Saturnus: A New Kind of Ritual?

So we had our Liturgists’ Roundtable this past Tuesday, and sadly something came up and I couldn’t be there myself, but it sounds like Rod and Gen and Val and Paul came up with some decent ideas for a Saturnalia-influenced Yule ritual for the 19th. Obviously I’m sad that I couldn’t take part in it, ritual planning is one of my favorite Grove-related things to do, but it’s good to know that everyone else can handle it if needed.

I called Rodney before the meeting to let him know that my main concern was making sure that Bel and Danu, our traditional Deities of the Occasion for Yule, were still honored at the rite, but other than that I was open to changing things up. Maintaining our relationships with our Grove deities is the priority for our High Day rites, as far as I’m concerned. But Bel and Danu always seem very laid-back and accepting of whatever we do for them, so I figured if we were going to add a Roman deity to any High Day without offending our usual DotO, either Yule or Summer Solstice would be the best bet.

So this time out, we’ll be having three Deities of the Occasion: Bel, Danu, and Saturnus, with separate offerings for each. A little unusual, but well within the rules for ADF ritual. We’ll be keeping our usual ritual style for the most part, doing multiple cultures within one ritual almost never works from my experience, so it’s up to Saturnus to decide if he wants to show up to a not-exclusively-Roman rite. To “cover” the issue of Roman religion requiring the participants to keep their heads covered during ritual, we’ll be encouraging everyone to wear silly hats. (My Santa hat is ready!) And we won’t be doing our decorating of a live tree, though that isn’t as much about the DotO’s as it is about how difficult and expensive it is to get a live tree to the site. But we will still be doing tree ornaments as the return blessing, as we’ve done for well over a decade now.

Will it be an interesting combination or a total mess? Will the new folks like it or will they be weirded out? Will there be another big snow storm like last year and nobody shows up at all? As a continuation of the Grand Experiment That Is ADF, I look forward to finding out, and I hope that many of you will get to take part in it!

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

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