Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord
Ceremony of the First Grade


2010


Every Candidate for reception into this Ancient Order must be a Prince of the Order of the Secret Monitor.
His name must have duly appeared on the Summons convening the Meeting.
To be created a Companion of the Scarlet Cord he must have been duly balloted for.
The Director of Ceremonies and Asst. Director of Ceremonies have swords.
The Chain/Collar of the President, Primus of Lectores and Primus of Ostiarii are worn from the beginning.

 
 

Opening First Grade
 

President stands and gavels once:
Companions, assist me to open this Consistory in the First Grade of our Order.
President:
Companions, the day is far spent, the night is at hand. Companion Guarder what salth the Watchman?
Guarder gives a Court Bow to the President, opens door and says to the Watchman outside:
Companion Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman:
Companion Guarder, the night is at hand and all is safe and well.
Guarder returns to his place and says: Companion President, all is safe and well.
President:
Companion Primus of Ostiarii, you will prove all those present are members of the First Grade of our Order.
Primus of Ostiarii:
Companions, you will stand to order as with the sign of the First Grade
Director of Ceremonies:
To Order, Companions.
All Companions give the sign of the First Grade.
Primus of Ostiarii:
Companion President, all the Companions have duly proved themselves.

Companions drop sign.

President:
Companion Episcopus, you will invoke a blessing on our proceedings.
Companions show sign of Reverence.

Episcopus:
Let us invoke the blessing of the God of our Fathers upon our proceedings. May He be pleased to pour down upon his distressed and suffering people the blessings of peace and tranquillity.
S.M.I.B.

President:
I declare this Consistory duly opened in the First Grade.
President gavels once repeated by the Guarder and Watchman
Director of Ceremonies opens the VSL at Psalm 84.
Director of Ceremonies:
Be seated, Companions
All administrative work of the Consistory is undertaken in the First Grade (i.e. Minutes, Financial, and Elections etc).

 
 

Ceremony of Admission to the First Grade
 
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will retire and ascertain that the candidate is in attendance.
Director of Ceremonies retires, having seen the candidate is in attendance, he knocks once.
Guarder (Sign of First Grade):
Companion President, there is an alarm.
President:
Enquire who seeks admission.
Guarder:
Who comes here?
Watchman:
Companion Director of Ceremonies seeks admission.
Guarder (Giving the sign of the First Grade):
It is our Director of Ceremonies, Companion President.
President:
Let him be admitted.
Director of Ceremonies enters, and shows sign of the First Grade:
President My Companion, what tidings do you bring?
Director of Ceremonies:
Glad tidings! Bro , a Prince of the Order of the Secret Monitor is without and desires to be admitted a Companion Ostiarius in this Consistory of the Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord.
President:
Such being the case, we will take the ballot for the candidate and, if favourable, then all the Ostiarii must hasten to their labours.
Director of Ceremonies proceeds to his seat.
Lecturer 1 & Lecturer 3 take the ballot.
After announcing the result:
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will introduce the Candidate.
Director of Ceremonies retires and the Candidate is led in. He stands at the entrance to the square, but outside it.
Primus, *, to Candidate:
My Worthy Brother, you have been well recommended to the Companions of this Consistory and we are now ready to receive you into our ranks, but I must first enquire; Are you a Prince of the Order of the Secret Monitor?
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies:
I am.
Primus, *, to Candidate:
In which Conclave of the Order were you duly admitted?
Candidate states name and number of the Conclave in which he was admitted a Prince.
Primus, *:
How did you receive that high honour?
Candidate, instructed by Director of Ceremonies:
I escaped the snare laid by him who sought my life and, having proved my loyalty and devotion to the King's son, I endured the Great Ordeal and was then admitted as a Prince of our Order.
Primus, *:
I will now call upon Companion Episcopus for the benefit of prayer.
Director of Ceremonies:
To order, Companions.
Episcopus:
O God of our Fathers, we humbly beseech Thee to pour down Thy blessing upon this our Brother who seeks further enlightenment in those precepts practised by our worthy predecessors David and Jonathan.
May he find guidance and inspiration through membership of this Order of the Scarlet Cord, by his progress in its ranks, and his commitment to Thy Will and Thy Way.
SMIB.
Director of Ceremonies:
Be seated, Companions.
Primus, *:
Upon what were you admitted a Prince of your Order?
Candidate:
Upon the living Magen David.
Primus, *:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, what is the Magen David?
Director of Ceremonies:
It represents a talisman of immeasurable virtue. It is found enshrined in the structure of ancient and modern palaces and temples, and forms the great and central figure in every Conclave of the Order of the Secret Monitor. It is the most potent and the most renowned symbol of all the cabalistic systems of the East, as well as the West, and represents the very heart and soul of mysticism.
Primus, *:
Where was this symbol placed by King David?
Director of Ceremonies:
Tradition has it that this symbol set in transparent crystals, blazed forth in azure blue, with the Holy name of Jehovah set therein in flaming red, above the throne of the Shepherd King.
Primus, *:
How was it employed by King David's Royal son?
Director of Ceremonies:
It was adopted by King Solomon as his Seal, and its mystic potency was constantly invoked in all his rites.
Primus, *:
How did you obtain that Red Cord upon your vesture?
Director of Ceremonies:
It was granted to me as a reward.
Primus, *:
Who gave it to you?
Director of Ceremonies:
The King's Son.
Primus, *:
What does it represent?
Director of Ceremonies: The Scarlet thread which marked the house in the City of Jericho, where the spies lay hidden.
Primus, *, to Candidate:
Brother , how do you prove yourself to be a Prince of your Order as you have stated?
Candidate:
Let my Conductor approach and I shall show you.

Primus, *:
Proceed.
Candidate and Director of Ceremonies enter the square.

Primus, *:
Say the pass-word aloud.
Candidate:
Ziph.
Primus, *:
Show the Companions assembled the token.
Candidate and Director of Ceremonies standing in the North and South then face each other, form the living Magen David, and grasp the middle three fingers of each other's right hand at waist level.
Primus, *:
Let me see the position in which you received the words of your Princely rank.
Candidate and Director of Ceremonies then raise their hands above their head.
Primus, *:
Has this token at any time preserved you when in peril?
Candidate:
It has.
Primus, *:
Allow your Conductor to assist you in showing how this happened.

The Director of Ceremonies draws his sword.
Candidate and Director of Ceremonies go through the Challenge then lower their hands.
Primus, *:
What mean the words Gur Amod?
Candidate:
Stranger, Halt.
Primus, *:
What mean the words Ben Abram Aveni?
Candidate:
Son of Abraham our Father.
Primus, *:
Tell me the signification of the words Salaam Eleikum.
Candidate:
Peace be with you.
Primus, *:
And what of the reverse?
Candidate:
With you be peace.
Primus, *:
Why was this challenge adopted by Princes of your Order?
Candidate:
It was the challenge revived by David and his band of faithful followers which was first used by Moses when, after crossing the wilderness of Paran, he wished to distinguish the Hebrew from the stranger.
Primus, *:
Having thus fully proved yourself, do you now pledge your Princely honour to keep inviolate the secrets belonging to this, the First Grade of a Companion of our Ancient Order?
Candidate:
I do.
Primus, *:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will place the Candidate in front of the Pedestal facing east. Brother , you will stand erect, grasp this Scarlet Cord with your right hand thus, and place your clenched fist on the Volume of the Sacred Law. I place my clenched right hand upon yours, and fold both ends of the Scarlet Cord over my right wrist, thus binding you to our Order and to all its members.
Director of Ceremonies:
The Companions will all stand.
Primus, *:
Brother you will state your several names at length, and repeat after me: "I, , in the presence of the God of our Fathers and before this Consistory of Companions of the Order of the Scarlet Cord, do solemnly promise that I will never disclose the secrets of this Ancient Order to anyone in the world, except to a Companion justly entitled to receive them, and then only in a regular Consistory at a proper time, and in a proper place, as determined by the Authorities of the Order".
As a pledge of your fidelity you will seal that solemn obligation once with your lips upon the V.S.L.
Candidate does so, and Director of Ceremonies removes the Scarlet Cord and places it alongside the V.S.L.
Primus, *:
Companion , I congratulate you on having advanced yet another step in your search for Masonic knowledge, but before I proceed to entrust you with the secrets restricted to a Companion Ostiarius of the Scarlet Cord, you will be seated in the west and we shall all pay attention to the Companion Lecturers.
Director of Ceremonies:
Be seated. Companions.
Lecturer (1):
The Lord said to Joshua, my servant Moses is dead and you must now lead the people across the River Jordan, into the land which 1 have promised to give to them. Joshua decided to send two men to spy out the land, and they stayed in the house of Rahab the harlot who lived in Jericho.
The King of Jericho had been informed that there were Israelites in the city on a spying mission who were staying at the house of Rahab, so he sent a message telling her to put them out of her house because they were a threat to his Kingdom.
Rahab told the messenger that the men did stay with her, but she did not know where they had come from, and when it was time to shut the gate at nightfall, they had departed. I do not know where they were going, but if you hurry you may catch up with them. In fact, she had already hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.
Lecturer (2):
The King's men set out after the spies, on the road which leads to the fords of the Jordan, but as soon as the pursuers had left the city the great gate had been closed and locked.
Before the spies lay down for the night, Rahab went up on to the roof and said to them, I know the Lord has given this land to you, but the people are afraid of you, all who live in this country are in dread fear of you.
We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you escaped from Egypt, and that you killed Sihon and Og, the two Kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan. When we heard of it, our hearts sank and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God, is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
Please swear to me in the name of the Lord that you will be kind to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my mother and father, my brothers and sisters, and all our family.
Promise that you will save each one of us from death. They assured her that if she promised not to tell anyone of their activities they would treat her, and all her family, kindly and faithfully when the Lord gave them the land.
Lecturer (3):
So Rahab let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall, and she advised them to go up into the hills so that the pursuers would not find them.
Hide yourself there for three days until they return to Jericho, and then go on your way.
The men then told her that the oath she had made them swear would not be binding upon them unless, when they returned, she had tied a scarlet cord in the window through which she had helped them to escape, and that all her family had been brought into her house.
They also warned her that if anyone went outside the house into the street, their blood would be on their own heads, but if a hand was laid on anyone who remained in the house with her, they would accept full responsibility. If you tell anyone of these plans, however, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.
Rahab readily agreed to all these conditions and they then communicated to her the password Sihon, and showed her how to bind the line of Scarlet Cord in the window of the house through which they escaped.
Lecturer (4):
As soon as they had departed she collected her family and communicated to them the password, thus ensuring the safety of herself and all who were in the house, for when Jericho was taken the young men, at the command of Joshua, went in and brought out Rahab, her mother and father, and all her family and led them to safety before burning the city with fire.
Rahab continued to live among the Israelites, where she was greatly honoured for saving the lives of the spies. She married Salmon, the son of one of the spies named Naason, a Prince and Ruler in Israel, and they had a son named Boaz who was the great-grandfather of David.
If it is considered too much for the Primus to continue another Companion may confer the secrets.
Primus, *:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will now place our newly obligated Companion in front of the Pedestal.
Director of Ceremonies conducts candidate to the front of the Pedestal

Companion, the sign of the First Grade is given by fully extending your right arm in front of the body with the right hand clenched into a fist, the relevance of which you will appreciate since it is the manner in which you made your Obligation.
The Grip is given by one Companion reaching out with his clenched right hand and the other placing his clenched right hand upon it. The Word of the First Grade, given with this Grip, is Rahab.
I am now permitted to communicate to you the challenge of the First Grade, in which the challenger gives the sign and says 'Deo Gratias' meaning "Thanks be to God" to which the reply is 'Bene Die' meaning, "Speak naught but good", accompanied by the sign.
I now invest you with the jewel of the First Grade, which is a replica of an ancient golden key suspended from the neck by a scarlet cord.
The key is a symbol of silence and circumspection which reminds a Companion of the Scarlet Cord to keep a tongue of good report, to abstain from the debasing vices of slander and defamation, to keep silence when naught good can be said of a Companion, and to lock up in the sacred repository of his heart and keep strict guard over the secrets of a Companion when entrusted to him as such.
I invest you with this Scarlet Sash which is worn over the right shoulder and under the left arm. I also invest you with this Scarlet Cord, which is worn round the waist with the tassels on the left hip, and I present you with this sword. These are the symbols of your new rank which is that of an Ostiarius or doorkeeper within our Ancient Order.
The Password of an Ostiarius is that given to Rahab by the spies, Sihon.
The sign of an Ostiarius is given by putting the right eye against the aperture formed by placing the tip of the right forefinger horizontally upon the tip of the thumb of the right hand, which represents a door keeper looking through the guichet or wicket of his watch-tower.
Episcopus I would rather be a door keeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psalm LXXX7V; verse 10.
Primus, *:
You have now attained the rank of Ostiarius, and may designate yourself a Companion of the Scarlet Cord. Further advancement in the Order will follow as a reward for fidelity, assiduity and devotion to duty. I warmly congratulate you, my Companion, and bid you take your seat, beside our Director of Ceremonies, among your equals.
The President then conducts the remaining business on the agenda, and the Consistory is then closed.

 
 
Closing of a Consistory
 

President stands and gavels once:
Companions, assist me to close this Consistory.
President:
The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
Companion Guarder, what saith the Watchman?
Guarder gives a Court Bow to the President opens door and says to the Watchman outside:
Companion Watchman, what of the day?
Watchman:
The morning cometh and all is safe and well.
Guarder returns to his place and says:
Companion President, all is safe and well.
President:
Companions, you will stand to order with the sign of the First Grade.
Done.
President:
All our work having been happily conducted and completed, I now call on Companion Episcopus for prayer.
Episcopus:
May He, Who watching over Israel slumbers not, nor sleeps, take into His most intimate keeping all His faithful Ostiarii. May He preserve and comfort us all and, under the shadow of His wing, may we rest secure from harm.
S.M.I.B.
President:
By virtue of the Authority vested in me, I close this Consistory.
President knocks once, repeated by Guarder & Watchman.

DC closes VSL.

President:
God speed you, fideles.


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