The Gorsedd
There is evidence from the earliest times that the Celts had a class of skilled musicians, singers, poets and storytellers who were known by the name of 'Bard'. The Bards would meet together to hold ceremonies and contests in music, poetry and literature at a 'Gorsedd'. The three principal Gorsedds of Britain were at Caerleon and Caer Caradog in Wales and Boscawen Un in Cornwall.

The first revived Cornish Gorsedd was held at Boscawen Un in 1928 and has been held regularly since then.
The aims of Gorseth Byrth Kernow are to maintain the national Celtic spirit, to encourage literature, music, art and history, the study and use of the Cornish language and to link Cornwall with other Celtic nations. Entry is by invitation and a few new Bards are initiated annually.
The proceedings begin with the sounding of the horn to the north, south, east and west followed by the Gorsedd prayer and the ceremony of peace. The offering of the Fruits of the Earth is made by the Lady of Cornwall attended by two pages accompanied by a group of young dancers and harp music. Then there is the commemoration of those Bards who have died in the previous year and the initiation of new Bards. Each new Bard is presented in turn to the Grand Bard who welcomes him and gives him his Bardic name. Speeches from other Celtic nations come next, then the awards to prize-winners of the various competitions. The ceremony ends with an oath of fealty to Cornwall, a call for peace and the final procession of the Bards from the circle.
Cornish Bards wear robes of blue with a distinctive headpiece. The Welsh Gorsedd have three bardic classes of Druids, Bards and Ovates and wear robes of white, blue or green accordingly.

 

 

Cornish

Ro, a Dhew, dha Wyth,
Hag yn Gwyth, Nerth,
Hag yn Nerth, Skyans,
Hag yn Skyans, Gothvos,
Hag yn Gothvos, Gothvos an Ewn,
Hag yn Gothvos an Ewn, y Gara,
Hag a Gara, Cara pup Bewnans,
Hag yn pup Bewnans Cara Dew:
Dew ha pup-oll Dader.

The Gorsedd Prayer

English

Grant, O God Thy Protection,
And in Protection, Power,
And in Power, Wisdom,
And in Wisdom, Knowledge,
And in Knowledge, Knowledge of what is Just,
And in Knowledge of what is Just, the Love of it,
And from Loving, to Love all Existence,
And in all Existence to Love God:
God and all Goodness.

Boscawen Un
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