Rituals of the Societas Rosicrucianis in Anglia
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THE Societas Rosicrucianis in Anglia (or "SRIA") i.e. The Rosicrucian Society of England, was founded in 1866 by Robert Wentworth Little, who had apparently previously attained high rank in a Scottish Rosicrucian order: it was this Order which he claimed granted him a charter to open an English version.
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The Aspirant in the Preparation Room, retains his Citizen’s dress, but uncovered. Over his head and face is thrown a light scarlet veil. The Conductor of Novices is robed in black with a cowl on his head, and taking the left arm of the Aspirant approaches the door leading from the Porch into the Sacred Hall; while the two Heralds stand one on each side of the entrance.
Conductor of Novices:
I will go unto the Altar of God.
The First Herald
meeting them at the entrance: To God who giveth joy to my heart.
The entrance of the Aspirant into the Sacred Hall is now made in the following order:
First Herald and Second Herald, then Conductor of Novices and Aspirant and finally Torch Bearer.
Five circuits of the Sacred Hall are made, with the course of the Sun, which the Fraters and Officers are standing, and the following ODE is sung
Ere God the Universe began, in one rude heap all matter lay Which wild disorder over-ran, nor knew the light one glimmering ray While darkness o’er the whole confusion reigned without control Then God arose, his thunders hurl’d, and bade the elements arise In Air he hung the pendant World, and o’er it spread the azure skies;
Stars in circles caused to run, and in the centre fixed the sun.
Then Man he called forth out of dust, and formed him with a living Soul All things committed to his trust, and made him Lord of all, the whole But yet ungrateful unto heaven he proved, and was from Eden driven.
From thence proceeded all our woes, nor could mankind one comfort share Until the Rosicrucians rose and formed another Eden here:
Where true pleasure ever reigns, and native innocence regains.
Here crystal fountains flow, here naught that’s vile can enter in
The Tree of Knowledge here doth grow, whose fruit we taste, yet free from sin
While sweet friendship does abound
And guardian Angels hover round.
At the close of the ODE, the procession halts in front of the Suffragan in the West.
Suffragan: Brother Conductor of Novices, what is the desire of this Aspirant?
Conductor of Novices: He desires to proceed from darkness into the pure light of knowledge, to learn the secrets and Doctrines of Nature, and discern the wondrous principles by which the Universe is governed.
Suffragan: My Brother, your desire is laudable, but we are mortal like yourself, why come to us?
Conductor of Novices: Because he believes that among you are practiced many great virtues, and that the growth of ages has added to your store of knowledge. He desires to be received.
Suffragan: We appreciate your faith, but must remind you that the road to knowledge is long, and the life of man is short; remember too hat what the heart conceives is not always accomplished. Build not your hopes too high upon our Order. Our aim is true, our desire to be humble, our study to be wise. The Rosaic System left wealth, honour and power to the worldly; pleasure and indolence to the vicious. We cast our lot with the virtuous and the pure, pressing forward in the pursuit of wisdom. Our objects are fraternal aid and encouragement in working out the great problem of life, in the advancement of science, in the propagation of knowledge and in the diffusion of that glorious acclamation "Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, Peace, Good-will toward men."
My Brother, of your faith we are assured, but of your zeal, I demand proof.
Conductor of Novices: I am instructed by the Aspirant to say in his behalf that he is ignorant of much pertaining to God, to nature and himself; that he is surrounded with spiritual doubt and darkness; that his search is just and sincere. He desires, he beseeches to be received.
Suffragan: You have spoken wisely. A brave heart may seek anything pure of the pure. Zeal in an exalted purpose is most commendable, and with it faith can remove mountains. Prepare then to undergo the elementary tests requires by our Order.
Let the Aspirant be conducted to the Gate of Life, and there be unfolded to him the elementary tests, and primary secrets of Nature and Truth.
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