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The Holy Office

The Holy Office of the Sacred College of Canons 
(otherwise refered to more simply as The Holy Office) is a lengthy text whose purpose is to define the ecclesiastical hierarchy, order, function, and purpose of the College of Canons of Church of the Holy Light.

The first edition of the text was translated from the old tongue of the church to the common language by Judicial-Vicar Erich Gottfried Manstein.

Prologue to the ordering of the Sacred CollegeEdit

Listen carefully, dear children,
to your master's instructions,
and incline the ear of your heart.
Recieve willingly and carry out
 your loving father's advice,
that by the labor of devout obedience 
you may spread the tender mercies of the Light
to those whom have departed from its warmth by ignorance or disobedience.

To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,  whoever you may be, 
who are renouncing your own will 
to do battle under divine rays of the Light, 
and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedient faith.

First of all, dear wardens of the Light,
whatever good work you begin to do, 
beg of  the Light with most earnest prayer to perfect it, 
that the Light who has now deigned to count us among its protected charges
may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds. 

For we must always so serve the Light 
with the good things It  has given us, 
that It will never, as an angry Father disinherit Its children, 
nor ever, as a dread Lord provoked by our evil actions, 
deliver us to everlasting punishment 
as wicked servants who would not follow Its guiding rays  to benevolent peace.


May it be so.

The Institutions and Variations within the Holy Clergy of the Sacred College of CanonsEdit

To the Church and those under its care,Edit

Let it be known that there are seven kinds of servants. 

The first kind are the Lay Brethren,

those who are not ordained in the ways of the Light,

those who are not anointed in the weapons and shields of the Light,

those who seek to learn the virtues,

and who look to become future servants of the Light and the mother Church.

 

The second kind is that of the Minor Canon,Edit

those who have accepted the Virtues,

those who have been brought into the warm embrace of the College of Canons,

to study and to learn,

those who have not yet been ordained or anointed.

 

These, not having been tested, 

as gold in the furnace

by any rule or by the lessons of experience, 

are as soft as lead. 

 

These are those who seek to further their knowledge of the Light,

to learn its ways, its warmth, its tender mercies,

to learn its power, its ability to protect, its ability to cast down the wicked,

to banish the darkness.

 

The third kind are the Canons,Edit

those who live by the Virtues,

who require the presence of the Light as that of food or water,

those who have been ordained or anointed, in the name of the Light,

as stewards of the Light’s divine mercy,

as protectors of the flock.

 

These are those who have been brought to the flame,

who have been singed by the unholy fires of darkness,

and forged into a vessel of the utmost purity and faith,

who, by the rule of the Virtues,

are no longer as lead,

but are as the strongest of steels.

 

These are those who are the shepards,

who guide the flock with the knowledge of the Light,

these are those who are the warriors,

who protect the flock with the Light’s righteousness,

these are those who are the beacons, the great walls,

who hold back the unbearable weight of darkness,

these are the red blood of the Church.


The fourth kind are the Stewards,Edit

these are those who have learned to fight the great darkness,

to go out well armed with their knowledge of the Light,

to go out adorned in the righteous armor of purity in faith,

to solitary combat in the all devouring darkness,

to brave the temptation of fear offered by the void,

to stand resolute against the stygian night,

and who have emerged not as twisted vestiges,

by as awe inspiring bearers of the Light,

who have, through their travails in darkness,

emerged brighter than ever before.

 

These are those who, according to their unshakable faith,

and through their great services to the Light,

are to be held high in respect and esteem,

higher than that of their brothers and sisters of the Canon,

and beside the wise Father and Mother Deans of the Church,

who are chosen by the Ordinary of the College himself,

for he and he alone may elevate them in their purity,

to be considered wise,

to be considered absolute in devotion,

by all within the College of Canon.

 

It is the Stewards who,

although are themselves parts of the Canon,

hold greater responsibility in the Church than their comrades,

for it is they who have spread the channels of the Light,

to those places most coveted by the darkness,

and must by their example,

shoulder the weight of their virtuous deeds,

in guiding their brothers and sisters in the Canon,

towards the righteous path.



The fifth kind is that of the Deans,Edit

who have served with the most unquestionable faith,

who have served with the most unshakable conviction,

who have been appointed by the Ordinary,

to serve as foremost as great exemplars of divine virtue,

to serve as educators in the ways of the Light,

to serve as instructors in the great burden of heavenly service,

to be held responsible for the organization of their particular charge,

within the Holy College of Canons.

 

The Deans are to be as leaders amongst men,

in matters of the divine Light

and its all encompassing mercy,

they who stand amongst the most knowledgeable and learned,

of teachers in the ways of the Light,

they who stand as the most experienced and dependable,

of protectors of the Light and its flock.


Let the commands and the teachings of the Deans

be a leaven of divine justice

kneaded into the minds of their disciples

so that they may,

as true and proper children of the Light,

become accepted as agents of Its righteous cause.


Let the Deans always bear in mind

that at the dread Judgment of the Light

there will be an examination of these two matters:

their teaching and the obedience of their disciples.

And let the Deans be sure

that any lack of profit

the master of the house,

may find in the sheep

will be laid to the blame of the shepherd. 


On the other hand, 

if the shepherd has bestowed all his pastoral diligence

on a restless, unruly flock

and tried every remedy for their unhealthy behavior,

then he will be acquitted at the Ordinary’s judgment

and may say unto the Light:

"I have not concealed the justice of the Light within my heart;

Its truth and Its salvation I have declared,

but they have despised and rejected me."


If the Ordinary should find the flock recalcitrant,

and that the shepherd has done all possible

to remedy their rebelliousness,

then he shall levy harsh punishment

upon the disobedient sheep.


The sixth kind are those of the Episcopal Curia.Edit

When the College has grown,

and  its charges have become great in number,

let not the Ordinary become overwhelmed

in his duties to the College,

least his attentions be drawn from the care of the Church,

let there be chosen out of the College of Canons 

by the wisdom of the Ordinary

brethren of good repute and holy life, 

and let them be appointed to a Curia. 

These servants shall take charge of their deaneries in all things, 

observing the will and grace provided by the Light  and the instructions of their Ordinary.


Let men of such character be chosen to make up the Curia 

that the Ordinary may with confidence

share his burdens among them. 

Let them be chosen not by rank 

but according to their worthiness of life 

and the wisdom of their doctrine.


Let them be wise men of council

who have served as the most humble,

who have served as the most faithful,

and who have served as the most skilled,

of servants within the Holy College of Canons


Those of the Curia shall perform respectfully

the duties enjoined on them by the Ordinary

and do nothing against the Ordinary's will of direction;

for the more they are raised above the rest,

the more carefully should they observe the precepts of the Rule.


If it should be found that one of the Curia has serious faults,

and that he is decieved by his exaltation and yields to pride,

or if he should be proved to be a despiser of the sacred laws,

let him be admonished verbally up to four times.


If he fails to ammend,

let the correction of regular discipline be applied to him.

But if even then he does not reform his ways,

and reforge himself anew,

as a spent dormant candle might be rekindled with flame,

but rather, choose the path of dormancy and darkness,

let him be desposed from the office within the Curia

and another be appointed in his place

who is more worthy in the eyes of the Light.


If after this fall,

he is not quiet and obedient in the community,

let him be expelled from the College.

But the Ordinary, for his part, should bear in mind

that he will have to render an account to the Light

for all his judgement,

lest the flame of envy or jealousy be kindled in his soul.


The seventh kind is that of the Ordinary,Edit

who is held above all others,

in his utter humility before the Light,

in his unblemished purity before the Light,

in his unyielding resolution before the Darkness,

the Darkness that stands ever vigilant,

the Darkness that stands ever ready,

to wash forward like the waters of a flood,

and quench the sacred flame

of the Light’s hope.

 

An Ordinary shall be one,

who is timorous before the Light,

who is fearless before the Darkness,

who is, as the novices are soft and as lead in the fire,

as dense and unyielding as the mightiest of steels.

 

The Ordinary shall be the one who,

as the most respected of the whole of the College,

is responsible for the efficiency of the deaneries,

is responsible for the orchestration of his Curia,

is responsible for the spiritual well-being for the College of Canons,

for, as the deaneries act as the appendages of the Holy College,

and the Curia as the invaluable senses,

the Ordinary is the beating heart,

who, as blood within the vessel,

brings faith, and thus nourishment,

to all corners of the body,

and who, without such action,

is wholly and without question utterly

responsible for the life and death of the Light’s vessel,

for the stewardship of the flock,

of the Holy College of the Church of the Light.

 

It is the duty of the Ordinary,

as the caretaker of the Light’s vessel,

to act always in the most authentic and devout of manners,

for to act in any other way

would be as a blemish upon the perfection

that the Light shines down upon us.


In the constituting of an Ordinary

let this plan always be followed,

that the office be conferred on the one who is chosen,

by the blessings of the Light,

that he is elected unimously in faith of the Light,

and by the wholesome words of the Council of Bishops.

 

Merit of life and wisdom of doctrine

should determine the choice of the one to be constituted,

even if he be the last of the order of the community.


By the grace and tender love of the Light,

may the Council and Arch-Bishop of the Church appoint,

an Ordinary who is worthy to be over the College of Canons,

one who, in great and bondaged service to the Light,

should always remember what he is called,

and live up to the name of Ordinary.


For he is believed to hold the place of the Light within the College,

being called to do so as the proxy of It,

Its wisdom,

Its protective rays,

Its divinity,

Its authority.


The Ordinary ought not teach or ordain or command

anything which is against the Virtues,

or that which is contrary to the Light's precepts,

for to be so entrusted by the Light,

to act as Its representative,

and to defile that bond

is a crime to which there can be no single rebuke,

only the harsh hand of the Light's judgement.


If, may the Light forbid,
the whole of the Council should agree to choose a person

who will acquiesce in their vices, 

and if those vices somehow become known to the Arch-Bishop 

to whose diocese the place belongs, 

or to the Bishops, Curiates or Priests of the vicinity, 

let them prevent the success of this conspiracy of the wicked,

and, acting in consort with the majority of the faithful men of the church,

set a worthy steward over the houses of the Light 


They may be sure,

that those who are faithful and righteous

will receive a good reward for this action 

if they do it with a pure intention and out of zeal for the Light; 

as, on the contrary, they will sin if they fail to do so,

their silence nought but sustenance

for the growing darkness within the Ordinary’s heart.

The Rule of the CollegeEdit

The Holy Rule

1. Accept the Light's love, warmth, and mercy into one's heart.
2. To welcome your neighbors into your home and treat them as you wish to be treated.
3. Then not to murder or snuff out the divine Light within any living soul.
4. Not to break one’s honorable oath.
5. Not to bear false witness.
6. To deny one’s own wants in order to follow the teachings of the Light.
7. To honor all.
8. Not to steal.
9. Not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself
10. Not to covet.
11. Not to become attached to pleasures.
12. To relieve the poor and afflicted.
13. To clothe the naked.
14. To visit the sick.
15. To bury the dead.
16. To help those in trouble.
17. To console the sorrowing.
18. Not to allow oneself to give way to anger.
19. Not to allow oneself to nurse a grudge.
20. Not to allow oneself to entertain deceit in one's heart.
21. Not to allow oneself to give a false peace.
22. Not to forsake charity.
23. To utter truth from heart and mouth.
24. Not to return evil for evil, nor darkness for darkness.
25. To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to oneself.
26. To love one's enemies.
27. Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
28. To bear persecution for justice's sake.
29. Not to be proud.
30. Not to be addicted to wine or consume that which can consume oneself.
31. Not to be a great or gluttonous eater.
32. Not to be lax in one’s industry.
33. Not to be one who mutters discontents beneath one’s breath.
34. Not to be a detractor.
35. To put one's hope in the Light.
36. To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
37. When dark or horrible thoughts come into one's heart, to cast them into the illumination of the Light immediately.
38. To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
39. To listen willingly to holy reading.
40. To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
41. Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past sins to the Light, and to amend them for the future.
42. To obey in all things the commands of the Ordinary or his functionaries even though they (may the Light forbid it) should act otherwise, be mindful of the Light’s precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
43. Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be holy, that one may be truly so called.

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