A Liturgy of the Word of the Law
(Liturgy 93)

T Polyphilus

Revised October 2006 e.v.


Regularly or irregularly, before or after Gnostic 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 should already be in the shrine. Minimum requirements are a central double cube and a Stele of Revealing 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. Alternately, two double cubes may be stationed in the South and the North.


Sharing of the Law

The Expositor advances to the East and takes the Book. (S)He turns to the Lector and says: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The Lector replies: Love is the law, love under will.

The Expositor gives the Book to the Lector. Then (s)he gives the Lector the kiss of peace, and the Lector places the book upon the central altar.

The Expositor and Lector go to the Congregation and exchange the Law with them, following the same pattern, and the Congregation 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.

Prayer to the Aeon

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


from XLIV

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.

Prayer to the Scarlet Woman

The Cantor:

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 Abominations,
Gather our blood in the golden cup of Thy fornication.

General Exordium

The Expositor stands in the East, makes the Step and Sign of a Man and a Brother and pronounces the General Exordium, in one of the following forms:

from LXIV:18

from 'Hymn to Tahuti'

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!
Silence: I utter the Creative Breath,
The Word against the Son of Night,
The Truth of Life against the Lie of Death,
The Modes of measured Might,
The Wisdom of the twofold phrase,
The Root of Throbbing Energy-Delight
The Shaking of the Viewless Void of Space,
The Making manifest of Mother-Mass,
The Pierceing of the Coils of Apophrasz,
The Breaking-forth of Light.


Hail Asi! Hail Hoor-Apep! Let
The Silence speech beget!
The Words against the Son of Night,
Tahuti speaketh in the Light.
Knowledge and Power, twin warriors, shake
The invisible; they roll asunder
The Darkness; matter shines, a snake.
Sebek is smitten by the thunder--
The Light breaks forth from under!


The 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 sole (or principal) ceremony of the occasion, an entire chapter should be read.


The Lector moves to the East, and the Expositor descends to the Altar of Incense. The Expositor makes the Hailing Sign, and declares:

The Congregation responds: Love is the law, love under will.


The Cantor chants the Gloria from Liber XXXVI:


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

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

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 Congregation and saying: IN NOMINE CHAOS, AUMGN AUMGN AUMGN.


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


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. AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN.

The Congregation responds: So mote it be.


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

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

Congregation: What is thy will?

(If Liturgy 93 concludes the work) (If Church ceremony follows)
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.
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 Expositor 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 Zwingli. Zwingli's liturgy was composed in 1525 e.v. based on a service included in John Surgant's Manuale 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 Surgant's service was the medieval church ceremony of Prone. Surgant's ceremony was intended to precede and complement the Roman Mass, but when Zwingli 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 Gnostic Catholic Church. Performed alone, it is simply a highly ritualized meeting of Thelemites 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.

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 cheek, 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 first found in the Neophyte ritual of the Golden Dawn. It is presumably based on an ancient Egyptian text concerning the god Tahuti.

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.

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