Tag Archives: psalms

Talk Gnosis Interview

Sophia

Last Wednesday, I had a great time speaking with with Bishops +Ken Canterbury and +Lainie Petersen of the Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar, along with Fr. Tony Silvia+ of the Apostolic Johannite Church. If you don’t currently watch Talk Gnosis, I’d encourage you to subscribe to their YouTube channel — they do live YouTube episodes every Wednesday evening, followed up by their podcast Talk Gnosis After Dark. They touch on a wide variety of Gnostic topics from various different traditions, and I was honored to be able to speak with them about the Little Office and praying the hours, following their wonderful interview with my own bishop from the Ecclesia Gnostica, the Most Rev. +Stephan Hoeller.

My interview can be found here: Talk Gnosis After Dark

The Most Rev. +Stephan Hoeller’s interview is here: Talk Gnosis

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Filed under Divine Office, Gnostic Thoughts, Little Office, Prayer

Little Office for Friendships

St. John the Apostle

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

℣. O God, come to my assistance;
℟. 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, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Psalm 133

Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
when brethren dwell together in unity!
It is like fine oil upon the head *
that runneth down upon the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron, *
and runneth down upon the collar of his robe.
It is like the dew of Hermon *
that falleth upon the hills of Zion.
For there the LORD hath ordained the blessing: *
life for evermore.

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, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

A reading from the Book of Sirach:

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he that hath found one hath found a treasure. There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend, and no scales can measure his excellence. A faithful friend is an elixir of life; and those who fear the Lord will find him.

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

℣. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
℟. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
℣. And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
℟. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Let us pray. O God, Loving Father of those whose names Thou canst read in my heart, watch over them with every care. Make their way easy and their labors fruitful. Dry their tears if they weep; sanctify their joys; raise their courage if they weaken; restore their hope if they lose heart, their health if they be ill, truth if they err, and repentance if they fall. ℟. Amen.

Most Holy Sophia, pray for us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Our Lady, Untier of Knots, pray for us.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Holy Apostle John, pray for us.
John, beloved of the Lord, pray for us.
John, patron of friendship, pray for us.
Holy Francis Patrizzi, pray for us.
Holy Expeditus, pray for us.
Holy Sergius & Bacchus, pray for us.
Holy Polyeuct & Nearchos, pray for us.
Holy Perpetua & Felicity, pray for us.

℣. May the Lord grant us His peace;
℟. And life eternal in the Fullness. Amen.
℣. May Divine aid toward Gnosis remain with us always.
℟. Amen.

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Filed under Rituals

The Divine Office, Little Offices, and Devotion

Book of Hours

As some of you may know (and most probably don’t), for the last several months I’ve been working on a Little Office of the Blessed Sophia, which I hope to have published and available by the start of Advent — God willing. Now if you come from a Catholic background, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a “little office”. If not, you may be wondering, “What the heck is a little office?” Well I’m glad you asked! 😉

The most popular little office is The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which saw a rise in popularity amongst Christian laity in the Middle Ages, and still remains popular to this day. It’s modeled after the Divine Office, but is much shorter and contains less variation. It started off as simply the common office of the Blessed Virgin Mary — that is, the regular set of psalms, readings, and prayers appointed for Marian feast days. It gradually began to be prayed on a daily basis, in addition to the Divine Office, in monasteries to honor holy Mary. At certain points in history was even considered obligatory for clergy, and also because a popular form of Marian devotion for lay people because it was less complicated than the Divine Office.

Allow me to break for a moment and explain the Divine Office, for those who not familiar. The Divine Office has been called the official “prayer of the Church”, with roots in ancient Jewish daily prayers, and early monastic practices. The ancient Jews would pray at certain times of day, as recorded in scripture. This was a practice that the apostles and other early Jewish Christians continued. When the first monastics started retreating to the desert to live a life of solitude and prayer, it is said that they would pray the entire psalter (the 150 Psalms of David) in one day. By the time St. Benedict wrote his monastic rule of life, he offered a schema for praying the psalter in a week. In the Divine Office, the psalms are divided up by day, and into 8 canonical hours, or times of prayer throughout the day: Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline. Since Matins (the midnight office) and Lauds (the sunrise office) are often counted as one, 7 canonical hours are often spoken of. In addition to the psalter, which forms the most important part of the hours, there are also lessons from scripture and Church Fathers, prayers, hymns, and antiphons. Though each time of prayer is called an hour, this refers more to the time of day the office is said, and not the length of time it takes to pray an office. As time went one, praying the Divine Office became binding upon the clergy, in addition the monastic orders according to their rules and constitutions.

The divine office and canonical hours have taken on different forms in the East and West, and many monastic orders have their own particular rite — but no matter the place or traditions, the focus has always been the same: to sanctify the day by turning to God in prayer. The Divine Office has been the Church’s way to fulfill the teaching of St. Paul: “pray without ceasing.”

To return to The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this form of devotion offered devout Christians a way of participating in the Church’s daily prayers without requiring a lot of effort to learn the breviary. Unlike the Divine Office, it doesn’t use the entire Book of Psalm, only a small selection which with regular use can be easily memorized. But this isn’t the only little office one can pray, it just happens to be the most popular. The Little Office of the Passion is attributed to St. Francis, who took various scriptures and organized them into unique psalms to be prayed throughout the day. The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception and The Little Office of the Guardian Angel are quite a bit shorter, and rather than utilizing the psalms, a short hymn is recited at each hour. I’ve even offered some little offices here on Gnostic Devotions, for both morning and evening prayers, and my own church has a few different vespers services for public use, as well as an Office of St. Michael for private devotion. Of course, another little office that is often forgotten is the Office of the Dead (the proper office for All Souls’ Day), which consists only of Vespers, Matins, and Lauds — and which inspired the Office we use in the Gnostic Confraternity of All Departed Souls.

Hallowing the hours of the day with periods of prayer is wonderful; but why do it? I could write an entire series of posts on the benefits of praying the psalms regularly, but I’ll save that for the future. We all know that taking small breaks from one’s daily obligations has tremendous benefits for us, mentally and physically. But as Gnostics, seekers of the Light, regular prayer turns us inward and upward toward the Divine, keeping us constantly conscious of the divine spark within, and stilling our minds from the stresses of our day-to-day lives. Through the discipline of regular prayer, we can free our minds to let the Gnosis flow, so to speak. And it is a discipline, it takes practice and effort to form a daily practice and keep oneself accountable enough to stick to it — but that effort also plays an important part in experiencing divine Gnosis. By striving to maintain our practice, even if we don’t necessarily feel like it that day, we exert our will over our bodies so that we can “win the victory over our lower selves!”

I’m a firm believer in the necessity of having a devotional practice, especially if you’re Gnostic. As Gnostics we are esotericists, and let’s face it: many Gnostics are also practicing magicians. Ritual magic is a powerful way of elevating one’s consciousness to higher levels, and allowing us to experience and unite with our Holy Twin Angel. But often we see magicians driven mad in their practices because they lack a devotional component. They can intone magic words and divine names, draw their circles and pentagrams, experience visions… But without a grounding devotional practice, they can risk not being prepared for their experiences, which can quite literally drive them mad.

Devotional practice keeps us grounded. It is the simple act of worshiping the Divine, without necessarily invoking, or asking for anything — but just communing. Remember that at the core of our being, we are divine. God dwells in us, and us in God. A good devotional practice keeps us mindful of that.

Devotions do not have to be set rituals, although a good ritual can be helpful in getting into a regular practice. Whether using one of the offices I’ve linked to in this post, or simply reciting the Our Father, the Jesus Prayer, Kyrie Eleison: establishing a regular practice to stick to is what is important. The practice can be changed and modified, additions can be made; and when one is comfortable, one can improvise. But the important thing is to do it with a humble and open heart, mind, and spirit. But whatever you do, as the saying goes: Just do it!

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Gnostic Confraternity for All Departed Souls

Angel of DeathOn 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.

Introduction

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.

Membership Obligations

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

Confraternity Prayer

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.

Pater Noster

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.

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 in the hour of our death. Amen.

Requiem Æternam

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.

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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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