Mass Participation

Many members of the Sanctuary enjoy participating in the celebration of the Gnostic Mass. There are five officers in the Mass:

Priest & Priestess: these roles are celebrated by ordained members of the Priesthood (who must be ordained O.T.O. initiates of at least Knight of the East & West or K.E.W.) or a Novice who is I° or above and under the supervision of a Bishop.

Deacon: this role is celebrated by ordained Deacons (who must be O.T.O. initiates of at least the II°) or a Novice under the supervision of a Bishop and at least I°.

The Children: There are two Children (“Positive” and “Negative”), which can be filled by anyone who has been baptized in E.G.C. Participation as a Child does not require O.T.O. initiation or a supervising Bishop.

If you would like to participate as a Child or Deacon, the easiest way is to let an ordained member of the clergy know you are interested. You do not need to have anything in the Mass memorized to start “Childing”—the Clergy are happy to instruct beginning participants in their new roles. However, it is beneficial to have at least a passing familiarity with the ritual. If you are not sure which clergy member to talk to, or you have further questions, contact the Lodge Master.

While it is not necessary to participate in the Mass to enjoy a fulfilling membership in the Sanctuary, the experience can begin to give a deeper understanding into our rites. It is also an excellent way to get better acquainted with the clergy and other members of the community. We encourage new participants—it is a fine way to discover if one’s will leads one further down the Path of Service, enriching not only one’s own life, but also our Sanctuary and the Church as a whole.

The Novitiate

Initiate members of any degree who have been accorded Lay membership in E.G.C. may enter the Novitiate, which is a period of training under the supervision of a bishop in preparation for eventual ordination as priest, priestess or deacon. Such initiate members may participate in the celebration of the Gnostic Mass as novice priests, priestesses and deacons. Novice status is not formally recognized by the Order, and is not included in the Order’s records. It does not require a ceremony, public or private.

If you would like to become a novice, then you must have supervision by a bishop. This is an informal arrangement between you and a bishop. It is the responsibility of the candidate to seek out a bishop and to initiate the novitiate relationship. Every bishop differs in style and availability, so you are encouraged to ask questions about expectations. While it is not necessary to have a bishop that is in close geographical proximity to you, in is advised that you carefully consider all factors that may aid ease of communication. If you do not know who to inquire of or wish to know all available options, then contact the Lodge Master to get started.