I attended the our local Grove's Winter Solstice Ritual this past Friday night. Unlike previous rituals this one was held at a local Unitarian Universalist church and, as such, was advertised on the Fellowship's publications and social media. As a result, there were over 50 people in attendance, although most placed themselves in a strict "observer" role.
The ritual was written by our Grove Organizer and was in ADF Core Order. We honored the Slavic pantheon (one near and dear to my heart), and I recited (from memory) the invocation to the goddess Rozhanitsa. Rozhanitsa is dear to me and I was very pleased to serve in this role. I also made the white reindeer cookies which were distributed for the sharing of blessings - this follows an Eastern Slavic winter solstice tradition. I missed having a "real" fire for sacrifices; since we were inside we had a substitute
chemically-based flame. It was beautiful but couldn't handle the
sacrifices. Offerings were instead put into a communal bowl and then
left outside under a bush.
This was the first ritual of the grove that included singing; clearly we have some work to do in that area. As I mentioned, the Grove Leader wrote most of the ritual, as she normally does. I wished I had been invited to provide more input into the ritual, as I felt that some of the writing was questionable - not because of something lacking on the Grove Leader's part, but because of the inherent complexities (and confusions) of the Slavic pantheon.