- 1. We make welcome all souls, saints, angels and Deity.
It is not so much that the walls translate into the spiritual domains, but moreover that the walls actually impinge upon the space, as in what goes in and goes out of it. This is true for many emanations and perceptions, and the laws of the angle-meet where lines confer and enclose, do work for certain containment.
This is relevant to that time in particular ceremony where the bells are rung and notice is given for the clearing of a space of unwelcome beings who may not be benign to such activity, and the windows are given an invisible membrane likewise, in the issue of the ringing.
Some beings (the lesser variety) have little or no mal-intent, but are obnoxious because they have been around coarse men and become quite characterized by their behavior. These beings may impinge upon a holy gathering and cause much unwanted disruption, making for irritation and actually trying to invoke or induce a havoc-causing rendition. The reason being that they may feed from the lower emanations as given by the men or women who react in a particular way.
There are of course, mischievous creatures also, which would upset a prayer or interrupt a meditation, for want of attention- which they are used to in the ordinary day to day living. These types of elementary beings are actually brought into the chapel accompanying each individual, who best leave them at the door, literally; and hope that by their future conduct they may be empowered to rework their elemental offspring into finer examples of higher influence.
Added to the attitude and prayers of welcoming to all desirable noteworthys (i.e. calling upon all who revere our Father God and acknowledge Christ as King of the World) we may also assure a special attendance by the way in which the chapel itself is characterized - that it is by its own gravitation inspiring to the gentler beings who would otherwise be offended by ordinary rooms of inhabitance. Which leads us to:-
2. We enhance the area, and seek to ensure the chapel be inoffensive to the Divine.
Enhancing a chapel need not involve extraordinary means of lavish proportion. The properties of any sacred space require that:
a) It be well lit by natural sunlight, and never, if possible, darkened (even when not in use).
b) It be furbished with those requisites which signify with either some direct purpose of usefulness, or hold beauteous value as objects of inspiration or significant meaning.
In other words, every piece within the chapel is to be there for a well thought-out reason and acknowledged as being important to the contribution of the room. If something is unnecessary, then it is best left outside. This too may be well applied to those articles which may be thoughtlessly brought into the room by the attendants (books, handbags, etc.) for it is better to avoid superfluity and its contrasting emanations than hazard them.
c) Ensure that representatives from the plant kingdom be present (either pot-dwelling or fresh-cut). The chapel space becomes as 'outside-in'.
There are compensations to be adjusted because the devotions are within a certain confine - all of the abovementioned prerequisites are exactly that - and no less is the provision of plant life brought into the space. We respectfully acknowledge the life of the plant/s within this special area: the life to which they are firstly connected and do spring out of, is the essential life which inspires us also; with this difference: that the plants actually generate more life than they expire, and for this reason we do venerate them and are uplifted with their presence.
d) The concerted activities and inner expressions of the participants shall speak more for the environment and determine its appeal thereby. It shall be known for what it is, and it can be said, that if there is any such place where something is truly perceived for exactly its value, it is surely in a sanctified space of which this world's veils are transparent.
So we may ensure that the environment is pleasing to higher activity by our direct conduct within the space, and that it be solely for the purpose of devotion, kept strong in that and not weakened by extraneous involvements. Of course there are some chapels in which folk are brought food and associated conversations are unavoidable, however if circumstances allow the strict privilege, then it is best that the convening for consumables and throwaway conversation likewise, be offered in another area, far removed.
3. We build an altar and make an altar-space.
The altar, as stated before, is the actual inner door to the room. It is to where all eyes do go, when projected openly. It is where the concentrated forces are pinioned by the eyes of the men, by the activities streaming in and around that focal-piece.
Raised off the ground, this area is marked with lit candles. These candles preface the way for all of those invisible; and whilst there may be others besides placed here and there about the room, it is recommended that there be several upon the altar, on each corner or end of that space. They are best placed in water, that the water may reflect their light, and there are many ways this can be achieved. (Standing the holders in small baths, or floating candles.)
The candlelights not only help to purify the space, but also to sanction it. The flame brings man a very old representation which enthralls his being, because the fire he has known always, and it is far older than ere even his recollection. Many turn inward their ponderances by glancing at the tip of the candle, and the fire without speaks to the fires within of the many motivations which react within the living core.
The water beneath signifies the perfect containment of each flame, and by the reflection we are caused to ponder our own being, as similar. The water too has ancient origin, and is revivifying to all that lives because its body is Life itself. The action of fire may be considered as the Holy Ghost in element: ever moved to enliven, whilst the water embraces all by its perfection - the I AM of Christ, of which all is contained. The sunlight as does penetrate is verily the consciousness of Christ, and all that is touched by this light is known by Him directly. Let prayers be addressed to the region of the altar, and when spoken openly may this also be, for we bear in mind that it is through this space we are sending our words and our thoughts and our commiserations heavenward, and looking for reply. Therefore the host to the Communion is best facing it also, be it from the back or the front, with attention dwelt there.
4. That we provide an ornamental Cross.
This may or may not be positioned at the altar space, however it is best to be nearby, where it may be appreciated. The actual shape of the Cross reacts with the ethers directly around it. There becomes a conspiring, an activity, out from this humblest of forms. The image of life commands life. This is an esoteric law. The Cross, amongst many other things, is the image of man - in his simplest form. Other images more complex, can be more defining or exaggerated, or in striving for likeness lose to accuracy. However the law is that the model of a man is enough to draw to it the gravitations of life: certain vitalities, properties, elemental attachments etc.
This is our mark, our notation. When upright, it becomes a noble meditation. It says "Man!" It hums in the darkness, it perseveres throughout all time. It signifies our destiny as charted by our Christ, who ennobled it further by His great act of Sacrifice in becoming man.
5. We ensure that the tones of the colors are respectfully pure and inoffensive to the eye.
The colors in a given space hold supreme effect upon those within that space. They need not be seen to be appreciated, and have great sway over those individuals who are steeped in solemn propriety. For it is partial to the sensitivity as brought about by devotional contemplations, that such 'ordinary' contributors become extraordinarily powerful in their persuasion.
So we must be mindful of this and begin to discern this color from that, and come to know of those which contradict and argue with each other, and those which are uplifting to be with - preferably pure and light-filled, rather than muted or muddied in aspect. Each color attracts to it a corresponding being also and so we may happily represent all colors of the spectrum at the one time, providing that they are rich or clear and not combined.
Woven variables are best excluded where possible, keeping the sectors of color clear, plain and precise. This is also more pleasing in aspect and the overall psyche of the individuals in the room shall feel the difference also. Clean, crisp colors, warm rich colors - both are reflective. It is the manner in which they are displayed and combined that is of issue. Patterned fabrics are argumentative and a distraction. Paintings and wall-prints are to be scrutinized as well as to whether or not they truly merit the displaying of, particularly in special regard to the aspect of colors.
6. That we offer song with our dedications.
Music combines in a way which creatively works within a man, and yet also may stretch out from his being into further realms far beyond the reaches of the initial sound. The interplay of harmonies is a statement of both a rejoicing in being and an active creativity, and although Man is only just beginning to come into the realms of song and know of its powers, he is nonetheless rejuvenated much by this participation; whether it be in actual vocalizations or by the reception of another's voice. In song we aspire to our highermost selves, for it is the language of the soul, the notation of harmonies.
7. We may make tributes to the virtues and signify them.
Words indeed are powerful. Usually the fewer there are, the more power there is attached. We may use single words or fully phrased verse, prayer or statement, and have such displayed round-about, here and there, in order that we may be reminded of certain qualities which we should fix our attention upon. Not only do these serve as useful to read, but also the very associative emanations hold beneficial contribution to the chapel as well. Such deliberate contemplations awaken us to our purpose and intent, and are remedial to such failings as we may suffer.
The chapel is not the venue for discussion or open conversation, but rather is to be reserved for spiritual commune and revelation. It is with obedience to the truth and reverence before God, that we enter a sanctified space in full expectation. We are not required to compromise our earthly world, but rather to uphold it by the returning to its strengths and origins, and incorporating the spiritual world back into this existence.
The serious nature of such an endeavor is awesome, for here we have an intent on behalf of those who conspire to enjoy this sacred space and make much of it in the glory to God! No matter what residence or who the people involved, it is a dedication which is respectful, and hopeful and encouraging to all.
Every temple, every chapel, every sanctuary, every church, redefines and upgrades a portion of earthly space, that we may begin to offer back to God that which is His - namely, us. We attribute all that we are and all that we be, to Him. Out from ten grains we give one grain. Out from this plenitude of space, we make but a small space and dedicate it to Him and His, and in earnest searching we may go to this space, singly or in community, and bring gratitude for this our true spirituality.