In Ireland, until recently, houses had a west-facing room, often with awindow facing the sunset, that was reserved for the commemoration offamily members who had passed over. In pagan times, the souls of thedead were supposed to gather in the House of Donn – an island off thesouthwest coast – and make the journey `beyond nine waves’ to theblessed Summerlands where they would once more become young andbeautiful, and live joyful lives. Here is a ritual you can do tocommemorate the ones who made their passing on September 11th, 2001:
1. Choose part of a western wall for the shrine. This could be analcove, shelf, window-sill, or small table. Cover it with a black orpurple cloth.
2. Now arrange upon it mementos of relatives and friends who havepassed over to the Summerlands this year, or in the recent past -photographs, small personal possessions or pieces of jewelry, andperhaps some branches, leaves or flowers.
3. You may also feel moved to remember individuals or groups ofpeople throughout the world whose deaths this year have touched youdeeply. Photos from newspapers, symbolic objects, poems, and so on, canalso be added to the shrine.
4. Stand a candle by each one, and place a large candle in thecenter, symbolic of the One Light that unites us all.
5. At dusk, light the candles beginning with the central one, andsit or stand facing the shrine, contemplating each one in turn. Allowany emotions that may arise simply to be present, and express themnaturally, as the Celts freely gave vent to their feelings at death.
6. If you are doing this in a group, you may wish to share stories,songs, poems, or words of inspiration, plus have each member of thecircle give a short tribute to one or more of those remembered here.
7. Say the following prayer:
You are going home to your home of winter,
To your home of autumn, of spring, and of summer;
You are going home to the Land of the Living.
To the restful haven of the waveless sea.
Peace of the Seven Lights be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Joys be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Loves be upon you, beloved,”
On the breast of the Mother of Blessings,