Qadash Kinahnu, A Canaanite Phoenician Temple


Basic
Canaanite-Phoenician
Ritual



Formatting refined 24 December 2007

This is a basic ritual. Using this format and most of these prayers, a ritual can be created for any holiday by filling in at the Heart of the Ritual the relevant mythic input. Of course this is only a suggestion. One does not need to do everything contained herein. However, i would suggest doing the purification, lighting a candle or oil lamp, making offerings to the Deities, and praising Them, at the very least. There are praises for many deities - just use the ones for the deities you call.

Many parts of the liturgy are derived from the Myths from Ugarit. The basic ritual outline comes from the Ritual of Shachar and Shalem. Some bits have been adapted from Jewish liturgy. This is an evolving form, and as i discover new information, i try to incorporate it.

If you have any suggestions, questions, or discoveries, you can .

May the Divine Ones grant you Peace and Well-Being,
Priestess Lilinah biti-Anat


A. CREATE-ACKNOWLEDGE SACRED TIME -SPACE
and PURIFY SACRED SPACE AND CELEBRANTS


1. PROCESSION IN


2. CIRCUMAMBULATION

Kohanah and/or Kohan leads worshippers into ritual space, circumambulating it seven times in an appropriate manner: joyously singing, dancing, and playing music; formally and sedately with composure; or mournfully wailing and limping; etc.

3. PURIFICATION BY WATER

Kohanah and/or Kohan washes hir hands and face in a basin of scented water in silence - use edible orange blossom, rose, or jasmine flower water from the food store.
To purify celebrants in a small ritual, either the basin is passed around or the worshippers come up to the altar to wash their hands. For a large ritual, Kohanah and/or Kohan may asperse (sprinkle water on) the crowd with hir hand or a bundle of herbs, such as rosemary, hyssop, or lavender. During the Purification, each person should meditate on being in a cleansed and sanctified condition.

4. KINDLING THE SACRED FLAME


The Offering of Light:
Kohanah or Kohan lights candles, saying:

O Gracious Goddesses and Gods,
just as Your starry lights shine on us,
so for You we kindle these lamps.
Blessed are You, Eternal and Mighty Ones,
Source of the Universe, Creators of all Time and Space.
We need Your guidance along our way.
Fill us with Your energy, wisdom, and love.
That we may enter into the spirit of sacred time,
we celebrate the creation of Light!

The Offering of Fire:
Kohanah or Kohan lights fire in fire-proof dish on altar, saying:

We ignite a blazing fire before the Divine Ones.
Sacred fire has fallen from Heaven.
Just as an ember from that Divine Flame,
The spark of Life, burns within each human soul,
So we kindle this fire on the altar,
That the vitality of our community may continue,
ever inspired by the Deities.

B. INVOKE AND HONOR THE DEITIES

5. GENERAL INVOCATION OF THE DEITIES

We call on the Gods and Goddesses who reign in the heavens
Let honor be paid to those that are on high who nurture and bless us;
and to those who in the sand-swept tracts of wilderness protect and watch over us;
and to the other celestial, terrestrial and chthonic Deities who guide us, teach us,
bring us through difficult times, and fill our hearts with joy in their presence.
Let a crown be placed on their heads and set a diadem upon their brows!
Ho, Eat of bread, and drink of foaming wine, hey!
Welcome, O King! Welcome, O Queen!
Welcome, kohanot, kohanim, and celebrants!

6. SONG TO THE SPECIFIC DEITIES BEING INVOKED

Recite or sing seven times short Invocations to the specific Deities being invoked.
In ancient times this would be accompanied by lyre, participants chanting the response.

7. PRESENTATION OF SACRIFICES (i.e., Offerings)

The Sacrificial Offering
Kohanah or Kohan says:

We, Your Children, the Multitudes of the Earth,
Come to return a portion of our blessings
To the Family of the Gracious Deities.
We give You our blessings and our thanks
And ask of You our heart's desire.

Celebrants line up and put special offerings on the offering altar, thanking and praising the Deities, the Eleyim, and, if desired, making a short personal supplication to them [and to a specific Deity, if they choose]. During this time there may be quiet drumming.

Sacrifice of The Burnt Offering of Incense
Kohanah or Kohan holds up the incense container, saying:

We present our sacrifice to the Divine Ones.
We send up our incense among the heavenly ones,
our incense among the stars.
Kohanah or Kohan puts incense on hot charcoal:
Spread Your protection over Your worshippers
Just as the smoke of offering spreads over the altar of sacrifice.
We pray that our sacrifices be deemed acceptable,
and that we find favor in Your eyes.
Let us rejoice in the blessing of the Gracious Deities!

Participants drum and rejoice for a short time.

"Then sing songs with the lyre, rap hand drums,
bang cymbals, rattle the ivory castanets"
(from The Legend of Aqhat)
- or -

"Diverse young men simmer coriander in milk, and mint in yogurt seven times.
Furthermore, over a basin [break in text {something probably was poured}] seven times."
(from The Rite of Shachar and Shalem)


8. ARRIVAL OF THE DEITIES

Kohanah and Kohan carry images of the Deities around the ritual space.
The images are wrapped in white linen and bright ribbons.
The participants sing and dance before them.

9. INSTALLATION OF THE DIVINE GUESTS

Cushions are decorated with cloths and flowers for the Deities.
The Deity images are placed on the cushions.
They are sprinkled with flowers and/or perfumes or a blend of sacred magical oil and alcohol (like an eau de toilette) seven times.

10. HYMN OF PRAISE TO THE GRACIOUS DEITIES

Sing or recite a song to the Deities, accompanied by music, such as lyre, flute, drum, tambourine, etc.

11. WINE LIBATION

Kohanah or Kohan holds up a container of wine or juice, saying:

O Gracious Deities, we make unto You
This offering of sweet wine/juice
Made from grapes/fruit. . .
Kohanah or Kohan pours wine/juice into libation dish, saying:
. . . You have caused to grow and ripen.
May it bring pleasure and joy to You
As it does to the hearts of humankind.


12. WATER LIBATION

Holding a container of spring water, Kohanah or Kohan says:

With this sacrifice of spring water, O Gracious Deities,
We ask You to bestow Your blessings
upon the Earth and Your children, whom You love.
Kohanah or Kohan pours water into libation dish, saying:
May we hear the sweetness of Your voice.
May the animals and plants survive and thrive.
Bless us with life, health, and prosperity.


*** C. THE HEART OF THE RITUAL ***


Recitation or Reenactment of Seasonal Myth and/or other Sacred Performance

D. SACRED MEAL


13. Feed and Libate the Deities

Kohanah and Kohan offer food from the feast to the Deities, especially meat, oil, and bread, into libation dish.
Then they offer some of the drinks to the Deities, especially wine, into libation dish.
Then they say:

We give food to the Deities; We give drink to the Holy Beings;
Who have created us and given breath to us,
sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.
Bless us and be gracious to us.
We have lit the sacred fire; We have burnt the sacred incense.
Guard and protect us; Drive away evil and illness.
Keep a roof over our heads; see that we have clothing on our backs,
That we may be able to share in your feasts.
Remember us as we remember you.


14. Bless the Food for Human Consumption

Kohanah and Kohan hold their hands over the containers of food and beverage and say:

May all who hunger come to rejoice at our altar,
Let all the human family sit at the table of the Gracious Deities,
May the Children of the Divine Ones eat of the bread of honor,
May we drink of the wine of favor.
May the richness of this feast fill our lives with bounty.
And may our lives for the rest of the year be sweet.
Kayeen Yehee Ratzon - So we will it to be.
They eat some, feeding each other, then pass the chalice and plate to participants, who each take some. [Alternately, especially in a small ritual, all participants may hold their hands over the food and recite the blessing.]

*** 15. Feast by Celebrants ***
*** Eat and Enjoy!! ***


E. RETURN TO MUNDANE STATE

16. Bring Manifestation of Divine Energy into the Mundane World

Pledge Community Service or make Donations to a service organization appropriate to season or specific ritual

17. Preparation for the Next Ritual

If a group of people are working together, now is the time to discuss briefly the theme of the next ritual and decide who will be creating and/or leading the ritual.
If you are working alone, you can skip this part.


F. CLOSURE

18. FINAL THANKSGIVING TO THE DEITIES

Kohanah and Kohan say: We offer Thanksgiving to the Deities:

All repeat 3 times:

All thanks and praise
to the Mighty and Eternal Ones.
As the Kohanah and/or Kohan recites a line of thanksgiving, it is repeated by the participants.
NOTE: Use only the praises for the deities upon whom you called specifically at the beginning of the ritual. No need to do them all.

All praise to Father El the Compassionate and Merciful,
Bull of the Mountain, Creator of All Creation.

All praise to Serpent Mother Asherah, Treader on the Sea, Lion Rider, Tree of Life.

All praise to Mighty Ba'al, Rider on the Clouds,
whose voice is thunder, whose glance is bright lightning, who brings the fertilizing Rain.

All praise to the impetuous Maiden Anat of the passionate Blood,
quick to defend, quick to love.

All praise to Adon, Lord of vegetation, who dies and is reborn in the cycle of the year.

All praise to Ashtartu of the wild ecstacies of sex, the hidden wisdom of divination.

All praise to El's sons, Shaharu and Shalemu, Dawn and Dusk,
the Morning and Evening Stars.

All praise to divine nymphs, the bewitching, the perfect brides:

to Pidraya, Brightningette, daughter of Light
to Talaya, Dewie, daughter of Rain
to Aretzaya, Earthie, daughter of the Broad Expanse.
All praise to Gapen and Ugar, Vineyard and Field, the messengers of Baal.

All praise to Kothar-wa-Hasis, Clever Craftsman and Deft Magician.

All praise to Shapash, Goddess of the Sun, the Torch of the Deities.

All praise to Yarikh, God of the Moon, the Crescent Lamp of the Night.

All praise to beautiful Nikkal, Lady of the Fruitful Orchards and the gem-like fruit.

All praise to Dagan, Rainy One, god of Grain.

All praise to Atargatis, Visionary goddess of pools and lakes.

All praise to Eshmun, He who Heals through Unguents and Dreams.

All praise to Astranoe, She who grants wishes and bestows blessings.

All praise to Shataqat, She who brings renewal and rebirth
with a touch of her wand and the stroke of her hand.

All repeat 3 times:

The abode of the Gods
is the shelter of their children.
We are the children of the Gods.
19. Procession Out

All leave the ritual space, playing percussion instruments and dancing, lead by Kohanat and/or Kohan.




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1990-1997 Lilinah biti-Anat
updated 23 December 2007
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