Posts Tagged ‘Training Program’

Now that I’m fully working in ADF’s Clergy Training Program I thought I’d offer the following words of advice:

Just because one reviewer passed your work for one training program doesn’t mean another reviewer will also pass that work for a different training program!

(I had revisions to five of the 15 questions in the my Liturgy 1 coursework, which is why I put posting it on hold until I could get it straightened out with my CTP Reviewer.)

The IP and the CTP have two different goals, and (after thinking about it, and getting over being defensive about work that I had been told was okay getting returned for rework) that’s not necessarily a problem. My IP reviewer wasn’t wrong – the work I did for Liturgy 1 was sufficient for the IP work.  But for CTP, Liturgy 1 is the first of six liturgy courses, and if I had stuff missing here at the beginning, I’d likely end up stuck later on. Mostly it was that my Liturgy 1 answers weren’t complete enough for my CTP Reviewer, not that I had anything actually incorrect.

But it’s all straightened out now, and I’ve submitted Cosmology 1 today as well, so it’s onward and upward from here!

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1.    Describe the purpose and function of ritual. (minimum 300 words)

Ritual can have many, many purposes and functions, depending on how widely you define ritual. Limiting it to sacred/religious ritual, the list is still pretty long – from 30 second morning devotionals said in the elevator on the way to the 9th floor to extended group magical workings and high day rites, there are as many different purposes as there are rituals, really. Each ritual will fill a function in the lives of the humans that perform it (otherwise, why perform the ritual?). That said, I think generally ritual serves as a place to connect – to connect humans to each other, and to connect humans to the sacred forces that inhabit this world (Corrigan “Intentions”).

If we look at ADF Core Order ritual, for a high day or other high occasion, we’re still primarily looking at those two purposes. The group mind and group energy serves to connect us to each other, to strengthen our friendships and bonds, and to be the backbone of our religious communities (Brooks, “Goals”). The offerings made and blessings received serve to connect us to the spirits around us, Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Deities, and to create a baseline relationship for us to use in those contexts (Brooks, “Goals”). When we stand at the sacred center, especially in a group with a united mind and purpose, we have the opportunity to fulfil both functions of ritual in a profound way.

Other rituals will fit into different places along those spectrums, where a solo ritual done to a Patron is almost entirely about connection to that one sacred spirit, but a community ritual to welcome a newborn (or other rite of passage) is almost entirely about connection as a group and community (Corrigan “Intentions”).

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention a third function of ADF Core Order ritual specifically, which is the recreation and restrengthening of order in the cosmos (Dangler). Our rituals mirror the creation and ordering of the cosmos, and in doing so serve as a way to strengthen that order. While there is a place for chaos in the cosmos as well (for order without chaos will die, just as chaos without order will never accomplish anything), our rituals are primarily orderly and serve to reinforce that order.


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