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Church of Elwynn

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The Church of Elwynn is the successor and continuator of the religious tradition of Treesian Unorthodoxy with a specific focus upon the eponymous goddess whose name has become indelibly linked with Elwynn, the Elw and Elwynnese people. Became heavily repressed in mainland Elwynn following the 1699 Edict of Correction. Many dioceses outside Elwynn joined the newly formed Church of Elwynn (Archdiocese of Yaanek) due to the Schism of 1699.

History

Ancient Elw religion was a dualistic religion between two neither fully good nor fully evil powers, Elu and Aqar. Elu was the god of the Elw (and those west of them), and Aqar the god of the others. Elu is related to Hebrew El (the Elw would therefore be a brother people to the ancient Ashkenazis), and Aqar is related to a Semitic word for "the other".

The Treesian Unorthodox Church came to Elwynn through missionary Hereton, who established the church here in the 1300s. When Shireroth became independent from Tymaria the church in Eliria was elevated to cathedral, with the whole of then Shireroth as diocese. Elwynn was after all the only place in Shireroth where the TUC got a hold.

The Church spread well in Elwynn during the coming years. Churches were established all over the duchy, and the Church became associated with the ducal administration (as it helped with taxation, keeping of records, etc).

When the Babkhan Grand Vizier, Ardashir Khan, became baron, the Church of Elwynn faced a crisis. Babkha and Treesia were, at that time, locked into a long-running and bitter war. Treesia itself had been reduced to the status of an occupied territory, administered as "Babkhan Prinitica" (Prinitica being the contemporary name of Apollonia). The ecclesiastical hierarchy, faced with a victorious Ardashir at the end of the Elfinshi War and his successors after the War of Vengeance were confronted by a difficult decision. Baron Ardashir in particular had sought to appease the various native religious communities by granting concessions and favours to their priests in return for their political support. The most notable of these, "The Donations" of Eliria and Vijayanagara to the cult of B'Caw being a grand example to gain support from Shirekeep. This made it difficult for the Elwynnese clergy to remain in communion with their Treesian parent church. In exchange for administrative and local political power, the priesthood was obliged to remain loyal to the Baron.

Thus, the Schism of 1490 occurred, in 1490 AN, bringing about the independent Church of Elwynn. Eliria's bishopric was elevated to an archdiocese, with dioceses being set up in the new cities. A few years later, the archdiocese split, following the ancient Elw principle of the rule of two, with the Diocese of Ardashirshahr elevated. Traditionalist adherents of the Treesian Unorthodox Church stayed within its structures and, after the final passing of Treesian rule from the Fifth Isle, became eventually known as the so-called Remnant Church of Treesian Unorthodoxy.

Over time the Church took on more of the ancient dualistic tendencies and began to consider the gods of the Treesian pantheon, like those of the Cedrist religion to be distinct attributes of the dual nature of the divine. While keeping the Treesian liturgy, the actual theology became more dualistic, with Elwynn and Lest taking on the role and identity of Elu and Aqar respectively. Often, offshoots of the religion were eschatological, awaiting the union of Elwynn and Lest to bring about an end of the world as we know it.

The shift in theology brought the Free Elwynnese Church, which was at the beginning a pious but anti-liturgical movement in the Church (similar to pentacostalism in Nazarenism). However, as years passed by, the FEC became more mystical in its tendencies than the CoE. Of course, in Roqpin, the FEC camps are always a lot wilder than the CoE ones.

A major crisis for the Church came in the first independence era. The Church was too associated (guilt by association) with "Free Elwynn" to be accepted in the East, and its churches and organisation was taken over by the so-called Elwynnese Church of Treesian Unorthodoxy until reunification when almost all congregations voluntarily returned to the CoE (Communion of 1600). Some other congregations sided with the Remnant Church of Treesian Unorthodoxy, boosting that Church's dwindling numbers.

Finally, in 1692, the Remnant Church of Treesian Unorthodoxy and the Church of Elwynn, encouraged by the Princess of Elwynn, agreed to an end to their schism, and celebrated Communion on the first day of 1693 (Communion of 1693).

Organization

Clergy and Hierarchy

Clergy are found in four categories:

  • Aspeq (Arch-Sagart): "Archbishop"
  • Saqar (Sagart): "Bishop"
  • Mysynyr (Missionary): "Priest"
  • Nisaq (Novice): "Novice"
  • Student

After five years of studying theology and unorthodoxy (triple bachelor's degree, Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Unorthodoxy, Bachelor of Liturgy), the graduate is brought into the clergy as a novice (Elw: nisaq). The period of novicehood is up to three years. Novices may not practise liturgy without supervision. Only when passing certain exams may they be brought further up the hierarchy as mysynyr ("missionary"). A missionary may practise liturgy unsupervised, but they usually head a congregation ("mission", enu mysynyrion) with a group of other missionaries. The congregation is geographical and is usually centred in one church (and sometimes with subordinate chapels).

Missionaries answer to their sagart (akin to a bishop, as the sagart heads a diocese). And sagarts answer to the archsagart. There are only two archsagarts in the Church.

Rules for clergy

Clergy are required to usually wear religious uniforms. They are supposed to uphold the highest morals and be worthy of the highest respect in whatever they do in their private and clergy lives.

Sexual relations outside a committed monogamous relationship are banned, as are displays of nudity outside the same relationship.

Intoxicants such as alcohol, caffeine and other drugs are banned.

None of these rules bind the congregants.

Archdioceses and dioceses

Dioceses of the Church of Elwynn in Benacia. Dioceses of Huyenkula (covering Hurmu and the Lyrican and Euran continents), Lindström (all of Natopia except Arbor), and Nordiskehjem (covering all of Normark and the Keltian continent) are not shown.
Diocese Elw Archdiocese Founded Destroyed Comments
Aire e. s. Aireon Eliria 1575
Allswell e. s. Ajumilama Ardashirshahr 1498
Amareazerke e. s. Amareazerkeon Eliria 1501
Andelarion e. s. Andelarion Eliria 1588
Ankoolmerinde e. s. Ankoolmerindeon Eliria 1535
Anun e. s. Anuun Eliria 1572
Aqaba e. s. Akabba Ardashirshahr 1699 Founded after the Schism of 1699. Ministers to the faithful of Apollonia and Eura, and administers properties and congregations recovered through civil action from the schismatic dioceses of Huyenkula and Tylmarinnyn.
Araxion e. s. Arashion Eliria 1491 Temporary seat of the Archdiocese of Eliria following the Scouring of 1695 AN.
Ardashirshahr e. a. Ardashyrshahyrion Eliria 1490 1492
Ardashirshahr (a) e. s. Ardashyrshahyrion Ardashirshahr 1492 Founded as the Diocese of Ardashirshahr in 1490, elevated to archdiocese in 1492
Asantelian e. s. Asantelian Eliria 1672
Auchentoshan e. s. Aqantoshan Eliria 1497
Azeroth e. s. Azeroosion Ardashirshahr 1675
Azshara e. s. Azsharajon Eliria 1570 Schismatic 1569–1600
Caligae e. s. Kaliqajon Eliria 1499
Chryse e. s. Ryseai Ardashirshahr 1690
Civitas Nova e. s. Kivitasnoovajon Eliria 1495
Connemara e. s. Konymareon Eliria 1505
Corrigible e. s. Koriqibilion Eliria 1600
Dragonskeep e. s. Rakirion Eliria 1569 Schismatic until 1600.
Dragonskeep e. a. Rakirion Dragonskeep 1569 1600 Schism of 1569. Dragonskeep made an archdiocese, rejoined CoE in 1600. Period as an archdiocese not officially recognized, rather its status as diocese is recognized in accordance with the Compromise of 1600. Its ordinances, etc, throughout the schismatic period however are recognized in so far as legal under canonical law.
Dravotih iker e. s. Dravotih ikerion Eliria 1512 Founded as the Diocese of Avaldsnes, schismatic 1569–1600.
Echo e. s. Eqoon Eliria 1557 Schismatic 1569–1600
Elfinshiyehafir e. s. Elfinshiehafirion Ardashirshahr 1521
Eliria e. a. Elirion Eliria 1490 Founded as the Bishopric of Eliria in 1338, elevated to Archdiocese in 1490. Administered from the diocese of Araxion after the destruction of Eliria in 1695 AN.
Eliria e. s. Elirion Treesia 1338 1490 Founded as the Bishopric of Eliria in 1338, elevated to Archdiocese in 1490
Eltezion e. s. Eltezion Eliria 1506
Esterion e. s. Esterion Eliria 1624 Schismatic since 1699.
Ezkimas e. s. Ezkimasarion Eliria 1510
Faizabad e. s. Faizabad Ardashirshahr 1512
Fenririe e. s. Fenrireon Eliria 1496
Fieldburg e. s. Filburion Eliria 1608
Glenfiddich e. s. Lenfidiqion Eliria 1498
Graignamanagh e. s. Qaraqnamaqion Eliria 1496
Habrichtsburg e. s. Havrisburion Eliria 1499 Administered from the Mission House of Malexander for the duration of the Model Bailiwick experiment (1699 AN1709 AN)
Hampton e. s. Hamtonion Ardashirshahr 1625 1657 Covered the Lady Esther Isles
Hrísar e. s. Risarion Eliria 1624 1657 Covered Arietta
Huyenkula e. s. Eanqulion Ardashirshahr 1500 Covers Hurmu, and the Lyrican and Euran continents. Schismatic since 1699.
Hyfrost e. s. Hyfrosteon Eliria 1495
Illumination e. s. Iluuminion Eliria 1525
Ironstone e. s. Qurenurion Eliria 1514
Islus e. s. Ysloosion Ardashirshahr 1502
Jorvik e. s. Jorvik Eliria 1631 1657 Covered Jorvik
Kaidere e. s. Kaidereon Eliria 1506 Schismatic 1569–1600
Ketsire e. s. Kezireon Eliria 1542 Schismatic 1569–1600
Kezan e. s. Kezan Ardashirshahr 1593 Schismatic since 1699.
Kilkadesh e. s. Kilkadeshion Ardashirshahr 1501
Krieksburgh e. s. Kyrikysburion Eliria 1638 Founded as the Diocese of Tuulersbýur (e. s. Tuulerion). Schismatic since 1699.
Kymreonuur e. s. Kymreonuurion Eliria 1510
La Terre e. s. Laterion Eliria 1574
Lac Glacei e. s. Laqlazeon Eliria 1504 1511
Lashea e. s. Lasheon Eliria 1518
Lindström e. s. Lindystyrymion' Eliria 1585 Covers Natopia (except Arboria). Schismatic since 1699.
Mannochmore e. s. Manoqmoorion Eliria 1535
Meridosa e. s. Meridozion Ardashirshahr 1589 Schismatic since 1699.
Michaelion e. s. Miqaelion Eliria 1535
Mishalan e. s. Mishalan Ardashirshahr 1572
Morecorune e. s. Morkoruun Ardashirshahr 1533
Nafticon e. s. Naftikon Ardashirshahr 1597 1600
Nordiskehjem e. s. Nordiskeheimion Eliria 1592 Covers Normark and Keltia
Penzeriemaal e. s. Penzeriemaalion Eliria 1535
Pernetegh e. s. Pernedeqion Ardashirshahr 1505
Portus Batavii e. s. Portus Batavii Eliria 1638 Founded as the Diocese of Hjalli (e. s. Hialion). Schismatic since 1699.
Qajar e. s. Qazarion Ardashirshahr 1512
Rekirie e. s. Rekirieon Eliria 1508
Relgannan e. s. Relgannan Ardashirshahr 1589 Schismatic since 1699.
Saint Zor e. s. Hyzoorion Ardashirshahr 1603
Scoglitto e. s. Skoljitto
e. s. Yskolidoon (alt. name)
Ardashirshahr 1638 Covers Tellia. Schismatic since 1699.
Shahazerke e. s. Shahazerkeon Ardashirshahr 1502
Shirekeep e. s. Kipuun Ardashirshahr 1600 Covers most of Shireroth, Sanama, and Drak-Modan. Schismatic since 1699.
Terror e. s. Tyroorion Eliria 1580
Thule e. s. Tuuleon Eliria 1492 Schismatic 1569–1600. Schismatic since 1699.
Tirlar e. s. Tirlarion Ardashirshahr 1589
Tylmarinnyn e. s. Tylmarinnynion Ardashirshahr 1589 Schismatic since 1699.
Ventura e. s. Vyntoorion Eliria 1514
Vijayanagara e. s. Mizajanarion Eliria 1495 Schismatic 1569–1600
Vinandy e. s. Vinandinion Eliria 1638 Schismatic since 1699.
Wolfraven e. s. Ullraun Eliria 1493 Schismatic 1569–1600. Schismatic since 1699.
Yaltarfalas e. s. Jaltarfalas Eliria 1515
South Tielion Loki e. s. Tielion Loki Kojaan South Tielion Loki 1569 1600 Schism of 1569. Dragonskeep made an archdiocese, rejoined CoE in 1600, taken over completely by the AD of Ardarshirshahr

Ecumenicalism

After the fall of Treesia, the TUC lost most of its power. There are some communities in Alexandria that are still Treesianist, and in Treesia. The CoE are in communion with these -- in that the CoE recognises the rites of these churches. Given that the Free Church does not have rites, there are no exchange of recogntion of rites. Relations between the two churches are generally good and cooperative.

But as the Church has in the latter century depersonalised the gods, an acceptance that other gods may exist outside of the pantheon has been given credibility. The first the religion to do so was the Babkhan Orthodox Church, the Zurvanist church, where Elwynn is associated with Zurvan, and Lest with Ahriman. In the BOC, the Treesian gods are the same as in Zurvanism, just with different names. From CoE's point of view, it's similar but not quite. It is generally held that Zurvan is associated with one of the four major gods (which one, however, remains under theological debate).

The Froyalanist faith is quite similar to the CoE. For some, it would be seen as a natural evolution of the syncretic nature of the Elwynnist faith to also assimilate the Froyalanders' gods. However, given the very corporeal nature of the Froyalan gods, it is almost theologically impossible for the CoE to reconcile its objection of gods as physical beings with the Froyalanders' insistence that they very much are corporeal. As such, relations between these two churches were strained, and by the end of the Vanic rule, association with the Church of Elwynn had a slight suspicion about it. Church attendance dwindled and former faithfuls either joined the Dozan Bovic Church, the Zurvanist Orthodox Church, or irreligion.

Relations with the Umraist community are very difficult considering the conservatively and militantly monotheistic nature of that community in Alalehzamin. With the Amokolian Orthodox Church (Nazarene church) and with the Dozan Bovic Church, relations are more cooperative but only on a social/community level, never on a religious one. Though the apotheosis of Elijah in the Bovinism has leant support for his sainthood in the CoE as well.

An Overview

The Story Of The Creation Of The World

In the beginning, there were (the female) Paragon and (the male) Universe. Universe was absorbed into Paragon and Paragon gave birth to the four Irdia (Gods of Beauty), Tineon (Fire), Uisceor (Water), Salio (Earth), and Gaotheoria (Wind, usually just called Gaother). These beings spent countless ages shaping the Earth and creating the seas and mountains and forests and such, after which Paragon had another set of children, the Faldia (Gods of Destiny). These were Laguna (Goddess of Love and Motherhood), Utas (God of Light And Truth), Aeon (God of Time), and Ilass (Goddess of Magick and Darkness). Laguna had five children, and these five children became the founders of five races, Men, Animals, Talking Dogs, Centaurs, and Microns. The Faldia gradually took power from the Irdia, being cleverer if not quite as strong, and under their rule, everyone lived in peace with many servants and retainers and subjects in the great many-towered city of Ennabruk in Tirbal, the Land of Might, which men call Heaven.

The Fall

Due to the evil influences of Lest (more on him later), Ilass grew evil and decided to usurp power from Aeon, who was currently king of Ennabruk. Plotting in secret, she, with Lest and many of the Elder Demons, launched a surprise attack on Ennabruk. The object was to capture Elwynn (again, more on her later). In the attack, the gods were caught totally off guard, and the weapons of Ilass and her demons blinded Laguna while Yetal, a servant of Utas who had turned traitor, killed his master. A voice then rang out prophecying that Utas should one day be resurrected and redeem the world, but that seemed scant consolation at the time. Luckily the gods managed to regroup and use their magic to journey to Kalaspier, a fortress on the very edge of Tirbal.

The Birth of Mandorallen

In Kalaspier, things seemed hopeless, and the gods prepared for the worst. Aeon fell into a deep slump over what he saw as his lack of preparedness and share of guilt in the death of Utas and Laguna's blinding. In despair, he gave the Bow of Time, the source of his power, to Utas' lover Amariaa, and bound himself to Laguna's service as god of beggars. But when the gods continued to press him for aid, saying that he was their only hope to retake their city, Aeon secluded himself into deep meditation and incantation. When he came out, he had been vastly weakened, but beside him was Mandorallen, The Champion of Tirbal, clad in diamond armor and waving a banner with streaks of lightning. He gathered together all the remaining supporters of divine order in the Universe and attacked the demons in Ennabruk. At last he triumphed, with the help of the lore-god Carding, and he cast Lest and Ilass into the PRH. However, upon learning that Man and the other races (with the exceptions of the Microns) had been, if not complicit, at least not particularly helpful in the fight against the demons, he banished them to Tirlar, the Middle Plane, which men call Earth, and charged the god Mordicc to take their lives from them after a paltry span of a few score years. But Laguna interceded and got from Mandorallen a concession that if they had been protectors of the world and benefactors of the good for their time on Earth, they could be brought by the ferryman Jestun to Heaven, although if they had been evil, they too would be consigned to the PRH.

The Orchid Cycle

After the birth of the Faldia, Paragon gave birth to one more set of gods - the two twins, Elwynn and ‎‎Lest. At the moment of their birth, a prophecy was proclaimed (which is one of the only parts I've managed to translate into Treesian of the BoO, so I'll write it here thus)

A sekel 'kmeka i'e-Tirbal zkhal
Imeh i'au-kmeka pol Ifreann
qANDAN a caroten o-sekel
Rakat i-mianthrop kme~a kleen

That is, if the two were ever to grow up, marry, and have a child, that child would be ANDAN, a being of pure power that would inevitably result in the complete destruction of the world. Luckily, it seemed unlikely that this would ever happen. From the get-go, the two could not have been more different, not only in looks - Elwynn was white with white hair and dressed only in white gowns, whereas Lest was black with black hair and black eyes and wore only black robes - but in personality as well - Elwynn was purely good and selfless, whereas Lest was the most despicable creature any of the gods, including those who had done battle with the Elder Demons in the Time before Time, had ever laid eyes on. But, by the perversity of the Universe, they did indeed fall in love, and thus had to be separated. Elwynn was given to Utas' care, whereas Lest was placed under the guardianship of Ilass, and both gods were informed NEVER to let them meet. But they did - twice - once at the Battle of Ennabruk, where Aeon snatched Elwynn away just in time, and once at the Second Battle of Ennabruk, when Carding, to prevent her from running off to Lest, turned her into a white orchid flower, and then to prevent Lest from going to find her, turned him into a similar black flower. Thus they are the two Orchids - gods of good and evil. They have had many adventures, which culminated in the following:

  • Elwynn currently resides in Mount Yaanek, a volcano in Hyperborea, and will answer the question of anyone who comes to her oracle (the oracle still exists, and answered a question as recently as yesterday)
  • Lest, in an incident much too complex to recount here, lost his orchid form and, in an attempt to take over Treesia, incarnated into the form of a human. After being kicked out by the current Ard-Baron, this human has been wandering the world ever since, doing evil deeds and stirring up trouble wherever he goes. You may be interested or amused to know that the name of this human incarnation of pure evil is Thomas Hubert.

It is prophesied that eventually the two will meet, ANDAN will be born, and the Universe will be destroyed.

Summary of the key points of Treesian Theology

-The basic fabric of the Universe was created by a power totally beyond mortal comprehension. It is not even worth our time to try and communicate with or analyze this entity (or entities, since it defies classification as singular or plural) and the Church generally does not do so, lumping it under the label "the Powers Undreamed"

-The Powers Undreamed can never be viewed or understood completely, but their relationship to the Universe or to any individual can be viewed as a pantheon of gods. These gods may or may not be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, depending on what aspects of the Powers Undreamed are captured by them.

-The Treesian Unorthodox faith is one such system of gods, and the one that has been used in the divine relation to Treesia since time immemorial. It does not claim to be more correct or better than any other faith, except for certain people.

-Our missionary efforts are merely so that people abroad can gain knowledge of the Treesian faith and thus convert to it if they feel it would lead to a more productive relationship to the Divine than any other. There is no reason to try and convince or argue with people who are already happy with the faith they have.

-The Treesian deities are not omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, or immortal, but they are much closer to these qualities than any human can hope to be. Gods are generally much more in tune with the Good than man, but can forfeit this harmony through free choice, as Ilass and others have indeed done.

-The gods generally act independently of one another, but Paragon on the Crystal Throne is mother of them all, and Mandorel is their king and ruler.

-The gods love mankind and all of Creation, and are dedicated to preserving and improving it. Their goals for the world are many, but often center around love and beauty.

-The gods have as an act of mercy allowed people's souls to return to Tirbal after they die. However, those who are so foul that the gods are unable to tolerate their presence are either condemned to wander Tirlar as ghosts or in extreme cases thrown down to Ifreann. This happens very rarely.

-The world will eventually be destroyed by ANDAN, who will be the child of the two Kwendia. At this point, all beings will join with the Powers Undreamed in the void that encircles the Universe.

-The gods have an interest in each personal human life, and do what they can to improve it and make it more virtuous. Their modus operandi is guidance, not punishment, except in extreme cases when the offender must be removed from Tirlar immediately. Since the gods are not omniscient, it is sometimes necessary to use prayer to remind them of certain situations that need fixing. However, the most important use of prayer is to attune the prayer to the Universe.

-The gods, not being vain, do not demand prayers of thanksgiving and worship. We nevertheless pray to them of our own free will to show our appreciation for their work. "Buttering up" the gods to try and get something doesn't work, so don't even try it.

-The relationship with the gods is not one of master-slave, but of teacher-student or parent-child, or at best, friend-friend. The gods do not want worship nearly as much as they want for the world and your life to work out, and the best form of worship is to do good deeds and live well and wisely.

-The gods do not do miracles except when necessary. They can't be everywhere, and the bad serves to accentuate the good and to bring the beauty of contrast into the world. When the situation is very dire, however, or when they wish to prove something, a miracle or two is not out of the question.

Treesian Liturgy

The order of the service is thus:

  • 1. The Prayer of the Creation
  • 2. The Prayer of the Many Gods
  • 3. The Prayer of the World
  • 4. Silent meditation
  • 5. Invocation of the god being honored
  • 6. Sermon
  • 7. Rituals
  • 8. Prayer for Guidance
  • 9. The Prayer of the Departed
  • 10. Ritual feast

The Prayer of the Creation

The Prayer of the Creation was written before the time of Halberd by an Ardeaspag on Khas. It thanks the gods for creating the world, states the various perfections of the creation, and provides a grounding by identifying our place in the world. Although there was originally a tune to it, it was long since lost.

Remember beauty!
When the world was first created
The unfathomable Powers
Looked at it with love and longing
With the love of the Eternals
And the love became incarnate
It became the Gods of Beauty
Tineon the Lord of Fire
Uisceor the Lord of Water
Salio of Earth the mistress
Gaother of Wind the ruler
And their myriad of servants
And they looked upon creation
And they shaped it and they smoothed it
Like a careful master sculptor
Giving rise to each perfection
To the sunset o'er the ocean
To the wind among the treetops
To the grasses of the meadow
To the gentle streams that nourish
To the mountains, tall and mighty
To the countless stars of Leaigh
That like snowflakes fill the heavens
All of these, and many others
Were the Irdia's perfections
May their work endure forever
May no flaws or stains deform it
And may humankind, who shares it
And for whom its wonders sparkle
May we marvel at it, know it
May we love and understand it
And give thanks for it together
With this blessed recitation
Remember beauty!

The Prayer of the Angels of the Archonic Host

Glory, honour, praise, and blessings be unto the High Ones!
So long as any endure to sing their praises!
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings be unto the High Ones!
To Tineon, Uisceor, Salio, and Gaother the Creators
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings be unto the High Ones!
To Bladhm, Craindoigh, Leaigh, Dobharcufile, Folcador, Lochrin, Caranna, Aincoim, Runda, Ulcharam, Seicha, and Rianna
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings be unto the High Ones!
To Laguna, Mandorel, and Utas the Preservers
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings be unto the High Ones!
To Mordicc, Ardescit, Aeon, Carding, Dlithail, and Amariaa
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings unto the High Ones!
To Veradroon, Dagwynn, Angdar, Messelius, Hoku-Mree, Meriorl, Torabrune, Slainter, Ohu, and Diardal
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings unto the High Ones!
To all who rain love into the Universe from many-spired Ennabruk
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings unto the High Ones!
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings unto the High Ones!
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings unto the High Ones!
Glory, honour, praise, and blessings unto the High Ones!

The Prayer of the World

The Prayer of the World was written by Ilm, who appreciated his predecessor's Prayer to the Angels of the Archonic Host but was afraid that it would lead people to focus too much on the "other world" rather than appreciate, love, and hope to better this one. To counterbalance it, he, supposedly with the help of his wife, wrote the Prayer of the World in 92 ND.

Like a radiant jewel Tirlar floats in the ocean of Nothingness
Like a well-kept garden the Isle teems with life in harmony
Like a loving family we sit and pray together in the ways of old
I accept the world
I will explore its secret intricacies and hidden harmonies
I will discover in it that which has no name, and be pointed upward and forward and inward and outward
I will let the world unravel in my heart and I will discover the shining secret at its center

And no matter how hard the Way, I will not give up Love

Silent meditation

The silent meditation can be on anything. Often the presiding sagart will give a suggested topic relating to the sermon or the god being honoured, but this is only a suggestion. It can be about anything at all that will help one get more in touch with the Ultimate. It is also permitted to be a mental relaxation in which one thinks of nothing at all.

Invocation of the god being honored

The invocation of the god being honoured is generally a poetic statement of the god's name(s) and position in the divine hierarchy, and a list of his or her deeds and attributes. The Book of Thenesis contains certain standardized invocations from the early Church, but it is permissible to use others if the sagart feels it to be appropriate.

Since the late 1490s, this is generally only reserved for the Lady Elwynn.

Sermon

The sermon is usually pretty short and either about something involving the god being honoured or about current events - or both, if they can be tied together profitably. The sagarts generally abstain from appealing to baser emotions like anger or fear, and those who try to use their sermon to rouse mobs or put the fear of Ifreann into their constituents are highly frowned upon. The sermon is considered a work of art and should both inspire the listeners by its beauty and convince them with its reasoning.

Rituals

Rituals are manifold. They include weddings, the naming of children on Lagunafete, the naming of young children on the feast day after their birth, memorial services, coronations, and any other important events not covered anywhere else. If the service includes an important ritual such as a wedding, the rest of the service may be subtly changed to include it - perhaps the meditation or the sermon will be on love, or the bride and groom will be asked to lead the congregation in some of the prayers. In certain small congregations, birthdays are considered legitimate rituals to celebrate.

Prayer for Guidance

What must be accomplished is not always easy
May we have the courage to accomplish it
What must be endured is not always pleasant
May we have the determination to come through it
What must be chosen is not always obvious
May we have the wisdom to choose it
The Way that must be followed is not always straight
May the Keeper guide us upon it

The Prayer of the Departed

May the Shining Ship
Reach the calm shore
Of that last haven
And that final rest


May Jestun's choice be good
As was your life
Farewell, sweet traveller
'Till we meet again...

Ritual feast

As Treesians are never ones to dwell on death longer than necessary, the service at last concludes with the ritual feast. This can be virtually anything, but it would be best if it were both very tasty and reasonably healthy. The point is a celebration, and the congregants can talk to each other and generally relax and have a good time while they eat. Wine (or, for brave souls, Eyepopper Ale) is often served. Everyone then wanders off and resumes their secular life, leaving the sagart to clean up..


Theology

Before 1699 AN

Prior to the 1699 Edict of Correction one could not speak of a truly unified Church of Elwynn, and it followed that it was not possible to speak truthfully on one consistent and unified position on the depiction of Elwynn.

Generally, there were two broad schools of thought; Treesian Allegorical' and Democratic Realism.

The Treesian Allegorical tradition is strongest in the precincts of Feudal/Eastern Elwynn where the Remnant Church took root during the independence era; it regards the depiction of Elwynn as a human form to be an example of crass anthropomorphism (to quote one latter-day Sagart: "If those damned fools and lackeys of the Eliria Clique were horses, they'd no doubt daub their crude images of the Highest Divinity in the form a brood mare"). Depictions of Elwynn in the religious art of the Remnant Church tend therefore to depict to focus on the symbolic, typically stylised arrangements of white orchids (sometimes intertwined with black orchids to remind of Lest and the essential duality of the faith). Some depictions can be highly abstract (think variations on the theme of Ying and Yang or some of the more innovative forms of Umraist calligraphy where words are placed in intricate arrangements that form shapes).

Democratic Realism on the other hand gained popularity in the West during the latter days of the independent union-state and the subsequent coordinated state when the Goddess was conflated with the spirit of liberty and the cult of constitutionalism when the Constitution was declared too holy to be viewed by mortal eyes and could only be interpreted by the Augur of Democracy. Elwynn is then depicted presiding ethereally over some morally uplifting depiction of virtuous human progress or noble struggle (think of a socialist-realism or Minerva as the personification of liberty, other variations would include art-deco, or neo-classical depictions of the same. Emphatically not high-fantasy or elvish as the Froyalanish images depict).

In both traditions the depiction is seen as metaphorical rather than a representation of the actual. The faithful may regard Mount Yaanek as a sacred site and receive the prophetic utterances derived from that place with more faith/credulity than would be usual, but they still tend to look askance (albeit politely and quietly) at the tendency of the present royal family to rope the goddess into their crown ceremonial (there is usually a game of 'guess the actress' which spikes on the Elwnet every-time a royal event is carried on the networks).

Visitations of the Magisters-Carnifex

After the Visitations

The Edict of Correction steered the Church towards convergence with the traditions of Holodomatic Cedrozurvanism, whereby previously distinct deities were now recognised as "emanations" of the single primordial creator god - Zurvan - otherwise referred to obliquely as the "Highest Divinity". The eccentricities of Treesian unorthodoxy were therefore to be tolerated only when they aligned with this instruction. Whilst amended scripture and liturgical texts could continue to be utilised as tools to further this interpretation, the ideological context in which sermons from the pulpit were to be preached had drastically altered. The oneness of the Highest Divinity, throughout all the emanations of his various forms of being, along with the absolute and sacred necessity of obedience at all times and in all things, was taught without fail or cessation at all levels by those clerics who valued the preservation of their lives and lucrative preaching licences.