So sorry to hear of your loss and sending you much love.
My own father died a month ago of liver cancer. He was a Christian and so the cremation and service at his church obviously reflected this. I spent many hours reseraching rites on the web and what follows is a mixture of three rites which I wove together to reflect my own 'druidry' and post here in the hope that they may help, if not you, others. I conducted the rite at the beach - my father lived in Cornwall and the beach was very appropriate.
The rite gave me a sense of peace and not closure, for as a friend gently reminded me "death ends a life not a relationship".
The Sacred Rite of Parting
Spirits of this circle, spirits of this place, spirits of this land we ask for your guidance, inspiration & blessings on this our Parting Rite for David _____________.
Let there be peace in the East, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the South, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the West, so let it be.
Let there be peace in the North, so let it be.
Let there be peace through all the Worlds. So let it be.
We gather in peace, soul to soul, within this sacred place and with clear intent. We stand in the eye of the Sun and upon this hallowed Earth, so to witness the sacred Rite of Passing for David _____________. We come to honour him.
The circle is cast tightly.
Calls to the Four Directions using words such as these.
EAST : We call upon the Hawk of Dawn who soars in the clear pure air, who sees far and flies swift and true between the worlds. We call upon the Powers of this east & ask that you may bless and inspire this rite.
SOUTH : We call the Great Stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the sun, whose strength of purpose protects the herd from harm. We call upon the powers of the South & ask that you bless and inspire this rite.
WEST : We call upon the Salmon of Wisdom who dwells within the sacred waters of the pool, who gives the gift of knowing this world and the worlds beyond. We call upon the powers of the West & ask that you bless and inspire this rite.
NORTH : We call upon the Great Bear of the starry heavens and the deep fruitful earth. We call upon the Powers of the North and ask that you may bless and inspire this rite
We honour the Spirits of the skies that guide us to stretch & grow; breath of life, soft breeze and chasing winds; feathered folk who know the dance of freedom upon the wing.
We honour the Spirits of the earth that holds and feeds us; mud of our lands, rich and fertile soil in which we deeply root; rocks and stones, gems of the earth, you who give us stability underfoot.
We honour Spirits of the open seas that wash and shape the shores of these lands; meandering rivers, guiding our direction.
We honour Spirits of this place. Know that you are honoured here.
THE ANCESTORS ARE HONOURED
I call in peace to the ancestors of these sacred islands, you whose feet have walked the fields and forests, the valleys and hills, those whose hands have worked the earth and touched the waters of the seas, you whose stories lie in the mud and sing in the wind, whose breath we now breathe. I call to you that we may feel your presence here, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of our spiritual heritage, teachers of old who guide us now, whose wisdom whispers in our hearts and minds. I call to you that we may hear your wisdom here, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of our blood, those to whom we are joined through birth and death, heart to heart, womb to womb, whose love and tears, strength and weaknesses, remain as stories in our bones. I call to you that we may accept the gifts you bring, that you may know you are honoured here.
I call in peace to the ancestors of David _____________, those of the blood line. Gathering together as the hidden company on this sacred day, joining those who have come to say farewell, guiding the soul of David and honouring his life, know that you are welcome here in peace.
May this rite be blessed by your presence. May we have ears for those who have gone before.
As the spiral path leads to the centre, closer to the source,
May Spirit embrace you, David _____________, as its own.
Returned are you to the Fire, to the power of transformation
Returned are you to the Earth, to the comfort of the Mother
Returned are you to the Water, to the realms of Healing
Returned are you to the Air, to the breath of life
And we wish you well.
As the moon waxes and wanes,
As the seasons turn from Spring to Winter,
All endings bring new beginnings.
Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the shades of night to you
Moon and stars, always giving light to you.
Let us now make our feast, sharing all we have with our ancestors and the one departed.
Malt Loaf and a bottle of Tribute
Mother Earth, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors we give you thanks.
Father Sky, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors, we give you thanks.
The first apple is offered back to the earth and the spirits of the place.
The second apple is given to the ancestors and the deceased – thrown or placed into the sea.
We offer apples, fruit of this sacred land, that he who has departed will know he is loved and remembered.
May those who have gone before prepare a joyous welcome among their company in the blessed land. May understanding grow there with the stories told, may nourishment be found in the food of angels, with remembrance of love and the soul’s release into perfect freedom. So may it be.
David, rest from you travels in this existence and when you are well rested and ready for your new adventure to begin, may you hear our words on fresh breezes, an ancient blessing on your new journey.
May a new road rise to meet your feet,
May a gentle wind be always at your back,
May the Sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall softly upon new fields,
Until we meet again
May spirit guide you safely to a new land.
So may it be.
In order to allow the spirit of our companion to make the journey in strength, we must now hand over to those from the other worlds who would guide him.
There is a period of silence.
THE CLOSING OF THE RITE
We give thanks to all unseen who have blessed this ceremony, to you who have come in peace, seen and unseen, ancestors of this sacred land and of our spiritual heritage, we give you thanks for your presence, your guidance and inspiration. To those joined in blood to the one honoured in this rite, David _____________, we give you special thanks. Return to your realms in peace, as in peace you came. With thanks, with respect we bid you farewell.
May the Spirits of the Four Directions be honoured.
NORTH : By the power of the great bear in the starry heavens and the deep and fruitful earth, we thank the spirits of the north for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
WEST : By the power of the Salmon of wisdom that dwells in the sacred pool, we thank the spirits of the west for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
SOUTH : By the power of the great stag in the heat of the chase and the inner fire of the Sun, we thank the spirits of the south for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
EAST : By the power of the Hawk of dawn that flies in the clear pure air, we thank the spirits of the East for the blessings on this ceremony. May your wisdom remain with David _____________ upon his way, and with those who grieve for his parting.
Spirits of this circle, Spirits of this place, guides and guardians of David _____________, we thank you for your inspiration, guidance, protection and blessings on this rite of parting. We ask that you continue to watch over and inspire David _____________ in his journey. This circle of honour and love is now open but it is never broken. So may it be. I declare this the Rite of Passing Ceremony for David _____________ closed in the apparent world may its inspiration continue in our beings.
Sent with much love from beneath the shelter of the oaks
Three things to cheer me on a bad day; my wife's smile, a decent bottle of red wine and friends to share the wine and laughter with!