Greywolf of the British Druid Order has blogged to say that the closing ceremony of the Paralympics included words from the gorsedd ritual.
The gorsedd rital was written by Emma Restall Orr and Greywolf (formally Philip Shallcrass) was written in 1993 and designed to bring together many different faiths and cultures for a multi-faith conference in Avebury.
Organisers from the Paralympics contacted the British Druid Order, sought permission to use parts of the verse and asked them to keep the secret. They appeared in two sections; both spoken by Rory Mackenzie on behalf of Help For Heroes.
The first verse appeared 20 minutes into the ceremony;
I call upon the Spirit of Summer. The spirit of fire, of energy of passion; spirit of the noonday sun, the heat of summer, vitality and abundance.
I call upon the spirit of Winter. The spirit of earth, of the womb of creation; of the night and the snows of winter, deep roots and ancient stones.
I call upon the spirit of Spring. The spirit of air, the breath of life; of sunrise, of new life and new growth.
I call upon the spirit of Autumn. The spirit of water, of the ebb and flow of emotion; of open seas and running streams, of cleansing rain; spirit of the evening sun, of twilight and of Autumn.
The second verse appeared 30 minutes in when Rory spoke to these worlds;
The circle is unbroken,
The ancestors awoken.
May the songs of the Earth
and of her people ring true.
Hail to the Festival of the flame
of root and branch, tooth and claw,
fur and feather, of earth and sea and sky.
In Pure Spirit
It is estimated that some 750 million people around the world heard this Druid ceremony which I think is a wonderful thing. I wonder whether there will be people of other faiths who might be surprised by this news, though.
What do you think about the inclusion of Druidic verse in the closing ceremony?