Rituaal voor de installatie als Knight of St. John the Evangelist
Deze engelse versie van dit rituaal dateert uit 1996. In Nederland wordt een nederlandse vertaling gebruikt die overeenstemt met deze versie.
Ceremony of Introduction of a Novice and Conferment of Knighthood in a Commandery
The Commandery is fully lighted,
all candles lit and the lighted transparency is exposed.
Mar. informs Beadle when all is ready.
Cmdr. Knocks *: I declare this Holy Commandery of Knights of St. John the Evangelist duly formed.
Knocks * * * * * * *. Knocks answered by Wdr. and Bdle.
The Prior opens the Bible on the Altar at Matthew chap. 28, v. 6.; the Guardian opens the Bible on the Sepulchre at John chap. 1, v. 1-5.
Vgr. Outside the door knocks * * * * * * *.
Wdr. opens door: Who art thou?
Vgr.: A Knight Mason. I have visited the ruins pf the ancient temple, and have discovered the Gospel of our Holy Patron.
Wdr.: I will report the discovery to the Most Enlightened Commander. Closes door. Most Enlightened Commander, Brother Knight …, who was sent to visit the ruins of the ancient temple, returns from there, havig found the Gospel of our Holy Patron.
Cmdr.: It is a precious treasure. Admit him.
Vgr. And Can., holding the scroll in his right hand, enter and the door is closed. Harbinger takes charge of Can. and both await Lieuts who, with swords drawn, advance to the door and point their swords at Can.'s breast.
1st. Lieut.: Give me the pass-word.
Lieuts and Vgr. resume their stalls. Harb. Places Can. between the columns in the West, facing East.
Cmdr.: Noble Knight, we are informed that you have discovered a sacred treasure. Relate the circumstances thereof.
Harb.: Having proceeded to the ruins of Herod's Temple I found that the Empreor Julian had commenced the erection of another building on that ancient site.
I was compelled to assist the labourers who were working on the foundations and, on the removal of one of the stones, a vault was discovered. As the interior could not be clearly seen owing to its great depth, I was ordered to descend and ascertain its contents. My fellow-workmen lowered me by means of a rope, when I found that a considerable quantity of water had accumulatied on the floor of the vault, while in the midst, and scarcely above its surface, there rose a column on top of which lay a book wrapped in a fine linen cloth.
I made no further discovery, and taking possession of the book was drawn up again to the light. No sooner was the volume opened than a great fear fell upon all present, both Jews and Greeks, for at the very beginning, in large characters, were written the words "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." It proved indeed to be a manuscript copy of the Holy Gospel according to St. John.
Now this incident, together with other miracles sent from heaven about the same time, made it evident that our Lord's prophecy of the desolation of the temple would never become void, for the Book declared that He who had uttered this was God, the Creator of all things. It showed moreover that they were toiling at that building laboured in vain, for a divine and immutable sentence had decreed its final destruction. These and similar circumstances caused all immediately to declare that Christ was God, and that it was not pleasing to Him that the temple should be restored.
Cmdr.: As a proof of your statement you will read aloud the first five verses of the sacred record. Brother Knights, to order.
Can.: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Harb. takes scroll from Can. and lays it upon the Sepulchre.
Cmdr.: As a reward for the discovery you have made, and the zeal you have shown for the Christian faith, I receive you as a novice of this Holy Order.
Cmdr. Points to the transparency and all turn to the East.
Cmdr.: Ecce Homo. Fortified by this sublime symbol, and with the words Ecce Homo ever present to our minds, I will instruct you in the mysteries of the Order. Brother Knights, resume your seats.
Dep. Mar places a stall between the columns in the West; Can. is seated.
Cmdr.: The tradition which has just been made known to you should ever impress upon your mind that the decrees of the Almighty cannot be reversed by the hand of man. Julian the Apostate attempted to rebuild the Jewish temple, but failed signally to accomplish hsi design, and, as a punishment for his sin, we find that his end was a miserable scene of blasphemy. It is narrated that when wounded by a Persian dart he endeavoured to mount his horse for a second charge on the enemy, but fell back exhausted into the arms of his attendants. Filling his hands with blood gushing from the wound, he cast it into the air and died exclaiming bitterly 'Thou has conquered, O Galilaean'. After the death of Julian, the Christian religion spread apace, except in the East, and the subsequent trials of our Brethren in that part of the world and especially in Palestine have already been related to you.
It is now my duty to explain to you the legendary origin of Masonic rites as now practised. It is said that the Crusaders, finding themselves unable to expel the Saracens from the Holy Land, agreed with Godfrey de Bouillon to veil the mysteries of religion under emblems, by which they would be enabled to maintain their devotions in secret, and secure themselves against the intrusion of trators or pretended friends. In this respect they followed examples laid down in the sacred scriptures, the style of which is figurative. The model which they selected was Solomon's Temple, which emblematically represents the Christian Church. Hence it follows that the mysteries of the craft are in reality the mysteries of religion. The Knights were, however, carefully not to entrust this important secret to any whose fidelity and discretion had not been fully proved. They therefore invented different degrees to test their candidates, and gave them only symbolical secrets without explanation, to prevent treachery and seolely to enable them to make themselves known to each other. For this purpose it was resolved to use different signs, words and tokens in each degree, by which they would be secured against the Saracens, cowans and intruders.
It was, however, only in the Master Mason's Degree that our knightly brethren began to unfold the true mystery by narrating the assassination of Hiram Abiff at the hands of false brethren. The symbolic mystery of Hiram's death represent to us that of the Messiah.
For instance, the three attacks that were made on the master builder at the three gates of the Temple allude to the three points of condemnation against Christ at the tribunals of Caiaphas the High Priest, Herod the King and Pilate the Roman Governor. It was from the last tribunal that our Lord was led to a violent and shameful death. The three blows that were given with the plumb rule, level and the heavy setting maul are also symbolic of the buffet on the cheek, the flagellation and the cruel crown of thorns.
The brethren assembled around the tomb of Hiram represent the disciples lamenting the death of Christ on the Cross. The master's words, which is said to be lost since the death of Hiram Abiff, is the same that the Messiah pronounced on the Cross, and which the Jews dod not comprehend: "Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani. Instead of these words, our ancient brethren substituted the word of our Master Mason's Degree, which signifies 'the son of the widow is slain'. This was done to guard the real secrets from traitors, warned by the example of Judas, who betrayed his Master. The sprig of acacica is the figure of the Cross, which was made of wood from an acacia tree.
The Royal Arch, referring to the captivity of the Jews, shows us the persecution of the Christians under the Roman Emperors, and their liberty under Constantine the Great.
The Red Cross Order is the first degree in which the ultimate objects of freemasonry were revealed. In the ceremony of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre the allegory was further explained. The Knights of St. John the Evangelist, however, alone received the true words; and it was only after warfare with enemies of the faith that they obtained this privilege, and were granted full communion with the holy brotherhood.
Dearly beloved Knight, your initiation of toil and blood is now finished, and there is no longer any temple, because the Lord is universally diffused, and the world has become one holy house of wisdom. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.
Prior: Let us pray. All rise. Prior stands in front of Altar, facing East. O Jesus of Nazareth, Immaculate and Immortal God, assist us in the great work which we have undertaken; aid us in making this world a temple of love and peace fitted for Thy second coming when all mysteries shall be revealed, and every heart laid bare before Thee and the angelic host of heaven. Grant, we beseech Thee, that this our brother may prove worthy of our Order; arm his soul with faith in Thee; and finally, by Thy mercy, may he attain to the realms of eternal bliss and glory. Amen.
Prior returns to his stall.
Cmdr.: Brother Knights, be seated. Brother Knight Harbinger, conduct the novice to the East.
Cmdr. takes the pyramids from the Altar: The symbols to which I now direct your attention are highly instructive and important. The pyramids, being built upon rock, shadow forth the durability of the Christian faith. Their bases were four-cornered, their external surfaces equilateral triangles, pointing to the four cardinal points; thus denoting the entire globe. The pyramidal form also reminds us of our mortality; its broad base represents the beginning, and its termination in a point the end of human life.
Cmdr. Replaces the pyramids upon the altar. Dep. Mar. places kneeling stool between the Altar and the Eastern column. Harb. places novice at kneeling stool.
Cmdr.: Brother Knights, to order.
Harb. instructs novice to kneel on the right knee. Mar. presents his sword to Cmdr.
Cmdr.: By virtue of the power vested in me, and in the presence of this holy brotherhood, I make left shoulder, create right shoulder, and constitute you head, now and forever, a Knight of the Holy Order of St. John the Evangelist, and in virtue thereof, also a Knight of the Noble and Invincible Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Be prudent, wise and valiant. Arise.
Cmdr. Returns sword to Mar.; Mar. divests the novice of the Red Cross sash. Dep. Mar. presents the insignia on a cushion to Cmdr.
Cmdr.: I invest you with the sash and jewel of the Order.
The words which you have heard , Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, are traditionally the words of the Palestinian Order of St. John and not those of the Knights who remained in Europe during the Crusades, nor those adopted by the Knights who took possession of Rhodes and Malta. We entrust them to your honour, and require no further pledge.
The sign is given by placing the right hand successively on the left breast, the forehead and the right knee. It will remind you that heart, head and knee are now dedicated to the service of the Great Master, Emmanuel, whose title may be read upon the Cross, which is an emblem of our redemption.
The grip is given by grasping each other's wrist with both hands, right to right and left to left crosswise.
Brother Knight Harbinger, you will conduct our new Brother to the West and install him as a Knight of the Order.
Harb. conducts new Knight to the stall between the columns in the West and bids him to be seated. Dep. Mar. removes kneeling stool.
Cmdr.: The brotherhood will now salute you with seven as a Knight of the Holy Order of St. John.
All give the sign seven times, under the direction of the Commander.
You will now unite with us in that bond of brotherhood which no foe can shatter nor adversity destroy.
Mar.: Brother Knights, form square in the East.
The square is formed between the Altar and the Sepulchre, with the column in the middle. On the East side are the Commander in the centre with the Seneschal on his right and the new Knight, Prior and Sub-Prior on his left. On the West side are the Captain of the Guard with the Guards on either side of him. The other Knights complete the sides.
Mar. stands at the column and announces that there should be no movement of the body or feet as the salver and the goblet are received and passed on. Mar. hands salver to Commander.
Cmdr.: Let us all take this bread, and learn to sustain one another.
Cmdr. takes a piece of bread, and hands the salver to the new Knight. The new Knight does likewise and passes the salver to the Prior. When the salver has passed round all Knights, Mar. receives it from Cmdr., partakes himself and replaces it on the column. Mar. then hands the goblet to Cmdr.
Cmdr.: With this wine let us ratify our vows in brotherhood and love.
When the goblet has passed round in the similar manner, Mar. receives it from the Cmdr., partakes himself and replaces it on the column.
Cmdr.: Thanks be to the Lord for all His mercies.
Brother Knights, let us now cease our labours and depart in peace.
Mar.: Brother Knights, resume your places and remain standing.
The Guardian of the Sacred Vault advances to the East with the Holy Bible open, and presents it to the Commander, the Seneschal, Captain of the Guards, Prior and Sub-Prior, each of whom salutes it. He then returns to the West where the new Knight salutes it. Guardian salutes Bible himself and replaces it on the Sepulchre.
Cmdr.: Our labours as Knights of the Holy Order of St. John the Evangelist being thus concluded, I close this commandery. Knocks *******, repeated by Wdr. and Bdl.
Prior and Guardian close the Bibles. Standard Bearer, with the Standard, advances to the East.
C. of G.: Knights of the Guard. To order. Form Arch of Steel in the South. March. Engage.
C. of G. takes post on Eastern flank of the arch.
Commander, preceded by the Standard Bearer and Marshal and followed by the Seneschal, Prior, Sub-Prior and Captain of the Guards, passes through the arch and leaves the Commandery.
When C. of G. reaches the Western flank of the arch: Guards. Carry swords. To the West, turn. March.
Guards leave the Commandery
Dep. Mar. dismisses the remainder of the Knights.