voor de installatie als Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine
Deze engelstalige versie van dit rituaal dateert van 1996. In Nederland wordt een vertaling van dit rituaal gebruikt, dat nagenoeg gelijk is aan deze versie.
Form of opening a Conclave
The Candles on the Altar in
the East are lighted. The standard C lies, front uppermost with the top
to the East, upon the closed Bible, on the Central Altar.
A hymn, preferably having a particular reference to the Trinitarian theme, may be sung before the Opening of the Conclave, after which all are seated.
M.P.S.: Eminent Viceroy, what is the hour?
E.V.: The hour of a Perfect Knight-Mason.
M.P.S.: What is the hour of a Perfect Knight Mason?
E.V.: The dawn of day; the sun is rising in the heavens and I behold the Sign.
M.P.S.: What is the Sign
E.V.: A Cross, the symbol of our Faith, inscribed with the initials of the Mystic Words.
M.P.S.: Since the day is dawning, and we see the Sign, it is time to resume our labours.
M.P.S. knocks *, which is repeated by E.V.
M.P.S.: Eminent Viceroy, assist me to resume the duties of this Christian Conclave.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, to order.
M.P.S.: Eminent Viceroy, what is the first duty of the Knights-Companion of this Order?
E.V.: To see that the Conclave is properly cemented, that the Herald and Sentinel are at their posts duly armed and clothed.
M.P.S.: Let the Junior Guard see that duty performed.
J.G. draws his sword, goes to door, ascertains that the Herald is at his post, knocks * ***, and when answered by the Sentinel, opens door and sees that Sentinel is at his post, duly armed and clothed; closes door and returns to station.
J.G.: Most Puissant Sovereign, I have ascertained that the Conclave is well guarded and all is secure.
M.P.S.: With what is it secured?
J.G.: With Faith in our Omnipotent Ruler, Unity and Zeal for His Holy Work. J.G. returns his sword and remains standing.
H. Prel., standing before the Altar in the East, facing East: Let us pray. Knights-Companion assume the Sign of Reverence (right hand over heart, thumb and fingers aligned). O Omnipotent and Sovereign Ruler of All, in Unity of spirit we implore Thee to grant us Faith to rebuild Thy Holy Temple and Zeal to animate our labours. Amen.
M.P.S.: Worthy Knights, in the name of Constantine, our Illustrious and Royal Founder, I declare this Conclave duly opened. Knocks * ***.
E.V., Herald and Sentinel repeat knocks. H. Prel. Opens Bible on the Altar in the East at Matthew chap. 16, v. 24. Standard Bearer, escorted by the Generals with drawn swords, raises the Standard C and sets it up in its place.
Marshal opens Bible on the Central Altar at Matthew chap. 16, v. 24, and places the Swords in position, hilts to the East. All resume their stations and remain standing. The Generals return their swords. M.P.S. sits.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, I call upon you to salute the Most Puissant Sovereign with three times 1 and 3, taking the time from me. Done. Be seated.
Ceremony of Installation
Can. is clothed as a Royal
Arch Mason (Sash, Apron and Jewel) and must confess a belief in the Christian
Trinity in Unity before he is admitted.
M.P.S.: Worthy Marshal Mar. rises, does not draw his sword, having satisfied yourself that the Candidate is a Companion of the Holy Royal Arch and professes his belief in the Christian Trinity in Unity, you will entrust and prepare him.
Mar. retires; when satisfied that Can. is a Royal Arch Mason: Do you believe in the Christian Trinity in Unity?
Can.: I do
Mar.: The pass-words which will gain your admission into the Conclave are Constantine and Matthias. You will now perform the Rite of Lustration by dipping your fingers in this bowl of water.
Mar. returns to the Conclave.
Mar.: Most Puissant Sovereign, I have entrusted and prepared our Companion …. Mar. resumes his seat.
Sentinel knocks * ***.
Her.: Eminent Viceroy, there is an arrival in the porch.
E.V.: Worthy Herald, see who approaches the Conclave.
Her. draws his sword and opens door: Who comes here?
Sent.: Companion …, who has regularly passed from the Square and Compasses and in due time has been exalted to the Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch, has been entrusted with the pass-words and now craves permission to explore the Ineffable Mysteries of the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine.
Her.: Give me the pass-words.
Can.: Constantine and Matthias.
Her.: Wait while I report your desire closes door. Most Puissant Sovereign, Companion …, who has regularly passed from the Square and Compasses and in due time has been exalted to the Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch, has been entrusted with the pass-words and now craves permission to explore the Ineffable Mysteries of our Order
M.P.S.: Worthy Herald, let him be duly admitted upon the Equilateral Triangle.
Mar. rises, draws his sword and accompanies Her. to the door. Her. admits Can., placing the sword against the breast. Her. returns sword; Mar. receives Can. and places him between E.V. and Western Pillar, facing East.
M.P.S.: give me the pass-words.
Can.: Constantine and Matthias.
M.P.S.: We have learned that you desire to be admitted into this Illustrious Order; do you promise Fidelity, Zeal and Constancy if installed as a Knight-Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine?
Can.: I do.
M.P.S.: Are you willing to obey the New Law, to take up your Cross and follow in the footsteps of the lamb, by which means alone can we hope to rebuild in our hearts the Temple of God?
Can.: I am.
M.P.S.: Worthy Prefect, place the Cross in our Companion's right hand, make him travel to the four Points of the Compass, and remember that we await your return.
Prefect presents the Cross to Can.:
Mar., silently: Officers, take post.
Mar. returns his sword and remains in the West. 1st Aide de Camp takes his post in the North, the Orator in the East, the 2nd Aide de Camp in the South, Almoner in the West.
Perfect instructs Can. to advance direct to the North Pillar by four marching steps, then halt and face the pillar.
1st A.d.C.: Companion, whom seekest thou?
1st A.d.C., indicating the letter: Pass in the name of Immanuel.
Prefect instructs Can. to advance to the East in a similar manner.
Orat.: Who directed you hither?
Can.: Hiram, the Widow's son.
Orat., indicating the letter: Pass, in the name of Hiram.
Prefect instructs Can. to advance to the South in a similar manner.
2nd. A.d.C.: Where do you hope to rest?
Can.: In Shiloh, the City of God
Prefect instructs Can. to advance to the West in a similar manner.
Almr.: From where are you descended?
Can.: From Uzziah
Almr., indicating the letter: Pass in the name of Uzziah
Prefect turns Can. to face East.
M.P.S.: State the initials of the names of the four Pillars, the last in its ancient form.
Can.: I. H. S. V.
M.P.S.: What do those letters specify?
Can.: In Hoc Signo Vinces, meaning 'In this sign thou shalt conquer.'
M.P.S.: Companion, let that be imprinted on your mind for ever, for it is the inscription on the Cross of the Order. Sovereign points to Cross on Standard of Constantine. Do you pledge your honour as a Royal Arch Companion to keep inviolate the Secrets of our Order?
Can.: I do.
M.P.S.: Are you willing to bind yourself by a solemn obligation?
Can.: I am.
Mar., silently: Officers, resume your stations.
Mar. removes the Cross from Can. and returns to his station.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, to order.
Prefect conducts Can. to the Central Altar. M.P.S. stays in his place in the East: all stand with the Sn. of Rev.
M.P.S.: You will kneel on both knees, cross your hands upon the Holy Testament, recite your names at length, and say after me:
"I, …, in the Name of the Trinity in Unity, and in the presence of the Illustrious Conclave here assembled, solemnly swear never to disclose to any of the children of men, unless to Knights-Companion faithful and true, those ancient secrets or mysteries which lawfully appertain to the Order of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine, under the penalty of being for ever condemned to a place of perpetual darkness and silence, where the Light of Masonry exists not, and the Voice of the True Word is not heard.
I likewise solemnly pledge myself to maintain and support the Statutes of the Grand Imperial Conclave of the Order, and further promise strict obedience to the lawful commands of the Most Puissant Sovereign, or his Viceroy (pause) the Venerable Eusebius, (pause) and that I will at all times hail and recognize the Symbol of our Faith when worn by a Knight-Companion of the Order. To all these points I solemnly swear fidelity, so help me the Invisible Trinity and keep me steadfast in this Sacred Obligation of a Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine."
As a pledge of inviolable fidelity, you will seal that Obligation once on the Holy Testament. Done.
You will now salute the Book again three times. Done.
Rise, and advance to the East.
Prefect conducts Can. to the East, and bids him kneel.
H. Prel. Standing before the Altar, facing East: Let us pray. Knights-Companion stand with the Sn. of Rev.
O most Glorious Trinity in Unity, grant we beseech Thee that this is our Brother, who has taken up the Cross and is about to be admitted into our Order, may dwell ever in the Light of Masonry and hearken unto the Voice of the True Word. Endue him with Wisdom and Understanding that, in Faith, Unity and Zeal, he may be enabled to rebuild in his heart Thy Mystic Temple and be found worthy of a place in Thy Kingdom now and evermore. Amen.
H. Prel. Resumes his station. M.P.S. leaves his throne and stands in front of the Altar, facing West. Mar. presents an unsheathed sword to M.P.S.
M.P.S.: By the virtue of the power which I have received from the Grand Imperial Conclave of the Order, I hereby admit touches left shoulder with sword, receive right shoulder and constitute head you, now and for ever, a Knight Companion of the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, by which you will enjoy the titles and prerogatives of a Perfect Knight-Mason.
M.P.S. returns sword to Mar.
Rise taking Can. by the right hand Worthy Knight, and receive a heartly welcome into this Illustrious Order which will ever be ready to defend and protect you.
M.P.S. resumes his Throne.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, be seated.
Mar. removes kneeling stool. Prefect conducts new Knight in front of M.P.S.
M.P.S.: I will now confide to you the mysteries of our Order.
The pass-words, as you are already aware, are Constantine and Matthias, and you were admitted into the Conclave upon the Equilateral Triangle.
The letters on the Cross on the Standard behind the Throne are the initials of the words 'In Hoc Signo Vinces', which means In this Sign thou shalt conquer and the sixteen stars have a reference to the number of letters in those words.
M.P.S. rises: The first part of the Sign is made by placing the right hand, with the fingers and thumb forming a square, across the forehead, as if shielding the eyes. To this a Knight Companion of the Order replies by giving the second part of the Sign by placing the first two fingers of the right hand upon his lips. Together these form the complete Sign, and refer to the penalties of your Obligation; the first part alluding to darkness, the second part to silence.
The first part is used when addressing the Most Puissant Sovereign of his Eminent Viceroy, the Venerable Eusebius.
When standing in order in this Degree, the sword when drawn is held at the carry; otherwise the Knights Companion stand at attention.
The Grip is given by crossing the hands, thus forming a double triangle, and mutually giving the eagle-grip with both hands, and in this position the words In Hoc Signo Vinces are exchanged. Demonstrates.
The Grand and Ineffable Word is given by raising the grip and beneath it pronouncing the word Adonhiram. It refers to the Ascension and Triumph of our Lord. It was also the name of King Solomon's Intendant of Works on Mount Lebanon, and is said to have been adopted by the College of Architects in Rome as the word of their degree so as to perpetuate his name for ever.
This word must never be pronounced until you have received the most convincing proofs by grip and sign that the Brother is entitled to receive it.
M.P.S. resumes his Throne: Worthy Perfect, you will conduct our newly-entrusted Knight Companion to the Eminent Viceroy that he may be invested with the Insignia of the Order; after which, you will place him in his appointed Stall and the Herald will proclaim his Installation.
Prefect conducts the new Knight to the E.V.
Pref.: Eminent Viceroy, by command of the Most Puissant Sovereign, I present to you the Worthy Knight Companion …, and pray that you will invest him with the Insignia of his rank.
Mar. presents Insignia (sash, jewel and sword) on a cushion to E.V.
E.V.: Worthy Knight …, I divest you, now a Perfect Knight-Mason, of the clothing of toil and care, and reward your patience and perseverance with this sash, the symbolic badge of our Order, and place upon your breast this jewel, the emblem of our mysteries, in token of your eminence.
Pref. places scabbard in the sash.
E.V.: I commit you in charge of this sword, an emblem of that spiritual warfare with sin, which you are now, more than ever, expected to maintain; should foes or false friends approach our Sanctuary, I feel sure that you will wield it with prudence and zeal under the Generals of Knightly Fraternity.
Return your sword.
Pref. conducts the new Knight to his Stall between E.V. and the Western Pillar, and bids him to be seated. Mar. conducts Herald to South-West.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, to order.
Her.: Worthy Knights, be it known that, in the Name of our Illustrious and Royal Founder and by command of the Most Puissant Sovereign, I hereby proclaim that … has this day been admitted, received, constituted and installed a Knight Companion of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, whom may the Holy and Indivisible Three-in-One long preserve.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, I call upon you to salute our newly-installed Knight Companion with three times 1 and 3, taking te time from me. Done. Be seated.
Pref. directs the new Knight to rise, give the first part of the sign and resume his seat. Mar. resumes his seat.
M.P.S.: The Orator will now recite to you the Legend of the Foundation of the Order.
Orat.: According to the traditions, this Illusttrious and Chivalric Order was founded by the great Roman Emperor Constantine after the battle of Saxa Rubra in the year of our Lord 312 in which he finally defeated his rival emperor Maxentius. It was founded as a memorial of the Divine miracle which led to his conversion to the Christian faith, and as a reward of the valour and constancy of certain of his soldiers.
Our Order is therefore not only a most ancient but a most honourable institution of Christian Knighthood; and it behoves us, beloved Knights, to prize the privileges descended to us from those worthy men, and ever to remember the watchwords of the Order: Faith, Unity, Zeal.
Before relating the circumstances of the conversion of the Emperor, a conversion that produced the most momentous results, I will recall that our Royal Founder had been initiated into the mysteries of the Collegium Artificium at Rome and had attained to the position of Magister. This early training doubtless had enlightened his mind and predisposed him eagerly to desire a more complete knowledge of the unknown God, the worship of Whom formed the core of one of the ancient mysteries, so that when he assumed the imperial purple not even the cares of the empire or the responsibilities of command could eradicate those early impressions or restrain his profound research after truth and wisdom.
The manner of his conversion is thus related: upon an evening, during the march of his army on Rome, Constantine was meditating on the fate of sublunary things and the dangers of his expedition, and, sensible of his own inability to succed without divine assistance, he supplicated heaven to grant him inspiration and wisdom to choose the right path. The Great Architect of the Univers heard his prayer, for as the sun was setting, suddenly there appeared in the heavens a pillar of light in the shape of a cross, with the inscription I.H.S.V., meaning 'In Hoc Signo Vinces'. So extraordinary a phenomenon created the utmost astonishment in the minds of the Empreor and his army and the pagans deemed it a most inauspicious omen. But the next day Constantine, reassured by the visions of that night, caused a Royal Standard to be made bearing as a device a Cross like that which he had seen in the heavens and he ordered that it should always be carried before him in his wars as an ensign of victory and celestial protection.
The tradition then relates that thereupon several Christians among the soldiers came forward and openly avowed their faith, and that the Emperor, to commemorate the event, directed them to wear on their armour a Red Cross with sixteen stars denoting the sixteen letters of the mystic words.
On reaching the Capital, Constantine, with the assistance of Eusebius, is said to have opened a Conclave of Knights of the Order, and thereafter these valiant and illustrious men formed the personal bodyguard of their Sovereign.
The rose and lily were adopted by our Royal Founder as emblems of the Divine Being he had learned to adore. Mystically, they represent the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
Among the other acts of Constantine, his encouragement of learning is conspicuous. He also ordered that the Scriptures should be carefully kept and frequently read in all churches, and he devoted a fourth part of his revenues to the relief of the poor and to other pious purposes. On this account his memory will abide in the minds of good men and Christian masons until time shall be no more.
Mar., with drawn sword, conducts the new Knight to M.P.S., who shews him the Warrant, and presents him with copies of the Statutes of the Grand Imperial Conclave, and By-Laws of the Conclave and the history of the Order. Mar. conducts the new Knight to his place in the Conclave. Mar. returns his sword and resumes his seat.
Form of closing a Conclave
Viceroy, what is the hour?
E.V.: Most Puissant Sovereign, the day is at an end.
M.P.S.: Since the day is at an end it is time to cease our labours. Worthy Senior General, what is your duty before we close the Conclave?
S.G., rises: To see that the Conclave is properly guarded.
M.P.S.: Performe that duty.
S.G. draws sword, goes direct to door, ascertains that the Her. is at his post; knocks * *** and, when answered by Sentinel, opens door and sees that Sentinel is at his post duly armed. S.G. closes door and returns to his station.
S.G.: Most Puissant Sovereign, the Conclave is properly guarded and all is well. S.G. returns his sword and resumes his seat.
M.P.S.: Eminent Viceroy, what are the last duties to be performed?
E.V.: To deposit the Standard of our Illustrious and Royal Founder upon the Altar, and to crave a blessing upon the work.
M.P.S.: Let the Royal Standard be deposited in due form.
Mar.: Worthy Knights, to order.
Standard Bearer, escorted by the Generals with drawn swords, advances, takes down the Standard C and carries it to the East of the Central Altar. Mar. removes the swords and closes the Bible. Standard Bearer lays the Standard C, front uppermost and with top to the East, upon the closed Bible. Generals return their swords. All resume their stations.
M.P.S.: Let us invoke a blessing on our work.
H. Prel., standing before the Altar in the East, facing East: Let us pray. Knights Companion assume the Sn. of Rev. Mysterious and Eternal Trinity, deign to bless the work of our hands and grant that the faith and zeal which inspired our Royal Founder may be imparted to us. Enable us to take up the cross and follow in the footsteps of the Lamb, teach us to carry out in our daily life the Divine principles of Charity and Truth, and finally admit us to that Immortal Temple, not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. Amen. All discharge Sn. of Rev.
M.P.S.: Eminent Viceroy, our last duties having been performed, you will now close the Conclave. Knocks * ***.
E.V.: Worthy Knights, in the Name of Constantine, our Illustrious and Royal Founder, and by command of the Most Puissant Sovereign, I declare this Conclave duly closed. Knocks * ***.
The knocks are repeated by the Herald and the Sentinel. H. Prel. closes the Bible on the Altar in the East. All assume Sn. of Rev.
H. Prel.: Nothing now remains but, in accordance with ancient custom, to lock up our secrets in a safe repository, ever rememebering the watchwords of our Order: Faith, Unity, Zeal.