The following issue of the FairMormon Papers and Reviews was written by Andrew I. Miller.
The Greek word musterion (most commonly plural: musteria) had a specific meaning in the ancient world during the early Christian era. It is, of course, the etymological source of our English word “mystery” which denotes something that is secret or hidden. But musterion had another meaning in the ancient world. Being derived from the verb muo, “to shut the mouth,” musterion was used to refer to an esoteric ritual wherein silence was imposed upon the initiates.
These esoteric rituals or musteria were used to impart knowledge and hidden wisdom in the Greek mystery cults, and, as we shall see, the musteria were also well and alive in the early Christian Church.