Sacraments

The function of the sacraments is to reveal unto men and women the sacred Mystery, and to facilitate the experience of Gnosis, which may lead to a deep transformational encounter with Reality. The sacramental focus of EVA revolves around the Eucharist performed during Mass. In addition we offer five initiatory sacraments consisting of Baptism, Chrism (or Confirmation), Redemption, and the Bridal chamber. Finally, we also practise ordination into the minor orders (Ordines Minor) of Cleric, Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist and Acolyte; as well as the major orders (Ordines Major) of Sub-Deacon, Deacon, Priest and Bishop. These sacraments are reserved for people who wish to serve the congregation(s) and its members.

A common feature of all our sacraments is that they both initiate and confirm Gnostic processes and experiences. They seek to aid in laying the foundation for realising and becoming who we really are, working to aid each participant in divesting themselves of rigid mind-structures which prevent us from being fully aware of the reality of the present.

Baptism is the first initiatory sacrament. It symbolises death and rebirth, thus marking the beginning of the initiatory sacramental path. The aim of baptism is to aid in purifying our emotional and animal natures. We acknowledge the importance of these natures as parts of our human composition, and do not describe them as being sinful or impure. Neither do we aim at suppressing them, but rather work on understanding and channelling the power of these natures to constructive purposes. We regard this as a first step to what the Apostle Thomas described as becoming passers-by. In the sacrament of baptism the baptised rises with Christos as a renewed human being, a being who is actually the original and primordial “Man”.

When the baptised begin to understand who they are, they also begin to form knowledge of, and experience, the Mystery. It is this knowledge and this experience that are confirmed in the Confirmation and sealed by the balm of Chrism. Apart from confirming and sealing an internal process, the sacrament of Confirmation is also a way of confirming Gnosis. This concludes the mental or psychological development in Gnosticism, the journey of the Psychic man. Moreover, it can be argued that that which pistisistic, or faith-based, traditions call salvation is experienced at this point.

Nevertheless, from a Gnostic point of view, a new process has started for those who wish to pursue further the depths of redemption. The continuous mapping of the impact of the mental and spiritual structures of their lives may deepen their awareness of reality.

The sacrament of redemption is performed when the confirmed Gnostic experiences his/her true nature, and has some understanding of its consequences, thus commencing the process of separating “Man” from the Demiurge or Creator, to replace the Demiurge with Christos within.

When this process has truly penetrated an individual’s being, he/she will receive the redemptive Chrism, as a seal to conclude the work, and to indicate that the union of opposites can take place in the bridal chamber. Thus becoming one and partake in the Fullness while still in the earthly life.

The Eucharist is the perfect sacrament, essential in transforming the individual who has recognized his true nature into becoming this realization; in becoming who we really are.
In this regard, the Eucharist is like a perpetual inner nuptial. In the Eucharist, the participants gradually experience the inner spiritual liberation while living their mortal lives.

Beside these five sacraments, there exist also Holy Orders. Ordinations are sacraments in their own right, and consist of Ordines Minor and Ordines Major. This is the path of service and devotion. The former consists mainly of training and learning, while the latter of teaching and ensuring the presence of the Mystery in the world, being a door for those who knock.