A Litany of Remembrance in a Changing Climate

A Litany of Remembrance in a Changing Climate October 7, 2016

For several years, I have been pondering the Wheel of the Year rituals celebrated by many different Pagan and Wiccan communities in our modern world. Given the changing climate, these rituals might need to shift, both to account for the fact that seasonal milestones are happening differently and at different times, and to create intentions which begin to counteract global climate change.

Photo From Pixabay, CC0 License.
Photo From Pixabay, CC0 License.

I decided to create Wheel of the Year rituals which try to take global climate change as a starting point, and give us the tools of intention, energy, and will to begin to turn back some of the effects of global warming and climate change.

In the Samhain ritual in the series, in addition to remembering our personal beloved dead, we took the time to remember those lost to climate change, people, animals, and plants. It was a powerful moment of reckoning with the lives already lost. We still sometimes talk about climate change as something looming in the future, and of course it is, but we can forget that not only animals and plants, but people have already died because of climate change. This litany seeks to help us remember them.

I used this first in a Wiccan circle ritual, but it would also fit in easily to a Sunday morning service in most UU congregations. Feel free to use it (with attribution) in any way that is helpful. You are welcome to adapt as needed for your context.

Litany of Remembrance

Officiant: In addition to our own beloved dead, we take the time this night to acknowledge all those already lost as the world feels the effects of global warming and climate change. Thousands of people, as well as animals and plants, die every year from the effects of global climate change. As we acknowledge these lost, we shall respond, “We remember you.”

Officiant: To all those people lost to extreme heat waves

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those people lost to floods, hurricanes, mudslides, and other disasters caused by changing weather patterns

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those people lost to hunger as crop patterns change

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those people lost to drought as weather patterns change

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those people lost to disease as the environment shifts

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those animals, siblings of flesh and blood, breath and bone, whose lives have been lost as global climates change

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those plant spirits, siblings of the green world, whose lives have been lost as global climates change

All: We remember you.

Officiant: To all those species lost forever as global climate changes

All: We remember you.

Officiant: We remember you, and we commit ourselves to restoring balance. So mote it be.

All: So mote it be.

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