As most of the world recognizes All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween, the residents of the Gardinian universe pay homage to Lelah, goddess of life and death, on the night of Soul Reaping. Those of Gardas celebrate the last night in October with a night of remembrance for loved ones who’ve passed, relief for the resting souls of their foes, and fear of the Kahi (ghosts) who still linger within the mortal realm and haunt the living.
The following in a glimpse into the world of Gardas and how the Gardinians honor the gods and the dead.
The ceremony is performed in the place of evening services and only after the sun has fully set.
Traditional attire for the Anamhaint requires that all attendants dress in all black with Sashes of Mourning tied at their waist. Hair should be pulled back or away from the face. The face should be free of adornments (applies to females, but also males in some cultures).
The altar space should be prepared (usually performed after daily services) with the Rite of Cleansing. In the center of the altar should be a replica of the Tree of Liflasir (World Tree). Ceremony attendants should place mementos or pictures (paintings, photos, etc dictated by the technology of the world) on the altar. A black candle should be lit for each Beloved to be honored and displayed near the edge of the altar space.
Those recognized within the ceremony are the Departed who have Passed since the last celebration of Anamhaint. If there are no new Beloveds to be recognized, the Saireceane, or ceremonial leader, will light one candle to symbolize all those who have Passed and the ceremony will proceed as normal.
The Saireceane will step forward and motion everyone into prayer stance. The leader will then recite the following words:
On this darkest of nights the Kahi roam freely
The pull of their Judgment held at bay
while Life slumbers and Death comes to play.
We call on her–our Lady of Night
to call the Restless Ones home and give them eternal peace
May Judgment’s scales be like Mother Death
ethereal and haunting; unwavering and just.
Lady of Night guide them on their journey home within your gentle light
May your eternal peace find them on this Hallowed Night.
Presentation: Beginning with the eldest member of the ceremony’s attendants, individuals will present to those gathered words left unsaid to those who have Passed. They will share a memory that means the most to them.
Each individual will close their moment with the following words:
May Death’s hand be kind and my Beloved rest eternally.
When the last member has shared their memory, the Saireceane steps forward to say the final prayer.
It is in remembrance of Beloveds lost that we gather in your name.
Our memories are held close to our hearts,
while the strength of your spirit bids us to mourn no more.
Bless this night, for it is eternally yours.
All Honor be given to you, Lady of Night.
The feast is a potluck affair where attendees bring the favorite meal of their Beloved to be shared with other attendees.