Second Night of Anthesteria
This ritual is in honor of Dionysos on the second night of His festival Anthesteria.
A pitcher of wine and/or cold, fruity tea is prepared at least two hours prior to the ritual. The spring water for purification is poured one hour before the ritual, as the participants/priest is preparing his/her body for the rite. The Ancestor Shrine is prepared for the Third night of the Festival one day prior to the opening ceremonies taking place tonight.
It would be appropriate for the Hier washes himself in warm flowing water half an hour prior to the rite if this is at all possible. A bowl of khernips is placed upon the altar for the temple purification. The incense is placed within the burner and the lighter sits also upon the altar, awaiting its use.
The participants, after purifying themselves carry the offerings to the altar. The flames of Helios and Selene are lit:
Helios, the Sun! Selene, the Moon!
Divine protectors of all those who walk beneath thee
Upon the blessed Gaia,
Come down and bless me with your protection during this
Sacred act of Holy Sacrifice!
Hestia’s Sacred Flame is lit.
Hestia, you who tend the sacred dwelling
Of the far-shooting lord, Apollon, at holy Pytho,
From your tresses flowing oil ever drips down.
Come into this house! Come in gentle spirit
With resourceful Zeus and grant grace to my song!
(Homeric Hymn to Hestia)
The Hiereus sprinkles the khernips around the altar.
Ekas, Ekas! Este bebeloi!
Oh Great Lord Apollon who makes everything pure! Let your waters cleanse and consecrate this sacred space, making it free of all the profane!
The khernips is then placed outside of the ritual space as it is now impure.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
The statue of Dionysos is then placed onto the altar.
I come now before the blessed Dionysos!
To sing Him praises and be merry
To ask Him for his help in reading these sacred cards of art
And unveil the mysteries he wishes to unveil.
And to honor Him with joy, prayers and sacrifice!
To wild-haired Dionysos I offer my praise,
son of Semele, who could not bear the brilliance
of father Zeus in all his pure magnificence,
beloved husband to your dear Ariadne.
Wine and all its pleasures are yours, Dionysos:
the intoxicating laughter among great friends,
the uninhibited dance of your devotees,
the soaring ecstasy as you join in the dance,
the blessed oblivion, the freedom from care,
the gift of transformation, of insight, of change.
O Dionysos, bringer of joy who reveals
all truths and secrets, I praise you and honor you.
(To Dionysos by Hearthstone)
Dionysos, Lord adorned with leopard skin and ivy,
Master of merriment and madness,
Seer to the nymphs and woodland beings.
Touch these cards with your hand,
Help me to understand your words
And responses to the questions I have brought.
o makar genoito! Let it be thus!
The cards are then passed through the incense and placed in front of the Icon.
Hiereus draws the invoking pentagram over the offerings with the sacrificial knife.
I bring you gifts!
See these things!
And partake of them as you will wish!
A handful of barley is sprinkled upon the altar.
For You, Hestia; the first and last!
Spring water is poured into the libation cup. The participants each lift the cup to Dionysos, call out “Spondh!” take a sip and pour the rest into the libation dish.
Holy Immortals, my rite has ended. If it be your will, I shall come again unto your altars, bearing offerings and sacrifices; singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving!
Khairete! I rejoice!