On the Feast of Sts. Polyeuct & Nearchus (January 9, 2014), a new confraternity was established: the Gnostic Confraternity for All Departed Souls is established. Its intent is to offer prayers for the dead, and for fellow members of the Confraternity. If you would be interested in joining, please read through the following requirements and practices. You may e-mail me at the address given below, or feel free to send a message to the Gnostic Devotions Facebook page. Please include in your e-mail: Your name, preferred e-mail address, and intent to enroll and meet the membership obligations. Upon receipt of your request, you will be entered into the Confraternity registry, and will receive a printable PDF copy of the Confraternity manual, which contains the information below in a much nicer format.
God is eternal, and because our true nature is divine, so are we. As the Divine is not limited to space and time, but permeates it while existing beyond it, prayer likewise has no such limit. Prayer is, after all, communication with the Divine.
We pray for the dead, often even saints, because prayer is not constrained by linear time or physical location. When we pray, we have no way of knowing how God will choose to apply our prayers, but we can be assured that our prayers for the dead will be applied when and where they are needed most.
A Requiem Mass said today for the Holy Cathars may, through the wisdom and love of God, be providing strength, encouragement, and comfort to a Cathar Parfait as he or she descends Montségur, walking to martyrdom. A prayer said today may provide the clarity of mind (and the nerve) St. Francis of Assisi needed to renounce his family’s lavish lifestyle and take a vow of poverty as a monastic, living in service to God and his fellow man. A prayer may be assisting someone who lived centuries ago in whatever state of existence they are currently in. We may never know the effects of our prayers, but in the Eternal Now, we know that they are effectual.
It is entirely possible that we ourselves are presently benefiting from prayers said for us 100 years from now! This is the timeless nature of prayer. To the Divine, with whom we share one nature at the very core of our being, it is always Now. There is no past, present or future in the earthly sense; but one Eternal Present – and though it is difficult to express such timeless realities due to the limited nature of language, this great mystery of Eternity is the means by which the Communion of Saints assists one another through prayers and intercessions.
It is with this in mind that the Gnostic Confraternity for All Departed Souls has been established, so that we may, through our prayers, assist those who have gone before us. Not only do members of the Confraternity assist departed souls, but they also assist one another on this æonial battlefield we call life on earth.
Members pledge to take up humble but effective daily, weekly, monthly and yearly practices, for the benefit of the departed, and their brothers and sisters of the Confraternity. All this to greater glory of God, and to the strengthening of the Communion of Saints: the Church Triumphant, Suffering, and Militant.
If you are interested in joining this holy endeavor, read through the following pages to learn more about the benefits and obligations of the Confraternity. You may also follow the spiritual practices given herein entirely on your own; but if you are so inclined, you may enroll in the Confraternity by contacting Br. Pier-Giorgio, OSE: brpier (at) gmail (dot) com.
It is assumed that members have a familiarity with Gnosticism, particularly in its modern ecclesial expressions; but for a convenient summary, including information on the Communion of Saints and the power of prayer, you are encouraged to read through The Gnostic Catechism* by +Stephan Hoeller.
*This Confraternity is not associated with the Ecclesia Gnostica in any official capacity.
Membership Requirements & Benefits
1. Membership in the Gnostic Confraternity for All Departed Souls is open to anyone who identifies as Gnostic, regardless of tradition. It is to be noted that this is a Christian Gnostic confraternity, and as such prayers and devotions will be of a Christian nature.
2. Official enrollment is handled by the Registrar of the Confraternity. A simple e-mail declaring one’s desire for membership is all that is required, and membership will be recorded in the official registry. Anyone who desires to enroll should contact the registrar with their full name, e-mail address, and statement of intention to enroll and meet the membership obligations: brpier (at) gmail (dot)com.
3. Once enrolled, the new member should begin practicing the obligations of the Confraternity, which are detailed in this book. Members can expect a monthly Eucharist to be offered for all their intentions (particularly for their deceased friends and relatives) by ordained Gnostic clergy.
4. Upon the death of a member of the Confraternity, a Gnostic Requiem Mass will be offered for their repose in the Fullness, provided that the Confraternity is notified of their passing via the Registrar.
5. One does not need to officially enroll in the Confraternity in order to participate in its charism, however enrollment is encouraged if one would like to receive the benefits of Masses and prayers offered for Confraternity members.
6. Membership in the Confraternity may be canceled at any time, simply by contacting the Registrar.
Members of the Gnostic Confraternity for All Departed Souls promise to meet the following obligations:
1. Each night before retiring, pray the Confraternity Prayer for all members and their departed loved ones, followed by a Pater Noster, Ave Sophia, and Requiem Æternam.
2. Once a week, preferably on a Monday, pray the Gnostic Rosary for the Dead. This is offered for all departed souls who have incarnated, in the knowledge that by our prayers, assistance will be offered where it is needed, throughout all time.
3. Pray the Office for Departed Souls once a month, preferably beginning the first Sunday evening at Vespers, and continuing through Monday morning with Matins and Lauds. Any member may, at their own discretion, pray another office for the dead from their own church’s liturgy, if such an office exists.
4. Every year on All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), or on its Eve, attend Mass and offer the celebration of the Holy Eucharist for all the souls of the departed, and specifically for the departed loved ones of Confraternity members. As the Mass will already be said in honor of all souls by default, on should privately declare one’s intentions through prayer before the Mass begins. Any valid Eucharist offered by a priest within the Apostolic Succession fulfills this obligation, however a Gnostic Eucharist is to be preferred by Confraternity members, if possible.
5. Upon the death of a member of the Confraternity, all members will pray the Office for Departed Souls for that member’s repose. This obligation should be fulfilled within 30 days of the time of death; or within 7 days, if the Confraternity was not notified before month’s mind.
Nightly Prayers Before Retiring
Remember them, O Lord, in Thy kingdom: the faithful souls whom we knew but see no longer. 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, 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 netherworld, the bright beams of Thy light and supernal comfort. Bless the members of our spiritual Confraternity, our departed loved ones, and especially ________.
Grant that we who continually give thanks for their blessed memory may at length enter with them into Thine ineffable splendor, and attain to union with Thee, who wert, and art, and art to come. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily 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. Amen.
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.
Repose in the eternal Fullness grant unto them, O Lord, and let the Light above the æons shine upon them. Amen.
The Gnostic Rosary for the Dead
See this link.
The Office for Departed Souls
This Office is not included on this page, but is contained in the Manual. It consists only of Vespers (Evening Prayer), Matins (Midnight/Early Morning Prayer), and Lauds (Morning Prayer). It is based on the Gradual Psalms, which are traditionally recited for the dead, and also includes readings from scripture along with other prayers.