When I was invited to join the order of the Laurel, I knew that I wanted a ceremony that reflects my interest in Norse culture. However, I feel that continuity of ceremony is important in our Society so I did not want to stray too far from the standard Caidan ceremony. I asked two dear friends, Baron Secca and Sir Helgi, to re-work the standard ceremony with that balance in mind. I am thrilled with the result, and wanted to share their work in the hope that it may be helpful to future Laurel candidates.
Creation of a Laurel
His Majesty by right of combat, and The Queen of Love and Beauty command the presence of all Masters and Mistresses of the Order of the Laurel.
<<The Laurels assemble, kneeling before the Throne to either side, leaving a center aisle>>
Long has it been known that not all glory comes by way of swords and war-deeds — also among us are those who, by their fine works, bring blessing on our Crescent Lands
The lofty heights of Caid’s wonders are supported by three strong pillars, Chivalry, Art, and Service, And without any one of these Caid would fall sinking from Midgard, to be forgotten beneath the world sea.
Thus was created the Order of the Laurel, to honor those who, possessed of all other skills, virtues, and attributes of those we deem Peers of this land, have also well distinguished themselves with excellence in the Arts and Sciences.
The symbol of this Order is a medallion bearing a Laurel wreath; for a circlet of laurel leaves has long been given in recognition of superior achievement. This Order ranks in precedence with the Order of Chivalry and the Order of the Pelican, and carries with it a Patent of Arms.
Oh wise and Sword-swift King Sven, and Queen Cassandra of boundless beauty, you have spoken to your Laurel-gilded artisans, have we found one worthy of such an estate?
They have. We have seen her work and it has impressed Us greatly. Summon the artist, and have her come before Us to receive her due honors.
<<The Escort, and such other Laurels as the Candidate will have selected, stand and walk to the Candidate, who will be at the rear of the hall or otherwise have arranged to easily come forward. As they escort the Candidate forward, the Procession Herald announces the Candidate>>
Comes now Ciar:: Honorable Lady of Caid
Weaver of Wool::War-tested is her Will
Gentle-lady of Glories:: her Fingers spin Gold
her Works are Wonders:: That better our World
List all The Lady:: who offers now love.
<<Holds out drinking horn with two hands and speaks words of welcome>>
Ciar, welcome to Our Hall! You are here this day in celebration of Art. Yes, Art. Now Odin, the All-father, Father of the all the Gods and Giants, the God of Battle and Wisdom, He who watches over all the nine worlds, he who is saddened by the weight of his knowledge – he once risked everything he had to journey into the cloud scraping realm of the giants, Jotunheim. For a magic sword? No? For Love? No. Revenge, riches, glory? No. He disguised himself, and played tricks worthy of Loki for what… <<raises horn>> MEAD!! Yes, but not just any mead, this was the Mead of Poetry… and Odin himself claimed it for Asgard. For Art is such that from nothing, through thought and work and skill, it creates hope and sustains our souls. <<Ciar drinks and returns horn>>
<<Ciar kneels before the Throne>>
The decision to create a Laurel is not made lightly. We wish that all people everywhere may know of Ciar’s worth, so we would hear her word-fame from each group that makes up the body of the Kingdom.
Is there a companion of the Order of the Laurel who wishes to speak about the worthiness of this candidate?
Is there a companion of the Order of the Chivalry who wishes to speak about the worthiness of this candidate?
Is there a companion of the Order of the Pelican who wishes to speak about the worthiness of this candidate?
Is there a companion of the Order of the Rose who wishes to speak about the worthiness of this candidate?
Is there a member of the Populace who wishes to speak about the worthiness of this candidate?
Ciar, We know and admire your works, as do Our people. Listening then to our wise-pillars – our Peers – we hear their wishes and would like to create you a mistress of the Laurel. Will you accept from Us this honor, and the badge of your achievement, and will you swear fealty to this, Our Crown and Realm?
It is my deepest desire, my king, my queen, to honor your wishes, and those of the Peerage
<<Candidate places hand on sword held by King and Laurel representative>>
Will you now swear that you will for all time comport yourself as befits a Peer of the Realm, as you have done until now, and that you will continue to be of service to the Kingdom and Their Majesties’ people?
Upon my Loyalty and my Life, I so swear.
Will you also swear to continue your quest for artistic excellence, as you have until now, and seek to increase your labor and talents nobly, as befits a noblewoman, and train any dependents you may have to do likewise, so far as is within your powers?
Upon my honor and my Art, I so swear.
This is Good. Let the scroll then be read.
Know now of Ciar ingen Dáire. The companions of the Order of the Laurel have spoken – Ciar’s works and deeds as an artisan have earned her recognition. On the 12th day of October, in the 48th Year of the Society, King Sven and Queen Cassandra added Ciar to the Order.
<< The King and Queen hold up the scroll for the populace to view and then presents it to the Candidate. The King then receives the medallion from that member of the Order who is providing it>>
Ciar, take from Our hands this token of your achievement, and Our esteem.
<<The King places the medallion around the Candidate’s neck>>
<<The cloak bearers come forward and place the cloak on the candidate’s shoulders>>
As this cloak folds you in warmth, so does the Order of the Laurel enfold you in companionship.
By your oaths sworn this day, We create you a Laurel. Henceforth be Ciar ingen Daire, suí ecnaid in this Our Realm.
Will you now swear fealty to this Our realm?
<<Ciar places hands on the Great Sword of State>>
<<Prompted as needed by the herald>>
Here do I swear by mouth and hand fealty and service to the Crown and Kingdom of Caid: To speak and to be silent, to do and to let be, to come and to go, to serve and to teach, in such matters as concern this Realm; in need or in plenty, in peace or in war, in living or in dying, until the Crown depart their throne, or death take me, or the world end. So say I, Ciar ingen Daire.
KING and QUEEN
And this do We hear, Ciar, suí ecnaid. And We, for Our part, swear fealty to you and to all your household, to protect and defend you against every creature with all Our power, until we depart from Our Throne, or death take Us, or the world end. So say We, Sven, King of Caid.
And so say We, Cassandra, Queen of Caid.
<<The King raises the new Laurel>>
Congratulations, Ciar. Go now to your Peers.
<<The new Laurel joins the rest of the Order.>>
Thank you, my lords and ladies. You may retire.
<<The Laurels bow to the Throne, and retire, while the Herald exhorts cheers from the populace>>