Our rituals are held on the afternoon of the first Saturday of each month. We tell people to arrive at 2:00pm, and plan for a ritual at 4:00 followed by a feast. This is a rough timeline, intended to shepherd people through a complete ritual from when one awakes in the morning, to when people go home.
At least one week before, get invitations and/or schedules in the mail. If you give folks some sort of paper to hold onto they will be much less likely to forget about the ritual.
If everyone has e-mail, things are a bit simpler. You can even include links for more information about the God or Goddess being honored for that particular blot.
9:00 Get up. Fritter away time answering e-mail, watching Scooby-Doo reruns, etc.
10:30 Clean the house. Get personal items such as bills and checkbooks out of where people might see them. Stash excess books in bedroom. Sweep and vacuum floor. Clean kitchen, make sure the dishwasher is run and dishes put away so there will be enough for people to use. Put any food or drink items away that one doesn't want people to eat. Check altar, clean and dust it, offer a prayer and light the 24 hour candle on it. Put out any new magazines or books of interest on the coffee table.
12:00 Shower and get dressed.
12:30 First people arrive--at this point the only folks present are a few "core" members of the kindred who are there to help, not just to attend. If you haven't shopped beforehand, immediately send people out to buy food and drink.
1:30 Food arrives. Unpack it and determine what we've forgotten. Put out munchies, make sure beer/wine is chilling.
1:45 Other "core" kinsman calls as he is about to leave for ritual site, let him know what previous "foraging" trip failed to obtain (in our kindred's case, usually gravy mix), and have him/her stop to pick it up on the way. Arranging for someone living closeby to call just before leaving for exactly this purpose is a very good idea.
2:00 First people begin arriving at house. This is when we tell people to arrive, but generally they float in throughout the afternoon. As a few people begin to arrive, seek "volunteers" to help with any food prep tasks that can be done at this point like slicing vegetables or making stuffing. When this is done, stash it in the refrigerator.
2:30 If everything has gone well, all the prep cooking stuff should be done and the dishes used washed and dried. Hosts, cooking people, and organizers can now relax and socialize.
3:45 Person who assured you last night they would be coming calls to announce they can't make it. Begin to get people to think about ritual and divide up any parts that aren't previously spoken for. If you are cooking something like a roast that requires more than an hour of cooking, put it in now. Get the ritual space cleared out and the altar set up. Take phone off hook or turn off ringer
4:00 If you do so, get dressed (tunics, etc) for ritual. Begin Ritual. If you have any new people, even if they purport to be Asatru, once you have gotten the candles lit, the blot-drink open, and everyone ready, go over each step of the ritual. This is also a good way to make sure that each person knows when their part is, and remembers that they are doing it.
Set the mood: Chant to Odin, Vili, Ve--When the Gothi/person in charge is sure that everyone is ready, start the Odin, Vili, Ve chant. This goes for three rounds.
Hammer Rite--Appropriate person steps forward and takes up hammer, and performs hammer rite.
Statement of purpose--Gothi ritually welcomes people to the blot and announces what the purpose of the ritual is and otherwise reminds people of why they have come together.
General Prayer--Someone steps forward to the altar and offers a prayer to all the Gods and Goddesses for their blessings and asking that they help us to have continued prosperity.
Invoke deity of occasion--Gothi steps to front of altar, raises hands in Z position and calls for the God or Goddess of the occasion to come forth to Midgard.
Meditation--Person leading meditation indicates that people should sit. A few moments of silence are offered for people to get comfortable. Meditation is offered. When it is over, the keyword we usually use is "rise now and receive the blessing of Odin (or appropriate god-name)."
Offer/sanctify mead--The Gothi takes up the horn and his assistant (called "The Valkyrie") fills it with mead. The Valkyrie replaces the bottle on the altar. The Gothi steps to the front of the altar and holds the horn aloft and asks the God to partake of it and charge it with his power.
Toast to the deity of occasion--After offering the horn to the deity and making the first toast, the Gothi passes the horn to the person next to him. If there are a large number of people the Valkyrie should watch and if necessary come forward with the bottle to refill the horn. At the end of the round the remains of the horn (and there should be some) are poured into the blotbowl by the Gothi usually with some appropriate words, and the Valkyrie then refills it. This process is repeated for the next two rounds.
Thank deity--The Gothi thanks the deity and bids him/her continue to watch over those assembled.
Oath Ring ceremony--The Gothi takes up oath Ring and the full kindred members come forward and grab ahold. The recognized kindred leader offers up the rede. The Gothi then replaces the Ring on the altar.
Pour libation--Someone, often the Valkyrie, takes up the blotbowl and leads the people outside for the libration. The Gothi is the last person to leave, and makes sure the door is closed, etc. After the libation is finished, the Gothi hurries back to be the first one in and turns on the lights, which is an important cue to everyone that the ritual is indeed over.
5:00 Ritual Over. Put someone in charge of getting the room back to normal. Person in charge of food grabs a few "volunteers" and sets them to work getting the rest of the food together. Other folks socialize or help as they wish.
5:30 Set tables and put out anything that people don't need to get for themselves such as napkins, salt & pepper, butter, etc. Offer a "last call" for folks to get drinks before the food is served. Slice roast and anything else that needs to be. Get serving spoons where they'll be needed or put food onto serving platters, etc.
5:45 If you are serving food out of the kitchen bring it out. If you aren't, cook and "volunteers" grab plates full and then announce food is ready for the rest of the people. Much feasting ensues.
5:55 Person who called at 3:30 announcing they couldn't make it arrives. Says he called, but the phone was busy. Host puts it back on hook.
6:30 All the food being gone, the feast is declared over. Host is thrown out of kitchen and told to sit down while folks wash dishes and clean up. (If this doesn't happen, reconsider who is invited.)
7:00 First person leaves. Hit everyone up for $$ for feast contributions (this would be better done when they arrive, but it rarely happens that way). Write down anyone who doesn't have the cash and owes you. If this happens with any frequency, reconsider who is invited.)
8:00 Put The Vikings in the VCR.
10:30 Vikings movie finishes. Most guests leave.
11:30 Guests have drifted out until "core" kindred members are the only folks left. Talk over ritual and how it went. Bitch and laugh about flakey visitor who will never come back (you hope).
12:30 Last people leave. Go to bed.
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