Ritus Carmenae (Nova Roma)

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Ritus Carmenae performed monthly in Nova Roma.


  • Approach the altar barefoot, bearing gifts in your left hand and with your right hand held forward, palm up, in a gesture of offering. Stop short of the altar by two to three steps.

Hus ades, Carmentis, sorores Porrima Postvortaque te adsint, anima laeta veni, Mater Evanderi.

Come, be present, Carmentis. May Your sisters Porrima and Postvorta attend You. With joyful mind come, Mother of Arcadian Evander.
  • Approach the altar, setting your offerings before the altar. Offer incense of bay laurel and sweet scented flowers.

Carmentis, te hoc turem obmoveo bonas preces precor, ut sis volens propitius nobis liberisque notris domis familisque nostris.

Carmentis, I make this offering of incense to You and pray with good prayers that You will look kindly and favorably upon our children and upon us, on our homes and on our households.
  • Pour a libation of honeyed milk:

Carmentis, macte ista libatione pollicenda sint, macte lacti inferio sint.

Carmentis, may You be strengthened by this libation, may You be honored by this portion of milk.

  • Offer popana, or a mixture of cheese, herbs, and flour formed into balls that have been baked and drizzled with honey.

In tua, Mater carissime, in tua sumus custodia. Carmentis. te hoc popanae obmovendo bonas preces precor uti sis volens propitius nobis liberisque nostri domis familisque nostri mactus hoc ferto.

In You, dearest Mother, in Your hands we place our safekeeping. Carmentis. in offering to You this cake of cheese I pray good prayers in order that, pleased with this offering of popana cake, You may be favorable towards our children and to us, towards our homes and our households.
  • Pour a libation of milk. Then turning around, your hand held up in prayer, pray once more.

Mater Carmentis, uti te popanae commovenda bonas preces bene precatus sum, eiusdem rei ergo macte lacti esto.

Mother Carmentis, may You be strengthened by this bread, may You be warmed by this portion of our milk.

Ilicet. Di deaeque omnes, superi atque inferi, nos semper ament et felicitam volunt.

Thus it is done. May all the Gods and Goddesses above and below always love us and wish us happiness in all that is good.

Date of the Ritus

For a sacra publica the eleventh of each month would probably be adopted, otherwise two days prior to the Ides of each month.

In your private cultus you would probably adopt one of three possibilities.

First, you could celebrate at the same time each month that the flamen Carmentalis performs the sacra publica.

Second, if you set up a shrine at your home for Carmentis, then most proper would be to use the anniversary date of that private shrine for an anual caeremonia, and also to celebrate rites to Carmentis on the same day each month. Normally, additional temples or saculla were dedicated on dates to coincide with the anniversaries of other temples, but that wasn't alway the case. (The cultus of Carmentis was very old and so there would not be an image used to represent the Goddess. Like Vesta, Her presence might be represented by a flame. An early form of representing the "Shining Ones" was to use a planed board painted white. Otherwise a place in Nature, or an object from Nature, such as a stone or plant, might be used to represent Her presence.)

The third time that would be appropriate in a private cultus for Carmentis would coincide with your menstral cycle. Generally, for women with regular cycles, it occurs within so many days either before or after a Full Moon; i. e. the Ides as these were originally understood. And when a woman became pregnant (before modern medicine interferred) women generally delivered either before or after a Full Moon in accordance with their regular menstral cycle. At least that is how the old sagae use to count out a pregnancy, by ten moons to the day (up to five days) either before or after a Full Moon, depending on the woman's cycle. Women who had children by natural childbirth might look at those birthdates, comparing them to the lunar cycle in the year their children were born, and maybe come up with an appropriate date for each month to ask Carmentis to care for them and their children.

Otherwise, you do not have to select a particular date, but choose one on any odd numbered day between the Nones and Ides.

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