Dominus Ingui: rituals (3)

This is a simple version of the Ritus panis (formerly known as epumellia). Not everyone has the means to light a proper ritual fire, especially in modern urban life, and those who normally do may sometimes find themselves unable to resort to it. I myself am confronted with those limitations, so I constructed a home-friendly version of Ingui’s Latin Rite. It can be used by both groups (family and friends) or a solitary worshiper. If your case is the latter, you can either ring the bell with one hand while using the other or do it immediately before or after you present each of the offerings.

As in the full version, a wheat wreath, a bell, a twig and a hazel wand are needed. To this one should add a candle, incense, a sacrificial loaf of bread, honey, a beverage (alcoholic or not), one cup, salted flour, raw grain (or whatever you usually give your housewights), a bowl with clean water to wash your hands, two empty bowls, a spoon, a fork and a knife. Remember: the latter object should be reserved solely for religious purposes! You can also set up an image of Ingui and whatever decorative objects you wish. If it’s a solitary ceremony, music may be provided by an mp3 or CD player; if there are more people taking part, one of them may play a drum (though they are of course free to go for the former option). The ritual fire is replaced by the candle and the offerings are collected in two bowls. As in the full rite, all those taking part should wash their hands and faces before starting the ceremony.

Sacrifício 01

RITUS PANIS (Home version)
Opening (Praefatio)
Turn on the music (or start playing the drum), light up the candle and place the wreath on your head. Whomever is leading the ceremony washes his/her hands, using the bowl of clean water, and raises them with palms facing forward and Ingui’s image. Make a call for peace and salute your housewights (or landwights, if the ceremony is conducted outdoors); offer the former whatever you usually do at home and the latter a handful of grain. Then call on Ingui as a god of peace and a protector, asking Him to sanctify the ceremony. Light some incense for Him and ring the bell. Afterwards, spread the smoke with the twig, first horizontally and then all around you. Declare the ritual hallowed.

Praise (Laudatio)
With the ceremony open, praise Ingui. List His genealogy, titles, His treasures and realms. Offer a hymn that celebrates Him as nurturer of life and generous giver and give Him a spoon of honey, poured into a bowl. Then take the bowl and move it over the candle as the bell rings.

Request (Precatio)
Ingui’s blessings have been acknowledged and His generosity recognized. The god is now presented with the sacrificial bread, which is named and described, and a request is made in return. If there’s no particular request, make a general one for His blessings; a good example is the traditional old Norse ár ok friðr or prosperous days and peace.

Giving (Datio)
Take the hazel wand and consecrate the offering. Place the bread before the candle and, with a bell ringing, gently move the wand along it, sprinkle it with salted flour and, again with the hazel wand, draw an Ing rune over the offering. Because the bread was thus consecrated, it has become the property of Ingui and cannot be touched by human hands before the ritual profanation. As such, a small slice must be cut using a fork and a knife. Place it in the same bowl as the honey in the precatio while saying a small prayer. Then ring the bell and move the bowl over the candle.

Toasting (Praebibo)
Make a toast to Ingui. Praise Him, His sacrifice and that of life that sustains life before pouring the beverage into another bowl. Ring the bell and move the bowl over the candle.

Profanation (Profanatio)
The person leading the ceremony washes his/her hands and prepares to profanate the bread. Hands are first stretched forward with palms facing up, as if asking something. And what is asked is Ingui’s ability to replenish life, the bread that is His so that His worshipers may be nurtured with His blessing. As the bell rings, a portion of honey is poured over the bread, recalling the initial offering at the start of the ceremony. Hands are then raised up, palms partially facing upwards, a short prayer is uttered and the person leading the ceremony then lowers his/her hands and touches the bread, thanking Ingui.

Ending (Exitus)
At this point, the ceremony ends. The bell rings and Ingui is given incense together with a final prayer. An additional portion is burned in case any deity or wight was offended during the ceremony and the land or housewights are again honoured. Add an offering to your ancestors, if you wish. The bell is rang one final time to mark the end of the ceremony.

Feast (Epulum)
This final stage is the feast where the sacrificial bread is eaten by the worshipers. More food may of course be added to the banquet and further informal offerings can be made. The food collected in the two bowls during the ceremony must be left outdoors – on a rock, next to a tree or simply on the floor. Ring the bell when you do it.

Again, the bread can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, with as many or little ingredients as possible and according to the season or goal of the ceremony; even cherry or strawberry bread are possible. Shape it like an animal, if you will (a boar is a good idea). What matters is that it’s a bread, the nurturing result of agricultural work and the reason for the name of the ritual, representing Ingui’s role as nurturer, sacrifice and replenisher of life.


2 thoughts on “Dominus Ingui: rituals (3)

  1. Very interesting, I found this both informative and inspiring. I don’t really know much about ancient ritual in a Roman context to appreciate the structure here but I like it nevertheless. Blessings.

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