This weekend, in addition to being at the wedding of a dear friend that I have known since she was three days old, I was also able to participate in the Laurel Ceremony of another dear friend that I have worked closely with over the past six years.
evil_fionnposted this on October 20, about the time that I needed to start writing the Laurel Ceremony. Without realizing it, she had given me exactly the inspiration that I needed. I initially thought I would do the full double-reverse drx by recasting it into SCA-secular peerage ceremony-appropriate form in Anglo Saxon verse forms. I spent an hour trying out some of the possibilities, but gave up on that.
I wanted to include the four "primary sponsors", Duchess Susannah, Master Kaz, snailstichrand myself, the other Laurels from her home group, and other close friends drawn from a list supplied by her. There were four badges of rank to be given, as well as statements from three bestowed peerages, a royal peer, and a member of the populace. All of this had to be worked into the sevenfold virtues of the artist. I immediately discarded Theophilus' order, in favor of the order required by the progress of the ceremony. I expanded most of the discussions of the virtues to inlude the implied SCA application. I decided to include his conclusion as the form of the dubbing. I will let you judge the success of my efforts. You may read the ceremony here..
OK, forget it. I have never figured out how to work cuts, so you get it all, maybe, I don't know
Herald: Their Majesties call before them the Laurels of Grimfells.
Susannah: Your Majesties, as we have discussed before, there is a work of Art that has been long labored over within your Shire-March of the Grimfells, and as the work has reached this stage, we would bring it before you for the final adornment.
Andrixos: But we say here and for all to know, this creation of Art is not so much our work, as her own. While an artist might be limited and challenged by the qualities of her materials, we attest that this work of Art was crafted with truest word and finest ink…
Fionna: ..with richest floss and most lustrous gold, strengthened with years of study…
Christaen… with smoothest of clay, to build a proper vessel to serve Crown and Kingdom…
Lina…with best of ingredients mixed together, and given time to brew, and mellow, and develop more complexity of flavor.
Kaz… with strongest of wood to project the sweet melody that is her joy of learning, teaching and creating. We, the Laurels of Grimfells, offer to Your Majesties Her Ladyship Fionnualla ingean Fherguis, an artist complete in her own right, that You might make her of fullest use for Your Kingdom. We seek her recognition and elevation as a Companion of the Laurel and Peer of the Realm.
Luther: Well pleased are We with that which you have labored over, and more pleased are We with the works she has created.
Maerwynn: But most pleased of all are We at this artisan and artist, polished and refined, not as much by your work, but by her own desire to create beauty and recognize truth. Let us hear from your colleagues.
Herald: Their Majesties invite before them all Companions of the Order of the Laurel of Calontir and the Known World.
Luther: Is this Order in agreement that Her Ladyship Fionnualla ingean Fherguis is now and ought ever to be worthy of admittance into the Ancient and Worshipful Order of the Laurel?
Grimwulf: With one voice, Your Majesties, we affirm and attest her knowledge, skill and honor, and would welcome her as our Peer and Colleague.
Maerwynn: Let the candidate be brought forth that We might complete this joyous task.
Herald: Their Majesties summon before them Her Ladyship Fionnualla ingean Fherguis.
Luther: Has the candidate stood her vigil and been properly prepared?
Susannah: She has received the wisdom ordained for such rite.
Maerwynn: The let Us proceed with the final instruction.
Luther: Behold, Art’s Daughter, and take faith in your talent, used to decorate the temple of art we have built within, and by, our fellowship.
Maerwynn: If your faith should falter, know by these words that your works created, and yet to be created come from the inspiration of the purest form of Art, which is expressed in a sevenfold way:
Martino: Through the spirit of FORTITUDE do you rouse yourself to your craft, much as a knight must attack his foe swiftly, so you must engage yourself with vigor and strength that you might bring your chosen piece to completion at the appointed time. The vigil of a knight through the darkest hours happens once; for the artist, it is the most common battlefield.
Andrixos Through the spirit of KNOWLEDGE that is given to you, you are today a mistress by virtue of what you know, and your ability to use your knowledge without hesitation or doubt. May you use your confidence always to inspire and uplift others, rather than as a tool to chastise or discourage those seeking your
level of knowledge.
Alethea: Through the sprit of WISDOM does one know of the ways and workings of this our Society, and the needs thereof, both in council chamber and in studio. Without the structure of our fellowship, your art would be without focus. Were there no Crown, there would be no charters to craft. While you serve through your art, service builds also a temple within which Art can thrive.
Comyn: Through the sprit of COUNSEL you do not hide away those talents you have
been granted and developed, but rather share them now and always to those willing to learn, and those who do not yet know they are willing to learn. While this day marks a high point, it is in truth the start of an obligation to teach that
shall end only as you draw your last breath.
Susannah: Your Majesties, thus far four of the ways of art have spoken, three yet remain. They bear with them the outer marks of a Mistress of the Laurel. May they bring such earthly signs of Art’s Inspiration?
Luther: As it is proper, let it be done.
Fionna: Through the sprit of UNDERSTANDING have you learned to analyze that which you have seen, to see both the technical skill of the craftsman and the inspired vision of the artist, both where they have fought and where they have danced.
The gifts of Art are plainly visible and a comfort for all who see them, as is this cloak, suitable for this day, yet awaiting further completion.
Kaz Through the sprit of PIETY do you set limits upon yourself, and your art, knowing that you must not sacrifice or minimize your other obligations in the pursuit of the highest degree of your craft. Let not your excessive pride in your achievement overshadow those other things which must be done. As you wear this medallion, crafted in the shop that we share, may you know that its burden remind you
equally that you are an artist and not an artist, and that the two must be in balance.
Rhodri; Through the spirit of FEAR may you be reminded that your art is not only a small gift to the High King and Bright Queen, but a much greater gift to the folk of this land. Your obligation is to us, to stand as an example and inspiration. Know that unless you become haughty, the people will not seek to tear you down, but to lift you up, and return the love that you give to us. Let this stole, crafted by those among whom you dwell, remind you always that you are bound to the people.
Susannah: Therefore, now, Fionnualla, prudent artist whose has risen so far, kneel
before your Sovereigns, and bear this most ancient of marks, the wreath of Laurel, the mark of victory, which demands excellence unending from you.
Your Majesties, Her Ladyship has been fully vested with the marks of a peer, and fully instructed as a new Laurel. Is it your wish to bestow the accolade at this time?
Luther: (SWORD ON RIGHT SHOULDER) Be joyful now in what you have achieved
and created, and ever more joyous for those works which you shall yet create.
Maerwynn: (SCEPTER ON LEFT SHOULDER) By your labor and zeal may you further embellish the temple of Art that is Calontir.
Both: Be fired with great ingenuity, with all the striving of your mind hasten to complete whatever is lacking.
Fionnualla: Your Majesties, I would beg to swear fealty at this time.
Here do I do homage and swear fealty to the Crown and Kingdom of Calontir, to ever and always be a good Laurel and true, to champion the arts, foster justice, to inspire those around me , and to constantly seek to improve my self and skills in service to Crown and Kingdom. Thus do I swear, MISTRESS Fionnualla ingean Fherguis, Companion of the Laurel.
Luther: Arrise, Mistress Fionnualla,
Maerwynn: Calontir, behold your newest peer.
Her Scroll Text was based on the begging announcement, expanding each of the descriptions of art. My thanks to Duchess Alethea for for patience in waiting for it to be worked out. The scroll text is below this cut:
Hwaet the wise gownsmith wielding bright needle
Seams into flax-web setting in the old ways
Few lands' modes confound her finding truth from tome's loregift
Raiment's creator rewarded with beauty.
Hwaet the sure crwthwright which gave voice to sweet tree-lich
Harp's nerves stretched taughtly holding song's power
Bark's treasure revealed by sanding and shaping
Measured keys' footings music she captured.
Hwaet the loom's tamer webstrix worthy of merit
Twining the taut threads turning cards to work wonders
Weaving with worm's home, wire drawn from geld-ore
To Lord's robe adds splendor To crafter adds fame
Hwaet the nib's steward working home for scop's wordhorde
Turning rough kine's coat to mede washed with flake's drift
Grinding stiff earth bones getting each hue from the storm's arch
From the wounddew of acorn Forms Ring-givers' Writ.
High King and Bright Queen now hear Laurels' beseeching
For skill and great knowledge fair recompense give
Truth's way has she long trekked teaching all fellow walkers
Scholar, Doctress and Builder seeking Art's leafy Crown
We, Luther, Sword-king, wordpleas hear and acknowledge
Maerwynn, Queen and Art's Patron matches deed with Our Will
Fionnuala inghean Fhearghuis found worthy of Laurel
Bears Peer's rights forever by Our Hands All Saints' Day
During third Year and two score deep in Three Rivers' steadLuther Maerwynn