Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

Ceremony of Baptism of an Adult

Draft Version 10/28/98 e.v.
Copyright 1997 Ordo Templi Orientis U.S.A. All rights reserved.


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 PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS."

(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 Law."

The PRIEST(ESS): It is written in the Book of the Law:

"Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!"

And this:

"They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men."

PRIEST(ESS): [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.

Candidate: (repeats)

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.

PRIEST(ESS) [consecrates 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 over Font).

PRIEST(ESS) [consecrates 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 over Font).

DEACON: Under what name do you approach baptism?

Candidate: (Gives Baptismal Name.)

[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], saying:)

PRIEST(ESS): [Baptismal 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.)

PRIEST(ESS): (raising 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 uno ARARITA.

(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.

PRIEST(ESS): (delivers 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.)