Opening Ritual for the Olympics

Opening Ritual for the Olympics August 5, 2016

I’ve been looking around online for some inspiration, because while ritual itself is fairly uniform, I still need some good hymns to use for the various rituals I will observe each day – especially those for the opening and closing of the Olympics.

I came across the anthem for the Olympics, written back in the 1800s and I think it is fitting, especially when it is the official anthem.  People everywhere will be listening to it, even if they don’t realise it is in honour of Zeus – maybe they even think it’s for the Abrahamic God – but it is for Zeus and so  it’s a good one for this.

Anyway, here is my basic outline for the opening ritual I will perform tonight – I will try to do it at 9pm, my time, so 12 hours before the actual opening ceremony of the Olympics.  It is basic, I wouldn’t mind being a bit more elaborate – but I didn’t really give myself enough time to figure this out and my kids will be sleeping so there are many things I simply can’t do, including leave the house!

Symbolic olympic torch
Symbolic torch, selenite on colour changing base


  • Shower and dress in clean clothes.
  • Gather all food offerings – barley, honey, olive oil, wine (watered down), ox shaped cookies (well, I hope they look like oxen), chocolate muffins, apple.
  • Setup altar
  • Gather stuff for khernips
  • Prepare myself with tea and music, or something like that


1 – Procession – I can’t really do a proper one, sleeping kids and all, but a basic quiet one will do, out to the altar and shrine.
2 – Make khernips and use it
3 – Light incense and some candles and offer hymn 1

Orphic Hymn 15 to Zeus – “O Zeus, much-honoured, Zeus supremely great, to thee our holy rites we consecrate, our prayers and expiations, king divine, for all things to produce with ease through mind is thine. Hence mother earth and mountains swelling high proceed from thee, the deep and all within the sky. Kronion king, descending from above, magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Zeus; all-parent, principle and end of all, whose power almighty shakes this earthly ball; even nature trembles at thy mighty nod, loud-sounding, armed with lightning, thundering god. Source of abundance, purifying king, O various-formed, from whom all natures spring; propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health, with peace divine, and necessary wealth.”

4 – Light fire in cauldron for offerings
5 – Recite hymn and make offering to Hestia –

Homeric Hymn 29 to Hestia – “Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honour: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet,—where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.”

6 – Recite hymn and make offering to Zeus –

Homeric Hymn 23 to Cronides – “To Zeus Kronides , Most High. I will sing of Zeus, chief among the gods and greatest, all-seeing, the lord of all, the fulfiller who whispers words of wisdom to Themis as she sits leaning towards him. Be gracious, all-seeing Kronides, most excellent and great!”

7 – Recite hymn and make offering to Hekate –

Hymn to Hekate, my own – “I call on Hekate Phosphorous, Bringer of light, Torchbearer, bright Lady of the Flame.  Hekate Queen of the Night, light the darkness.  Great Mistress, Titan beloved, grace us with your presence and accept our offerings.

8 – Light ‘torch’ candle asking all 3 to bless the flame here, and the Olympic torch
9 – Speak of the coming weeks, ask for blessings etc in relation to the Olympics and to what we will do at home regarding the Olympics
10 – Transfer candle flame to electric alternative, again asking the 3 present to bless the symbolic flame
11 – Recite Olympics Anthem

Immortal spirit of antiquity, Father of the true, beautiful and good, Descend, appear, shed over us thy light, Upon this ground and under this sky, Which has first witnessed thy unperishable fame.
Give life and animation to these noble games! Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors. In the race and in the strife, Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!
In thy light, plains, mountains and seas, Shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple, To which all nations throng to adore thee, Oh immortal spirit of antiquity!

12 – Offer thanks for coming, invite Them to stick around or not, as they wish


So there we are, nice and simple but I think it will work well enough for something I made up pretty much overnight.  For the daily basic offerings to Zeus throughout the Olympics, I will simply be lighting incense, making a libation of wine and reciting a trimmed down version of the Olympic anthem,

Immortal spirit of antiquity, Father of the true, beautiful and good, Descend, appear, shed over us thy light. Give life and animation to these noble games! Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors.  In thy light, plains, mountains and seas, Shine in a roseate hue and for a vast temple, To which all nations throng to adore thee, Oh immortal spirit of antiquity.

I will also have to figure out some other small rituals for throughout as well, such as one for Herakles who is said to have been the inventor of the games.  I have no idea what I will be doing for the closing ritual yet, but I have a bit longer to figure that one out, so I am not too concerned about it.

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