The Ignoblis Ritae
The following is from the Player's Guide to the Sabbat:

The Ignoblis Ritae are rituals created and observed by various packs.  Most packs observe one or more rituals of this type.  These rituals may or may not require the use of the Sabbat clergy.  Most of the Ignoblis Ritae are held during the packs' weekly meetings - the esbats. Many of these rituals are more along the lines of protocol and tradition rather than ritualism.  Keep in mind that all packs are not the same,so the type and number of rituals they employ will vary.  Most packs use somewhere between three and ten rituals as their own Ignoblis Ritae in addition to the Auctoritas Ritae common to almost all packs.  Some categories of Ignoblis Ritae are as follows:

Acceptance Rites:
Almost all packs have a specific ritual that they use to recognize a new leader, accept a probationary member as a full member, and accept a Sabbat recruit as True Sabbat.  The nature of the acceptance rites varies from pack to pack, but usually involves all members of the pack recognizing the new position of their fellow Sabbat, as well as that Sabbat taking some sort of oath of allegiance.
Farewell Rites:

This ritual is used to bid a fellow Sabbat, or an entire Sabbat pack, farewell.  This ritual is used when a visiting pack leaves, when a fellow pack member leaves for a long period of time, and occasionally to honor the recently destroyed.  The farewell Rites usually involve the leader of the pack praising those who leave.
 Initiation Rites:

The initiation rites are an important tradition for all Sabbat.  This ceremony transfers rights to the individual, making him or her a Sabbat.  This ritual differs from the acceptance rites in that the acceptance rite involves the entire pack.  Initiation rites generally occur before the acceptance.  For instance, defectors from the Camarilla go through initiation rites, but it may be years before they get the acceptance rates.  The initiation rites are used to confer the power of the sect, not the power of the pack. 

Welcoming Rites:
Packs use these rites to greet other Sabbat.  The welcoming rites of both packs are combined for the celebration, with both bringing some new aspect to the festivities.  The rites are more like a party, but at two points certain protocol is carried out.  At the beginning of the welcoming rites, all pack members greet each other individually, presenting their names and their home.  At the high point of the celebration, a gift is usually exchanged from pack to pack.  The two leaders often use this ritual as an opportunity to discuss Sabbat plans.
Some examples of types of Ignoblis Ritae are below:

Blessings: The pack invokes a blessing upon itself or another for some important purpose.
The ritual is used before dangerous missions and occasionally before a Jyhad.  It serves primarily as a morale boost.

Call to Caine: These are various speeches that call upon the guidance of Caine for some great mission or event.
The Sabbat priest is not the only one that leads this ritual; all the pack members get a turn.

Confession:  This ritual is less a confession than it is a bragging contest.  It is used at celebrations where each individual
vampire relates his best, greatest and vilest accomplishments.

Consecration Rites: These rituals sanctify an area or building.  Usually a sacrifice of some kind is used and the area
is then marked with signs representing its sanctity.

Dance Macabre: The Dance of Death is held simply to celebrate being a vampire.  The entire pack participates.
Its members dance around, wrestle and drink each other's blood.  Many packs dress in costumes and masks representing death.
It is not uncommon for participants to frenzy.

Ghost Dance: This special dance is held to honor the dead.  The dance is not only for fallen members of the pack,
but also for its human victims.  The dance is carried out in many different ways.

Harvest Rites: The harvest represents the in mortal food supply.  The Rites are held to bless the Hunt.  The pack calls for aid
in catching prey and covering the evidence.  The Rite usually involves the Blood Feast before or afterward.

Jyhad Rites: The pack it asks for a blessing in upcoming Jyhad through this ritual.  It often acts out a mock battle, though
Sabbat have been known to get carried away and seriously hurt each other.

Oaths of Fealty: This is a less this is less a ritual than a swearing of mutual allegiance to one another.  All the Sabbat of the pack
profess their loyalty and responsibility to one another.

Pack Creed: The pack creed is a short, emotional speech about the duties of pack members and the honor of the pack.

Running the Gauntlet: The pack actually forms two parallel lines with a few feet between them.  Then all pack members in
turn or one chosen pack member, runs between the two lines while the other vampires beat him.

Sacrificial Rites: This is a ritual involving the sacrifice of the human, Lupine or vampire.  The pack may hold the sacrifice as part
of another ritual or separately for some special reason.

Sun Dance: The Sun Dance is a ritual dance held from sunset to sunrise without pause.  The ritual is always held on a full moon.
Pack members usually dress in masks or paint.  The Sun Dance often involves a pack member acting as a sacrifice by taking the test
of pain known as the Indian stick trial for the length of the sun dance.

 Sunrise Service: This is a ritual of bravery.  The Sabbat perform some special ceremony, then wait outside.  The Sabbat prove their
courage by seeing who among them can longest remain in the open as the sun rises. Many Sabbat have died during this ritual.

Tests of pain: During this ritual a Sabbat willingly puts herself to a test to see how strong of spirit he or she is.  The ritual is used by
some on all who would claim leadership, and by some as a form of  punishment.  There may be any number of reasons the test is used.
A few examples of the kinds of tests are the Indian stick trial (where the pack hangs the subject up by a stake poked through the chest),
the trial by fire (where various body parts of the subject are singed) and fasting.  Various forms of torture are also commonly used.

Thanksgiving Ritual: The vampires give thanks for some accomplishment in this ritual.  They recognize someone or something as the
reason for their success.

Visionquest: In some packs, if an individual wishes to become a leader or simply seeks advice, she must go on a visionquest.  The
Sabbat's visionquest is similar to that of the Plains Indians.  The Sabbat must go alone to a desolate spot.  There he or she must fast,
drinking only enough vitae to avoid torpor.  She must pray constantly, meditate, and mutilate herself to induce a vision.

War Dance: The war dance is a ritual dance similar to the Jyhad Rites, but the war dance is held before the commencement of a war
party.  The war dance may also be held during crusades.


Other ways that packs can customize themselves are as follows, and are not Ignoblis Ritae, but merely differences in style by which one may identify himself with his pack.

Manner of dress: Packs dress in a variety of styles.  They may dress a certain way during a particular ritual, or for all rituals.  Some ideas for particular features include facemasks, face and/or body paint, ceremonial robes and clothing of a certain color.

Songs: Packs often have unique songs which they sing on a regular basis.  The songs can have any purpose: to show pride, to show disdain for the enemy, for historical reasons were just for humor.

Symbols: Packs often have their own symbols that they wear on their clothing and use to mark their territory.

Tales: Packs often tell tales at their esbats.  Most packs develop their own collection of tales based upon pack war, pack heroes, the Camarilla and Sabbat history as they see it.

Trials: while the entire sect has procedures for trying a person accused of a crime, many packs prefer their own brand of justice.  They often conduct trials their own way, with their own judge and jurors.  They even mete out their own forms of punishment.  Among the punishments are burning, drawing and quartering, making the guilty a Blood Feast victim,  making him or her ^Walk the plank off a high-rise building, and permanent imprisonment.

All these special customs are of course voluntary and vary from pack to pack.


Oftentimes, Ignoblis Ritae are held at certain significant times.  Some examples of these times are as follows:

Summer solstice, winter solstice, vernal equinox, Autumnal equinox, first or last day of the month, certain day of the week, first day of the moon phase, a full moon, new moon, waning moon.  Naturally, these are only examples, and your pack may very well be on a different schedule entirely.


Well, that's what the Player's Guide to the Sabbat has to say about customizing your pack.  Some things to consider when deciding upon and creating your own Ignoblis Ritae are such things as the clans in your pack, the Paths of Enlightenment that each member follows, the Nature and Demeanor of each character (or only that of the leader or priest), what political faction your pack's members support, what your general
attitude and worldview is, and so on.

Naturally, a pack of Cathari are going to celebrate the Ghost Dance in a much different manner than a pack comprised mostly of Necronomists.  Likewise, a pack of Ultra-Conservatives is likely to do things in a very different manner than a bunch of Loyalist rabble.  Lasombra are more likely to be regal in their proceedings than a pack of Panders, and Tzimisce will probably be more occult-oriented than a pack of Gangrel. The guidelines above from the Player's Guide to the Sabbat should give you some ideas of the things that you can do, but you need to remember the following things about rituals when you are creating your own:

Rituals are what make one night different from the next.  Having a ritual every day of the week only decreases each ritual's value.

Rituals have a very distinct beginnings, guidelines, and ends.  Pack members should never be uncertain whether not a ritual is being performed.  (part of the ritual is knowing that the ritual is happening; otherwise it has no value)

Rituals should serve some purpose.  Whether it is celebrating some event, mourning a fallen comrade, reveling in freedom, or honing each pack member's skills, the Ritae should always have been created for a purpose, and still continue to serve some purpose, but whether not the current service is the same as the original purpose is up to you know.

Rituals generally have a leader who guides the participants through the ritual.  This leader is usually the pack priest, though the pack leader or others have been known to perform rituals in the Sabbat.

The more intense rituals generally involve some sort of rhythm, be it stomping, clapping, snapping, singing, or the like.  Naturally, this is less likely to be a part of a Lasombra ritual than a Ravnos antitribu's ritual, but punctuation and phases assist the feel of the ritual.

In creating your rituals, you need to realize that acting out an emotionally charging event can emotionally charge the players as well as the characters involved.  While this is not necessarily intrinsically bad, it is * very * important that the line separating fantasy and reality be kept * extremely * strong while participating in rituals.  Rituals are one thing that keeps the Sabbat strong in the World of  Darkness, but can be scary and alienating in the real world.  The Sabbat is made up of inhuman monsters, and each player needs to be very careful when engaging in emulation of such creatures.  Every player who participates in an in-character ritual needs to be cautious to keep his participation completely in-character.