Interfaith Candlemas Ritual

Theresa Williams
Jack Mitchell
Karin Arnst
Angie Burkhart
James Roberts
Matt Brincefield

On the altar: a candle set in a bowl of ice; bread, honey, and milk.
The candle in the bowl is lit before the ritual begins.
4 quarter candles are in place on the perimeter of the circle.
3 candles (or a candle with three wicks) are also on the altar.

Everyone enters the circle, those calling elements to their quarters. Officiants to center.

Officiants cast the circle using water (blessed by both officiants), sprinkling the participants as they move around the circle.

Be cleansed, be pure, be blessed by our Mother.

sweetgrass (wafting the smoke over the participants)

Be holy, be strong, be consecrated to the Lord.

and sword.

By the will and power of all present
We stand outside time, in a place not of Earth.
As above, so below.
As the universe, so the soul.
As without, so within.

Calling the Elements

Chant "Veni Sancte Spiritus."1 Those calling the elements speak or chant their calls over V.S.S..
Those calling the elements can use these calls or write their own.

Air lights an amber-shielded candle.

The east is the direction of air, the direction of healers and scholars. We light the eastern candle to remind us of our watchfulness and study as we wait for new light to come into the world.

Fire lights a red-shielded candle.

The south is the direction of fire, the direction of warriors and prophets. We light the southern candle to remind us of the courage and dedication we need to stand against the darkness.

Water lights a blue-shielded candle.

The west is the direction of water, the direction of teachers and poets. We light the western candle to remind us of our need for reflection and inspiration even in the midst of the tumult of our lives.

Earth lights a green-shielded candle.

The north is the direction of earth, the direction of artisans and parents. We light the northern candle to remind us that what we celebrate tonight is joy in the midst of sorrow, light in darkness.

Officiant 2 (female):

I am Brigid: She of the Golden Hair; Queen of the White Hills, and rider of the White Swan. I bring three gifts of fire. The first is the flame of creation; of the poet and artist; of the lovers' passion for union with the beloved [lights first wick*]. The second is the flame of purification and testing, the flame of truth [lights second wick*]. With this flame all dross and weakness are made clear and cleansed from thee, so thou become like a true and tested sword. The third is the greatest of all, [lights third wick*] for it is the healing flame born out of the love that gives all, the maker of peace and harmony. [holds all three together aloft] But I do not give these gifts one by one; I give them as a whole in the form of the growing Sun.2

*Either a single candle with three wicks or three candles.

Officiant lights one of the participant's candles, and the participants pass the light around the circle deosil.
Officiants (alternating by whole verse, first line together, .alternating by line for the last verse.)

It is dawn.
The dawn is a time of new beginnings.
The fire of our Mother warms us.
The light of our God surrounds us.

It is dawn, after a long night.
We awake from our dreams to begin a new day.

The days grow longer
Let the light call forth new life from the frozen ground.

The season grows warmer.
Let the fire of the returning sun warm the Earth.
The winter fades out, to be replaced by the spring.
Let all who shiver in the cold share the warmth of the fire.

We welcome the beginning of a new day.
New joys
New possibilities.

As dawn burns away the fog of the past, let us clear our minds of grudges and confusion so that we may truly see and hear each other.

Readings from our different traditions may be offered by all participants at this time.

The officiants bring out food and drink, adding a bit of the honey to the milk.
The officiants set aside a portion of the food and drink in thanks.

Officiants elevate the food and drink and say (together):

Come taste the sweetness of the promise of spring.

The officiants distribute the food and drink around the circle with the words:

May you never hunger.
May you never thirst.

Dismiss the elements

Chant "Veni Sancte Spiritus,"3 using the words "Grati Sancte Spiritus. Those dismissing the elements speak or chant their calls over V.S.S..

Cut Circle

Officiant 2

The circle is open, but unbroken.
Blessed Be!


1 - Music available from GIA Publications. The chant is from Taize, an ecumenical community in France.

2 - from Imbolg 1992 by Julia Phillips

3 - Music available from GIA Publications. The chant is from Taize, an ecumenical community in France.

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