An SCA Elevation in the Time of Covid

At 12th Night January 2020 Their Royal Majesties of Atlantia floored me with a Writ to contemplate joining the Order of the Laurel at Gulf Wars.

Like any new candidate there was squeaking and planning and ordering fabric and writing invitations and a hundred other things.

Then, Covid.

Gulf Wars was cancelled, and I won’t lie, I cried over a dream that fell apart.  We were on military orders to leave Atlantia and head to Drachenwald.  Now what?

With Their Majesties indulgence and a lot of work from my amazing peer, Mistress Marion, a virtual vigil and elevation was planned.  My husband conspired with them and it became a magical affair.  I wanted to share with you what worked, what was hard, and what didn’t work as well in hopes that it may be of assistance as the shutdowns due to Covid linger on.

 

Vigil:

https://www.facebook.com/libby.cripps.5/videos/10159303298102784/?t=0

My vigil was amazing. I had come from West Kingdom to Atlantia and a virtual vigil allowed me to talk to people from Alaska to Italy.  I spent hours laughing and crying and listening to amazing wisdom.  Many long time peers commented that being able to hear everyone’s words was incredibly special.

What worked (set up):

  • We set up a dedicated room for my vigil in a spare bedroom.  It was decorated much like a vigil tent with banners, decorations, drinks, and snacks.  There was a display of my work and of gifts from others who had prepared them for the vigil.
  • We set up two devices – a laptop at head height gave me a comfortable way to talk to guests and speakers through zoom.  A phone mounted across the room live streamed the entire thing on Facebook.
  • We planned a full evening, and planned it ahead of time.  I had time to mentally prepare to be on stage for 6 hours.
  • Like the room, I dressed in a special vigil gown.
  • My hubby provided tech support (turned the phone sideways so the video would be right side up, answered questions, etc).
  • My peer used a pro Zoom account to allow us unlimited guests / time frame and shared the link but set the call to require approval for guests.  This let her make sure notables and Their Majesties would be able to access the group.

What worked (vigil)

  • The notable speakers were part of the opening of the vigil instead of the elevation ceremony.
  • My husband acted as hands for Their Majesties and they directed him as such.
  • My peer managed the speakers – unmuting and directing each person to speak in their turn.  She used two devices for this, one that was “her” and one that stayed on the guest list screen that she used to control and monitor the audience and chat.
  • After the vigil officially began, Marion kept a running list of the order of guests to speak.  We went by order of joining the chat.  Zoom makes this slightly challenging as it automatically sorts guests into alphabetical order – instead of time joined.

Lessons learned:

  • The only thing I’d have changed was to have my peer and her husband there with us.  The audience was amazing, the speakers were phenomenal.  I have a video of my vigil and so much wisdom to carry forth with my journey.  That is truly priceless.

 

Elevation

https://www.facebook.com/libby.cripps.5/videos/10159306068802784/?t=0

The elevation was more challenging.  This was one of the first virtual courts, and we learned valuable lessons (like don’t put laptops in the sun! lol).  There was still a lot of awesome.

I got dressed early and we did a mini photo shoot down the street in my gown, but no regalia.  I shared these photos just before court began.

The tech set up was similar to my vigil.  There was a zoom conference laptop with Their Majesties, and a mobile phone streaming to Facebook.  Their Majesties were streaming on YouTube.

My family was again planned to act as hands for Their Majesties, and all were in garb.  This is also the one thing I’d change, I would have loved to have my peer there if we couldn’t have had regular court.

Keep it a surprise!  I had seen my wreath, but the rest of the regalia and the scroll were amazing surprises that made the day a treasure.

After the ceremony, we did additional photos with regalia.  These were so much fun to share!

The Takeaway

If I had one piece of advice for anyone planning a virtual court or ceremony it’s get rid of the mundane.  Creating a space where the sink full of dishes, the tv, etc aren’t in your face is very helpful.

Have some support.  The hubby refilling my cup or fixing the camera was priceless for a long vigil.

We can create our own magic in times when the world won’t let us create it together.  Below is a photo album of my little bit of magic.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me!

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