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Lectionary

by Alonsus on Jun 07, 2011 at 04:58 PM}
Day One

Expectations, appointments, discussion Creation Myths

Day Two

Where were we last time in our lessons?
As we learned from out last lesson on creation, mortal beings have always searched for answers among the heavens.
The search for understanding the world around us through thelogy and philosophy stretches as far back in every race as recorded history does.
We know of the Draenei's teachings that they have been evangelized through the Naaru, and many beautiful myths exist of explaining all of the race's conceptions.
During this age of revelation for humanity, which many of the church's roots can be traced to, mankind was in its infancy as compared to the other inhabitants of Azeroth and were only just starting to form semi-permanent settlements for the sake of farming.
While the High Elves secluded themselves in their magical realm, much like the dwarves who stray not far from their ancestral mountains, and the Trolls marched across the lands building and expanding their vast empires in the glory of their loa gods, humans were little more than tribal wanderers following stable food sources from place to place in an attempt to survive the sometimes harsh and unforgiving environments off of the limited supplies their forerunners granted them.
The only real documentation of the nature of early human institutionialization of religion is what can be recovered from ancient folklore, perhaps also derived originally from the forerunners of humanity before taken into the hands of their cursed children.
According to the sparse amount of known history that can be recovered from this time period, there existed many temple and cult followings of various godheads and pious philosophies, and the tension of the genuinity of the faiths remained an item of bloodshed and tribal wars.
However, the main item of worship and philosophical scholastics was a titanic watcher, known simply as Tyr.
The story of Tyr slipped into memory long ago. The stories and scrolls of old spoke of a great leader, a paragon of order and justice, who sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil.
Although it was within this hero's power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver.
In this way, the hero, Tyr, impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice.
Those who were truly devout in this cause of helping others in a way that is good and holy found divine favor through healing magics. They were exalted for miracle working despite harsh persecution by other faith groups, and the faith spread like holy fire.
The school of philosophy and idolization of the titan watcher and his beautiful story, for the most part, spread to all of the tribes to some degree or another. The merit of the story was no longer simply a stray following, and arguably contributed to the developement of the empire.
Beautiful buildings were built in honor of the faith and the great persecution it was met with by established faiths, and the buildings were filled with monastics - frairs and monks - devoted to living in sacrifice, and other buildings with presbyters, devoted to preaching the faith, and vindictators, devoted to serving justice and order as Tyr served.
The faith encouraged charity and good will over the zealous contribution to war seen by previous faiths.
The beginning of the institutionalization and philosophical scholastics had been planted through this cooperation and formation of what would soon be the empire, well on its way to make its permanent mark on the face of the world.

Day Three

The followers of Tyr were no longer a minor sect.
Their feverous evangelism of the gospel of self sacrifice was long since paid off, and there was a monastery in nearly every parish. With the rise of the instititionalization of the philosophy of Tyr came the rise of the Arathorian Empire.
The City of Strom and many major cities wrought with theological debate that was no longer the likes of pantheons of gods and children bed time stories.
While all apart of a mostly peaceful communion of faith, each monastery remained autonomous and thus had a different way of honoring the sacrifice and a different message to take from it.
It wasn't long until the lack of central authority resulted in countless denominations and understandings of the faith, resulting in the eventual decline of major institutionalized Tyr reverence.
A group of monks left the empire in favor of a life of contemplation and careful study. They traveled a great distance away from the seat of power in the City of Stromgarde.
Though no relaible records remain of the journey that was made from the Arathi Highlands, it is known that the monks eventually settled in a relatively secluded area they dubbed "The Valley of the North Shrine".
The monks evenetually became the Holy Order of Northshire Clerics, and were regarded as men and women of thought and contemplative life, but none the less on fire for their faith.
The North Shrine clerics did some of the major thought on the true nature of divinity that has contributed impacted divine study even now. They began to focus on these divine gifts that the most pious clerics were miraculously gifted and discerned that they had direct correlation with divine will.
While still adhering to the virtue of self sacrifice and reverence to the Tyrian stories, the hierarchy of the Northshire clerics devoted their undying devotion to a sentient and singular divinity that these holy powers proceeded from and that was pleased with the work of the clerics.
The holy contemplative order began training evangelistic friars in the tradition of the Tyrian faith to spread the fruit of faith from their countless decades of contemplation, study, and adherence to self sacrifice while continuing their studies for years and years to come.

Day Four

/rw The bells of the monastery rise and fall solemnly. Eight monotonous notes follow after.
Light of Repose, guide us in our studies and lead us to interpretation that is good and holy.
/e douses each cleric with holy water, an ancient way of ceremoniously cleansing iniquities.
For ages and ages folowing the decline of the Arathorian Empire and the rise of Stormwind, the exceptionally blessed Clerics of North Shrine, or the Holy Order of Northshire Clerics, continued their divinity studies in the confines of monasteries and began to preach it not only in cities, but on frontiers of humanity and to their allies.
And thusly, two worlds of the early church began to evolve, the original contemplative order of studious monks, dedicating their lives to the discernment of the Light's Will and personal sacrifice, and the preachers and priests that looked to spread the faith.
The monastery and the church-building were all brought to new meeting in the trappings of holy liturgy.
Hundreds were won into the faith the clerics instilled in them with every apostolic sermon given. The Church of the Holy Light was brought into conception.
A great change began to take place amongst this time of great evangelization. The clerics began to further discern divinity and instill their findings accordingly. The age of revelation of the Holy Light was at hand.
A very important cleric was raised as the patron of this era of revelation. We call him Saint Alonsus Faol.
He is partially responsible for the erecting of the Three Most Holy Cardinal Virtues, Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion, that guide every follower today. He professed that the Holy Light, this one divinity, was inherent moral goodness and beautiful reflection of the soul.
He taught that this Light was a result of the conscious benevolent thought and action taken in all times, all place, and within all things.
He surmised that the forces of the universe, Light and Shadow, are a direct reflection of the moral and immortal actions of those who inhabited it.
As the influence and power of the Church increased, it elected Saint Alonsus as its holy Archbishop, a title of almost absolute sovreignity over the Church.
The holy church's clerics, priests and monks alike, continued to work to spread the good word of the Light and build many cathedrals, church buildings, monasteries, and arguably most importantly for the course of humanity, libraries.
For the first time in recorded history, humanity was almost completely united in their faith in the most Holy Light that we adore.


Day Five

Some time after the coronation of Alonsus Faol to Archbishop, the First Orcish War began.
The clerics argued of the source. Whether it was a curse from the Holy Light for humanity's wrongdoings, demons sent forth by a hellish lord, or simply a test of faith, they agreed that the Church was to do its part by aiding its holy gifts of healing to the preservation of Stormwind and the holy abbey.
The clerics focused on the defense of the Kingdom, as they felt that the gate unleashing whatever unholiness that leaked through would not prevail if they had held to tenacity. The clerics held out and many of them where assumed into the Light after they were slain in their righteous defense.
However, in the end, the Abbey was overcome by the orcish Hordes and was demolished, and the holy city of Stormwind was inhabited by orcs. The Archbishop, now St. Faol, and the rest of the remaining southern clergy made way with the rest of the survivors to the shores of Lordaeron, where they met now St. Terenas and his armies and the bulk of the northern clergy.
With this defeat, the First Orcish War ended, but the worst was to come. The clerics and the church as a whole, however, lost no faith. Despite the loss of the bulk of their records and greatest holy relics, the Church presses on with the revitalized Alliance.
The Archbishop Faol was a wise man, and knew that the Alliance would be decimated and humanity ended if he did not make radical change in the church. He founded the Holy Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand, commemerating the Tyrian myth, as a holy weapon for the war.
The new Order was armored in holy plate and wielded holy magic not unlike the holy priests and clerics before them. Highlord Uther was coronated the Grand Master of this new holy order, and the holy paladins turned the tide of the war.
Can anyone tell me the first five paladins that were anointed?
Though Lordaeron was greatly affected and many martyrs were made, the war ended in victory for the Alliance. The orcs were chased to the Dark Portal and the Dark Portal was destroyed.
The Church was left to recuperate from its major losses of holy clerics. The Archbishop ordered several new churches built in honor of all of the martyrs that were made, including the Cathedral of Light. The Abbey was rebuilt.
The Church suffered the loss of the Light's Dawn Cathedral. The King Greymane demanded that the clerics inside of the Greymane wall were loyal to him after its erection, and the Cathedral, its bishop, and its clergy were shut off from the rest of the Church world.
The Church's standing on the camps of orcs that were made was diverse, however most agreed that this was a sign of mercy to a devilish race and that it was their only chance to ever become civilized.
Not long after the Cathedral of Light was finished, the Archbishop Faol died in his old age. While the Church was solemnly and truly regretful, they were confident that Faol watched over them through the Light and named him a saint. The question over who would inherit his cathedra was at hand.


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