An Ancestor Prayer

(Photo by Mitja Juraja on This is very moody and mysterious, and I appreciate that WordPress has integrated photos from Pexels.)

I formalized my ancestor offerings yesterday. This is one of the (several) prayers. I also wrote a prayer directed at the sages and theologians of the past for their blessings, but am a bit embarrassed about sharing that one because I’m still flustered about whether or not it’s actually appropriate to do that and whether such a thing should be done at the ancestral shrine or some other designated place to avoid death-y associations.

The prayer leaves space open for named offerings. I offered mead and incense last night.

This prayer incorporates ideas in Platonism about reincarnation, the choice of lives, and our families as a temporary home for us. Feel free to use/adapt as long as you attribute me. 😁

For the Dead

I make this offering to
my grandparents of my paternal line,
my maternal line, my great-grandparents
each twist and turn of marriage,
the many lives branching out and upward
into the past in root-thickets of consciousness,
marking out a spirit and vessel,
a ghostly totality of those who have chosen
to be incarnated in my family.
I pray to my recent ancestors whose faces I know,
to my distant ancestors whose faces and names have receded.
I pray to the ancestors who kept the old rites for the Gods,
for the ones who had lost them unknowing.
Please accept this offering of {what is being offered}.
Come, ever-gentle, and grant blessings to us, your descendants.
Assist us along the paths that we must take
in this guest-house we call a lineage.
Each of us, like sparrows
entering a hall only to fly out again,
incarnating here among the many choices of life,
has given and will give what we have.
I honor your memory and seek your favor.


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