2682 Middlefield Road, Suite J,
Redwood City, CA 94063
In the past I have hesitated to give out this ritual out of concern that it would be fragmented and used in bits and pieces. I have been told that this is already happening. That being the case, I am presenting it now with the strong suggestion that it be used as is written and not adapted to please traditional congregations.
The ritual is designed as one cohesive whole. Even the music used during the Eucharist has been specifically written to complement the ritual. Each part relates to the rest. To separate out one section to use by itself or within the context of another ritual, not only misleads as to intent and theology, but greatly dilutes its essence. For it to be most effective it must be experienced in its entirety, in the context in which it is written.
With the above caveat in mind, please feel free to use it, with appropriate credit to the copyright holder.
(Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum)
Ritual of the Bridal Chamber
The Gnostic Mystery of the Eucharist
Copyright 2004 by Rosamonde Miller
History of Copyrights 1981, 1984 and 1990 by Rosamonde Miller
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: TX3648421
Out of the Fullness came He,
Who, without speaking, yet spake His name,
and it was unknown to all but Him.
And She, Whose womb is the gateway to all the worlds.
In Thy name, 0 most Holy One, Whom
we affectionately call Father,
and in that of Thy Son, Who bridges the worlds,
and of Her, Thy celestial Bride and
Charming Heart to the heavens and earth alike,
we call upon Thy holy angels who stand as guardians
in the four corners of the universe to purify this house
that we pledge to the celebration of Thy mysteries.
Purification by water and earth
In Thy name, we command all powers of chaos to wither unto nothingness, that they shall not abide, and that our temples within and our temples without may emerge as strong pure vessels to contain the eternal mystery as it unfolds on earth.
Purification by fire and air (Incense)
And we set aside this enclosure as holy ground for Thy most glorious Presence that all of Thine may enter.
All: We gather ourselves for the eternal sacrifice. Amen.
Celebrant: (from the heart):
0 great Mother of Compassion, Holy Sophia:
It is Thou Who art come forth from the Aeons
And givest grace to the realm of the Father.
Thou Who couldst not bear to see Thy children lost.
Thou Who gavest us the fire of life.
Thou Who gavest us comfort and joy.
Thou Who hast suffered blindness that we might see.
And Thou Who by Thine anguish didst call forth
Thy beloved Consort, the Logos.
All: The sweetness of Thy honey is on our lips
and Thou hast enkindled our hearts.
In our love and great gratitude, we build a
Spiritual temple, both within ourselves
And in this sanctuary, dedicated to Thee
for the mystery of completion.
All: (from our deepest depth, from the marrow of our bones):
I have been apart and I have lost my way.
The archons have taken my vision.
At times I am filled with Thee,
but often I am blind to Thy Presence,
when all I see is this world of form.
My ignorance and blindness are all I have to offer,
But these I give to Thee, holding back nothing.
And in my hours of darkness,
when I am not even sure there is a Thou,
hearing my call, I still call to Thee with all my heart.
Hear the cry of my voice, clamoring from this desert, for my soul is parched and my heart can barely stand this longing.
(Omitted. Used only by Tau Rosamonde)
C: In the name of the Mystery of the Fullness
that has existed before all beginnings:
eternal and redeeming Logos,
and Holy Spirit, celestial Bride and
Revealer of the Mysteries concealed:
Be blessedand purified
that you may overcome the powers of
the archons of the world and be as One.
C: Glory to Thee, Father.
C: Glory to Thee, Word; Glory to Thee, Grace.
C: Glory to Thee, Spirit; Glory to Thee, Holy One; Glory to Thy Glory.
C: Thus saith the Logos: I am a lamp to thee who
C: I am a mirror to thee who perceivest Me.
C: I am a door to thee who knockest at Me.
C: I am a way to thee, a wayfarer.
C: See thyself in Me who speak, and when thou hast seen what I do,
keep silence on My Mysteries.
In Me know thou the word of wisdom.
What I am now seen to be, that I am not;
But what I am thou shalt see when thou comest.
Celebrant: elevates and dedicates bread and wine
Eternal Presence, whose slightest touch is ecstasy to
creatures and Gods alike,
We accept that of which, by the nature of this planet,
we are composed and, in our great gratitude,
we offer this bread and wine unto Thee, as we, likewise, offer ourselves.
It is Thou Who gavest us the spark. It is to Thee that we return.
R: Amen. (The Release, when used.)
INVOCATION OF THE LOGOS
All: Come Thou, holy name of the Logos, name above all names.
Come power from above! Come Perfect Mercy! Come Highest gift!
C: And the Logos answered: "They say I came for all,
but in truth, I came for Her Who came for all.
For it had come to pass that there were those who had
lost their way and, lacking in spark, could not return
unto the Fullness.
Seeing this, She came unto them, giving her life to the depths of matter.
And in truth She did suffer and become blind.
But our Father, sensing Her anguish, sent Me forth, being of Him,
so that She might see and We be as One again.
Though they see it not, it is She, the tender Mother of Mercy,
Who is the great redeemer."
INVOCATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
All: Thou, Mother of Compassion, come! Come, Spouse of Him, the Man.
Come Thou, Revealer of the Mysteries concealed!
Thou Mother of the Seven Mansions, come,
Who in the eighth hast found Thy rest.
C: Come Holy Spirit, Come!
CALL TO WHOLENESS
C: Hear the words of the immortal Logos:
Gather all my limbs which, since the foundation of the world,
have been scattered abroad in this aeon,
and reunite them together and receive them into the Light!
R: AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
C: Unto you be the Grace.
R: She came for us.
C: Let us awaken the Powers of Heaven and Earth.
R: Let them awaken within us.
CROSSING OF THE GATE
All: We invoke the dwellers in the earth; beneath the earth,
The rocks, the plants and all their seeds, flowers, and fruits.
We invoke the dwellers in the waters;
Of all the rivers, the lakes, and the seas.
We invoke the dwellers in the fire; fires within the earth,
fires of the stars and planets, fires of the sun:
All kin to the fires of my being.
We invoke the dwellers of the air; the dwellers in the
first Aleph, the nous within all things.
And we invoke That which is no thing:
That which the mind cannot grasp nor comprehend,
But only respond in ecstasy and awe, here present now and forever.
C: Draw nigh, 0 powers, visible and invisible:
You, who are carriers of the Sacred.
Draw nigh, cover your eyes and hush,
For the Presence of the Beloved is at hand.
PRAYER FOR THE WORLD
We offer this holy Mystery, 0 Lord Most High,
for the sake of all the creatures of the world;
And we beseech Thee, beloved of our hearts,
to give them Thy protection and care
that they may enjoy the grace of Thy Presence.
That forests and waters may sing the joy of Thy name;
That sands and deserts may join the hymn of nature;
That animals may live in peace and compassion;
That rulers may be filled with wisdom;
And that all the countries of the world may find harmony with those
within and those without;
That the people may find relief of all their pains
And attain to knowledge of Thy Love and Beauty;
That those whose bodies have died
May live in the Light of Thy Gnosis;
That through Thy divine Grace and Logos we may, with
All the kingdoms of nature, join in the chorus of the angels.
C:Thy Holy Sophia extended Her mantle to those who had no eyes or ears. She gave with abandon, and the archons, desiring Her,
engulfed Her in their density, and rendered Her blind.
But the Logos came from beyond the stars. He, the living bridge, came unto Her and, with a touch, restored Her sight.
In the Mystery of the radiant Mother of the World,As Thou dost bless Their union, we ask Thee,
And of Her Consort, the Logos,
We beseech Thee, O Divine Origin,
Beyond all thought or description,
to accept these gifts which we humbly offer unto Thee.
Beloved Presence, Whose body illumines the Sacred Gate.
Bridge across the stars.
Beloved Presence, Keeper of the Crossroads:
Awaken our hearts to the holy vision that
Bridges the visible and the invisible worlds,
Always with us, yet not always seen: Open our hearts to Thy touch.
In Thy name and Theirs and in answer to Thy call,
To open the bridge between spirit and matter in this bread and this wine, to reveal Thy presence hidden within them as
Their most precious Body and Blood.
The Logos has cast fire upon the world
and guards it until the world is afire.
Rejoice in the presence of the Light!
Know you not that you are the temple of the Divine,
And that the Holy Spirit dwells in you?
Sign of cross over those present
For you are the body and you are the blood.
Unveiling of the Divine Presence indwelling at all times and in all things, through the forms of bread and wine.
The Living Vessel of the Unknown Father, renewing
the eternal mystery of His Presence among the
children of the earth, lifted the veils of appearances,
and blessing the bread, broke it,
and gave himself to the world saying:
This is the visible sign of the Word made flesh
through which I pour my essence into you:
Take and eat, for
THIS IS MY BODYAnd lifting the chalice up to the heavens
They invoked the blessing of the Nameless One, Unknown Father.
So do we bless and in one voice say with them:
Take and drink, for this is the chalice of my blood that flows in
All things since the beginning of time.
Take and drink, for
THIS IS MY BLOODAnd in consummation of this Mystery,
we reunite Them as One,
in the name of the One Who sent them.
sing or say:
All: 0 glorious Mystery! Heaven's holy Tremors
resound on earth. For in Thy reunion Thou
hast come, The Two-in-One. Now in His eyes will shine
Thy Glory, And in Her eyes the wonder of life regained:
The ensouled and the ensouler, Face to Face
and sealed by the bridge to the Most High.
Celebrant: If they say to you, "Where did you come from?"
Say to them, "I came from the light, my abode, and projected into this world an image."
If they ask you, "What is the sign of the one who sent you?"
Answer: It is a movement and a rest.
Celebrant: For the Teacher did everything in a mystery:
A Baptism and a Chrism, a Eucharist, a Redemption and a Bridal Chamber.
C: Unto you be the Beauty and the Grace.
R: And may the world be filled with Their Mystery.
Offering of Self
All: As Thou gavest Thyself, Body and Blood,
so too I offer myself wholly unto Thee, 0 Light,
my body and my blood, to transform as Thou wilt,
that Thy Mystery be completed in me.
Celebrant: Hear the words of the holy Bride:
I have loved you and longed to give you life. *
*Or second hierophantic blessing (Optional)I have always been with you. I have whispered your name in the rustle of the leaves of autumn; I have called to you with the voice of the waves of the sea. I have watched you while I hid in the clouds. The birds have sung my messages, and I have given you echoes of my presence through all eyes that have looked at you—for in all creatures exists a spark of my Presence. I have waited for you, my beloved, for I have loved you and longed to give you life.
All: Fill us with Thy Grace, O Holy Spirit, that we not partake of this Sacrament in vain. Amen.
Celebrant: The Logos said,
"When you drink from my mouth you will become like me, I myself shall become you,
and the hidden things will be revealed to you."
Come, enter the Bridal Chamber,
and receive the most holy Mystery of completion.
You are all welcome to partake of Holy Communion, if you so desire, regardless of your background. No one is excluded.
Come without images or pretense, just as you are: For the Holy of Holies is uncovered and the Bridal Chamber invites us in. You may stand or use the kneeler, whichever you prefer.
The body and blood of the Indwelling One.
The celebrant offers bread dipped in wine, the celebrant being the last to partake.Celebrant:
May we all be able to say from deep within our hearts:
I am His vessel, I am Her dancing ground.
I am no more; the Living One is fire in me.
Of the precious Mystery we have partaken.
Enshrine it with your love.
It is the treasure of the far-off worlds,
the gift of the divine Bridegroom.
Forsake it not.
R: We will sing the glory of its Presence,
for we have been filled with life.
"I have cast fire upon the world, and lo!
I keep it until it blazes."
I have recognized myself and gathered myself
together from all sides. I have sown no children to the ruler of
this world, but have torn up his roots;
I have gathered together my limbs that were scattered
abroad and I know thee who thou art.
All: AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
C: For the Logos danceth.
C: And the Sophia danceth.
C: The Ogdoad playeth to our dancing.
C: The Dodecad danceth above us.
C: The Heptad danceth with us.
All: Yea, and we all dance the dance!
He who danceth not, knoweth not
what is being done.
C: The Mystery is complete, the rite is ended, and the hierarchies of heaven now depart in joy and peace.
All: Thanks be to all the hierarchies of heaven and to God Who sent them to us.
C: May that glorious Mystery of the Two-in-One,
the eternal and boundless love of the Logos and Sophia,
fill your hearts and minds that you may carry
into the world the sweet fragrance of Life Eternal.
C: And let us resume the dance.
C: Let the male and the female dance.
C: Let the waters and the deserts dance.
C: Let the Sun and the Moon dance.
C: Let the above and the below dance.
C: Let all opposites dance.
C: Around the circle eight females dance.
C: Embracing the all, twelve men holding hands dance.
C: May we all within the All forever dance.
All: AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
About the Gnostic Eucharist Ritual
(Reprinted from the Afterword to the 1990 Edition of the Gnostic Eucharist)
The 1981, 1984, 1990, and the present 2004 editions of the Gnostic Eucharist represent in ritual form the saga of the feminine principle of the Divine, her descent and imprisonment into matter, and her liberation and redemption not only of herself, but of all the sparks lost in darkness. While mainly based on the Gnostic mythology of the holy Sophiai , it is liberally imbued with the Lurianic mythii, with my own experiences, and with material derived from the Holy Order of Miriam of Magdalaiii all reminiscent of the Vow of the Bodhisattva, where the Bodhisattva vows not to return to Nirvana till all existence has been liberated.
In the myth of the Sophia, we find that before Chaos came into existence, the highest God was contented and passive in his Fullness. The highest God is seen as androgynous in nature, if we dare give God a quality for the sake of the story, and the feminine expression of God is called Sophia by the Gnostics. The Sophia desired to create a reflection of the highest heaven and went about doing this alone, without the concurrence of her consort. Her thought became a creation and a veil came into being between the highest heaven and the lower regions or aeons. The light of her thought cast a shadow—not substance, not life, but a shadow of thought—and this shadow realized that there was something stronger than itself and became envious. Envy was born permeating all the worlds and regions below the highest heaven. But that envy was an abortion, an excretion without essence and devoid of divine spirit.
The hatred and envy were cast into a part of the chaos and matter came into being. From this origin of matter (which was before matter as we know it took form), the creator god or demiurge came into being. The Sophia thought that this spiritless demiurge may rule over matter, and a great being came out of the waters with great authority within it but ignorant of its origins. The Gnostic writings call him Ialdabaoth or the accursed god because he made the visible world and kept humanity from knowledge by warning Adam and Eve against the tree of gnosis or knowledge.
When Sophia saw what came into being because of her error, she was sorely troubled. In the fierceness of her love and compassion she abandoned the Fullness and came into the world of matter to breathe her life into the depths of the abyss. Through his word, Ialdabaoth, the ruler, had created worlds, and heavens and earth, and orders and hierarchies in his heavens.
He was arrogant in his creation and caused all creatures to praise him saying, "I am the only God. No other exists before me." In one of the Gnostic writings the Sophia cries out to him, "You lie, Samael," Samael meaning "god of the blind." In this passage we can see why the Gnostics do not consider sin the cause of evil, for there is no sin and its attending guilt for the Gnostics, only ignorance and blindness.
In the world of matter the Sophia is promptly set upon by the archons or rulers of this world who defile her and, in their rage, render her blind. She cries in despair and regret at the tragedy she had caused to exist and suffers bitterly from her separation from her heavenly consort. The cry of her voice spans across countless universes searching to be heard by the most high, which in Gnostic language is called the Alien God, for he did not participate in the creation of matter. In her voice, we can hear our own blindness and ignorance reaching for a touch of gnosis of the divine Presence.
The highest God, in his love for his own feminine self, sends into the world of matter a redeemer, a reflection of his own self, whom we call Logos, who restores the Sophia's sight and reunites with her. In their reunion, the lost sparks of humanity can also be made whole and with her, be reunited with the Most High.
The Gnostic story of creation of Adam and Eve differs dramatically in meaning and perspective from the one found in the book of Genesis. The first Adam or Anthropos is an emanation from the highest God and is earlier and superior to the demiurge or creator god. The first Eve is an emanation of Sophia. The serpent that appears in the second story of creation is an emanation of the Heavenly Eve and is the wise one who instructs Adam.
The demiurge creates the second Adam, but cannot give him the Divine Spirit because he lacks it in himself. Either the highest God or the Heavenly Eve infuses the second Adam with Spirit, which places him above the creator god. "Furthermore, the inspiration of the Heavenly Eve bestows the capacity for redemption upon the first man.
"The archons, the powers of darkness, see that the second Adam is alive. They see Eve (the Heavenly Eve) speaking to him and are confused. They do not wish Adam to have power over them, so they fall upon this Eve in order to cast their seed into her so that they, and not Adam, shall have control over her children. But the Heavenly Eve turns herself into the Tree of Gnosis, and only her likeness (the second Eve or earthly Eve in the Garden) remains with Adam. The archons make the sleep of forgetfulness fall upon Adam and they say to him in his sleep that she (Eve) originated from his rib, so that the woman might be subject to him and he be lord over her. [Emphasis added] The archons defile the likeness, and then they become confused and take counsel together and go in fear to Adam and Eve."iv The demiurge then tells them that they can eat from every tree in the Garden, but forbids them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge telling them that if they do, they will die.
It is only through the intervention of the serpent that Eve eats from the tree and also gives it to her husband to eat. "Then their understanding (nous) is opened, for when they have eaten, the light of knowledge (gnosis) is opened to them."v
The rest of the story continues as usual, the creator god and the rest of the archons curse Adam and Eve and expel them from the Garden of Eden into the world. They surround the Tree of Life with a great terror, and set a being in place with a flaming sword that turns around in all directions so that access to it is barred to Adam and Eve and all their descendants.
The ritual of the Eucharist and Bridal Chamber attempts to outwardly dramatize the saga of that which is within us, complete with demiurge, archons, ignorance and blindness, plus the presence of the holy Sophia: The element that chooses out of love and compassion to dwell in darkness. It is this holy Presence, suspected and spurned by many, that spurs us toward wholeness against all odds. It is her voice, which is also our own, that from the depths of ignorance and alienation manages to reach the Most High God, creating a bridge across the stars that move within the space that is us, permitting the Divine Bridegroom to extend his healing touch and, with a kiss that is bathed with tears, to turn our blindness into sight.
The Consecration and Communion are the call to the wedding feast of celebration, the lifting of the veils that cloaked divinity, the revealing of the Bride and Bridegroom, face to face, and sealed by the bridge to the Most High.
Quotations in the text of the Eucharist are from the following Gnostic gospels: Acts of John, Acts of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, and Book of the Great Logos. Portions quoted were the Exultation, Invocation of the Logos, Invocation of the Holy Spirit, Call to Wholeness, the untitled part "It is a movement and a rest" and "For the Lord did everything in a mystery: a Baptism and a Chrism, a Eucharist, a redemption, and a Bridal Chamber." These were taken from the uncopyrighted, 1906 edition of Fragments of a Faith Forgotten.
For permission to quote from this ritual or for use in other churches and groups, please write to the author.
Rosamonde lkshvàku Miller
Sanctuary of the Holy Shekinah
Palo Alto, California
Easter Sunday, 1990
i For background reading, see On the Origin of the World. This work, attributed to Valentinus, seems to draw on Hellenic, Manichean, and Jewish source See also The Hypostasis of the Archons, Eugnostos the Blessed and The Sophia of Jesus, The Thought of Norea, The Thunder, Perfect Mind, including A Valentinian Exposition among others found in The Nag Hammadi Library (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977).
ii Isaac Luria, noted Khabbalist of the sixteenth century. In the Lurianic myth the worlds were formed when the Divine breathed out so powerfully and far reaching, that in the breathing in, not all of the breath returned and sparks of the Divine were lost in outer darkness. The holy Shekinah, God's feminine principle, left Her dwelling place to remain among Her children. She vowed not to return until all hardened sparks within all the worlds had been redeemed (awakened) and could once more complete the journey to the Whole from whence they came.
iii The Holy Order of Miriam of Magdala claims its origins to the first century and Mary Magdalene as its founder. Its continued existence is attributed to the zeal with which its (female) priests and hierophants have kept it secret. These claims cannot be verified by historians or scholars, for the original records and documents, as well as most of the keepers of the order, remain closed to scrutiny. The mythological and spiritual value of such a tradition remains significant when seen as a continued link with the Feminine Principle throughout the centuries in a context where women and the female aspect of the deity have preserved their spiritual dignity, without need for permission or recognition from the patriarchy.
iv Quotation from June Singer's excellent book, Seeing Through the Visible World (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990), p.92.
v Ibid, p. 93
History of copyrights: 1981, 1984, 1985, 1990, 2004