A month of prayers: week 1

A blank unlined notebook rests on a table, a fine pen angling over its surface. The scene is lit by two small votive candles, which give a cozy orange glow to the entire scene.

As many people are aware, November is National Novel Writing Month: participants have daily writing goals intended to spur them to complete an entire draft of a novel during the month of November. Not all of us are novel writers, however, but sometimes we like to join in the fun. Rev. Jan Avende challenged her fellow ADF clergy to write a prayer a day, and since then it’s taken off — not just with clergy, but also with bards, liturgists, dedicants; all manner of the folk writing prayers to the Kindreds.

I got started a bit late, but in the past couple days I’ve caught up with my first weekful. I’ll be posting future prayers daily on my Facebook page (not this blog’s nonexistent page, just my personal one, but I’ll make them public), and doing weekly digests. You can see some other examples at Rev. Melissa Hill’s writeup on Patheos, and you can follow the conversation on Facebook: try searching the tags #prayeraday and #adfdruidry.

1: To the Earth Mother

I begin, as in all things, with praise
for the Earth Mother, who precedes us all
and who will remain when all else
has departed. Earth Mother! Our Mother,
wise beyond all knowing and greater
than our pettiness and strife,
Great Underpinner of all life.

Earth Mother, on you we live and move
and have our being. Upon your hands,
your legs and eyes and breasts and smile,
we set our lives upon their paths.
May we walk with ever greater care
and reverence, may we ever remember
the sanctity of the very Earth. May we become
a people worthy of your name.

Bless us, Mother, and sanctify us.
Teach us and, we pray, forgive
our trespass. Be our rest.

2: To Ogmios

Great one, masterful guardian of the music
of words, give us wisdom and grace
to speak. Whether singly or in worshipful
meeting, we thrill to make threads
of glory meld with grace and mirth.

Honeymouth, hear us!
Amber-worded, anoint us!
Ogmios, honor our orisons with open ear;
treat our tongues with the talent of the Tuatha Dé;
inspire us to the eyried heights of the gods.

3: Over a meal

Seated here with the fruits of the earth before us, we give thanks:
For the hands that have prepared it;
For those that grew these foods, toiled with strength of arm and sweat of brow;
For those that brought them to us, from field and farm, by ship, by truck, by every handful, cartful, barrel;
For the foods themselves, grain and plant, flesh and fowl;
For all of these, the bounty of the Earth our Mother, may we be duly thankful.
For all of these, by all of these, may we be truly blessed.

4: Before sleeping (to Manannán)

Now, on the brink of sleep, I call out to Manannán: Lord of the Sea, god of transitions, may I be carried safely in your boat. May I be rocked and comforted by the waveswell. May my passage to sleep be easy and safe, wrapped in your blanket of starlight as we glide over the sea of the night. And when we reach the further dawning shore, may I disembark, rested and ready to do the work of the gods. Be it so.

5: To the Mother of Waters

Mother of Waters, hear my cry!

Great one, vast one, living blood of the Earth;
Former, shaper, sculptor of the land;
Restorer, renewer, blessing font:

We honor you and cherish you, but too often we fail you.
In negligence we taint you;
In hubris we endanger you;
In greed we overlook your safety.

We strive, O Mother, to improve.

We hold in mind the outcomes of our actions;
We hold in mind the safety of those who will come after us;
We hold in mind the greater treasures of the land.

Grant us strength and resilience in equal measure, Mother,
That we may protect your waters and our lives.

6: For healing of another (to Brigid)

May the healing of Brigid encircle you.
May you be cleansed by her holy fire;
May you be wrapped in her mantle;
May your inner flame be replenished by her touch.
May the healing of Brigid encircle you.

7: To the autumn dawn

Hail, bright one of the morning!  You slowly crest the line of the world, glowing, radiating light so subtly that at first we see it only as a newer, bolder darkness. But then, with tendril and with wash of brilliant reds and golds, you bathe the eastern sky with fire and life.

I welcome your arrival in all seasons, but this time is your finest setting. As if the entire world were your mirror, see below you now the trees and bushes reflecting back a mottled sea of red and gold, tribute of the earth to her celestial companion, ever-moving brightest line. Red of warmth and cheer, gold of splendrous majesty: though autumn slow to winter’s dark, still will I carry these colors in my heart.

Header image: “Writer’s block” by Garrett Coakley/Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0 license.


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