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Death Rite

[Erecting the Temple is performed. Priest and Priestess kiss. Thegn sounds a long note on the horn.]

Thegn: The horn is sounded for (Name of Dead Witch).

All: So be it!

Priestess: That today, (Name) is not with us, here in the Circle, saddens all. Yet let us try not to feel sad. For is this not a sign that s/he has fulfilled this life’s work? Now is s/he free to move on. We shall meet again, fear not. And that will be a time for further celebration.

Priest: Let us send forth our good wishes to bear him/her over the Bridge. May s/he return at any time to be with us here.

[All take their Seaxes and point them at a spot behind the Altar, facing the Priest and Priestess. They imagine the Dead Witch standing in that spot, looking as they best remember him/her. They concentrate on sending Love, Joy, Happiness, from their bodies, along the line of the Seax, into the imagined body. This continues for a few moments. Priestess signals the end by replacing her Seax and saying:]

Priestess: We wish you all the Love and Happiness we may.
We will never forget you;
Do now forget us.
Whenever we meet here, you are always welcome.

All: So be it!

[All now sit and any present may speak of the dead, if they wish. If no one else, then at leas the Priest and Priestess should speak of the Dead Witch. Then shall follow Cakes and Ale.]

© Raymond Buckland, 1970, The Tree.  Used by Permission.