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Neopagans and Pastoral Care

by Dubhlainn

I have heard that what we today term as pastoral or spiritual care was probably not a function of the clergy of ancient pre-Christian peoples. I can’t deny this, in fact I agree that it is highly unlikely that what we think of as the priestly class at those times would have done a great deal of traveling to visit the sick and hurting. And yet, as a modern people, I still believe it is a function and an essential aspect of our clergy. Or should be. When I say this people get confused sometimes, even angry. “That’s not their job” they say or “they are not trained in that” and while that may be true that our training is lacking in spiritual care it is, I believe, their job. When you sign up to be clergy one must understand that at times the people one serves will call upon you, and that sometimes you will have to drop what your doing and be there. Not to fix them, or even to council them really, but to just be there. Just to be a safe place, and shoulder cry one, and steady and silent hand upon their shoulder, a willing participant and advocate… someone on their side.

Will we, assuming I someday do attain clergy status, make mistakes when called into these situations? Of course we will. Will we have all the answers? Of course we won’t. THAT is not the job. To be perfect to be the sole resource for the people serve… that is is not the job. Nor is the job to be a go between between the one in pain and the Kindreds. The job is just to be there, to recognize the need, to go when called. At least that is the job I am called to, the one I think is an essential part of what it means to take on the title and oathing to serve the folk.

Read the original article at: Druuid

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