Gorsedh 2014: Delegates from Wales and Britanny

Gorsedh 2014: Delegates from Wales and Brittany

The largest event in Gorsedh Kernow's calendar is the ceremony in September each year when new bards are admitted and competition prizes and major awards are presented. It is performed, weather permitting, in the open, at a different venue in Cornwall every year.

This year (2018) the ceremony will be held in St. Just in Penwith on the7th. September.

Gorsedh Kernow relies heavily on the support and co-operation of the local communities and Old Cornwall Societies to organise these ceremonies.

Following robing, bards process to the Gorsedh site and form a large circle, at the North-eastern point of which is a platform (The Rock) on which stand the Grand Bard, the Deputy Grand Bard, the Gorsedh Secretary and delegates from the Welsh and Breton Gorsedhs.


The proceedings open with a welcome from the Town Mayor or Local Dignitary, which is received and returned by the Grand Bard.

The Gorsedh ceremony itself starts with a symbolic call to the four corners of the Nation, this being made by the Horner on the instructions of the Herald Bard. This is followed immediately by the Gorsedh Prayer. The ceremony of peace is then performed by the Grand Bard, who thrice asks, "Is there peace?" On the assembled Bards replying "Peace", the Gorsedh is declared open.

The "Joining of the Sword" follows now. There is a divided sword for this part of the ceremony. One part is taken to the Rock by a representative of Brittany and the other part by a Bard from Cornwall. The Grand Bard joins the two parts together and gives the sword to the representative from Wales. This is to show the unity between Cornwall,Wales and Brittany.

A dance by the children precedes the "Lady of Cornwall", who is escorted by the Sword Bearer across the circle, presenting a sheaf of flowers and corn to the Grand Bard, symbolising God's gifts to Mankind. Then follows the song "He Will Come Again". "He" is Arthur in this setting, representing the Celtic Spirit. Now the Deputy Grand Bard offers a prayer for those Bards who have passed on during the past year. Their names are read and a commemoration hymn is sung.

Initiate Bards are then escorted to the Grand Bard who gives them their Bardic names and welcomes them into the College of Bards. The delegates from Wales and Brittany give short addresses to the Gorsedh. Then, after any announcements, the song "Hail to the Homeland" is sung.

The ceremony of the Sword follows. The partly-unsheathed sword is held aloft by the sword-bearer and is grasped by the Grand Bard. All on The Rock join the Grand Bard by placing their hands on the Grand Bard's shoulder. All the Bards break the circle and gather to the sword-bearer. By the same 'hands on shoulder' procedure, the whole Gorsedh is connected to the Sword. On being asked by the Grand Bard to swear their loyalty to Cornwall, our Motherland, the Bards shout their fealty.

All the Bards then sing "Land of Our Fathers", following which they return to re-form the circle.

The Cry of Peace, which preceded the opening of the Gorsedh is repeated before the Gorsedh is declared closed. The Bards and distinguished guests then process off the site.

Proclamation ceremony at Torpoint 2014

Proclamation ceremony at Torpoint 2014

When we consider Gorsedh Kernow ceremonies we tend to think of the main Bardic ceremony, but in order to build up vitally important awareness and support from local townspeople a Proclamation ceremony is held in the preceding April, announcing the coming of the College of Bards later in the year after receiving an invitation from, usually, the town’s Mayor.  Although both the Proclamation and main Bardic ceremonies are held in the same town or village, the actual venue of the two ceremonies can differ depending on the wishes of local people and the number of people likely to attend.

Proclamation ceremony

The Gorsedh Kernow Proclamation ceremony is very similar to but much shorter than the main Bardic ceremony but the same elements are present - an official welcome by a representative of the townspeople, the sounding of the Horn to the four parts of Cornwall and the cry of Peace!  The Proclamation  ceremony is also the first opportunity for everyone present to see who has been chosen to represent the town as the Lady of the Flowers and there is always a welcome to Celts from England and overseas before the Grand Bard of Cornwall closes the ceremony with  everyone  singing “Old Land Of Our Fathers” , the cry of "Peace!" and the Grand Bard's final words "Until we meet again.”

Awen ceremony

The  Awen ceremony is a recent development in the life of Gorsedh Kernow and was created to allow it to return to its roots and meet in a less formal way than is the custom with the main Bardic ceremony held in early September.  Previous settings for that main ceremony such as the Boscawen Un stone circle in St Buryan,  the Hurlers on Bodmin Moor and the Stripple Stones at Blisland have all hosted modern Awen ceremonies. 

Awen is a Celtic word meaning "inspiration", defined by some as a `flowing spirit', that is the essence of life sustaining essential links between people, cultural life and community. In the Gorsedh Kernow Awen ceremony the 3-rayed Awen symbol, signifying Wisdom, Truth and Love, is a catalyst for a charming and deeply moving part of the proceedings where four members of the local community are welcomed into the Bardic circle.

A hush descends as the waiting Bards come together, walking slowly and quietly as one towards the ceremonial place, turning left or right to form the circle which would welcome and receive the Grand Bard of Cornwall, the banner of Gorsedh Kernow and the special guests, without whom there would be no ceremony.  The ceremony is Cornish, now enjoying a genuine revival, with words from the Old Gorseddau or Bardic Assemblies of Wales and Cornwall, followed by the Gorsedh Prayer.

The declaration of Peace moves the focus of the ceremony on to the  Horn of Plenty, the Awen banner and eventually to the “centre piece” of the ceremony where two elders of the community, who have lived a full life, hand over to two children of the community the Gorsedh Kernow “Book of Life”, a piece of lime wood beautifully sculpted in the form of an open book, representing the passing of wisdom from one generation to another. 

After singing “Old Land Of Our Fathers” the Bards of Gorsedh Kernow withdraw from the circle, their short ceremony completed.

Songs from Gorsedh Kernow's ceremonies.  Video recordings.




Esedhvos Festival


Gorsedh ceremony St. Ives

Solempnita Porthia

An brassa hwarvos yn kalendar Gorsedh Kernow yw an solempnita mis Gwynngala, mayth yw degemerys Berdh nowydh hag yw res gobrow an kesstrifow ha'n pewasow moyha. Oberys yw ev, mars yw teg an gewer, y'n ayr ygor, yn le dyffrans yn Kernow pub bledhen.

An vledhen ma (2018) y feu an solempnita synsys yn Tewynblustri kynsa a vis Gwynnngala.

Y hwra fydhya Gorsedh Kernow meur yn skoodhyans ha kesoberyans an kemenethow a'n le ha'n Kowethasow Kernow Goth dhe formya an solempnitys ma.

Wostalleth, Berdh an Orsedh a geskerdh dhyworth an le may hwrussons i gwiska y'ga fows bys yn Park an Orsedh, le may formyons kylgh bras, mayth yw desedhys orth y boynt north-est arethva (An Garrek). Omma y kevir an Bardh Meur, Kannas Bardh Meur, Skrifennyas an Orsedh ha'n kannasow a-dhyworth Kembra ha Breten Vyghan.

Komendyans an solempnita yw gwrys dre dhynnargh dhe'n Orsedh gans Mer an Dre po Konsler aral a vri, hag yw degemerys ha dehwelys gans an Bardh Meur.

Y talleth an solempnita y honan gans galow arwodhek dhe'n peswar korn a'n Wlas, gelwys gans an Arwodhbardh ha senys gans an Kernyas. Hemm yw sewys a-dhistowgh gans Pysadow an Orsedh. Ena, an galow rag kres yw kriys gans an Bardh Meur, neb a wovyn teyrgweyth orth an Verdh, "Eus Kres?" Pan worthyp an Verdh teyrgweyth, "Kres!", an Orsedh yw ygerys.

Y sew lemmyn “Unyans an Kledha.” Rag an rann ma an svleolempnita, yma kledha rynnys. Unn rann yw dres dhe’n Garrek gans kannas a Vreten Vyhan, ha’n rann aral gans Bardh a Gernow. An Bardh Meur a jun war-barth an dhiw rann ha ri an kledha dien dhe gannas a Gembra. Hemm yw dhe dhiskwedhes an unyans yntra Kernow, Kembra ha Breten Vyghan.

Lemmyn, fleghes yowynk a enter an kylgh dhe dhonsya, hag yw sewys gans an Arlodhes a Gernow, hembrenkys gans an Kledhevor a-dreus an kylgh, dhe ri dhe'n Bardh Meur manal a vleyjyow hag ys avel arwodh a ro Duw dhe dhenses. Ena y sew an gan, "Arta Ev a Dheu". "Ev" yw Arthur, neb usi omma owth omdhiskwedhes avel an spyrys Keltek. Nessa, Kannas Bardh Meur a brof pysadow rag an Verdh re dremenas dres an vledhen usi passys. Aga henwyn yw lennys, ha kenys yw an hymna kovheans.

An Verdh nowydh yw lemmyn hembrenkys dhe'n Bardh Meur, neb a re dhedha aga henwyn bardhek hag a's dynnergh y'n Kolji a Verdh. Wosa bos degemerys an Berdh nowydh dhe'n Orsedh, an kannasow dhyworth Kembra ha Breten Vyhan a re aga gorhemmynadow dhe Orsedh Kernow. Yth yw hemma sewys gans an Riansow, hag ena y kenir an gan, "Hayl dh’Agan Mammvro".

Kettell yw gorfennys an gan ma, y sew solempnita an Kledha. An Kledha rann-diwonys yw synsys yn-ughel ha'n Bardh Meur a set dhalghen ynno. Peub usi war an Garrek a omjun gans an Bardh Meur dre worra y leuv war y skoodh. Y'n kettermyn, pub Bardh a omdorr dhyworth an kylgh hag omguntel yn ogas dhe'n Kledhevor, hag y'n keth vaner hag a wra an Verdh war an Garrek, gorra aga leuv war skoodh an Bardh usi nessa dhodho, may fo an Orsedh dhien omjunys dhe'n Kledha. Wosa bos govynnys gans an Bardh Meur dhe di aga lelder dhe Gernow, an Verdh a'n gwra gans garm.

Ena an Verdh oll a gan “Bro Goth agan Tasow”, hag a-wosa i a dhehwel rag daswul an kylgh.

An Garm Kres, kepar dell veu gwrys orth ygeryans an Orsedh, yw dasleverys, ha'n Orsedh yw derivys hy bos deges. An Verdh, ha'n ostysi a vri, a geskerdh dhyworth an park.

Pan gonsidryn solempnitys Gorsedh Kernow, tuedha a wren troha'n solempnita bardhek meur, mes, rag kressya aswonvos posek dres eghen ha skoodhyans dhyworth an werin leel, solempnita Gwarnyans yw synsys mis Ebrel kyns, ow terivas devedhyans an Kolji a Verdh diwettha y'n vledhen, wosa degemeres galow dhyworth, herwydh usadow, Mer an Dre. Kynth yw synsys ha'n Gwarnyans ha'n solempnita bardhek meur y'n keth dre po treveglos, y hyll dyffra tyller gwir an dhew solempnita, ow kregi war hwansow an werin leel ha war an myns a dus neb a wra dos, dres lycklod.

An Solempnita Gwarnyans

Solempnita Gwarnyans Gorsedh Kernow yw kehaval orth —mes kotta ages— an solempnita bardhek meur, byttegyns yma ynno an keth elvennow — dynnargh sodhogel gans kannas an vurjysi, galow an Korn dhe'n peder rann a Gernow ha'n galow Kres! Solempnita an Gwarnyans yw ynwedh an kynsa chons rag pub huni ena dhe weles piw re beu dewisys dhe representya an dre avel Arlodhes an Bleujyow hag yma pub prys dynnargh dhe Geltyon dhyworth Pow Sows ha tramor, kyns Bardh Meur Kernow dhe dhegea an solempnita gans pub huni ow kana “Bro Goth agan Tasow”, ow taskarma “Kres!”ha geryow diwettha an Bardh Meur “Erna dhyffyn arta war-barth”.

An solempnita Awen

An solempnita Awen yw displegyans a-dhiwedhes yn bewnans Gorsedh Kernow ha gwrys veu rag hy gasa dhe dhehweles dh'y gwreydh ha kuntel yn fordh le formel ages dell yw an vaner orth an solempnita bardhek meur synsys dalleth mis Gwynngala. Kuntellvaow kyns an solempnita meur na, avel dons meyn Boskawen an Woon yn Pluwveryan, An Hurlysi war Woon Fowydh ha'n Veyn Stryppel orth Pluw Vlus re ostyas solempnitys Awen arnowydh.

Piper Robin Holmes leads the Awen procession

Piber Robin Holmes ow ledya keskerdh Awen 2014

Awen yw ger keltek a styr yn Sowsnek “inspiration”, styrys gans nebes avel 'spyrys a ver', henn yw an teythi a vewnans ow sostena mellow essensek yntra tus, bewnans gonisogethek ha kemeneth. Yn solempnita Awen Gorsedh Kernow, an arwodh 3-dewyn Awen ow styrya Skiens, Gwir ha Kerensa yw katalyth rag rann vovyadow down a'n dyghtyans, mayth yw dynerghys peswar esel an gemeneth leel y'n kylgh bardhek.

Kosoleth a godh war an kylgh ha'n verdh ow kortos ena a dheu war-barth, ow keskerdhes yn lent ha kosel war-tu ha tyller an solempnita, ow treylya a-gledh hag a-dhyghow dhe formya an kylgh, a wra dynerghi ha degemeres Bardh Meur Kernow, baner Gorsedh Kernow ha'n westoryon arbennek, hebdha ma na via solempnita.  Yth hembrenkir an solempnita yn Kernewek, usi ow previ y'gan dydhyow dasserghyans gwir, gans geryow dhyworth an Hen Orseddau po Kuntellesow Bardhek a Gembra ha Kernow, sewys gans Pysadow an Orsedh.

Deklaryans a Gres a dhasfogel an solempnita tu ha Korn Gwlas, baner Awen ha wortiwedh “darvos kresel” an solempnita mayth ystyn dew henavek a'n gemeneth, neb re borthas bewnans leun, dhe dhew flogh a'n gemeneth “Lyver Bewnans” Gorsedh Kernow, tregh prenn lim kervys yn teg yn furv lyver ygor, ow representya ystynnans skiens a unn henedh dhe'n nessa.

Wosa kana “Bro Goth agan Tasow”, Berdh Gorsedh Kernow a omdenn a'n kylgh, aga solempnita berr kowlwrys.

Kanow dhyworth solempnitys Gorsedh.  Rekordyansow video.