Invocation of Iris
Fr. R.'.S.'. 5=6
This ritual is designed for the contemplation and experience of the force and nature of the mystery of Death.
I. Set up
In the temple there is an altar at the center of the room. Seven candles burn on the altar. At the opening of the temple there is a font or table with water, and on it there is a vial of holy oil.
Each participant is a lit candle.
Each person enters the temple in turn and is anointed by the leader.
The leader anoints the forehead of each person with a cross of water.
“May you be cleansed”
The leader anoints the chest of each person with a cross of oil.
“May you be consecrated.”
Once everyone enters they all sit around the circumference of the space with their candles lit.
The leader begins extinguishing the candles and says:
“Silently we pass into the dark of night. The slumber from which may come the dawn.”
Once the altar candles are extinguished he goes to each participant and extinguishes their candle and whispers to them”
“It is in the solitude of darkness that we find light. It is in dying that we receive eternal life.”
The leader invokes death while all meditate.
“Hail Iris, seal of peace!
Reaper of Souls!
Beauty that crowns the gloom!
Be with us in this hour!”
me, O Death, whose empire unconfin'd,
Extends to mortal tribes of ev'ry kind.
On thee, the portion of our time depends,
Whose absence lengthens life, whose presence ends.
sleep perpetual bursts the vivid folds,
By which the soul, attracting body holds:
to all of ev'ry sex and age,
For nought escapes thy all-destructive rage;
youth itself thy clemency can gain,
Vig'rous and strong, by thee untimely slain.
In thee, the end of nature's works is known,
In thee, all judgment is absolv'd alone:
No suppliant arts thy dreadful rage controul,
No vows revoke the purpose of thy soul;
O blessed pow'r regard my ardent pray'r,
And human life to age abundant spare.”
All sit in meditation. After a time the leader calls everyone back to order with a single strike of the bell, and which point the temple is exited.