The Suscipiat Novum Membrum

Suscipiat Novum Membrum – The Welcoming Ceremony 

Explanation:

“Suscipiat novum membrum” – is literally “welcome new member” in Latin. This is the Welcoming Ceremony or ritual at which an adult Vampyre who has not previously been a part of the House, but who has been briefed on the etiquette  and protocols of the House and has been approved for membership via a Sponsor, is introduced to the community by their Vampyre name.

The ritual takes place after a year of instruction at the side of their Sponsor, during which the prospective new member is welcome to participate in the activities of the House, while remaining effectively on probation under the supervision of the Sponsor.

This ceremony is secular (non-religious) and is a formal commitment to the Coven, House or community, a solemn yet joyful occasion where a new member rises to take their place in the House, along with the responsibilities coupled to that honor, and the community welcomes them with the commitment in turn, of fostering and caring for them.

The Sponsor is responsible to the community for the actions of their charge for at least while they remain on probation. This period of probation is set at 6 months, or longer, by mutual agreement (Pacta), or as dictated by circumstances.

A Sponsor should have by this time educated the Initiate about matters pertaining to Vampyrism and the community, and assisted them in any reasonable way possible to become a worthy and honorable member of the House and community.

A Sponsor’s responsibility ends at the Welcoming ceremony/ritual, where the Initiate is welcomed and introduced to the House or community as a full, equal member by their Vampyre name.

The Suscipiat Novum Membrum Ceremony (Major): (For large groups.)

Those participating in the ceremony (House office bearers) form a circle with the Primus at its head, the Sponsor to the right of the Primus, and a space left open for the Initiate. The rest of the community gathers around the circle. At the start of the ceremony, the Initiate stands outside the circle, facing the center of the circle through the empty space.

Primus: “An outsider wishes to speak to the House.”

Circle: “Who brings this Seeker among us?”

Sponsor: “I (Name), (House position) present (mundane name), a Seeker who has sought out my aid and learned the Law at my side. He/She has reached the time of welcoming, is of good temperament and is by my judgement ready and worthy to take his/her place among us.”

Circle: “Speak, Seeker. We will hear you.” At this point, the Initiate enters the circle, stands in the center facing the Elder/Primus, and goes down on one knee.

Initiate: “I have come among you this night, my family, my friends, my Kin – to show you my heart and to take my place among you.”

Circle: “Why have you come?”

Initiate: “I have awakened to darkness in blinding light.”

Circle: “We know the darkness. We know the light.”

Initiate: “I have awakened to questions.”

Circle: “We have knowledge to share.”

Initiate: “I have awakened to Hunger and Thirst.”

Circle: “We know that of which you speak.”

Initiate: “I have awakened, a Vampyre.”

Circle: “What do you want of us?”

Initiate: “I ask to join with you, as a Vampyre.”

Circle: “Do you know the whole of the Law?”

Initiate: “I do.”

Circle: “Then speak its name.”

Initiate: “The Totum Lex Vampyrica, the law of the Vampyre nation.”

Circle: “Where do you carry it?”

Initiate: (Touches head) “In my thoughts.” (Touches lips) “In my words.” (Holds up hands) “In my deeds.”

Circle: “Do you honor the whole of the Law?”

Initiate: “I abide by it.”

Circle: “What is your name?”

Initiate: “I am (Vampyre name).”

Circle: “Rise and join us, (Vampyre name) – we are your Kin.”

(The Initiate stands while the Primus is handed a chalice containing a small mixture of red wine infused with essence from the circle. The Primus and Sponsor move to the center of the circle, the Sponsor to the left of the Initiate, and to the right of the Primus, both facing the Initiate, forming a smaller inner circle. The Primus raises the chalice with both hands.)

Primus: “Essence of the mundane world, to represent our ties to it, our inherent humanity and the gifts of those who sustain us.”

Circle: “So that you never forget it.”

Primus: “Essence of the Vampyre world, to represent our inherent nature and the responsibility that comes with it.”

Circle: “So that you may embrace it.”

Primus: “The chalice, to represent our community and our symbiotic union.”

Circle: “So that you may honor and cherish it.”

Primus: “We are of one breath,” (Circle repeats, as Elder/Primus has first sip) “We are of one blood,“ (Circle repeats, as Sponsor has second sip) “We are of one House.” (Circle repeats, Initiate has has last sip)

Primus: “We welcome you, (Vampyre name) as our Kindred brother/sister. We invite you to take your place among us.”

(The Primus and Sponsor return to their places, Initiate takes the open space to the right of the Sponsor.)

Primus: “We present to the House our new brother/sister (Vampyre name)

House: “Welcome among us, (Vampyre name), Vampyre.”

(The ceremony is ended, the circle is dissolved.)

The Suscipiat Novum Membrum Ceremony (Minor): (For small groups of between two and five members.)

If there are too few members to form a circle, then the Primus and Sponsor form a circle at close quarters, the Sponsor to the left of the Initiate, and to the right of the Primus, both facing the Initiate. (If there are enough members to make a circle as described in the Ceremony Major, then use that ceremony instead.)

Elder/Primus: “What business does this outsider have among us?”

Sponsor: “I (Name), (House position) present this seeker (mundane name), a Seeker who has Awakened alone, sought out my aid and learned the Law at my side. He/She has reached the time of welcoming, is of good temperament and is by my judgement ready to take his/her place among us.”

Elder/Primus: “Speak, Seeker. State your business.” At this point, the Initiate goes down on one knee.

Initiate: “I have come among you this night, my family, my friends – to show you my heart and to take my place among you.”

Elder/Primus: “Why have you come?”

Initiate: “I have awakened to darkness in blinding light.”

Elder/Primus: “We know the darkness. We know the light.”

Initiate: “I have awakened to questions.”

Elder/Primus: “We have knowledge to share.”

Initiate: “I have awakened to Hunger and Thirst.”

Elder/Primus: “We know that of which you speak.”

Initiate: “I have awakened, a Vampyre.”

Elder/Primus: “What do you want of us?”

Initiate: “I ask to join with you, as a Vampyre.”

Elder/Primus: “Do you know the whole of the Law?”

Initiate: “I do.”

Elder/Primus: “Then speak its name.”

Initiate: “The Totum Lex Vampyrica, the law of the Vampyre nation.”

Elder/Primus: “Where do you carry it?”

Initiate: (Touches head) “In my thoughts.” (Touches lips) “In my words.” (Holds up hands) “In my deeds.”

Elder/Primus: “Do you honor the whole of the Law?”

Fledgling: “I abide by it.”

Elder/Primus: “What is your name?”

Initiate: “I am (Vampyre name).”

Elder/Primus: “Rise and join us, (Vampyre name) – we are your Kin.”

(The Initiate stands while the Elder/Primus is handed a chalice containing a small mixture of wine infused with essence, and raises the chalice with both hands.)

Elder/Primus: “Essence of the mundane world, to represent our ties to it, our inherent humanity and the gifts of those who sustain us.”

Sponsor: “So that you never forget it.”

Elder/Primus: “Essence of the Vampyre world, to represent our inherent nature and the responsibility that comes with it.”

Sponsor: “So that you may embrace it.”

Elder/Primus: “The chalice, to represent our community and our symbiotic union.”

Sponsor: “So that you may honor and cherish it.”

Elder/Primus: “We are of one breath,” (Sponsor and Initiate repeat, as Elder/Primus has first sip)

Sponsor: “We are of one blood,“ (Elder/Primus and Initiate repeat, as Sponsor has second sip)

Initiate: “We are of one House.” (Elder/Primus and Sponsor repeat, as Initiate has last sip)

Elder/Primus: “We welcome you, (Vampyre name) as our Kindred brother/sister. We invite you to take your place among us.”

(The ceremony is ended, the circle is dissolved.)

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