Currently viewing the tag: "ritual"

Royal assent or sanction is the method by which a country’s monarch (possibly through a delegated official) formally approves an act of that nation’s parliament. In certain nations, such assent makes the act law (promulgation) while in other nations assent is distinct from promulgation. In the vast majority of contemporary monarchies, this act is considered to be little more than a formality; even in those nations which still permit their monarchs to withhold royal assent (such as the United Kingdom, Norway, and Liechtenstein), the monarch almost never does so, save in a dire political emergency or upon the advice of their government. While the power to withhold royal assent was once exercised often in European monarchies, it is exceedingly rare in the modern, democratic political atmosphere that has developed there since the 18th century.

Royal assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the sovereign may appear personally in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is usually granted less ceremonially by letters patent. In other nations, such as Australia, the governor-general merely signs the bill. In Canada, the governor general may give assent either in person at a ceremony held in the Senate or by a written declaration notifying parliament of his or her agreement to the bill. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict arises from the monarch withholding royal assent.

Journaling Prompt: If you could be King or Queen, what country would you like to rule over and why? 

Art Prompt: Royal Assent

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the tradition of royal assent and what it means in the modern age.

In the Middle Ages, knighthood was often conferred with elaborate ceremonies. These usually involved the knight-to-be taking a bath (possibly symbolic of spiritual purification) during which he was instructed in the duties of knighthood by more senior knights. He was then put to bed to dry. Clothed in a special robe, he was led with music to the chapel where he spent the night in a vigil. At dawn he made confession and attended Mass, then retired to his bed to sleep until it was fully daylight. He was then brought before the King, who after instructing two senior knights to buckle the spurs to the knight-elect’s heels, fastened a belt around his waist, then struck him on the neck (with either a hand or a sword), thus making him a knight. It was this accolade which was the essential act in creating a knight, and a simpler ceremony developed, conferring knighthood merely by striking or touching the knight-to-be on the shoulder with a sword, or “dubbing” him, as is still done today. In the early medieval period the difference seems to have been that the full ceremonies were used for men from more prominent families. –Order of the Bath

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which knighthood (or another special status) is conferred upon your protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite story about the era of knights.

Art Prompt: Knight

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about rituals from the Middle Ages, such as the the ritual of knighthood.

Photo Credit: Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton on Wikimedia

I made soup tonight
and all my ancestors danced
in the pot, with the barley
the beans, the knuckle and neck bones,
enriching this brew;
Here women joined
love and ancient wisdom, the knowledge
salt and pepper bring; Secrets
that are ritual and legacy.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves food and magic.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about cooking? 

Art Prompt: Cooking magic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the magic of cooking your own food.

Photo Credit: wuchale59 on Flickr


See one coronation and you’ve seen them all. –Prince of Chaos by Roger Zelazny

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most important ceremony you’ve ever witnessed or participated in.

Art Prompt: Coronation

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the planning, process, and/or symbolism behind coronations.

Photo Credit: Charlie Dave on Flickr

tuesday ritual

Native societies did not think of themselves as being in the world as occupants but considered that their rituals created the world and keep it operational. -Marshall McLuhan, College and University Journal, Volumes 6-7, American College Public Relations Association, 1967, p. 3

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a ritual for your story’s culture or a personal ritual for one of your characters.

Journaling Prompt: What is your most important ritual?

Art Prompt: Ritual

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about one of your rituals.

Photo Credit: danielle tineke on Flickr

…the Mocovi people [of southern Brazil] make ritual use of mead as a ‘sacred, shared beverage’ at festivals and ‘the natives lived in a constant state of intoxication.’ It was being made this way in 1943 – for there is only one recipe, and it goes back to the dawn of time… No fire is needed, nor even in this case a wooden trough or a cooking pot, which shows that it predates any form of industry. ‘The dried skin of a jaguar or deer was hung up by the corners to form a pouch, into which the honey was poured along with its wax, and then water was added. In the space of three or four days, the mixture ferments naturally in the sun.

The leather pouch, also used over a heart by the Fuegians and Eskimos is certainly the ancestor of the cauldron. –History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a sacred beverage for your story.

Journaling Prompt: Growing up, cranberry juice was a sacred beverage in our family. We only had it on Thanksgiving. What is your family’s sacred beverage?

Art Prompt: Sacred beverage

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the purpose of sharing a sacred beverage and share a toast with them.

Photo Credit: Douglas Fernandes on Flickr

Temple of Heart

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch: what secret anniversary of the heart does your protagonist observe?

Journaling Prompt: What secret anniversaries of the heart do you observe?

Art Prompt: Secret anniversary of the heart

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a touching story about a personal anniversary.

Photo Credit: Angela Marie Henriette on Flickr

The Blessing of the Waters

The Blessing of the Waters is an important event in all countries where the Greek Church prevails. In Greece the “Great Blessing,” as it is called, is performed in various ways according to the locality; sometimes the sea is blessed, sometimes a river or reservoir, sometimes merely water in a church. In seaport towns, where the people depend on the water for their living, the celebration has much pomp and elaborateness. At the Piraeus enormous and enthusiastic crowds gather, and there is a solemn procession of the bishop and clergy to the harbour, where the bishop throws a little wooden cross, held by a long blue ribbon, into the water, withdraws it dripping wet, and sprinkles the bystanders. This is done three times. At Nauplia and other places a curious custom prevails: the archbishop throws a wooden cross into the waters of the harbour, and the fishermen of the place dive in after it and struggle for its possession; he who wins it has the right of visiting all the houses of the town and levying a collection, which often brings in a large sum. In Samos all the women send to the church a vessel full of water to be blessed by the priest; with this water the fields and the trees are sprinkled. –Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan by Clement A. Miles

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add a blessing ritual to your story.

Journaling Prompt: Write about water and the blessings it brings to your life.

Art Prompt: The Blessing of the Water

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how rituals create a sense of community and suggest how we can recapture this in our increasingly secular world.

Photo Credit: Whitstable Oyster Festival on Flickr

Kawah ijen blue fire

I burned your name in blue fire and released it to the wind. –The Wind’s Betrayal by M. P. Rossi

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Do you have a ritual for letting go? Write about it.

Art Prompt: Blue fire

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to build a ritual for letting go.

Photo Credit: Yann Pinczon du Sel on Flickr

Blue Gold Game 2013 - University of Notre Dame

Games are like any unscripted situation in which no one knows the results until they occur. Although this is what makes sports (and reality shows) so exciting, it’s also what drives fans to distraction. They want to know the outcome, and they want that outcome to be favorable. They also know realistically that they can’t control it, though, and this is the crux of the superstition. If I can’t actually influence an event’s outcome, but I think I can (through my superstition), I’ll at least feel a little bit less anxious.
For many people, not having control over an outcome is a frightening proposition. For these uncontrollable situations in life, the more important it is, the more likely you will be to try to dream up ways to control its outcome even though it may be unrealistic for you to do so. –Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Put your protagonist in a situation where he or she has no control over the outcome. Show  us the internal monologue, especially the magical thinking.

Journaling Prompt: What are your rituals in situations where you have no control over the outcome?

Art Prompt: Superstitions in times of no control

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about the superstitions and rituals that influence you on game day.

Photo Credit: gbozik photography on Flickr