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Guidelines for the Hearers and Elect Of The Ekklesia Of Light 

The following includes the commandments and general religious expectations of the members of the church.

The Hearers (laity)

The main religious requirements of the Hearers are as follows:


1. Commandments

2. Prayer

3. Alms

4. Fasting

5. Confession of sins

Regarding religious requirements for the Hearers


1. Commandments

The Hearer must take care to follow the ten commandments.


2. Prayer


Manichaeans observe daily prayers, either four for the Hearers or seven for the Elect. The times for the Hearers' prayers are noon, mid-afternoon, just after sunset and at nightfall. Al-Biruni places the prayers at noon, nightfall, dawn and sunrise. The Elect additionally pray at mid-afternoon, half an hour after nightfall and at midnight. The central prayer for both Hearers and Elect is the Prayer of the Emanations, included in this book; it is generally followed by hymnody. Prayer from out of one's own heart, in one's own words, is also encouraged.

The Elects' prayer made after nightfall is especially of critical importance, because this is when the food-offering from the Hearers is admitted. The key hymns for this occasion are the Apology to the Bread and the Reflection on the Sacred Meal.

Every service of prayer starts with an ablution with water. The service of prayer consists of prostrating oneself to the ground and rising again twelve times, then the Prayer of the Emanations, then a number of psalms and hymns. During the day, Manichaeans turn towards the sun and during night towards the moon. If the moon is not visible at night, then they turn towards the north. Celestial bodies are not the subject of worship themselves, but "ships" carrying the light particles of the world to the Supreme God, who can-not be seen, since He exists beyond time and space, and also the dwelling places for emanations of the supreme deity, such as Jesus the Splendor.
See our daily office included in this book.


3. Alms


Almsgiving was therefore a service to the church, a communal manifestation of justice. If a hearer was prevented from obeying this rule, on account of poverty, destitution, or some other reason, he was nonetheless bound to ask forgiveness for having failed to fulfill his duty.

Typically it took the form of gifts: bread, fruits, vegetables, clothes, or sandals. It could also take other forms depending on the person's social importance: substantial aid in

rescuing distant brothers from distress; the temporary loan of a relative, or son to help the community; the endowment of various functions placed under the administrative authority of the church hierarchy; or maintenance of monastery buildings or responsibility for additions to them. As the financial life-blood of the church, alms were an occasion of sharing and exchange: in giving a part of his possessions, the layman obtained salvation. Specifically regarding alms-giving for the Ekklesia, this can be done by helping spread the teachings of Mani, whether this be donating monetarily, assisting with the church’s ongoing restoration, or proselytizing.


4. Fasting


Like Elect, hearers were obliged to observe a cycle of fasting on both a weekly and a yearly basis. The weekly fast took place on Sunday, day of the sun. This meant having not only to abstain from food and all sexual relations but also to forgo all worldly labor. The dominical fast served to unite the church, for on this day the layman was a full-fledged member of his community, in no way different from the Elect. Yet observance of this fast was by no means universal, particularly among notables, merchants, and breeders of livestock, Manichaean populations of Upper Asia during the eighth to tenth centuries mentions managers of great estates, faced with the demands of tending to both domesticated animals and roaming herds, as well as ordinary people suffering from poverty and frail health. To miss a fast-voluntarily or involuntarily, whether through laziness or negligence was a sin. Hearers were bound also to observe an annual fast of thirty days, which itself was preceded at regular intervals by very brief fasts associated with feast days and culminating in the celebration of the Bema festival. Fasting consists of eating one meal after dark.


5. Confession


Weekly confession took place on Monday, day of the moon, for hearers as well as the elect. The hearer knelt before the Elect, his brother, and asked forgiveness for every sin of thought, word, and deed. The annual confession was collective and took place at the end of the thirty-day fast, when the community came together to celebrate the passion of the Lord, that is, to commemorate the tragic events that marked Mani's last days on earth. An officiant, acting on behalf of the hearers, recited the confessional formulas composed especially for them (to save time he could confine himself to the final formula), with the result that all the sins of the past year were pardoned, and the lay members of the church were able to enter into the celebration of the community's great festival with the innocent heart of a newborn infant. Confession now can be done by a higher-ranking member of the church or member to member. (Example, any higher-ranking member to another higher ranking member, hearers to an elect or other higher ranking member etc), In the modern day, one may also confess their sins directly to an Elect via our modern day Monday ceremony.

The ten commandments for Hearers are as follows:


1. Renouncing idolatry

2. Truthfulness

3. Renouncing avarice

4. Renouncing killing

5. Renouncing adultery

6. Renouncing Theft

7. Renouncing blasphemy

8. Renouncing doublemindedness about the faith

9. Renouncing slothfulness

10. Renouncing the practice of magic

The 1st commandment for Hearers requires one to not worship false Gods or idols.


The 2nd commandment means that Hearers were to monitor the purity of the mouth by refraining from blasphemy, lying, perjury, false witness, and slander; they had always to stand up for the innocent.


The 3rd commandment means that the Hearers were to come to the aid of the afflicted and refrain from all displays of greed.


The 4th commandment means that the hearer was to avoid using his hands to frighten, injure, beat, torture, or kill not only human bipeds but also four-legged animals, birds, fish, and reptiles, insects, as well as Bees. Nor could his ten fingers cause suffering to the Living Self


The 5th commandment means that the heart of the hearer was to remain faithful to the man or woman who had been taken in marriage, and hearers were to refrain from all sexual relations during fasting days. Polygamy was condemned on the same ground as adultery.


The 6th commandment means that the hearer was to take care not to commit theft or fraud.

The 7th commandment means that Hearers were to abstain from all inappropriate speech, especially that which was irreverent toward the prophets.


The 8th commandment means that they were to take care not to obey false prophets and impostors.


The 9th commandment means you must do your best to be productive.


the 10th commandment means they are to refrain from all magical practices, forswearing the fabrication of charms, potions, and evil spells.

The Elect Guidelines

The general body of the Elect are all low-level Elect under the rank of presbyter. All Elect are expected to follow the guidelines as explained below. All Elect are expected to take an active role in the church. The list of specifications regarding different more obscure situations will most likely be added and edited as our Holy church progresses. These guidelines are not set in stone and may change in time, most likely by the higher lever Elect and church hierarchy.

The 5 commandments are                        And the 3 seals are

1. Truthfulness                                        1. The seal of the hands

2. Non-injury                                          2. Seal of the Mouth.

3. Chastity                                              3. Seal of the Breast.

4. Purity of mouth

5. Blessed poverty

The Elect are also required to keep true of the ten commandments for Hearers as well, however the following commandments and seals for Elect mostly cover the commandments of the Hearers as well.

 

The 5 commandments are expounded as follows


1. Truthfulness


The first commandment prohibits lying. It is necessary for the Elect to be completely honest.

 

2. Non-injury


Non-injury applies to any living person, plant, or animal. Whilst accidents may happen in the world of today, it should be avoided harming any living things. This also bars one from working in many farming positions, or positions that would potentially cause you to harm a living thing. However, taking a shower, growing a garden or beekeeping and cooking your food is not in violation, so long as you did not harm living beings to acquire the ingredients. However, the ritual meal is prepared by Hearers.

 

3. Chastity


The 3rd commandment applies to marriage, you may have a spouse but you mustn’t engage in polygamy or excessively sexual behavior nor adultery, you may not partake in any pornographic content, nor may you purposefully seek out explicit sexual material.

If a Hearer whom has already had children chooses to take the vow of the Elect, they may not have children after that point. However, having had children before does not bar one from becoming a low-level Elect, would be Elect MUST take care of their children or family before they officially become an Elect. This means the would-be Elect must support their children until their children and/or family may support themselves.

You also may not have children of your own after taking the vows of the Elect as this would impede the light from being freed, However, the Elect may adopt should they have the desire to.

If an accident may happen after having taken the vows of Elect, unless it can be proven that it was in fact an accident, may result in expulsion.

Whilst a low level Elect may have had children prior to becoming Elect, it will most likely be a rare occurrence for such an Elect to move higher than a Presbyter rank.


4. Purity of mouth


The 4th commandment applies to diet primarily, as well as what one says. Regarding diet, the Elect are required to adhere to vegetarianism. As well as avoiding alcoholic beverages. Concerning speech an Elect mustn’t slander any other person or to lie, blaspheme, swear, or perjure themselves.

Vegetarianism is here defined as being allowed to consume minimal by-products such as milk and eggs but may not consume meat. It is recommended that an Elect should seek kosher foods as these are more likely to not contain any forms of meat.

 

5. Blessed poverty


Blessed poverty means living a minimalistic lifestyle. Avoiding greed and avarice, and the consumption of useless materialistic products. The only exceptions is the procurement of Music, literature, or art. Both in regards to making these things or acquiring them. As well as contributing to church efforts monetarily, or to other organizations that help the overall good of humanity.

Other Elect Rules and Guidelines

MATERIAL POSSESIONS

 
As of now there is no official restrictions of material possessions an Elect may buy as it is understood that the Elect must support themselves and their household until the Church itself may support all or most of our Elect. However, it is heavily discouraged for an Elect to lust after any frivolous material possessions.


THE 3 SEALS


The seal of the hands is explained under the 2nd commandment

The seal of the mouth is explained under the 1st and 4th commandments

The seal of the breast is explained in the 3rd commandment


BECOMING ELECT


Becoming a Low-level Elect is simply professing vows. You must have been a Hearer and active member of the church for a minimum of 6 months and have approval from a vote of the church. When the hierarchy begins to be restored the Elect will profess their vows to a higher-ranking Presbyter, Bishop et al.

 

POLITICS
Elect are discouraged from getting involved in worldly politics as to do so is to worry over matters of the physical rather than the spiritual. It is the job of the Elect to help enlighten and offer their wisdom, not to be politically involved.

THE VOWS ARE AS FOLLOWS


I, [your name], in the name of Christ and Mani, do profess my vows.

I vow to uphold the teachings of Mani.

I vow to continue my studies of the good word.

I vow to uphold the commandments and seals.

I vow to assist the holy church however may be required to the best of my ability.

I profess these vows to our lord Mani himself, Christ, The Father Of Greatness and all heavenly powers.

May it be known and blessed by our Father.

Amen.

 

PRESBYTERS


Presbyters will adhere to the same rules as outlined in the general body of the Elect rules. The first new presbyters will be ordained only on Bema by our lord Mani himself after having been an Elect for a year.

 

EXPULSION


An expulsion is a last resort. To prove an expulsion is necessary there would need to be the testimony of 2-3 witnesses of whatever the Elect is accused of. There would then be an interview with higher ranking Elect or the general church in the event of the hierarchy not having been fully restored yet. If the Elect is repentant and confesses sin no punishment need take place. If unrepentant expulsion and declaration of the church not to recognize or support the former Elect until they repent. If the Elect is expelled for having had a child, the Elect may not rejoin the Elect ranks until the child is 18. If the Elect is readmitted to the church, they will be barred from any office position.


Weekly rituals

Sunday

Sunday is the weekly holiday particularly for the Hearers the Elect and Hearers are obliged to fast. It is also celebrated with congregating, prayer and singing hymns, and reading of our holy scripture. This is also the day of the weekly feast day, in which Hearers prepare a feast for the Elect to free the Light.

Monday

Monday is a particularly auspicious day for the Elect. Elect will plead forgiveness for any sins they may have done to the gracious realm of Light as well as fast, read scripture, and sing hymns. Elect are required to fast on this day as well. Hearers are welcome to join but are not obliged. Hearers also confess either to Elect directly or symbolically via our modern Monday ceremony.

 

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