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..

 

Let Us Celebrate Life in All Its Splendid Diversity,
And Focus on Making it Sacred!
Through Our Praxis of Agape’
And Our Vocation of Service To Life, The Earth, and the Common Good.


We Come Together in Agape’ and Focus
In Order To Affirm Our Commitment to Pursue Truth,
Come Whence It May, Cost What it Will,
And to Deepen Our Understanding of Ourselves
And Everything in the Vast Cosmic Sea
In Which Life Emerged,
And From Which We Evolved into Self-Awareness.

We Thus 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 to Enable Us to Discern Our Reason for Being
In Spite of the Absurdity of Seeking Intrinsic Meaning
In The Evidently Designless and Entropic Universe.

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

We Embrace Our Interrelatedness with Everything in the Universe,
And Receptively Direct Our Focus
To the Welfare and Well Being of Life in All Its Forms,
And to The Earth, Our Cosmic Home,
Where We Have All We Need to Thrive.

(silence)

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

In Order to Inspire Us
To Increase Our Knowledge,
Deepen Our Consciousness,
Expand Our Paradigms,
And to Create and Live a Cosmic Vision
Of Responsible and 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;

In Order to Encourage Us
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 Equality, Justice, and Peace
In the Face of Our Selfishness, Fear and Inclination to Violence.

(silence)

We Focus on the Poor, the Hungry, and the Homeless,
On the Sick and Suffering,
On Refugees and Prisoners,
And on All Who Are in Any Kind of Trouble;

In Order to Motivate Us
To Use the Healing Powers of Agape’
To Relieve Unnecessary Suffering
And to Care for the Friendless, the Powerless, and Those in Need.

(silence)

Liberated From Guilt and Resentment by Love Without Conditions or Merit,
We Focus on Our Instinctive Self-Centeredness,
And Our Primeval Drive for Domination, Control, and Exploitation
Of Each Other and Everything in Our Reach;

In Order to Enable Us
To Freely Recognize and Accept Responsibility
For Our Personal and Collective Selfishness,
(The Primary Threat to Our Well-being and Survival),
And to Deepen Our Commitment
To the Disciplined Praxis of Agape' and Service,
Through which We are Transformed,
And By Which Our Competitiveness and Self-Absorption
Are Redirected to Cooperation and Love Without Conditions or Merit,
In Service of the Welfare and Well Being of Everyone and Everything in Our Universe.

(silence)

We Focus on All Whom We Regard as "Others":
Our Adversaries,
Those Who Wish Us Ill
And Those Who are Different or Foreign to Us;

In Order to Encourage Us
To Identify With Them
Through the Hopes and Values We Hold in Common,
And to Have the Character to Fully Respect Their Dignity,
While Responding to Their Criticism, Opposition, and Anger
With Agape’, Humility, and Self-Understanding.

(silence)

We Focus on Our Personal Needs and Concerns;

In Order to Increase Our Receptiveness to the Experience
Of Healing, Resolution, and Renewal,
That Emerges In Community
Through Shared Meaning, Empathy, and Humor,
And in the Realization 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;

In Order to Awaken Us
To the Beauty, Awe, and Wonder
Of the People, Places, and Events That Shape Our Lives,
And to Move Us to Work Co-Creatively
To Improve the Quality of Life for Everyone, Everywhere.

(points of celebration are shared)

(silence)

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

In Order to Keep Us Mindful of Our Commitment
To Support Each Other,
And to 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 the Lives of Those Seekers who Preceded Us,
And Upon Whose Work and Vision We Build;
(Especially _________________, Whose Life We Celebrate Today,)

In Order That the Beauty of Their Legacies
Of Love, Commitment, and Service to the Common Good,
And Their Contributions to The Fund of Human Knowledge and Wisdom
In Their Lives and Times,
Will Inspire Us to Continue Their Work
Of Truth Seeking and Service,
In Our Own Lives and Times.

(silence)

Through Our Praxis We Sacralize Our Values,
Alter Our Reality,
And Enable Our Metanoia;

We Celebrate the Cosmic Vision
That Emerges With Our Transformation,
And Which Becomes Objective Reality
Through Our Service to Life and the Earth
As Agents of Agape', Truth, and Wisdom,
In Everything We Say and Do,
Wherever We May Be.

Every Moment of Our Consciousness
Is an Opportunity to Choose To Serve Life
By Giving Body and Voice to Love Without Conditions or Merit,
And by Actualizing Beauty, Meaning, and Creative Imagination
Through the Character and Example of Our Lives;

We Dedicate Our Thoughts, Words, and Actions
To Bringing Wisdom, Responsibility, and Direction
To the Course of Our Evolution and Development
Through Our Vocation as Servants
Of Life, the Earth, and the Common Good.

GO NOW,
WITH PASSION, DISCIPLINE, AND COURAGE,
TO PERSONIFY, INSPIRE, AND BUILD A NEW GLOBAL PARADIGM
OF AGAPE’ CENTERED CO-CREATIVE COMMUNITY
THROUGH OUR LIVES OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND SERVICE
TO THE WELFARE AND WELL-BEING OF THIS FRAGILE EARTH, OUR ISLAND HOME!

AND OF ALL THAT LIVES UPON IT!



 


 

The Opthēan Rite of Marriage

 

Concerning the Rite
Marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two persons in the presence of the full Opthēan 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 gathered our community 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 to be 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 circumstance, 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.