Companions of the Sacred Flame,
This night we gather in vigil, to commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ, recalling with it, the history of our spiritual path, seeing in it, our own journeys from life to death, and experiencing through it, the initiation from death to life.
Divine Beloved, out of the tomb of separation you have called us, to rise into the Kingdom of God. The ancient mysteries of sacrifice speak to our journey.
Incarnate in each one of us, the Sacred Flame is transfixed upon the cross of space and time, May we never fear to descend into our lowest reaches, like the Logos and the harrowing of hell, to reconcile the lower with the higher- that we may rise transformed in this very life, and in the fullness of time ascend into perfect union.
– Easter Vigil of the Apostolic Johannite Church
These are the opening words of the Easter Vigil ritual that our communities undertake each year at this most solemn time. This year, our physical vigil is one that only a few of our communities can undertake in person due to the continued pandemic but nevertheless our clergy continue to celebrate through a variety of means corporately and individually on behalf of not only their own communities but all members of the Apostolic Johannite Church wherever they are found.
The past year has been one of challenge, compromise, and inventiveness – but also one of life, light and purpose given by the Sacred Flame itself – a beacon from one to another as we have continued to navigate the unknown together. With the light of Easter morning comes the hope of an eventual ending to the pandemic or at least a safer path through it in the year to come. In the light of that hope, I offer on behalf of our Church, our Easter Blessing.
My blessings, good wishes and prayers for all the Johannite Parishes, Narthexes, Missions, Oratories and Chapels, our solitary sisters and brothers who keep the flame burning in distant places, and all those who call the Apostolic Johannite Church home, deepening and sharing their journey here.
My thanks and gratitude on behalf of the Apostolic Johannite Church to the Johannite Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Seminarians, the Grand Master and Initiates of the Friary, the Prior, Oblates and Knights of the Order of the Temple and Saint John, and the Gnostic Wisdom Network team, for all their hard work and dedication- not only to the people we work on behalf of, but also in their own spiritual paths and in their service to each other. At all times, but especially as we continue our march through difficult terrain.
Blessings and good wishes also from the Apostolic Johannite Church to the many Churches and spiritual communities of good will, especially the Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum, Ecclesia Gnostica, Ekklesia Neoplatonismos Theourgia, l’Eglise Gnostique Apostolique (New York), and the Community of St. George – Young Rite as well as the many Martinist Orders and Lodges, Ordre Martiniste, Ordre Martiniste Souverains, Ordre Martiniste of North America, and our Masonic sisters and brothers, and also the many individual friends, family, laity and clergy of good will.
May the coming year find your work and paths rich and rewarding with fruitful challenge and blessing, and balanced with rest and reflection. May your work be noble, your spirits be humble, and your hearts always full. Most of all, may you each continue to come through this time of trial with happiness and health.
+ IOHANNES IV
Sovereign Pontiff and Patriarch
The Apostolic Johannite Church