Duties to a Kindred

WM. Dwinnells

One day while explaining the basic tenets of Asatru and the structure of its religious bodies, the question was asked what responsibility an individual had to his or her kindred. The individual wanted to know if the responsibility owed was similar to the Christian churches where the member need not even attend the services, but merely send in the amount of money asked for. I began to wonder at this question myself, not wanting our religion to become like so many others.

The first duty owed to our kindreds would be regular attendance. The kindred cannot function if people do not attend. I have heard some say that making a monetary donation should be sufficient. I say this is simply not true. While the money most certainly does help, it cannot make up for the impression made on new people when they are the only ones showing up for a ritual. Also since Asatru is still a growing religion a lack of regular attendees will lead to only one view being put across instead of many peoples personal takes on a subject.

The next duty we have to our kindred is loyalty. I will assume that every kindred has some sort of leader whether it be an elected leader or not. This person has taken on the responsibility of being in charge of the kindred as a whole. I say that we should ask these leaders what we can do for them to make there job easier. I am not saying that we have to center our lives around whatever kindred we may belong to, but sometimes just asking if we can pick up the mead will take a lot off the mind of the person in charge.

Another duty we have to our kindred is helping the other members of that kindred. This could include the simple willingness to give a ride to events, but also on a deeper level to really be their for each other in times of need. We must remember that while our religion espouses the glory of the individual, that individual usually only as good as the community from which he came. We also do not want to be like other religions we member of the same church are strangers to each other. The fact that we have chosen the word "kindred" to name our religious bodies should mean, in practice as well as definition, a much closer relationship to each other then is found in most, but certainly not all, mainstream churches.

As I look at these duties i can not help but feel that if all the kindreds in Asatru would follow these simple guidelines and really take them to heart our religion would grow by leaps and bounds. Others would be shocked by our commitment to our religion as well as to those who make up our kindreds. No one at that point would be able to deny that what we have built and our children will inherit, is a real community in every sense of the word.