Hold a Blessing Ritual for Donations

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Hold a Blessing Ritual for Donations

Has your group gathered up goods for a local food pantry?. Image by Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

In many modern Pagan communities, an emphasis is placed on the idea of helping those in need. It’s not uncommon to attend a Pagan event in which guests are invited to donate clothing, canned goods, toiletries, books, and even pet care products. Donations are then presented to local aid groups, food pantries, libraries, and shelters. It’s a great way to give back to the community - people in need get helped out, and the local Pagans get a chance to present a positive public image.

Some Pagans do charitable works because it is part of their group’s standards. For instance, you may honor a god or goddess that expects those who have to help those who have not. Or maybe it’s time for a local harvest celebration, and you’d like to contribute something to celebrate the season of abundance. Perhaps your deity has blessed you in some special way, and to honor him or her, you want to share your good fortune with others.

Whatever your reason may be, if you’re gathering up some sort of donations, good for you! Before you drop them off - at the shelter, library, food pantry or wherever - why not invoke the elements to do a formal blessing of the donated items? This can be a great way to honor your deities and your Pagan community, as well as help others recognize what an important occasion it is.

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Getting Ready for Ritual

Many Pagan traditions try to do regular service projects. Image by Tetra Images/Getty Images

If you’d like to perform a Blessing of Donations Ritual, try using this template as a base, and adjust as needed.

Elemental Blessing of Donations Ritual

You’ll need the following items:

  • All of your donated materials
  • One candle for each person participating
  • Items to represent the elements of earth, air, fire and water

If your tradition requires you to formally cast a circle, do so now. However, because this ritual invokes the four elements, and thus the four directions, you may wish to skip this step if you’re pressed for time. Ask everyone who’s participating to stand in a circle around the donated items. You can place them on your altar if you like, and place that in the center.

Place each of the elemental markers in its corresponding location of the circle. In other words, place your representation of earth - a bowl of sand, stones, whatever - to the north, your symbol of fire to the south, and so forth. Ask a participant at each directional point to hold the item.

Pass the candles around to the group so that each person has one of their own. Don’t light them just yet.

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Beginning the Ritual

Has your group collected donations for a local animal shelter?. Image by Zigy Kaluzny/ImageBank/Getty Images

Remember, you can adjust the wording in this ritual as necessary, to accommodate the needs and requirements of your group’s purpose.

The leader of the ritual begins with the following:

We gather today to celebrate community.
To honor those who contribute selflessly,
Those who contribute what they have to those who have nothing,
Those who speak out for those who have no voice,
Those who give to others without taking for themselves.
Each of you has contributed something to this community today.
Whether it is a monetary donation, a packaged good, or simply your time,
We thank you.
We honor you for what you have given, and we celebrate these donations
By blessing them before they move on.
We call upon the elements to honor the many aspects of community today

The person standing at the north should take their bowl of earth or stones, and begin walking around the outside of the circle. Say:

May the powers of Earth bless this donation.
Earth is the land, the home and the foundation of community.
Nurturing and solid, stable and firm, full of endurance and strength,
This is the base upon which we build our community.
With these powers of Earth, we bless this donation

Once the Earth person has returned to his or her spot in the circle, the individual holding the Air symbol, at the east, begins a rotation around the circle, saying:

May the powers of Air bless this donation.
Air is the soul, the breath of life in a community.
Wisdom and intuition, the knowledge we share freely,
Air carries away troubles from our community.
With these powers of Air, we bless this donation

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Finishing the Ritual

A donation of time and energy is as valuable as a donation of material things. Image by Steve Debenport/Vetta/Getty Images

Next, the individual holding the Fire symbol - a candle, etc. - at the south, begins moving around the group, saying:

May the powers of Fire bless this donation.
Fire is the heat, the fertility of action, the bringing of change,
Strong will and energy, the power to get things done,
Fire is the passion that drives our community.
With these powers of Fire, we bless this donation

Finally, the person holding water begins to walk in a circle, saying:

May the powers of Water bless this donation.
Cleansing and purifying, washing away ill will,
Carrying away with it need, want, and strife.
Water is what helps to keep our community whole,
With these powers of Water, we bless this donation

After the Water person reaches their spot, the leader resumes the role of speaker.

We bless this donation in the name of community and of our gods.
Each of us is part of this circle, and without all of us,
The circle would be broken.
Let’s join together, in a circle of wisdom, generosity, and caring

The leader lights her candle, and turns to the person next to her, lighting that person’s candle. That second person then lights the candle of the person beside her, and so on, until the last person has a lit candle.

The leader says:

Let us take a few moments to consider what we have given. Perhaps someone in this group will benefit from what others have contributed. There is no shame to be found in accepting help, and there is no superiority in providing it. We give what we can, when we can, to aid those in need. We do so with no expectation of reward or celebration, but simply because it needs to be done. Take a moment now and consider how much good your donation might do.”

Give everyone a few moments to meditate on this thought. When everyone has finished, you may either dismiss the circle - if you cast one to begin with - or formally end the ritual in the ways of your tradition.