Prayer Format

The following template is intended to be used as a guide for those who wish to construct prayers in the Lārhūs fashion, based on Austfeld’s three step prayer format (as demonstrated by H.S. Versnel).

In his work, Versnel utilizes Latin terms to distinguish the component steps of his tripartite prayer model. In the Lārhūs format, we will be using these same elements (the invocatio ‘the invocation’, pars epica ‘the argument’ and the preces ‘the service or task’), which are found throughout Indo-European religious expressions and providing suitable Old English glosses for them, so as to make them specific to Fyrnsidu and the Lārhūs Fyrnsida.

In Old English, the prayer itself is known as the ‘bēd’ and is pronounced the same as modern ‘bade’. The three constituent parts of the bēd are as follows:

1)  Cīgung (calling) – The formal address of the deity/deities in question, using epithets or descriptive phrases.  ie: “Frīge, Flax-Spinner, Hearth-Matron, All-Knower.”

2) Giwung (petition) – A direct explanation as to the purpose the deity/ deities in question are being approached , and why the devotee might be worthy of their blessings.  The devotee might recount past deeds or express familial bonds as a reason for petition.

3) Offrung (offering) – The gesture of good will on the devotee’s part, in the form of a sacrifice, offering or gift. This step is somewhat ambiguous, in that it can be a physical offering, or something less tangible, like that of an oath.

These three aspects form, in essence, the totality of what is considered prayer in the sense of antique polytheism.

Like many religious enactments within Indo-European practice, a combination of formalized prayer and ritualized action are performed in order to take part in the sacred exchange of the gifting cycle, the fundamental basis of these religions. Heathenry, as an orthopraxic religion, relies on these rites and statements just as much as other Indo-European paganisms.


Further Reading: Prayer in the Heathen Context and Prayer in a Fyrnsidu Context, the articles from which this page’s content was taken.