A Crossing Over ceremony
A crossing over or passing over ritual is a way of honoring a departed loved one, of giving blessings and thanks for their lives and honoring their memory. It can also signify aiding their spirit to move on. We all have to pass through the veil at the end of each lifetime. It is this final passage that is celebrated.
Our belief in the Old Religion is in the eternal cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The spirit never dies, but when physical death occurs the spirit moves to another world where it continues to exist until it is reborn again into another physical life.
A ceremony could start with creating sacred space and calling the quarters. Perhaps there could be offerings on the altar for the God and Goddess of the Underworld and a candle on the altar to represent the spirit of that person, lit at the beginning of the ritual.
The priest or priestess could say a few words about the person who has passed over to honor their memory, maybe going around the circle and asking each person to add a few words too. As each person says their words they could
sprinkle some flower petals into a cauldron filled with water in the center of the circle.
The priest or priestess would then ask all the elements to guide the person on their journey. Then deity would be asked to guide the person to the Summerlands and protect them.
When the priest or priestess feels the loved one has departed, they would snuff out the candle. They could then wrap the candle in silk, spoon some of the water and petals from the cauldron into a holder and present both items to the person who requested the ritual for their loved one. Although sometimes it is preferred the candle should be left to burn out on its own.
A memorial rite can also be performed after a ‘mainstream’ funeral. This ritual calls upon the deceased in order to complete any unfinished business in the material world and to bid a final farewell before sending the spirit to Summerland.