian of all, Oh Ancient of Days,
we thank you for your presence with us today..
All: We thank you.

Final Blessings 
We bless our ancestors, in Bliss, embraced by the Friend.
We bless each other, our global family of humankind, secured by the Friend.
We bless those yet to come who are known only to the Friend.
And, We bless the Friend, the Universe, God who is always with us.
Bless you each.