Ancient Order of Scottish
Ritual of the Fifth Degree
W.M.: Officers be upstanding and assist me to open the Lodge in the Fifth Degree.
Brothers all, brother deputy, what is the first and chicf care in a Lodge of the Fifth Degree?
D.M.: To see the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Order that duty to be done, and report the case to me.
D.M.: Brother Junior Deacon, see the lodge is duly tiled.
J.D.: Brother Deputy, the Lodge is duly tiled.
D.M.: Worshipful Master, the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, what is the next care of a Lodge of the Fifth Degree?
S.D.: To see that every person present proves himself a brother of the Fifth Degree by the word and sign of that degree.
W.M.: Direct that duty to be done; and should you or any brother present, have any doubt, look with an eye of scrutiny.
S.D.: Brothers, you are requested to prove yourselves of the Fifth Degree by the word and sign of that degree.
S.D.: Worshipful Master, as the brethren present have proved themselves of the Fifth Degree by the word and sign of that degree: I, in conformity with their example, demonstrate the same to you.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, Officers and Brothers all, our Lodge being duly proved by the word and sign of the Fifth Degree, let us, before I declare it open, invoke a blessing from the Sublime Power of the Universe.
Chap.: May the favor of the Almighty he upon this Lodge and meeting, as it is happily begun, may it be conducted with order and closed with harmony.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, Officers and Brothers all, I declare this Lodge duly open for the purpose of the Fifth Degree.
All: It stands opened accordingly.
During the opening of the Lodge, the Candidate is taken to the anteroom, and prepared by the Senior Deacon in the following manner, vis. his coat taken off, his left arm and right knee made bare and left heel slip-shod. The Senior Deacon will advance to and announce at the door by three distinct raps. The J.D. or Inner Guard will report in the following manner: Worshipful Master, there is an alarm at the door of the Lodge.
W.M.: See to the cause, Brother Junior Deacon.
J.D.: Who is there! who is there! who is there?
Immediately opening the wicket: he is informed: Brother ..., who has passed in the fourth or Blue Degree of Building, now comes prepared to take the Fifth Degree.
J.D.: Wait while I report.
Closing the wicket, the J.D. reports addressing the W.M.: Most Worshipful, the cause of the alarm is Brother ..., who is at the door seeking admittance; he has, from good reports, passed in the fourth or Blue Degree, has made such progress as we hope will recommend him for this degree.
W.M.: How does he hope to obtain the privileges of this degree?
J.D.: By the help of God, the united aid of the square and compasses, and the benefit of a password.
W.M: We acknowledge the powerful aid by which he seeks it: Do you, brother Junior Deacon, vouch that he is legally in possession of that password and that he is duly and properly prepared?
J.D.: I do, Most Worshipful.
W.M.: Then let him be admitted in due form.
The door is here opened and the lodge called up and the Candidate conducted around the lodge three times, when some suitable Ode may be sung, and at the third round he is brought at the right of the W.M. and is presented by the S.D. or Conductor: Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother ..., who has passed in the fourth or Fourth Degree and now is wishful of taking up the Fifth Degree.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, kindly conduct the Brother to our worthy Chaplain for his instruction.
The Candidate will be instructed to kneel on both knees at the foot of the altar while the Chaplain invokes the blessing of this degree.
Bless, O Heavenly Father, the Order, of which we are members, aid the good work of benevolence and charity to which we are pledged, and give direction and success to our efforts. Bless this member now before Thee, let Thy protecting care be over him, keep his feet upon the right path, and guide him by Thy power in the way everlasting. Make us faithful to our duties, and zealous in every good word and works: and unto Thee, our God and Father, he ascribed glory and dominion and power, world without end.
The Candidate is now raised and conducted once more, three times around, that he should be seen properly prepared during which time on appropriate Ode may be sung, and at the third round again presented to the W.M. by the S.D.: Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother ..., for further instruction.
W.M.: Your representation I acknowledge, brother Senior Deacon. Addressing the Candidate, he says: Brother ..., are you wishful to take up the Fifth Degree?
W.M.: It is necessary, before you are initiated to the Fifth degree, that you prove yourself a brother of the Fourth degree, which you cannot better demonstrate than by dividing or lettering the password of the Fourth degree.
Have you the password of the Fourth degree?
W.M.: Will you give it to me?
W.M.: Proceed, brother.
W.M.: N, Solomon.
W.M.: Will you give me sign of the Fourth Degree?
The sign is: by taking hold of the left arm above the elbow which forms a square, at the same time standing erect with your body, your feet forming a square.
W.M.: Of what is it a token?
W.M.: Have you a test grip?
Can: I have.
W.M.: Advance it.
The test grip is given by three distinct pressures of the thumb of the right hand between the first and middlefinger of the right hand of brother.
W.M.: Is there not a test-word given when the test grip is received?
W.M.: Why is Shibboleth used as a test-word?
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will present our brother to the Worthy Chaplain.
Chap. will read Less.: 1st Kings c. 7. v. 13-23.
After which the S.D. will be instructed to present the
S.D.: Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother ..., for further instruction.
W.M.: Brother ..., in all cases of difficulty and danger in whom do you put your trust?
W.M.: Glad am I to find your faith so well founded. Do you pledge your honor as a man, and your fidelity as a Builder, that you are not actuated by any improper motives in taking up the fifth degree?
W.M.: Brother, before you can be entrusted with the secrets of this degree you must enter with us into another obligation: Are you willing to take it?
W.M.: Then you will kneel on your right knee with your left foot in the form of a square, your body erect, and place your right hand on the volume of the Sacred Law, calling your name in full and repeat after me.
I, ..., in the presence of the Most High and of this Worshipful and Warranted Lodge of Fellow Scottish Builders, duly constituted, regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord, do hereby and hereon most solemnly promise and swear, that I will always hail, conceal and never reveal any or either of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to the fifth degree of Scottish Builders known by the name of Fellow Scottish Builders, no more than I would to any other person who is not initiated.
I further solemnly pledge myself to act as a true and faithful Builder, obey signs and maintain the principles inculcated in the first degree: All these points I most solemnly swear to obey, under no less a penalty than to have my left breast cut open, my heart torn therefrom and given to the ravenous birds of the air, or the devouring beast of the field as a prey. So help me, Almighty God! and keep me steadfast in the due performance of this my solemn obligation of a Ancient Scottish Builder.
W.M.: As a pledge of your fidelity and to render this solemn obligation, which would otherwise be but a serious promise, I will thank you to seal it with your lips twice on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
Rise, newly obligated.
The candidate is conducted to the ante-room with the necessaries for carrying out his labors and undergoing the formalities subsequent to his being presented to the W.M. to receive the sign, password, etc., etc.
W.M.: I shall now entrust you with the sign, password, test-grip and test word of the fifth degree. The sign is given by placing the left hand on the left hand on the right breast, the thumb and fingers forming a square and the right hand thrown up horizontally from the shoulder to the elbow and perpendicularly from the elbow to fingers, with the thumb and fore-finger forming a square.
The first part is called the sign of fidelity, or the first part of the three-fold sign: And the second part called the hailing sign, which you must have explained, because it took its rise at the time when Joshua fought the battles of the Lord in the Valley of Rephidem and from the memorable event of Moses having his hand supported by his brother Aaron, whilst Joshua was fighting the Amalikites: and Moses also when he came down from the Mount, hailed his brethren with the double sign.
The third part is called the penal sign, and is given by drawing the hand across the breast and dropping it to side: thus. This is an allusion to the penalty of your obligation.
The Password of this degree is Fellowship.
The test-grip to this degree is given by a distinct pressure of the thumb on the second joint of the middle finger which demands a word, and which is Jachin.
The candidate being regaled is conducted to the anteroom and resumes his dress, returning to the lodge in order and be presented to the W.M. as previously done.
W.M.: Have you received the order of the Fifth Degree?
A.: I have.
W.M.: How did you gain admission to a Lodge of Fellow Scottish Builders?
A.: I was, by consent of the brethren, prepared, admitted and obligated in due form.
W.M.: In what manner were you presented?
A.: In a state of due preparation: my left arm and right knee were made bare, left heel slip-shod, and made to kneel on my right knee with my left foot forming a square.
W.M.: What next?
A.: I was led thrice around the lodge that the Master and Fellow Scottish Builders might see that I was properly prepared and no imposter.
W.M.: Do you know anything about the construction of the
A.: I do.
W.M.: Where was it built?
W.M.: Of what form was the temple?
A.: An oblong, similar to the tabernacle which Moses built in the wideness, and at the front was a porch, whereby the Israelites entered to worship.
W.M.: When was it begun and finished?
A.: It was begun in the month of Zif, in the 4th year of King Solomon's reign
W.M.: How was it dedicated?
A.: King Solomon celebrated the feast of dedication with prayer and sacrifice in the presence of all the people of
W.M.: What supported the porch of the
A.: Two great pillars, that on the left was called Boaz, which denotes strength, that on the right Jachin, which denotes beauty, but conjointly they denote wisdom.
W.M.: What was their heights?
A.: So many diameters proportioned to their dimensions next above the base.
W.M.: By whom were they cast, of what form and if what kind of metal?
A.: The superintendent of the casting was Hiram Abiff, the widow's son; they were cast hollow on the plains of
W.M.: By what were the pillars adorned?
A.: On the top of each stood a sphere or globe, on which were delineated maps of the celestial and terrestrial worlds. They were also enriched with network, lily-work and pomegranates.
W.M.: What did the network lily-work and pomegranates denote?
A.: The network, from the connection of its meshes or links, denotes unity, the lily-work from its whiteness, peace, and the pomegranates from the exuberance of its seed, plenty.
W.M.: What are the peculiarities connected with the building of the temple?
A.: The peculiarities are manifold, inasmuch as there was not the sound of axe, hammer, or any other kind of metal to be heard within the precincts of the mount, to disturb the peaceful sanctity of the holy place.
W.M.: How was so magnificent a pile erected without the sound of those implements?
A.: The stones were hewn in the quarry, there ornamented, carved and made to fit their respective places. The timbers were felled and prepared in the
W.M.: Why were the materials prepared so far off?
A.: The better to distinguish the excellence of the members of this order, for, although the materials were prepared at so great a distance, when they came to be set up at Jerusalem the whole appeared more like the work of the Supreme and Sublime Architect of the Universe, than of mortal hands.
W.M.: Have you the password of the Fifth Degree?
A.: I have.
W.M.: Will you give it to me?
A.: I was taught to be cautious in these matters, but I will divide or letter it with you, if you will please to begin.
W.M.: Will you give me the sign of the Fifth Degree?
A.: I was taught to be cautious in giving that, but, as I have found you to be a brother, I will show it to you. Done.
W.M.: Of what is it a token?
A.: Of the sign of fidelity on the first part, of the three-fold, on the second part: hailing sign.
W.M.: Have you a test-grip to this degree?
A.: I have. Given.
W.M.: Is there not a test-word given when the test-grip is received?
W.M.: Why is Jachin used as a test-word?
A.: Because Jachin was perfect Master Builder and was elected, as Master of the Fellow Scottish Builders' Lodge, he was much esteemed and respected by King Solomon, who did him the honor of calling the right hand pillar after his name, and at which place he paid the Fellow Scottish Builders their wages.
W.M.: What is emblematical of Fellowship?
A.: The five points.
W.M.: I will thank you briefly to explain.
A.: I cannot better explain than by referring to the means by which I was advanced from the first to the fifth degree, viz., hand to hand, foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast and hand over back.
W.M: What do you mean by hand to hand?
A.: Hand to hand teaches me always to put forth my hand to assist a brother when in distress if I find him worthy thereof as far as my means will allow, not to injure myself or connections.
W.M.: What do you mean by foot to foot?
A.: By foot to toot, that I will support a Brother in all his just and laudable undertakings: Indolence shall not cause my footsteps to hault, nor wrath to turn them aside, but forgetting every selfish consideration, I will be ever swift of foot to save, serve and help a brother in necessity and to execute benevolence to him if worthy.
W.M.: What do you mean by knee to knee?
A.: Knee to knee being the posture of my supplication should remind me of my brother's wants and that when I offer up my prayers to the Great, Grand and Universal Benefactor I should not forget my brother's welfare.
W.M.: What do you infer from breast to breast?
A.: That my breast shall be safe repository for every brother's just and lawful secrets, as though they were my own; for to betray a brother's trust is like the villainy of an assassin, who lurks in darkness to stab his adversary, when he is not armed and least prepared to meet his enemy.
W.M.: What do you mean, by hand to back?
A.: That I will support the character of a worthy brother in his absence as though present; and I will not wrongfully revue him myself nor allow the same to be done by anyone, if in my power it lies to prevent it.
W.M.: Thus is the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders linked together by the Five Points of Fellowship in one indivisible chain of sincere affection, brotherly love, relief and truth.
I thank you, worthy brother, for the explanation you have given, and may the Five Points of Fellowship be the governing principles of every Ancient Scottish Builders' Heart.
I shall now request from you the sign of the Fifth Degree.
A.: Knowing you to be a brother of the Fifth Degree Order, by the question you have put to me, I will give it to you. Done.
The candidate being regaled is conducted to the anteroom and resumes his dress, returning to the lodge in order and presented to the W.M. as previously done.
The Worshipful Master to the Candidate: Brother, when you were to take the fifth degree were told that your progress in Building was marked by the position of the square and compasses; when you were made an Entered Builder, both points were bidden, in this degree one is yet disclosed, implying that you are yet in the middle of Building superior to an Entered Builder, but inferior to what I trust will hereafter be communicated to you; you have taken the solemn obligation of a Ancient Scottish Builder for the fourth time, and have been entrusted with the secrets of these degrees, you will advance towards me, as at your initiation, now take another pace with your left foot as in the second degree of Building, and as this is the crowning point of a Ancient Scottish Builder you will now place the right heel into the hollow as before. That is the regular step in Building of the fifth degree and it is in this position that the secrets of the degree are communicated, they consist as in the former instances of sign, token and words, but with this difference, viz., the sign, is of a three-fold nature, the first part is called the sign of fidelity, emblematically, to shield the repository of your secrets from the attacks of cowan. The sign you received is made by passing the left hand to the right breast, extending the thumb perpendicularly to form a square. The second part is called the hailing sign, and is given by throwing the right hand up in this manner horizontally from the shoulder to the elbow, to the ends of the fingers with the thumb and forefinger forming a square: it took its rise from the time when Joshua was fighting the Amalakites, it was also the position of Joshua when he prayed fervently to the Almighty to continue the light of the day that he might completely overthrow his enemy and Moses also, when he came down the Mount, hailed his brethren with this double sign, first and second, in order to arrest their attention, and as a signal for them to attend to what he was about to deliver, and as a pledge of his sincerity, and truth, and also, of the importance of what he was about to disclose. This was the origin of the sign; and on the morning that the foundation stone of the temple was laid, King Solomon adopted the same sign, the left hand as a token of sincerity of his holiness and piety towards God, and the right hand as a token of an upright heart in earnest prayer imploring the blessings of the most High en their pious undertaking in the temple of Jerusalem to his holy service. This is an allusion to the penalty of your obligation, implying that as a man of honor and a Ancient Scottish Builder you would rather have your breast torn open, your heart torn therefrom, than to improperly divulge the secrets of that degree.
The grip or token is given by a distinct pressure of the thumb on the second joint of the hand of a brother, this demands a test-word which is Jachin, a word to be given and received with the same strict caution as one in he former degrees, either by letter or syllable.
The password is Fellowship, the same is also divided in five parts to distinguish a Fifth Degree from a newly made Ancient Scottish Builder of the previous degrees.
These five points, viz.: hand to hand foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast and hand over back have been ably described to you already this evening.
Thus by the five points of Fellowship we are linked together in one indivisible chain.
Sincere affection in this degree represents the password of the second degree or beginning of a Ancient Scottish Builder which was Ark because Ark prepared the way of the Israelites, before they passed over Jordan; and brotherly love represents the password of the third degree or second part of a Ancient Scottish Builder, which is Jordan, as his memorial of dividing the water of the River Jordan for the Israelites to pass over, which waters separate the lands of Moab from the land of Canaan and here relief represents the password of the fourth degree or the third part of a Ancient Scottish Builder, which is Solomon and is memorial of a Scottish Builders' Lodge, supported by its three grand pillars: wisdom, strength and beauty: wisdom, to contrive, strength to support and beauty to adorn; wisdom to conduct us in all undertakings, strength to support us in all our difficulties and beauty to adorn the inward man. Truth here represents the password of this Degree, being the last or finishing ceremony of a Ancient Scottish Builder, which is Fellowship and represents the two great pillars of the porch of King Solomon's
My Brother, this is all the instruction that I can give you on this degree this evening, but if I am permitted to give you the sixth degree of this Sublime Order, I shall relate to you further of that extraordinary man, Hiram Abiff.
W.M.: Officers be upstanding and assist me to close the Lodge in the Fifth Degree.
Brother Deputy, Officers and Brothers all, our Lodge being of a due form, let us, before I declare it closed, express our gratitude to the Sublime Power above.
Chap.: We pray Thee, O Lord to grant Thy blessing on every Instruction which we are ready to give and to receive; and grant that the instructions which we have all heard may be granted inwardly in all our hearts, that we may bring forth fruit unto righteousness and true holiness.
All the Officers respond: Amen.
W.M.: I declare this Lodge duly closed, strictly forbidding all cursing, swearing, or any profane language, so long as we are assembled together.