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 Order for Daily Focus

USE OF THIS ORDER:
When used for community praxis, someone is appointed to recite those portions of the Rite printed in normal type. Those portions printed in bold are recited in unison by the community.
When the Rite is used by an individual as a part of the discipline of daily personal praxis,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 over time, its purpose of altering the practitioner's reality will emerge.

To be effective, this praxis requires the discipline of beginning each day with recitation of the Rite followed by ten minutes of reflection/meditation/journaling. This is repeated at mid-morning, mid-afternoon and in at bedtime.
A comfortable position that promotes emotional and thoughtful receptivity is desirable.
Music that enhances centering and reflection is desirable..

 

Embracing Our Vow to Seek Truth,
Come Whence It May, Cost What It Will,
We Come Together in Agape’ and Focus
In Order To Deepen Our Understanding of Ourselves
And the Vast Cosmic Sea of Matter and Energy
In Which Everything That Exists Shares Common Substance,
And From Which All of Life is Emergent.

We Submit Ourselves Physically, Intellectually, and Emotionally,
To The Discipline of Our Vocation and Praxis,
Focused upon Agape' and the Common Good, 
In Order to Expand Our Consciousness,
And Enable the Emergence of Our Reason for Being
In Spite of the Absurdity of Seeking Intrinsic Meaning
In The Nature of the Entropic Universe.

In Order to Sanctify Our Vocation of Service to Life and the Earth,
And to Discern the Primary Values upon Which to Focus Our Lives, Thinking, and Praxis;

We Embrace Our Ecological Relationship with Everything in the Cosmos,
And Receptively Direct Our Focus to the Welfare and Well Being of Life in All Its Forms,
And to the Earth From Which it Draws Nurture and Sustenance.

(silence)

We Focus on Humanity’s Vital Need
To Envision and Create Responsible Global Community
Through Agape’, Cooperation, and Non-Violence;

That in Service of Agape’
We May Support Each Other,
And Work Co-Creatively,
As Agents of Evolutionary Emergence, Eu-socialization, and Critical Thinking,
For the Benefit and Well Being of Everyone and Everything
With Whom We Share the Earth.

(silence)

We Focus on Scholars, Artists, Scientists,
And All Those Who Intellectually and Emotionally Hunger
For Truth, Knowledge and Wisdom,
Driven by The Need to Understand Ourselves,
And the Universe of Which We Are a Part;

That They Will Inspire Us to Increase Our Knowledge,
Deepen Our Receptiveness,
Expand Our Consciousness,
And Encourage Us
To Discern and Live a Cosmic Vision
Of Disciplined Service
To Life, the Earth, and the Common Good.

(silence)

We Focus on the Geographies, Politics, and Cultures
That Shape, Define and Divide Us;

That We Will Strive to Accept Our Differences,
And Build Upon Our Commonalities,
By Bringing Everyone and Everything into the Global Community
Of Agape’, Cooperation, and Universal Well Being,
While Standing Up for Justice, Egality, and Non-Violence,
In the Face of Our Fear and Selfishness.

(silence)

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

That We Will Use the Healing Power of Agape’,
To Relieve Unnecessary Suffering,
And Care for the Friendless, the Powerless, and Those in Need.

(silence)

We Focus on Our Instinctive Self-Concern,
And Our Primeval Drive for Domination, Control, and Exploitation
Of Each Other and Everything in Our Sway;

That We Will Take Full Responsibility
For Our Personal and Collective Selfishness,
The Primary Threat to Our Well-being and Survival,
And Deepen Our Experience of the Disciplined Praxis of Agape' and Service,
Through which We Are Transformed,
And By Which Our Competitiveness and Self-Absorption
Are Redirected to Love Without Conditions or Merit,
In Service of the Welfare and Well Being of Everyone and Everything on The Earth.

(silence)

We Focus on Those Whom We Regard as "Others":
Our Adversaries,
Those Who Differ From Us,
And All Who Wish Us Ill;

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

(silence)

We Focus on Our Personal Needs and Concerns;

That We Will Find Healing, Resolution, and Renewal,
In Community With One Another,
Through Shared Meaning, Empathy, and Humor,
Comforted by the Awareness 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 Fulfillment;

That We Will Deepen Our Experience of Beauty, Awe, and Wonder,
In All of Life, Time, and Space,
Finding Strength in Joy to Work Co-Creatively
For The Welfare and Wellbeing 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;
(Especially ____________, Whose Life We Celebrate Today,)

That the Beauty of (Their Lives) of Love, Commitment, and Service to the Common Good,
And (Their) Contributions to the Fund of Human Knowledge and Wisdom in (Their) Time(s),
Will Inspire and Encourage Us to Continue (Their) Work of Truth Seeking and Service,
In Our Own Lives and Time.

(silence)

Through Our Praxis We Sacralize Our Values,
Alter Our Reality,
And Evoke Our Transformation;

We Celebrate the Expansion of Our Consciousness
That Emerges With Our Metanoia,
And Which Gives Us the Energy
To Live Out Our Vocational Vison
As Agents of Agape', Truth, and Wisdom,
In Everything We Say and Do,
Wherever We May Be.

Each and Every Moment of Our Lives
Is an Opportunity
To Bring Purpose, Imagination, and Beauty to Life,
And to Give Body and Voice to Love;

We Dedicate Our Thoughts, Words, and Actions
To Bringing Meaning, Wisdom, and Direction
To the Course of Our Evolution
Through Our Identity and Vocation as Servants
Of life, the Earth, and the Common Good,
Informed and Guided by Our Discipline of Learning and Praxis,
And by Our Commitment To Agape’ and Creative Critical Thinking. 

GO NOW,
WITH PASSION, DISCIPLINE, AND COURAGE,
TO DEMONSTRATE, INSPIRE, AND BUILD
RESPONSIBLE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
THROUGH OUR LIFE OF SERVICE
TO THE WELFARE AND WELL-BEING
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.