Sacredness emerges when we consciously embrace the awe and wonder of our being in the beautiful, mysterious, and terrifying cosmos, ever seeking truth and using our limited powers and knowledge to be advocates for Agape' in the service of life.


Opthēan Rite for Daily Focus

 USE OF THIS ORDER:
     When used for community praxis, someone is appointed to recite the portions of the Rite printed in normal type. The portions printed in bold are recited in unison by the community.
     When the Rite is used by an individual as a part of a discipline of daily personal praxis of focus and meditation, both the normal and bold printed portions are recited aloud.
     The periods of silence are intended to provide adequate time for thought and reflection on the focus themes. It is appropriate to verbally share relevant thoughts and concerns during the period of silence.
     
When the Rite is recited daily, in time it will achieve its purpose of altering the practitioner's reality.
     To be effective, this praxis requires the discipline of beginning each day with recitation of the Rite followed by meditation. A comfortable position that promotes receptivity is desirable.  Music that helps or enhances centering and reflection is desirable..

 

Seeking to Deepen Our Understanding
of Ourselves,
And the Cosmos in which We Live,
We Acknowledge the Reality
Of Our Being of One Substance

With Everyone and Everything
In The Vast Cosmic Sea of Matter and Energy

We Employ The Power of Praxis,
Focused on Agape' and The Common Good, 
To E
xpand our Consciousness of Our Cosmic Unity,
And to Enable the
Emergence of The Transcendent Meaning
That Sustains Us With
Purpose, Vision, and Courage.

Seeking to Grow in Our Vocation
of Service To Life and The Earth,
And Our Commitment
To the Discernment of Truth and Primary Values,
Upon Which to Focus Our Thinking and Praxis;

We Celebrate our Cosmic Kinship With One Another,
And Receptively Direct Our Focus
To the Welfare and the Well Being of the Earth,
And Everything That Lives Upon It.

(silence)

We Focus on The Mission we Share
With All Those Everywhere
Who Work For Global Socialization
Through Love, Peace and Universal Wellbeing;

That We May Support Each Other,
And Work Together
as Agents of Evolutionary Emergence, Altruism, and
Critical Thinking,
For The Benefit and The Well Being
Of Everyone and Everything
With Whom We Share the Earth.

(silence)

We Focus on Scholars, Artists, Scientists
And All Those Who Hunger
For Truth, Knowledge and Understanding
Of Ourselves
And The Cosmos of Which We Are a Part;

That They May Help Us to Broaden Our Knowledge,
Deepen Our Receptiveness,
Expand Our Consciousness,
And Encourage Us
to Discern and Live a Planetary Vision
Of Ourselves and Our Universe,
Based upon Agape', 

Critical Thinking,
And the Disciplined Pursuit of Truth.

(silence)

We Focus on The Politics, Geographics and Cultures
That Shape, Define and Divide Us;

On All Those Who Work to Accept Our Differences,
And Embrace Our Commonalities,
By Bringing Everyone and Everything
Into the Community of Unconditional Love
And Universal Well Being,
And by Standing Up
for Justice, Egality and Non-Violence,
In The Face of Our Fear and Self-Interest.

(silence)

We Focus on The Poor and Hungry,
The Sick and Suffering,
On Refugees and Prisoners,
And Those in Any Kind of Trouble;

On All Who Employ the Healing Power
Of Empathy and Compassion,
To Alleviate All Forms of Suffering,
And Care for
The Friendless, The Powerless, and Those in Need.

(silence)

We Focus on Our Instinctive Selfishness,
And Our Primeval Drive
For Domination, Control, and Exploitation
Of Each Other and Everything In Our World;

That We May Fully Embrace Our Responsibility
For Our Personal and Collective Self-Centeredness
--The Primary Threat to Our Wellbeing and Survival--
And Deepen Our Experience
of The Disciplined Praxis of Agape' and Forgiveness',
Through which We Are Transformed,
And By Which Our Self-Concern Is Redirected,
To Unconditional Love and Passion
For The Welfare and The Well Being
Of Everyone and Everything on The Earth.

(silence)

We Focus on Those Whom We Regard as "Others":
Our Adversaries and Those Who Wish Us Ill;

That We May Emotionally Connect With Them,
Through the Hopes and Values We Hold in Common,
And Have The Courage
to Face Their Criticism, Opposition, and Anger,
With Grace, Humility, and Self-Understanding.

(silence)

We Focus on Our Personal Needs and Concerns;

That We May Find Healing, Resolution, and Renewal,
In Community With One Another,
Through Compassion, Empathy, Humor,
And The Comfort of Knowing
That We Are Not Alone.

(individual needs and concerns are expressed and/or shared)

(silence)

We Focus on Those Relationships and Experiences
That Bring Us Love, Joy and Happiness;

That We May Celebrate and Grow
In Our Experience of Beauty, Awe, and Wonder,
In All of Life, Time, and Space,
Finding Strength in Joy
To Work Co-Creatively
For The Happiness and Welfare
Of Everyone, Everywhere.

(points of celebration are shared)

(silence)

We Focus on The Lives of Those Seekers
Who Preceded Us,
And Upon Whose Work and Vision
We Build;

May the Beauty of Their Lives
of Love, Commitment, and Service to The Common Good,
A
nd Their Contributions to The Fund of Human Knowledge and Understanding,
In Their Times,
Inspire and Encourage Us
to Continue Their Work
Of Truth Seeking and Service,
In Our Own Lives and Times.

(silence)

Through Our Praxis We Sanctify Our Values,
Alter Our Reality,
And Transform Our Being;

May We Be So Transformed,
As to be Strengthened and Encouraged
To Live Out Our Vocation
As Agents of Agape', Truth, and Critical Thinking
In Every Relationship, Moment, and Place
In Which We Find Ourselves,
As Individuals and as a Community.

Every Moment and Circumstance of Our Lives
Is An Opportunity,
To Bring Value and Purpose to Life,
And to Give Voice and Power to Love;

We Commit Ourselves
To Discerning and Guiding
The Course of Our Evolution,
Through Our Praxis
Of Unconditional Love a
nd Critical Thinking,
And We Dedicate Our Lives
To The Relief of Suffering,
And The Pursuit of The Common Good. 

With Passion, Discipline, and Courage,
GO,
IN SERVICE OF LIFE AND THE EARTH,
In The Beauty of Love, Truth, and Wisdom!

FOR THE WELFARE AND THE WELLBEING OF THIS FRAGILE EARTH,
OUR ISLAND HOME,
AND ALL THAT LIVES UPON IT
!!

 

 


 

The Opthēan Rite of Marriage

 

Concerning the Rite
Marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of the full community.
In the opening exhortation (at the symbol of N. N.), the full names of the persons to be married are declared. Subsequently, only their first names are used.

 

The Celebration and Solemnization of a Marriage


The Celebrant, facing those gathered and the persons to be married, addresses the gathering and says

Dearly beloved:

We have come together to witness and celebrate the joining together of these two persons in marriage.

The creative union of one person to another in heart, body, and mind is intended for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and in some cases for the rearing and nurture of children in love, encouragement, and the discovery of their whole being within this relationship. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but thoughtfully, deliberately, and with complete integrity.

Into this sacred union N. N. and N. N. now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.

Then the Celebrant says to the persons to be married

I require and charge you both, here in this moment and place, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and with full integrity, you do now confess it.
 

The Declaration of Consent
 

The Celebrant says to the party on the right

N., will you have this (man/woman) to be your partner for life; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love (him/her), comfort (him/her), honor and keep (him/her), in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to (him/her) as long as you both shall live?

The party on the right answers

I will.

The Celebrant says to the party on the left

N., will you have this (man/woman) to be your partner for life; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love (him/her), comfort (him/her), honor and keep (him/her), in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to (him/her) as long as you both shall live?

The party on the left answers

I will.

The Celebrant then addresses the gathering, saying

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

The gathering answers

We will.

If there is to be a presentation or a giving in marriage, it takes place at this time.

Music, appropriate readings, or presentations may follow.
 

The Vows
 

The party on the left, facing the party on the right and taking her/his right hand in his/hers, says

In the presence of these witnesses, I, N., take you, N., to be my partner in marriage, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

Then they loose their hands, and the party on the right, still facing the party on the left, takes his/her right hand in his/hers, and says

In the presence of these witnesses, I, N., take you, N., to be my partner in marriage, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

They loose their hands.

The Celebrant asks the gathering to recognize the ring(s) as symbols

I ask N. and N. and all of you here to recognize these rings to be symbols of the vows by which these two persons are binding themselves to each other with our presence and solemn support.

The giver places the ring on the ring-finger of the other's hand and says

N., I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.
 

The Promises
 

All standing, the Celebrant says

N. and N. Will you seek such wisdom and devotion in the ordering of your common life, that you each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy?

The couple answers

We will

The Celebrant says

Will you seek to so unite yourselves in will and spirit, that you may grow in love and peace with one another all the days of your life?

The couple answers

We will

The Celebrant says

Will you, when you hurt each other, act gracefully to recognize and acknowledge your fault, and to seek and grant each other's forgiveness?

The couple answers

We will

The Celebrant says

Will you strive to make your life together a sign to all who know you, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair?

The couple answers

We will

The Celebrant says

Will you seek such fulfillment of your mutual affection that you will reach out in love and concern for others?

The couple answers

We will
 

The Pronouncement
 

Then the Celebrant binds the right hands of the couple and says

May your love for each other be a seal upon your hearts, a mantle about your shoulders, and a crown upon your foreheads. May you know true love and peace in your work and in your companionship; in your sleeping and in your waking; in your joys and in your sorrows; in your life and in your death. May your home be a haven of love, wisdom and peace.

Now that N. and N. have given themselves to each other by solemn vows and promises, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are partners in marriage for life.
 

The Kiss
 

The Celebrant says

It is my honor to present to you N. and N.N.