At Samhain, along with places set for human guests, the table also holds places for those who have passed beyond the veil. The chair at the head of the table is shrouded in black and represents the deity. The host or hostess sits at the opposite end of the table. There are six rules for the Ritual of the Mute Supper:
The supper should take place in Sacred Space.
All dinnerware and the tablecloth should be black.
No one may speak during the course of the supper
Candlelight or lamplight should be used.
All must bring a written prayer for each ancestor honored.
Each living guest should bring a divination tool.
Begin the feast at midnight on Samhain Eve. Invite family members, coven members, friends -- the choice is entirely up to you. If inviting friends or extended family, this feast works well as a pot luck supper.
Prior to the ritual, place a black votive candle at the seats of all deceased family members and a white votive candle at the head of the table. Cast a circle, call quarters or ritually clean the area as you see fit.
Place your hands on the shrouded chair at the head and invite the Spirit to your feast. Walk around the table touching each ancestor's place, while explaining that the feast is in their honor.
As each guest enters the room in silence, they place the prayers for each of their ancestors under that ancestor's plate. All living guests should then join hands and pray silently for the blessing of the meal and those present, both living and dead. Afterwards, the host or hostess serves the empty plates, then the living guests from oldest to youngest.
Since no one can speak during the course of the meal, the host or hostess must attend to the needs of the guests by passing food around the table. (Food could be placed at both ends of the table to make serving easier).
When the meal is over, the living again join hands and ask for the Blessing of the Spirit on the living and the dead. They then leave the room in silence. When the guests are gone, the host or hostess closes the circle and/or the quarters, after which the guests may return to assist in cleanup. At this time, guests may discuss any impressions they received during the feast.
When the table is cleared, the guests break out their divination tools. They may pair off or do a group reading. Allow the candles to burn until the last guest has gone home, then snuff each candle.