Signs and portents
This is an example of a Save K’norian temple common ritual (Velere), one which all adherents to the religion are expected to attend. The prayers and psalms given are examples, and the overall order of service is by no means universal, although the basic form holds in the vast majority of cases. Announcements of community activities is usually done either before or immediately after the blessing. The Velere service most commonly takes place at or shortly after dusk on the sixth of each month.
As each adherent arrives he or she finds a place to kneel (personal prayer mats are preferred by those who can afford them) and begin to meditate, either in silence or to a hexameter chant of the six sacred syllables in any personally favoured combination. The six sacred syllables are Sal (or Zal), Ve (or Fe), Ki (or Gi), Nor (or Tor/Dor), Bu (or Mu/Pu) and Chy (or Shy/Jy).
Note that, although Harnic floors are commonly dirty, the floor of a Save K’norian temple hall is kept spotless by the acolytes of the temple. No shoes are worn in the hall. All halls have a font for filling ablution bowls for the morning ablutions and sloping channels in the floor to carry away excess water which morning supplicants pour into them.
When all are gathered a formally robed priest (the Serenti, usually) mounts the platform at the front of the temple hall and all fall silent. The priest then begins the address:
Come thee, thou thoughtful scholars!
Come thee, thou lucid taleweavers!
Come thee, thou careful judges!
Come, all thee with wit who will follow the Lost Guide,
Come into the house of thine ultimate Judge and Critic
And here find comfort for thy musings.
For what boots our six senses without Knowledge?
And what boots Knowledge, lest we find Meaning?
And what boots Meaning, without that we Judge its Worth?
Come! For here you may find Knowledge,
And within Knowledge, you may find Meaning,
And within Meaning, you may find the Wisdom to Judge Worth.
Then the priest begins the “purification of the congregation”:
People of the Sage of Heaven,
we are here to praise the Lord of Conundrums and share His gifts.
If you see one here present who is not fit to offer
praise or to receive Knowledge, speak forth!
“Let us lift our voices in praise”:
The following is an example of a prayer/psalm which may be either spoken or sung to a slow cadence by the priests and those of the congregation who know the words.
I venerate thee, O Judge of Judges,
I praise thee, Great Keeper of Lore!
For in thy going out and thy coming in
Art thou regal above all Kings and Princes.
I bow to thee, Source of all Puzzles,
I adore thee, Knower of all Ways.
For my foot is bruised if I lack thy illumination,
My path a knotted fleece if I lack Thy guidance.
I kneel before thee, O Teacher of all Lessons,
I worship thee, O Most Holy Sage.
For I am thine,
And I strive to be worthy of thee.
Next is usually a sermon, which often takes the form of a homily or parable; for example:
It is written that there lived once a man, and he had a goodly nieghbour. This neighbour was a knight, and a man of honour and careful thought, but he was not learned, as was the first man. And so the neighbour asked the first man to take what he told to him of his family history, and to set it down aright, that his family would know who they were, and whence they came, until the end of days. So the first man took what the neighbour told him of his family history and he set it down as he was told it.
Now it came to pass that the man fell upon straitened times, and he besought him means for his family. He learned then of a Baron, a mean and jealous man, against whom his neighbour had fought many years before. So he went to his neighbour and said “Lo, I am in need of means, and you have such in plentitude! I beg thee of thy generosity to give me aid”. But his neighbour saith “Oh, but I have not plenty! I pity your distress, o my neighbour, but mine own family needs must come before thine in my sight”. So the man said “Ah, but that you do not help me, I needs must sell mine only unsold work, being the history to thy family; there is a rich man and a Baron who I know would pay hansomely therefore”. And the neighbours brow was clouded, and the world darkened in his sight, for he knew what the Baron would do if he knew that it had been he who fought against him so long ago. So the neighbour gave the man means, but his heart was forever turned against him. Shortly thereafter it came to pass that the people of the town where these men lived was sore beset with poverty and plague, and the people were restless. Then the neighbour, red with his hatred for the harm done to his family, did raise the people up, saying “Lo, it is the people of learning who have let us down! They have looked after their own weal instead of teaching us how we may prosper!”. And the people rose up, and they did riotously tear down the houses of the learned, and the man was slain, and his family for three generations.
Lessons to be drawn from this are that knowledge, though it is all sacred, can also be dangerous and that, in order to safely hold dangerous knowledge one needs not only wisdom and restraint, but also the means to withstand adversity.
Next is a lecture or little known tale or legend; an example is a Rowantis explanation that, as part of the great truth that repeated images may be found in the great and the lesser, the sky is a mirror of the oceans. Careful observation will show that clouds are like the crests of waves that wash over the land, usually from west to east, but more vast than any wave. Furthermore, as a wave will break upon a beach and drain into the sand, a cloud will collide with hills or mountains and trickle as rain onto the land. Thus the sea and the sky are as one, different in detail and degree but similar in habit.
Then follows another psalm or prayer, along the lines of that given above.
The Affirmation of Faith:
We believe in the supremacy of the intellect,
We worship the Sage of Heaven, and bow down to him.
All knowledge is sacred, each shred to be cherished,
Each thought to be valued above life* or physical wealth.
We live for the mysteries unveiled, we search for the light unseen,
We strive to become worthy of service in Inor Teth.
Note: this is the first passage that is learned with Save K’norian Ritual ML, and all of the congregation are expected to join in the chant.
May the Sage Most High bring you tranquillity in your thoughts and clarity of vision,
May you drink deep of the cool waters of knowledge.
May the countenance of the High Riddler be not turned from you,
And may the Light Unseen shine for you.
Go thee in peace, and may the razor of thy mind be never dulled.
Taken (and lightly modified) from the “HRT Save-K’nor page”|http://www.lythia.com/hrt/save-knor/