Royal and Select Masters
Ritual for Thrice Illustrious Master
The Degree of Thrice Illustrious Master cannot be conferred upon anyone who
has not been duly elected to preside over a Council of Royal and Select Masters,
nor can it be conferred by any smaller number than three Thrice Illustrious
Thrice Illustrious Master (T.I.M.) who is seated in the East.
Thrice Illustrious Senior Warden (S.W.) who is seated in the West.
Thrice Illustrious Junior Warden (J.W.) who is seated in the South.
Thrice Illustrious Steward (Stew.) who is seated at the door.
Thrice Illustrious Sentinel (Sen.) who is seated without the door,
Candidates may be allowed to witness the opening
TIM.: Thrice Illustrious Senior Warden, are all present Thrice
S.W.: All present are Thrice Illustrious Masters except the
T.I.M.: See that the Companions are in order as Thrice Illustrious
S.W., * * *: Companions, be in order as Thrice Illustrious
Masters. Companions rise, extend right hand forward.
T.I.M.: The Companions are in order.
T.I.M. *, all seated: Thrice Illustrious Senior Warden, are you a
S.W.: I have anointed Kings and am acknowledged as such.
T.LM.: Where were you acknowledged as such?
S.W.: In a regular constituted Council of Thrice Illustrious
Masters, assembled in a place representing the throne room of David the King.
T.I.M.: How many compose a Council of T.I.M.
S.W.: Three, or more.
T.I.M.: When composed of only three, who are they?
S.W.: The T.I.M., T.I.S.W., and T.I.J.W.
T.I.M.: The T.I.J.W.’s Station?
S.W.: In the South, T.I.M.
T.I.M.: T.I.J.W., whom do you represent?
J.W.: Nathan, The Prophet.
T.I.M.: Your duty?
J.W.: To prophesy the words of the Almighthy Jehovah and to serve
T.I.M.: The T.I.S.W.’s Station?
J.W.: In the West, T.I.M.
T.I.M.: T.J.S.W., whom do you represent?
S.W.: Zadok, the High Priest.
T.I.M.: Your duty?
S.W.: To preside over the altar of Jehovah and to anoint the
Selected of Israel.
T.I.M.: The T.I.M.’s Station?
S.W.: In the East.
T.I.M.: Whom does he represent?
S.W.: David, the beloved of God.
T.I.M.: His duty?
S.W.: To rule his people, propound the laws and give good counsel
to his successor.
T.I.M., * * *, all rise: Companions! to your knees for our
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the
Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates. O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded
as a city that is compact together; Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the
Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.
For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray
for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within
thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions
sakes I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our
God I will seek thy good." (Ps. 122) Amen.
Response: So mote it be.
T.I.M.: I now declare this Council of Thrice Illustrious Masters opened in
due form. T.I.Stew., inform the T.I. Sen.; T.I.J.W., attend the Lights.
Stew. goes to door and raps * * * *** which is answered by Sen.
T.I. Sen.: The T.I.M. now declares this Council of T.I.M.’s
opened in due form; take due notice thereof and guard accordingly. Closes
door, raps, etc.
T.I.M.: The duty is performed.
The Lights are displayed as in Degree of Select Master by J.W.
T.I.M.: *. All seated.
T.I.M.: T.I.Stew., retire, prepare, and present the candidate. Stew.
retires and informs the candidate that he represents Solomon—candidate may be
so attired—the Stew, brings candidate within the door, and says aloud:
Stew.: "Now King David was old and stricken in years; and
they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat." (I Kings 1:1)
"Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself saying, I will be
king; and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before
him. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou
done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after
Absalom. And he conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the
priest, and they following Adonijah helped him.
But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the
prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were
not with Adonijah. And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone
of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king’s
sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: But Nathan the prophet,
and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not,
Wherefore, Nathan spoke unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast
thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord
knoweth it not? Now, therefore, come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel,
that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. Go and
get thee in unto King David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O King,
swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after
me, and he shall sit upon my throne? Why then doth Adonijah reign? Behold while
thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and
confirm thy words.
And Bath-sheba went unto the king into the chamber; and the king was very
old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bath-sheba bowed,
and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said,; What wouldest thou? And she
said unto him, my Lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid,
saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my
throne. And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord and king, thou
knowest it not; And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance,
and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the
captain of the host; but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.
And thou, my lord, O King, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou
shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his
fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted &fenders, And, lo, while
she vet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.
And they told the king, saying, Behold, Nathan the prophet. And when he was
come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the
ground. And Nathan said, My Lord, 0 King hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign
after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? For he is gone this day, and hath
slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s
sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold they
eat and drink before him, and say, God save King Adonijah. But me, even me thy
servant, and Zadok, the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant
Solomon, hath he not called? Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou
hast not shewed it unto thy servant. who should sit on the throne of my lord the
king after him?
Then King David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba, And she came unto the
king’s presence, and stood before the king. And the king sware, and said as
the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, even as I sware
unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall
reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I
certainly do this day.
Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the
king, and said, Let my lord King David live forever.
And King David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said
unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to
ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon; And let Zadok the priest
and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel, and blow ye with the
trumpet, and say, God save King Solomon. (I Kings 1; 5-34)
In the following section the East is vacated.
Stew.: Companion, we have now reached Gihon and are ready for the
ceremony. Let us enter the way and prepare for the event. Conducts
candidate one time around the hall, stopping in front
of the J.W. * * *.
J.W.: Who comes here?
Stew.: Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who brings Solomon chosen of
J.W.: "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my
commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply
thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest
up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for
her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and
find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh
knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous; he is
a buckler to them that walk uprightly." (Prov. 2,1-7) Thus sayeth Nathan:
Solomon, thou shalt have knowledge and be the wisest of all men.
Stew. conducts candidate once more around hall, stopping at west* * *.
S.W.: Who comes here?
Stew.: Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who brings Solomon chosen of
S.W.: "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my
commandments; for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to
thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them
upon the table of thine heart; so shalt thou find favor and good understanding
in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean
not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall
direct thy paths." (Prov. 3, 1-6) Benaiah you will now conduct Solomon to
the Altar for the ceremony of anointing.
Stew. conducts candidate before Altar and causes him to kneel, place his left
hand over his heart and stretch his right forward resting on the Great Lights.
When this is done, the J.W. approaches the South side of the Altar, the S.W.
going to the East. The Stew, goes to the North side.
S.W.: Solomon, thou hast been this day selected by David thy
father, to be King over Israel and Judah: and he hath given us strictly in
charge to anoint thee to sit upon the throne after him. We now therefore, ask of
thee if thou art willing to take upon thyself an obligation to discharge the
duties of this office to which thou art newly elected and to become a Thrice
S.W.: Then say, "I," pronounce thy name in full, and
repeat after me:
I,…, On my honor as a Master and before Jehovah do vow: That I will serve
my fellow man with truth and fidelity; that I will rule my subjects with
fairness and equality; judge with wisdom and honor; and will never allow the
strong to oppress the weak, so far as is in my power to prevent. All this I vow,
with the hope that should I violate it that Jehovah will forget me in my hour of
need and that my heart will be torn with grief and remorse. Amen.
S.W.: Solomon thou hast assumed the vow and we shall now anoint
thee king. J.W. and Stew. come close, with left hands
they form a triangle and anoint with drops of oil. I anoint thee king
of Israel and Judah. May Jehovah bless and keep thee. Officers
step back a pace, stretch their right hands forward, as in obligation.
All present say: God save King Solomon. Candidate
S.W.: This is the due guard of a Thrice Illustrious Master and
alludes to the position in which thine hands were placed when thou didst take
thy vow. It is the sign with which thou wilt salute the T.I.M. on entering or
retiring from a Council of T.I.M.’s. This is the sign hand
on heart and alludes to the penalty of the obligation. The Pass-word
is "God save King Solomon." Benaiah, thou wilt now conduct King
Solomon before his father, David.
King David’s Charge
Stew. conducts candidate outside the hall. While they are out, the T.I. M.
assumes the station, which has been vacated during the first section.
The Wardens’ stations are vacated. Stew. returns with candidate and takes
him to the East, where he raps
* * * * * *.
T.I.M.: Who approaches the throne of the King?
Stew.: Thy son, Solomon, who has been anointed King of Israel and
T.I.M.: My son, come a little nearer. Candidate
takes a step nearer dais and remains standing.) Benaiah, let us be
alone. After Benaiah is gone the T.I.M. continues.
King David: My son, I am indeed glad that thou hast come to me at
Nathan the prophet has been to see me, thy mother Bath-sheba has also spoken
to me. They both have told me of the plot to make thy brother Adonijah king of
Israel. Never. Never. Solomon, thou art the man. Thou art the next king of
Israel and I have so proclaimed throughout all my kingdom. I wish to speak with
thee about thy great inheritance as father to son and advise thee out of my own
experience. I have lived my life, have seen God’s hand throughout and all has
been for the best. Now I am old and stricken in years. But thou Solomon art
young with thy whole life before thee. Oh, my son, 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.
My son, "I go the way of all earth; be thou strong therefore, and shew
thyself a man; and keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to
keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies,
as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou
doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the Lord may continue his
word which he spake concerning me, saying, if thy children take heed to their
way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,
there shall not fail thee (said the Lord) a man on the throne of Israel."
(1 Kings 2, 2-4)
I had long wanted to build an house for the Lord my God, but my hands were
stained with blood and mine eyes have grown dim from weeping thereover. Yet my
God hast said that he will raise from my seed one who shall do this great work
and thou, O my son Solomon, art he who shall construct this magnificent temple.
Be thou faithful to this trust and God will provide ways and means for its
erection. Of gold and silver and fine things I have many for the Lord’s house,
to which thou shalt add and multiply in abundance. My worthy friend Hiram of
Tyre will also aid thee in thine efforts. Hesitate not to call upon him.
I soon go to sleep with my fathers and thou alone shalt rule my people
Israel. Do thou deal with them kindly, but firmly. They are but children, yet
children grow into strong men. Keep thy faith with the Lord thy God and He will
ever bless and keep thee.
My son, thou wilt approach the throne.
Thou wilt kneel before the king.
David crowns Solomon with the following words: King Saul is dead,
King David is about to die, but Israel has a new Sovereign. God save King
Solomon with sign. My son, approach the
throne. Thou art now privileged to be seated at my right hand, while I commune
with thee further. Candidate sits at right side of
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength
in whom 1 will trust; my buckler and the horn of my salvation and my high tower.
I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised; so shall II be saved from
mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men
made me afraid; the sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death
prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God; He
heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his
ears. (Ps. 18, 2-6)
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the
cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the
Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were
before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright
before him and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord
recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my
hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful; with
an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt show
thyself pure; and with the forward thou wilt show thyself forward. For thou wilt
save the afflicted people; but will bring down high looks. (Ps. 18, 20-27) The
Lord will be thy lamp, my son Solomon; the Lord will lighten thy darkness.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a
buckler t0 all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord?
or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and
maketh my way perfect. (Ps. 18, 30-32)
Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed,
to David and his seed for evermore. (Ps. 18, 50)
My son, my eyes grow dim and the candle of life is near its end, but ere I go
promise me this: That thou wilt serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, body,
mind and soul and thy neighbor as thyself.
Dost thou promise?
Candidate: I do.
David drops back exhausted in his seat.
"I can now die in peace."
My son it is through the gate of death that we find an entrance to the place
of wages, refreshment, and rest. There the designs upon the Trestle Board will
be seen completed. There the adoration of the twelfth hour will be everlasting
joy. There the noontide bliss will eternally shine. There the scales of doubt
and darkness shall fall from my eyes, and the wise purposes of the Divine
Architect will be displayed in all their splendor. With this light of faith
beaming upon me, Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help, my help
cometh from the Lord which made heaven and Earth. Behold he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Ps. 121, 4)
King David’s voice grows weaker.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He: restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will
dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Ps. 23)
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Num. 6, 24)
King David falls over on his throne, dead.
Stew. comes forward at this point and conducts the candidate without.
Officers assume their stations, candidate is admitted as a Companion Thrice
T.I.M.: T.I.S.W., is there anything further to come before this
T.I.M., * * *: Companions to our devotions, Recite
15th Psalm as prayer.
David describes a citizen of Zion.
A Psalm of David.
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the
truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear
the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the
innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
TIM.: I now declare this Council of Thrice Illustrious Masters
closed, in due form. T.I.J.W., attend the Lights, T.I.Stew., inform the T.I.Sen.
Done as in