Deryni Lammas, observing the Sabbat in Kurtz’s world.
Celebrating Deryni Lammas
Happy Lammas! Happy Lughnasadh! The first harvest yields wheat and other early crops. Summer comes to a close by the First of August. Farmers focus on getting in the crops and putting them up for the winter. The heat hasn’t completely broken, even in the Northern Europe of Kurtz’s world, but seeing the products of the hard work of spring and summer ready to be collected is exciting.
Ritual for Deryni Lammas
While modern Wiccans and other pagans recognize the first harvest as one of the Sabbats, modern Christians seem to have forgotten much of the Wheel of the Year. The Catholic liturgical calendar recognizes Alphonsus Ligouri on 1-August. Ligouri, the founder of the Redemptorists, was a bishop and academic. Maybe he got out in the fields for the harvest, but it’s not high up on his resume.
Kurtz’s Christians were closer to the land. They understood the harvest, even the nobles in the story, “Healer’s Song.”
The story tells the tale of the naming and christening of Tieg Joram Thuryn, third child of Rhys Thuryn and Evaine MacRorie Thuryn. They’re joined by Evan’s brother, Father Joram MacRorie, priest and knight of St. Michael, and Jebediah d’Alcara, Grand Master of the Order of St. Michael, For all Jeb wasn’t a farmer, he knew to go to St. Neot’s Abbey and get some fresh-baked bread, to mark Lammas.
If you’ve been to a Catholic christening, you know the basics of the ceremony. Usually held after Mass, everyone gathers around the church’s baptismal font. These nobles gather in a ritual chamber in Rhys and Evaine’s manor home. Being Deryni, the Christian comes together with the magickal. The room is warded, and Jeb “calls the quarters” using an older form he learned from his father. Here’s the first of the four quarter calls:
All Honor to St. Raphael, Physician-Healer, Lord of Wind and Tempest, Prince of Air, Thou Eastern Warder! Here stand thy servants, Rhys and Evaine, to dedicate their son, a Healer-born!
The others continue the Call, following Jeb’s lead. It’s a joyous way to invite the Archangels into the ritual. While this ritual follows a Christian framework, it’s wouldn’t be hard to adapt it to a Wiccan/Pagan working. My first instinct is to convert some or all of the four Archangels to feminine forms, maybe Raphaella and Michaela?
So, the story is about Deryni Healers and bringing a new generation of magick-workers into a tense world. That Kurtz chose Lammas for the setting works. It’s a positive, happy time of year.