Sisters of the Mysterious Ten
The Royal House or Queen Esther Degree
Dress Regalia for public occasions are scarlet velvet or satin collar, not over 2½ inches in width and 14 inches in length, gold fringe and lace, finaly wrought, bullion initials, etc. Jewel of office may be worn in addition to the collar, or separate, and serves as a regalia in itself. Dress badge, scarlet enameled leather or satin ribbon, purple shield at the head, trimmed in gold braid, golden eagle, dove, or silver star in center of shield; gold fringe, not over 1½ inches long, at bottom of badge; printed on badge, in gold or black letters: Royal House or Queen Esther Degree, No. : , S. M. T.
Jewel of this degree is a golden star and crown in center, and may be worn as a regalia on all occasions. Members visiting Temples with their jewel on must be received with honors as royal members.
Most Noble King.: Scarlet robe, trimmed in white fur or imitation fur, dotted with black; scarlet and golden crown.
Most Excellent Queen.: Purple robe, trimmed same as the King’s; purple and golden crown and sceptre.
First Maid of Honor.: Scarlet robe, trimmed in white; plain silver coronet and wand.
Second Maid of Honor.: Blue robe, white trimming; plain silver coronet and wand.
Father Hagai.: Black gown, red trimming; black chapeau, trimmed in gold; mixed gray and black wig and whiskers; shepherd’s crook in hand. Spectacles may be worn, also, if desired.
Most Excellent Scribe, Assistant, and Safe Keeper of Finance.: Each a blue sash, trimmed in white, with. blue and white or silver turbans.
First and Second Chamberlains.: Red and white sashes; red and white turbans with streamers; staffs.
First and Second Guards.: Red sashes around the waists, black Roman helmet trimmed m scarlet or gold, white or red plume of hair, feather of fringe; red shields and spears; golden or red staff.
Most Excellent High Priest.: Black robe and mitre trimmed in white; white cross on front of mitre, white sash around the waist.
Herald.: Red tunic reaching to the knees, trimmed in gold, red sash around the waist, sword and belt or shield and spear, golden helmet with scarlet plume similar to Guards.
First and Second Attendants.: Blue sashes tied around the waist and hanging down on right side, for First Attendant, and on the left for Second. Blue turbans with streamers on left side.
Members.: Blue and white turbans, with streamers hanging on left side. Male attendants darker blue, without streamers.
N. B.: The regalia of this degree are a part of its mysteries; therefore it may be considered a gross violation of the obligation to give a description of them to anyone outside of the Order.
The hour specified in the By-Laws (or indicated in the summons, when the banquet is a special one) for opening the M.E.Q. ascends to the throne and gives one rap, and says: Most Noble King, Maid of Honor, and Attendants, the hour having arrived for the opening of our Royal Banquet, you will clothe yourselves in royal apparel and resume your respective positions in this banquet hall. After all are seated, M.E.Q. says: First Maid of Honor, call the attention of the attendants to the objects of the present assembly.
F.M.H. gives * * *, all attendants rise: Most Noble King, Excellent Queen and Attendants, we have assembled here to enjoy the pleasures of the banquet prepared in honor of our beauteous Queen, and to join her in the Royal Feast. One rap, members are seated.
M.E.Q.: Second Maid of Honor, you will cause the King’s Chamberlains to perform their duties.
S.M.H., * *: Worthy Chamberlains, you will satisfy yourselves that the doors of the banquet hall are duly guarded. Chamberlains investigate and return.
W.C,’s.: Second Maid of Honor, we have examined the approaches to this Banquet Hall and find that they are under the watchful eyes of two of the King’s guards.
Father Hagai.: Then, Worthy Chamberlains, you will cause all in attendance to apply the key that unlocks the mysteries of this Degree. Take up the pass words.
W.C:’s.: Father Hagai, we have obeyed your order, and find all in attendance entitled to the enjoyment of the banquet prepared for our beauteous Queen.
M.N.K., * * *: Arise, arise, arise! Attendants, let us assemble around the Golden Altar, while the High Priest performs the duties of his office. Members leave stations; form in circle.
Here we meet for sacred pleasure,
In each other’s joys to share;
May this Order prove a treasure,
Each the others burden bear.
Hand to hand, and hearts together
In our Royal Circle bow; all bow
As we journey on together.
For each other’s good we’ll vow.
O Lord of all mercies and blessings, aid us, we beseech Thee, at this time, in taking on ourselves the work of extending the reign of Justice, Mercy and Truth upon earth. Grant us a rich blessing while here assembled in this Mystic Royal Band, that we may add honor to the noble cause we here represent. Bless our humble labors to the promotion of the ten principles of the Order, Peace, Honor, Patience, Temperance, Fidelity, Charity, Justice, Mercy, Purity and Truth. Make all grace to abound toward us, that through us there may be thanksgiving unto Thee our God. Amen. All repeat amen.
M.E.Q.: Arise and to your stations go. Members go. In the name of our Grand Lodge, in the name of our great Royal Circle, in the name of the Sisterhood, bound together by the ties of Justice, Mercy and Truth, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I declare this Royal House opened in due and royal form, for the transaction of business and enjoyment. Herald, inform the Royal Guards. One rap, members seated. * Herald salutes, retires and performs the duties, and returns to Station.
M.E.S., read the Chronicles of our last banquet; after which you will call the roll, mark the absentees, also give credit to those present. Collect from them all just claims due this Royal House.
Royal House or Third Degree
M.E.Q.: Worthy Scribe, are there any of the King’s subjects without, seeking admission into this Royal House?
M.E.S.: On an examination of the Chronicles, I find that there are (or is) , Most Excellent Queen.
M.E.Q.: Then, Excellent Scribe, you, in company with the Herald and such others as may be necessary, go at once to the Outer Court and collect all tributes due, and give those in waiting a rigid examination in the preceding degrees of rank. Scribe and Herald go to the ante-room and ask the following questions:
If allowed to take part with our Royal Circle, will you endeavor to make your connection therewith serviceable to yourself and others?
Candidate.: I will do so to the best of my ability.
Ques.: Have you served your Temple in any office?
Ans.: I have served as … in my …
Ques.: What is the sign of recognition .in your Temple?
Ans.: My sign of recognition is …, and its meaning is ….
Ques.: Give me your Sign of Distress and its meaning?
Ans.: My Sign of Distress is : ..., and its meaning is ….
Ques.: What is your Sign of Salutation, and what does it mean?
Ans.: My Sign of Salutation is …, and it means this ….
Ques.: By what further right do you expect to gain our favor?
Ans.: The recommendation of my …, certifying that I have been faithful.
Ques.: Then you will wait with patience until your requests are made known to our Most Excellent Queen and her answer returned.
Ex. Scribe.: Most Excellent Queen, I find in the Court … candidates.
Most Noble King.: What is their petition and what is their request; it shall be given e’en to the half of my kingdom?
M.E.S.: That they may share with us our Royal Feast, and pay homage to our Most Noble King and Excellent Queen Esther, and enjoy the pleasure of her banquet. E.S. salutes and is seated.
M.E.Q.: First Attendant, you will inform the Herald that it is my pleasure that he apply the key that unlocks the mysteries of the Royal Degree, and let them come in to our bounteous feast. Attendant goes put.
Herald gives * * * at the door.
Guard.: Whom have we here, and what is thy petition?
Herald.: Those who have done good Service in our cause and now come to enjoy the pleasures of Queen Esther’s Banquet.
Guard.: By what means do they expect to gain so great a favor? Have they the key that unlocks the doors of this degree?
Herald.: They have it not, but I have it for them.
Guard.: Then apply it at once that they may enter in. Herald gives password, enters, and says: Follow me, for thus it shall be done unto those whom the King delighteth to honor.
Candidates are instructed to walk slowly up to the King. While candidates are going, Father Hagai says aloud: Go thou unto the King, and if you perish you perish! Candidates are led near the throne and placed in semi-circle on their knees, bands raised imploringly. Room is darkened.
M.N.K.: Down with your hands. Before you can enjoy the full benefits of our mystic circle your fortitude must be tested by fire. Chamberlains, heat up the furnace seven times hotter than usual, bring on the branding iron. that I may know my subjects when I see them. A red hot poker is presented close enough for the candidate to feel the heat. Blind is raised.
M.N.K. says to candidate: When I hand this to my assistant, you must catch hold of it with your naked right hand, that you may be known by the mark it leaves. The poker is then apparently passed into the hand of the assistant, who has concealed behind him a stick or poker imitating the hot one, which the candidate is caused to grasp. This part must be carefully performed, that the candidate may be under the impression that he is catching the real hot iron –at the same time avoid injury. After the test by fire the hoodwink is replaced, and the M.N.K. says: Raise both hands while I administer to you the obligation of the Royal Degree.
I, …, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of this Royal Assembly, with my hands and heart uplifted to God, who knows all my secret thoughts and sees my every action, hereby promise and declare that I will never reveal the secrets of this degree to any person or persons in the known world, who are not duly entitled to receive them as I now am. I further promise that I will endeavor to be a useful member of this Degree, always ready to aid the distressed and needy, more especially the members of this Royal Family, when I find them worthy. Further, I will not sit in a Lodge or Temple where the elective officers are not in possession of this Degree, and will report to my superior Grand Officers all cases of neglect on the part of subordinate Lodges or Temples in this particular requirement. Mostly, I will always aid members of the Order of U. B. F. or S. M. T. by patronizing them in their line of business in preference to any One outside of. the Order, and will do all I can to aid or assist a brother or sister in all of their laudable undertakings. All these things I pledge myself to perform, and may the God that rules heaven and earth help me to keep my pledge unbroken.
Members exclaim: And may God help thee to keep thy vows unbroken. Arise, arise, arise!
M.N.K.: What is thy petition, and what is thy request? It shall be given even to the half of my kingdom.
Candidate raises both hands, throws head back.
Herald says: Spare my life at my petition, and my people’s at my request, for they have been sold and doomed to perish. Candidate’s hands are lowered.
M.N.K.: Who is he. and where is he that dares. to presume in his heart to do this?
M.N.Q.: Thine enemy and adversary, this wicked Haman.
M.N.K.: Oh, the base, ungrateful woman; a viper who smites the hand that feeds it. What turpitude of art can devise the punishment that you so richly deserve.
Father Hagai.: Behold! there waiting stands, built by Haman’s command, a gallows fifty cubits high.
All the Attendants exclaim in concert: Thereon let these vile creatures die! Candidates are then seized and hurriedly carried into the ante-room and hoodwinks removed. After quiet has been restored, turbans and sashes are placed on them, and they are returned to the Banquet Hall for further instructions.
NOTE.: All candidates for this degree are required to furnish refreshments of some kind at the time of their initiation, which must be arranged when convenient, while the candidates are in the ante-room, in order that the feast may be partaken of as soon as the instructions are completed.
As the candidates return to Banquet Hall all the officers of the Royal House form in grand tableaux, while the candidates, two and two, and joined by the entire Banquet Attendants, who fall in rear of candidates and march around the hall three times to music or singing; the third time officers and all march to their stations. Candidates are placed in semi-circle standing, when the M.E.Queen says: Pay strict attention to the instructions you are now about to receive from our Most Noble King.
M.N.K.: Should it become necessary at any time to ascertain in a mixed company, or elsewhere, if there are members of this Degree, you will do so by giving these:
Recognition Sign: Raise the right hand from the side in curved line; place the palm against the forehead with fingers opened out, pointing up above the head. (Represents the point of a crown.)
Answer: Raise the left hand as high as the heart, fingers closed as if holding something; extend the arm at full length out before you, as if extending the sceptre, and let the hand fall to the side. (Meaning you may approach me.) You will then advance, and if the person first gives you the sign, you will then test as follows:
Ques.: What is thy petition, and what is thy request? It shall be given to the half of my kingdom.
Ans.: (O King! or, O Queen!) Have I found favor in thy sight? If so, please inform me.
Ques.: Speak, and let the secrets of thy heart be known, and thy will shall be done.
Ans.: My people’s lives are in great peril. Behold, I am thy Queen: their cause defend.
Ques.: Their sorrows then are at an end. You’ll find in me a friend.
Ans.: Long live our Noble King.
Ques.: Long live our beauteous Queen.
Ans.: Thy kingdom shall forever stand.
Ques.: Advance and give me your right hand. (Advance and give.)
The Grip is given thus: Clasp the hands: the first three fingers hooked, with fingers between third and little finger, thumb resting on the end of your own forefinger, and shake three times.
On visiting this or any other R.H., you will gain admission by giving an ordinary rap at the outer door, and whisper the quarterly pass of the Royal House, which is …. You will then advance to the inner door and give * * * and whisper the degree password, which is Z, V, X, V, J, J,V,Z.
On entering the Royal House you will advance to the triangle and give the
Sign of Salutation: Interlace the fingers of both hands and place them against the breast, and bow to the M.S.K. and M.E.Q., and turn to the right, and in like manner salute First and Second Maids of Honor, letting the hand fall to the sides each time before turning.
Should you be in distress at any tin ie, and wish to call to your assistance a member of this Degree, you will give in the following manner the
Sign of Distress: Raise both hands as at time of obligation, head bowed forward; let the hands fall quickly to the sides.
Answer; Raise right hand, fingers closed as though you were going to lift up some one that has fallen. Step a short step forward with the right foot, at the same time reaching out before you, place the right foot back against the left, and bring the hand as high as the breast, then let it fall to the side.
In case of distress in darkness, give these words:
Distress Words: Save me and my people.
Answer; Thy life, my Queen, I will at thy request.
After instructions are complete, the following lecture is given by the M.N.K. or some competent Past Master:
Moral Lecture and Historical Sketch
My friends, you have just passed through the initiatory exercises of the Royal or Queen Esther Degree, which may have caused you to conclude that we were disposed to trifle with you; but such I assure you was not the case. In your advancement to this high and exalted degree you represent Esther, who, after Vashti was divorced from King Ahasuerus, succeeded her, he to provide for the emergency, his courtiers suggested that he should collect in his harem all the beautiful young virgins of the land and choose him a wife.
Among these was Adassah, the adopted daughter of Mordecai. She arrayed herself as rich as circumstances would permit, and joined the youthful procession that entered the audience chamber of the King Ahasuerus, where he sat in state to look along the rank of female beauty floating like a vision before him. The character of Esther is here exhibited at the outset, for when she went into the King’s presence for his inspection, instead of asking for gifts, as allowed by him, as others did, she took only what the chamberlains gave her, and by her exquisite form and faultless features her rare beauty at once captivated the King, and he made her his wife. This is to teach you that, as a royal member, all your acts should be as near faultless as possible, not only to receive the kind favors of our earthly rulers, but that you may receive the welcome approbation from our Heavenly King: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." The candidate is then led to the throne. You may now be seated on the throne and a crown of righteousness will be placed on your head. The candidate is then seated on the throne, and a crown placed on the head at the word head. This crown is to admonish you that your life should be so circumspect that you may wear the crown that fadeth not away when you are called from labor to reward. Be faithful and true in all things, and you will prove a royal member indeed. After which the procession is formed, headed by the King and Queen, who lead to the Banquet Feast.
M.E.Q.: Excellent Scribe, is there any other business pertaining to the Royal House pending at your Station?
M.E.S.: There is none, Most Excellent The business for this evening’s banquet is completed and the attendants all await your further pleasure.
M.E.Q.: Gives one rap and says arise.
F.M.H.: Gives one rap and says arise.
S.M.H.: Gives one rap and says arise. Members rise on the third rap.
M.E.Q.: Most Noble King, you will please lead the Royal House in the Closing Signs. All Signs belonging to the females are then given, beginning with the Juvenile Degree, next Temple, First and Second Degrees, including Grand Honors, Grand Signs, and end with the Royal.
M.N.K.: Herald, perform your last duty in the Royal House.
Herald: By authority of the Most Noble King and Excellent Queen, I proclaim that this banquet is now ready to close.
M.E.Q.: Excellent High Priest, perform your last duty.
Dear Sisters, ere tonight we part,
Join every voice and every heart;
One solemn song to God we’ll raise,
Our closing song of grateful praise.
Here comrades we may meet no more,
Still, there is yet a happier shore,
And there, released from toil and pain,
Dear comrades, we shall meet again.
Oh, may God’s love with sweet control
Bind every passion of my soul;
Make every base desire depart:
Forever dwell within my heart.
Benediction is pronounced by the High Priest.
M.E.Q.: I now declare this Royal House closed, and trust that all members of this degree will keep sacred their solemn vows until we meet again. Chamberlains and Attendants will collect the regalia and deposit in the proper place. Herald, inform the Guards.
Members all give the Recognition Sign of the Juvenile Degree or Sign of Secrecy, and say: Adieu until we meet again.