The Mystical Church of the Holy Graal: Dion Fortune's Guild of the Master Jesus.
The 'Teaching Papers' Pt 2
CEREMONY OF ADMISSION TO THE GUILD OF THE MASTER JESUS
Those who are to be admitted to membership shall be seated in the front row of seats. Each shall have provided himself with a suitable object to form the central symbol of his shrine, and it shall be wrapped in a piece of white silk, covered exteriorly with a piece of black silk.
Upon the altar shall be a bow of water, castor of salt, and phial of oil.
MINISTRANT: O Thou all-powerful and over-living God, send down Thy power, we beseech Thee, upon the ceremony we are about to perform, that it may be potent to effect that which is our intention, namely, to admit this our brother, already a member of the Church of Christ, to that Path which leads to Initiation by Way of the Cross, and which shall bring him to that inner sanctuary where the Holy Graal is adored as the vessel of the Spirit of God.
Ministrant comes down to altar rail.
MINISTRANT: Is it your will to enter upon the Way of Initiation through the Cross of Christ?
CANDIDATE: It is.
MINISTRANT: Have you examined your heart and past life, made such practical amends as are in your power for whatever wrong you may have done; confessed your errors and weaknesses to God in the silence, and invoked His aid to overcome the same?
CANDIDATE: I have.
MINISTRANT: Are you at peace with God and man?
CANDIDATE: I am.
MINISTRANT: Do you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Master?
CANDIDATE: I do.
MINISTRANT: Are you prepared to go by the Way of the Cross from the Gethsemane of the Spirit, through the judgment hall of the world, to the place of the Crucifixion, there to wait at the foot of the Cross with the beloved disciple, Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother, till the Angel shall roll back the stone, revealing the empty tomb; and will you then go forth by the desert road to seek the Risen Lord?
CANDIDATE: I will.
MINISTRANT: Go then, my brother, and may the strength of God go with you, for One goes before you whom you cannot see.
LECTOR: And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel, King of Shinar; Arioch, King of Elasar; Chedorlaomer, King of Elam; and Tidal, King of Nations, that these made war with Bera, King of Sodom, and Birsha, King of Gomorrah; Shinah, King of Admah, and Shemebar, King of Zeboiim; and the King of Bela, which is Zoar. And these were joined together in battle in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea; four kings against five. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain. And after the battle, Melchizedek, King of Salem, brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the Most High God.
MINSTRANT: Lete us meditate upon this Great One who came without father, without mother, without descent, a priest of the Most High God.
Pause for meditation
LECTOR: And the King of Babylon spake unto the master of his eunuchs that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king`s seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science; and such as had ability in them to stand in the king`s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans. Unto these the prince of the eunuchs gave names; and unto Daniel he gave the name Belteshazzar. As for these children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in his realm. Then the king made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governers of all the wise men of Babylon.
MINISTRANT: Let us meditate upon this Great One who stood upright in the palace of the king, and whose teachers were the great Archangels.
Pause for meditation
LECTOR: I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos. And I was in the spirit on the Lord`s Day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet, saying: “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; what thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches.” And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks was One like unto the son of man. And in his right hand were seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me: “I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”
MINISTRANT: Let us invoke the blessing of those Great Ones of our Tradition who have gone before us – our Elder Brethren. May their comradeship go with us upon the Path, and their inspiration be in our hearts.
Pause for meditation
LECTOR: And the word of the Eternal came unto Ezekiel the priest in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Eternal was on me in a trance. And I looked, and behold a whirlwind came out of the North, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it as the colour of amber out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likenesses of four living creatures. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf`s foot, and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings, and their wings were joined one to another; and they turned not when they went, but went everyone straight forward. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps; and the light went up and down among the living creatures, and the fire was bright; and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned, as the appearance of a flash of lightning. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and of a lion, and of an ox, and of an eagle; and their faces and their wings were stretched upwards.
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold there was the appearance of wheels, like unto the colour of a beryl; and their appearance was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they moved, they went in any direction that their four sides faced, and they turned not when they went. As for their wings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went with them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the Spirit impelled them to go, they went, and the wheels were lifted up over against them; for the life of the living creatures was in the wheels.
And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creatures was as the colour of the terrible crystal stretched forth over their heads above; and under the firmament were their wings straight, one towards the other. And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host; and they stood and let down their wings. And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads when they let down their wings.
And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as it were, the appearance of fire; and it had brightness round about it, as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain; so was the appearance of the brightness round about it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Eternal.
MINSTRANT: Let us pray that we may receive the seeing eye that perceives the spiritual reality behind all things; let us worship the One Life, the only giver of form, and adore God made manifest in Nature. Let us give reverence to those Great Ones, the fiery lives that are the messengers of God – Angels, Archangels, and all the Company of Heaven.
Pause for meditation
LECTOR: Jesus saith: Now I go my way to Him that sent me, and none of you askest me “Whither goest thou?” Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall He speak; and he will show you things to come. These things have I spoken unto you in parables; but the time cometh when I shall speak no more unto you in parables, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.
MINSTRANT: May the Holy Ghost, the Illuminator, descend upon you and fill your hearts and your minds with light, that you may know the things of the spirit, even the secret things of God, face to face, and no longer in a glass darkly.
Pause for meditation
MINISTRANT: Let us now consider the way of Our Grand Master and Great Initiator, the Lord Jesus Christ, who leadeth us by the Way of the Cross into all light.
LECTOR: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin`s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said: “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed; and all went to be taxed, everyone to his own city; and Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, into the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered, and she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in that same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo! the Angel of the Lord came unto them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the Angel said unto them “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.” And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.”
But when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the day s of Herod the King, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East, and have come to worship Him. And lo, the Star which they saw in the East, went before them, till it came and stood over were the young child was. And when they saw the Star, they were filled with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts – gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return unto Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, saying: “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” And Joseph arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying: “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
MINISTRANT: Let us meditate upon the Word made flesh among us.
Pause for meditation
MINISTRANT: Let us now consider the last things.
LECTOR: Then cometh Jesus with them into a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples: “Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder”. And He took with Him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be very sorrowful and heavy. Then said He unto them: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Tarry ye here and watch with me.”
And He went on a little further, and fell on His face and prayed, saying: “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me – nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt”. And he cometh up to his disciples, and findeth them asleep and saith unto Peter: “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
Then He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying: “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, Thy will be done”. Then cometh He to His disciples and saith unto them: “Sleep on now, and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us be going, for behold, he is at hand that doth betray me”.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall; and they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe; and when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and led Him away to crucify Him. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, the place of the skull, they gave Him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall. And they cruficied Him, and parted His garments, casting lots; and sitting down, they watched Him there. And there were two thieves crucified with Him, one on the right hand and one on the left.
Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus, His Mother, and His mother`s sister, Mary, the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His Mother, and the disciple standing by her whom He loved, He said unto His Mother: “Woman, behold thy son”. Then said He to the disciple: “Behold thy mother”. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: “Eli, Eli, Lama sabachthani – My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” And He said: “It is finished.” And bowed His head and gave up the ghost.
MINISTRANT: Jesus saith: “Canst thou drink of the cup that I drink of, and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with?”
Let us meditate upon initiation by the Way of the Cross, and Our Great Initiator who has passed by that Way for our sakes.
Pause for meditation
LECTOR: After the things that were prophesied had come to pass that fulfilled the Scripture, it is told that Joseph of Arimathea, the same that received the body of Jesus from the Cross and gave it burial, took the Cup of the Last Supper, and instructed of an angel, came West by the tin-ships to the islands of the sea; and seeing a hill like unto Mount Carmel, he landed in the island valley of Avalon, and his pilgrim staff, thrust into holy ground, struck root and grew, and bears her flowers at Christmas to this day.
And the Cup he had carried was placed in the keeping of the Fisher King, and hither came on a quest the knights of the Table Round, and King Arthur and all his chivalry. But none save the pure in heart might see it. Then, the earth growing too wicked, it was withdrawn, and taken up into Mount Salvatch, which is not known of men, and it is called the Graal.
And those who would worship God in Spirit and in truth – God being a Spirit – and who would see Him face to face – and not in a glass, darkly, travel to Mount Salvatch by the Way of the Cross. They it is that are called the Mystical Church of the Holy Graal, to whose fellowship you have been admitted by the rite of this ceremony, and for you henceforth, the Cup of the Sacrament is the very Graal; and the way of life, the Way of the Cross that leadeth to Mount Salvatch where your Master awaits you.
MINISTRANT: Let us meditate upon our Elder Brethren, the Watchers of Avalon.
Pause for meditation
MINISTRANT: Comes to altar.
Let the candidate kneel at the altar rail.
Ministrant takes into his hands the phial of oil, and facing the altar, raises it above his head in both hands and says:
May the power of the Christ of God and the four Holy Archangels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel, consecrate this sacred chrism that it may be a vehicle of power.
Coming to altar rail, he takes the oil, dips his thumb in it, and presses it upon the root of the candidate`s nose, saying:
May the power of the Christ be upon thee.
Returns to altar, raises bowl of water in both hands above his head:
O Thou beloved Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the first-born Son of God, bless, we beseech Thee, this water that it may be holy unto Thee, and a vehicle of Thy power for purification, regeneration, and protection.
Places bowl on altar and raises the salt.
O Thou Creator and Sustainer of our universe, we consecrate to Thee this emblem of cosmic earth.
He scatters salt in the water in the form of a cross.
For the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory as the Glory of the only begotten of the Father.
Turning to people.
We will now proceed to consecrate the sacred symbol that shall serve our newly admitted brother as the focussing point of his devotions, and his link with the Mystical Church of the Holy Graal, which no man hath seen at any time, for it is not built with hands, but eternal in the heavens.
Comes down to altar rail.
Receives symbol from candidate, wrapped in white cloth. Black cloth having been removed and retained by donor.
Brings symbol to altar. Raises it at arm`s length and says:
May the Christ of God and the four Holy Archangels bless this symbol.
Uncovers it secretly, sprinkles it with water and anoints it with oil. Re-wraps it in white cloth. Comes down to altar rail and returns it to candidate, who immediately covers it with black cloth.
Ministrant at altar rail, speaking to candidate:
This holy symbol, delivered into your hands, duly consecrated, shall be to you for a memorial of this day, when you entered upon the Quest of the Graal. Let it not be uncovered until you place it in the shrine prepared for its reception. Make it the focussing point of your meditations. It shall be for you the spot where Jacob`s ladder rests upon the earth. May it be to you a source of inspiration, power and protection.
Let our newly admitted brother return to his seat, and let us sit in meditation.
Pause for meditation
MINISTRANT: May the peace of God that passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. May the wisdom of the Holy Ghost illuminate you. May the power of the Father sustain you. May the protection of the four mighty Archangels be about you, and may the comradeship of the Company of Heaven accompany you upon the path of your choice – Initiation by the Way of the Cross.
Ararita. Power in Equilibrium. Makes Sign of Cross over congregation.