The Gnostic Mass

The Gnostic Mass is a central ritual of the O.T.O. and its ecclesiastic branch, the EGC (Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica or the Gnostic Catholic Church). In alchemical traditions, the ultimate goal of human life is often expressed as the accomplishment of the Great Work and it is commonly understood that this is achieved through the union of opposites. In the Gnostic Mass, this union is expressed as the alchemical marriage between the Priest and the Priestess.

The basic outline of the Mass is as follows: In the beginning, the Priest is represented as dead (or unenlightened, unaware of his True Will) and is awakened through the intervention of the Priestess, who invests him in the Robe of the Priest of the Sun. The Priest then leads the Priestess to the Altar on which she subsequently sits hidden behind the veil. After being adored by the Priest, she responds in the words of the Goddess that she now incarnates, and invites the Priest to her. The veil is parted. While the Priest kneels before her, the Deacon intones the eleven collects, celebrating the principles, rites of passage, and the historical saints of the Gnostic Church. When this is done, the sacraments are consumed. The Priest declares the accomplishment of the Great Work through the phrase, “There is no part of me that is not of the Gods” and all present join him in consuming the eucharistic wine and cake and in making the same declaration. This brings the ritual to its close. You may also wish to read the full text of the Mass.

The Mass is a Eucharistic ritual, and everyone who attends partakes of a small cake of light and glass of wine or juice. The Deacon will mention this before the beginning of the Mass. If you prefer to take juice rather than wine, please alert the Deacon or the Lodge master before the ritual. The wine will be red wine, and the cake will contain wheat flour, honey, wine, and oil of Abramelin. If you have any concerns regarding these ingredients, for instance if you are gluten intolerant, please let us know well in advance of the ritual.

Attendees of the Mass also make certain motions and read certain portions of the text. These are quite simple and will be explained by the Deacon. Before the Mass, attendees will be given a text to read from, and the Deacon will also guide the attendees during the ritual. The door is locked before the Mass begins, so it is essential to arrive on time.