Before the Lodge is opened, Director of Ceremonies
will nominate two Brethren to be attendants on the Captain of the Host;
these three carry swords and are seated in the West.
The three Principal Officers, robed, are seated in the East.
Master, gives one knock, not repeated: Brethren, assist me to open this Lodge of Grand Tilers of Solomon or Masons Elect of Twenty-Seven.
All remain seated.
Master: My Brother of Tyre, shall we resume the glorious work so favourably begun?
SW: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, let it be as you desire.
Master: Brother Hiram Abiff, direct the Captain of the Host to do his duty and to ensure that not only the entrance to this vault, but also all possible approaches thereto, are warily watched and closely tiled.
JW: Brother Captain of the Host, Captain of the Host rises with sword at carry see that not only the entrance to this vault, but also all possible approaches thereto, are warily watched and closely tiled.
Captain of the Host goes out with the two armed attendants, all with swords at carry; after a short time they return and line up in the West, Captain of the Host in the middle.
Captain of the Host: Illustrious Brother Hiram Abiff, we have faithfully done our duty; we have carefully examined all possible entrances and approaches; at every entrance we have posted trusty guards; outside the door of this Chamber stands one of your faithful servants, with a drawn sword in his hand. We are warily watched and closely tiled.
JW: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, the entrance to this vault and all possible approaches are warily watched and closely tiled.
Master: My Brother of Tyre, of how many is a Lodge of Grand Tilers composed?
SW: Twenty-Seven Masons Elect.
Master: Are there here the necessary number?
SW: I count twenty-four Brothers known to me, arid, with us three, the mystic number is complete.
Master: Brethren, I am about to open this Mystic Chamber.
JW knocks three times SW and Master twenty-seven.
Master: I declare this Mystic Chamber open on the Square to all who are Masons Elect of Twenty-Seven, so that we may work truly and faithfully.
Ceremony of Admission
Director of the Ceremonies will nominate two
Brethren, other than the two attendants on Captain of the Host to act as
escorts to Candidate, when seized they sit conveniently near to door.
Conductor leaves Chamber; the door is left open; Conductor brings Candidate close to door but out of sight.
Master and Wardens approach Altar, sceptres, if carried, must be left on chairs. Junior Warden holds an open Plan in his hand; in no circumstances must the Plan ever be laid on the Altar.
Master: Brethren Elect of Twenty-Seven, our Illustrious Brother Abiff has here a design for the Altar of the Lord in the Temple above. I think it is of exceeding beauty. I have therefore called you together that I may have your counsel concerning it.
Junior Warden exhibits the Plan to all the Brethren.
SW, looks at open door: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, we are not tiled.
Master: Fear not, my Royal Brother of Tyre, this Chamber is unknown to all in Jerusalem, save those Masons Elect whom we have admitted to our secret. They are all here. The approaches to this Mystic Chamber are so intricate and so far removed from the haunts of men that there is no danger of intrusion by cowans, my Brother.
The three Principal Officers again discuss the plan. Conductor leads Candidate inside the door. A moment later Master looks up and espies Candidate; he rushes to the door and grasps Candidate by the throat with his left hand, and raises the clenched right hand as if to strike him with a dagger.
Master: Alas, my Royal Brother, thou wert right, There is a man here who is not one of us. Seize him.
The two Brethren previously nominated, each seize Candidate by one arm. Master rejoins Wardens at Altar.
SW: Indeed he is not one of us. What shall be done with him?
Master: Let him at once be put to death, lest our secrets be made known.
JW: Thrice Illustrious Kings, hearken unto me: condemn not a man unheard.
What hast thou to say why we should not put thee to death?
Candidate does not answer.
JW: Art thou a Mason?
Candidate, prompted by Conductor: I am.
Conductor: Advance as an Entered Apprentice, then as a Fellow Craft.
Candidate does so. His escort momentarily release him, then seize him again.
JW: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, this man is a Fellow of the Craft.
Master: All the more is it right that he should die, for he has sought to know that which, as a Mason, he knew it was unlawful for him to seek to know.
JW: O King, let us be just. Let us ask him how came he hither.
Master: How camest thou hither?
Conductor: It came to pass, as I was working in a remote part of the building, my foot rested on some imperfect masonry, which gave way beneath me and precipitated me into a dark and gloomy pit. After a little time, I became aware of a dim light in the distance, towards which I groped my way. Arriving there, I saw another light beyond. Towards it I pursued my way, guiding myself by feeling with my hands the stone walls of the passage. In this manner I traversed no small distance, until at length I found myself at a half-open door. There were lights within and the sound of voices reached my ears. As a Mason, I feared that I had entered where it was forbidden to me. Paralysed with fear, I became convinced that I was in the presence of some great danger.
In such straits ye found me.
Master: This story, if it be true, can soon be verified. Brother Captain of the Host, take with you two Brethren, and search diligently to see if there be this breach in the masonry of which the stranger speaks.
Captain of the Host and his two attendants, with swords at carry, withdraw. Escorts remain holding the Candidate.
Master and Wardens discuss intrusion sotto voce, Master showing anger.
After a short time Captain of the Host and attendants return and form up in West, Captain of the Host in middle.
Captain of the Host: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, the Brother hath spoken the truth. It is even as he hath said. There is a breach in the masonry and signs that someone recently entered thereby.
Captain of the Host and attendants resume seats.
Master: My Brothers, what shall be done?
JW: Thrice Illustrious Kings, we must spare our Brothers life. He came not here of his own accord, and if he has learned aught of our secrets the fault, O Kings, is ours. When your Brother of Tyre warned you, O Royal Solomon, that this Mystic Chamber was not tiled, did you not reply "there is no danger of intrusion by cowans, my Brother"?
Wherefore to slay this Brother who has unwittingly been present at our secret convention, would be to sin against God. Forgive him: in this case forgiveness is but justice.
Master: I am willing to forgive, but what shall be done with him? He hath heard our words and our consultations, yet he is not one of us.
JW: One course remains, Illustrious King; we must admit him to our counsels. By Godís will he has come here, let us now in due form make him a true and faithful Brother among us.
Master: No longer then will we be only twenty-seven.
JW: The number may be changed, but the name will remain. Admit him, my Royal Brothers.
SW: O Royal Solomon, our Brother Hiram has spoken well. Let it be as he says.
Master: Brethren, you have heard the earnest plea of our Illustrious Brother Hiram Abiff. If all say "Aye", then shall his request be granted.
The Brethren signify approval by raising right hand and saying "Aye".
Master: So be it. Let him be admitted.
Master remains at Altar; Wardens return to East; Conductor leads Candidate to Altar. The two Brethren who acted as escort return to their places. Door is closed.
Master: Brethren, to order.
Kneel on your right knee place your right hand on the Volume of Sacred Law. State your names at length and repeat after me:
I, Ö, in the presence of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, and of this Lodge of
Grand Tilers of Solomon or Masons Elect of Twenty-Seven opened on the Square, do hereby and hereon solemnly and sincerely promise and vow that I will never make known the mystery of the Twenty-Seven to anyone in the world, except it be to a Mason Elect of Twenty-Seven, or in the body of a lawfully constituted Lodge of Grand Tilers of Solomon duly opened on the Square.
I furthermore solemnly swear that I will not judge hastily concerning the motive of any man, especially if he be a Brother Mason, but will patiently and perseveringly make such inquiries as will lead me to a Just and truthful opinion that I will not blame others for my own errors, thoughtlessness or want of care, but will ever be ready to acknowledge my misdeeds and atone for my mistakes.
I also engage that I will not remain silent in a Lodge if I think that the Tiler has not done his duty; that I will, so far as lies in my power, keep all cowans and profane persons from the halls of Masonry; that I will not, if I can prevent it, permit a Lodge room to be polluted by conventions or assemblies of those who are not Masons but that I will faithfully perform all the duties of a Grand Tiler of Solomon.
So help me the Great Disposer of All and keep me steadfast in this my solemn obligation of a Grand Tiler of Solomon.
Master: As a pledge of your fidelity you will seal this Obligation on the Volume of Sacred Law nine times Candidate does so and again three times Candidate does so.
Master takes Candidate by right hand with Fellow Craft-grip: Rise duly obligated Grand Tiler of Solomon.
Brethren, be seated.
Conductor moves Candidate to North Side of Altar facing East.
Master: I will now entrust you with the secrets of this Degree.
The Ancient Penalty, formerly used in this Degree, was that of a Brother "being put to death at the door of the Mystic Chamber, and of being buried in the bowels of the earth, where no man may know of his grave".
The Token is given by grasping a Brother by the throat with the left hand.
The Sign is given by raising the clenched right hand as if to strike with a dagger.
The Token and Sign allude to the manner in which you were challenged on your entry.
The Password is J. O. A. B. E. R. T.
Joabert was the favourite of King Solomon: he acted as principal secretary to both King Solomon and King Hiram during the building of the Temple.
The Words are H.U. and H.E.
The exact meaning of these words seems to have been lost: they were probably a corrupt rendering of the Words H.O. and H.I.
These Words formed one of the 26 names of God in the Hebrew language, each of these names referred to one or more of the divine attributes of the Almighty.
Ho Hi signified:
The Author of Time and the Arbiter of the Tide of Events.
The Eternal and Absolute Principle of Creation and Destruction.
The Male and Female Principle, elsewhere depicted in Masonry as a Point within a Circle.
Since these meanings were ascribed to the Words Ho Hi it is reasonable to assume that our Words Hu He were intended to convey the same meanings.
I now invest you with the Jewel of this Degree, which is a black triangle edged with gold, suspended by a ribbon of fiery red edged with grey. The Jewel is inscribed on the obverse with the number 27 in Hebrew characters; it should bear on the reverse the Ineffable Name in the Cabalistic Order. On the ribbon are mounted three crowns and a hand holding a dagger pointing downwards.
Master returns to his seat in the East. Conductor leads Candidate to West, where both stand facing East.
Master: During the building of the Temple, King Solomon had a Chamber built underground, in order that he and the other two Grand Masters might have a secret place in which to meet and confer concerning the progress of the building. The approaches to this Chamber were intricate subterranean passages. In this secret retreat the three Grand Masters met from time to time.
In order that they might have the advice and counsel of the most prominent and skilful craftsmen then in Jerusalem, King Solomon formed an Order called Masons Elect of Twenty-Seven. Into this Order the three Grand Masters admitted twenty-four of the most eminent Fellow Crafts, who met in this secret Chamber in council with the three Grand Masters, twenty-seven in all.
So secure from intrusion was this Mystic Chamber supposed to be that in time the Tilerís office became neglected. Eventually, by chance, a strange Brother unwittingly gained admission to a secret convention of the Masons Elect. The first determination of King Solomon, on the discovery of the stranger, was to have him put to death immediately. However the milder counsels of Grand Master Hiram Abiff prevailed, and the King was persuaded not only to forgive him, but also to admit him to the fellowship of the Masons Elect. At the same time the incident gave a stern warning to the Brethren of the great danger of carelessness. King Solomon felt that the Brethren should have ever before them the lesson which they had learned of the importance of carefully tiling their proceedings. He therefore commanded that a new Degree should be formed, based on the remarkable incident which had just occurred, and decreed that those Masons who were admitted to it should henceforth be known as his Grand Tilers.
Brother Ö, that concludes the Ceremony of Admission. You are now entitled to take your seat in a Lodge of Grand Tilers of Solomon.
Conductor leads Candidate to seat, and then resumes his own.
Master, gives one knock, not repeated:
Brethren, assist me to close this Lodge of Grand Tilers of Solomon, or
Masons Elect of Twenty-Seven.
All remain seated.
Master: Brother Hiram Abiff, what must be our constant consideration?
JW: To prove that this Mystic Chamber is duly tiled.
Master: Direct that duty to be performed, my Brother, in order that, while closing the Lodge, we may be in no danger of further intrusion.
JW: Brother Captain of the Host Captain of the Host rises with sword at carry see that the Tiler is at his post and make sure that all approaches to this Chamber are warily watched and guarded. Take with you two armed Brethren, make the rounds and satisfy yourself that all things are as they should be.
Captain of the Host goes out with two armed attendants, all with swords at carry, after a short time they return and line up in the West, Captain of the Host in middle.
Captain of the Host: Brother Hiram Abiff, we have gone to the extreme end of the subterranean passage; we have carefully examined all possible approaches; we have seen that the Tiler is at his post, and we are warily watched and closely tiled.
JW: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, the Tiler is at his post, and we are warily watched and closely tiled.
Captain of the Host and attendants resume seats.
Master: My Brother of Tyre, of how many does our Lodge consist?
SW: Thrice Illustrious King Solomon, it now consists of twenty-seven or more.
Master: What is the masonic rank of the Brethren?
SW: The three principal officers are Master Masons, the rest are Fellows of the Craft.
Master: What hope do we hold out to these ardent Craftsmen?
SW: That they may yet become Master Masons and receive the True Word.
Master: Have we here a Word?
SW: We have, that of a Mason Elect of Twenty-Seven.
Master: Let it be duly communicated to the proper Officer.
SW: Brother Captain of the Host, Captain of the Host rises with sword at carry you will receive the Word from each Brother in turn, and report it to me.
Director of Ceremonies: Brethren, to order.
All rise, except the three Principal Officers.
Captain of the Host begins at South-East Corner and, moving clockwise round the Lodge, receives the Word in a whisper from each Brother in turn. Finally in the North-East he communicates the Word aloud to SW.
SW rises, communicates the Word aloud to Master and sits.
Master: The Word has come to the East, pure and undefiled.
Captain of the Host returns to his place.
Master: Brethren, I am about to close this Mystic Chamber.
JW knocks three times, SW nine, Master twenty-seven.
Master: This Mystic Chamber is now closed. Let us ascend to the world above, and there live and work as true Masons.