Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

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Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Lucius Curtius Philo » Fri May 27, 2016 9:10 am

Image

Salvete!

Just to recap. The Societas Numaea has been founded to create a standardized ceremonial text for the sacra publica. This text is to be as historically mindful as possible. See viewtopic.php?f=7&t=531

Through consensus on our research the Societas Numaea has determined that all ceremonies within this publication are to have the following "stages":

Code: Select all

I. Purificatio - purification of self, offerings, altar with water

II. Praefatio - address (+/- offerings of wine / incense) to Ianus and Vesta. Light any fires/burners on altar

III. Salutatio - Here additional deities are invited to attend the ceremony and are greeted, this always includes the primary deities receiving an offering, but includes others as well. Here offerings of wine or incense are often made, each deity is addressed individually and receives an individual libation of offering of incense

IV. Precatio - 4 PARTS:
(I) Address the primary deity/deities being honored (offerings of wine/incense made)
(II) statement made explaining why the sacrifice is occurring
(III) present what is being offered
(IV) statement regarding the desired result(s) from the ceremony

V. Immolatio - Make the primary sacrifice to the deity/deities being honored

VI. Redditio - (Optional) Here any additional offerings to the deities invited to attend the ceremony occur

VII. Piaculum - Statements made to each deity addressed in ceremony for reparation for any unnoticed error in the ceremony. Vesta is always addressed last.



On this post, I would like to discuss the second stage, Praefatio.

What are the essential components of this stage? How should Ianus and Vesta be addressed? In what order? What text should be used? Should there be multiple versions of the text agreed upon? When are candles, lamps, burners lit? Should there be a certain order? What are acceptable offerings? Should acceptable offerings be defined? Should certain gestures be defined? What parts of this stage should be the same and consistent between all ceremonies conducted for the sacra publica?

I'm interested in hearing your ideas. Later I will share my thoughts.

vale.

Philo
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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Marcus Grattius Frenzius » Fri May 27, 2016 2:41 pm

The fire of Vesta should be the first priority as from it all other lamps, candles, etc will be lit. Vesta's fire serves to receive all offerings and thus it should be lit first because it is ideal that your charcoal disc receives Her heat and energy or else your incense stick or cone. Vesta may come before Janus in this instance simply because we do not maintain household fires, however, She should not be given any offerings initially because that place of importance belongs to Janus alone. It is Greek practice to offer the fire Goddess both first and last, while in Rome Vesta is always given the final place of importance at the end of the rite. The first offering then goes to Janus with incense and wine.
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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Sat May 28, 2016 6:34 am

Salve,

I usually light my candles, incense, etc. as the first thing I do (after purifying) and then I offer the wine or food. I typically begin with the candles, then move to the incense, and finally the other offerings. I typically do not *start* with the gods and address the ancestors first, then comes Janus, and lastly Vesta.
As for the offerings, on normal days, I usually keep fresh water, salt, wine, and dried foods (like crackers, or rice) - it tends to keep the bugs away. If it is a holiday, I may offer honey cakes or the closest I can get to the "first wine" for Liber.
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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Lucius Curtius Philo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:22 am

Marcus Grattius Frenzius wrote:The fire of Vesta should be the first priority as from it all other lamps, candles, etc will be lit. Vesta's fire serves to receive all offerings and thus it should be lit first because it is ideal that your charcoal disc receives Her heat and energy or else your incense stick or cone. Vesta may come before Janus in this instance simply because we do not maintain household fires, however, She should not be given any offerings initially because that place of importance belongs to Janus alone. It is Greek practice to offer the fire Goddess both first and last, while in Rome Vesta is always given the final place of importance at the end of the rite. The first offering then goes to Janus with incense and wine.


Salvete!

I like your compromise of invoking Vesta first, but offering to her second. This is an elegant solution to this problem.

After reviewing the messages here, and the evidence, I propose that for the Praefatio;

I) Vesta is always invoked first after is invocation any lamps, candles, and burners be lit.

II) Next Ianus is to be invoked. An optional offering to Ianus can be made in salutation. But if made this should be wine, incense or milk.

III) An optional offering of salutation can be made to Vesta after Ianus is invoked. If this is done the offering should be of wine, incense or milk.


I suggest all invocations of Vesta or Ianus follow this general formula. I have used Catullus' Poem 34, and various other sources for inspiration.

(modified from Brutus' ceremonial formula)

Mater Vesta, also known as the perpetual guardian of the hearth, family, and community, queen of perennial fire, protector of the Roman people! Vesta, or unless you prefer some other name, I pray and beseech you to attend this {CEREMONY NAME} (make adoratio). Upon this {CEREMONY NAME or DAY} may your favor be present and in doing so allow for good greetings and offerings to be made to you and those Gods and Goddesses which it is good to call upon. In doing so, may you allow pious smoke rise to the heavens. By this act remind me of the noble virtues. Mater Vesta, to you my voice lifts in praise as by this rite and through your benevolence, I am allowed to approach you. As your sacred flame in the past demonstrated your divine good faith, allow your sovereignty to reign over the fire before us. As you attended to the Roman people of old, attend to your Roman people of the present. Queen of perennial fire, on this {CEREMONY NAME or DAY} and if it is your will, grant your support aid to {GROUPS, PEOPLE, IDEAS ETC NEEDING SUPPORT}. For all these causes, be present and kindle the flames before us! For your kind support, I shall offer {WINE / INCENSE / MILK} in hopes that it is pleasing to you.

{light lamps / candels / burners}

Pater Ianus, from whom all things proceed, biformed God, heavenly gatekeeper, good creator, the God of good beginnings and the years gliding by in silence, who alone among the immortal celestials sees his own back! Ianus, or unless you prefer some other name, I pray and beseech you to attend this {CEREMONY NAME or DAY} (make adoratio). With your kind favor open the way forward and aid our task at hand. Ianus, on this {CEREMONY NAME or DAY} facilitate communication with yourself, and {ADD NAMES OF ADDITIONAL GODS / GODDESSES} and all the Gods and Goddesses for which it is pious to recognize. Ianus, as you allowed Rome to rise to great heights, allow your Roman people of the present to have good beginnings. As you enabled pious contact with the divine in the past, now allow such contact in the present and future. With a nod open your gleaming gates onto peaceful precincts and favor {GROUPS, PEOPLE, IDEAS ETC NEEDING SUPPORT} on this {CEREMONY NAME or DAY}. Towards these ends be increased by this offering of {WINE / INCENSE / MILK} made before you now.

{make offering}

Ianus, it has been done!

Mater Vesta, also known as the perpetual guardian of the hearth, family, and community, queen of perennial fire, protector of the Roman people! If it is your will to attend this ceremony on this {CEREMONY NAME or DAY}, and if it is pleasing to you, be increased by this offering of {WINE / INCENSE / MILK} made before you now.

{make offering}

Vesta, it has been done!

valete.

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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Caeso Cispius Laevus » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:23 am

At the start of such ceremonies it was common to call for silence. Unintentional noise or interruptions can disrupt a ceremony, cause errors, or be interpreted as displeasure from the deities being recognized.

Livy in book I provides a good example of this.

Those who are unclean, ill-intentioned or wish to not participate in ceremony are asked to depart. The there is a call for silence by saying, "favete lingus", or "hold your tounges".

I suggest at the very start of the Praefatio we add these lines;

All who are not pure, or not prepared to participate in this ceremony before the Gods and Goddesses, depart! Now there must be silence! Silence, hold your tounges, this ceremony begins.
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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Lucius Curtius Philo » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:08 am

Caeso Cispius Laevus wrote:At the start of such ceremonies it was common to call for silence. Unintentional noise or interruptions can disrupt a ceremony, cause errors, or be interpreted as displeasure from the deities being recognized.

Livy in book I provides a good example of this.

Those who are unclean, ill-intentioned or wish to not participate in ceremony are asked to depart. The there is a call for silence by saying, "favete lingus", or "hold your tounges".

I suggest at the very start of the Praefatio we add these lines;

All who are not pure, or not prepared to participate in this ceremony before the Gods and Goddesses, depart! Now there must be silence! Silence, hold your tounges, this ceremony begins.



Salve Laeve,

This is a very good suggestion. I did some research on this topic to see if I can find more examples. In the Aeneid, Aneas before performing a ceremony says, "Depart, oh depart those not here to make the profanus sacer!"

The tablets of Iguvium make a reference to such a statement as well. Based on this, I suggest this line be added at the start of this phase;


Depart, oh depart those not here to make the profanus sacer! All remaining your attention! Silence, hold your tounges, this ceremony begins.



Anyone else possess ideas on this statement?

vale.

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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:47 am

Id put the words Pater or Mater after the name instead of before or simply write it in english. Writing Mater Vesta sounds strange to me. Id either write it Vesta Mater or Mother Vesta personally. But that's just me...
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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Lucius Curtius Philo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:05 am

Gaius Aurelius Victor wrote:Id put the words Pater or Mater after the name instead of before or simply write it in english. Writing Mater Vesta sounds strange to me. Id either write it Vesta Mater or Mother Vesta personally. But that's just me...



Salve Victor,

I find this acceptable. I like mother over mater. I think if we go with English we should use it consistently as it might result in ceremonies that are more clear.

What do others think?

vale.

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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Lucius Aurelius Curio » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:17 am

Curio Sal.

I tend to agree with Philo on this matter. Consistent English throughout our ceremonies would be more clear to the general populace. After all, not everyone has even a minor understanding of Latin. And I know a few people that have even been scared away by the prospect of Latin in rituals, as they didn't fully understand it.

Valete!

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Re: Discussing Praefatio - Stage II [SOCIETAS NUMAEA]

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:35 am

I fully agree.
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