Funeral Rite for a Pagan Copyright 2004, By Rev. Mother J.N. Wintermoon Pagan funerals can be fraught with conflict, making this delicate time even more difficult by well-intentioned family members that do not share the deceased's religion. This is not the time to promote your beliefs over any others. Everyone is hurting, especially those that devoutly believe that their loved one is going straight to Hell for being a pagan in the first place! This is a time to be gentle. Hopefully, to short circuit this conflict, the deceased will have made prior provisions to have the funeral of their choosing. And of course, these provisions are to be given the highest priority. This is simply an example of a general rite. It is free to all to use, but please do give credits to the writers. IT may be necessary to have two separate ceremonies to accommodate everyone, and that is fine. Funerals are for the living. Best time for the ceremony is at the dark of the moon, but do not let this constrain you if it must done at another time. This ceremony may be done at graveside, at a memorial service, at the place of scattering of the ashes, wherever the best place may be for it. IT may include those not of the pagan path as well. Materials needed: If no casket or ashes are present, then a picture of the departed. Flowers and flower petals Soft Celtic music or other soft music. Something instrumental may be best so that the words do not distract. Salt Water Earth Incense: I would use frankincense and myrrh, sage, and cinnamon, all cleansers Kleenex and lots of it! Ceremony: Music should be playing throughout ceremony, with no interruptions to distract. We are gathered here today, dearly beloved, to say goodbye to <NAME> . Please circle round and join hands. (mourners circle the symbol of the departed/casket/ashes) The facilitator, High Priest/ess elder, --whomever is running the ceremony should then walk around the circle formed with the salt, water, incense, flower petals to consecrate the circle according to the deceaseds' tradition. We call upon the ancestors of <NAME> to come and witness our farewell. We call them from the North, we call them from the East, we call the from the South and we call them from the West. We call upon the Angels to guard this circle and those within it in our rites. Let no evil thing enter here. This circle is hereby sealed! So mote it be! The facilitator then speaks: Circle within Life's begun, Circle again Life is done. Awaiting rebirth, We return to Earth. Though friend be gone, We sing their song. Ancestors join us, Angels among us. Let go we must, In Goddess trust. Released from pain, We'll meet again. If not here, then On a higher plane. Cry we will For being left behind, You are here still In eachs' mind. Live we will, And die we must, In perfect Love, And perfect Trust. Dark Goddess of passages, please lend us your ears. Dark God of endings, please release our fears. We Acknowledge your power and request your presence in this hour. (You may prefer to use the departed's patron Gods here, or the appropriate Gods of their pantheon) I would ask that each of us here today speak of remembrances we have of <NAME>, if they are able to at this time. Let each speak if they wish, holding in mind that some may not. All Expressions of grief are to be expected, even rage. Some may only be able to weep. That's ok too. When all have spoken that wish to, have a few moments of silence before continuing. Give this ceremony all the time it requires. Each will be different, with different energies present. Speaker: Like the wind, soar free through the heavens. Like a flame, warm the hearts of those who think of you. Like water, let your spirit flow ever onward, Like the earth, be steadfast awaiting rebirth. As the wheel turns, may you find as much joy in your next life as you gave in this life by: Jenna Tigerheart As pagans we are given the gift of rebirth, and therefore hope in metting our loved ones again and again, through lifetimes to come, and across the Veil. They are never far from us. We need only to remember them with love. If <NAME> could speak directly to us now, this is what he/she might say: Do not weep for me for I have not gone. I am the wind that shakes the mighty Oak. I am the gentle rain that falls upon your face. I am the spring flower that pushes through the dark earth. I am the chuckling laughter of the mountain stream. Do not weep for me for I have not gone. I am the memory that dwells in the heart of those that knew me. I am the shadow that dances on the edge of your vision. I am the wild goose that flies south of Autumn's call and I shapp return at Sumer rising. I am the stag on the wild hills way. I am just around the corner. Therefor, the wise weep not. But rejoice at the transformation of by Being. --Author unknown We release this shell to the earth ( or water as the case may be) to renew the circle of life. We say farewell, but not goodbye. Death does not stop Love, it simply changes form. We bless <NAME> and commend him/her to him/her ancestors. May they see him/her safely Home. Ancestors, we thank you for your attendance and bless you on your journey. Angels, we thank you for your presence and bless you for your gifts. Dark Goddess of passages, we thank you for your presense. Dark God of endings, we thank you for your comforts. The circle is now open, but never broken! Ceremony is done, perhaps moving to a dinner together.