The Scarlet Letter
Volume IV, Number 1 | March 1997
Liturgy 93
by Dionysos Soter


Regularly or irregularly, before or after Mass, baptisms, confirmations, or other rites of the Church, or on its own.


May be in a temple set for the Gnostic Mass, except that the Book of the Law should already be in the shrine. Minimum requirements are a central double cube and a Stele in the East with the Book below it. Chairs may be provided in the Southeast for the EXPOSITOR, in the Northeast for the LECTOR, and in the West (in front of the Tomb, if applicable) for the CANTOR.


An EXPOSITOR presides. E.G.C. Clergy in this role or any of the others may wear their regalia of office. If the Liturgy is to be performed in combination with sacraments of the Church, the EXPOSITOR should be a Bishop, Priest, or Priestess.

A LECTOR is required. If the Liturgy is to be performed in combination with sacraments of the Church, the LECTOR should be a Deacon.

A CANTOR is specified in the liturgy. The indicated passages may be chanted, sung, or spoken by a lone CANTOR, and four-part (SATB) arrangements of the CANTOR's parts are available for choirs.

The PEOPLE should each be provided with a copy of the Prayer to the Aeon and the Anthem being used with the liturgy.

1. Sharing of the Law

The EXPOSITOR advances to the East and takes the Book of the Law.
(S)He turns to the LECTOR.

EXPOSITOR: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

LECTOR: Love is the law, love under will.

The EXPOSITOR gives the LECTOR the kiss of peace. Then (s)he gives the Book to the LECTOR who places it upon the central altar

The EXPOSITOR and LECTOR go to the PEOPLE and exchange the Law with them, following the same pattern, and the PEOPLE share it among themselves. Instead of the kiss of peace, the exchange may be punctuated by a simple embrace or a handshake, depending on the degree of intimacy desired. In any case, the EXPOSITOR and LECTOR will set the precedent by their exchange.

2. Prayer to the Aeon

All remain standing and recite the second chapter of Liber CCCXXXIII. Or, alternatively, the verse paraphrase from Liber XLIV (A or B):

Thy Name is holy.
Thy Kingdom is come.
Thy Will is done.
Here is the Bread.
Here is the Blood.
Bring us through Temptation!
Deliver us from Good and Evil!
That Mine as Thine be the Crown
of the Kingdom, even now.
Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,
Holy Thy name and undefiled!
Thy reign is come: Thy will is done.
Here is the Bread; here is the Blood.
Bring me through midnight to the Sun!
Save me from Evil and from Good!
That Thy one crown of all the Ten
Even now and here be mine. AMEN.

All but CANTOR sit.

3. Prayer to the Scarlet Woman

Hail Babalon, filled with joy!
    Ra-hoor-khu is with Thee.
Blessed and cursed art Thou in Thy glory,
    And glorious the Beast on whom Thou ridest.
Scarlet Woman, Mother of Abomination,
    Gather our blood in the golden cup of Thy fornication.

4. General Exordium

The EXPOSITOR stands in the East, makes the Step and Sign of a Man and a Brother and pronounces the General Exordium.

The Speech in the Silence.
The Words against the Son of Night.
The Voice of Tahuti in the Universe in the Presence of the Eternal.
The Formulas of Knowledge.
The Wisdom of Breath.
The Root of Vibration.
The Shaking of the Invisible.
The Rolling Asunder of the Darkness.
The Becoming Visible of Matter.
The Piercing of the Scales of the Crocodile.
The Breaking Forth of the Light!

5. Lection

Tbe LECTOR stands at the Altar of Incense, and reads a passage from the Book of the Law. When the Liturgy of the Word of the Law forms the principal ceremony of the occasion, an entire chapter should be read.

6. Comment

The LECTOR moves to the East, and the EXPOSITOR descends to the Altar of Incense. The EXPOSITOR makes the Hailing Sign.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The study of this Book is forbidden.
Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril.
These are most dire.
Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by as centers of pestilence.
All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to the writings of the priest of the princes Ankh-f-n-khonsu, each for himself.
There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

The PEOPLE: Love is the law, love under will.

7. Gloria Patri

The CANTOR chants the Gloria Patri From Liber XXXVI:


8. Discourse

The EXPOSITOR delivers a Discourse, which may consist of any one or more of the following:

An exhortation to the Great Work
An anathema against the forces of tyranny and oppression
An account of the life of one of the Saints and his work
An invocation of Ra-hoor-khuit, Babalon, or Chaos

If the EXPOSITOR is a Bishop, Priest, or Priestess, the Discourse may also include any of these:

• An explication of an article of the Creed
• A discussion of one of the Sacraments
• A reflection on the condition of the local sanctuary or the universal Church

Ideally, the discourse should be composed for the occasion by its presenter. It is acceptable, however, to read from the works of the Saints. On no account should the EXPOSITOR presume to explicate the Lection.

The EXPOSITOR concludes the Discourse by making a Cross on the PEOPLE and saying: IN NOMINE CHAOS, AUMGN AUMGN AUMGN.

9. Anthem

All stand and join in an Anthem. Note that this Anthem is not subject to the same strictures for authorization as the one in the Mass. Likely possibilities for this Anthem include:

• The tu qui es (Anthem from Liber XV/DCCC)
• “By Abrasax!” (Authorized Anthem from
The World's Tragedy)
• Liber LXV I:1
• “Nekam, Adonai!” (from the Blue Equinox)
• Denzil's Oath (from Konx Om Pax)
• “The Magician” by Eliphas Levi (from the
Equinox I:1)
• “Lift up this love” from “The Argonauts” (in Crowley's Collected Works)
• “I have risen” from Orpheus (in Crowley's Collected Works)
• Ancient Orphic bymns—Thomas Taylor's translations are inaccurate but melodious
• An appropriate chapter of Liber CMLXIII
• “Call of the Sylphs” (in Crowley's
Collected Works)
• “Hashed Pheasant” (Chapter 72 of
The Book of Lies)
• The verse paraphrase of the eleven lines on the reverse of the Stele of Revealing
• The Song of the Sphinx (from
Liber CDXVIII, 2nd Aethyr—English or “Moon language”)

The Anthem may be spoken, chanted, or sung. Arrangements that assign portions to individual officers and semi-choruses are appropriate.

10. Memorial

The LECTOR prays: “Verily, love is death, and death is life to come.” We rejoice in love under will for those of our brothers and sisters who have gained the crown of all.

And if there are recent deaths to be recognized, adds: Especially on this day we remember...[Names and brief accounts of those who have died are given. The tone should be celebratory].

And closes with: May our feasts in their honor approach that greater feast which they now enjoy, and may they be granted the accomplishment of their true wills.

The PEOPLE: So mote it be.

11. Will

The LECTOR sounds the bell in the battery 333-55555-333.

EXPOSITOR: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

PEOPLE: What is thy will?

(A) or (B)

EXPOSITOR: To depart this temple.
PEOPLE: To what end?
EXPOSITOR: That we may engage the world.
PEOPLE: To what end?
EXPOSITOR: That we may accomplish our True Wills, the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
PEOPLE: Love is the law, love under will.

EXPOSITOR: To perform a Mass [or Baptism or Confirmation or Ordination] of the Gnostic Catholic Church.
PEOPLE: To what end?
EXPOSITOR: The administration of the sacraments of the Aeon of Horus.
PEOPLE: To what end?
EXPOSITOR: That those who partake of them may accomplish their True Wills, the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
PEOPLE: Love is the law, love under will.

The LECTOR sounds the bell once.
The specified will is executed.

Notes on Structure and Sources

Like the Gnostic Mass, the Liturgy of the Word of the Law uses a ritual structure extracted from Christian worship. The general structure of this ceremony is derived from “The Liturgy of the Word” by the Christian Reformer Urlich Zwingh. Zwingli's liturgy was composed in 1525 e.v. based on a service included in John Surganes Manuak Curatorum (Basel, 1502 e.v.). Surgant, an ecclesiastic and academic, had formulated his new service in the vernacular to promote biblical preaching and congregational worship. The principal model for Surganes service was the medieval church ceremony of Prone. Surgant's ceremony was intended to precede and complement the Roman Mass, but when Zwingh reduced the frequency of Eucharistic celebrations to quarterly, the Liturgy of the Word assumed a posistion as a replacement for the Mass in Sunday observances.

Liturgy 93 is a non-sacramental ritual designed to stand alone or to be grouped with sacramental ceremonies of the Church. Performed alone, it is simply a highly-ritualized meeting of Thelernites to share the Law and it requires no authority to validate it. When it is performed in combination with E.G.C. sacraments, or with a Discourse that addresses the sacraments of the Church, then the Expositor should possess sacerdotal authority (i.e. ordination in the Priesthood).

If Liturgy 93 precedes the Gnostic Mass (like Surgant's service), then it assumes some of the qualities of the early Christian "Mass of the Catechumens." To reflect this feature upon conclusion of Liturgy 93, people who do not intend to partake of communion should be instructed to leave and given the opportunity to do so by the Lector/ Deacon. Since Mass and Liturgy 93 each take at least 40 minutes, it may be desirable to have a full-fledged intermission between the two.

If performed with baptisms or confirmations, Liturgy 93 follows the ceremony naturally. It may be treated as an elaboration of the closing Prayer and Exhortation at baptism, focusing on the Prayer to the Aeon and the Discourse. Or it may be viewed as the Presentation and Reception of the newly confirmed members at confirmation, focusing on the Sharing of the Law and the Discourse. (References are to the 1994 e.v. recensions of baptism and confirmation rituals by T Apiryon Ep. Gn.)

The Kiss of Peace is an ancient custom in congregational ceremony which fits naturally with the exchange of the Law. It is cited in the earliest extant Christian liturgies. It is correctly performed by kissing the right check, then the left of the brother or sister so greeted.

Both of the Prayers to the Aeon were written by Crowley from the model of the Christian Pater Noster. I have myself presumed to model the Prayer to the Scarlet Woman on the Ave Maria.

The General Exordium is the version included by Crowley in Liber LXIV. It is presumably an ancient Egyptian text concerning the god Tahuti. Crowley's initial encounter with it was doubtless the Z-1 document of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, to which it was prefaced.

The variable elements of Liturgy 93 constitute the greater portion of time in the ceremony. These are the Lection, the Discourse, and the Anthem. Some effort should be made to attune these three elements to one another in any given enactment of the Liturgy. For instance, the first performance of the Liturgy of the Word of the Law included the reading of the Third Chapter, a discourse invoking Babalon, and an anthem combining “I am the harlot that shaketh death” (from the Second Aethyr of The Vision and the Voice) with a chant entitled “Nike Babalon.” Other factors that can contribute to the choice of Lection, Discourse, and Anthem are the sacrament (if any) performed in conjunction with the Liturgy, and the Thelemic liturgical calendar (as defined by AL II:35-43, saints' greater feasts, and local celebrations).

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