The Sabian Procedures
The Quarterly Meeting
The quarterly meetings that have broad correspondence with the summer and winter solstices are sometimes also designated as semiannual meetings, and in normal course they are gatherings at which the public at large is particularly welcome. One is held on the evening of July 3d and when possible in conjunction with a summer conference of Sabian or like-minded aspirants. The other is a watch-night service on December 31st. The two quarterly meetings that have equally general correspondence with the spring and autumn equinoxes are held on Palm Sunday and October 17th. The latter date is used because it is the formal birthday of the Sabian Assembly. The emphasis at these is placed on the fellowship in discipline of the Sabian students primarily, but there should be no restriction of visitors.
Quarterly meetings should be opened with the Challenge of the Hierarch. This has a special spiritual power as the first liturgical form prepared in anticipation of Sabian use. It is a recension of the 82d Psalm, which according to the record in the 10th chapter of John's Gospel was cited by Jesus in his important interpretation of man's nature and of the creative relationship between prophet and God. It remains the basic and eternal challenge to the aspirant under the Solar Mysteries.
At the sessions of solstitial correspondence on July 3d and December 31st the first order of business after the opening is the recognition of the neophytes who have made affiliation with the Sabian Assembly in the preceding six months, or who are present at one of the semiannual gatherings for the first time since signing the neophyte pledge. They should be brought forward or asked to stand at their places, but if there are no new students present some other aspirant should be selected to come forward or stand to represent the newcomer in general for purposes of the ritual. The Welcoming Address is given, and then time is allowed for other pertinent recognitions such as accomplishments in the Sabian project of immediate or local interest. Next is an inspirational program in the form of an exposition of some section of the Message of Ezekiel by a legate or perhaps an aspirant of lesser grade who has been chosen in advance to prepare his talk. The Discourse on Inspiration is presented, and then there should be opportunity for any member of the Assembly present to give testimony to what he has learned of the significance of the Sabian work to the world and to himself, and what in consequence he has been able to develop for himself and share with the world. A general discussion of Sabian activities and their potentiality may be interesting and profitable. A review of the Semiannual Message follows. The meeting is closed with the Prayer to the Fullness of the Year.
The program is similar for the sessions of equinoctial correspondence on Palm Sunday and October 17th. The recognitions, however, are for the students entering the acolyte work at the particular time. No ritualistic identification of these aspirants by person or by name is permitted, as anything of the sort might contribute to an appearance of spiritual distinction among persons. Rather someone shall be selected to represent the new acolytes symbolically and collectively, and to come forward or stand as the Discourse on Achievement is presented. On Palm Sunday a general inspirational address or program should be arranged, with its subject an evaluation of the preceding twelve months of events on the world stage and an interpretation of whatever spiritual trends may have been revealed. On October 17th the inspirational activities should center around a consideration of achievements in the Sabian project during the preceding year, and this should conclude with a spiritual interpretation of the Solar Mysteries vision as it has had particular manifestation in current Sabian effort. If possible this latter feature should be a group presentation worked out in advance by a special quadrangle of acolytes and legates. The inspirational part of the program on Palm Sunday and October 17th should conclude with a ritualistic and impersonal recognition of those entering the legate discipline, on exactly the same pattern as the acolyte recognitions earlier in the meeting. The Discourse on Stewardship is given, and then testimony and discussion follow as at all quarterly meetings. A review of the Quarterly Message follows. Closing again is with the Prayer to the Fullness of the Year.