Observing Samhain

Honoring the Gods and Goddesses throughout the year is one of our community’s spiritual practices. Many came to know our congregation through the Solstice celebration, and many enjoyed the Samhain ritual we created last year in which we sent our messages to the dead through a sacred blue fire. This year, we have expanded so that the entire service will be a blend of pagan ritual observing this harvest season and Samhain.

You may recognize our typical order of service to be reflective of most protestant services in the United States, with a few changes. There is still a focus on the preacher, on words of wisdom from an ancient text, and a certain element of formality.

Pagan rituals are more inclusive of all the people. There will be easy-to-learn chants instead of hymns. Worshipping in a circle reflects the divinity of all who participate rather than focusing on the preacher. There will be responsive readings to repeat together. There will be two rituals, one to commemorate the changing of the seasons at harvest time and one in which we will burn paper to send our messages to our ancestors – which reflect the experience of the holy that happens with pagan rituals.

All in all, this spiritual experience will be quite different than our typical service. Come bearing images of your ancestors and loved ones who have passed over to the other side. Come with an open mind to experience a communal religious experience rather than think about it. With all the tumult of the world, take sacred space to worship together this Sunday. Even if you believe in a different sort of spirituality or reject any sort of supernaturalism, come to be there for those who find pagan traditions meaningful. Let us worship together!