To Accompany the Gnostic Mass
T Polyphilus, Ep. Gn.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Liber XV frequently calls for music to accompany the action of the ceremonies, and sometimes for music of a particular character. The optimal fulfillment of these instructions is by means of live musicians, who may work with any number of different instruments. I have attended beautifully accompanied Masses where the principal accompaniment was hand drumming, others where it was an electric or acoustic guitar, violin, flute, or a gong. I have been known to play whistles myself (usually in concert with drumming), or to play keyboards.
In the absence of musicians who are educated on the particular demands of the ritual, however, it can be tempting to use recorded music. In fact, it can also be very effective to use recorded music. But I do not recommend just turning the music on and letting it play throughout the Mass. Such an approach assumes that the music should be ambient and continuous, and the instructions in Liber XV directly contradict that assumption. Instead, a program or playlist should be carefully constructed, and playback should be entrusted to an assistant who can adjust the volume as needed, and who will make sure that each track begins and ends according to its proper use in the ceremonies.
I have constructed many such scores in the past. Rather than rehearsing the details of any particular playlist, the following table shows the standard sequence of tracks that I use in putting together a Gnostic Mass accompaniment recording, along with the cues for each track.
Entry and seating of people
Cue before admission of people;
End when all people are seated.
Entry of Priestess
Cue after final AUMGN of Creed;
End after Priestess adores in shrine.
Penitential (Priest emerging)
Cue after Priestess' “…to the Brethren”
End when Priestess goes to font.
Cue on Priest's “…of the lifted Lance!”
End when Priest kisses Book.
MUST end when all kneel.
Consecration of Elements
Cue when all sit after collects;
End when Priestess kisses Lance.
Cue when Priest kisses paten;
End during Greek invocation of Trinity.
Cue after Priest proclaims “not of the gods”;
End when Priest closes veil.
Cue after closing benediction.
Love is the law, love under will.
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