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  • Writer's pictureHeathens of Yorkshire

A Heathen Service of Remembrance

Taken from 'The Gods' Own County - A Heathen Prayer Book' by Dan Coultas and Heathens of Yorkshire

This version of the traditional Remembrance Service has been adapted for use by heathens to mark Remembrance Sunday/Armistice Day. Starting at 1052 should mean that the 2 minutes silence is held at 1100.

Welcome to all gathered here, on Remembrance Sunday, to honour the fallen, and all those who have made personal sacrifice in the service of their country.

We call upon the wights of land, air and water. We ask you to join us here this day. Hail the wights!

We call upon the ancestors, to whom we owe everything that we are, and without whom we would not be. We ask you to join us here this day. Hail the ancestors!

We call upon the Gods; Æsir and Vanir. Mighty ones, shining ones, high ones. We ask you to join us here this day. Hail the Gods!

Freyja, warrior Goddess and first chooser of the slain, for whom you weep golden tears of compassion. We give you thanks for welcoming our glorious dead to Folkvangr. Queen of Valkyries, Goddess of love, lady of magic, we honour you. Hail Freyja!

Odin, Lord of War, leader of the Einherjar, master of Valhalla, we call to you! Wise one, who's Valkyries choose those who will fight alongside you at Ragnarok. You who knows sacrifice, and is not afraid to do that which may seem wrong in order to achieve the ultimate goal, we honour you. Hail Odin!

Ran, beautiful Lady of the deep, we thank you for hosting all those sailors lost at sea, in your great hall beneath the waves. Hail Ran!

We gather here to honour the fallen. Those brave warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defence our of nation and our people, and who will do battle again, when the Gjallarhorn sounds. We honour too those who have returned, witnesses of the true horrors of war, to be once more amongst the people they protect. We remember too all the civilian casualties of all conflicts across the globe, and we honour those who are serving now, at this very moment risking their lives on sea, land and air, so that we may sleep safely in peace and frith.

Reading – The Rainbow, Sgt Leslie Coulson, killed on the Western Front in 1916

Watch the white dawn gleam,

To the thunder of hidden guns.

I hear the hot shells scream

Through skies as sweet as a dream

Where the silver dawn-break runs.

And stabbing of light

Scorches the virginal white.

But I feel in my being the old, high, sanctified thrill,

And I thank the gods that the dawn is beautiful still.

From death that hurtles by

I crouch in the trench day-long,

But up to a cloudless sky

From the ground where our dead men lie

A brown lark soars in song.

Through the tortured air,

Rent by the shrapnel's flare,

Over the troubleless dead he carols his fill,

And I thank the gods that the birds are beautiful still.

Where the parapet is low

And level with the eye

Poppies and cornflowers glow

And the corn sways to and fro

In a pattern against the sky.

The gold stalks hide

Bodies of men who died

Charging at dawn through the dew to be killed or to kill.

I thank the gods that the flowers are beautiful still.

When night falls dark we creep In silence to our dead.

We dig a few feet deep

And leave them there to sleep - But blood at night is red,

Yea, even at night,

And a dead man's face is white.

And I dry my hands, that are also trained to kill,

And I look at the stars - for the stars are beautiful still.

Airforce Prayer

Mighty Thor! Who tears through the clouds in your chariot,

And with Mjölnir brings the storm,

Look with favour upon the Royal Air Force.

Make us a tower of strength to our Queen and to our country.

Help us to do our duty with prudence and with fearlessness,

Confident that in life or in death we will protect our kin.

Grant this in the name of the Gods. Hail!

A Soldier´s Prayer

I am going to war,

Leaving loved ones behind.

I am leaving what is precious,

But I´m not going alone.

The Gods are with me,

In all the dark places.

Æsir, ease their hearts,

When my people miss me.

Æsir, stand with me,

When I am facing death.

Æsir, look after my loved ones,

As I would.

The Naval Prayer

Odin, Skyfather, lord of war, who rules over Asgard; Ægir, father of the waves; Rán, gracious host of those lost at sea; Njörð, who rules where the sea meets the shore; mighty Thor, master of tides until the wolf breaks his bonds, Hail! We honour you with word and deed, and ask you to bless the fleet in which we serve. Preserve us from the dangers of the sea, and grant us the strength to overcome the violence of the enemy; that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, and her dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our island may in frith honour our Gods; and that we may return victorious to enjoy the blessings of the land, with the fruits of our labours; and with a thankful remembrance of thy blessings to honour our Gods, wights and ancestors. Hail!

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning

We will remember them.

Response: We will remember them.

(At 1100) Last Post. Lower standards.

2 Minutes silence.

Reveille. Raise standards.

Laying of wreaths.

When you go home,

Tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow,

We gave our today.

Image by Matt Greenway. Copyright 2019 Heathens of Yorkshire

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