Appendix A: Hymns for the Office of Readings

Nigredo sheet musichear it sung

Now is the barren darkness of the winter
Become the darkness of a womb most fertile
Wherein a new seed, sown in secret passion
Rests in its promise.

See where the cold blue-grey of early morning
Unto the gentle rose now makes surrender
And the once-captive fire of life unending
Slips from its prison.

Even as night is by the light transfigured,
Even so may we be, who gaze above us,
And the night in our souls shot through with golden
Veins of elation.

O blessèd night, with diamond flames bespangled,
Bend upon us in comfort as a mother,
That we may feel the winter in our own hearts
Vanquished in earnest.

Albedo sheet musichear it sung

Beauty comes on snow-white wing
To where my heart is hiding,
Calling out, "Fear not! I bring
To you this happy tiding:
I come to lead you through the gates --
For you, a palace now awaits!
I cry to you
An end unto
Your grieving --
Cast off those widow's weeds!
The shroud you have been weaving
Your soul no longer needs."

O Alchemic Mercury,
The Elements commingle
And resolve in harmony
That were diverse and single.
Fire gives itself to Earth entire;
Earth quickens in rebirth through Fire.
The seed is bliss,
The Angel is
The sower,
The harrowed heart, the bed;
The higher and the lower
In ecstasy are wed.

O Beate Angele,
I hail that declaration,
And await the brilliant day
That sees our consummation.
When I have lost myself in Thee,
Found, whole, completed shall I be.
Before, behind,
Within, I find
Thy presence,
My self made sound and clean;
Bring me to my quintessence,
Where Thou hast always been.

Rubedo sheet musichear it sung

O Grace!
Descend into my prayer's embrace
And every blinding flaw erase
That for a space I may behold,
By Thine imperishable flame,
My soul the same as living gold.
O Light!
Arising from the womb of night
In all the splendor of Thy might --
Thy blessèd sight a pang of bliss,
A hurt that heals my once-blind eyes --
I too, shall rise, on Thy first kiss.
O see,
How thou art everlastingly
In fire renewed, O life of me --
That fire of all-availing Will.
My Phoenix soul, the pain is brief
That from thy grief shall joy distill.

Aurea Vis - Words: Sor. M; Tune: Jerusalem

Beneath the Cross of glowing gold
Whereon the blood-red Rose is spread,
I raise mine eyes, there to behold
The draught of life upon me shed.
And like the Rose, I offer me
To the embrace wherein I die
That I might live, eternally,
The Self my soul doth magnify.

A child of Earth, my trial begun
E'en as a seed appearing slain,
Long have I sought to feel the Sun,
And long in darkness I have lain.
I've known the kindness of the blade;
Of Fire and Water I am kissed
In this ferment that will have made
Of me a living eucharist.

This flesh of me, it is the Cross,
And mine own heart the Rose thereon.
O Holy Blood, dissolve the dross,
That I might see, and be, the Dawn!
As from the crucible I rise,
Shed of restriction's leaden chain,
And leap in glory to the skies,
True Light, true Gold, true Vine, true Grain.

Laudamus - Words: Sor. M; Tune: Maes-y-Plwm

Let glory, honor, worship, praise,
And greatest thankfulness
Be giv'n unto the Holy One,
Whose Crown do we confess,
Who hath revealed unto His Saints
The mysteries ineffable,
That we may show them forth in turn,
Refulgent, wonderful.
Lord of the Æon of the Child,
Who hast Thy people freed
Forever from bond-servitude,
To Thee be praise indeed.
O Holy Flame that burns't within
Each star as in each human breast,
We praise Thee, who inspirest us
Our Wills to manifest.
O Circle of Supernal Stars
That bendest us upon,
Our refuge and our cynosure,
Praise Thee, Thou Two and None!
O Lion-Serpent, praise to Thee,
Who art Restriction's vanquisher!
O Mighty Mother Babalon,
Praise Thee, Calicifer!
As e'er we lust for Liberty
And thirst for Love and Light,
Fulfill us of eternal Life,
Health, wealth, joy, peace & might.
O Holy Quinary, bring us,
As Ye are strong Your Church to bless,
The Summum Bonum, true wisdom,
And perfect happiness.