Author Topic: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...  (Read 4213 times)

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« on: March 18, 2012, 04:28:22 PM »
Other than the drinking of blood, the consumption of flesh, prayer, flagellation, and insense/candles of various kinds, would those with creative minds or broad knowledge be interested in coming up with some ideas for how the Ecclesiarchy and the various minor cults would practice their religion? The ones I know of are various forms of "mutilation" (its a controversial word, as some include male circumcision in the mutilation catagory), baptism, annointing, and ritual scapegoating... I'll add more when I come back in a bit, or expand on some ideas.
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 07:32:49 PM »
I have made up a few for different Imperial cults at different times.

The eternal vigil
In every shrine of the Initiates of st Quirinus there is a statue of the Emperor. They watch intently hoping to get into a trance bringing them closer to the Emperor. While watching, never averting their gaze from the statue while murmuring their declarations of fate.

The tears of grief
At their services the worshippers of  cry in mourning for all those who have fallen for the Emperor. The tears are collected in special vessels and are poured into a larger vessel. These tears are used in the ceremonies of sending away regiments, the newly founded regiments march in a parade while an artificial rain made of these tears ispoured out over them.
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 08:52:54 PM »
Oooh, a staring competition with God :D

I've forgotten a good few ideas, but I like the idea that with the trillions of worshippers and the social pressure for greater and greater demonstrations of your willingness to adore the Emperor and abase yourself before him. Offerings of tears sounds good to me, but I've had some ideas to push things further - so something like a ritual featuring pus (there was a medieval saint, Saint Terese, I think, who drank the pus from an infected wound), perhaps an annointment, which would seem like a Nurgle cult, and perhaps would hide one, but could also be a cult of Imperial self-abasement, or perhaps a public suicide cult, where the "elect" (chosen by Tarot, or lottery, or the priest) kills themselves in public, so that the unfaithful mass will be inspired... which, again, could seem like a cover for a Khorne cult...
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 09:06:59 PM »
Those sound very interesting. There will of course also be plenty of world where human sacrifice is considered to be completely normal. The faith of the Imperium is immensely broad, so almost anything could fit in, as long as the Emperor is the sole god, no authorities are undermined and most importantly, they don't run into the wrong cardinal or inquisitor.
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Offline TallulahBelle

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 09:23:36 PM »
maybe something centered around the emperor as the sun. similarly a luna cult with priests walking in the dust to beseech his eternal majesty to let the sun rise?

a doctrine of self flagellation, a doctrine of the emperor as light?  could be all sorts of things. from dark robes and bloody daggers to incense and candles

Offline seiterarch

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 04:04:26 AM »
maybe something centered around the emperor as the sun. similarly a luna cult with priests walking in the dust to beseech his eternal majesty to let the sun rise?

Hmm, something aztec style based on a misunderstanding of the functioning of the astronomicon by a cult could work quite easily.  Playing off the fact that it's actually not that far from the truth of course.

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 10:01:13 AM »
The solar priest/Sol Invictus stuff appears in the Inquisition sketchbook actually :D One of the sacrements is to stare into the sun until your eyes burn out. If you're worthy, you get bionic replacements, but I like the idea that Solar Priests would be accompanied by an entourage of blind followers who failed that test in some way.
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Offline Draco Ferox

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 11:14:40 AM »
I like the idea behind the (Abnett warning) divine fraternity, where prospective seers have to gouge out one of their eyes to show their commitment, and are not granted a bionic replacement until they complete their initiation, which also includes grinding mirrors to the pout where their fingerprints are permanently destroyed (which is not possible, as far as I am aware).

Other sacraments could include being deprived of oxygen so that the supplicants experience vivid hallucinations, such as those reported by some people who have almost drowned. A civilisation where no communication of any sort is allowed within the churches, the better to commune with the emperor, seems interesting, and a church that demands extreme mutilation for sins and expects the masses to cause pain to themselves just so that they do not forget their debt to the emperor could well conceal a slaaneshi cult.
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 03:41:02 PM »
How about a cult that preaches that solitude is the best way to find the Emperor. Many of the more fanatical memebers permanetly lock themselves up like more extreme hermits.

\Another idea I had is a cult where the faithful have prayers tattood on their foreheads. Every year of their life a new line is added to it. When they die the skin is taken from their head and they are sewed together as a tapestry of devotion by every family.
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Offline Draco Ferox

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 06:34:17 PM »
Maybe a religion that states that the most devout of people are those whom the emperor can hear the clearest, so religious gatherings and worships would devolve into huge mobs all trying to shout louder than the others. Which, incidentally, is how I imagine an ork prayer meeting would go too.
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 06:36:31 PM »
One of the classics would be a religion that preaches that the Emperor must be fed souls, leading to classic human sacrifice. It isn;t even far from the truth.
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Offline Ynek

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 12:53:40 AM »
One of the classics would be a religion that preaches that the Emperor must be fed souls, leading to classic human sacrifice. It isn;t even far from the truth.

Cue the removal of human hearts, at the top of a big pyramid in the jungle?
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Offline seiterarch

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 01:59:42 PM »
One of the classics would be a religion that preaches that the Emperor must be fed souls, leading to classic human sacrifice. It isn;t even far from the truth.

Cue the removal of human hearts, at the top of a big pyramid in the jungle?
Hmm, something aztec style based on a misunderstanding of the functioning of the astronomicon by a cult could work quite easily.  Playing off the fact that it's actually not that far from the truth of course.
...

Offline Flinty

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 03:24:15 PM »
Interesting topic, although it is difficult thinking outside of the standard religiosity boxes; I do like the idea of collecting tears and the shout-o-meter approach; nicely different. Ceremonial practices from prehistory include:

Votive offerings - congregations destroy/discard into water (or void gate, acid sump etc) personal possesions or specifically crafted and expensive objects. Occaionally this may have extended to sacrificing a human scapegoat or undesirable (bog bodies) or a major figure/leader after a set period of rule (old Irish High Kings).

Ritual monuments - constructing (usually large) ceremonial complexes (stone/wood circles) or burial monuments and the interring of certain members of that society over several generations.

Exposure of the dead as opposed to immeadiate burial or cremation of the body and subsequent ceremonial disposal of the resulting bones (or not...).

Mummification

So we could have a cult where the residents of a Hive vie with each other in offering up increasingly valuable objects/people, eventually to the detriment of the Imperial Tithe; societies where obsessive building of vast ritual monuments of unclear purpose and use demands Inquisitorial investigation; another where the leadership is ritually 'removed' on a cyclical process; a (Nurgle) cult where funeral practices involve handling decomposing bodies, and another that blasphemously parodies the Emperor's existance on the Golden Throne.

Humm...apologies, not really added anything I'm afraid.



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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Religious Sacraments in the Far Future...
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012, 07:38:52 PM »
Today while working I had some more ideas.

1) A cult that sees the Emperor as light, every part of their settlements is permanently lit. This would of course have some nice side-effects on people.

2) A cult where the members gather once a year for a special ceremony. All of them drink an entire goblet selected at random. The goblet contains wine, but for some there is poison in there. In this way the Emperor selects the unworthy to die. It has however become increasingly common for priests to know which goblets contain the poison and to give those to people they dislike, or don't pay enough.

3) A cult that gathers naked to see if any member should hide any sort of mutation.
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.