Ritual of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General
Dit rituaal dateert uit ca. 1860 en is een Amerikaanse vertaling van een Franse versie.
The Very Puissant Sovereign Grand
Commander says: Sovereign Lieutenant Commander,
How old are you?
Answer: Accomplished thirty, Very Puisant Sovereign.
Question: What is your duty?
Answer: To battle for God and my right, and inflict vengeance upon traitors.
Question: What is the hour?
Answer: The watchword has been given, the guards are at their stations, and we are in perfect security.
The Sovereign then says: Since we need not fear interruption, give notice by the mystic numbers that the Supreme Council of the 33d degree is about to be opened “Ad Gloriam Dei”, that we can safely labor in our undertakings and implore the presence of the God of Battles to assist us in our combats, and finally obtain justice and our rights.
He then raps with the hilt of his sword 5,3,1,2 which is repeated by the Sovereign Lieutenant Commander and the Supreme Council is open.
All members kneel, likewise the Sovereign Grand Commander and humbly offer to God this prayer, preceded by the words: Let us pray!
“O Thou great and Eternal God, Father of Light, Life and Supreme Architect of the World, whom from Thy throne of heavenly purity seest all peoples of the earth, hear and receive the prayers and supplications of Thy unworthy servants now prostrate before Thee. Engrave in our hearts the knowledge of the Eternal Word, and allow the purposes of our institution to be governed by the principles of virtue and justice. Defend us, O God, from the traps of the wicked! Protect us against the machinations of our enemies and give us the power to conquer those who are arrayed against us; for honor and glory are ascribed to Thy holy and mighty name, now and forever. Amen! Amen! Amen!”
As this degree is the most solemn and the
most important it is necessary to take the utmost precautions in the selection
of persons to be admitted therein. It is not enough to arrive at this degree to
have been admitted of the degree of Royal Secret; to this requirement must be
added a character and behavior beyond reproach in addition to a steadfast and
unwavering zeal, virtue and well-tested determination of soul.
The aspirant submits to the Supreme Council his petition in the following form:
“Being ardently devoted to the glorious enterprise of the Knight Kadosh and Prince of the Royal Secret, and earnestly desiring to arrive at the summit of Masonic knowledge which you alone can provide, I very humbly beg permission to offer myself as a candidate for admission into your Illustrious and Puissant Council, and your votes in my favor will be the cause of unceasing gratitude on my part. Signed, ...”
The candidate is then proposed and accepted by acclamation. (He can be excluded forever is the reasons advanced are deemed good and sufficient.)
The Illustrious Master of Ceremonies then takes the Aspirant and examines him in all the preceding degrees, since one cannot be admitted into the Supreme Council unless one has been regularly initiated into the ancient mysteries and received all the degrees from Entered Apprentice to the 32nd degree, being Prince of the Royal Secret, for which fact a certificate must be submitted. He must declare that the Holy Bible is the sacred eternal word of God, because one who assumes an oath upon a book he does not recognize cannot assume a valid obligation.
No one can be admitted to this degree until he has completed his 30th year. The candidate having complied with these formal requirements is conducted to door of the Supreme Council where he knocks 5,3,1,2 raps.
The Lieutenant Grand Commander says: Very Puissant Grand Commander, someone knocks at the door an disturbs the deliberations of the Supreme Council.
Answer: Go and see who knocks.
The officer goes to the door, knocks 5,3,1,2 raps and says: Who disturbs our deliberations?
The Master of Ceremonies answers: A Knight Kadosh, Prince of the Royal Secret who is ardently devoted to the Order, his country and his God, who beholds the sufferings of humanity in the death of his Master with an avenging eye and who humbly solicits the favor of admittance into the Supreme Council that being enlightened by Divine Wisdom he may spread the mantle of Masonic charity over those who are in darkness.
The Grand Commander closes the door and relays the response to the Sovereign grand Commander, who gives the sign that he may be admitted if he possesses the necessary qualifications.
The Illustrious Master of Ceremonies introduces the aspirant, who is dressed in black, and without hat, shoes, sword or apron, and who has his head bowed, arms crossed over his breast with the fingers extended and a ribbon about his neck which is held in the left hand of the Master of Ceremonies and a torch in his right.
In this condition he thrice circumambulates the Supreme Council and upon passing the Sovereign Grand Commander he bows in humble veneration before the sacred delta in the East.
The Sovereign Grand Commander says: Let us humbly worship with the most profound reverence and piety the Source, that Glorious Spirit which is the Most Merciful and Beneficent Ruler of the Universe and all creatures it contains.
Glory to His Holy Name, now and forever.
This prayer is given after the first round. At the second the Sovereign Grand Commander says: How wonderful and impressive are the rays of that Glorious Light which illuminate from on high the Eastern sky, we adore the Great and Almighty Jehovah who is from all Eternity. Glory be to this Great and Powerful Name forever.
After the third and last round the Sovereign Grand Commander says: Honorable Knight and Prince ..., impressed with the ceremony in which you are to be the principal actor as you take an obligation which among all others is the most serious and important to which a man can subscribe and feeling conscious of the the terrible penalties which the Eternal inflicts upon all who violate the obligation you are about to assume, and as temptation frequently arise which may test your resignation and determination, it is necessary that we have some proof of your courage and fortitude. It is necessary, respectable Brother, for you to approach this urn and wash your hands in the molten lead you see therein; that the stains of vice and immorality with which your hands have been soiled will be purged from the heavenly record. We have all passed through the same trial and have escaped the threatening danger. Place your trust in God and resolutely determine to fulfill your obligation. The lead, though molten, will loose its heat when you insert your hand into it, and will recede from your touch. My Brethren, attend the mystic ceremony.
All advance to see it performed. The urn should be an iron basin under which is a chafing dish containing piece of charcoal which must not be lighted until the moment the candidate enters the Supreme Council, and placed on the bottom in a manner that he passes behind it as he turns. On it is thrown incense composed of amber, olibanum and resin, three parts of each, and two parts of storax, one part each of labdamon and benzoin mixed in a gross powder which yields an agreeable perfumed smoke.
The urn should be half filled with quicksilver which has the appearance of lead but is not necessarily heated.
After dipping his hand in it, the candidate is conducted to the altar, before which he kneels and assumes his obligation which the incense burns. All the members also kneel and bow their heads in humble adoration and all have their right hands over their hearts. The candidate, with his right hand over his heart, repeats the following obligation:
I, ..., Knight Kadosh, and Prince of the Royal Secret, solemnly pledge my sacred word of honor, swear sincerely and promise on the Holy Word of the Eternal, who is very merciful, sovereign, powerful and the Supreme Architect of Heaven and Earth, in the presence of whom, as well as the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree here assembled, that I will never directly or indirectly reveal the secrets and mysteries of the sublime degree which I am about to receive, nor any of those which I have received, except to an equal Sovereign Grand Inspector General who has likewise lawfully received it.
I furthermore swear to strictly and scrupulously follow the statutes, constitutions and regulations of this Degree and to fulfill the duties of Grand Inspector General diligently, faithfully and without partiality, favoritism or prejudice and that I will never receive nor recognize any higher degree in Masonry than this; that I will worship the Only True and Living God in the manner and form that I believe according to my conscience will please Him the most, and that I will govern my conduct according to His Divine commands; that I will yield allegiance and fealty to the country in which I reside and will be obedient to all the orders and laws of the government; that I will to the utmost of my ability inculcate by word and deed our duty to God and neighbor; as I am convinced that virtue alone makes us worthy of respect and religion makes us happy.
I swear and promise all this without equivocation, or mental reservation and with no hope of being freed at some future period thereof by any power whatsoever, under the self-imposed penalty of being dishonored among men and having my name branded in red letters in the Councils and Lodges World-wide, and I here solemnly call upon the Great Eternal God to pour out his curses upon this head here the candidate places his right hand upon his head and to let me languish in misery and misfortune and finally to subject my soul to tortures till it perish, should I ever violate my present obligation. May Almighty God grant me sufficient power to abide it in every particular to the great glory of His Holy Name. Amen! Amen! Amen!
He kisses the Bible three times and the blade of the sword.
After the obligation the Grand Commander places a sword in his right hand saying: Honorable Knight and Brother, we place in your hand a deadly weapon which we instruct you never to use against the life of a Brother except in the following circumstances:
1. for your own defense,
2. against the common enemy of your country,
3. against blood stained criminals, the murderers of our Honorable Master, Jacques de Molay.
He places on the fourth finger of his left hand a golden ring one line wide, within which is engraved “Deus Meumque Jus” and the name of the candidate; he then tells him: With this ring I thee wed to the Order, your Country and your God, and receive and acknowledge you a Sovereign Grand Inspector general of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree. May it ever recall to you the solemn obligations you have assumed to the Order. Swear to me never to fail to wear it except, but when you are near your death give it to your wife, son or eldest daughter, or dearest friend, as a sacred keepsake under a solemn promise not to remove it except in similar circumstances.
The candidate responds: I swear it on my honor.
The Sovereign Grand Commander then raises him and invests the cordon and jewel of the Order to him giving him the signs and words:
1st Sign: Kneel, cross arms over the breast, fingers extended, body and head leaning towards the ground.
2nd Sign: Draw the sword, fall on your left knee and place hand upon heart.
3rd Sign: Kiss the blade of the sword three times.
1st Word: De Molay.
Response: Hiram Abif.
2nd Word: Frederick.
Response: Of Prussia.
Grand Pass Word (That of Kadosh) or Sacred Word: Micha Micha Bealim Adonai: Who is like Thee, among the brave, O Lord.
The Very Sovereign Grand Commander in Chief, Sovereign of
Sovereigns, Prince of the Royal Secret was our Illustrious Brother Frederick II,
King of Prussia. He established this degree in council with the Very Illustrious
Brother, His Royal Highness, Louis of Bourbon, Prince of the French blood and
other illustrious characters who had the degree of Knight Kadosh and Prince of
the Royal Secret.
The Degree of Knight Kadosh is the most awesome and important. In this degree you solemnly bound yourselves without restriction to destroy an order of men for crimes committed several centuries ago, without regard for the common principles of humanity and the laws of your country. In spite of the great precautions taken in selecting candidates some unworthy persons may have been received and others, by mistaken zeal or religious enthusiasm may have committed acts which were unallowable. In consequence, the King created and established on May 4, 5786 the 33rd degree to settle the remaining obligations of the Kadosh.
The King was aware that according to the course of human events he could not expect to live many years longer and conceived and executed the glorious design of delegating Masonic authority of the Order of Prince of the Royal Secret in a Council of Grand Inspectors general, in order that he might be able, after his death to regulate agreeable to the Constitutions and Statutes which he established, the government of Masonry in all degrees from the 17th or Knight of the East and West inclusive, allowing the supervision of Symbolic Lodges and the Grand Ineffable and Sublime Lodges of Perfection or Knight of the East or Sword, to the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem which he deemed justly charged with that power. The new Degree was denominated “Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree.”
The Princes of the Royal Secret were deputies of the Grand Inspectors General. They act by virtue of the special powers granted them for that purpose but their power is granted to this degree. The Council, when formed, may consider all circumstances involving Masonry from the 17th degree on up and hear all appeals from Councils or persons above the Grand Council of the Princes of Jerusalem as explained in the Constitutions accompanying this degree. No Inspector possesses individual authority in a country where a Grand Council of Inspectors General exists, as a majority vote of the members is required to give legality to a decision the Grand Inspector may assume. In consequence of the powers with which the Inspectors of the degree are invested it is necessary to limit their number.
Therefore a Council a Council consists of not more than nine members, five of whom must profess the Christian religion. No business can be transacted unless there are three brethren present, excepting the the establishment of a Council as provided by the Constitutions. There can be but one Council of this degree in each kingdom or nation of Europe and two in the United States of America as far apart from each other as possible, on in the English Islands in America and one in the French Islands. No Inspector may possess the manuscript ritual of this degree except those who first form the Council. When an Inspector goes to another country to establish the degree the manuscript is given to him with the obligation never to it except to the one chosen to act as his second in the establishment. The signs and words are given to all Inspectors.
Vengeance for the unjust cruelties, insults and injuries inflicted upon the Knights Templar without provocation and in which the Knights of the Holy St. John of Jerusalem and of Malta assisted resulted in the formation of the degree of Kadosh in a manner clearly evident in this degree.
According to the tale of the Knights of Malta by Abbe Vertot, the Knights Templar organized an order of Masonic Knighthood instituted under Pope Gelasimus II about the year of Masonry 5117; they were thus called because they lived on part of the Temple at Jerusalem, not far from the sepulcher of Jesus Christ. They received and gave charitable assistance to strangers and Christian pilgrims. Clothed in armor they escorted they into the Holy Land to see the Sacred Monuments of Christianity without fear of infidels.
This Order increased in numbers, power and wealth and about the year 1200 spread over the whole of Europe. Most of their Commanderies were situated along the Mediterranean and their influence and possessions seemed to increase daily. Philippe the Fair, King of France, grew jealous of them, which jealousy turned to hatred because they embraced the cause of Boniface VIII in disputes he had with the King. Philippe never forgave the Templars for their conduct in these matters.
On the 13th of October 1309 he arrested all the Knighis Templars in his Kingdom and inflicted upon them the most cruel tortures. In 1312 the Order was suppressed by Pope Clement V at the demand of the king of France. The Kings of England, Castile, Aragon and Sicily, the Counts of Provence and all Sovereigns of Europe had the Knights arrested and seized their possessions and placed guards in their commanderies.
On October 1, 1312 the Council of Vienna banished the Order in agreement with the Pope and gave the greater part of their possessions to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Rhodes, now called “Knights of Malta” which were established about 1120, when Honoris was Pope.
The Knight Kadosh were called “Knights Templar” but after the massacre by Philippe the few who escaped changed their name and appearance, to avoid persecution of from their enemies until their numbers increased and they could take arms for for their just and lawful rights. They ceased wearing the black cordon and red cross, and substituted a large blood-colored cordon, worn over the left shoulder to the right hip, to which was attached a black double-headed eagle with spread wings and holding a naked sword in its talons.
About the Masonic year 5767 investigations were made in Paris to prove that Masons with the title Knights Kadosh were Templars. If the discovery succeeded the Order would have been destroyed. In consequence it was determined in Grand Council by communication with Berlin and Paris that in the future they should assume the title “Knights of the Black and White Eagle.”
In order that the Knights of Malta could keep the possessions they illegally obtained they were obliged to exterminate the Order of the Temple, whose knights are actually those who received the degree of Knights Kadosh, or White and Black Eagle. The Knights Kadosh pledged each other, and in the name and presence of the Great and Eternal God to preserve the hatred and enmity towards the Knights of Malta and destroy them when in their power.
Although we has assumed the duty to exterminate that Order which seeks our destruction, it is yet necessary that the extent of our enmity toward the order be well defined; this obligation does not require one of us, if on going to the Mediterranean on business should meet by accident a member of this Order we would be bound to cut his throat; that would be murder condemned by the laws of every country, punished by death. But if a sovereign power declared war, we are bound by the solemn obligation we has taken, and if our business permits, we are bound to join the army of their enemies and use our talents, both in cabinet and field to exterminate the Order, that we may ,again possess the rich and strong places belonging to Templars by right.
As the different Masonic bodies are obliged to obey their superiors when they are sufficiently numerous and powerful they will be led against the enemy by the Sovereigns of the 33rd Degree, and if victorious, the Knights Kadosh will declare themselves and take possession of the country of which they are illegally deprived and remain under the banner and protection of this rank from which they will receive systems of government founded on their rights and of the Knights and their zeal. Their service and virtuous sufferings during so many centuries. When we shall enter the field of our foes our forces will be directed according to the orders given in the degree of Prince of the Royal Secret, but as the Very Illustrious Sovereign of Sovereigns determined to invest this degree with supreme executive power, the command of the troops after his death devolved upon us. Therefore His Majesty King Frederick ordered that the first and second Commanders should order the troops, districts, nations and kingdoms over which they have Masonic jurisdiction.
On the arrival of the land forces at Jerusalem where appointed, a Supreme Council of all who have received the 33d Degree shall convene immediately, where each Inspector General shall produce election papers to the degree and the holder of the oldest title shall be declared and proclaimed to the armies as generalissimo and take the title of Very Puissant Grand Commander. All other military ranks shall be given in succession according to the various dates of their certificates of election. Titles of the same date shall be settled by ballot.
In the future, all ranks, honors, dignities, titles and possessions, etc., shall be hereditary. The government of the Order shall remain in the family of the Sovereign Grand Commander.
On the suppression of the Knights of Malta the Sovereign Grand Commander will immediately convene a Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree in which there shall be founded a constitution and system of government of the Order which shall always be a military one. The Order will then take its true title.
The uniform of the Order, in the field, is blue, lapels and hems of white, white buttons on which is the jewel of the 33rd Degree, on the small buttons only the number 33.
As we have powerful enemies to contend with, it is fitting that to protect ourselves against the snares of the wicked; we are always on guard and discreet. let us feed our hearts the seed of virtue and in our conduct an language give offense to no one. Let us respect the human race, and even our enemies. Let us fight openly and honorably, and if victorious, let us not stain our laurels by insulting conquered foes. Let us prove to them by magnanimous conduct that justice does not demand the assistance of the assassins hand, but virtue is the reward of labors. Let us conquer the villainy of their conduct by the righteousness of our own and their injustice by our mercy.
In every country in which capricious fortunes may be thrown be faithful and obedient to the laws and its government. For a Knight Mason who is not faithful to the country in which he lives would not hesitate to sacrifice the secrets of his Order.
Venerate the beings that gave you birth. Be tender to those near your bosom and an affectionate father to your offspring: let your obligation be crowned with peace of soul, let it be free from reproach. Rear your son in the Masonic Order, be true to your friends and Brothers; patiently endure their faults, making allowance for human frailty. Be a living example of virtue and charity to all around you; aid the poor and afflicted, give them such assistance as needed, according to your resources, and above all offer unceasing prayers to the Great Architect as the Ever-Living God for the signal proofs of goodness and mercy you have received from Him and constrain yourself with ardor to attain the heavenly eternal bliss that only he can give. Amen! Amen! Amen!
Q.: Are you
a Sovereign Grand Inspector General?
A.: Very Puissant Sovereign, my virtue, courage and zeal have procured this distinguished rank.
Q.: How can I know you to be a Sovereign Grand Inspector General?
A.: By my giving you the Pass Word.
A.: Jacques de Molay.
Q.: Hiram Abif.
A.: Frederick of Prussia.
Q.: What are the meanings of the skeletons skulls, bones and torches in our Council?
A.: They serve to remind of the massacre of our ancestors by Philippe the Fair who delivered them to the most cruel tortures.
Q.: Why do you appear in mourning armed with a sword?
A.: To mourn their loss and be ready to avenge them.
Q.: Who established this degree?
A.: Our Illustrious Brother of Brunswick, Frederick, King of Prussia.
Q.: For what purpose?
A.: To regulate our hatred and our campaigns against against the the Knights of Malta, to guide our zeal and our efforts in proper channels and direct our undertakings.
Q.: What is the cause of the hatred and enmity that you have sworn against the Knight of Malta?
A.: After the destruction of the majority of Knights Templar by Philippe the Fair, in cooperation with Pope Clement V, their rich possessions were assigned to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, now Knights of Malta, of Island of Malta, which is one of our possessions, in addition to several other places in the Mediterranean which they have refused to make restitution of that which was wrested from us by injustice and cruelty. In consequence we determined to regain them by force, when our Order has sufficient numerical strength to undertake the enterprise or nobly perish in the attempt.
Q.: Is this the only reason for which the king of Prussia established this degree?
A.: There is another. The King foreseeing that his death was not too far distant determined to establish a Supreme Council of Grand Inspectors General to which he could commit the supreme power over the Masonic Order with which it has been reinvested, which after his death might govern the Grand Body, agreeable to certain statutes he established for the purpose and to lead it to battle should it become strong enough. Each nation is independent, one over the other, in civil government he believed they should possess a high Masonic court from which there could be no appeal. This political set being agreeable to each government, no jealously could exist in the Order. This Grand Body should increase rapidly and the great aim of the Order accomplished.
Q.: What else did you see on entering the Council?
A.: I saw in the east a five branched candlestick, in the West on of three branches, in the North one of one branch, and in the South one of two branches.
Q.: What does it mean?
A.: In arranging this number of lights, the make up 5312, the Masonic year in which the order was destroyed. The opening and closing of the Council also refer to the circumstance, as well as the reception, by the number of raps at the door.
A.: The white is emblematical of the purity and innocence of those who were delivered to torture, the red of the blood of those victims of Philippe the Fair and Clement V. As the sun gives light and life to all regions of the earth, likewise the sun on our breasts indicates that the sublime and Illustrious Order we possess given light and life to the Grand Masonic Body of the Universe.
Q.: Why does the skeleton hold in its hand the banner of the Order?
A.: To indicate that all those who shall betray the Order and prove false to their obligation which they assumed will be punished by death. It recalls also that they should conquer or perish nobly in the glorious undertaking.
The Very Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander says: Illustrious Deputy, how old are you?
Answer: Accomplished Thirty, Very Puissant Sovereign.
Question: What is your duty?
Answer: To combat for God and my rights, and inflict punishment on traitors.
Question: What is the hour?
Answer: The radiance of the morning sun illuminate our Council.
The Sovereign Grand Commander says: Since the sun has risen to illuminate the world, let us rise my Brothers all rise and diffuse the radiance of Masonic Light in the souls of those who are in darkness, and be examples of virtue to the world. Give notice that I am about to close his Council by the Mystic Numbers.
The Very Puissant Grand Commander raps 5-3-1-2 with the pommel of his sword, which is repeated by the Very Illustrious Inspector.
The Very Puissant Grand Commander raises his hands and says: O Thou Glorious and Eternal God, Father of Light, of Life, Very Merciful Supreme Ruler of Heaven and Earth, lead us in the paths of Virtue and Justice! Teach us the great fundamental principles of Thy true religion which will make us worship Thee and perform our duties to one another, that we may be prepared for membership in the Celestial Supreme Council.
All: God grant it! So mote it be!
The Very Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander says: May the Holy One of Enoch and Israel and the Highest Almighty God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob enrich us with His blessings now and forever!
All: God grant it! So mote it be!