Ritual of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon
by the Supreme Forest, 1921.
GRAND TALL CEDAR, one rap:
We are about to open ... Forest, No. ..., of Tall Cedars of Lebanon. Those who
are not Tall Cedars will retire.
Brother Sentinel, Sentinel rises
you will guard the door, and allow no one to enter without the Password and the
Card of the current year.
Brother Senior and Junior Deputies, they
advance to the centre of the Forest and salute you will examine those
present, and allow no one to remain without the Password and Card of the
The Senior Deputy examines those on the right, and the
Junior Deputy those on the left. When all have been examined, the Deputies
advance to the center of the Forest and salute.
Grand Tall Cedar, we have examined all present, and find them to be Tall Cedars
in good standing.
GRAND TALL CEDAR:
All present being Tall Cedars, we are now ready to open the Forest.
Tune: Maryland, My Maryland.
O Lebanon, dear Lebanon!
Tall Cedar trees of Lebanon!
We labor in the forest green
On Lebanon, dear Lebanon.
The timbers to the line we hew,
For temple roof-beams, straight and true,
From mighty cedar trees which grew
On Lebanon, dear Lebanon.
Instead of the Opening Ode, one stanza of The
Star-Spangled Banner or of America, may be sung.
GRAND TALL CEDAR:
The Chaplain will now pronounce the Invocation.
CHAPLAIN: Almighty Ruler of the Universe, we thank thee
for the health and strength that permit us to come together. The labor of the
day is over, and we are met for pleasure and refreshment. Help us to enjoy them
without excess, and may harmony and brotherly love unite us. Amen.
ALL: May it ever be thus.
GRAND TALL CEDAR:
By virtue of the power and authority in me vested by the Supreme Forest, I
hereby declare ... Forest, No. ..., open and ready for the transaction of
business one rap.
Order of Business
Reading of Minutes
Reports of Committees
Petitions for Membership
General Directions for the Royal Court
The Full Form of the Royal Court is a dramatic and
spectacular presentation of the calling and employment of the workmen of Sidonia,
to become hewers of timber in the forest of Lebanon.
It is not prescribed nor intended that the full
ceremonies of the Royal Court shall be used at every meeting of the Forest. In
most Forests, it will be found more satisfactory and more effective, if used at
only a part of the meetings, say, once, or twice, or at the most, three times in
each year. Each Grand Tall Cedar is at liberty to use his own discretion as to
which Form shall be used. But, if at all possible, it should be presented at
least once a year in each Forest, either in Full Form, or Plain Form.
It should be presented in a serious, dignified manner,
and made as impressive as possible. All entrances and exits should be tyled and
kept closed until the conclusion of the Secret Work. The members of the Forest
should remain seated, and all unnecessary conversation and movements be avoided.
The ceremonies of the Royal Court admit much elaboration in costumes and
properties, and may be made very spectacular, especially in the entry of the
King and his enthronement, and also the entry of Prince Azariah.
In working the Royal Court, the great aim should be to
have the different movements follow one another in immediate and rapid
succession. The whole ceremony has been planned as a whole, and there should be
no break in the action, at any time.
If the Grand Tall Cedar is to take the part of the King,
he should call some one to preside over the Forest and transact the preliminary
business, while he is putting on his costume. The Princes and Rangers should be
all READY TO ENTER as soon as the Royal Court is announced. Delay is ABSOLUTELY
UNNECESSARY, if the different officers and the Chief Ranger will so STUDY THE
RITUAL that they know where their parts come in.
The Guide should have the candidates arranged in the ante
room in such manner that they can be brought in immediately, when the order is
given by the Grand Tall Cedar.
All the movements and marching in the Royal Court should
be with the greatest dignity and formality, and especially without levity or,
appearance of haste.
The directions as to the movements of the Rangers, as
given in the Ritual, must be governed by local conditions, such as the size of
the room, and the location of the entrances. The Grand Tall Cedar and the Chief
Ranger are at liberty to make such changes as will add to the beauty and
impressiveness of the work.
At ordinary meetings, or in small Forests which have not
suitable costumes, or where the room is small, the Short Form may be used, but
the Sidonian Degree should be given IN FULL at every meeting of the Forest.
The stunts may be omitted at the direction of the Grand Tall Cedar, but this
should be done only for weighty reason.
If a Forest has no costumes or uniformed Rangers it may
call upon some neighboring Forest. Very many of the Forests, having fully
costumed Degree Teams and uniformed Rangers, will welcome an invitation to make
a visitation and display their work. These friendly visitations are a most
important feature in the life of any Forest, and greatly help to create and
maintain that fraternal feeling which is the foundation of our Order.
The work of the Royal Court will be made most impressive
and effective in every Forest by the institution of a Degree Team, who may, or
may not be officers of the Forest. It will generally be found that the Grand
Tall Cedar has enough to do without undertaking to memorize and perform one of
the parts in the Royal Court. In order to be effective, it is absolutely
necessary that all the parts be memorized, and the work done without a book in
sight. In every Forest there may be found five members, possessing good voices
and dramatic ability, who, with proper rehearsal together, can render the work
of the Royal Court with dignity and impressiveness. This Team should continue
from year to year, with only such changes as may be necessary. It will be found
useful to have some understudies who can fill in when one of the members of the
Team is unavoidably absent.
The parts of the King and Chamberlain are the most
important, and it is especially necessary that the Chamberlain be thoroughly
familiar with the movements of the Ritual, as from his position on the floor,
and in the ante room, he can give directions to the other members of the Team
and to the Rangers.
The salute in the Royal Court is made by stretching forth
the right hand on a level with the shoulder, palm down, and bowing deeply. It is
answered by the King stretching forth his sceptre, or by bowing his head. Always
salute when addressing the King. When one is addressed by the King he shall
salute, or, if seated, shall rise and salute.
When Supreme Officers, or other visitors are present, a
suitable time for addresses may be found while the candidates are being prepared
for the Sidonian Degree.
Where the dressing room is back of the stage, the Rangers
may enter and form in front of the Throne. Princes enter from wings, and stand
right and left of Throne. Chamberlain enters from wings, and says: “Arise, my
Lords, etc.” King follows, and goes to Throne.
Initiation (Full Form)
When the time for Initiation has come, the Grand Tall
Cedar—or some one designated by him—shall rise and say:
GRAND TALL CEDAR:
Brother Tall Cedars, we are about to sit as the Royal Court of King Hiram of
Tyre, in order that we may increase the number of workmen in the Forest. The
Royal Court is no place for laughter and levity: that will be given opportunity
in due season. In the presence of the King, the greatest order and decorum must
Brother Guide, the Guide rises and salutes
you will admit the workmen who are in waiting, and place them in order in the
The Guide salutes and retires.
Brother Sentinel, the Sentinel rises and
salutes you will inform the Chief of the Royal Rangers that we are
ready to receive his Majesty as soon as the workmen are admitted to the Royal
Court. After his entry, you will close the door, and allow none to pass until
after the Secret Work.
The Sentinel salutes, retires to inform the Chief of the
Royal Rangers, and then returns to his place at the door.
The Guide brings in the candidates quietly, and places
them standing in the rear of the Court. They are not to be hoodwinked, and there
must be no attempts at fun. All the proceedings in the Royal Court must be
orderly and full of dignity. When all have entered and are arranged in order,
the Guide shall say to them:
GUIDE: You are now in the Royal Court of King Hiram of
Tyre. You represent skilled wood carvers, and will wait here in silence until
you are summoned to the royal presence.
The Sentinel shall then inform the Chief of the Royal
Rangers that the workmen are in the Royal Court.
Ceremony of Enthronement
The procession shall form in the ante room in the
following order, as soon as the workmen have gone out, and must be ready to
move as soon as the Sentinel gives the word that the workmen are arranged in the
1. Heralds and trumpeters.
2. Royal Rangers.
3. Princes Zadok and Adoniah.
The trumpeters shall sound a blast outside, as a signal
to open the doors, and continue blowing until the procession has fully entered
the Court, where it marches once around. Then, marching towards the throne, the
Rangers and Princes shall halt, open ranks two paces apart, and raise their
swords, or spears, or right hands, forming an archway. Immediately, the
Chamberlain. shall enter and say:
my Lords! All arise. Behold his Majesty,
The King shall then enter the Court. Preceded by the
Chamberlain, he marches slowly between the ranks of the Rangers. At the foot of
the throne, the Chamberlain shall halt and allow the King to ascend the throne,
where he remains standing. The Princes shall then pass between the Rangers, and
on reaching the throne salute the King, and take their places, Zadok on the
right .and Adoniah on the left of the King, where they remain standing. Then the
King shall take his seat on the throne and say:
KING: Lords of the Royal Court, I greet you with a
kingly salutation. May health and happiness abide with you, and may long life
and prosperity be your portion. One rap.
All are seated. The Rangers march to the rear of the
Court, and form in line in front of the candidates. The Chamberlain retires to
the ante room and immediately returns. He approaches the King and salutes.
Majesty, an Ambassador from King Solomon is in waiting.
KING: You will bring him at once into the Royal Court,
that we may receive him with the honor due to his exalted Master.
Chamberlain salutes and retires. The Rangers march to the entrance to receive
Prince Azariah and his retinue. The procession enters the Royal Court in the
Royal Rangers, in fours.
Guards of Prince Azariah, wearing purple capes, and carrying swords, or spears.
Attending Lords and retinue—in costume.
trumpeters sound a blast as Prince Azariah enters, and the procession
forward. When they are in front of the throne, the Rangers file right and left
in twos and halt, leaving space in the center for the Chamberlain and Prince
Azariah. They approach the King and salute. The entry of Prince Azariah may be
made as gorgeous and spectacular as desired.
Majesty, this is Prince Azariah who bears a message from King Solomon.
And what is thy message, most noble Prince?
salutes: Most excellent King Hiram of Tyre, my worshipful Lord and Master, King
Solomon, sends royal greetings, and bade me say that he is building a Temple
in Jerusalem. The stones thereof are hewed in the quarries near the city, but he
earnestly desires that it may be roofed with timbers of cedar. Therefore he begs
that thou wilt command thy servants to hew timbers in the forest of Lebanon. It
is well known unto him that there is not among us any that can skill to hew
timbers like unto the Sidonians. Salutes.
Prince Azariah, thy request is most freely granted. Return to thy royal and
illustrious Master and tell him that I rejoice greatly in his wisdom, and will
do all his desire concerning timbers of cedar for the Temple. My servants shall
cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as he shall need,. and we will bring it in
floats by sea to Joppa, so that he may carry it overland to Jerusalem. May
peace abide with thee and thy royal Master.
Chamberlain and Prince Azariah salute. The Rangers re-form in fours and lead the
as it retires from the Forest. The Chamberlain immediately returns
and takes a position in front of the candidates. The Rangers remain in line
ready for the proclamation.
My Lords, you have heard the request of my illustrious brother, King Solomon,
and the promise I have made. In order to accomplish this vast undertaking, we
must have more workmen in the Forest. Therefore it is my royal command that
Princes Zadok and Adoniah, accompanied by the Royal Rangers, shall forthwith
travel throughout the Kingdom, and make public proclamation, calling upon all
workers in wood to present themselves at the Royal Court.
Princes rise and salute the King.
The command of your Majesty shall be immediately obeyed.
May your journey be prosperous.
Princes salute and retire to the ante room where the Rangers are waiting in line.
The procession shall immediately re-enter the Royal Court, with the Princes and
trumpeters in the center of the Rangers. They shall march once around the
Court. When the Princes are at the center of the standing candidates, the
procession shall halt and face the candidates. After a blast is sounded by
the trumpets, the
proclamation shall be made, either by one of the Princes, or by the two in
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! By command of his royal Majesty, King Hiram of Tyre, all
workers in wood not now employed, shall forthwith present themselves at his
Royal Court, for labor in the forest of Lebanon. Long live the King!
Long live the King!
proclamation having been made, the
shall march around and halt in
front of the King. The Princes advance two paces and salute.
May it please your Majesty, we have obeyed the royal command, and proclamation
has been made throughout the Kingdom.
Most noble Princes, you have my royal approbation. Let us hope for a willing
the Chamberlain shall face the candidates and say: Workmen,
you have heard the royal proclamation. He that will offer himself for labor in
the forest of Lebanon, let him hold up his right hand.
all raise their right hands. The Chamberlain signals for them to be lowered,
faces about, marches quickly to a position between the Princes, and salutes.
A message, your Majesty!
And what is your message, my Lord Chamberlain?
Your Majesty, there are ... workmen in the Audience Chamber who crave an
audience with the King.
Have you ascertained their business?
They are workers in wood who have heard the royal proclamation, and desire to
offer themselves for labor in the forest of Lebanon.
Their prompt compliance is most gratifying, and I will presently receive them.
You will return to these workmen, and remain with them in the Audience Chamber
until they are summoned to the royal presence.
Chamberlain salutes and returns to the candidates where he takes a position at
their right, facing the King.
Princes Zadok and Adoniah, they
salute there are workmen in the Audience Chamber to whom I must soon
grant an audience. Before I hear them, you may present before me the Chief of
the Royal Rangers who accompanied you throughout the Kingdom.
of the Royal Rangers shall advance until he is in line with the Princes.
King Hiram, I present before you, Joab, the Chief of the Royal Rangers, who,
with his faithful band, is ever ready to undertake any duty in your Majesty’s
I have heard of you Joab, that you are a man of valor, and of great skill to
your Rangers. It is my pleasure that you now display their skill before this
and Chief Ranger salute. The Princes return to their places and are seated. The
Rangers perform their evolutions, ending with a military salute.
I thank you Chief Ranger Joab, for this exhibition which does great credit both
to you, and to your well trained men. You will assist Princes Zadok and Adoniah
in bringing before me the workmen who are in the Audience Chamber.
Princes rise and salute. The
arranges the candidates in ranks of
two or four at the rear of the Court, and takes his position at the right of the
line. The Rangers file left and march to the rear of the Court, passing just in
front of the line of candidates. Princes Zadok and Adoniah fall in line behind
the Rangers, and when the candidates are reached, Prince Zadok takes a position
at the foot of the line. The Rangers continue their march without halting, and
the Chamberlain and candidates fall in behind Prince Adoniah. The Rangers file
left along the side of the Court, and again file left and march across the Court
in front of the King. When the candidates are in a line before the King, they
shall be halted by the Princes. Prince Adoniah is at the left of the line Prince
Zadok at the right. The Rangers and Chamberlain continue their march without
halting, and retire to the ante room, where they prepare for the Sidonian Degree.
Your Majesty, these are workmen from the cities of the Kingdom, who desire to
become hewers of timber in the forest of Lebanon.
Are they of good report?
They are well known to me, and to many of the brethren.
Are they skilled in any craft?
They are skilled wood carvers, master workmen, but hearing of the-need for more
hewers of timber, they have offered themselves for your service.
Workmen, you are welcome, for there is great need for more, hewers in the Forest.
From Holy Writ, and from our previous teachings, we learn that at the building
of the Temple, King Solomon sent to King Hiram of Tyre desiring that the
Sidonians might hew cedars of Lebanon for use in the Temple. These timbers were
hewed in the forest, brought down to the sea, conveyed in floats to Joppa, and
thence overland to Jerusalem. A fraternal Brotherhood existed at that time
among the hewers of timber in the forest of Lebanon, as well as among the hewers
of stone in the quarries at Jerusalem. The Hewer’s Fraternity was known as the
TALL CEDARS OF LEBANON. It was instituted by a royal decree in the days of
King Amaram, so that the workers in Lebanon should live and work together in
harmony and brotherly love. To this Fraternity only were imparted the secrets of
the Forest. Do you desire to learn these secrets?
Are you willing to bind yourself to us by a solemn and lasting obligation?
Then place your right hand over your heart, and in an audible voice repeat after
candidates face the altar, standing in a semi-circle. The Princes stand just
behind the right and left sides of the altar facing the candidates. When all are
in position, the King descends from his throne and takes his place between the
Princes, just behind the altar. In places where it is convenient the lights may
be turned off, except the lights upon the altar, which should be red or green.
If the whole altar is not made of cedar wood, there should be some pieces of
rough cedar, or cedar boughs laid upon it.
I, ...—in the presence of his Majesty—King Hiram of Tyre,—the
Princes Zadok and Adoniah,—with these Tall Cedars as my witnesses,—and
before this altar of cedar wood,—do hereby promise and vow—that I will never
reveal—any of the secrets of this Order—that may now,— or at any future
time,—be imparted to me as such.
Furthermore, I promise—that I will firmly support—the Supreme Forest
and its officers,—and will abide by and loyally obey—all laws, rules,
regulations,—orders and edicts—lawfully promulgated by them;—and in the
same manner—will loyally support the officers,—and obey the authority and
laws—of this, or any other Forest—with which I may be connected.
Furthermore, I promise—that I will neither alter nor change,—subtract
from, nor add to,—the written or unwritten Work of the Order—as set forth by
the Supreme Forest,—nor will I hold Cedar communication—with any Tall
Cedar—who is not a member in good standing—in a lawfully chartered Forest.
Furthermore, I promise—that I will never consent to,—nor assist in the
introduction—into any of the ceremonies of the Forest,—or into any meeting
or festivities—under its name or auspices,—of anything
indecent,—obscene,—irreverent,—immoral, —or harmful to the person or
property of any one.
To the faithful observance—of all these promises,—I sincerely vow,—binding
myself anew—by all the penalties—of any obligations—I have ever taken
elsewhere. So help me God,—and keep me ever firm and true-in this my solemn
the end of the Obligation, the lights shall be turned on.
Tall Cedars, Before you is the altar of cedar wood. The original meaning of
the word “cedar” is, “grimly rooted, strong tree.” So may you ever be
firmly rooted and strong in your love for our Order. And as the cedar wood is
everlasting, so is the solemn obligation which you have just taken. Ever be
mindful of your threefold promise of Secrecy, Loyalty, and Decency.
Brother Tall Cedars, we welcome you in Friendship, Love, and Brotherhood.
Tall Cedarism is but another name for Hospitality and Good Cheer. Friendliness,
Sociability, and Good Fellowship are the cardinal principles of our Order, so
that when you meet a Tall Cedar, you may be certain that you are meeting a
Friend, a Brother, and a Good Fellow. We welcome you as members of ... Forest,
The ceremony through which you have just passed is not a mere show and spectacle.
It has a deep and serious meaning. You have represented skilled wood carvers;
artists, as well as craftsmen. The work of hewing timber is very rough for your
skillful hands, but you were so loyal to your King, that as soon as you heard of
his need, you offered yourself for any service. By such loyalty and willingness,
you have shown us the grandeur of patriotism, the dignity of labor, and the
beauty of willing service.
You may still be artists, for the highest and truest art is not so much in
the thing produced, as in the spirit in which the thing is done. He is indeed
the true artist who puts his whole heart and soul into whatever his hands find
to do. All labor is equally honorable, and to every one who does his best with a
willing heart and mind, the Great Master will say: “Well done, good and
servant, thou shall have a great reward.”
You will now be instructed in the Secret Work.
The sign of a Tall Cedar is .... This is called the Hewing Sign, and is
symbolic of your labor as a Hewer of wood in Lebanon. On entering or retiring
from a Forest, when in session, you will advance to the center of the Forest and
throw this sign to the Grand Tall Cedar, who will answer it in this man
ner, thus signifying that everything that goes on in the Forest is to be
kept under cover.
The Pass-word is ....
The Test is ....
The Grip is made thus: ....
The Sign of Welcome to the Supreme Officers is made by throwing the Hewing
Sign three times, and saying in a loud voice “Welcome” with each Sign.
The Response to the Invocation is, “May it ever be thus.”
the Secret Work is concluded, KING: You will receive the Card of the current year from
the Scribe, without which you will not be able to gain admittance to this or any
other Forest. Your Pyramid should always be worn at the meetings of the Forest,
and at such other times as requested by the King.
You are now duly obligated Tall Cedars, but before you can learn the skill
to hew timber, it will be necessary for you to receive further instructions,
and be obligated as Sidonians. We are told in Holy Writ, that “there is none
among us who can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians,” and only to
duly obligated Tall Cedars may their secrets be imparted.
These secrets will be given you in the Sidonian Degree which is to follow.
It teaches that the real spirit of Tall Cedarism is the spirit of mirth and
enjoyment. A regular Cedar is a gentleman, a credit to society, and to our
Order. He scatters sunshine, dispels gloom, spreads good cheer, is full of joy
and laughter. Fun, Frolic, and Fellowship are the three great teachings of this
Degree. Let your Fun be always clean and harmless: your Frolics full of innocent
merriment: your Fellowship sincere in its friendliness and sociability. Thus
will you prove that you have caught the true spirit of Tall Cedarism, and that
you are a good Friend, a good Brother, and a good Sidonian.
list of those who are to take the stunts shall be prepared in advance, and given
to the King.
You must all take the Sidonian Obligation, but a few have been selected for
personal and individual instruction as overseers of the workmen. As their
names are called, the following Cedars will step forward and arrange
themselves in a line before me.
King reads the list of names, and the Cedars come forward and arrange themselves
Tall Cedars, you have been signally honored in being the chosen ones upon whom
will be exemplified the striking ceremonies of the Sidonian degree.
very amusing feature may be introduced here by the King reading fake telegrams
and letters, referring to the selected ones before him. These letters purport to
come from wives and friends, and are full of harmless, but funny personal
allusions, such as boasts they have made that they are not afraid, and that they
hope they will get their money’s worth, talking in their sleep, etc., etc.
You will now retire to the ante room, and be prepared for the honors that
await you. The other newly-made Cedars will remain standing as they are, and
strictly do as they are told.
ones who are to receive the stunts will then retire to the ante room. As soon as
they have left the Court, the King and Princes shall return to their places, and
the King shall say: Lords of the Royal Court, we have finished our labors,
and largely increased our numbers. I therefore declare this Royal Court
dissolved, and the Grand Tall Cedar shall preside over the Lodge of Sidonians.
May peace and harmony ever abide with you. Farewell!
Long live the King!
the King, preceded by the Princes, shall retire, and the Grand Tall Cedar shall
resume his station. The candidates remaining in the Forest shall immediately
be arranged in a rectangular body in the center of the Forest, leaving
sufficient space on all sides for the procession at the beginning of the
Sidonian Degree. They shall be hoodwinked as soon as they are placed in
the object being to mystify them, and keep them guessing as to what is going to
happen to them, and what is coming next. As the candidates are being hoodwinked,
they must be carefully instructed that they are to answer, “You Bet” in a
LOUD voice, to all the questions asked them by the Grand Tall Cedar. This answer
is to be given by the candidates alone. Rangers
members must keep silent.
Sidonian Degree should follow as quickly as possible.
TALL CEDAR: By virtue of the power and authority in me vested by the Supreme Forest,
I hereby declare ... Forest, No. ... closed, until called together by the Grand
Tall Cedar. one