Generic Pagan Funeral for a Elder Woman
(as written, to be conducted by a group of Priestess, Priest, chief
mourner and possibly other coven members as attendants, i.e. ushers.)
The room (perhaps of a funeral home) is decorated with evergreen boughs
and roses. This supposes there is a casket, but may be adapted if there
is a picture only of the deceased.
Before anyone comes into the room, the priest and priestess may cast a
circle, summon the quarters and invoke the Lady and Lord.
As the mourners enter, they will be greeted at the door (and portal to
the circle) by the Priest and Priestess. When all are seated, the
PRIESTESS: (adapted from the "Decent of the Goddess," in the Farrars'
Witches Bible Complete )
There are three great events in the life of a person: love, death and
resurrection to a new life. Of these love is the most important. For
by love and in fulfillment of it, we may again be joined with our
families and friends, remembering and loving them again. Death cannot
take away love or our loved ones.
Without love there is no birth, without birth no death, without death no
rebirth. This is the miracle of love.
-------(name of Chief mourner, here a son), loving son, all here feel
your sorrow and with you honor --------(name of deceased).
Nearest relative or chief mourner tells about the persons life and
accomplishments. Others may speak also. When this is finished, the
PRIEST:(adapted from memorial service of "Magical rites from the Crystal
For a while we have lost one who is dear to us, but it is only for a
time and we should not be sorrowful. There is a reason to be here and
a reason to go when we have fulfilled the tasks of a life's work. Dying
is only a way of forgetting, of resting, of returning to the eternal
source to be renewed and made strong.
PRIESTESS:(adapted from the rite of the Three-Fold-Goddess in the
Behold a woman who has been three women. First a girl full of dreams
and hope. Then a mother who brought forth life and gave love. Finally
an elder, rich in knowledge and experience. Her journey is ended and a
new one begun. Let us bid her farewell and entreat all her loved ones
who have gone before her to greet and guide her on her way.
The priest may then instruct the mourners to bid a personal farewell if
they desire, then proceed to the foyer or otherwise outside the room.
This is the traditional time to play the departed loved one's favorite
song or hymn. Again, some attendant should be at the portal to see all
out of the circle. The priest, priestess and perhaps the chief mourner
may then thank the Gods, release the quarters and open the circle.
Some refreshment in the outer area might be available to help the people
ground a bit. The pall bearers may then return and carry the casket to
At the grave side, salt or ashes, water and wine, and aromatic oil may
have been poured to bless the site.
"We wish you all love and happiness. Do not forget us. We will not
forget you. We find our peace and hope in the sure and certain
knowledge that we shall meet again and at that time we will celebrate in
After the casket is lowered, the chief mourner throws earth upon the
This is again a traditional time for all to eat together. This helps in
Next: Christmas Past (Eric Maple, via Julia Phillips)