GRAND ELECT, OR FRENCH DAME 7°
Dit rituaal is een amerikaanse vertaling van het franse rituaal, zoals dat halverwege de negentiende eeuw gebruikt werd..
Decorations, Clothing, etc. The hangings are white, and the throne is red. There are five lights, of which one is a transparent star of eight points, with the SW. in the centre. The Brothers dress in black and the Sisters in white. The Wor. Master and Mistress wear a hood from which the Jewel is suspended by a long black ribbon. The Apron is white, doubled and bordered with black and having the star of eight points embroidered in the centre. The Jewel is of mother of pearl in the form of an eight pointed star, with rim and points of gold; in the centre is the SW., it is worn over the heart by a black ribbon. The Sash is black. The titles are Sov. Gd. Master and Sov. Gd. Mistress.
Sov. Gd. Mas., knocks 5 – 5: Sister Senior Grand Warden, what is the hour?
Sis. Sen. War.: The signal is given and we are ready to obey your orders.
Sov. Gd. Master: What duties especially call for immediate attention?
Sis. Sen. War.: To regulate the punishment to which a perjured Sister has been condemned. Although the duty is unpleasant, we must not shrink from its performance. I therefore declare this Council duly open and competent for business. (5 – 5, the two Sister Wardens make the same declaration and knocks).
The preparation room is dark, a white mantle and veil is thrown over the head and body of the Aspirant, she is led to the door of council and knocks given, 5 - 5.
Sis. Jun. War., opening wicket: Who comes here?
Miss Cerem.: A Scotch Lady, who hearing that a Sister of the Order has been condemned to death for having broken her vows, and revealed our mysteries, ventures to present herself to petition that she may be permitted to plead for a mitigation of the punishment to which she has been sentenced.
The Sis. Jun. Warden reports in similar terms to the Sov. Gd. Mistress.
Sov.Gd. Mis.: We will ourselves hear her. Let her be admitted. She is placed between the columns.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: Your request has been made known to us, but alas, our condemned Sister Elstach, has been convicted on the clearest evidence of deliberate perjury, how then can you venture to plead her cause?
Mis. of Cerem., for Aspirant: Whilst feeling the greatest horror for the crime of which the unfortunate sister has been guilty, yet would I respectfully remind you that to minister to the sick and suffering, aye and even to the sinful and criminal, has ever been the great prerogative of our sex, how much more then is it the duty of Brothers and Sister Masons to endeavor at all times to temper justice with mercy.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: We listen with pleasure to your pathetic appeal, and shall be glad to know on what grounds you base your petition for clemency.
Mis. of Cerem.: I have learnt, O Sovereign Grand Mistress, that the condemned Sister has not deliberately violated her vows. She listened to the insidious voice of a person who presented himself in the guise of a Brother of our Order, and having by his apparent zeal for, and knowledge of Masonry, gained her entire confidence, she unfortunately revealed to him only what he appeared to be already well acquainted with, and she has ever since bitterly bewailed her indiscretion.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: We greatly commend the zeal displayed on behalf of our unfortunate Sister, we respite her and will make due enquiries into all that you have alleged. At some future time you shall be summoned to our Council, and the result of our deliberations make known to you. Aspirant is reconducted to the p reparation room, in which, during her absence, several green branches have been placed as emblem of hope. The Mis. of Cerem. leaves her and returns to Council. After a short time she returns to the Aspirant and addresses her thus: I am directed by the Sovereign Grand Mistress to require your instant presence in the Council. Follow me. Both enter without knocks and stand between columns. The members have substituted a green sash for the black one.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: My dear Sister, according to our promise we have duly investigated the case of our Sister Elstach for whom you have so eloquently pleaded, and find that the person who contrived so insidiously to extract from her our secret was a recreant Brother of our Order, the sentence of death has been commuted to a twelve months suspension from all Masonic privileges. As a reward for your generous zeal we have decided to admit you to membership in our Council as a Grand Elect Lady, but before your investiture can be completed, we must require from you a solemn promise to keep inviolate our Secrets. Are you prepared to make that promise?
Aspirant.: I am.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: Then you will advance to the Altar, kneel on both knees, place both hands on the Holy Book. Done. Repeat your name at length, and say after me. I, ..., do solemnly promise that I will never improperly reveal anything concerning the secrets of our Order, and that I will carefully conceal them from Brothers and Sisters of an Inferior Degree as I would from those who are not members of our Order, and that I will advise, console, and assist, all Brothers and Sisters who may be in need thereof. So may the Most High succour me in my utmost need. Aspirant kisses the book four times. Rise, my dear Sister, and receive the honors you have so well earned; and receive from our Brothers and Sisters the applause due to a Grand Elect Lady. All Salute by 5 - 5. I now invest you with this Apron and Sash, one side of which is black, the other green; on the green side is depicted the eight-pointed star. I also invest you with the Jewel of the Order, which from its whiteness typifies Purity. It has engraven thereon the Fleur de us, as a French Lady of Adoption. I will now make known to you, my dear Sister, the Secrets by which we recognize each other in this Degree. Secrets explained. You will now proceed to the West for examination. Conduced to the West where the Wardens examine her in S., T. and W. She is then placed between the columns.
Mis. of Cerem.: Sovereign Grand Mistress, our new Sister has answered correctly questions put by Sis. Wardens.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: You will now, my dear Sister, take your seat and listen to the lecture.
Q.: Are you a Grand Elect Lady?
A.: I am, prove me.
Q.: How did you obtain that honor?
A.: By applying for mercy for the condemned.
Q.: Were you successful?
A.: I was, from which I learned the lesson never to weary in well doing or abandon the cause of those whom the world appears to have forsaken.
Q.: Give me the sign of the Degree. (Done).
Q.: What is the sign it intended to imply?
A.: An appeal for mercy.
Q.: Give me the token? (Done.)
Q.: What does that imply?
A.: A response to the appeal.
Q.: Why is the Apron reversible?
A.: The black side in the first part of the ceremony is a token of grief, and the green side in the second part of the Hope that we have in our Brothers and Sisters.
Q.: What does the Jewel imply?
A.: The star of hope, without which this world would be a wilderness indeed.
Q.: Why is the fleur de lis engraved on it?
A.: To mark the connection of this Degree with France, and also as an emblem of the purity of life and actions expected from a Grand Elect Lady.
Q.: Where should the star be worn?
A.: Over the heart which is supposed to be the seat of all tender emotions.
Q.: What is the word, and its meaning?
A.: Elstach, the name of a condemned Sister, meaning a victim prepared for sacrifice.
Sov. Gd. Mis., knocks: My dear Sisters, assist me to close this Council. Sister Senior Grand Warden, what is the hour?
Sis. Sen. War.: The hour in which we have vanquished our enemies, and are now ready to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: How, Sister Junior Warden, have we vanquished our enemies?
Sis. Jun. War.:
By converting them into friends.
Sov. Gd. Mis.: May such ever be the result of our Masonic labors. I declare the Council closed. Depart in peace. Knocks 5 - 5 repeated by Warden.