Aereth Rituals And Practices
Those seeking to join the priesthood must be baptized at a large body of water, or a shrine of the goddess. They are submerged under water, and must let go of any fears or concerns, giving themselves fully to their faith and trust that the goddess will keep them safe. They often serve some years as sailors in the crew of a ship, or join as assistants in planning expeditions, often those that require traveling through a body of water. Many of their priests remain part of sailing crews, and most ships make sure to at least have one priest of Aereth in their ships before they sail out. Since sea water is not always available, priests are known to carry a small canteen or flask filled with it on their person, often used when they need to give out blessings on land.
Services: Priests of Aerth preach about the importance of discovering new things during their services, and purging their worries away through the cleansing of water during their services. Before starting service the faithful line up to wash their hands on a bowl of blessed water, as a sign of leaving their worries behind before entering the shrine, and do the same with their feet before leaving to ask the goddess to always keep them on the right path.
Blessing of the Sea - Before leaving in a journey, sailors are known to request a blessing of the sea from a priest of a Aereth. The ritual is similar to the baptism that initiates undergo, but for a shorter period of time. The priest will hold the sailor underwater for a few moments, then dipping his or her thumb in the water, uses it to draw a wave on their forehead. The blessing is often performed at a beach, but when this is not possible, a barrel of blessed sea water is acceptable. A shorter version of the blessing is given to those going in long journeys, with the priest dipping his or her thumb in water and drawing a wave on the faithful’s forehead.