Common Prayer and Liturgy of the Prosperitas Sector

Common Prayer and Liturgy of the Prosperitas Sector

OC Notes: While elements of the Death Unto Darkness setting draw from themes of real-life Catholic and Orthodox practice, players are strongly encouraged to steer away from using prayers and liturgical texts from real-life religious ceremonies.

This document represents a few examples of religious litanies and prayers which players may wish to use as part of their roleplay. However, the Prosperitas Sector Ecclesiarchy is vast and made up of a variety of diverse creeds drawn from hundreds of inhabited planets; players are actively encouraged to make up their own material.

The God-Emperor is commonly referred to with male, female and singular neutral pronouns across Imperial space. No form is considered more or less reverent by the Ecclesiarchy, though the use of plural forms of address is seen as heterodox at best.

The Basics

The Imperial Creed is highly flexible and is tailored by Missionaries to fit the native culture, religion, and practices of whatever world it exists upon. As such, practices adhered to on one world may be held as abhorrent on another. The Ministorum tolerates this vast range of practices and beliefs, as it would be impossible to maintain a complete standardization of the faith across the Imperium.

However, the Ecclesiarchy does enforce basic key tenets:

  • The Emperor once walked among humans, but the Emperor is, and always has been, a god.
  • The Emperor is the one true god, regardless of what past faiths any human may have worshipped.
  • It is the duty of the faithful to purge the heretic, beware the psyker and mutant, and abhor the alien.
  • Every human being has a place within the Emperor’s divine order.
  • It is the duty of the faithful to unquestioningly obey the authority of the Imperial government and one’s superiors.

Common Imperial Prayer and Litanies

The following are common prayers which are found across the Imperium in one form or another.

The Litany against the Void:
“O most High and Holy Emperor, I see Your light and feel Your presence. Keep me safe from void and vacuum, and see me home to the glory fields of war.”

 

The Libation to the Emperor:
“The Emperor is our guiding light, a beacon of hope for humanity in a galaxy of darkness. As we serve Him, He is our greatest servant. As we pray to Him, His thoughts are only for us. And in the dark when the shadows threaten, the Emperor is with us, in spirit and in fact.”

Prayer for the Lost and Endangered:
“Most powerful and glorious Emperor, who commands the winds and eddies of the galaxy; our mortal souls are in peril.

We call out unto Thee for aid; save us, or we will perish.

We see how terrible and how munificent Thou art; we fear You and offer our awe.

We fear naught but Your wrath, and beg a chance to prove ourselves; so let us not die in the tumult of the warp.”

 

Imperial Lobgesang:
“Love the Emperor, for He is the salvation of Mankind.

Obey His words, for He will lead you into the light of the future.

Heed His wisdom, for He will protect you from evil.

Whisper His prayers with devotion, for they will save your soul.

Honour His servants, for they speak in His voice.

Tremble before His majesty, for we all walk in His immortal shadow.”

 

Litany of the Predator:
“Consider the Predator. Let your soul be armoured with Faith, driven on the tracks of Obedience which overcomes all obstacles, and armed with the three great guns of Zeal, Duty and Purity.”


Prosperitas Sector Prayer and Litanies

Meditation on the Holy Truth:
“The God-Emperor is the Holy Truth. They are without fear, They are merciful to Their servants, They are undying. They are beyond births and deaths; They illuminate Themself. They are realised by the truth of Their Faith. The God-Emperor is the Holy Truth.”

 

Meditation on the Holy Light:
“The God-Emperor is the burning light, the illuminating flame, the cleansing sun. To follow is to be guided, to obey is to be uplifted, to serve is to be saved. One cannot evade the light of Their presence, and nor should one try. Their light is salvation for the righteous, and damnation for the tainted.”


Threnody of St Khan-hattilik of Korimesta:

“And the one who commits this deed and repents not shall reside forever in darkness, far from Their Light.

In darkness the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: should one cut off the limbs from their perishable body with knives of brass, yet still worse shall it be.

In darkness the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: should one nail their perishable body with nails of brass, yet still worse shall it be.

In darkness the pain for that deed shall be as hard as any in this world: to wit, that deed which is done, when a human, knowingly lying, confronts the brimstoned, golden, truth-knowing Throne with an appeal unto clemency and a lie unto The Name.

O Maker of the Galaxy, thou Holy One! The one who, knowingly lying, confronts the brimstoned, golden, truth-knowing Throne with an appeal unto clemency and a lie unto The Name, what is the penalty that they shall pay?

The Voice answered: ‘Damnation.’”


Prayer of St Leonidas of Persephon:

“Gladly pass the souls of the righteous to the Golden Throne of the God-Emperor, to the Golden Throne of Them-on-Terra, to the heavenly abode of the holy ones.

As to the righteous human that has been cleansed, the wicked evil-doers tremble in the perfume of their soul after death, as a sheep does on which a wolf is falling.

The souls of the righteous are gathered together there: the saints are with them: the souls of the saints are friends unto the righteous.”


Apologue of the Medicae:

“The Medicae asked the Angel: ‘Astartes, most beneficent Angel, Sword of the God-Emperor, thou Holy One! Who was it who first of the healthful, the wise, the happy, the wealthy, the glorious, the strong ones of yore, drove back sickness to sickness, drove back death to death, and first turned away the point of the blade and the fire of fever from the bodies of mortals?’

The Angel answered: ‘The GOD-EMPEROR it was who first of the healthful, the wise, the happy, the wealthy, the glorious, the strong ones of yore, drove back sickness to sickness, drove back death to death, and first turned away the point of the blade and the fire of fever from the bodies of mortals.

‘He asked for a source of remedies; he obtained it by HIS WILL, to withstand sickness and to withstand death, to withstand pain and fever, to withstand the disease, rottenness and infection which HIS enemies had created by their witchcraft to wreak harm against the bodies of His children.

And it was by HIS WILL were brought down the healing plants that, by many hundreds, by many thousands, by many myriads, grow up upon all the million fertile worlds of the Galaxy.’

To thee, O Sickness, I say avaunt! to thee, O Death, I say avaunt! to thee, O Pain, I say avaunt! to thee, O Fever, I say avaunt! to thee, O Disease, I say avaunt!

By HIS WILL I drive away sickness, I drive away death, I drive away pain and fever. By HIS WILL I drive away the disease, rottenness, and infection which HIS enemies have created by their witchcraft to wreak harm against the bodies of mortals.

I drive away all manner of diseases and deaths, the plains of the flesh and of the spirit; for by the WILL of the God-Emperor are all things made possible.”


Banishing and Abjurations

Basic Abjuration:
“In the name of the God-Emperor, Them-on-Terra, I command you begone from this place, for there is no welcome for you here.

In the name of the God-Emperor, the Holy Truth, I command you cease your iniquity, for the Truth of the Imperium shall cast out all falsehoods.

In the name of the God-Emperor, the Light of Humanity, I command you shrink and shrivel from the Name, for the Emperor’s Light shall cast out all shadows.

In the name of the God-Emperor, Them-on-Terra, the Holy Truth, the Light of Humanity, I command you begone from this place. I abjure you! I abjure you! Thrice I abjure you: Begone!”

Cleansing:
“Let the holy flames of the Golden Throne visit and scourge this place. Let the righteousness of the God-Emperor reflect and purify this ground; let no evildoers step within. Let the Emperor’s Light and the shelter of His Wings inhabit and elevate this place, and let it be a beacon unto the faithful.”


Catechisms of Hate

  1. Hate the Xenos. The Xenos is wretched. The Xenos longs to debase humankind. Better a thousand innocent die than the seed of alien-worship corrupt a million. Thus we hate for Terra.
  2. Hate the Mutant. The Mutant is the offspring of Humanity, but they are a beast. The Mutant’s desires may be pure, but their body can never be pure. Humankind will not be clean until the last is dead. Thus we hate for Terra.
  3. Hate the Heretic. The Heretic is more vile than either Mutant or Xenos, for they had a choice. They had a choice, and they chose the way of damnation. Even the suspicion of heresy is cause enough to kill. A martyr’s death brings glory to Terra. A heretic’s death brings glory to Terra. Thus we hate for Terra.
  4. Hate the Traitor. The Traitor is damned, for they have betrayed their humanity. The Traitor is reviled, for they have turned against their faith. The cause of treason is irrelevant. The means of treason are irrelevant. The Traitor is pursued, for their very existence is anathema. Thus we hate for Terra.

Prayers Before Battle

Favoured as a call-and-response among Prosperitan Imperial Guard regiments:

God-Emperor, look with favour upon these Your servants.

God-Emperor, look with favour upon we your servants.

Make of them the instruments of Your wrath.

Make of us the instruments of your wrath.

Let their hearts be armoured in Your hatred.

Let our hearts be armoured in Your hatred.

Ave Imperator!

Ave Imperator!

A High Gothic prayer before a dangerous voyage or naval battle:
“Beneficia autem Dei per Ipsum, hoc est, in tutum in omni terra sumus ferri portum et divino lumine veritatis.”

Battle-Prayer of St Nafisa the Martyr:
“I invoke the holy Galaxy, made by Them-on-Terra.

I invoke the earth made by Them-on-Terra, the water made by Them, the holy trees.

I invoke the sea, I invoke the shining sky. I invoke the eternal and sovereign luminous space. I invoke the comet and the stardust, the asteroid and the solar wind.

I invoke the bright, all glorious, blissful abode of Them-on-Terra.

Let Them be worshipped with sacrifice, let Them be gladdened, gratified, and satisfied: the holy God-Emperor, the tall-formed, fiend-smiting Deus Imperator.

Bring libations unto the fire, bring hard wood unto the fire, bring rare incense unto the fire.

Offer up the sacrifice to the eternal flame which smites the mutant and cleanses the heretic.

Offer up the sacrifice to the holy God-Emperor, that with Their strength we may smite down upon the xenos; that we may fall upon the heretic, the wicked, the slothful ones, who live in sin; that we may cleanse the mutant from our midst with holy flame.”


Blessings

Blessing for those undertaking arduous duties:
“O Holy Emperor, watch over Your servants. The path of the faithful is not easy, yet in Your name it must be walked; the burdens of service are not light, yet in Your name they shall be borne. Be Thou the star in our darkness; the light that shows truth and the beacon of home. Be Thou the guide and the guardian, the scourge and the saviour. For in Your name, what must be done, shall be done.”

Blessing for food:
O Holy Emperor, we draw our strength from that which we consume in Thy blessed Name; as we draw strength from the salvation of Thy cleansing flame. Purify Thou that which sustains us with the Glory of Thy Holy Light. Scourge it of all taint, cleanse it of all contamination; let it be neither despoiled nor decayed. For we, Your instruments, are weak flesh, but Your Throne is Eternal.

Blessing for good news:
Glory be to the God-Emperor, for the Righteous shall have their reward. All praise to the Throne of Terra, for the Faithful shall see their triumph. Blessed be this day of days, for there are marvels in the land, and the marvels are His Signs. For in His Sight all promises are kept, all transgressions punished, and all faithful souls find Glory in His Name. Glory be to the God Emperor; it is right and just that we should praise Him, for all that is good comes through His Will.

Blessing for the start of a voyage:
In our comings and our goings, we turn to You; for You are all seeing and Your judgement is upon us. In our beginnings and our endings, we think upon You; for You know our hearts, and Your judgement is upon us. Though we journey through the infinite cold of the void, Your Wrath shall be a beacon of heat and light to guide us into safe docking.  Though we journey through the very Chaos of the Warp, You shall be our shield and our protection against corruption. Our faith shall keep us pure in Your Sight. In our comings and our goings, we turn to You; for You stand in Judgement, that the Corrupt shall fall into nothingness, and the Righteous shall come home.


Prayers for the Fallen

“Only in death does duty end; and now yours at last has ended.

Turn your gaze to the light of Holy Terra; to Him that sits the Golden Throne.

To Him we all return in time.

Cast off the chains that bound you to this life; both those you chose, and those that you did not.

For a body may be chained, and a mind may be enslaved to another’s will; but the soul owes allegiance only unto Him.

Ave atque vale, [___]. Go now to Him; for he will know your heart and judge you by it, however ill-used you have been.

Ave Imperator; great is your grace and great your mercy.

Receive this soul with kindness, and accept him as Your own.”

“We stand the last watch for our (sister/brother/sibling)

Who has fallen in His service.

Holy God-Emperor, we beg of thee

Take this (person/man/woman) who has lived and died righteously in fear and love of Thee

To Thy right hand where they may bask forever in Thy glory.

We honour them and all who fall in Thy service

And pray for Thy mercy for ourselves.

We salute our (sister/brother/sibling) and see them shine in glory

Beckoning us ahead on the path of duty

To where He awaits us.

Their duty is done.

Ave Imperator!”

A version of the Last Rites, sometimes used for those whose purity is in doubt: 
“O Imperator, in nomine tuo, may these souls sunk in sin be delivered to Your grace. Let those who have fallen and faltered in Your service be cleansed by Your burning flame, as Your wings shelter the just. Deus-Imperator, qui vincit laruae omnes, eis miserere; Holy Emperor, who conquers all creatures of evil, have mercy upon them. As we frail and sinful mortals may not presume to righteously judge these souls, let their sins be revealed by Your Wisdom; and if their deaths cleanse and make them worthy, gather them into Your light. The Emperor Protects!”


Confession

Within the Imperium, there is no such thing as confidential confession, any penance assigned is a legally binding punishment as the Priesthood possesses the legal right to judge and convict religious criminals. The ritual that follows is simply the formalised manner in which the Ecclesiarchy receives the confession of those willing to surrender to the mercy of the Priesthood.

Confessor: We spea sub rosa; may my eyes and ears be His, and may my tongue speak only as He wills. [Son/Daughter/Child] of the Creed, speak thou and be heard, for He is with us.

Confessee: Imperator miserere, for I have sinned; I come before you as a penitent

Confessor: Penitent, I sit before you as a candle. That light that burns before you is Their light, and you sit with Them. The Emperor loves you, sinner, as She loves all humanity. Speak of your sin, so that it might be laid naked and you might be judged.


Absolution

Absolution is delivered upon release of the transgressor from the Penant sentence, in the case of the severist of sentences this is often delivered posthumously.

1.

“We live only at His sufferance; to whom can we reach for guidance? Only to you, o Emperor, who are justly angry at our failings. Shut not your ears to our prayers, but spare us; turn not your gaze from our suffering, but forgive us; where our human failings  cause us to fall short of our duty, grant thy strength to lead us to your light.”

[Son/Daughter/Child] of the Creed, of the Imperium of Humanity, hear me; your sins are confessed, your repentance is sincere, your penance has been [mighty and heartfelt / equal to your sins]. In the midst of all our darkness, there is light; for He is our beacon in the night. His grace, our strength and our salvation; His mercy, our forgiveness and redemption; His truth, our blessing and our path. Though you have erred, to Him you have returned.

Igitur ab vitiis tuis te abluo, in nomine Imperatoris et imperio ipsius.

2.

Hear me, O Emperor; before You we lay our naked souls, our hopes and fears and sins, in the hope of Your mercy and the certainty of Your judgement. Look not unkindly on our frailties, for despite them we are Yours; with every temptation rejected and every sin repented of and set aside, we come closer to Your perfection.

Hear me then now, Father of Mankind; I say to You, this [man/woman/one] is Yours, Your servant and Your child. [His/Her/Their] tribulations have been many and [his/her/their] sufferings been great, yet though the Enemy sets thorns and snares about [his/her/their] path, [he/she/they] walk[s] it yet towards Your light. Grant [him/her/them] Thy mercy and forgiveness, Lord of All, accept [him/her/them] as Your own; recognise [him/her/them] as Your servant in the living world today; and in the hour of [his/her/their] death, O Lord, call [him/her/them] home to Your side.

Hear me, Child of the Creed: walk in His light. Go forth with heart uplifted and do His work, for He is with you as He is with all mankind. Fear not to die, for He awaits thy soul; fear not to live, for He has work for thee.


Hymns

Souls of Terra
Tune: Men of Harlech

Souls of Terra, stop your dreaming,

Can’t you see their lasguns gleaming?

See their evil pennants streaming

To this battlefield.

 

Souls of Terra stand ye steady,

It cannot be ever said ye

For the battle were not ready.

Stand and never yield.

 

From the hills rebounding.

Let this song be sounding.

Summon all at the Emperor’s call.

The mighty force surrounding.

 

Souls of Terra on to glory.

This will ever be your story.

Keep these burning words before ye

Terra never yields!

Turn Your Hearts To Terra

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to Terra

Turn your hearts unto the shining light

Set your course by mankind’s mighty Father

Let the Throne’s golden glory lead you right.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to virtue

Live your lives with faith and so with pride

Heed the words of saints and priests and in them hear

The call which cannot be denied.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to Terra

Turn your hearts unto the shining light

Set your course by mankind’s mighty Father

Let the Throne’s golden glory lead you right.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to duty

Resolutely hold thou firm and stand

Walk the path which He has set before you

For only in death does duty end.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to Terra

Turn your hearts unto the shining light

Set your course by mankind’s mighty Father

Let the Throne’s golden glory lead you right.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to battle

As the drums sound and the trumpets call

In His name, take up your arms and armour

And stand boldly forth as heroes all.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to Terra

Turn your hearts unto the shining light

Set your course by mankind’s mighty Father

Let the Throne’s golden glory lead you right.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to glory

Fill your hearts with faith like flame ablaze

Burn on bright as stars against the darkness

And fight on, till you stand before His gaze.

 

Turn your hearts, o turn your hearts to Terra

Turn your hearts unto the shining light

Set your course by mankind’s mighty Father

Let the Throne’s golden glory lead you right.


Ave Imperator

Ave Imperator!

Let the war-drums sound, let the trumpets call!

Ave Imperator!

Let our blades be sharp, let our shots be true!

Ave Imperator!

As we march on bold, unafraid to fall,

Ave Imperator!

As we fight for You, kill and die for You.

Ave Imperator!

 

Oh our hearts beat fast, oh our blood runs hot

And we taunt the foe, is that all you’ve got?

And our armour is contempt;

And our hatred gives us strength.

 

Ave Imperator!

Let the war-drums sound, let the trumpets call!

Ave Imperator!

Let our blades be sharp, let our shots be true!

Ave Imperator!

As we march on bold, unafraid to fall,

Ave Imperator!

As we fight for You, kill and die for You.

Ave Imperator!

 

From the dawn of man, to the end of time,

Though the battle’s fierce, we shall hold the line,

We shall stand and fight with pride,

Till He calls us to His side!

 

Ave Imperator!

Let the war-drums sound, let the trumpets call!

Ave Imperator!

Let our blades be sharp, let our shots be true!

Ave Imperator!

As we march on bold, unafraid to fall,

Ave Imperator!

As we fight for You, kill and die for You.

Ave Imperator!