It’s Sunday. You’re serving as the Deacon for today’s celebration of the Gnostic Mass at your local temple as you do every month or two. You admit the People and return to your position between the small altar and the font, waiting for them to file in and settle into their seats. You hear the usher close up the temple doors as the last family finds their seats. A sense of quiet eventually emerges from the noise. You feel your diaphragm making steady, even breaths. Your eyes fixed upon the Stele, you descend toward the shrine, bowing before it and thrice kissing the Book of the Law clasped in your hands. Opening the book, you surreptitiously do a quick bit of bibliomancy before placing it upon the super altar. You take a step backward, eyes now softening their focus a bit to take in the whole vision, scent from the roses fueling the brief moment of intoxication.
Turning now toward the west, a grand smile across your face, you make your opening proclamation and intone the sacred IAO. The typical Sunday crowd of around a thousand voices calls back, “Love is the law, love under will.”
We know the principals in this scene. You are of course an initiated and ordained deacon of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. The priest and priestess are also initiated clergy. The children are likely for real children, possibly only recently baptized after their eleventh solar return. But who are all these thousand people comprising the congregation? What proportion of them are MMM initiates? How many are uninitiated laity who come to several masses each month? Or maybe only come on holy calendar days?
What are their backgrounds? What do they do when they’re not in the temple? Why are they there now? How did they get there in the first place?