View Full Version : Church sessions and the Afterlife

16-02-2011, 14:58
What is the Ecclesiarchy's method of spreading the word? They have huge temples, so they must have giant masses delivered to their flocks. On what days? Every day? What happens in these masses? Are they tightly guarded from possible chaos "terrorist" types attempting to kill loads of worshippers?

Or is it more Vedic? The temple is simply a place people go to when they need/want to and appeal to the gods? Are the priests more like counsellors one would consult for individual matters rather than being given a set allegory/reading from the Emperor-Bible?


What is the Imperium's offcial view on the afterlife? I'm guessing each culture on each planet has its own ideas - but what do the Ecclesiarchy preach? Some kind of "One with the Emperor" heaven thing?

With that in mind - what do the Space Marines think happens? They don't worship the Emperor in the same way, so they don't subscribe to the Eccelsiarchy's theories. I'm guessing they think they join their Primarch or go to Valhalla (looking at you, Wolves) or something

Any ideas?

16-02-2011, 15:23
This is the 40k universe, so therefore...

It Depends.

To start with, the massive cathedrals would only be in planetary capitals at best, maybe only sub-sector capitals. Most churches would be much smaller, more like local parish churches, who probably wouldn't even get any Sororitas guards, relying on local militias if anything goes wrong.

There'd probably be some forms of service everyday, with attendance depending on the piety of the world, but at the very least, nearly everyone would attend a weekly service, and religious events, whilst a good proportion would go to a daily service after they've finished their work for the day.

Confession and individual prayers - yes.

What is the Imperium's offcial view on the afterlife? I'm guessing each culture on each planet has its own ideas - but what do the Ecclesiarchy preach? Some kind of "One with the Emperor" heaven thing?

There's a lot of references to dead Marines/ Guard going to spend eternity by the Emperor's side (must be a timeshare type arrangement ;)), so I guess they believe in a heaven-type afterlife, although that may be to compare against the "your soul the eternal plaything of creatures best left unimagined" for siding with chaos.

16-02-2011, 17:14
A good way to view the Ecclesiarchy would be a kind of extreme catholicism, raninging from rich and powerful archbishops, through to almost impoverished local preachers and confessors. Think about the range of worship from Rome to the most out of the way rainforest village...

EVERY day is a prayer day, the celebration of some event, saint etc. and that can either be celebrated in a huge catherdral with loads of pomp & circumstance or by a few folk at their local shrine with their local confessor.

The Feast of the Emperor's Ascension seems to be the most mentioned Ecclesiarchy event and could be considered to be an equivalent of Easter, but more about sacrifice and martyrdom than chocolate. :(

As for precise theology, I'd bet that 'one with the Emperor' is the standard line, it's suitably vague, yet appealing to the average adept.

As for the Astartes, they don't believe in an afterlife, having an utterly secular outlook. They serve the Emperor in life and in death - afterwards, their gene-seed goes back to the chapter and their work continues.

Bleak? Yes.
Pragmatic? Yes.
The best way to avoid being tempted by Chaos? Maybe.

16-02-2011, 17:28
"Blood of Martyrs" RPG supplement has answers for most of your questions. While most of these answers are "it depends" due to GW forbidding them from going into detail or inconsistent background, that book still is the best source on Ecclesiarchy.

17-02-2011, 08:47
'Blood of Martyrs' is good, as Idaan says.

Closer to home you might try: