Generic Pagan Funeral for an Elder Woman

(As written, to be conducted by a group of Priestess, Priest, chief mourner and possibly other coven members as attendants, i.e. ushers.)

The room (perhaps of a funeral home) is decorated with evergreen boughs and roses. This supposes there is a casket, but may be adapted if there is a picture only of the deceased.

Before anyone comes into the room, the priest and priestess may cast a circle, summon the quarters and invoke the Lady and Lord.

As the mourners enter, they will be greeted at the door (and portal to the circle) by the Priest and Priestess. When all are seated, the priestess begins.

Priestess: (adapted from the "Decent of the Goddess," in the Farrars' Witches Bible Complete) There are three great events in the life of a person: love, death and resurrection to a new life. Of these love is the most important. For by love and in fulfillment of it, we may again be joined with our families and friends, remembering and loving them again. Death cannot take away love or our loved ones.

Without love there is no birth, without birth no death, without death no rebirth. This is the miracle of love.

Priest: (name of Chief mourner, here a son), loving son, all here feel your sorrow and with you honor (name of deceased).

Nearest relative or chief mourner tells about the persons life and accomplishments. Others may speak also. When this is finished, the priest continues.

Priest: (adapted from memorial service of Magical Rites from the Crystal Well) For a while we have lost one who is dear to us, but it is only for a time and we should not be sorrowful. There is a reason to be here and a reason to go when we have fulfilled the tasks of a life's work. Dying is only a way of forgetting, of resting, of returning to the eternal source to be renewed and made strong.

Priestess: (adapted from the rite of the Three-Fold-Goddess in The Witches Bible) Behold a woman who has been three women. First a girl full of dreams and hope. Then a mother who brought forth life and gave love. Finally an elder, rich in knowledge and experience. Her journey is ended and a new one begun. Let us bid her farewell and entreat all her loved ones who have gone before her to greet and guide her on her way.

The priest may then instruct the mourners to bid a personal farewell if they desire, then proceed to the foyer or otherwise outside the room.

This is the traditional time to play the departed loved one's favorite song or hymn. Again, some attendant should be at the portal to see all out of the circle. The priest, priestess and perhaps the chief mourner may then thank the Gods, release the quarters and open the circle.

Some refreshment in the outer area might be available to help the people ground a bit. The pall bearers may then return and carry the casket to the conveyance.

At the grave side, salt or ashes, water and wine, and aromatic oil may have been poured to bless the site.

"We wish you all love and happiness. Do not forget us. We will not forget you. We find our peace and hope in the sure and certain knowledge that we shall meet again and at that time we will celebrate in perfect love."

After the casket is lowered, the chief mourner throws earth upon the grave.

This is again a traditional time for all to eat together. This helps in grounding.

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