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Author Topic: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?  (Read 2224 times)

dragonfaerie

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Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:17:15 pm »
What role does liturgy play in your practices?

Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?

How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?

Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?

I'll throw in my own thoughts and feelings a bit later in the thread. This topic has percolated out of me based on a discussion I had with other folks in my Tradition last week.

Karen
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 09:57:20 pm by RandallS »

SatSekhem

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 10:16:15 pm »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?

Little to none, at present.

Quote
Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?

I have done both.

Quote
How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?

The only time it becomes necessary to write it down is when it becomes too big for my head. Most of everything that I do is off-the-cuff. I prefer it.

Quote
Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?

The only standardized liturgy I have is related to my beliefs when we die. The liturgy had nothing to do with rituals or anything, but just a way to consecrate what I believed.
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nbdy

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 05:58:31 am »
First, I am not trained in any tradition and haven't a clue what my 'path' would be called, so my answers may not be very meaningful to most pagans.

Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?


Sometimes it is central and others non-existent.

Quote
Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?


I pretty much make my own. When first beginning I used a few ready-made, but quickly realized that the words and symbols needed to be mine.

Quote
How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?


Sometimes it is very important to have something formalized and other times it is very important to be off-the-cuff. For me, it depends on intention, and I think it is vitally important that there be purpose to action. Sort of like in real life -- if I am presenting an award I want some notes, but if I've invited you over for tea that would be odd.

Quote
Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?


Yes and no. I really don't know how to elaborate except to say that understanding evolves.

cigfran

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 07:12:55 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?

Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?

How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?

Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?

I'll throw in my own thoughts and feelings a bit later in the thread. This topic has percolated out of me based on a discussion I had with other folks in my Tradition last week.

Karen

 
I am member of ADF and we are almost defined by (sort-of)liturgy. As we constantly remind ourselves, ADF-style Druidry is an orthopraxy, not an orthodoxy. There is a standard ritual order which defines our practice... the only thing that separates it from strict liturgy is that the exact words used in that ritual order are open to the celebrant(s), as long as certain intentions are maintained.

Personally, I like this and it's one of the reasons I became a member of ADF. I have suffered through enough ad hoc ritual - both of mine and of others' authorship - that I felt a strong need for a well thought out formal structure. It helps me detach myself from the need to 'get it right this time', from the experience of the ritual as a performance, and focus on what the ritual is about.

RandallS

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 08:22:47 am »
Quote from: nbdy;39960
Sometimes it is very important to have something formalized and other times it is very important to be off-the-cuff.

I think many people don't recognize this and assume that one (often the one they prefer) is always the best. For example, one of my (Christian) neighbors when I was a child believed that the only prayers that worked were those written by trained clergy. So if she needed to pray for X, she'd spend hours in some cases (at least that's when her children told me) looking through books of prayers for the proper one.
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Castus

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 08:49:33 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?


Officially? Quite a large one. Unofficially? Smaller than I would like. It has been a long time since I performed my proper morning and evening rites. Rites for the Nones, Ides, and Kalends, have also gone woefully unperformed.

Quote
Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?


All from the Nova Roma website, written by Titus Iulius Nero.

Quote
How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?


Having a written liturgy is important to me because ritual is so central to the Religio. Without properly appeasing and praying to the gods we would fail to maintain the Pax Deorum. Horrible things would ensue. I usually find myself doing off-the-cuff (when doing ritual at all, that is) ritual though, because I'm lazy.

Quote
Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy?


Yes.
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Jenett

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 09:34:28 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?


My tradition has a set method of ritual that has
- Some standard text (used at pretty much every ritual)
- Some improvised pieces (where we're trained on and consistent with what actions/effects have to happen there, but the precise words and methods are left up to the person doing that piece)
- A handful of specific rituals whose text is highly structured and done the same way each time (our dedication ritual, our initiation rituals, and one other.)

Our basic order runs (after the prep stuff):
Tradition specific piece: most commonly improv
Banish the space : improvised, though there's a couple of common methods
Cast circle: standard text + actions
Bless the space: standard text and actions
Elemental scribe: standard song + actions
Elemental calls: one part standard, one part individual, standard actions.
Ancestor call: improv
Deity calls: improv
[working goes here, and varies a lot]
Great Rite and blessings: standard text, with a few changes for ritual focus
Everything working back out in reverse order.

For personal ritual work, I alternate between trad form (because I do truly like them) and something that's a lot more improvised (usually, I think about it for several days in advance, but don't formally write anything out/etc.) I like the space that gives me for rituals to sometimes hone in on something I hadn't really considered.

One thing I love about the standard texts, though, is that after more than a decade, even the first few words of any one of them will immediately kick me deeper into appropriate headspace for that action. There are some very powerful, intentionally designed, triggers in that, and I love making use of them; it makes the rest of the ritual richer for me.

It's like coming home, and knowing where everything is, so you can focus on other things.

Quote
Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?


Outside the trad-derived stuff, I have a pretty strong preference for writing my own. This is partly because I have a low tolerance for a lot of other people's ideas of awesome ritual language, and partly because I mostly find writing from scratch easier than piecing together bits and pieces from elsewhere. I do look at other people's rituals for ideas, stuff that gets me thinking, a core seed.
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SatAset

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 11:14:35 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928

What role does liturgy play in your practices?


I perform the ritual of the Senut to my spiritual Mother Aset once per day (if applicable).  I honor Oya and the Norse gods once a week on their respective days.

Quote

Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?


I do a combination of both.  

I perform the Senut ritual written by Tamara Siuda for the Kemetic gods.  I say my own words for both Oya and the Norse gods.  

Quote

How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?


I like having a written liturgy.  It gives structure to what I'm doing and often there are multiple reasons why the liturgy is used.  It's not just saying words: it's effecting the gods, cosmos and myself in myriad ways.  Doing ritual (for Kemetics) is a form of magic so following a liturgy is important to us.  Words have power and the liturgy effects all of creation, the gods and ourselves through the ka going back to Zep Tepi (the First Time).  

Quote

Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?


I use the same invocations and methods for Senut.  

For the Orisha and Norse gods, right now, it's just my words.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Devo

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2012, 10:24:09 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?


A bit, but not a lot.

Quote
Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?


Books, usually. Most of the stuff off of the internet isn't reliable, or I don't care for it.

Quote
How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?


I'm not really sure. I want to become more formal in my rituals. So I am working on creating rituals that are specific to my Kemetic gods. So eventually, I think my practice will be a blend of off the cuff (for days when I'm low on time) and written ritual (for days when I have more time). This also goes for Shinto practices. When I don't have a lot of time, I don't bother with the Norito. However, when I have time, I perform it. The structure of my Shinto practice is set in stone, though. As per the shrine.

Quote
Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?


Yes. I go in the same order every day for both practices. What I say in btwn those set motions changes.

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MarieBay

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 07:39:48 pm »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?

Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?


I use a combination of both, and it depends on the occasion. I find reading about rituals and keeping things open to incorporating new material keeps everything from getting stale.

Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?


It's not that important to my practice to have everything set in stone. If I'm doing something elaborate, then I'll sketch out the steps and make sure prompts are on hand in case I blank out, but I like the spontaneity of improvising. It's a lot of fun!

Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?


If that particular method works well, I'll stick with it, but again, nothing's set in stone so there's a lot of room to change details to suit the occasion. The structures and methods I use regularly are really a hybrid of trying a whole tonne of different ways of doing things, and that flexibility and adaptability are what keeps me interested in a regular practice.

dragonfaerie

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 11:10:40 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
I'll throw in my own thoughts and feelings a bit later in the thread. This topic has percolated out of me based on a discussion I had with other folks in my Tradition last week.

 
Thanks for all the great answers, y'all. I'll chime in now.

Calling my Wicca experience a "Tradition" may be stretching it. I'm an initiate of a coven that belongs to a family of related covens (we've all got a hiving line that stems back to one mother coven and one high priestess of that coven).

Granted, we're an eclectic line. But the things that I personally look for in an orthopraxic tradition, specifically, a shared liturgy, don't really exist. Yeah, they do the things that make a Wiccan ritual Wiccan -- casting circle, calling quarters, cakes & ale -- but that's about it.

I also study with ADF, and I think the strong liturgical flavor of ADF is one of the things that drew me there. I'm like Jenett, in that standardized bits of ritual do help me connect in much more quickly. One of the few standard bits my coven uses is a chant to close and open circle, and after a decade of using that, I don't have to think about what do to with the energy at that point. Saying the words can do it for me.

I've been working the past few months on redeveloping my personal practices, as I've been moving away from coven work for the last couple years. The Tradition celebrates the Sabbats together, and I don't attend those. I do attend my coven's moon rituals, as I still find a lot of value in that group and interacting with my teacher (who's the High Priestess of that coven).

At any rate, I find I want a nice balance between liturgy and off the cuff, and I always have. When I do personal ritual, I might not write out a formal script, but I will write down any important chants or workings, so I can be sure I'll do things right and not forget anything. I'm not really good at memorizing things on short notice.

But my favorite kind of spells are simple candle spells, and other than bringing a spell chant with me to my altar, those are almost always off the cuff. Sometimes I don't even bother casting a circle to do those.

I think a lot of Pagans tend to avoid standardizing things and utilizing a strong liturgical format because they are afraid that things will go stale. Or I guess they're still running from issues with a former path. I'm not entirely sure what the answers are for the particular group I work with... they aren't all that keen on having deep philosophical discussions. Which is why I come here. :D:

Karen

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Re: Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 11:45:34 pm »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;39928
What role does liturgy play in your practices?

I used to be a church musician - singer/choir member, who was partnered to an organist for 11 years.  I've a lot of experience writing and performing liturgies and after I was finally able to leave that behind to practice my true religion full time I brought what I'd learned right to it. I'm very comfortable using my own liturgies. I think that if you can learn to do it you'll find that it adds a dimension to your mysticism that nothing else quite equals.  It's not that hard - you're taking people on an emotional/spiritual journey. Decide where you're going to start, where you're going to end up and then what you want them to experience in between.  Always remember that the first thing we need is to shut up the chatter in our minds so that we can begin to open the non verbal parts of our brains. We're going from intellect to experience. Music, chant, repetition, and relaxation help them get there. The rest of your ritual is done in a state of meditation followed by return to complete awareness and finally grounding.

Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?

I use all kinds of resources. You can never have too many opportunities for ideas.

How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?

It depends on what I'm doing. If it's complex I have things written down. I rarely use a full script, it's usually a program outline with the recitations, music or ritual language incl. in their spots on the outline. In very easy things I'll just wing it.

Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?

Yes. I like continuity and I don't like to leave things out. I always raise a circle, invite the quarters, invite helpers, Saints, Gods or Entities who I don't want to forget to acknowlege, thank, and finally release with invitation to continue help.  For things I do everytime I'll use standardized portions of the liturgy although that may change according to season, sabat, esbat, or purpose. My healing liturgy will always have certain things that my Samhain liturgy doesn't and Samhain liturgy has things that summer liturgies don't etc.

Thanks for asking!  I hope the collection of these answers will be helpful to all.



Karen

 
Jim Costich Rochester, NY

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