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Initiation

The rite of initiation is the primary rite of the church. It combines seven holy Sacraments into one occasion - once in a devotee's lifetime.

Initiation marks the devotee's entry to, and access to that circle in the Church where the secrets of the becoming-in-Christ (Gk. Gignestai) is shared most intimately. This sharing takes place between devotees and their teachers, God our Holy Mother and Holy Father and Christ the Son our Lord.

Where does this Rite originate from?

We can see the development of this Rite in the Acts of Thomas. In the beginning of this Acts the procedure of Baptism is not very clear except that devotees are naked, water is used and the two aspects of God, Holy Spirit and Holy Mother is invoked.

Later on in the book we see how the instructions become more defined. St. Thomas performs Initiations which include baptism, anointing, acceptance into the fellowship and the Mystery Meal.

Baptism are performed by St. Thomas either in a river or from a city fountain or in a room by means of using water from a beaker. Devotees strip themselves of their old coverings and present themselves naked before God for the sacrament. The baptism is a dual one - of fire and Spirit (male) and water and Wisdom (female), of God the Holy Father and God the Holy Mother. After baptism the anointing is done. A new covering is presented to the initiate and s/he is symbolically reborn and clothed again in a new body. Immediately after this the initiate and the parties present partake of the Mystery of Mysteries, the five thousand year-old rite of sharing bread and wine in holy intention.

Church of the East takes from its Scriptures the formulae for Initiation. Although some of the elements of this Rite are older than history itself (more than 5 000 years) the specific combination of the elements of the Rite dates back to the first half of the first century when St. Thomas ministered in India. This is the specific and unique rite which Church of the East regards to be holy Tradition on which the Church was founded.

 

We regard the heritage to be of historical importance in the sense that the illusion which time is, is shattered for a brief moment during this rite.

The initiate and the selected audience partakes in the heritage, standing in this alongside the legends of time Artemis, Dionysus, Demeter, the rich Zoroastrian tradition and Abraham as he receives the bread and wine from his priest Melchizedek, and Yesu as he prepares the meal for his disciples. The passage of Time is of no consequence as ancient Truth unfolds from the same coverings which the Therapeutae, the Essene, the White Brotherhood, the Nazoraens and the Magdalenes wrought their secrets.

From that moment on the devotee aspires to walk the inner Way under guidance of teachers. The inner-way, esoterics and the mystical teachings of Scripture are now of a prime importance in the devotee's life.

 

We learn from St. Thomas that Initiation is also practical and not only powerful in symbolism.

At Initiation the Seal is conferred on the disciple by the Energies of God. The Seal is received during the Initiation ceremony. It is a free gift given by God and is not received from the Church, the priest or through any of the rites.

The Seal is received by the spirit child which reaches out to its Spirit Father and Mother - it is a movement into the circle of our Father's protection and into the circle our Mother's nurture and into the circle of our Brother Christ's loving guidance.

This Seal on our spirit is one of protection, nurture and guidance and it equips us with spiritual insight, spiritual awareness, spiritual gifts, and spiritual powers which are needed as weapons and a shield against one's two great enemies - one-self and those entities of evil-intent which are set to waylay us from our prosperous inheritance. As Christians we feel confident to wage this war, to run this race, with Christ as our yoke-fellow and battle partner. As Arjuna had Christ as the driver of his chariot (body and soul vehicle), we also receive this gift when we receive the Seal from God. Christ becomes the driver of our chariots.

Initiation is a solemn rite which is duly prepared for by the initiate, the initiate's spiritual director and the initiating priest. The rite of Initiation customarily takes place in the district's main church. Initiation consists of seven aspects: Desire, Preparation, Renunciation, Baptism, Anointing, partaking in the Mystery Meal, Regeneration.

FAQ regarding Initiation