Liturgies for the People

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

The Theatre in Dougga, Tunisia, from the Sôgmô's visit to Tunisia in 2010 as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic People's Republic of Sandus.
The theatre in Dougga, Tunisia, from the Sôgmô’s visit to Tunisia in 2010 as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic People’s Republic of Sandus.

As our Nation-State begins to prepare for the Second Philia Advance, the history of cultural advances take a renewed importance. In the most recent studies of history, the State has become aware of a cultural system of liturgies, or leitourgía (λειτουργία), which represent many major innovative cultural achievements of the Athenian Golden Age. Liturgies in Ancient Athens were commissioned by the Assembly (Ekklēsia, ἐκκλησία) and were delegated to the rich for their performance and construction, which inflated the rich citizens’ esteem. These liturgies, which often resulted in plays held for religious festivals such as the City Dionysia, were financed at the expense of commissioned citizens and yielded many wonderful plays which are still famous today: Sophocles’ Oedipos Tyrannos and Antigone; Aristophanes’s Lysistrata and the Acharnians. These plays represent the system of commissioning cultural projects by the collective community.

In Socialist Sandus, we can yield similar results. Indeed, in a way, this sort of system is already found here in Sandus as the Sôgmô takes his own private initiative to advance the Sandum culture often times and works to encourage other citizens’ to take part in the construction of the Sandum culture. It is as a result of our own sort of proto-liturgical cultural system that Sandus has created some key aspects of its culture. Sandus is known throughout the world for its cultural achievement — a distinction we accept with humility — and a formal system of liturgies will yield even more advances.

When one questions if the liturgical system is capitalist or socialist, it can yield unclear answers. Some may consider that the products of the liturgies represent private enterprise and would be a shameful mark for Socialist Sandus. However, is this truly so? When the Sôgmô asked the Renasian Meritarch, Jacob Tierney, the same question, both yielded the same conclusion: no, not if the product is collectively owned by the nation, attributed to the author, and free for use. Furthermore, in the case of the rights of life established in the Founding Law of the State of Sandus, the right to cultural expression is entrenched in the law.

If Sandus is to replicate the Ekklesia’s commissioning of cultural projects, how then should Sandus form and operate its own liturgical system? The Ekklesia of Athens chose rich Athenian citizens because of the costs involved, and this yielded honour (timê or τιμη) for the rich citizen. In Sandus, however, we do not honour wealth but the meritocratic value of the Sandum Value, the Sandum Philosophy, and Sandum Socialism. Instead, we ought to possess a liberal liturgical system by opening the liturgical system up to all citizens and encourage all to take part, perhaps even commissioning the honour for those who show high esteem in their work. By doing so, the average citizen’s dedication to the Sandum Nation-State shall grow and the State shall accomplish the newest objection of the State: “Open Sandus to the World”. By portraying the Sandum culture and the Sandum Philosophy in cultural means, others can begin to understand how the Sandum Philosophy can be applicable to all and the benefits of the Sandum Nation. Not only shall this benefit the Sandum Citizens’ resolve but it shall also work to further grow our culture and define the Philosophy.

Already liturgies are being planned under this now-defined system. The Sôgmô has just recently completed the 2013 Armilustrium Musical Concert and is preparing new cultural innovations for this upcoming season after the Armilustrium. The Sôgmô is preparing, as well, for a new line of plays based off the tales of Cadmus of Thebes, such as Sophocles’s Theban plays, which shall explore important values of the Sandum culture and the Sandum Philosophy. The first of these plays shall be on multiculturalism, autonomy, and the value of independence and shall be presented from the point of view of Cadmus of Thebes; this first play shall be prepared for Athena’s Day. Noncitizens are even taking part in perpetuating the Sandum Philosophy through the liturgies. One narrative piece is being prepared for XX Novembro (20 November) when the State commemorates its first Transgender Day of Remembrance. With this new day of recognition, a former lover of the Sôgmô will publish a narrative article in Veritum Sandus on being transgender. Already the universal values of the Sandum Philosophy and the Sandum culture are being perpetuated and expressed by the new liturgical system.

How, then, should liturgies be prepared in a manner appropriate for the Sandum Nation-State? The personal initiative of citizens is esteemed, yet so is the commission by the appropriate authorities for cultural projects. In this way, citizens may either raise their own personal liturgies or be commissioned by the People for their liturgies. As being commissioned reflects the ownership of the liturgy by the city and for all posterity, so too should a private initiative be so. Both the personal initiative and the commissioned initiative be dedicated to the People, to the Sandum Philosophy, and to all. The individual citizen who organised and creates the liturgy is attributed and honoured for his work, as is the case in all Socialist work – where the workers are attributed and honoured. Finally, the liturgies should be a reflection of the People’s held values and should encourage the citizens to reflect and analyse them from disciplined or partial points of view. Further guidelines ought to be established and respected according to the times.

As Sandus begins its trek into the time of the Second Philia Advance, the Sandum People ought to dedicate themselves to a general liturgy, a general cultural project, in which we define the Philosophy, advance the Culture, and make public and open to the world our Nation-State. For this, a liturgical system itself must be commissioned by the legitimate sovereign authorities of the State of Sandus.

— Sôgmô Sörgel