Order of Seven Wise Men
Ritual of Grand Conclave Work
Grand Chief, gives one rap of the gavel: I am about to open the Grand Conclave. Grand Herald, you will proceed to your duty.
Grand Herald: Take notice that the Grand Conclave is about to be opened. All persons not members or visitors of the Grand Conclave will please retire, and all Candidates for initiation will please await the orders of the Grand Chief in the anteroom. I will now proceed to examine the members present.
G.Herald: I have the pleasure, Most Eminent Grand Chief, of reporting to you that all present are correct and entitled to sit in the Grand Conclave.
G.Chief: Grand Warder, is the Grand Sentinel at his post and are we safe from intrusion?
The Grand Warder reports in answer. The Grand Chief then calls up the Grand Conclave by two raps.
G.Chief: Grand Herald, you will open the Grand Conclave.
G.Herald: By order of the Most Eminent Grand Chief, I now proclaim the Grand Conclave open.
The Grand Chief then seats the members by one rap.
If there is a Grand Inspector General, he should have entire control of the Grand Conclave, during initiation, subject only to the private directions of the Grand Chief. He should remind each Officer of his place and duty and quietly see to the smooth working of the whole programme, especially if the following simple ceremony of initiation is enlarged upon or rendered more imposing by additional ceremonies.
But as the obligation and signs are the only essential or necessary portions of the ceremony, and, as the Order does not exact a blind adherence to the particular forms of a ritual, the Grand Inspector General’s office is sometimes considered unnecessary and was for a time omitted, though its revival is recommended.
If there is no regular Grand Guide, the Grand Chief shall appoint a Guide pro tem.
G.Chief: Grand Herald, you will please retire to the anteroom and examine the Candidate there waiting, in all the previous Degrees, and report to me their names and qualifications.
The above being performed and the Grand Conclave being ready for initiation, the Grand Chief proceeds.
G.Chief: The Grand Guide will proceed to the anteroom and conduct the Candidates within the Grand Conclave.
The Grand Guide proceeds to the anteroom and brings the Candidate to the door on which he gives six knocks. The Grand Warder opens the wicket.
G.Guide: The Grand Guide, with a Candidate, desires admission to the Grand Conclave.
G.Warder: Worhipful Grand Provost, the Grand Guide, with a candidate, desires admission to the Grand Conclave.
G.Provost: Most Eminent Grand Chief, the Grand Guide, with a candidate, desires admission to the Grand Conclave.
G.Chief: Let them be admitted.
G.Provost: By permission of the Grand Chief, you will admit them.
The Candidate is brought within the Grand Conclave and conducted in front of the Grand Chancellor, who thus addresses him: Crusaders, you are now about to receive the Sixth, or Grand Conclave Degree of our Order. Before you assume this high position, it will be necessary for you to take an obligation. With your left hand upon the Bible and the right hand upon your heart, repeat after me:
I solemnly promise to preserve and keep the mysteries of the Sixth Degree and not to impart them unlawfully.
I further promise to perform the duties made incumbent upon me by the teachings of the Sixth Degree to the best of my abilities and opportunities; and I will make use of its privileges only in the furtherance of the Order.
The Candidate is now seated.
G.Chanceller: Crusaders, the Degree I am about to communicate entitles you to hold a position of great responsibility, that of a member of a State Grand Conclave, and, in the present case, the supervision and governing power of the Order within the State of … is to be participated in by you.
The duties of a member of this Order have all been well exemplified in the preceding Degrees. I shall not tire you by repeating them here. Our lessons begin in the far East. Let us progress westward, and for a moment review a few striking examples in the history of man for our consideration and reflection.
Egypt first claims our attention. It was one of the first and foremost in mystic knowledge, and the principles of science, now so universal, were there the more estimated on account of the mysticism attending their development. We are much indebted to Egypt for its early cultivation and preservation of valuable knowledge, but its stately pyramids are not the less striking an example of man’s folly. There they still stand, but the object of their erection is derided or altogether lost sight of. It was a puny effort of human ambition.
Greece has left us many monuments of human art, many gems of literature, and great thoughts polished and put in form for preservation. The latter only seem destined to be perpetuated, and the former are vanishing gradually away under the vandal touch of time or the vandal hands of unthinking and uncultivated men.
Rome, with all her greatness, has fallen. Her history tells us a lesson of the vanity of human schemes. With all her victories, her conquests, her glories, her avarice, she has passed away, and a few crumbling mementoes attest the general truth taught by the examples before reviewed.
What lessons shall we deduce from these allusions to the past? On the face of every human thing seems to be written "change, change."
"The cloud capped towers,
The gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples,
The great globe itself,yea all which it inhabit,
Shall dissolve, and like an unsubstantial pageant, faded,
Leave not a rack behind."
We come now to the present, and apply this reflection. We find upon the face of the earth various manners, customs and forms of government. Among them are many excellences and many imperfections; the latter because nothing human is perfect. Upon one reflection all may unite, that where government is conducted with a view to public justice and with a proper consideration of the welfare of the governed, there will be happiness and prosperity, if virue and intelligence exist in the mass of the people.
And now of our Order. It may be that vicissitudes may come upon us. We may have our successes and our adversities. Let us ever be ready to meet events as they come, and do the right, whatever befall us. The future is onknown to us; but if we are governed by a fixed principle of right, we may hope for a triumphant perpetuation of our Order. Our Pass-word, therefore, in the Grand Conclave, is "Destiny"; our sign thus, F , meaning "Forward;" and our motto "Justice."
The sign which I have alluded to, is made by extending the forefinger of the left hand and pointing forward with the hand raised; which sign is addressed first to the Grand Chief and then to the Grand Provost on entering into, or retiring from the Grand Conclave.
The knock at the inner door on applying for entrance , is six raps.
The trial-pass-word or examination word of the Sixth Degree is "Cayomers." It may serve to begin the examination of a stranger when you have doubts of his being a member of the Sixth Degree; but it is seldom used. This was the name of the ruler who, according to our legends, founded the institution of the "Seven Wise Men." These were a body of his advisors, clothed with the power to hear and determine according to equity, the differences that, from time to time, arose among the people. In the ancient records, they are gratefully styled the "Earliest Distributors of Justice."
As a ruling body, let moderation, justice and prudence ever guide and limit our actions.
The Grand Guide then conducts the Candidate to the Grand Chief.
G.Chief: Crusader, I am happy to welcome you as a member of the Grand Conclave of … and proclaim you as such.
Gives two raps of the gavel and the members rise.
Crusaders of the Grand Conclave, I take pleasure in presenting to you our newly initiated member, Crusader … naming him, and I now declare a recess of … naming limit of time.
Pending the recess, the new members are greeted and introduced and the Crusaders of the Grand Conclave see to having them clothed in proper regalia, and, at the sound of the gavel, they take their seats among the members of the Grand Conclave.
The Grand Chief calls the members to their feet, by two raps of the gavel.
G.Chief: Having finished the labours of the present session, I am about to close the Grand Conclave.
Each one present will please remember that the transactions of the present session should be carefully guarded and not improperly divulged to those who are not entitled to a knowledge of our proceedings.
Grand Herald, you will do your duty.
G.Herald: By order of our Most Eminent Grand Chief, I proclaim this session of the Grand Conclave duly closed.