Monthly Archives: November 2011

First Sunday of Advent: Hope

During the season of Advent, a short meditation practice will be shared for each Sunday (and Christmas Day), that is suited for use with lighting an Advent wreath.  For those of you not familiar with Advent wreaths, please allow me to explain:  the wreath is (usually) a circular candle holder, in which is placed three purple candles, and one rose colored candle.  Occasionally you’ll find Advent wreaths that also hold a central candle to be lit on Christmas Day, but the practice consists of lighting one candle each Sunday of Advent (the pink candle being reserved for the third Sunday) until all are lit, while praying, meditating, and reading from scripture.  This is often a nice practice to accompany the evening meal, but can be done at any time of day.  What follows is a short home Advent pratice for the First Sunday of Advent.  May Christ our indwelling Lord bless you all during this holy Advent season.

On the first day, it is appropriate to pray a blessing over the Advent wreath before commencing with the rest of the candle-lighting ritual.  This does not need to be repeated on the following Sundays.

The Blessing of the Wreath

O God, by Whose Word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ within, and may receive from Thee grace in abundance. Through Christ our Indwelling Lord. Amen.

Advent Sunday

Intent for the Day:  Seeking the Light

Pray:  In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

℣. O Emmanuel, Christ, desire of all people, come and dwell within our hearts.  Fill us with hope in Thee.

℟. Amen.

Let us pray. O Father of us all, we pray to Thee, that as our days grow shorter, and our nights grow longer, we do always remember to seek Thee in all things.  We remember that even in the darkest of nights Thou art with us, as the evergreen remains so even in the depths of winter.  As we light the first candle on our wreath we remember Thy promise of old that the Christ should come among us, and bring Light to the world.  We search our own hearts, and prepare them for the birth of the Christ within.

The first purple candle is lit, and O Come Emmanuel may be sung, followed by a time of personal meditation on Seeking the Light.  Then follows a reading:

A reading from the Book of Sophia:  Seek, all of you, after the Light, so that the power of your Soul that is in you may live. Do not desist from seeking by day and by night, until you find the purifying mysteries of the Light which refine the body of matter, and make it a pure Light very refined. Do to all who come to you, and believe in you, and listen to your words what is worthy of the mysteries of the Light. Give the mysteries of the Light, and do not hide them from them. For he who shall give life to a single soul, and liberate it, besides the Light that is in his own soul, shall receive other glory in return for the soul he has liberated.

Alleluia, alleluia. Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam, et salutare tuum da nobis. Alleluia.

(Alleluia, alleluia. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy; and grant us Thy salvation. Alleluia.)

Amen.

(The link to the lyrics of O Come Emmanuel above contains a midi of the basic tune, but for a better idea of how it is sung, feel free to check out this YouTube video, if you’re not already familiar with this traditional Advent song.)

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Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel

The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel consists of 9 sections of 3 beads each, separated by a single bead.  Hanging from the center piece, there are four beads (for the four Archangels), and there is usually a St. Michael medal or a cross hanging from the end.  The history of this Chaplet goes back to a devout Servant of God, Antonia d’Astonac, who had a vision of St. Michael. He told Antonia to honor him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael promised that whoever would practice this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance, and that of all the holy angels during life.

Each salutation asks for a quality traditionally associated with that particular choir of angels (for example, the Seraphim are said to be on fire with perfect love for God).  This chaplet, with its connection to the most Blessed Sacrament, is most appropriate to prepare oneself to receive the Eucharist.  Remember, all the choirs of angels are invoked in the Sursum Corda of the Mass, and we are called to continually give thanks unto God just as the angels do in His presence:  “It is very meet right, and our bounden duty that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Fath­er, Almighty Everlasting God. Therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones, Dominions, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers, with Cherubim and Seraphim, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magni­fy Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee and saying:  ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts…'”  Through this chaplet, we can more fully unite with the holy angels in their praise and adoration of the Father.

Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel

Begin with the Sign of the Cross, and say:

Incline unto my aid, O God; O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

Say one Our Father (or Gnostic’s Prayer) and three Hail Sophias after each of the following salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels.

1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim, may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect love. Amen.

2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim, may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of the world and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.

3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.

4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions, may the Lord give us the grace to govern our senses, and win the victory over our lower selves. Amen.

5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers, may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the adversary. Amen.

6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues, may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation to stray from the path of Light. Amen.

7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities, may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience to the Divine Will. Amen.

8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels, may the Lord give us perseverance in the faith and knowledge of God, and in all good works, in order that we may attain the glory of Kingdom, and enter at last into the Realms of Light. Amen.

9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels, may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life, and conducted into the life to come. Amen.

Say one Our Father (or Gnostic’s Prayer) in honor of each of the four Archangels:
St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and St. Uriel.

Concluding prayers:

O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of evil spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King, and our admirable conductor, thou who shinest with excellence and superhuman virtue: deliver us from all evil, who turn to thee with confidence, and enable us by thy gracious protection to serve the Father more and more faithfully every day.

℣. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ,
℟. That we may be made worthy of His promises.

Let us pray. Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness, and a merciful desire for the salvation of all, hath appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Thy Church, make us worthy, we ask Thee, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Thy Divine Presence. This we ask through Christ our indwelling Lord. Amen.

Prayers of the Chaplet

Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our supersubstantial bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  (For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory unto the æons.) Amen.

Gnostic’s Prayer

Almighty God, whose footstool is the highest firmament, Great Ruler of Heaven, and all the powers therein:  Hear the prayers of Thy Servants, who put their trust in Thee.  We pray Thee, supply our needs from day to day.  Command Thy Heavenly Host to comfort and succor us, that it may be to Thy glory and unto the good of man.  Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive our brothers and sisters; be present with us: strengthen and sustain us, for we are but instruments in Thy hands.  Let us not fall into temptation; defend us from all danger and evil; let Thy mighty power ever guard and protect us.  Thou great fount of knowledge and Wisdom, instruct Thy servants by Thy holy presence; guide and support us, now and forever.  Amen.

Hail Sophia

Hail Sophia, filled with Light, the Christ is with Thee.  Blessed art thou amongst the Æons,  and blessed is the Liberator of Thy Light, Jesus.  Holy Sophia, Mother of all gods, pray to the Light for us Thy children,  now and in the hour of our death.  Amen.

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Little Office of Compline

This is a Little Office of Compline, also compiled by Rev. Mother Marsha Emrick+, as an official prayer of the Order of St. Esclarmonde.  For those who are unable to keep the 8 canonical hours of the day, Prime and Compline are most excellent practices: one to begin the day in praise of the Father and Mother, and the other to end the day, not only in praise, but also in examination of oneself.

The Office of Compline
To be said prior to retiring for the evening.

In the Name of the One + True Father, in Barbelo, the Mother of all, in the union of the Christosophia, peace be to all on whom this Name reposes. Amen.

O Blessed One, Lady of the Stars, Who wraps the night around me as Her sweet smelling hair, remain with me as the moon ascendeth to the heavens. Amen.

O Heavenly Paraclete, the comforter, Sprit of Truth, Who art in all places and endurest all things, Treasury of endless good, and Well of infinite compassion: Come and take up thine abode in me, and cleanse me of every obscuration; and liberate my soul, O Perfect One. Amen.

Repeat thrice:
O Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, shed Thy glory upon me.
(or Hagios ho theos, Hagios ischyros, Hagios athanatos, eleison imas.)

Glory be to the Father ,and to the Mother, and to the Holy Child;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

O God from Whom all desires for Gnosis, all good counsels, and all just works proceed; give unto Thy servant that peace and wisdom which the world cannot give; both that my heart may be set to be inclined to Thy divine inspiration, and also that by Thee, I being defended from fear of all evil may pass my days in serenity and peace; through Christ, our indwelling Lord. Amen.

On taking to sleep, Heavenly Father, I sing Thy praises and dare say to Thee again with mindfulness the prayer that the Divine Master taught us:

Our Father who art in the depths of the Æons, may Thy Holy Sophia and Christ be understood and adored in all the Universe; may the kingdom of Thy Holy Spirit come to us, may Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our spiritual food, the strength and courage to earn bread for our body. And forgive us our digressions from Thy Law, as our Assembly forgives the penitent. Support us in our weakness, so that we are not carried away by our passions, and deliver us from the deceptive mirages of the archons. For we have no other king than Thy beloved Son, the Christ our Savior, Whose is the kingdom and the triumph and the glory unto the æons of æons. Amen.

Calling to remembrance our most holy, undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of the Æons and ever-blessed Sophia, with all the Saints, I commend myself and my life unto Christ, my Lord.

O Queen of Heaven, Celestial Bride, Holy Sophia, grant me Thy Wisdom that I might not stumble in darkness. Bless me that even in sleep I may walk in Thy ways, and remain in the Gnosis of who I am, of where I am from, and whither I am hastening, that the rest of my days may be the best of my days, and that I may experience the resurrection now, and in the life to come. Amen.

Burn incense if desired

Hear me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth in Thy sight as incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice.

Hymn

O gladsome radiance of the holy glory of the Father immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed Christ! In that we are now come unto the setting of the sun, and behold the light of even, we hymn Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: God. For it is meet that at all times Thou shouldst be magnified by voices propitious, O Son of God, Who bestoweth life. For which cause all the world doth glorify Thee.

Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.
Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thine eye.
Shelter me under the shadow of Thy Wings.
Protect me, O Lord, while I am awake, and safeguard me while I sleep,
That I may keep watch with Christ, and rest in peace

Glory be to the Father, to the Mother, and to the Holy Child;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

O Glorious Godhead of the Æons, Thou Who art surrounded by the radiant presence of the host of holy angels and messengers of light, hear my prayer, and listen to my supplications which rise from this world of shadows toward Thine abode of unending light.
Night has spread its veil over me, everything invites me to meditate. I raise my thoughts to Thee, O Divine Propator, and I come into Thy presence. Blessed be my heavenly Father and Mother. I search my heart, so that I my go forth in spirit, and gather the sparks of Light from the sea of forgetfulness.

Examination of Conscience
Read and meditate on each line of the Examen

Did I hide my religious thoughts when, on the contrary, I should have expressed them clearly?
Have I mixed the name of God with words of impatience, anger, lying, or thoughtlessness?
Have I at all times had a firm will, and have I always subjected it to the light of reason?
Have I always preserved my honor?
Have I always been moderate in prosperity, and patient in adversity?
Have I been angry?
Have I been proud, vain, or haughty?
Have I always treated my neighbor as a brother, and with love?
Have I acted out of hatred or vengeance?
Have I abstained from gossip, from slander, and from rash judgments?
Have I put right the wrong caused to my fellow beings?
Have I always told the truth?
Have I always kept my word when it was given?
Finally, have I filled my day well?

These, O my Father, are my faults; I admit them before Thee, and even though Thou seest into the depths of my heart, I confess them to Thee nevertheless, and I admit them before heaven and earth. In thought, word and deed, O God, my Father, I have wandered from the path that leads to liberation. O my God and my Father, I have missed the mark Thou has set for me; break the hardness of my heart, and by Thine infinite strength and goodness make it receptive to the Truth of Thy Gnosis, and in Thy loving-kindness forgive me, O my God, for all the wrong that I have done and caused to be done; forgive me for all the good I have not done, and which I should have done, or that I have done badly; forgive me for all my wrongdoings which I know, and also for those which I do not know, from all my lifetimes, even until today, that I may be worthy to call myself Thy child, and may partake in the inheritance of the Kingdom of the Light. Amen.

Lord, O divine Propator, who art the Father of the Lights, and the Protector of all those who trust in Thee, deign to take me in Thy holy protection during this night and keep me from all earthly dangers, and spiritual perils. During the sleep of my body make my soul watch in Thee. Subdue in me all wrong desires; make my conscience enjoy a holy tranquility; take far from me all evil thoughts, and all the dangerous illusions of the Archons. Grant Thy powerful protection to all whom I love; my parents, my friends, and to all those who make up the household of the Gnosis, and to all human spirits still wandering in this place of exile, whether they be in the body or out of the body.

Closing Psalm

I will bless the Lord who giveth me counsel; even in the night my heart doth exhort me. It is vain to rise up early, to put off rest, for God giveth to his beloved in sleep. Day poureth out the word today, and night unto night imparteth Gnosis. Day-by-Day the Lord bestoweth his grace, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit searcheth me diligently. I consider the days of old, the years long past. For a thousand years in Thy sight, O Lord are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
Give light to mine eyes, O Lord, that I may not sleep in death. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be my light. Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee, but to Thee the darkness and the light are both alike; the night shineth as the day.
The Lord who keepeth me will not sleep. Behold, He will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is my keeper; the Lord is my shade upon my right hand. The sun shall not smite me by day, nor the moon by night. I shall not fear. I shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flieth by day. The Lord shall preserve me from all evil; He shall preserve my soul. As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for Thou alone, O Lord, keep watch upon my dwelling. The Lord shall preserve my going out, and my coming in from this time forth, and forevermore. Praise be to Thee, O Lord.

Closing Prayers

Lord, O Divine Propator, Who art the Father of the lights, and the Mother of compassion, the protector of all who trust in Thee: deign to take me in Thy holy protection during this night, and keep me from all danger, and from every peril. During the sleep of my body, make my soul watch in Thee. Subdue in me all wrong desires; make my conscience enjoy a holy tranquility; take far from me evil thoughts, and all the dangerous illusions of the Archon. Grant Thy powerful protection to my relations, to my friends, and to all those who make up the family of Gnostics, and generally to all people. Father, as I fall asleep, I place my confidence in Thee and in the double and shining star of the Pleroma. Amen.

Let the Light of the Divine Soul illumine all beings and myself. That all may be guarded from distress and want; that all our days be perfect, holy and peaceful: That what is good and profitable for our souls, and for the peace of the whole world may be granted us: That the rest of our lives may be spent in the Gnosis of Truth. So let the Light of the Divine Soul illumine all beings.

Hail Sophia filled with light, the Christ is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst the Æons, and blessed is the liberator of Thy light, Jesus. Holy Sophia, Mother of all gods, pray for us Thy children, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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Little Office of Prime

This Officium Parvum (Little Office) is the official Office of Prime, or Morning Prayer, of the Order of St. Esclarmonde.  It was compiled by Rev. Mother Marsha Emrick+, and slightly edited by Bro. Pier-Giorgio.  It is designed for solitary use, as the Order is primarily made up of hermits and solitaries.  It can, however, be adapted for use in a group setting.

The version of the Lord’s Prayer given here is taken from the usage of l’Eglise Gnostique, the French Gnostic tradition.

The Office of Prime
To be said at the first hour of the day.

In the Name of the One +True Father, in Barbelo, the Mother of all, in the union of the Christosophia, peace be to all on whom this Name reposes. Amen.

O Blessed One, Lady of the Light, Sophia Who mightily and sweetly doth order all things. Direct the steps of my path this day. Amen.

O Heavenly Paraclete, the Comforter, Sprit of Truth, who art in all places and endurest all things, Treasury of endless good, and well of infinite compassion: Come and take up Thine abode in me, and cleanse me of every obscuration; and liberate my soul, O Perfect One. Amen.

Repeat thrice:
O Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, shed Thy glory upon me.
(or Hagios ho theos, Hagios ischyros, Hagios athanatos, eleison imas.)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Mother, and to the Holy Child;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

Almighty God, the protector of all who trust in Thee, send forth Thy power to keep me this day both outwardly in my body, and inwardly in my soul; that so far as is expedient for me, I may be defended from all adversity now, and throughout all my lives. Amen.

On waking and having just awaked, Heavenly Father, I pray that all may come to True Awakening, and I pray unto Thee the prayer that Thy beloved Son taught us:

Our Father who art in the depths of the Æons, may Thy Holy Sophia and Christ be understood and adored in all the Universe; may the kingdom of Thy Holy Spirit come to us, may Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our spiritual food, the strength and courage to earn bread for our body. And forgive us our digressions from Thy Law, as our Assembly forgives the penitent. Support us in our weakness, so that we are not carried away by our passions and deliver us from the deceptive mirages of the archons. For we have no other king than Thy beloved Son, the Christ our Savior, whose is the kingdom and the triumph and the glory unto the æons of æons. Amen.

Making a cross upon the lips with the thumb:
O Lord, open Thou my lips and my mouth shall sing forth Thy praise.

I shall rejoice and be glad this day, for this is the day the Lord hath made. I will pray to God, who hath sent the Holy Spirit to be a light shinning in my heart.
–Lord be my guiding light this day.

Blessed are you, O Unknown Father, Father of the Light, for by Thy glory hast Thou brought me unto this new day, even as Thou hast sent the Christos to be a Light for the whole world. O most Glorious Logos, help me to bring forth in myself that which is within me this very day, that I may truly live. Grant unto me clear vision, that I may see Thy Kingdom spread out abroad upon the earth this, and every day. Amen.

Reading

Here, an optional reading from scripture may be observed.  This can be taken from the Gnostic Lectionary of the Ecclesia Gnostica, the Nag Hammadi Library, or any other scripture from any spiritual tradition.  If a reading is chosen, the following is observed:

The reading is taken from (name of the book).

The chosen passage is read, which should not be so long as to become burdensome.  After the reading, say:

But Thou, O Lord, shed Thy glory upon us.  Thanks be to God.

Silent Meditation

The reading is followed a period of silent meditation, the length of which may be determined by the one praying this Office.  Afterward, the prayer of the Order of St. Esclarmonde is recited:

O Holy Mother
Rightful Queen of all the faithful souls
Who never erred
Who never lied
Follower of the rightful course
Who never doubted
Lest we should accept death
In the realm of the false god;
As we do not belong to this realm
And this realm is not ours:
Teach us Thy Gnosis
And to love what Thou lovest.
Amen.

Calling to remembrance our most holy, undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of the Æons and ever-blessed Sophia, with all the Saints, I commend myself and my life unto Christ, my Lord.

Now, O Lord, shed Thy glory upon me.
And grant me Thy redeeming power.

O Lord, Divine Propater, hear my prayer,
And listen to my supplications;

Let me hear the voice of Thy mercy from the morning,
For it is in Thy hands that I place myself.

I adore Thee, I praise Thee,
I give thanks to Thee from the morning.

I thank Thee for having protected me during the night from all dangers and evils which could have harmed me, and from which Thou hast covered me with Thy protection. During this day remain my support, my strength, my refuge, my salvation, and my consolation. Amen.

Repeat thrice:
O Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, shed Thy glory upon me.
(or Hagios ho theos, Hagios ischyros, Hagios athanatos, eleison imas.)

Glory be to the Father ,and to the Mother, and to the Holy Child;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

O All-Holy Trinity shed Thy glory upon me,
O Lord, cleanse me of all my obscurations
O Savior, guide me to Liberation.
O Blessed One, visit and heal my infirmities, for Thy Name’s sake.
Glory be to the Father, to the Mother, and to the Holy Child;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord, with my morning prayer I wait upon Thee. Fill me at daybreak with Thy kindness, that I may rejoice and be glad all my days.

From the rising of the sun, even to its setting, from the height of heights, the perfection of beauty, Thou shinest forth. Thine is the day, and thine also the night, Thou hast fashioned the moon and the sun. Thou dawnest through the darkness, a light for the upright, Thou art gracious, and righteous, and full of compassion.

At dawn, let me hear of Thy loving-kindness; for in Thee do I trust. Show me the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto Thee.

If I take the wings of dawn, if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea; even there shall Thy hand guide me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. From the rising of the sun unto its setting, the Name of the Lord be praised. Praise be to Thee, O Lord.

Closing Prayer

O Father, I thank Thee for all the good things that I have received by Thy grace. It is also by an effect of Thy goodness that I see this day; I want to use it to serve Thee. I devote to Thee all my thoughts, words, deeds, and sorrows. Bless them, O God, so that there will be none which are not activated by Thy love, and which do not tend to glorify Thee.

In the Name of the +Father, and of the Mother, and of the Holy Child. Amen.

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Holy Rosary of Our Lady Sophia

Introduction

This version of the Holy Gnostic Rosary focuses on the whole of the Gnostic mythos, from our source in the Unknown Father, through the Fall of Sophia and the creation of matter, to our ultimate redemption through the Christos.  It is the Rosary I personally pray, and is a conglomeration of Gnostic Rosaries that are (or have been) available online.  The prayers of the Rosary primarily come from the Ecclesia Gnostica, while the Mysteries are those used by the Apostolic Gnostic Church in America (which, as far as I can tell, no longer exists – but if I’m wrong, and someone from the AGCA stumbles upon this blog, I’d love to hear from you!).  Like the traditional Catholic Rosary, the Gnostic Rosary uses three sets of five Mysteries, upon which one meditates while vocalizing the prayers and keeping track of the prayers on each bead.  One can either choose one set of Mysteries to focus on, or may decide to pray all 15 at once.

I also offer some optional prayers that may be said at the conclusion of the Rosary, if one so desires.  Most often, I pray the Renunciation of the Archons, taken from the Book of the Stranger, which was the official prayerbook of the now defunct Order of Allogenes.  This particular prayer was arranged by Jeremy Puma, based upon a passage from the Pistis Sophia.  One of the other optional prayers is taken from a traditional 13th century Cathari prayer, and is the official prayer of the Order of St. Esclarmonde.

As a slight variation, this Rosary may be offered for the dead by replacing the Gloria with the Requiem prayer.  In either case, it is possible to offer the Rosary for special intentions, by mentioning them after the introductory prayers before announcing the First Mystery – this can mean mentioning the names of deceased loved ones, living friends or family, or any other intention one may have.  I have attempted to be as thorough as possible in this rather lengthy post, but if you’re not familiar with the practice of praying a Rosary, feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

How to Pray the Holy Gnostic Rosary

1.  Begin with the Sign of the Cross, and on the cross recite the Gnostic Credo.

2.  On the first large bead, pray the Gnostic’s Prayer*.

3.  On the three smaller beads, pray three Ave Sophias.

4.  On the space before the next larger bead, pray the Gloria Patri.

5.  On the first large bead, announce the First Mystery, and pray the Gnostic’s Prayer.

6.  Pray the Ave Sophia on each of the 10 beads that follow.  Conclude with a Gloria Patri.

7.  On the second large bead, announce the Second Mystery, and pray the Gnostic’s Prayer.  Continue in the same manner as above around the Rosary for each of the Mysteries.

8.  On the center piece, pray the O Alma Sophia, followed by any concluding prayers you may desire.

9.  Finish with the Sign of the Cross.

*The Gnostic’s Prayer may also be replaced by the more traditional Our Father, if you prefer.

The 15 Mysteries of the Holy Gnostic Rosary

The Pleromic Mysteries

 1.  The Mystery of the Source:  All is at rest in the Divine Pleroma.

 2.  The Mystery of the Emanations:  The Spirit of God, the Unknown Father, moves to create the Æons.

 3.  The Mystery of the Æon Sophia:  Sophia comes to embody the Father’s Divine Wisdom.

 4.  The Mystery of Sophia’s childbearing:  Sophia gives birth to Ialdabaoth, the demiurge.

 5.  The Mystery of Sophia’s separation:  Our Lady, as Mother of Sorrows, is rent into the Higher Sophia and the Lower Sophia, following Ialdabaoth’s arrogant creation of the cosmic realm.

The Liberation Mysteries

 1.  The Mystery of Sophia’s sorrow:  As Mother of Sorrows, Sophia decides to enter the world of humanity.

 2.  The Mystery of the Serpent:  Sophia takes the form of the serpent, and comes to humanity to instruct them in the wisdom of God.

 3.  The Mystery of Eve:  Humanity responds to Sophia’s call to reach for complete understanding.

 4.  The Mystery of Sophia the Teacher:  Throughout human history, Sophia inspires and instructs great prophets, holy people, and ordinary men and women in the ways of Gnosis.

 5.  The Mystery of Sophia the Liberator:  Through Gnosis, Sophia leads each of us now through the veil, as we move toward full reunification with the Pleroma.

The Bridal Mysteries

 1.  The Mystery of the Consorts:  Christ and Sophia are partnered as Æons, syzygies, emanating from Unknown Father, representing poles of God’s unity:  Light and Dark, Male and Female, Word (Logos) and Wisdom (Sophia).

 2.  The Mystery of the Incarnation:  Christ enters the world from the Pleroma through the human being, Jesus of Nazareth, spurred on by the compassion of Sophia.

 3.  The Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan:  Jesus is baptized by John the Baptizer in the Jordan, and Sophia descends upon Him like a dove, to be with Him during His mission.

 4.  The Mystery of the Resurrection:  After Jesus’ death, Sophia brings Him forward to a new form of life in spirit.

 5.  The Mystery of Sophia the Advocate:  After Jesus leaves the world, Sophia remains as an advocate for those who seek to understand His teachings and message.

The Prayers of the Holy Gnostic Rosary

 Sign of the Cross

In the Name of the + Unknown Father; in Truth, Mother of All; in union, and redemption, and the sharing of powers: peace be to all on whom this Name reposes. Amen.

Gnostic Credo

I acknowledge one great Invisible God, unrevealable, unmarked, ageless, and unproclaimable; the Unknown Father, the Æon of the Æons, Who brought forth in the silence with His providence:  the Father, the Mother, and the Son.

I acknowledge the Christos, the self-begotten living Son; the glory of the Father, and the virtue of the Mother; Who, given birth from the virginal and ineffable Mother, was made incarnate:  the Perfect One. Who, in the Word of the Great Invisible God, came down from above to annul the emptiness of this age, and restore the fullness to the Æon.

I acknowledge the Holy Spirit, the Bride of the Christos, the Mother of the Æons, the great virginal and ineffable Mother who proceeded from Herself a gift of Herself, out of the silence of the Unknown God.

I acknowledge the Light of the One Church in every place:  Interior, Invisible, Secret, and Universal: the foundation of the Lights of the Great Living God.

I seek liberation of my perfection from the corruptions of the world, and look to the gathering of the sparks of Light from the sea of forgetfulness. Amen.

Gnostic’s Prayer

 Almighty God, Whose footstool is the highest firmament: Great Ruler of Heaven, and all the powers therein: Hear the prayers of Thy servants who put their trust in Thee. We pray Thee, supply our needs from day to day: Command Thy heavenly host to comfort and succor us; that it may be to Thy glory, and unto the good of all. Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive our brothers and sisters. Be present with us; strengthen and sustain us: For we are but instruments in Thy hands. Let us not fall into temptation: Defend us from all danger and evil: Let Thy mighty power ever guard and protect us, Thou great Fount of knowledge and wisdom: Instruct Thy servants by Thy holy presence: Guide and support us, now and forever. Amen.

Ave Sophia

 Hail Sophia, filled with light, the Christ is with Thee.  Blessed art Thou amongst the Æons, and blessed is the Liberator of Thy light, Jesus.  Holy Sophia, Mother of all gods, pray to the Light for us, Thy children, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Gloria Patri

 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, unto the æons of æons. Amen.

O Alma Sophia

 O Gentle, O Kind, O Blessed Sophia, Thy children on earth call unto Thee: We pray Thee, our Beloved Mother, to cast forth Thy net of woven starlight.  Fling it wide across the ocean of the universe to gather us home to the realms of Light. Amen.

Optional Prayers

 Renunciation of the Archons

 Rulers of the Midst, hear me: Ye usurpers of the rightful Realms of Perfection, I renounce you and your works, deeds, images. Take to yourselves your destiny! I come not to your regions from this moment onwards. I have become a stranger unto you forever, being about to go unto the region of my inheritance. Rulers of the Midst, hear me: I renounce you and your servants, and commend my whole self to the Realms of Truth, now and forever. Amen.

13th Century Cathari Prayer

Holy Mother,
Rightful Queen of faithful souls,
Who never erred,
Who never lied,
Follower of the rightful course,
Who never doubted,
Lest we should accept death
In the realm of the false god:
As we do not belong to this realm,
And this realm is not ours –
Teach us Thy Gnosis,
And to love what Thou lovest. Amen.

 Hail Holy Queen

 Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To Thee do we cry, the exiled children of Eve. To Thee do we send up our longing, sighs, and crying in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of compassion toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us our Holy Twin Angel. O clement, O loving, O sweet Sophia!  Pray for us, O Holy Mother of all gods, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ; that the door be opened before us into the column of glory, that we might cross over in the ships of Light, and rest forevermore. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael

O glorious prince of the heavenly army, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the eternal combat, which we sustain against the powers of darkness, malice and ignorance, which afflict us on this æonial battlefield of our earthly life! Come, invincible leader of the host of heaven, guardian of the paradise of the world, and wielder of the double-edged, flaming sword! Aid and sustain us in our defense against the adversary; and come to lead us finally into the presence of the Most High, into the abode of the blissful. Enlighten and purify us, O Thou great and mighty Archangel Michael: grant us to abandon the works of darkness, and to love the Gnosis of the Light; so that whilst all things of this world pass away, we may ever hold fast those things which abide for evermore. Amen.

 Rosary for the Dead

 Replace the Gloria Patri with the following:

Repose in the Eternal Fullness grant unto them, O Lord; and let the Light above the Æons shine upon them. Amen.

(The Credo may also be replaced with the De Profundis, Psalm 130 [129 in the Septuagint]: “Out of the depths…”)

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Gnostic Rosary for the Dead

This being the month of November, which is dedicated to the the dead, this slight variation of the traditional Rosary for the Dead is offered as a means of praying for the repose of the souls of those who have passed on from this world.  The traditional Rosary for the Dead is composed of a string of beads made up of four decades (in contrast to the 5-decade Rosary of Our Lady, with which most are familiar), in honor of the 40 hours that passed between the Crucifixion and Resurrection.  There are no mysteries to meditate upon, the focus of the prayers being on the souls of the dead.

In its oldest form, the beads to count the introductory prayers consisted of a cross or the medal of Our Lady of Suffrage, plus one bead between that medal and center piece.  In modern Rosaries for the Dead, the introductory beads often mirror the traditional Rosary: a cross, a large bead, three smaller beads, and a second large bead.  Depending upon the particular set of beads used, these introductory prayers are slightly modified.  One can, of course, use a regular 5-decade Rosary to count the prayers, and conclude after the fourth decade is complete.

Here then, is the Gnostic Rosary for the Dead:

1.  On the cross, make the Sign of the Cross, and pray:

Remember them, O Lord, in Thy kingdom, the faithful souls whom we knew but see no longer, especially (name those for whom you wish to pray). Grant them Thy peace; let the light above the Æons shine upon them; grant them we pray thee, a place of refreshment, a blessed tranquility, and the splendor of Thy Gnosis. O Eternal One, who abidest ever outside the limitations of time, we beseech Thee to shed forth upon Thy faithful children on earth, in heaven, and in the underworld, the bright beams of Thy light and supernal comfort. Amen.

2(a).  If the chaplet has only one bead between the cross and the loop of four decades, pray the Requiem prayer on that bead:

Repose in the eternal Fullness grant unto them (him/her), O Lord, and let the Light above the Æons shine upon them (him/her). May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

℣.  O Lord, hear my prayer;
℟.  And let my cry come unto Thee.

2(b).  If the chaplet has more than one bead after the cross, on the large beads pray the previous Requiem prayer, followed by Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love on the three smaller beads:

Act of Faith:

My God, I put my faith in Thee, because Thou art Truth itself.

Act of Hope:

My God, I hope in Thee, because Thou art infinitely good.

Act of Charity:

My God, I love Thee with all my heart, and above all things, because Thou art infinitely perfect; and I love my neighbor as myself, for the love of Thee.

3.  For each decade, pray on the large beads:

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; they rest from their labors, and their works live after them.

4.  On each of the smaller beads, pray either one of the following, being consistent throughout the Rosary:

Faithful Heart of Sophia, be my salvation.

-or-

O Light, Thou art my Savior and my Redeemer. (from the Pistis Sophia)

5.  Conclude each decade with the Requiem prayer:

℣.  Repose in the eternal Fullness grant unto them (him/her), O Lord;
℟.  And let the Light above the Æons shine upon them (him/her).
May they (he/she) rest in peace.

6.  After completing the fourth decade, conclude the Rosary with the De Profundis – Psalm 130 in the Hebrew Bible, Psalm 129 in the Septuagint – followed by the Sign of the Cross:

Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.  Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.  If Thou, O Lord, shalt observe our iniquities, O Lord, who shall endure it?  For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness; and by reason of Thy law, I have waited for Thee, O Lord.  My soul hath relied on His word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord.  From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.  Because with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful redemption.  And He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

For the traditional Catholic Rosary for the Dead, based on the Pious Propaganda of the Rosary for the Dead by the Archconfraternity of Notre Dame du Suffrage, go here.

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