Kid’s Samhain Rite

This craft and ritual script borrows very heavily from Rev. Kathleen Pezza of Charter Oak Grove, ADF.

Craft: Cards for the Ancestors

Today we are going to have a party for the the Ancestors. The Ancestors are important to us because they taught our parents all kinds of things to help us grow big and strong. The Ancestors love us very much, and so we’re going to throw a party for them.

When we have a party what do people sometimes bring us? (Presents!!) Just like we get presents at our parties, we are going give the Ancestors presents and sing them songs at this one.

Each of you needs a present for an Ancestor that is special to you. I am going to give each of you a piece of paper and some markers so you can make them one. You can either draw a picture or write a short letter to give them about what you remember about them.

Ritual: 

Pre-ritual Briefing
Is everyone ready to have our party for the Ancestors?

If you know the words to the songs we are singing today, sing along with me. If you don’t know the words, can you all clap along with the song or play your instrument? (make sure parents have the song sheets)

We are going to walk over to where we are having the party and we are going to sing a song as we are walking and sitting down.

Procession:
“Marching to the Grove” (The Ants go Marching) – modified by Rev. Avende

Let’s go marching to the grove, hurrah, hurrah
Let’s go marching to the grove, hurrah, hurrah
Let’s go marching to the grove,
Let’s bring along our treasure trove
And we all go marching Down. To the Grove.
To have a party now!

Purification:

Before we start our party for the Ancestors, we want to make sure that we can pay attention. I want you to think off all the things that might keep you from paying attention.

(Give the child/children a minute or so to think)

Now we’re going to shake all those distractions off of us. Imagine them all falling off you and running away. Ready?

“Shake Your Sillies Out” – Raffi

Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
And wiggle my waggles away

I gotta clap, clap, clap my crazies out
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out
And wiggle my waggles away

I gotta jump, jump, jump my jiggles out
Jump, jump, jump my jiggles out
Jump, jump, jump my jiggles out
And wiggle my waggles away

Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
And wiggle my waggles away

Repeat as needed until everyone has gotten rid of all of their sillies.

Now that everyone’s sillies are all gone, we are all able to pay attention. Is everyone ready to pay attention and have a party for our Ancestors?

Honoring the Earth Mother:
Parties are very exciting for boys and girls but it is important to remember the parents who have worked so hard taking care of us. Before we start the party for our Ancestors, we are going to sing a song for their mommy, the Earth Mother, who is such a great mommy.

“She’s Got the Whole World in Her Hands” – modified by Rev. Pezza

She’s got the whole world in her hands,
She’s got the rivers and the mountains in her hands,
She’s got the oceans and the seas in her hands,
She’s got the whole world in her hands.

She’s got everybody here in her hands,
She’s got everybody there in her hands,
She’s got you and she’s got me in her hands,
She’s got the whole world in her hands.

We are going to give the Ancestors mommy, who is also our mommy, the Earth Mother, a present. Who wants to come up and put the Earth Mother’s present into the Offering Bowl for us?

Statement of Purpose:
Today we are celebrating Samhain. It is starting to get colder and darker out. Lots of spirits are getting ready to pack up and move to new homes. Since it’s getting colder and and getting dark earlier, we like to tell more stories. It’s a good time to tell stories and remember our Ancestors.

So, we are going to throw our Ancestors a party and bring them presents to remind them that we love them a lot and to ask them to keep teaching us new things.

(Re)Creating the Cosmos:
The Ancestors live far, far away. We want them to be able to see their party and their presents and hear the songs we sing for them. How can we talk to someone if they live far, far away?

(Hopefully a child will come up with the answer “a telephone.” If they respond with computer based technology (e-mail, instant messaging, skype, etc.) you can either redirect them to the phone metaphor, or you can change the metaphor to a computer based one.)

We have a way of talking to gods and goddesses who live far, far away but we need water, fire and a special tree. If we sing to them and give them gifts, they act like a telephone and help us talk to not only to gods and goddesses who live far, far away, but also people we loved who have died and plants and animals too!

To create this special telephone, first we are going to sing to the Well and give it a gift.

“There’s Water in the Well” (The Farmer in the Dell) – modified by Rev. Pezza

There’s water in the Well
There’s water in the Well
Hi-ho, the derry-o
There’s water in the Well

The water’s cold and dark
The water’s cold and dark
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The water’s cold and dark

Who would like to put our gift for the Well in the Offering Bowl?

Next, we are going to sing to the fire and give it a gift so it will help us make our special telephone.

“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Fire” (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) – modified by Rev. Pezza

Twinkle, twinkle little Fire
As we sing you rise up higher
Little flame, warm and bright
A tiny piece of holy light
Twinkle, twinkle little Fire
As we sing you rise up higher

Who would like to put our gift for the Fire in the Offering Bowl?

Finally, we are going to sing to the tree and give it a gift so that we can make our special telephone.

“Big, Green Tree” (Three Blind Mice) – modified by Rev. Pezza

Big, green tree
Big, green tree
You are so tall
You are so tall
You reach the sky with your branches high
Your roots dig into the ground nearby
You are the link between earth and sky
Big, green tree

Who would like to come up and put our gift to the tree into the Offering Bowl?

Opening the Gates:
We want to make sure that we reach our Ancestors and all of the guests we are going to invite to our party using our special phone. To do that, we need the help of someone named Garanus. He’s a crane who is going to make sure that we don’t dial any wrong numbers. As we sing his song and give him his gifts, he’s going to connect our phone to all of the people we want to talk to.

“Pop! Goes the Gate” (Pop! Goes the Weasel) – modified by Rev. Pezza

O Crane between the worlds come play
We need your help, please guide us
Keep us safe along the way
Pop! goes the Well gate.

O Crane between the worlds come play
We need your help, please guide us
Keep us safe along the way
Pop! goes the Fire gate.

O Crane between the worlds come play
We need your help, please guide us
Keep us safe along the way
Pop! goes the Tree gate.

(At each Pop! give an offering to Garanus and open the appropriate gate.)

Inviting the Kindreds:
Now that we can talk to everyone far, far away, we are going invite more guests to our party.

Nature Spirits:
The first guests that we are going to invite to our party are all of the animals and plants and rocks and stones and everything that lives outside.

“Nature Spirits” (Do Your Ears Hang Low) – modified by Rev. Pezza

Do your ears hang low?
Do you look like a crow?
Do you live in the snow?
Do you need sun to grow?
Can you fly? Can you run?
Do you swim? Weigh a ton?
Do your ears hang low?

Yes our ears hang low.
Yes we look like a crow.
Yes we live in the snow.
Yes we need sun to grow.
We can fly. We can run.
We can swim, weigh a ton.
Yes our ears hang low.

Who would like to come up and put our gift to the Nature Spirits into the Offering Bowl?

Shining Ones:
The next group of guests we are going to invite to our party are all of the gods and goddesses.

“Gods and Goddesses” (Frére Jacques) – modified by Rev. Pezza

Gods and Goddesses
Gods and Goddesses
Please come play
Please come play
Welcome to our party
Welcome to our party
We love you
We love you

Who would like to come up and put our gift to the gods and goddesses into the Offering Bowl?

Key Offerings: Ancestors
Now that we have all of the guests here, we have to invite our Ancestors, so that we can give them the presents we brought for them. So let’s ask all the people we know and love who have died to come to their party.

“Grandmas, Grandpas Come and Play” (London Bridge) – modified by Rev. Pezza

Grandmas, Grandpas
Come and play
Come and play
Come and play

Bring your parents
Don’t delay
It’s a party.

Now each of you needs to come up one at a time and give the present you made for your Ancestors to her by putting it in the Offering Bowl.

Prayer of Sacrifice:
Nature Spirits, Gods and Goddess, we hope that you liked our gifts and our party. Ancestors, we hope that you liked all of the pictures we drew for you and sentences we wrote for you. We hope that you will accept our gifts and keep teaching us new things.

Omen:
We have thrown such a nice party for our Ancestors and all of our guests that they are going to give us gifts that we can take home with us. I am going to reach into this goody bag and see what presents their sending home with us.

(Pull the omen and talk to the children about what it means and how they could use the gift.)

Blessings:
(Bring out the cupcakes and juice/milk and hold them up to the Fire, Well and Tree)

Ancestors, gods and goddess, plants and animals, ___________(fill in the omen). We know that when we eat these cupcakes that we will be able to use the gifts you have just given us.

Thank you for _______________. (Have all the children take a bite of their cupcakes.)
Thank you for _______________. (Have all the children take a bite of their cupcakes.)
Thank you for _______________. (Have all the children take a bite of their cupcakes.)
(Allow the children time to finish their cupcakes and juice/milk.)

Closing the Gates:
Our party for our Ancestors is almost over and we have to thank all of our guests for coming. Can you all help me thank everyone?

First we are going to say thank you to our Ancestors for coming. Ready? On the count of three. . . one . . . two . . . THREE!
THANK YOU ANCESTORS

Next we are going to thank the Nature Spirits for coming. Ready? One . . . two . . . THREE!
THANK YOU NATURE SPIRITS

Finally we are going so thank the gods and goddesses for coming. Ready? One . . . two . . . THREE!
THANK YOU GODS AND GODDESSES

Now it’s time to hang up the special phone we made that allowed to talk to all of our guests. To do that, we are going to clap after I say the word “close.” Is everyone ready?
Fire gate CLOSE! (clap)
Well gate CLOSE! (clap)
Tree gate CLOSE! (clap)

We’ve just hung up our telephone and now we have to say thank you to Garanus, who helped us dial it. Ready? One . . . two . . . THREE!
THANK YOU GARANUS

Now we have just one more thank you’s. Can everyone say thank you to the Earth Mother? Ready? One . . . two . . . THREE!
THANK YOU EARTH MOTHER

Closing the Rite:
GREAT JOB! Our party for our Ancestors is over and everyone did a fantastic job.

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