Ceremony to Ease Grief

To ease the grief and pain from the loss of a loved one, you can create a ceremonial belt to remember your loved one. Three days before the ceremony, purchase three thin pieces of cord long enough to use for a belt around your waist with at least an extra three feet or more of length. The first cord will represent your loved one; the middle cord will represent the physical and spiritual bond between you and your loved one; and the third cord will represent you. The cords can be whatever colors you choose. Braid the three cords together, and knot them at each end.

On the day of the ceremony, refrain from eating at least three hours before the ceremony as a sign of respect for what is to take place. Should a spiritual adviser be performing this ceremony with you, they should also refrain from eating during the three hours preceding the ceremony. If you find you are alone with no spiritual adviser or physical companion to help you with this ceremony, please do not let your spirit be concerned, for you will always have a spiritual companion next to you, whether it be the Holy Parents, Christ or Mary, angels or another beloved companion you call to yourself. Therefore, if you find you need to perform the tasks within the ceremony yourself, do not worry, but carry on without the fear that you are making some grand error.

If possible, the altar should be prepared by a woman. It is to be set up with a round center cloth or basket surrounded by four candles. The candle for the north (winter) will be white, for the east (spring)—yellow, for the south (summer)—green, and for the west (fall)—blue. In the center of the altar cloth or basket, a cup should be placed to represent the Holy Grail. If possible, the cup should be of wood, pottery or glass. It should contain spring or distilled water. Beside the cup, place a gift of a loaf of bread and another food item. Both these items will be returned to nature as gifts to all creation after the ceremony.

Bring photo albums or momentoes of your loved one. Look through the scrapbooks or at the momentoes and reminisce about happy occasions with your loved one. If a spiritual adviser is there, they can listen as you choose and talk about twelve of your most cherished memories of your loved one. Sit in front of the altar, and for each of these happy memories, beginning at the winter or north direction, tie one knot in your belt. Tie three knots in your belt in the winter direction, move clockwise to the spring direction to tie three more knots, to the summer direction for three knots, and to the autumn direction for the last three knots of remembrance. The memory you choose for each knot does not need to be connected with the season where you tie that knot. When you are done, you will have twelve knots in your belt (not including the knots at each end of the belt). Tie the belt about your waist and loop it three times. When you touch the knots, they can remind you of the happy times you spent with your loved one. Later, between the knots, you can add seashells or stones or leaves or other items. These items can be related to your loved one, or they can be items which are special to you for other reasons. This is your own belt of power, your medicine belt, or your belt of harmony. It is a cord of three strands which speaks to you of your connection with all creation. If it should happen that after the ceremony your cord is not long enough to wear as a belt, do not fret and untie the belt and fear you have performed the ceremony in a wrong manner, for you can still use it as a cord of remembrance.

Now it is time to light the four candles. If possible, a man should light the candles, while a woman will hold the cup which represents the Holy Grail. If this is not possible, either a man or a woman can do these things. As the Grail is held up toward the sky, prayers are spoken to honor and thank the Mother and Father Creator (and Christ and Mary if you choose). Kneeling, thank the Great Mother Earth and Father Pan. Standing and turning to the appropriate direction, thank the Angels of each of the Four Directions. Standing at the appropriate direction, either you or your spiritual adviser can now speak about your loved one as follows:

Beginning at the north or winter, speak about your loved one’s death and the grief you feel.

Moving to the direction of spring, your loved one is reborn into the spirit world as a babe. They are comforted by the Mother and Father Creator. Their eyes are open now, and they are filled with wonder. They are loved and nurtured. No longer are they afraid of death, for they have found life again through rebirth.

At the direction of summer, your loved one is gaining their strength back and becoming like a young person, bursting with health and hope for the future. They are strong like an oak tree and nothing can harm them.

At the direction of autumn, they are becoming filled with spirit wisdom and knowledge about themselves and their time on earth. Their heart grows large with love for their family and all creation. The relationship between them and their family is not broken, but exists still in spirit.

Returning again to winter, your loved one has grown even more in the ways of the spirit. They can see clearly in all directions, no longer distracted by their own physical concerns. They still care for their family and watch over them, and they will come when they are called or when they are needed.

Your loved one will continue on this circular path, spiraling ever upward to be closer to the Mother and Father of Creation.

As we are saying these words they will happen. As we are uttering this prayer, it is happening. As we pray for this request, it has happened. Amen.

When the ceremony is complete, blow out the candles. If the ceremony has been performed at the request of a woman, she should take the cup and pour the water from it outside, perhaps on a plant or tree, to return it to nature. If the ceremony has been performed at the request of a man, the woman who held the cup during the ceremony should pour the water outside. Then the person for whom the ceremony was performed should take the bread and other food outside and return it to nature as well. As you do this, you may wish to speak a prayer for your loved one.

Though your loved one is no longer in a physical body, they can still come when you call. If you request it, they may offer you advice. Please understand, however, that though your loved one may have grown wiser, they are still capable of making mistakes. You must always be your own person, and make your own decisions. Remember to follow what you feel is true and right within your own heart, no matter what another may tell you.