My Vigil (food, clothes, etc)

As with all aspects of my elevation, I wanted to add a Norse flavor to the standard SCA event.

To that end, I added a formal welcome from my Laurel, Mistress Taisiya, when His Majesty Sven and Their Royal Highnesses Conrad and A’isha arrived for the invocation of my vigil. This type of welcome and the offering of mead by the Lady of the house is common in early literary and artistic traditions, and it perfectly established the environment that I wanted..

After the welcome, Sven released me as his squire, which was very emotional (yes, I am about to cry in this picture).

Sven releasing me as his squire, with my vigil tent in the background

Sven releasing me as his squire, with my vigil tent in the background

Sven returning the three (wooden) cows that I gave him in 2003 as surety for my squiring oath.

Sven returning the three cows that I gave him in 2003 as surety for my squiring oath.

When I became Sven’s squire I researched early Irish tenant relationships and learned that it was common for a tenant to give livestock to a lord as surety for an oath. Once the oath was fulfilled, the livestock was returned to the tenant; if the oath was not fulfilled the livestock was forfeit. I decided to incorporate that aspect in to my squiring, so I gave Sven a string of three (wooden) cows. When Sven released me he stated that while my path has changing since I swore my oath to him, he considers my elevation to the Order of the Laurel as fulfillment of my oath and returned the cows to me.

Next, Taisiya released me as her apprentice, and then the Herald read the vigil invocation.

Taisiya removing my apprentice belt.

Taisiya removing my apprentice belt.

Thanks to the help of my friend Viscountess Whilja, all of the new garments made for my vigil and elevation are totally hand sewn. In fact, she put aside many of her own projects in order to sew my vigil dress. Thanks Whilja!

I wanted to embrace the tradition of simplicity for the vigil dress, so I chose a fabric of natural wool. However, I did want some depth so I used a diamond twill fabric purchased from Naturtuche (have I mentioned how much I love their fabrics?).

The pattern of the dress is based on preserved textile fragments from Hedeby harbor (evidence for round neckline, inset sleeves, side gores and pieced sleeves) and has parallels to the cut of medieval dresses from Greenland.

My vigil tent was a A-frame style appropriate to the period, and was furnished with a table and several benches, and lit with beeswax candles. For vigil tokens I gave glass lampwork beads.

My vigil book was made by Duchess Anna from the Kingdom of the Outlands, the binding and cover design are based on the St. Cuthbert/Stonyhurst Gospel.

My vigil book

My vigil book

The book table was lit by a Viking Age appropriate oil lamp (a floating wick in a ceramic bowl).

The food for my vigil was cooked on site by Baroness Colette de Montpellier based on recipes from An Early Meal by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg. I greatly appreciate her enthusiasm and willingness to spend the entire day cooking. Everything was delicious – as evidenced by the fact that there were no leftovers 🙂

The menu included:

Roast beef baked in dough, served with berry sauce

Pork loin roll stuffed with pickled kale

Kettle worms (pork and beef sausages)

Pork and wheat berry pottage

Fresh cheese

Aged cheeses (made by Baroness Ceara ingen Chonaill)

Hazelnut treats with fruit jams (cloudberry and gooseberry jams)

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “My Vigil (food, clothes, etc)

  1. GythaUiBhanain says:

    Fantastic blog – finding it very useful for information on Norse/Celtic clothing and lifestyle. This is close to how my idea for a personna has developed over the 2 years I’ve been in the SCA. Still feeling very much the newbie but inspired by your blog.

  2. cometkatt says:

    am very curious what a ‘vigil’ is in the SCA.. i am only just beginning to research joining, & am told where i am is in the kingdom of Caid? & the nearest ?barony? is in san jacinto.. (so i dont know how well i am going to do with everything being so far away) – as i said i was very curious about this Vigil thing.. and may i say your clothing is Lovely! thanks rj

    • Thank you! I hope you are able to find your nearest SCA group. Where are you located?

      In the SCA the vigil is a time to receive advice and contemplate an upcoming elevation to a Peerage. It is generally based on medieval knightly vigils, but in the SCA it is commonly done for people being elevated to any of the 4 Peerages (Laurel for Arts, Chivalry or Masters of Defense for Combat, or Pelican for Service).

  3. liamulfsson says:

    Thanks for documenting your process it is helping me with mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s