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


2010


Opening Third Grade
 
The Consistory having been previously opened in the First Grade and Adjourned:
President stands and gavels once:
Companions, assist me to open this Consistory in the Third Grade of our Order.
President:
Companions, the day is far spent, the night is at hand. Companion Guarder, what saith the Watchman?
Guarder, to Watchman without:
Companion Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman:
Companion Guarder, the night is at hand and all is safe and well.
Guarder closes door and gives a Court Bow to the President: Companion President, all is safe and well.
President:
Companions Ostiarii, you will stand to Order with the sign of the First Grade.
They stand to Order with the sign of the First Grade.
Primus (O):
Companions Ostiarii, we will now retire. Let no passageway be opened to a stranger or to anyone else who falls to give the countersign of an Ostiarius.
Primus (O) leads the Companions Ostiarii to the Guarder, who has opened the door, and they retire. Primus (O) returns to his place in the East.
President:
Companions Lectores, you will stand to order with the sign of the Second Grade.
They stand to Order with the sign of the Second Grade.
Primus (L):
Companions Lectores, we will now retire. Many of the records and the plans for the repair and the defence of the Holy Place have been left uncared for during our tribulations. They should have been put in a place of safety. It is our duty to collect and arrange these precious documents and to deposit them in the secret vaults.
Go now to the Temple, my Companions, and when the rising sun illuminates the vaults, discharge your duty with alacrity and zeal.
Primus (L) leads the Lectores to the door, where each, as he retires, gives the word of the Second Grade to the Guarder, who responds with the countersign. Primus (L) then gives the words to the President who responds with the Countersign. Primus (L) retires.
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will prove all those present are members of the Third Grade of the Order.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companions you will stand to order as Companions of the Third Grade.
All Companions give the sign. A selected few are proved by the Director of Ceremonies.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companion President all the Companions have duly proved themselves.
Companions all drop sign.
President:
Companion Fourth Lecturer, what do you have to report?
4th Lecturer:
I have visited the purlieus of this City and, to those stricken with fever and disease, I have administered the remedies supplied by our storehouses.
President:
Companion Third Lecturer, what success has followed you?
3rd Lecturer:
By the arts I have employed I have comforted those in need of help and compassion, and hold high hopes for their continued well-being.
President:
Companion Second Lecturer, are the widows and children cared for?
2nd Lecturer:
I have visited them with wise counsel and arranged relief for their necessities.
President:
Companion First Lecturer, have you relieved the needy?
1st Lecturer:
The alms entrusted to me have been faithfully distributed.
President:
Companions and Fellows, I declare this Consistory duly opened in the Third Grade
He gavels three times, which is repeated by Guarder and Watchman.
Director of Ceremonies opens VSL at Verse 19, Chapter 11 of the Book of Judges.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companions and Fellows, be seated
 
 
Ceremony of the Third Grade
 
Primus (L) without knocks once.
Guarder, with sign of 3rd Grade:
Companion President, there is an alarm.
President:
Enquire who seeks admission.
Guarder:
Who comes here?
Watchman:
Companion Primus of Lectores seeks admission.
Guarder, with sign of 3rd Grade:
It is our Primus of Lectores, Companion President.
President:
Let him be admitted.
Primus (L) shows sign of 3rd Grade.
President:
My Companion, what tidings do you bring?
Primus (L):
Companion a Lector of this Consistory of the Order of the Scarlet Cord is without and having received the full support of his companions of the Second Grade, desires to be promoted to the Third Grade of our Order and to be received into our ranks as a Healer or Exorcist.
Primus (L) proceeds to his place in the East.
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies you will introduce the Candidate.
Director of Ceremonies and Assistant Director of Ceremonies retire. They introduce the Candidate who stands slightly in front of them in the West. The Candidate is wearing his Second Grade sash with sword, his Lector's Jewel and a scarlet cord.
Primus (L) to Candidate:
What proof do you bring that you have been chosen as a Companion Lector
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies:
The witness of two of my Companions Lectores here. Indicating the Director of Ceremonies and Assistant Director of Ceremonies.
Primus (L):
Let them stand forth and testify. The Director of Ceremonies and Assistant Director of Ceremonies, (the two witnesses) take one step forward so that they are either side of the Candidate. Then all three take another step forward into the Square.
Primus (L):
Who is this you present?
Director of Ceremonies:
An Ostiarius whose loyalty and devotion to his Chief have been tried, proved, and proclaimed in our hearing and before our eyes. In consequence, thereof, he has been chosen as a Companion Lector.
Primus (L) to candidate:
Companion what seek you from us?
Candidate, prompted throughout by the Director of Ceremonies:
I seek further opportunities of usefulness to my chief and to the Consistory.
Primus (L):
By what means will you prove this desire?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
By diligence and devotion.
Primus (L):
How will you show your devotion?
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies:
I would imitate the heroes Adino, Eleazar and Shammah, in ministering to the necessities of their chief.
Primus (L):
Companion Director of Ceremonies, What did these worthies?
Director of Ceremonies:
When their Royal Master exclaimed, "O that one would quench my thirst", these three broke through the host of the Philistines and, at the peril of their lives, drew water for him from the well of Bethlehem, his native city.
Primus (L):
What did the Chief do with this water which they so daringly had procured?
Director of Ceremonies:
He refused to drink it, pouring it out before the Lord.
Primus (L):
What said he?
Director of Ceremonies:
He said, "May God forbid it me, that I should do this thing! Shall I drink the blood of these men, who have put their lives in jeopardy for me this day?"
Primus (L) to candidate:
Well spoken, my Companion, please step this way. The candidate is escorted by the Director of Ceremonies to a position three paces to the west of the President, but facing the Primus (L). The Assistant Director of Ceremonies returns to his place in the Square.
Primus (L):
Tell me, what services have you already rendered to your Order and to your Chief?
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies:
The tokens that I wear best answer such a question.
Primus (L), pointing to the sash:
What is that?
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies:
A reward from my Lord the King for services to our beloved Order.
Primus (L), pointing:
And the sword you wear?
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies:
I received this sword at the hands of the King himself.
Primus (L):
How did you obtain this token? Lector's Jewel.
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
It was bestowed upon me by my Companions of this Consistory when I was chosen as a Lector.
Primus (L):
Companion I must ask that you retire for a short while.
The Candidate is conducted from the temple by the Director of Ceremonies, who then returns to his station.
Outside the Watchman divests the Candidate of his sash and sword and jewel.
Primus (L):
Companion President and Companions and Fellows of this Consistory of the Promoted, I have the privilege of reporting that in pursuance of the charge entrusted to me, as your delegate, I have examined the Candidate, our Companion Lector and find him well qualified for admission to the ranks of the Elected, Chosen and Promoted.
President:
Companion Officers, you have heard the responses given by Comp . If you consider them satisfactory, and that he is worthy of promotion, you will each stand and signify in the usual manner.
Each officer rises and gives OSM sign of approval starting with Primus (O) and finishing with President. All officers sit. A chair is placed in the west.
The candles situated behind the President, Primus (L) and Primus (O), are lit, the temple lights are switched off.
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will please re-introduce the Candidate.
Done.
President, to Candidate:
Relying upon the report of your sponsors and your responses to our questions, my fellow companions are happy that you be received into our ranks. I am therefore permitted to inform you, that in the ceremony upon which you are about to enter, you will have to encounter dangers and difficulties, which may well appal the stoutest heart; sit therefore in the Siege Perilous, a seat which was so strictly reserved that it was fatal to anyone else who sat in it.
The Director of Ceremonies seats the Candidate in the Siege Perilous which is situated to the West of the Square. The Director of Ceremonies moves to a position behind the Candidate.
The four Lecturers rise, each draws his Sword and they take position seven short paces to the east of the candidate, two either side, so that Candidate still has a clear view of the President. When all are in position they then point their swords at the Candidate and take a short step towards him after each question and before he answers.
President:
Companion you will answer me upon your peril.
Will you do justice?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
President:
Will you exercise mercy?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
President:
Will you ensure that you hurt no man?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
President:
Will you act chivalrously to all women?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
President:
Will you ensure that you will never take unfair advantage of anyone?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
President:
Will you befriend the poor and needy?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
President:
Will you give of your substance as God may grant you the means?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I have done so and shall continue to do so, now, and in the future.
President:
If received into our ranks will you guard our secrets and betray them to none, except as a sufficient and proper authority may command you?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I will.
Lecturers are now all standing with their swords touching the candidate's breast.
President:
Do you swear it?
Candidate, prompted by the Director of Ceremonies:
I do.
The Lecturers, return their Swords and resume their seats. The Director of Ceremonies stands on the right side of the Candidate and instructs him to stand.
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will now hoodwink the Candidate.
After the candidate has been hoodwinked, and in complete silence, the Assistant Director of Ceremonies and an Assistant speedily place a Croft 3rd Degree sheet on the floor. The chair is removed.
President:
Companion , you will now carefully follow the instructions of the Director of Ceremonies.
The Director of Ceremonies whispers to the candidate that he will be placing his left hand upon his shoulder and that they will then, together, be moving around the Temple. The Director of Ceremonies slowly perambulates around the Temple (i.e. on the inside of the Square). At the completion of the third perambulation the Candidate is halted at the foot of the grave, facing East.
President:
Companion , you will stand with your head bowed and place your right hand on your heart.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companions and Fellows, to Order.
Episcopus, reads aloud, pausing after each line for emphasis:
(a) The ideal knight doth reverence his conscience as his King
(b) His glory is redressing human wrong
(c) He speaks no slander - no - nor listens to it
(d) His honour shines like the dewy star of eve
(e) And when reviled, he answers generously
(f) He loves one only, to whom he cleaves.
(g) Wearing the white flower of a blameless life
(h) Before a thousand peering littlenesses.
The words imply that the Candidate is a Knight, educated and of noble birth. He has learned the noble principles of life which have been taught to him by Masonry, as listed in the passage. This means that he may 'Contemplate his inevitable destiny', and when he figuratively descends into the grave he will face his Maker, to whom he must give an account of his conduct through life. Having been well prepared through Masonry, he may meet his God with firm but humble heart.
President:
Companion Candidate you are now about to take the Solemn Obligation of the Third Grade. State your several names at length and repeat after me: I, , a Companion Lector seeking more light in the Order of the Scarlet Cord, do solemnly promise, before this open grave, that I will be faithful to the President and Fellows, of this Consistory of the Promoted, Healers and Exorcists.
I further promise that I shall face difficulty, danger and peril with them, in any just cause to which I am commanded, pleading no excuse save necessity or illness for absence from their assemblies.
Their sorrows I shall share; their secrets I will keep, and of my substance freely give for their necessities. All these points I solemnly promise to observe as one of those elected, chosen and promoted.
President:
Let the candidate be restored to light.
The Episcopus will come forward with the V.S.L.
President:
You will now seal this Solemn Obligation with your lips twice upon the closed copy of the Volume of the Sacred Law and say the words M...M....
The Episcopus opens the VSL at the Book of Judges ch. 11 vs 19.
President:
You will now salute the opened VSL once and say R These are the words of the
Third Grade of this Ancient Order.
The sign of the Third Grade is given by crossing the forearms in front of your breast, right arm uppermost, fingers and thumbs clenched, and facing inwards, with your eyes looking straight in front of you.
The Guarder switches on the lights in the Temple the Assistant Director of Ceremonies extinguishes the glimmering lights from the three Candles, and the Assistant Director of Ceremonies and an Assistant now speedily remove the Craft Third Degree floor sheet.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companions and Fellows, be seated.
President, leaves his seat and stands before the newly obligated Companion:
Companion ..., by the authority vested in me as President of this Consistory, I now invest you with the Jewel of the Third Grade which is the silver skull and crossbones. Whenever you behold it, you will be reminded of the secret words of your new rank, M M, which mean , and there will arise within your breast, the cheering word that brings assurance to the trembling spirit, the word of hope and power, R , which means , through which you will find comfort.
I also invest you with this Black Sash which is worn over the right shoulder and under the left arm.
The Scarlet Cord with the tassels on the right hip is now worn over the left shoulder, with the tassels falling on the right side of the body, and denotes your new rank. I now salute you with the sign of the Third Grade to mark the further progress you have made in our Ancient Order. Returns to his seat.
President:
I call upon the Herald to proclaim you as such.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companions and Fellows, you will stand to Order
Director of Ceremonies, Assistant Director of Ceremonies, four Lecturers, the Treasurer and the Recorder stand in pairs facing each other to the front and rear of the Candidate - thus forming a square around him.
Herald, reads from a Scroll:
Know Ye All, that our Worthy, Thrice Eminent Companion and
trusty Fellow who has encountered difficulties for our Order; sat in the SIEGE PERILOUS and safely passed through dangers under the guidance of his conductor, has proved himself worthy to be received into our ranks, and to be numbered among those Elected, Chosen and Promoted.
Omnes:
We welcome him with all our hearts.
Those forming the Square clash swords.
Omnes:
We greet him as our peer and Fellow.
Clash.
Omnes:
And now under this dome of swords.
Clash.
Omnes:
We swear mutual fidelity. Clash.
Omnes:
With each Companion. Clash.
Omnes:
Elected, Clash Chosen Clash and Promoted Clash, Clash.
The Consistory officers resume their stations.
Conductor:
Companions and Fellows be seated.
President:
Companions and Fellows, I now claim your attention to the Third Grade Lecture which will be followed by a rendition of the 1910 Fourth Ancient Tracing Board Lecture
 
 
Third Grade Lecture
 
To be recited by a competent companion:
Companions and Fellows, you will recall that the first Grade of our Ancient Order tells the story of how Rahab hid the Jewish spies from the King of Jericho's guards. The second Grade relates the story of Ruth, her eventual marriage to Boaz, the son of Salmon and Rahab and the birth of their son Obed, the Grandfather of David.
The story of David is well-known to you from your membership of the Brotherhood of David and Jonathan. Likewise, the circumstances of David's death, Solomon's accession to the throne and the building of the Temple at Jerusalem will be very familiar to you by virtue of other Masonic degrees.
You will also doubtless be aware of the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar and the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant. Those of you in possession of the degree of the Red Cross of Babylon and the Order of the Holy Royal Arch will know that the Second Temple was built on the site where the first formally stood. After the return of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity by permission of Cyrus and Darius, Jerusalem resumed its role as capital of Judea and the centre of Jewish worship.
During the fourth century BC however, the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire and Jerusalem and Judea fell under Macedonian control. After Alexander's death, his domains were divided between his generals and a process known as Hellenisation began. This referred to the gradual spread of Greek religion and culture throughout all their territories. Jerusalem was now part of the Seleucid Empire, created originally by Seleucus, one of Alexander's commanders. The process of Hellenisation there ultimately became highly aggressive and led to the revolt of the Jews under the Maccabees in the year 167BC.
It is to this revolt that allusion was made in the original opening of this, the Third Grade of our Order and your solemn promise in the Obligation of this Grade to face difficulty, danger and peril in any just cause to which you are commanded, reflects the resolve of the Maccabees to retain their faith in the face of oppressive tyranny.
This most noble of stories is recounted fully in the Sixth Grade of our Ancient Order and it is my most earnest hope that you will, in the fullness of time, be privileged to enjoy a participation in it.
 
 
The 1910 Fourth Lecture of the Order of the Scarlet Cord
 
President:
The spacious firmament on high
With all the blue ethereal sky
The spangled heavens, a shining train
Their great original proclaim.
Th'unwearied sun from day to day
Doth his Creator's power display
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand
Primus (O):
Soon as the evening shades prevail
The moon takes up the wondrous tale
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth
While all the stars that round her burn
And all the planets in their turn
Confirm the tidings as they roll
And spread the truth from pole to pole
Primus (L):
What, though in solemn silence, all,
Move round this dark terrestrial ball?
What, though no real voice nor sound
Among these radiant orbs be found
In reason's ear they all rejoice
And utter forth a glorious voice
For ever singing as they shine
The hand that made us is Divine
Music: The Heavens are telling' from Haydn's Oratorio The Creation'

 
 
Closing
 
President stands and gavels once:
Companions and Fellows, assist me to close this Consistory of the Elected, Chosen and Promoted.
Companion Healers and Exorcists, you will stand to Order with the sign of the Third Grade
President:
By virtue of the Authority vested in me, I close this Consistory of the Third Grade.
All drop the Sign.
President then gavels three times, repeated by Guarder and Watchman. The Volume of the Sacred Law is closed.
The Consistory is then resumed in the First Grade.


Home