Thelema rejects the idea of original sin. So, for us, baptism represents a symbolic birth into the Thelemic community. The child heeds the call of Nuit, who declares, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." The child enters the portals of Her Church, where he or she is welcomed into the community of worshippers, leaving the profane world and its materialistic obsessions behind.
The baptized child joins the community at what is
essentially a probationary level. The recitation of the creed
by the congregation during the baptismal ceremony represents the
instruction of the child in the essential tenets of the church.
The child is not a full member of the community until he or she
has learned these tenets and has made a conscious, informed decision
to accept them.
(The Temple is arranged for the Gnostic Mass,
but the Veil is closed. The guests are admitted and seated.
The person to be baptized, who has attained or exceeded the age
of puberty, enters with two sponsors who are confirmed members
of the Church; they sit near the Tomb in the West.
The Priest, Priestess and Deacon are all present,
clad in plain white robes. The Deacon holds a small towel over
his arm, and a goblet of wine is ready near the Font.
The part labeled PRIEST(ESS) may be filled by
either the Priest or by the Priestess; or the Priest and Priestess
may allocate the lines between each other and administer the ceremony
conjointly if both are ordained and recognized.)
The DEACON (facing
East, with the appropriate gesture): "APO
(He turns, and invites the Candidate and the Sponsors
to advance to the Font.)
The DEACON: "Every
man and every woman is a star." We are all born free, independent,
shining gloriously, each one a radiant world, according to the
Law of Liberty. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of
The PRIEST(ESS): It is written in the Book of the Law:
"Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!"
"They shall gather my children into their fold:
they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men."
[Describes the object of the baptismal rite in the E.G.C. The
following language is suggested.] The
origins of the Rite of Baptism are lost in antiquity, but its
meaning is as clear as living water: it symbolizes birth. The
object of this Rite is to commemorate the birth of a child as
a member of the Body of Nuit, whose Life is one, individual and
eternal; to welcome this individual through a symbolic second
birth into the knowledge, fellowship and sanctuary of our Congregation;
and to remind us of our duties toward each other, as toward our
children and all children.
PRIEST(ESS) (to the
Sponsors): Is it your will to accept, protect and aid this
Candidate as you would your own child?
The Sponsors: It is.
PRIEST(ESS): Do you swear
to defend his/her freedom?
The Sponsors: I do.
PRIEST(ESS): Then lead
us in the confession of our Creed.
The Sponsors: (lead
all in reciting the Creed.)
PRIEST(ESS): Will you
instruct this Candidate, and assist him/her in his/her way to
true knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of our creed?
The Sponsors: I will.
PRIEST(ESS) (to the
Candidate): Candidate, say after me: I will know my own Will.
I will do my own Will. I will rejoice in the Will of my God.
DEACON: Lord of Life and
Joy, grant unto this Candidate the Power of the Holy Spirit to
persevere in this intention, and to grow in Knowledge and Understanding.
water. The following formula is suggested.] (holding hands over
the Font): "This is the world of the waters of Maim;
this is the bitter water that becometh sweet." (breathes
wine. The following formula is suggested.] (brings a goblet of
wine and elevates it over the Font): "I came to the house
of the Beloved, and the wine was like fire that flieth with green
wings through the world of waters." (makes with wine
DEACON: Under what name
do you approach baptism?
Candidate: (Gives Baptismal
[The Candidate is now baptized with water, then with wine. The following formula is suggested.]
(The Deacon helps the Candidate to kneel and position
his/her head over the Font, and places a towel at his/her breast
to protect his/her clothing. The PRIEST(ESS) then takes the Ewer,
fills it with consecrated water from the Font, and pours the water
over the Candidate's head thrice into the Font [alternatively,
the PRIEST(ESS) may take a rose from the altar, dip it in the
font and sprinkle the Candidate with the water from the rose],
Name] I baptize thee in the name of NUIT (pour), of HADIT
(pour) and of RA-HOOR-KHUIT (pour).
(The PRIEST(ESS) then pours the consecrated wine
from the goblet over the Candidate's head [alternatively, the PRIEST(ESS) may sprinkle some of the wine over the Candidate's head, or apply a small quantity of the wine to the Candidate's head with her hand], saying:)
PRIEST(ESS): "I am
uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard
upon thy body."
[The Candidate is received.]
PRIEST, PRIESTESS and DEACON:
We receive thee into the Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light,
Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA.
(If more than one person is being baptized on
this occasion, each is brought in turn to this point, then all
assemble beside the Font.)
hands in blessing): Gloria Patri et Matri et Filio et Filiae
et Spiritui Sancto Externo et Spiritui Sancto Interno, ut erat
est erit in saecula Saeculorum sex in uno per nomen Septem in
(The Deacon rings the bell 333-55555-333)
DEACON: 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.
exhortation.) [This may be extemporaneous or pre-written. It
should be tailored to the particular Candidates, if possible,
and should encourage the Candidates to: (a) find their own way
of life through the active pursuit of self-knowledge; (b) respect
and learn from the experience, both positive and negative, of
other members of the Church; and (c) contribute to the growth
and welfare of the Church and the Order.]
(Applause. The Veil is opened. The Officers
retire and prepare for the Gnostic Mass. The Gnostic Mass is
then celebrated, with only the person(s) baptized partaking of
communion. Afterwards, the Candidate(s) receive instruction in
the step and sign, and a copy of the Creed. Confirmation may
take place as soon as each Candidate has obtained a suitable white
robe and memorized the Creed.)