Tolkien Gateway

Standing Silence

Standing Silence[1] was a custom of the Gondorians to stand in a moment of silence, facing west, before meals. As Faramir told Frodo Baggins in Henneth Annûn, "We look toward Númenor that was, and beyond to Elvenhome that is, and to that which is beyond Elvenhome and will ever be."[2]

[edit] Tolkien Society tradition

The Tolkien Society has a tradition of reciting the Standing Silence at events. Before a meal, attendees face west and the Chairman recites the Standing Silence as told by Faramir.[3]

For anyone who had previously been to events in the Tolkien Society the Standing Silence and the toasts to the Professor and to absent friends were of course expected and familiar as old friends, but though one has read about it, it is a different matter to actually be there and be a part of it. Rituals have the function of tying people together, of strengthening the sense of unity and common purpose and interests, and this sense of community is, at least for me, a very valuable addition to being a Tolkien enthusiast.
The Return of the Ring by Troels Forchhammer

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Window on the West"
  3. "Standing Silence?" dated 6 March 2005, The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza: Forum (accessed 5 September 2014)