Home Forums Deep Time Journey Forum Developing a Ritual Library

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    • #2105 Reply
      Jennifer Morgan
      Participant

      There are a number of people who have been developing rituals to celebrate the story of the universe for decades. Terry Moran has already added a some rituals. Jean and Larry Edwards have led rituals for over 20 years, maybe more. What do people think about the idea of creating Ritual Library on the Deep Time Journey website?

    • #2112 Reply
      Orla Hazra
      Participant

      Thank you Jennifer for bringing up the idea of a ritual library. I think it is crucial. The language of the rituals that are currently enacted around the globe are often anthropocentric because they were developed over time by folks with anthropocentric lenses and that Mystery was somewhere ‘else’…cartesian cosmology and all of that. This needs to be identified and corrected. To continue as we are doing cements cartesian anthropocentricsism in a ritual setting….blessing a dysfunctional cosmology. We need language and actions in liturgical settings that heal our cosmology, gather us together in the recognition of being bound together in an unfolding mystery, with Mystery. The response to Mystery then becomes our response-ability to live other lives. All the prayers said through the day can all be adjusted, the liturgical year (within Christianity) will all be renewed with changed language. In India at Tarumitra (the ecoliteracy centre in Patna) some Christian prayers were being adapted, mass celebrated outside a large percentage and various hindu or islamic rituals ‘greened’ (if not already explicityly so) The hindu rituals are very elaborate expressions of interconnection. SOE Terri has some Cathlic ones on her web page. The chef from An Taerseach said a lovely ‘grace’ before we ate at Drumalis. I asked her for a copy of it (will collect it when i go down there)…..these things can be put on the network. It is a gift to be able to creatively put rituals together and unfortunatley I think they get lost because note taking is not something one does in a ritual, and then it is over and then the person who put it together is gone. With the network they will be on the shelf for us to share. there are a few books i have found with nice prayers. As part of the eco-congregation in the parish I have to make up some ‘prayers of the faithful’ through a deep time journey perspective…that will be fun.
      For birthday cards and birthday parties I always say happy “birthday to a 13.7 billion year soul, plus one”…..that causes much chagrin if the person is not familiar with the deep time journey, but does take them by surprise…..cast seeds when possible, right?

    • #2113 Reply

      Thanks for this comment Orla, and for the stories of what’s happening in Ireland and India. Please do put together what you can for the ritual library. This would be a huge service.

    • #2114 Reply
      Sam Guarnaccia
      Participant

      Thank you, Jennifer for the topic, and Orla for your phenomenal comments! There is so much to say, but the first thought is of Thomas Berry’s saying that ‘we need a COSMIC LITURGY’, or as he said in Dream of the Earth (p. 215), “that we renew our human participation in the grand liturgy of the universe.” Liturgy and ‘ritual’ are not necessarily synonymous, but there is a resonance here. And resonance is an apt and pregnant word since music is so often a part of both. My ‘A Celtic Mass for Peace’ (http://samguarnaccia.com/celticmassforpeace/about.php) for instance, as an expression from the Celtic stream of ‘Christianity’, is often used in ‘liturgical’ settings, and is full of ‘ritual’ expressions arising form centuries of Celtic cosmology. But it is the MUSIC that helps create the space for the NEW awareness to emerge from the old forms.
      From Berry’s ecstatic essay: ‘The Epic of Evolution’…..”This joyful fulfillment found expression in poetry and music and song and dance, a fulfillment that continues to find expression in our children running through the meadows……such is the beginning of education….of acquaintance with the universe……Ultimately it is the awakening of the universe to itself. This is the beginning of poetry and music and literature. It is the beginning of cosmology…”.
      If all of our rituals, our Library, would pass this test…..that they would awaken us with “exuberant delight and unending gratitude”…..for “a universe where every mode of being is lived by a shared existence with all other modes of being….in the great community of life”, that would be a worthy standard.
      One of the gifts of the Arts (particularly music) to science, the phenomenon of (at least partially) bypassing the rational mind, allows even us adults to ‘experience’ the Mystery with uncontrolled passion. When I practice the classical guitar, or sit at the piano to write, there is a great deal of ‘hard science’ going on, but within a set of rituals that create space for what Scott Peck once called…..’GLORY’. A mind set free. ‘Things’ happen……there is EMERGENCE….the appearance of unpredictable, surprising phenomena and understanding. Within the structure of ritual, there is the possibility of immense freedom.
      Our project, the Emergent Universe Oratorio, a celebratory expression of the Universe Story, flows from these understandings.

    • #2123 Reply
      Orla Hazra
      Participant

      Oh…….our ritual library is going to be better than Trinity Library any day! You are so right about the arts taking us to the place of the ‘more than rational’. There is a ritual called Sondi Puja which is the last ritual finishing the four day Durga Puja celebrated in kolkata India. It is my favourite puja within Durga puja. The priest is feeding Durga 108 lotus’s, a crowd has gathered at whatever time the moon demands…it could be 3:21 am or 4:26pm…these are determined by the cosmos. Everyone is squished into a small space, lit oil lamps are being passed around over the heads of the group (it could be 200 within a small space), flowers are the passed back and forth from pandal to group and back and then to durga, water is given to the group, then, the drum starts (bengali drums are different to drums in goa, or karnataka etc etc. the drum has a huge plume on it. It starts slowly, floor fans are also on full blast to cool us all down. the drum gets stronger and faster and the priest is crying prayers and feeding the lotus blossoms more quickly, incense is thickening the air, the oil lamp tilts dangerously as it is passed around…..it gets louder and louder and then suddenly, it stops…all activity just stops, it is quiet, and the iconography of Durga (the ten armed goddess killing ‘evil’) has triumped again. The first time i experienced it, it felt like the bio/psycho/social/spiritual experience of the cosmic liturgy….then new form of life begins. Someone wrote a nice piece on the ecological capsule of Durga puja in METuckers edited series of each faith tradition and ecology….Hinduism and Ecology. They were not speaking of this ritual per se….just how durga puja re-presents the cosmos. Sondi puja sure represents it somatically! I look forward to hearing all the uploads of yours on the site and will explore some in advance.

    • #2221 Reply
      Terri MacKenzie
      Participant

      The posts ahead of mine are so rich! Thank you, Jennifer, Orla, Sam and Paula! When I first learned about this forum (and possibly the reason Jennifer suggested I join it), I had in mind rituals like those on my site (Stardust Wednesday, Winter Solstice, and World Environment Day). But reading your posts, and thinking deeper, the options expanded. Orla’s birthday ritual reminded me of the Universe Story cards that Mary Alice Dooley makes ([email protected]). Opening 12 tabs, starting with Our Story Begins and continuing until 40,000 years ago, leads to the now-open card that celebrates the life of the birthday person who was born 13.7 billion years ago. Sending these would become a similar ritual to Orla’s. How one starts the day is surely a ritual — some bodily or musical signs of awareness that we are rotating as we hurl around our Star; aware where we are in time and space? Beginnings and endings of contemplative times; ditto for meals. And music! Yes, all the arts. I admit to being woefully remiss about dancing. My sisters from Nigeria and Ghana do it so spontaneously, and I would benefit from encouragement. (An anti-trafficking group encouraged everyone to dance for five minutes last week to send energy to stop trafficking. I made sure I did it, sent around the email, and later learned that 15 sisters at our Infirmary joined in dancing for this cause!) I’m looking forward to finding time to continue exploring this important topic with you!

    • #2225 Reply

      My heart sang a Hallelujuah in reading your post Terri. All of these are important and glorious ideas that we can actually do here on this site. Create and preserve these rituals for all to find. I particularly love you ideas about how to start the day. And the Story Cards. Everything. Terri, can you contact these people and add the rituals yourself or encourage these other people to become members?????

    • #2323 Reply
      Lawrence Edwards
      Participant

      Living and participating at Genesis Farm (Blairstown, New Jersey, USA) Jean and I participated in many rituals: morning greeting the Sun, solstice & equinox, and, or course, the Cosmic Walk. Many folks have sent me their versions of the Cosmic Walk. I have at least 10 of them. Most of them are pretty much the same. But there are several which differ significantly. Would you want me to post these somewhere? I could post them individually as resources; but I like better the idea of a ritual library. I will try to get a copy of Miriam’s morning ritual. We did it every morning during the programs.

    • #2324 Reply

      Yes, absolutely Larry. Please post them on the Network. You can post them as resources and we’ll set up a search protocol so they can be searched as a separate library. But for now you can start adding each one as a resource. Terri MacKensie and Terry Moran will be important for this too. Jean too! Thanks a million. There’s great interest in this.

    • #2335 Reply
      Sam Guarnaccia
      Participant

      How beautiful to enter again briefly into this wonderful conversation! Thank you, ALL, for its richness.
      We have just returned from a magnificent two days of reunion with John Philip Newell, in Charlotte, NC, where we celebrated together a ‘ritual’ of what is for us, a glorious collaboration. A few years ago we found each other and created A Celtic Mass for Peace. The Celtic stream of ‘spirituality’ is, as many know, phenomenally inclusive, Earth and Creation based, ecstatically connected to the inner wisdom traditions and embraced Christianity in Cosmic awareness. On Saturday evening at dinner, John Philip, Paula, myself, and Chip Edens, the unbelievably brilliant Episcopal Rector of this very large congregation, conversed deeply about…..everything. The next day, in the celebration of the Celtic Mass and following conversation with John Philip, both spectacular visual images of the Cosmos, the great standing stones and crosses in the open landscapes, and frequent references to deep time, the ‘Great Flaring Forth’, and other references to our vast evolving Universe flowed freely. This ancient ritual of sharing bread and wine, under the infinite sky, with hearts, minds, and bodies broken open, for the over 800 people present, was the kind of ‘ritual’ that both celebrates and births new possibilities for emerging ‘symbiotic/synergistic unity’ (Cynthia Bourgeault)……or ‘The Creation of a Self-Creating World’.
      And having just heard Matthew Fox say: (paraphrase)……’our rituals must evoke BEAUTY, for if they do not, they will not serve us’…..reminds us that in every small daily practice, or in the great celebrations of ancient or emerging ‘traditions’, beauty can guide us as it does the surgeon, the mathematician, the artist.

    • #2336 Reply
      Sam Guarnaccia
      Participant

      PS-Here is a link to the story and resources of the Celtic Mass for Peace:http://samguarnaccia.com/celticmassforpeace/about.php

    • #2341 Reply
      Terri MacKenzie
      Participant

      How fortunate I am to have time to listen to the gorgeous music in the Celtic Mass a mere day after March 17th. If St. Patrick’s celebrations could all incorporate such beauty, what a sacred day it would become! Obviously it’s a gift for any day. Many thanks for creating it and for alerting me/us to its existence. I was also grateful to read Larry’s references to the Cosmic Walk and Genesis Farm. My first experience of a cosmic walk was thanks to Miriam Therese (GEA symposium in 1979). I have always thought she was the originator, though I’m not sure. Whoever started it did a great service to the very many who have prayed it since. I look forward to seeing the variations on that theme. Jennifer, I have suggested to Mary Alice and several others that they check out this group. I hope they all participate! It is so heartening to learn about all those committed to telling the deep time story and to gaining insights into ways of sharing and living it!

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