The Sufi Order, The Universal Worship work. Hazrat Inayat Khan


Vol. 1, Issue 2, [fall, 1994]

A Journal for the International Community of Cherags

From Prajapati O'Neill, Dean of the Universal Worship  


At the Universal Worship Board of Directors meeting in August 1994 we decided to institute annual dues of $ 25.00 (or more if your can increase your support) for Cherags and Candidates. The funds generated from dues will aid the Secretariat in continuing to develop materials and programs for Cherags and to help promote the Universal Worship. Our primary goal for this year is to be able to employ a part-time administrative assistant to help with the increasing level of work. In return for your annual dues you will receive a coupon entitling you to a reduced price on selected versions of the scriptures ordered through Omega Press. With the activity of the Universal Worship grows, and as the demand for more information and services increasing it is time to begin moving from a purely volunteer effort to one which can support some paid staff assistance. Your support will be greatly appreciated. Please send your annual dues to the Secretariat (26 First St., Albany, NY 12210). Make checks payable to the Universal Worship Fund.  


A new Order of Service booklet is now available from the Secretariat. This booklet contains the detailed instructions on how to perform the many types of services (e.g., marriages, house blessings, baptisms, funerals, receptions into the Universal Worship, etc.) which can be done as part of the Universal Worship. This edition includes all the latest approved changes to the service, the addition of helpful instructions in performing aspects of the service, and the revision of the language to be gender inclusive. This edition retains the 6" x 9" format for use with the white binder covers. We recommend all Cherags obtain this revised version. Order your copy from the Secretariat (26 First St., Albany, NY 12210). Cost is $ 5.00.  


We now have a Certificate of Ordination available. If you would like one please send your name (as you would like it to appear on the Certificate) and the approximate date of your ordination to Amina Stockton, 2121 Hunters Cove Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30244. Your completed Certificate will be mailed back to you. We request a donation of $ 1.00 to cover postage and costs. We are now also have Certificates available for baptism, reception of an infant into the Universal Worship, and reception of an adult into the Universal Worship. To receive copies please contact Amina Stockton at the above address.  


The first installment of the new Manual for Cherags is now available. Additional installments will be issued quarterly. The Manual will include information on all aspects of the Universal Worship and will be an invaluable resource for Cherags and Candidates. The cost of an annual (4 installment) subscription is $ 20.00. Please order through the Secretariat.  


An up-dated list of recommended editions of the scriptures used in the Universal Worship is available from the Secretariat. Please call or write to obtain a copy.  


The candle for the Divine Feminine honors both an ancient and an emerging aspect of humanity's religious experience. Since this work is still very new and unfolding we have felt it is not time to make final decisions on how to present this candle in the service. At the Universal Worship Board of Directors meeting in August 1994 we discussed the options for this candle. This is what we concluded:  

1) We cannot yet determine a final name for the candle. The name "Divine Feminine" has become widely used and is favored by some. Other names we feel comfortable in experimenting with are: "The Tradition of the Great Mother," "The Tradition of Gaia," and the "Feminine Spirit," and "The Great Goddess Tradition."  

2) "Love" has emerged as the general consensus regarding the attribute for the candle.  

3) The placement of the candle on the altar has resulted in a great deal of discussion. It has generally been placed after the Zoroastrian candle and before the Jewish candle (as is done with other additional religions). The Board recommended experimenting with placing the candle in front of the God candle and behind the Spirit of guidance candle (creating a "trinity" of candles perpendicular to the other candles). This candle would be lighted first and then the Hindu candle (in its normal place). This arrangement seems to honor both the historical antiquity of the tradition and the fact that it also represents a divine principle which is found within all the traditions. (The Board felt that placing the Divine Feminine candle before the Hindu candle is less satisfactory since the arrangement of the candles is not strictly historical and since this breaks up the flow of the original inspiration of the Eastern-Western arrangement.)  

Since this is still an emerging candle we suggest Cherags experiment with the forms mentioned above and let us know what feels and works best. Over time a general consensus may emerge. In the meantime we feel it is best not to prescribe a specific form. For more materials on the Divine Feminine prepared by the Chrysalis Connection, including a wonderful sample Universal Worship service on the theme of the Divine Feminine, contact Haqiqa McDowell, 109 Blake Hill Road, Van Etten, NY 14889. 7)  

CHERAG TRAINING - 1994-1995  
Prajapati O'Neill is available to do weekend training programs for Cherags and Candidates during the coming year. These can be organized on a local or regional basis. Please contact Prajapati at the Secretariat for more information.