Candles for the Ancestors

Candles for the Ancestors

I am the Acting Chief Druid for the White Oak Exploratory Group.  We follow the AODA (Ancient Order of Druids in America).  An Exploratory Group means that none of our members are far enough along in their studies to petition the Grand Grove for a charter for a study group.

We use the Opening and Closing that is done by the AODA and can be found at this link:  We wrote this ritual for Samhuinn because we chose to celebrate the eight Sabbats.

Grove Set Up




cauldron w/sand and censer

dish of incense

charcoal and tongs

cauldron w/votive candle

lighter and passflame

cauldron w/water

cauldron w/salt or earth

Chief Druid

staff and board

reading stand


Telluric Holy Days

Hirlas  (drinking horn or cup):

·        Samhuinn: apple cider (NW)

seasonal symbol:

·        Samhuinn: evergreens

Druid of Air

sword in sheath



mistletoe or other plant


white robe

cord belt

Samhuinn – Candles for the Ancestors

Those that wish to may anoint themselves with Samhain Oil.  We also have a small votive candle for each person sitting on the altar that they may light for an Ancestor.



Welcome to our Samhuinn ritual, in which we will welcome and honor our ancestors, those who have gone before us and made us who we are. After a period of meditation, each of us, beginning with the Herald, will go to the altar and light a candle for our personal ancestors, whether of blood, or mind, or heart.


Period of quiet meditation. 

For those who practice color breathing, the color for Samhuinn is violet (purple).


With this candle, we illuminate the grove as a beacon to those who have passed who we love and cherish.


Each person in turn goes to the altar and lights a candle.


Goes to the altar and raises the hirlas so that everyone can see it.

The hirlas is the horn of plenty, which we share in honor of the Earth, the Holy Kindreds, and in celebration of community.  From the Earth, her never failing promise; from the Holy Kindreds, the gifts of will and grace; from the community, fellowship.  I receive these gifts with thanks, and from all that is given, I give in turn.


The Almoner drinks from the hirlas, then passes it to the next person.  When it returns to the Almoner, s/he replaces it on the altar.


In this season of growing darkness, let us meditate on all that we have shared this day.


Period of quiet meditation.


We thank those who’ve gone before us and continue to guide us in our lives and spiritual growth. Please abide with us tonight as we feast in your honor.

We then sat around a table and shared a meal…a Dumb Supper in which no one spoke until dessert.