The Scarlet Letter
Volume I, Number 4 | May 1994
Infant-Child Benediction Rite
by Fr. Sharash & Fr. Insanvs
Here are two rituals inspired by that most potent energy. One by myself and the other by that master of dogs, Fr. Pnesomauma].
This ritual was first written in January 1990 ev by Fr. Insanvs and me as a ceremony to somehow mark the occasion of a child's birth. It quickly occurred to us that what we were creating was a rite that, more or less, welcomed the child planetside for the duration.
What we insisted on was that the child would in no way be permanently bonded to any specific path, even our own. While we would assume responsibility to help that child seek out their own way and give them tools to that end, we would not assume this child would be a member of our Church.
The Benediction Rite (or Feast for Life), has been recently re-written to smooth it out and generally hook it into the Gnostic Mass a bit better.
I've recently came across a Feast for Life ritual that I believe Bishops Tau Apiryon and Helena wrote that is also a lovely ritual. We freely extracted some particularly moving prose from that, and also from Liber Aleph by Crowley.
We just performed it for Sr. Zohar's and my son Sebastian, and it worked out wonderfully. I hope you may also find use for it too.
May 1st, 1994 ev
The Priest and Priestess stand between the Altar of Incense and the Font in white robes. The Child is brought in through the Tomb carried or walked by the Guardians before the Font. (If the child is small enough, he/she should be carried in the Attitude of Mater Triumphans.)
DEACON: Bring the Child forward. This is a Rite of Benediction for (Name). It is not sought here to bind, nor restrict (Name) to this Church, or to any certain path. But only to welcome him/her as a Star in a Company of Stars, and to afford to him/her the protections and blessings of our Church. [Addressing the Congregation] Brothers and Sisters! These are the responsibilities of the members of our Order towards children:
PRIESTESS: All children of brethren are to be considered as children of the whole Order to be protected and aided in every way by its members severally, as by its organization collectively. No distinction is to be made with regard to the conditions surrounding the birth of any child.
PRIEST: There is an especially sacred duty, which every Brother should fulfill, with regard to all children, those born without the Order included. This duty is to instruct them in the Law of Thelema, to teach them independence and freedom of thought and character, and to warn them that servility and cowardice are the most deadly diseases of the human soul.
DEACON: Members of our Congregation, will you join with us and Welcome (Name) to this Planet and afford him/her the same amenities that you would to any Star revolving in its own Soveriegn Orbit?
THE PEOPLE: (Answer)
DEACON: (To Congregation) Please gather in a semi-circle behind the Guardians and join hands. (Done) Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
THE PEOPLE: Love is the law, love under will.
DEACON: Be the hour auspicious, and the gate of life open in peace and in well-being, so that she that beareth children may rejoice, and the babe catch life with both hands.
PRIESTESS: (To Guardians) (Church Names), we may assume that it is always an essential Part of the Will of any Child to grow to Manhood or to Womanhood in Heath, and his/her Guardians may therefore prevent him/her from ignorantly acting in Opposition thereunto, Care being always taken to remove the Cause of the Error, namely, Ignorance.
PRIEST: We may also assume that it is Part of the Child's Will to train every Function of the Mind; and the Guardians may therefore combat the Inertia which hinders his/her Development. Yet here we must be cautious; it is better to work by exciting and satisfying any natural Curiosity than by forcing Application to set Tasks, however necessary it may appear.
PRIESTESS: I therefore charge you in the duty of guarding the Thelemic Freedom of (Name) so that he/she may grow with Knowledge, Courage, and Will tempered with Wisdom to inherit the kingdom of his/her own True Will. Do you accept this charge?
GUARDIAN(S): I/We do.
PRIEST: (To Child) We Welcome you to this Planet and charge you to discover for yourself the mysteries of Life.
Both the Priest and the Priestess use the water from the Font (which has a drop of Abramelin therein), and make crosses on the child's head, genitals and heart:
PRIESTESS: In the name of Nuit (makes + on head)
PRIEST: and Hadit (makes + on genitals)
BOTH: and Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Priest makes + on heart and Priestess touches chakra). We honor you in the Presence of the Powers of Birth and welcome you to the World of Matter.
ALL: AUMGN AUMGN AUMGN.
Prepare for E.G.C. Mass. During Mass a bell is rung at the beginning of the Birth Collect. During Communion only the Guardians partake and the child is brought to the Altar where a kiss is received from the Priestess.