Laurel Ceremony for Maria Arosa de Santa Olalla

Researched and Written by Saito Takauji

Edits by Maria Arosa de Santa Olalla

Introduction and Notes:

Maria was most interested in a ceremony which called upon her Catholic background, and was modeled after an ordination. The challenge of the ceremony is, therefore, to balance religious sources with SCA requirements—not only to avoid overt religiousness which would transgress SCA norms, but also to avoid offering offense by being too glib with rituals which are holy to believers.

The ceremony envisions the Order of the Laurel as a somewhat genericized religious order like an Order of Nuns and Sisters, within which one would serve a period as a postulant and novice. These can be broadly, and not wholly inaccurately, glossed to the period of service as an untitled artisan, a Swan or Mallet, and then a Lily or Hammer. This ends with a solemn profession through which one becomes consecrated as a nun.

The sources are not wholly Nun-based, however. Maria shared sources related to the consecration of a Priest, and these were integrated as well. The end result is something that is not derived purely from either form of consecration, but which hopefully remains appropriate for the creation of a new Sister of the Order of the Laurel.

The ceremony follows some of the structure of the Ordination Liturgy. It begins with a gathering of the Order and a presentation of the candidate. There is a questioning of the candidate. The traditional sections of a homily, litany of supplication, and litany of the saints are combined into the instruction by the members of the other orders—who open their orders by invoking the names of the first peers to receive them in the Society and Kingdom. The acceptance by the congregation becomes the populace speaker.

Similarly, the items with which a peer is normally invested are here described in the mode of religious habit and given similar symbolic descriptions.



Marbury Dominican Nuns, Stages in Formation,

Handmaids of the Precious Blood, Profession of Vows,

Danielle Rives, Taking the Veil: Clothing and Transformation of Identity, 33 Journal of the Western Society for French History 465 (2005).–taking-the-veil-clothing-and-the-transformation-of-identity?rgn=main;view=fulltext

Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Ordination Liturgy,

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, ‘Sacramentary’ of Egbert of York,

Bible Gateway, King James Version,

West Kingdom History Project,

Calontir Order of Precedence,

Dramatis Personae:

CELEBRANT OF THE ORDER:Tristram of Lindisfarne
WREATH GIVER:Mistress Sibilla Swain
ROBE GIVER:Mistress Gianna Viviani


King: Art and Science are the soul of our Kingdom, and our Society. By them a room becomes a hall, an empty field becomes a festival, and both are filled with refreshment and entertainment. We reward those who have professed their works and kept faith in the Kingdom by them.

Queen: But a Peer is not one who has made beauty on the outside, but shown beauty on the inside as well. They are known by a gentle and quiet spirit of dedication, not the wearing of jewelry or fine clothes.[1] Thus we reward those who serve not only the greatest, but forget not the least of our subjects in their labors.[2]

King: Call those professed members of the Order of the Laurel, and the celebrant for these solemn ceremonies.

Herald: In the second year of the Society, King William the Silent and Queen Sheryl of Thespis founded the Order of the Laurel to reward the work of those artists and crafters who spend untold hours in the creation of works that will outlive them in beauty and service. The Order was transmitted from the West to the Middle, and from the Middle to Calontir. Now do Agamemnon Rex and Marie Regina call to them their Order of the Laurel, peer to all those in other Kingdoms, and second to none.

The Laurels in attendance enter the court and arrange themselves as they see fit. Tristram does not enter. Leave room for the horse.

Herald: Their Majesties invite the celebrant of the Order, Duke Tristram of Lindisfarne, forward. His Grace was made a postulant of the Mallet by Volkmar and Isadora, entered the novitiate of the Hammer with the permission of Hroerekr and Morgana, and took the vows of a Laurel in the sight of Valens and Susanah.

Tristram enters court, and makes obeisance as he feels appropriate.

Tristram: Your Majesties, the Laurel is a solemn order. None may enter who have not been prepared, instructed, and found worthy. One waits who has served this Kingdom in good faith, and waits only for your blessing.

Queen: Introduce the aspirant to her Order so that she may be confirmed as worthy, and receive the traditional instruction.

Tristram: The Honorable Lady Maria Arosa de Santa Olalla. Awarded arms by His Majesty’s namesake and Gwen; made a postulant of the Swan by Matsunaga and Elena and of the Leather Mallet by Ashir and Ashland; entered into the novitiate of the Lily with the permission of Damien and Issabell, rider among the noble Eo Fyrd recognized by Lucian and Tamar and now stands before you seeking to take the vows of the Laurel.

Maria enters court, along with any attendants she wishes.

King: Maria. You stand before us seeking admission to this august Order. Do you accept the burden of responsibilities that will come with the vows of this Order?

Maria: I do.

Queen: Your art is a gift that you have been given; but as you have received it, so must you use it for others as a steward of the Kingdom.[3] Do you accept the burden of service that will come with the vows of this Order?

Maria: I do.

King: You will be required to nurture those who seek entrance into the order, who will have naught to give you but time; and to give wisdom when consulted about their progress—for few are chosen from the many called.[4] Do you take this burden to teach and lead, as will come with the vows of this Order?

Maria: I do.

Queen: Then your examination is complete. Hear now the ancient wisdom, given in an unbroken line from the sages of old; and know that in time you may be called to transmit it again, but one link in a chain reaching back to time immemorial. Duke Tristram, as celebrant of the Order you will call those who have been blessed with knowledge that our sister may receive it.

Tristram: None may enter this Order while sworn to another, for you must be free to swear oaths on your own account. There is one who would release you from service. I invite Mistress Brialen Ulfsdottir to speak.

Brialen: As we are taught, there is a time for everything under the sun.[5] That includes a time when a student leaves the service of their teacher. You are not joining my Order, and you may establish your own household; but our bond goes beyond such concerns. I release you from your oaths to me, that you may take these oaths unburdened.

Brialen speaks other words as appropriate.

Maria speaks words in return as appropriate.

Tristram: To speak for the Chivalry and the lineage of the belt and chain, Sir <NAME> will speak.

Chivalry: Ours was the first peerage order founded, upon the knighting of David the Herald upon the field of the first tournament. In our Kingdom, Sir William Coeur de Boeuf stands first dubbed. From the lineage of our order, you must learn to protect the kingdom, and safeguard your honor always.

Chivalry peer speaks other words as appropriate.

Tristram: The Pelican is third born of the Peerages. To speak for the lineage of the bloodied breast, <TITLE> <NAME> will speak.

Pelican: The first Pelican was given out not by the Kingdoms, but by Imperial Electors to Master Boncueur de Myrobolan; and in our Kingdom to Mor Bean Chiarrai Inghean ui Neill—then known as Kyrieth of Shadowfane. From the lineage of our order, you must learn the selfless service of a devoted soul—but also to guard your own heart, lest it be used too dearly.

Pelican peer speaks other words as appropriate.

Tristram: Most recent of the bestowed peerages, the lineage of the three blades. Master <NAME> will speak.

Defense: Our order has no one premier; all kingdoms were given the right to found their chapters on the same day. In our Kingdom, there were three: Donald, Ravasz, and Gavin. From our Order you must learn to defend the people, from those who first worked in the Kingdom to those who have late arrived.[6]

Defense peer speaks other words as appropriate.

Tristram: Second of the Peerages, but as the one you seek to join the final word among the bestowed: the lineage of the root and branch, the Lily and Hammer, the art and science. <TITLE> <NAME> will speak for our order.

Laurel: Our order was founded the same day as the Rose, the formal incorporation of the Chivalry, the granting of the first Dukedom, the Grant of Arms, the Award of Arms, and the Court Barony. Beverly of Hodghead and Alfonso de Castille were the corner stones of the Order in the West; and Alarba Bronwen Caradoc the first Laurel made by the first Calon Crown—indeed, the first Peer made by the first Crown of Calontir. From us you have learned, and will teach.

Laurel peer speaks other words as appropriate.

Tristram: The final two whose wisdom you must hear from are different. Those who have served the highest calling in the Kingdom, and those people you must lead and teach. <TITLE> <NAME> will speak for the Royal peers; and <TITLE> <NAME> will speak for the populace.

Royal: The first crowned King and Queen were Henrik of Havn and Wendryn Townsend, although Marynel of Darkhaven was named Queen of Love and Beauty first. In our Kingdom, Chepe l’Orageux and Arwyn Antaradi were the first blessed to lead this land. From that line comes these words: It is well known that a people who have no leaders shall find ruin; but with many to give council there is safety[7]. This is the lesson of our order—seek counsel, find wisdom, and safeguard that which we were given to hold.

Royal Peer speaks other words as appropriate.

Populace: There is no one who can be said to have been the first member of the populace, in either the first Kingdom or ours. No one can know who came, or how many have been. We are the body of our Kingdom. We acknowledge that some must be set to lead, and some to follow; but never forget that yours is given to lead for our benefit, not for your glory.

Populace member speaks other words as appropriate.

Tristram: Your Majesties, Maria has heard the words of wisdom. She has honored the litany of Calontir, and of the Laurel Kingdoms all. We ask you, distributors of rank and assigners of tasks, to receive her vows and admit her into this solemn order.

Herald: Maria Arosa, of the village named for Eulalia of Merida, pay due homage to the Crown of Calontir and hear their proclamations.

Maria kneels in front of the Crown.

King: You have been found worthy. Let not fear besiege your heart[8], for you are held in the esteem of this Kingdom.

King places his scepter on Maria’s shoulder.

King: May your skills be ever increased in service to Crown and Kingdom.

Queen: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the strength of the Kingdom shall be with you wherever you go.[9]

Queen places her scepter on Maria’s other shoulder.

Queen: May your gentle demeanor serve always as an example of courtesy to all who would observe you.

King and Queen cross their scepters on Maria’s head.

Crown (Together): And may your spirit ever follow the goals your heart sets before you.

Queen: King: Say Hear now the Oath that you must swear, and which binds you to this solemn order so long as you shall have strength.

Maria Will Memorize and Recite Her Oath in Spanish

I kneel before God, Your Majesties, this order and all those present that I will uphold justice and honor. I will keep St. Michael’s courage and strength in the face of evil. I will uphold the time-honored virtues of this order; inspiration, compassion, dedication, and service. I will foster and teach others through these same virtues. All this I swear to this Society and Kingdom; as Maria Arosa de Santa Olalla and as Inmaculada Maria de los Angeles Carmen Geeslin Muñoz.

I, Maria Arosa de Santa Olalla, in the name of those who have come before, in the way of Beverly and Alfonso and Kyrieth, honored in ages go by, herewith swear my solemn oath. That I will keep justice and honor in my heart; that I will scrutinize the hearts of others, and aid them in fulfilling their work. That I will teach with abundance, forgive with compassion, and serve the Kingdom with all the virtues I possess.

King and Queen respond with the standard response.

Tristram: By oaths are a peer made, but by symbols are they recognized. With your Majesties’ permission, there are gifts to be given to the newest member of this Order.

Their Majesties consent.

Tristram: <TITLE> <NAME> bears the ancient symbol of the order, a wreath.

Wreath Giver: A young maiden may wear a wreath of flowers; a Queen a wreath of roses. You have chosen to wear the wreath of laurels, as all who have gone before you have as well. It is worthy—it means excellence; and it has crowned victors and sacrifices in all ages. Wear it in honor of those who have gone before, and in remembrance of those no longer with us.

Wreath Giver speaks other words as appropriate,  as the wreath giver places it on Maria. before handing the wreath to the Queen who places it on Maria.

Tristram: <TITLE> <NAME> bears a medallion, the most personal part of the habit of this Order.

Medallion Giver: Every formal Order chooses for itself a habit or uniform. This medallion is one part of it. It has passed from hand to hand; like you, it bears a noble lineage. But it is a weight to be bearedborn as well, a reminder that you have chosen to uphold the virtues of an Order and that you fail to do so at your peril.

Medallion Giver speaks other words as appropriate, as the medallion giver places it on Maria.  before giving the medallion to the Queen who places it on Maria=.

Tristram: <SIR> <NAME> carries a robe, or cloak; the outward part of the habit of this Order.

Cloak Giver: This too is a symbol, and a reminder. For you it is a beautiful reminder of the warmth and protection you must give to others., and  It reminds you to ensure you have the same for yourself. And t To others it is a signal—that you were this day made a Laurel, and that they may call upon you for that leadership and guidance you have sworn to uphold. Let it grow worn through labor, but never sullied through dishonor.

Cloak giver speaks other words as appropriate, before giving the Cloak to  as Sir Duncanthe cloak giver to places cloak on Maria’s shoulders.

Queen: Receive these symbols from our hands, and those of the Order. Understand them and their worth, honor them and their meaning, and bear them always in service to the Kingdom and People.

King: May the form of every virtue abound in you.

Queen: May the precepts of this order shine in you.

King: May you be strengthened by the people, and strengthen them in turn.

Queen: Calontir, your newest Laurel!

King: Please read the scroll.

[1] Adapted from 1 Peter 3:3-4.

[2] Adapted from Matthew 25:40-45.

[3] Adapted from 1 Peter 4:10.

[4] Adapted from Matthew 22:14.

[5] C.f. Ecclesiastes 3.

[6] C.f. Matthew 20:9.

[7] Proverbs 11:14.

[8] C.f. Psalm 27:3.

[9] Joshua 1:9.

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