E is for Everyday Rites

I start my days pretty much like any other dutiful Hellene or Roman: I take my bath, I get dressed, then I proceed to the shrine to pray before a day’s work. I light a flame, recite the prayers, and break bread or pour wine (or both) for the Ones who bless. And incense, of course. You can’t miss the sweet-smelling smoke!

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I try not to make it too elaborate, unless it’s a special day. As long as there’s a flame burning, a member of the family praying, and decent food to share — it’s proper and pious enough to bless my family and our deeds for a whole day.

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My prayers can be spontaneous or recited from memory, but they usually follow a pattern, much like this prayer I wrote a month ago:

Every day, I sing of you,
O Gods and Goddesses of high Olympos,
who watch over the kindreds of Men
and the ordering of our world.

Every day, I sing of you
and your deeds.

Every day, I sing of you
and your blessings on me,
my kindred, and our daily affairs.

Every day, I sing of the kindly Daimôn of our dwelling-place —
O Lar familiaris —
and the Penates of my family.

Every day, I sing of the children of Hyperiôn;
bright Hêlios in the morning,
white-armed Selênê in the evening,
and rose-fingered Êôs when the twain meet.

Every day, I sing of well-founded Earth,
mother of all,
eldest of beings who feeds all creatures
in land, sea, or sky.

Every day, I sing of you,
mighty and noble company of my Ancestors,
from my father to his fathers,
to the line of our people back to the beginning.

Every day, I sing of you,
unseen neighbours who share this soil,
this air,
and these waters with us.

Every day, I sing of you,
my genius —
eautou daimôn —
and the guiding daimônai of my family members.

Every day, I sing of you all,
joyously asking and thanking you
for your unending blessings,
and friendship.

Every day, I will rise to meet you all,
as you rise to greet me
and my family.

Accept now these words
and these libations
And bless and watch over us now.

Of course, as it only “lasts” a day, I do this daily around sunrise with hardly any exceptions.

In the rare occasion that I can’t (I could be out of town or sleeping over at a friend’s house), I make sure I recite 1the appropriate prayers wherever I am around the same time. I also make sure to double the offerings and inform the household deities of my absence before I leave.

Here’s a prayer I wrote last year whilst I was on holiday in Siem Reap:

Guardians of our family,
Keepers of our dwelling and land:
hear my prayer from afar;
sweet and clear, may my words reach you.
Look after my family and our home today;
my friends and theirs, too.
Avert all evil and danger from them,
and keep them safe and happy and healthy.
With these words to you,
may all be well in our house and land,
and with our people.

Spirits of this place and Gods of this land:
we make the same prayer for us here;
as travellers and foreigners,
I give you your dues.
Be kind to us, Gracious Ones,
as good hosts do to their guests.

Hail the All-seeing and the Traveller!
To you, we pray for your sleepless watch on home and way.
And to the Gods of this land,
we pray for your affection,
that we may remember our journey here
with only joy and nothing less.

May it be so.


What about you, how do you greet your deities each day?


One thought on “E is for Everyday Rites

  1. Pingback: PBP: E is for Everyday Rites | Beloved in Light

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