When I first joined ADF, one of my biggest challenges was learning and remembering (what seemed to me at the time) an elaborate ritual structure. As time went on, I began to understand and remember the sequence of events in ritual. I also came to realize that I could rearrange and simplify a few things, and have it still be considered an ADF style ritual. For example, I placed ‘Redirecting the Outsiders’ at the beginning before purification (and found, to my delight, that a local ADF group was going the same thing). I learned some things can be combined; the Earth Mother prayer with the Introduction, for example.
As far as ritual structure goes, clustering the steps of ritual together into stages helped me make sense of it all. The “Standard Liturgical Outline” on the ADF website is an example of such clustering into phases, however elaborate and not in the sequence that I had been using. So here I offer my ritual structure outline. It consists of five phases; three steps each. Keeping this structure in mind is a great aid in doing unscripted ritual.
- Redirecting Outsiders (In my personal practice, I do a hallowing instead)
- Purification (with water and juniper)
- Introduction (with Earth Mother prayer)
- Three Realms Centering
- Triple Hallows (Honoring & Offering)
- Gatekeeper (Invoke, Offer, Open Gates)
- Invoking Kindreds (& Patrons of Occasion)
- Offering (& Prayers)
- Blessing Cup
- Commemoration of Occasion
- Final Prayers