Has anyone had the opportunity to think about what will happen when you pass away? As a Wiccan, have you ever considered what your friends and family will do for your funeral? Will it matter to you if your family and friends give you a Christian burial because they don’t know that you celebrate the Great Feminine in the Universe?
I thought about my Book of Shadows for a while; contemplating its complete purpose, it is a guide for your heirs. The piece of your life that will leave its mark on this world for all time to come after you. Your thoughts, dreams, spells and all of the spirituality that you have experienced in your life; along your path of discovery, a testiment to validate your life as humble as it was in this Universe.
As a guide for your heirs, it should have all the information that you need them to know when you are gone. Since this is the case, it should also contain your wishes for your interment in this world and your wishes to be guided into the next. As I was putting together my Book of Shadows I added this Death Rite; it is from “A Book of Pagan Rituals” as well as another book that I have unfortunatly lost after all these years. I then added some of my own touches to the ceremony and placed it in my Book of Shadows at the end, right before the “Final Thoughts” section that will be added to by myself. Then my son will add his final wishes and his final thoughts when his time is almost done and so on down the line.
I add this Death Ritual here today because I noticed that death came up as a question on one of my Facebook Pages I follow. Death and Rebirth are a part of life but for Wiccans or Pagans it is difficult to find a funeral service that celebrates the life we had and celebrates the life we will be reborn too. I hope that you find this Ritual to your liking but remember that you can always change certain parts to suit yourself, (IE your favorite song, your belief of where you will be going, for my husband I am going to add his military service and the presentation of the flag.)
(One Torch Bearer remains on each of the Four Sides of the casket; or the urn on table if person is cremated, throughout service.)
(Priestess carries three boughs of evergreen and flowers.)
PRIESTESS/PRIEST: We gather here now to bid farewell to a friend who must travel far. The blessings of the Goddess, of the God, of the Old Ones and of good friends and family are with you as you travel beyond.
(Prayer to Goddess of Death, God of Grain.)
PRIESTESS/PRIEST: Goddess of death,
You who are the end inherent, in the beginning.
Scythe to the ripe grain,
the fall of berries,
and the coming of night.
You who are called the Implacable One
but we know you
as the Most Gracious Goddess.
end of Sorrow
Relief of pain
Receive our sister/brother, __________
May she/he become a star
in Your night sky cauldron,
and be brewed back to life.
God of Grain, God of Seed,
You who every year’s end.
Are cut down and buried,
You who know the darkest places
the way down and the way up,
the fall and the rising,
guide our sister/brother, __________
show her/him the long road
through the labyrinth of self-discovery
To the place of rebirth,
To the place of return.
(Eulogies by friends and family.)
READING BY FAMILY MEMBER:
the Universe is alive!
I will always Be.
Flowing in and out of form.
Dying and being born,
Birth, growth, death, rebirth-
all points on the Wheel are sacred.
In some new form,
I will live again.
And for all time
my love will touch your soul.
PRIESTESS/PRIEST: There is a reason for being here in this world and this life. There is a reason for leaving when the purposes of this life are done.
The soul must journey beyond to pause, to rest, to wait for those who are loved. For the world beyond is a land of eternal summer and of joy, far from the cares of this world with happiness and with youth anew.
(Place evergreens on casket or on table.)
As the evergreen does grow and prosper both in summer and in winter year after year after year, so after does the soul continue from life to life to life, growing ever stronger, richer and wiser.
(Place flowers on casket or on table.)
May the servants of the Gods escort you with honor to Their own land of light and beauty, and of joy. Blessed Be!
ALL: Blessed Be!
(Go to cemetery for burial of casket or continue in memorial for cremation)
(All sing the song Embrace the Change.)
Embrace the Change.
All that ever was exists now
In the living body of the being
we call universe, Goddess
She breathes in-we are born
She breathes out-we die
But birth and death are on the same wheel
Which is always turning,
Like the tide or the changes of the moon
We become ancestors, the unborn, newborn
The guardians of those to come.
Cherish the turning,
the letting go, the bringing forth,
decay and growth, life and death.
All points on the wheel are sacred
Embrace the Change.
PRIESTESS/PRIEST: Be free, be strong, be proud of who you have been, know that you will be mourned and missed, that no one can replace you, that you have loved and are beloved.
Move beyond form, flowing like water, feeding on sunlight and moonlight, radiant as the stars in the night sky. Pass the gates, enter the dark without fear, returning to the womb of life to steep in the cauldron of rebirth. Rest, heal, grow young again. Be Blessed.