I have decided to give the full texts of the daily observances I used previously, before I joined the Order of the Sacred Nemeton (OSN). These Observances are clearly not the only way to do these kinds of daily prayers. I give them just as an example of how I began my own monastic work, and so that they may provide some helpful ideas for others beginning along the same path.
(On lighting the shrine candle)
‘Bright flame, fragment of the eternal and ever-lasting fire, symbol of the Divine,
I welcome you.’
‘May there be Peace throughout the whole world.’
‘Grant, O Great Divine, thy Protection.
And in Protection, Strength.
And in Strength, Humility.
And in Humility, Understanding.
And in Understanding, Knowledge.
And in Knowledge, the Knowledge of Right Action.
And in the Knowledge of Right Action, the Love of it.
And in the Love of it, the Love of all existences.
And in the Love of all existences, the Love of the Gods and of all Goodness.’
Greeting to the Dark Moon (on the day of the Dark Moon)
‘At this time of your Darkness I greet you, O Moon.
You are that soundless, boundless bitter sea.
All tides are thine and answer unto thee.
Tides of the air, tides of the inner earth,
The secret, silent tides of death and birth.
The tides of souls and dreams and destiny,
All these are Thine and answer unto Thee.’
Old Age to Death
A time of ‘No-time’
A thinning of the veil between the worlds
The Dark Moon
The Brow Chakra
Spoken Prayer – For All those approaching and crossing the threshold from one life to the next
‘O Great Divine, I give you great thanks for the rich blessings of death and of the Ancestors, and I ask for your protection and guardianship on all those who are approaching and crossing the threshold from one life to the next.
Please lessen their fears and guide their steps so that they may arrive safely at their next destination.
I pray too that you will extend comfort and understanding to those they leave, and yet don’t leave.’
‘To the Ancestors, I wish you peace and may there be peace between us.’
‘O Great Divine, I give you great thanks for today.
I give you great thanks for my food and for my home,
And for the wonder of my being,
And for the wonder of all beings.
I give you great thanks for …….. ‘ (I would then go through the things I was thankful for from that day)
‘I pray, O Great Divine, that you will bless and protect all those in the mineral kingdom.
And I pray that you will bless and protect all those in the plant kingdom.
And I pray that you will bless and protect all those in the animal kingdom.
And I pray that you will bless and protect all those in the human kingdom.
And I pray that you will bless and protect all those in the Otherworld/s.
And I pray that you will bless and protect me too.’
Prayer of Peace
‘Deep within the still centre of my being may I find Peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove may I share Peace.
Gently within the greater circle of all beings may I radiate Peace.’
Prayer Before Contemplation
‘Lift up my mind, O Great Divine, to the pure, bright, serene atmosphere of your presence,
There to be at rest from myself and from all things that weary me,
And from thence may I return, arrayed in thy Peace.’
(I then had a short period of silent contemplation.)
After this I closed the Observance by extinguishing the candle and saying;
‘As this light is extinguished may it be re-lit within all hearts’
I then said;
‘May the world be filled with Peace, and Love, and Light.’ (x3)
as the wisps of candle-smoke dispersed.
A lot of the ideas from this Observance are still retained in my present Late-Evening Office, although some of them have been moved to other Daily Offices.
There are the usual wording changes; mainly ‘O Great Divine’ to ‘O Great Shining Ones’. Again, the list of Correspondences has been worked into a spoken paragraph. The ‘Greeting to the Dark Moon’ is adapted from a piece by Dion Fortune. The ‘Prayer for all those approaching and crossing the threshold from one life to the next’ has been retained. The wishing of Peace to the Ancestors is also retained, as is the Thanksgiving. The Intercession section I no longer use in the above form. I now have the intercessions for the various realms of Creation after the prayers for the various realms of Creation in the other Offices, e.g. the intercessions for the Animal realm come after the ‘Prayer for the Animal realm’ in the Midday Office. At the Late-Evening Office I have intercessions for those in the Otherworld/s, after the wishing of Peace to the Ancestors.
Intercessions have at times become a bit of a concern as there are so many to mention. This can get a bit out of hand and start to lengthen the Observances/Offices a bit too much. I have tried various ways of approaching intercessions over the years, sometimes having lists, sometimes simply mentioning what or who comes to my mind at the time. I still do use the latter at times, and generally now use a format of mentioning those closest to me and then gradually working outwards to include all beings in that particular kingdom of Creation. E.g. with the Plant kingdom at the Dusk Office I begin mentioning those plants who live with me indoors in the flat and out on the ledges, then mention all the plants living on the estate, then all those in the local area, then all those in London, and so on out to all the plants in existence.
I still use the ‘Prayer of Peace’ and the ‘Prayer before Contemplation’, although this latter is now one of my ‘Closing Prayers’ before going to bed at the end of the Office and the ‘contemplation’ is really the period of sleep before getting up for the Midnight Office and beginning the Daily Round again. All these elements of my old Observance are fitted into suitable places in the existing OSN Night Office.
This is the last of this particular series of posts as following the Late-Evening Observance I begin again at the Midnight Observance. So it continues. Every day we begin again.