The Dos and Don’ts of vigils

In the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, we are amazingly blessed with many dedicated servants to the Crown and the SCA community. Frequently, our friends and neighbors are recognized by the Crown and offered membership in the Peerage order as appropriate to the candidate’s area of expertise. These are the Order of Chivalry, the Order of Defense, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of the Pelican.

Usually, to celebrate the occasion, just before the elevation to their order, there is a celebration during which the candidate sits in a private or quiet corner, and ponders the upcoming honor with the advice and words of encouragement and inspiration from others. This vigil can be as simple or as elaborate as the candidate desires, and is overseen by friends and supporters.

A big question is: who can visit a vigil? Absolutely anyone can visit the person that is sitting in vigil, whether you know them or not. However, as always, courtesy and respect matter. Here are some recommendations from Her Esteemed Ladyship, The Honorable Lady Mannerly of Knowsalot:

DON’T snarf the food. DO appreciate the attractive and appetizing array of food, but delay eating until after you have spoken with the candidate.

DON’T barge into the candidate’s sitting area. DO find the person who is keeping track of the people waiting to enter and have your name put onto the list of visitors.

DO try to remain in (or return to) the general area so as to be available when you are called.

DO be happy for the candidate! They are receiving an award for their outstanding work in a field they love. Ask about their work, ask about their plans for future endeavors, and above all, if you have words of encouragement, advice, or affection, say them.

After the visit, DO help yourself to the food, chat with the others around, visit with friends, meet new people. There may be a book for people to sign and leave a message, so feel free to do so. Otherwise, go and enjoy the rest of the event.

In service to the Dream,
Elss of Augsburg