Using Pagan Hymns (and a Hymn to Hestia)

February 16th, 2008

Hymns serve an important role in religion and spirituality. They are prayers of adoration, welcoming, giving praise and thanking the Gods. Many think of hymns as belonging only to the Christian religion, but they are a part of all religions. Early Paganism has a strong tradition of hymnody, with the earliest hymns still available being from Homer.

There are many ways you can use hymns. They can be used in daily devotional rituals to show reverence to your Gods. You can use them to call the Gods in your rituals. When you are feeling alone and wish the presence and aid of a God or Goddess, singing or reciting Their hymn is a powerful method. If you don’t know the melody, just sing it as you wish or simply recite it as a poem. Both forms are pleasing to the Gods.

In ritual, our tradition uses hymns just before calling the Gods. After inviting the Ancients to our circle, the designated person in our group will recite the hymn to the God or Goddess we are inviting. Then we will call the deity into the circle in a more personal fashion. Our hymn sources include the Orphic Hymns, Homeric Hymns and modern hymns.

As the Pagan religions develop and grow, more modern hymns will be written and published. The energy generated by the creating of such works of adoration and praise will bring us all closer to the Gods. A good collection of modern hymns and other writings about Dionysos is found in the new book, Written in Wine, put together by Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

For your pleasure, you will find a hymn to Lady Hestia written by one of our church bards.

Hymn to Hestia
by Rev. Lady Bella Sundancer

Hail Hestia, Lady of Fire
Lady of the Hearth, Lady of warmth and comfort
Your home is a bower for all,
A place to warm the heart and soul
With your power we forge our circle,
Forge our metal, forge our will
From your fire civilisation is born
Fire burns, fire cleanses, fire ignites
Smoke is sacred, smoke clouds, smoke transmutes
From the hearth we make a home
A place for all to be welcome
Or a place to hive away
Yet you have another side,
One perhaps less welcoming
Fire consumes, fire blasts, fire destroys
Smoke chokes, smoke clogs, smoke kills
From the ashes we rise anew
Transformed by your spark
Rising to the light from the dark
You are true mistress
Mistress of hearth and home
Mistress of the flame
Mistress of lore
Fire is perfect for telling stories
Carrying the wisdom of the ages
Lady of fire and flame, We pray to you
For warmth, protection, and strength of will

7 Responses to “Using Pagan Hymns (and a Hymn to Hestia)”

  1. Cosette Says:

    Lovely. I’m a big fan of hymns, ancient and modern, and like to use them in my rituals.

  2. Morninghawk Says:

    Thanks. Would you mind telling how you use hymns in your rituals? Do you use them for calling the Gods, or in a different way?

  3. mahud Says:

    I have yet to write or recite any hymns to the deities. I am trying to develop a relationship with Cernunnos.

    I sit cross-legged before his altar and speak to him, and meditate And occasionally, leave offerings of food. I really and would much write some hymns.

    I just meditated before my alter, at the moment, attempting to develop my meditations kills, Which I hope with foster greater awareness.

    I hope to develop a sense of the world around me as well as my own inner reality.

    Thank’s MorningHawnk 🙂

  4. Diana Luciano Grayfox Says:

    We also use hymns in our rites. The words of ancient authors are very moving. We also write some of our own, and the energy words bring into the ritual is a wonderful offering to the god/dess we are honoring. Thank you for writing this.

  5. Morninghawk Says:

    Mahud: It sounds like you’re on the right track with Cernunnos. Unfortunately, the ancient bards of that region did not write their songs in a way that would have preserved them to modern times. Meditating with Cernunnos will bring you closer to Him and then He might help you write hymns for Him. Much of the inspiration for hymns of all Gods comes from the Gods themselves. And may you find His joy in the journey.

    Diana: You’re very welcome. Adding your own hymns with those of the Ancients offers a nice sense of connection and continuity with times past, all focused on your gods and goddesses. Thank you for the comment.

  6. Wynterose Says:

    I really enjoy your hymns, I use them as part of my morning devotionals, and when I work with my Student we recite one or two before we begin any work to clear the mind and help announce our workings with the Gods. Thank you very much for providing them.
    I was also wondering: do you have any hymns to Gaia or Hekate?

  7. Morninghawk Says:

    Thank you very much for your kind compliments. Bella told me that she is working on some more hymns, with help from the Gods. Stay tuned…

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