Ritual of the 17th Degree
of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
Knight of the East and West
The Preceptory. Officers and Decorations
Bodies of this degree are styled Preceptories: and each regularly consists of twenty-four members only. All others are deemed adjunct members.
The Chamber of Council of the Preceptory is regularly in the shape of a Heptagon formed of seven columns, with white curtains draped between the columns in such a manner that the members outside of the Chamber of Council may view what cakes place in Council. Halfway down each column, beginning with the column in the Southeast and going round by the Southwest and North to the Northeast, diagonally across each, in gilded letters, on a white scroll, are the words, respectively, "Union," "Honour," "Duty," "Loyalty," "Courage," "Discretion," "Silence."
The Altar is placed in the East of the Heptagon, upon it is the Book of the Seven Seals, closed, with the Seals facing the West. There is also a small vessel of oil on the Altar for anointing the Candidate.
Nine chairs draped with white, for the Officers, placed as follows: The Venerable Preceptor in the East, in front of Altar. Senior Warden in the West. Junior Warden in the South. Orator in the North. Master of Ceremonies on the right of Junior Warden. Almoner on the left of Orator. Expert on the right of Orator. Assistant Expert on the left of Junior Warden. Captain of the Guard on the right of Senior Warden.
Three small pedestals draped with white placed at the Venerable Preceptors. Senior Warden’s and Junior Wardens chairs,
Medium-sized table draped with white in centre of Chamber of Council, upon which are three lighted candles placed in the form of a triangle. A large glass bowl of water and hand towel. A small glass of perfumed water. Some form of instrument, such as a hot coil, to be used for the Baptism by Fire. Also tray with instruments for blood-test.
The Officers who work the degree
Faithful Brother Senior Warden
Faithful Brother Junior Warden
Faithful Brother Orator
Faithful Brother Almoner
Faithful Brother Master of Ceremonies
Faithful Brother Expert
Faithful Brother Assistant Expert
Faithful Brother Captain of the Guard
Faithful Brother Sentinel
The Master represents John the Baptist. The Officers and Members his most eminent disciples among the Essenes.
The Officers are all clothed in white robes. The Venerable Preceptor’s robe has collar and cuffs edged with red and a red girdle. Senior Warden yellow with yellow girdle. Junior Warden blue with blue girdle. All the others violet with violet girdle.
The Apron is of yellow silk, triangular in shape. and lined and edged with crimson On it. in the centre, is the Tetracrys, in dots of gold.
The Order is a broad, white, watered ribbon worn from right to left, crossed by a black one of equal width, worn from left to right. The Jewel is suspended from the latter.
The Jewel is a heptagonal medal half gold, half silver.
On one side is engraved, at the angles, the letters B.D.W.P.H.G.F. (Beauty, Divinity, Wisdom, Power, Honour, Glory, Force).
In the centre of it, on the same side, is a lamb lying on a book with seven seals, on which seals are respectively the same letters.
On the reverse side are two swords crosswise, points upward, and the hilts resting on an even balance: at the angles are the initials of the names of the Seven Churches of Asia. E.S.P.T.S.P.L. (Ephesus. Sardis, Philadelphia, Thyatira, Smyrna. Pergamos, Laodicea).
Each Brother wears under the jewel, order and apron, a long white robe, and on his head a circlet of gold, or gilded metal, like a coronet.
Book of Seven Seals
The seven seals are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.
In working the degree the Book is sealed with the seven seals and each seal must break and the Book open automatically at the proper time in the work.
It is optional for die candidates to be admitted and seated before the Officers enter the Council Chamber rather than at the point specified later in the Ritual.
Officers enter Council Chamber in procession, walking slowly. On arriving at Stations all stand facing East. Venerable Preceptor faces West raps * and Officers face inwards. Venerable Preceptor raps * all seated.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Captain of the Guard, the first duty of Knights of the East and West in Council?
C. of G.: To see that they are secure from intrusion. Venerable Preceptor.
Ven. Prec.: See to that, my Brother, and caution the Sentinel to be vigilant: for we are about to open this Preceptory. and must not be disturbed by the profane or the Pharisees.
The C. of G. goes out, gives the password for the night to the Sentinel, returns and reports:
C. of G.: Venerable Preceptor. the Sentinel is posted at the outer door, and has the password for the night.
Ven. Prec.: It is well. Faithful Brother Assistant Expert. What is your duty as a Knight of the East and West?
Assist. Ex.: To work, to reflect and to pray.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Expert, what is your duty as a Knight of the East and West?
Bro. Exp.: To hope, to crust and to believe.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Master of Ceremonies, what is your duty as a Knight of the East and West?
M. of C.: To be vigilant, that the bad, the base and the selfish may not enter the ranks of the faithful.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Almoner, what is your duty as a Knight of the East and West?
Almoner: To relieve the distressed widow and orphan, and minister to the wants of my brethren.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Orator, your duty as such?
Orator: To teach the truths that are hidden in allegories, and concealed by the symbols of Masonry.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Junior Warden, your duty?
Jun.War.: To revere God and love men: to be just and humane: to be true to all men.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Senior Warden, your duty?
Sen. War.: To bear persecution with patience and affliction with resignation: to despise death and prepare for eternity.
Ven. Prec.: The duty of the Venerable Preceptor?
Sen. War.: To preach the truth in the desert of Human Life; to proclaim the approach of the New Law; to instruct and baptize the accepted candidate; to judge with justice; and to expound, in its true sense, the Old Law.
Ven. Prec.: I recognize the duty. Faithful Brother Senior Warden, what is the hour?
Sen. War.: It is the hour before day. The Morning Star glitters in the East on the shoulders of the hills over the desert, and The Seven are low in the North.
Ven. Prec.: The dawn of the New Day approaches, bringing with it Light and the New Law. The time cometh and the Man. Face the East, my Brethren.
The Brethren all rise and face the East. Venerable Prec. repeats the fallowing prayer:
Hear us, Our Father, God of the ancient Patriarchs. Whom they adored on the plains of Chaldea. Be gracious onto us and send us the Dawn of Day. Oh! Our Father, send us Thy Light to be the Life of men, Help us to love Thee and one another, and to serve Thee without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.
The organ then plays and the I3retltren sing the following hymn which is optional:
Day-spring of eternity.
Dawn on us this morning-tide:
Light from Lights exhaustless sea.
Now no more thy radiance hide:
Let thy glories put to flight
All the shades and cares of night.
Ven. Prec. faces West. Officers face inwards.
At the end of the hymn, the Ven. Prec. knocks *. the brethren are seated.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Junior Warden, announce to the Brethren that the first faint blush of the morning dawn, long awaited, begins to dim the splendour of the Morning Star, and this Preceptorv is about to he opened, charging them according to ancient custom.
Jun. War.: Faithful Brethren Essenes, that wait for the Light and the New Law, the first faint light of the coming dawn, long awaited, begins to dim the splendour of the Morning Star. The glittering Seven fade into the far North and the day cometh, and this Preceptory is about to be opened.
Ven. Prec.: Obey the statutes and judgements and the laws of the Lord your God and it shall be well with you and your children.
Faithful Brother Captain of the Guard, Inform the Sentinel that we are at labour. The Captain of the Guard does so and returns to his station.
This Preceptory is now open in due form. Raps *.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Master of Ceremonies, you will now retire and introduce the candidates, so that they may listen to the Prologue. Done.
Ven. Prec.: My Brethren, as in the course of your pilgrimage you will see portrayed the life, habits and piety of the Essenes, let me inform you briefly of the history and customs of that noble Order.
For many years our main sources of information concerning the Essenes were chiefly three: Josephus, a Jewish historian of Essene times; Philo, a contemporary Jewish philosopher of that day; and Pliny, the Elder, a Roman and a friend of the Hebrews. However, in recent times our knowledge of the plans, position, and purposes of this Order has been greatly enlarged and reinforced by the discovery in the caves in and about Qumran in the hill country of Judaea of the now famous "Dead Sea Scrolls", many of which are factual pictures of Essene life. This modern discovery of the Scrolls reveals that the ancient sources from which the writers of our drama drew their portrait of the Essenes are basically true.
We now know that the Essenes, as an organized group in Palestine, came into existence about the year 75 B.C. and continued as a group for about 150 years. In other words, the Essenes overlapped the period of time just prior to and including the beginning of the Christian era. It might be said that in one sense they were the forerunners of the Christian Faith. The exact origin of the Order is as much a mystery as is their quiet disintegration. It is reasonable to assume, however, that the Order came into being as a continuation of a long line of practical, pious Hebrews who spent their days endeavouring to practice the Law and live a life in strict accord with what they believed to be the will of Jehovah. The Scrolls vindicate this and reveal that these folk carried on a sort of social evangelism which would purge Israel of social sin and establish them as a people acceptable to the Lord. Pliny writes, "On the western shore of the Dead Sea, the Essenes have withdrawn to a sufficient distance to avoid its noxious effects — a solitary people, and extraordinary beyond all others in the whole world, who live without women and have renounced all commerce with Venus, of money they have none, having the palms for their only companions."
The Essenes, writes Josephus, "occupy no one city but settle in large numbers in every town." They lived in organized communities which were grouped around a centre where they came together for meals. They held all their goods in common. They paid scrupulous attention to cleanliness and always dressed in white. They cultivated the earth or devoted themselves to peaceful arts and were closely bound together in a fraternal equality in which there were no slaves and no masters, believing as they did that human brotherhood is the natural relationship of man.
Piety was the paramount adornment of an Essene. They warned men to flee from the wrath to come and called men everywhere to prepare themselves for the coming of a new era or the Messiah. The time comes and the Man. They went about quietly and tried to influence those who were inclined to their pious purpose.
My Brethren, these are the Essenes of history and as portrayed in drama on our stage. They stand for the basic virtues of piety, purity, discipline, equality and brotherhood. They teach that these virtues can only be socially dynamic by example and from their story we learn that faith held even in tribulation will yet see the coming of a new day of purity and peace when righteousness shall be supreme and men shall tread the earth in lasting brotherhood.
As I suggested earlier, the Essenes may be thought of as being forerunners of the Christian Faith. They might be looked upon as preparing the way for the Christian faith by their confident expectation of a greater day when the Messiah would come and a new era of righteousness would dawn. It has been thought by some that John the Baptist was a member of the Essenes. Whether he was or not, we cannot be certain. But of this we can be sure, when John the Baptist proclaimed his familiar words. "Prepare ye the way or the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God", he was in direct line with the position and thinking of the Essene Order.
My Brethren, I suggest o you that the 17th Degree will he very meaningful to you if you will look upon it as a forerunner of what will come in the Following Degree. It is in a sense a bridge between what has gone before and what is to come. In short, the important lessons learned in the 17th Degree about to be unfolded are meant to prepare your minds for the 18th Degree, in which Jesus of Nazereth is presented as an inspiring example, the great Exemplar, who taught the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood or God.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brethren Master of Ceremonies and Assistant Expert, you will retire with the representative candidate and prepare him to receive this degree.
The Candidate is received in the preparation room by the M. of C. who divests him of any regalia and jewels. He is then made to bare his feet and place them in slippers, and a hair-cloth is thrown over his shoulders, fastened together in front at the throat and confined round the waist by a girdle of leather. He is then conducted to the door of the Lodge. M. of C. raps * ** *** * at the door and it is partly opened by the C. of G. who asks:
C. or G.: Who seeks admission and with what purpose?
M. or C.: A weary traveller who, having crossed the desert, wanders on the shore of the Dead Sea in darkness seeking for light.
C. of G.: What does he desire?
M. of C.: To know the mysteries of the Twenty-four Elders.
C. of G.: Whence comes he?
M. of C.: From the school of Philosophy, and the feet of the Pharisees and Kabbalists.
C. of G.: By what title does he expect to gain admission here?
M. of C.: By that of a Prince Jerusalem and a patient and humble searcher after Truth.
C. of G.: Do you vouch for this?
M. of C.: I do.
C. of G.: Then let him wait with patience and humility until the Elders are informed of his request.
C. of G. closes door and returns to place.
Jun. War.: Faithful Brother Captain of the Guard, who seeks admission and with what purpose?
C. of G.: A weary traveller who, having crossed the desert, wanders on the shore of the Dead Sea in darkness, seeking for light.
Jun. War.: What does he desire?
C. or G.: To know the mysteries of the Twenty-four Elders.
Jun. War.: Whence comes he?
C. of G.: From the schools of Philosophy and the feet of the Pharisees and Kabbalists.
Jun. War.: By what title does he expect to gain admission here?
C. of G.: By that of a Prince of Jerusalem and a patient and humble searcher after Truth.
Jun. War.: Venerable Preceptor, it is a weary traveller who, after crossing the desert, wanders on the shore of the Dead Sea in darkness, seeking the Light, desiring to know our mysteries. He comes from the schools of Philosophers and the feet of the Pharisees and Kabbalists, and claims to be a Prince of Jerusalem and a patient and humble searcher after Truth.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Captain of the Guard, you will place the Candidate in the West.
C. of G. admits Candidate. M. of C. and Asst. Ex. and places them in West outside of Council Chamber.
C. of G.: Venerable Preceptor, the Candidate is duly placed in the West.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Orator, go to this Candidate and strictly examine if he be a Prince of Jerusalem and if his principles be such that we may fitly admit him among us.
Orator goes out and questions him as follows. M. of C. prompting Candidate:
Orator: Do you declare that, uninfluenced by idle curiosity, or the desire of worldly advantage, or any unworthy motive, but as an honest seeker after Truth, you have come hither?
Cand.: I do.
Orator: Are you a Mason?
Cand.: I am.
Orator: To what Degree have you attained?
Cand.: To that of Prince of Jerusalem.
Orator: Give me the password of a Prince of Jerusalem.
Orator: The Sacred Word?
Orator: The Sign?
Orator: The Token?
Orator: What have you found in the desert?
Cand.: Patience and Submission.
Orator: What lesson have you learned on the shores of the Dead Sea?
Cand.: Humility and Veneration.
Orator: What do you expect to find among us?
Cand.: The True Light.
Orator: It is not yet day. We have but reached Truth’s threshold, but we advance. Would you advance with us?
Cand.: I would.
Orator: Have you always, hitherto, to the best of your ability, been mindful of your Masonic Obligations and striven to comply with them in spirit and in truth?
Cand.: I have.
Orator: Have you ever wronged a Brother without afterward repenting and making reparation?
Cand.: I have not.
Orator: Have you any dissension or quarrel with a Brother Prince of Jerusalem unreconciled?
Cand.: I have not.
Orator: It is well. Wait again with patience until the Elders are informed of the answers you have made.
Orator and M. of C. enter the Preceptory and advance to the East. Orator says:
Orator: Venerable Preceptor, the Candidate has satisfactorily answered the fourteen questions.
Ven. Prec.: My Brethren, you hear the report of our Faithful Brother Orator. Shall the Candidate be received? If you assent give me the sign.
All who assent give the sign. If it is unanimously assented to Ven. Prec. says:
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Master of Ceremonies, you will please receive and introduce the Candidate.
M. of C goes out. Orator retires to Station. M. of C. leads in Candidate, the Asst. Expert coming in with them and taking his Station. The room is lighted dimly by three candles on the table in the centre. The Brethren, except the Ven. Prec. stand facing the East. M. of C. conducts Candidate seven times around the room, the Officers repeating at each circuit as follows:
1. Orator: He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches: To him that overcometh wilt I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
2. Jun. War.: He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt at the second death.
3. Sen. War.: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna: and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written which no man shall know but him that shall receive it.
4. Orator: To him that overcometh and laboureth in My service until the end will I give power over the nations, and his influence shall control and guide them; and I will give him the Morning Star.
5. Jun. War.: He that overcometh shall be clothed in robes of white; and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will own him as Mine before My Father and all His angels.
6. Sen. War.: He that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he shall remain there forever; and I will write upon him the name of God, and the name of the City of God, the New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of Heaven from God, and My Own New Name.
7. Ven. Prec.: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me, near My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am seated with My Father near His Throne. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent.
M of C. and Candidate then halt in front of Ven. Prec. who asks:
Ven. Prec.: My Brother, whence came you and whither do you travel?
M. of C.: From the desert and the darkness towards the Light.
Ven. Prec.: Have you found the Light?
M. of C.: Venerable Master, no! but the Seven Stars sink low in the north, the Pleiades and Orion are in the zenith, the Morning Star grows pale; the dawn, long expected, approaches.
Ven. Prec.: Light comes from God. When clouds and darkness are around us we should implore His aid; let us do so. Face the East, my Brethren.
Ven. Prec.: Our Father. Who, when darkness brooded upon the face of the vast chaos, and the universe lay a confused mass of struggling forces, without form and void, did move upon it and said. LET LIGHT BE, and light was; Thou Who did set the light against darkness and called one Day and the other Night; Thou Who did set the greater and lesser Lights in the Heavens: Thou Who brings forth Mazzaroth in his season, and guides Arcturus with his sons: enable this Candidate to find the Light for which he seeks. Let the Dawn of the New Day arise, and shine upon the clouds of error, and cause the darkness of Ignorance and Superstition to flee away and be seen no more forever. Amen.
All seated. Music. Candidate is then placed at the West side of the table in the centre of Council chamber and Ven. Prec. rising and standing at the East of the table. says:
Ven. Prec.: My Brother, the innocent and pure of heart alone can be admitted to our mysteries.
A basin of pure water and towel placed on table.
In token of that innocence and purity, and as a pledge to us that your hands shall henceforward never be defiled by covetousness. unjust gain, tyranny, oppression. injustice. baseness or fraud, you will wash them in the pure water before you. Candidate does so.
The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything: neither have they any more a reward: for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished: neither have they any more a portion forever in anything done under the sun.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say. I have no pleasure in them: while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low: also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fear shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall he a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: or even the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
My Brother, when you became a Mason, you placed your trust in God. Do you still continue to do so?
Cand.: I do.
Ven. Prec.: Do you firmly believe that there is but one God — Supreme, Infinite, Eternal, Unchangeable: that He is infinitely good, wise,just and true: and that the soul is immortal?
Cand.: I do.
Ven. Prec.: Kneel, then, and be consecrated to the service of Truth.
Candidate kneels in front of Ven. Prec. as he stands near the table. yen. Prec. rakes in his hand a small quantity of perfumed water from a basin and pours it on his head, saying: In imitation of our ancient Masters. the Egyptians, and as a token and solemn pledge that thou dost here, henceforth and forever, renounce all that is vicious, sordid and base. I pour upon thy head this pure water: and I devote and consecrate thee to the service of Truth. Justice, Virtue and Benevolence. I do this as a symbol of repentance and reformation: but John the Baptist said to those whom he baptized: "One cometh hereafter Who shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His fan will be in His hand, and He will thoroughly sweep His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into His granary, and burn up the chaff with a devouring tire. His axe is prepared for the trees: and every tree that beareth not good fruit will be cut down and cast into the fire."
A hot coil, or some arrangement to produce heat is held over Candidate’s head so that he feels it.
Lo! a symbol of that baptism with the Spirit and with fire — purified by which man becomes God’s soldier to war against Fanaticism. Intolerance, Bigotry, Falsehood, and the whole brood of kindred fiends that have so long made a hell of our earth, which was created a paradise: symbol also of that suffering and pain, and woe and want, and sharp ingratitude and bitter injustice, that are God’s baptism of fire, by which He strengthens the human soul and gives occasion and incentive to the noblest virtues, and, thus purifying the soul, lifts it above humanity. To suffer is the noblest lot of man here below, for none but those who suffer doth God baptise with fire and with His Spirit.
My Brother, you have been baptized with water and with fire: and you are clad in hair-cloth and a girdle of leather as a token or sorrow and penitence. Are you prepared to suffer and endure in the cause of Masonry and for the good of your fellow-men?
Cand.: I am.
Ven. Prec.: My Brethren, who among you is worthy to open the Book with Seven Seals?
There is no reply. Laying his hand on the head of Candidate, he says: My Brother. Socrates drank the hemlock, when the doors of his prison were open. that he might not set the example of disobeying the laws of his ungrateful country. Curtius. in his armour, leapt into the gulf that could thus only be closed, and else would swallow Rome. Daniel prayed three times a day openly to God knowing that the penalty was exposure naked to the hungry lions: and an army of martyrs have offered up their lives to prove their faith or to benefit mankind. No one among us can open the great Book with Seven Seals, thus to learn the mysteries that are hidden therein.
Do you desire to unite with us in the search for Him Who, along, is worthy to open the Seals?
Cand.: I do.
Ven. Prec.: Are you prepared to be sealed with your blood in evidence and proof of your fidelity and courage and obedience?
Cand.: I am.
Ven. Prec.: Prepare him then, my Brethren, for the last symbolic rite.
At this point Faithful Brother Expert takes charge of Candidate. He has the necessary instruments so that, in reality, blood is not drawn, but lancet is so constructed that by pressing a small bulb in handle of lancer a little red ink, or like substance is applied to Candidate’s arm. Candidate is blindfolded and right arm bandaged. A slight incision is (apparently) made near vein at elbow with lancet so as to draw blood, then, with tip of forefinger, the Ven. Prec. touches the blood and makes mark of T on the forehead of Candidate.
I seal you to the cause of friendship and humanity. Whenever it is required, be ready to lay your life upon the altar of God and of your country. Bind up his wound.
Arm is dressed and bandaged as after bleeding. In the meantime all lights are lighted. Expert takes seat.
Ven. Prec.: My Brother, thou hast wandered long in the desert of this world and sought for Light in the darkness of Philosophy, on the shores of the Dead Sea of Human Life. Dost thou still pray for Light?
Cand.: I do.
Ven. Prec.: My Brethren — he also is your Brother, for he seeks to find the Truth. Give him Light.
The bandage is removed from his eyes; he is then led by the Ven. Prec. and stands near the Altar. He is then made to kneel on both knees, with both hands on the Book with Seven Seals, and repeats:
I, …, in the presence of the One God. and calling upon these Brethren as witnesses, do upon this Sacred Book most solemnly promise and vow that I will never reveal the secrets of this Degree to any person in the world to whom the same may not lawfully belong nor unless I am authorized to communicate them.
I furthermore promise and vow that I will be ever ready to expose my life in the cause of friendship, my country or of common humanity.
I furthermore promise and vow that I will never fight or combat with a Brother of this Degree except in the extremest and clearest case of self-defense: and that I will, at all times, when he has justice on his side, be ready to aid and support him against any who seek his life, or to destroy his honour, reputation, peace of mind or estate: that I will never slander, revile or speak slightingly of a Brother, or endeavour to bring him into contempt or to cast ridicule upon him, nor suffer others to assail his character in his absence, without resenting it myself or informing him thereof at the earliest opportunity, and that I will on all occasions consult his honour and his interest: all of which I do most solemnly promise and vow, invoking the just anger of the Deity if I wilfully violate this, my solemn, deliberate and voluntary obligations. Sealed once on the Book of Seven Seals.
Ven. Prec.: My Brother, arise. I accept and receive you as a Brother of this Degree, and now further devote you to its duties and to Masonry.
He takes vessel of oil and, with the tip of his finger anoints his head, eyes, mouth, heart, the tip of his right ear, his right hand and right foot, and says:
Your brain, sight, speech, passions, hearing, and powers of work and action — instruments to man for good or evil — I hereby, forever, devote to good: and charge you to let them hereafter aid in no base, dishonest or vicious thought, word or action.
Thus devoted, pledged and sworn, and having sealed your covenant with us with your blood, you are prepared to hear of Him Who alone is worthy to open the Great Book with Seven Seals. For it is written, ‘I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the Book and to loose the Seals thereof?’ And no man in Heaven nor on earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the Book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much because no man was found worthy to open and to read the Book, neither to look thereon. And one of the Elders said unto me: Weep not: behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David. hath prevailed to open the Book and to loosen the Seven Seals thereof."
Ven. Prec. takes his seat. Candidate is led to the Orator Each Officer stands as he takes his part. As the Officer pronounces the words, "and the first Seal (or second Seal. etc.) was opened." the Seal is broken and drops dawn from cover of Book. Also a latern slide of the White Horse, etc. may be thrown on a screen over the Book as each Officer takes his Seal.
Orator: And I beheld, and lo! in the midst of the throne of the four beasts and in the midst of the Elders, stood a Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent forth unto all the earth. And He came and took the Book. And I saw, and the First Seal was opened. And I saw, and behold! a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow: and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer.
Music. Candidate led to Junior Warden.
Jun. War.: And when He opened the Second Seal there went not another horse that was red: and power was given to to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Music. Candidate is led to Senior Warden.
Sen. War.: And when He had opened the Third Seal I beheld, and lo! a black horse: and he that sat thereon had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice say. "A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Music. Candidate is led to Orator.
Orator: And when He had opened the Fourth Seal I looked, and behold! a pale horse, and his name that sat thereon was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword and with hunger and with death and with the beasts of the earth.
Music. Candidate is led to Junior Warden.
Jun. War.: And when He had opened the Fifth Seal I saw under the Altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the Testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice saying: "How long. O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" And white robes were given unto every one of them: and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season until the number of the fellow-servants also and their brethren that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Music. Candidate is led to Senior Warden.
Sen. War.: And I beheld when He had opened the Sixth Seal, and lo! there was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and rich men and the chief captains and the mighty men and every bondsman and every freeman hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks: "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the Throne and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come and who shall be able to stand?"
Music. Candidate is led to Venerable Prec.
Ven. Prec.: Salvation to our God. Which sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lamb. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thankgiving and honour and power and might be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.
Music. Ven. Prec. takes from Candidate his girdle and haircloth, and puts upon him a white robe.
Ven. Prec.: And one of the Elders said unto me. "Who are these that are arrayed in white robes? And whence come they?" And 1 said unto him. "Sir, thou knowest." And he said unto me. "These are they which came out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
And when He opened the Seventh Seal there was silence in Heaven for the space of half an hour. And lo! the conflict with evil and with the Spirit of Darkness shall end and the kingdoms of the world shall become the Kingdoms of God and His Anointed, and He shall reign forever and ever.
Music, Ven. Prec. leads Candidate to the Altar. They advance thrice halting and bowing with arms on breast. The Book automatically opens, displaying upon it the Square and Compasses.
Ven. Prec. knocks ***: Arise my brethren. Done.
Sen. & Jun. Wardens: We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty. Which art and wait and art to come, because Thou wilt in due time assert Thy great power and reign forever and ever.
Ven. Prec.: Blessed henceforward are the dead who fall in the cause of Truth: for they shall rest from their labours and their sorrows, and their works shall follow them,
Ven. Prec. knocks *: Be seated my Brethren. Done.
Triumphant Music. Ven, Prec, and Candidate halt at the Master’s seat — and Candidate is invested with collar, apron and jewel of the Degree, Also the secrets and. finally, the coronet, He is then seated.
Ven. Prec.: I invest you with the apron of this Degree. Its colour is emblematical of the Dawn. its shape symbolic of the Deity. I invest you with the cordons of this Degree: their colours, white and black, symbolize the dualism of the two principles of good and evil. 1 also invest you with the jewel of this Degree,
Receive now the Sign. Tokens and Words of this Degree. Given.
I present you with this Coronet in token of your present rank in Masonry. Remember that it. like the other insignia of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, is honourable only so long as it is worn with honour. On the brow of the dishonest, the dissipated or the base, honours undeserved are a disgrace. See, therefore, that you wear it worthily and well.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Junior Warden, what is the hour?
Jun. War.: Venerable Preceptor, the Dawn is bright in the East, and the sun is about to rise.
Ven. Prec.: The Dawn of Hope and the Sun of Righteousness! My Brethren, we may rest from our labours. Faithful Brother Almoner, are any poor Brethren unrelieved?
Almoner: None to my knowledge, Venerable Preceptor.
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brother Orator, doth any offence of a Brother remain unreproved, that hath been made known to us?
Orator: None, Venerable Preceptor.
Ven. Prec.: What then, my Brethren, remains to be done?
Almoner: To be patient,
Orator: To watch.
Jun. War.: To meditate.
Sen. War.: To pray.
Ven. Prec.: Let us pray then, my Brethren, in silence.
All rise and face East, Lords Prayer, softly on organ. There are a few minutes silence, and Ven. Prec., facing West. says:
Ven. Prec.: Faithful Brethren Essenes that have long waited for the Light and the New Law, the Sun is about to rise upon the waters of the Dead Sea, Aid me to close this Preceptory, Together, my Brethren:
Then the Brethren clap * ** *** * with their hands, and all cry: Hoscheah three times. with the sign I. See secret work.)
Ven. Prec.: The Preceptory is closed.
Sign, Tokens and Words
1. The sign used, when called to order, on entering or leaving the Preceptory, or when addressing the Venerable Preceptor, put the right hand upon the forehead.
2. Password. YAB-BAALIM.
3. Covered word. AB-ADON.
4. The word used when opening and closing Preceptory: HOSCHEAH.
The Preceptory. Officers and Decorations