Today (March 17) is Liberalia and Agonalia

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Today (March 17) is Liberalia and Agonalia

Postby Publius Iunius Brutus » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:55 am

liberalia2016_2.jpg
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Salvete Quirites!

Today was a busy day on the calendar with two occasions occurring. These two events are believed to occur on the same day out of coincidence.

The first is Liberalia. During this day our sources tell us, women priestesses of Liber Pater, crowned with ivy, sat in the city displaying cakes (liba) made of oil and honey. At these cake stands, these priestesses had small altars on which they offered sacrifice on behalf of any customer if a cake was purchased. Liber was not known to have had a temple in Rome during Republican times, and this festival appears to have been rustic. Sources say that the Liberalia is held in honour of both Liber and his female counterpart Libera.

Varro, records that Liber was associated with fertility of crops and especially wine, and became strongly associated with the Greek, Dionysus. Liber also presides over the fertility of men and Libera over that of women, and that to the accompaniment of crude songs a symbolic phallus was carried around the countryside on a cart and then escorted into the town were a virtuous matron laid a wreath on the image. Ovid says that there were no games during the Liberalia.

Liber and Liberia are also associated with liberty and the Plebeian order. In antiquity this was the day children officially came of age when reaching puberty. This event consisted of a simple ceremony where the boy put aside the purple-edged toga (praetexta) and the sacrificed the bulla of boyhood to the Lares. He then put on a new toga which was known as virilis, which was pure white and lacked the purple edge of the praetexta. He was then escorted by his family and friends to the Tabularium in the Forum and registered as a full citizen. He then made another sacrifice to Liber or Iuventus or both.

The second occasion is Agonalia, which occurs multiple times over the year. This particular Agonalia is dedicated to Mars and called more specifically Agonium Martiale. In antiquity, the Rex Sacrorum sacrificed a ram in the Regia. The Salii may also have been involved in this ceremony.

For the Sacra Publica I observed this day with the following ceremony:

(head covered: capite velato)

(light incense coals)

(wash hands in water)

Allow this unspoiled and humble water to rinse away my impurities. I perform this act in preparation to come before you, the mighty known and unknown divinities, I desire to be pure and to be pleasing and worthy. May this simple water, the lifeblood of all mortal things, remove any contamination from my body. May it symbolically cleanse my heart and mind and remind me of the virtues as I come before you. From this act I hope that my presence is pleasing and non-offensive to you. Allow me to be worthy to offer you my praise and invoke your generous benevolence. May you make it so.

(dry hands)

Mother Vesta, and all the Gods which it is pious to summon, join together to attend to this humble ceremony. Grant that my work may rise with Your auspices. Fill my intentions with warmth and light. Remind me of the noble virtues. May you, mother Vesta, favour me. To you, my voice lifts in praise if by this rite I am allowed to approach you. Blessed mater from Troy aid us in all our daily tasks, favour us and keep our families and us from harm.

(light oil lamp)

Oh, Vesta, for this petition accept this offering of wine, and upon your will make it so.

(offer wine)

Oh, Ianus, sower of the years. Ianus beginning of the shining and most beautiful world, with You begins our prayers. Biformed Ianus, source of years gliding by in silence, who alone among the immortal celestials sees his own back, come, allow us to attend as your guests. Look kindly upon this festival day of Agonalia and Liberalia. May your benevolence in opening this doorway and aiding our task at hand facilitate communication with yourself, Pater Mars, Pater Liber, Mater Libera and all the Gods and Goddesses. Iunus, who secures delightful pastimes of Earth and peace on Earth and the seas. Attend and bless the People of Rome. With a nod open Your gleaming gates onto peaceful precincts. May your favour our work and for this petition may you accept this libation of wine. Upon your will make it so.

(offer wine)

Pater Mars, with venerating prayers I come before you on your Agonalia! If you are willing, be propitious to me, my community, family and household. Victorious Mars, order that You may prevent, repel, and avert, seen and unseen decay, disease, deprivation, desolation, calamities and all such harm. I pray that You allow our young Res Publica to flourish and grow strong. May You also keep the Roman community and their families and friends safe, and provide good health and vigor to these who hold you dear. To this end, I pray that You may be honoured and strengthed by this Agonalia day and this offering of incense. Oh Mars, may You accordingly make us successful and victorious. Upon your will, make it so.

(offer frankincense)

Oh, Pater Mars, passionate unifier of the Roman people. Your divine power extends over us and over our adversaries. I humbly come before you, on this Agonalia, I pray and do you reverence, I crave for Your grace and favour. Bless the Roman people and the Res publica with prosperity in victory towards its goals. On this Agonalia, I have uttered this prayer and do so now on behalf of our entire community of Romans, and all those who serve in the military or in hostile lands. Pater Mars, in offering this laurel, in recognition of your glory and victory, I pray good prayers in order that, pleased by this offering, You may be favourable. Towards this humble petition and prayer accept this offering of laurel if it pleases you. Upon your will, make it so.

(offer laurel)

Splendid Pater Liber, draw near me and our community on this Liberalia! With your forever mystical vine and ivy bound head, carry off all sorrows of yesteryear. Bless our wine, grapes and fields. Bring good favour to those who desire such things. Purify us this spring, as well as the fields and fruit. Drive away harm from our boarders. Grant tranquil progress and strong friendships between members of our Roman community. For those without the company of friends, warm their hearts and bring them to joys. Pater Liber, accept this offering of young wine from the local fields. I pray good prayers in order that, pleased by this offering, You may be favourable. Towards this humble petition and prayer accept this offering of wine if it pleases you. Upon your will, make it so.

(offer wine)

Splendid Mater Libera, draw near me and our community on this Liberalia! With your forever mystical vine and ivy bound head, carry off all sorrows of yesteryear. Bless our wine, grapes and fields. Bring good favour to those who desire such things. Purify us this spring, as well as the fields and fruit. Drive away harm from our boarders. Grant tranquil progress and strong friendships between members of our Roman community. For those without the company of friends, warm their hearts and bring them to joys. Mater Libera, accept this offering of young wine from local fields. I pray good prayers in order that, pleased by this offering, You may be favourable. Towards this humble petition and prayer accept this offering of wine if it pleases you. Upon your will, make it so.

(offer wine)

Pater Liber, the sower of grapes, Lord of Revelries, adored for your enteral youth, a youth everlasting! Look after the youth of our communities. Grant them good health and prosperity as they embark upon adulthood! Pater Liber, the most beautiful and free, guardian of liberty, I pray that you bless the freedom of our community. Favour those who do not live under such freedom, free them from tyranny. Blessed Pater Liber, smile upon our freedom to honor You and all the deities! Guard and protect such liberty in your gentle presence. Grant’ Oh Liber, on this Liberalia these requests, and accept this additional offering of frankincense, made to you respectfully for your favour. Upon your will, make it so.

(offer frankincense)

Mater Libera, the sower of grapes, Lady of Revelries, adored for your enteral youth, a youth everlasting! Look after the youth of our communities. Grant them good health and prosperity as they embark upon adulthood! Mater Liber, the most beautiful and free, guardian of liberty, I pray that you bless the freedom of our community. Favour those who do not live under such freedom, free them from tyranny. Blessed Mater Libera, smile upon our freedom to honor You and all the deities! Guard and protect such liberty in your gentle presence. Grant’ Oh Libera, on this Liberalia these requests, and accept this additional offering of frankincense, made to you respectfully for your favour. Upon your will, make it so.

(offer frankincense)

Blessed (Ianus /Mars / Liber / Libera / Vesta), many generations have passed since our ancestors praised you and made traditional offerings in your honor. If through my ignorance of the proper ways this appeal and offering have caused unbeknownst offense, please accept this humble offering of wine as an expression of my regret and good intentions towards you.
(offer wine)

Blessed Ianus, many generations have passed since our ancestors praised you and made traditional offerings in your honor. If through my ignorance of the proper ways this appeal and offering have caused unbeknownst offense, please accept this humble offering of wine as an expression of my regret and good intentions towards you.
(offer wine)

Blessed Mars, many generations have passed since our ancestors praised you and made traditional offerings in your honor. If through my ignorance of the proper ways this appeal and offering have caused unbeknownst offense, please accept this humble offering of wine as an expression of my regret and good intentions towards you.

(offer wine)

Blessed Liber, many generations have passed since our ancestors praised you and made traditional offerings in your honor. If through my ignorance of the proper ways this appeal and offering have caused unbeknownst offense, please accept this humble offering of wine as an expression of my regret and good intentions towards you.

(offer wine)

Blessed Libera, many generations have passed since our ancestors praised you and made traditional offerings in your honor. If through my ignorance of the proper ways this appeal and offering have caused unbeknownst offense, please accept this humble offering of wine as an expression of my regret and good intentions towards you.

(offer wine)

Blessed Vesta, many generations have passed since our ancestors praised you and made traditional offerings in your honor. If through my ignorance of the proper ways this appeal and offering have caused unbeknownst offense, please accept this humble offering of wine as an expression of my regret and good intentions towards you.

(offer wine)

(blow out lamp)

(wash hands)



Valete,

P. Iunius Brutus
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