Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord
Preparation Ceremony for the Installation of President

 
2010


Opening
 
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 saith 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 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.
The Consistory is then adjourned in the First Grade.
President:
Companions, I declare this Consistory of the First Grade adjourned.
Gavels once. Guarder goes to the door and knocks once.
The Watchman repeats the knock.
Director of Ceremonies closes the VSL.
The Consistory is then opened in the Third Grade.
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 gives a Court Bow to the President, opens door and says to the Watchman:
Companion Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman:
Companion Guarder, the night is at hand and all is safe and well. Closes door.
Guarder returns to his place and says:
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 fails to give the countersign of an Ostiarius.
Primus (O) leads the Companions Ostiarii to the Guarder, who has opened door, and they retire in the appropriate manner. 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) returns to his place.
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 rise and 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.
President:
Companions, it is our duty today to prepare for the rank of High Priest and Judge, a fellow of our Ancient Order, that he may be duly qualified to be installed as President of a regular consistory.
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will present the candidate.
The Director of Ceremonies collects the candidate and places him in front of his seat in the west. Both stand facing east.
Director of Ceremonies:
Companion President I have the pleasure to present Companion an Exorcist or Healer in our Ancient Order.
He now wishes to prove his proficiency in the first three grades of our Order so that he may be qualified to receive a Patent from our Grand Summus empowering him to preside over a regular consistory.
President:
Companion Director of Ceremonies, your presentation will be attended to, for which purpose you will conduct the candidate to my Officers for examination.
The President and his officers will proceed to put the following questions to the candidate who will have been given copies of the answers some time prior to the meeting so that he has had the opportunity to learn them.
The Director of Ceremonies conducts the candidate to a position in front of Treasurer and afterwards to each of the officers in turn.
Treasurer:
Companion from what period in history was our Ancient Order founded?
Candidate:
From the period just before the Israelites crossed the River Jordan into the Promised Land.
Registrar:
Whom did God choose to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land.
Candidate:
Joshua, the son of Nun.
Lecturer (3):
What did they intend doing when they crossed the River?
Candidate:
It was their intention to attack the City of Jericho, but before doing so two spies were sent to spy out the City and report on its defences.
Lecturer (1):
Were the spies successful in their mission?
Candidate:
They were, but the king of Jericho had been told that there were Israelites spying out the land, so he sent men to capture them.
Lecturer (2):
How did the spies escape the King's men?
Candidate:
They were assisted by Rahab who first hid them from the King's men and then lowered them from her window facilitating their escape.
Lecturer (4):
What happened when the Israelites took the City?
Candidate:
They slaughtered all the inhabitants and the livestock and burnt the city with fire, only Rahab and her family being spared.
Herald:
What then happened to Rahab?
Candidate:
She lived among the Israelites and married Salmon, the son of Naasan, one of the spies. They had a son whom they named Boaz who became a wealthy landowner and lived in Bethlehem.
Recorder:
How was Boaz associated with our Order?
Candidate:
He married Ruth, the Moabitess and they had a grandson named Jesse who was the father of King David.
The Director of Ceremonies and Candidate move to the West, facing East.
President:
What do the first three grades of our Order teach you?
Candidate: To have Faith in The God of our Fathers, to seek Hope in salvation and to be in Charity with all men.
President:
How so?
Candidate:
It was Faith in The God of Israel which encouraged Rahab to assist the spies and she was rewarded by being spared, with her family, when the Israelites sacked the city of Jericho.
We are taught in the Third grade to contemplate our inevitable destiny with a sincere Hope that, having been well prepared through Masonry, we will, at the end of this mortal life, meet our God with a firm but humble heart.
And finally, there can be no finer example of a Charitable act than that shown by Ruth, who left her own people to travel to a foreign land so that she could care for her mother-in-law, Naomi.
President: Companion Officers, you have heard the responses given by our Fellow Companion. If you consider his answers to be satisfactory and that he is worthy of promotion, you will signify in the usual marmer.
Each officer rises in turn and gives OSM sign of approval starting with Primus (O) and finishing with President. All officers sit.
President:
Companion your replies have greatly impressed us and I am now permitted to proceed with the ceremony of preparing you for your Installation as a President of a Consistory.
At the Commissioning of a Supreme Ruler in the Order of the Secret Monitor you will recall that "Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brethren."
Samuel was a Prophet and a Judge over Israel. He was a Man of God and the Lord spoke through him.
The birth of Samuel is not only a glowing example of the Faith, Hope and Charity shown by his parents but also an example of the manner in which we, as revered Companions, should always deal with our fellow men.
You will now take your seat in the west while our Lecturers relate these circumstances.
The Director of Ceremonies seats the Candidate and returns to his station.
Each lecturer should stand and start reciting his address with no court bow to the President.
While reciting each part of the story each lecturer perambulates once around the Pedestal as he speaks timing the closing of his address with his arrival back at his seat.
The last line of each of the lecturers' addresses is the important line and the lecturer should be standing still facing inwards as he delivers it and sit immediately afterwards, with no court bow.
Lecturer (1):
There was a certain man from the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah. Elkanah had two wives, the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah had none.
Elkanah loved Hannah and would give her extra food to eat but, because she was barren, Peninnah would provoke her, making her unhappy so she would not eat.
Elkanah, her husband, would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Am I not more to you than ten sons.
One day Hannah accompanied Elkinah to the House of the Lord in Shiloh to offer a sacrifice. Unhappy at not being able to provide offspring for her much loved husband, with a heavy heart, she prayed silently to the Lord saying he arrives back at his seat, turns inwards, holds out his
hands as if praying, looks to heaven and says:
"Oh Lord Almighty if you will only look upon your servant's misery and give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life."
Lecturer (2):
Eli, the priest, seeing her lips moving but no sound coming forth, thought that she was drunk and chastised her. Hannah replied that she was not drunk, but so greatly troubled and that she had been silently praying to the Lord out of her great anguish and grief.
Eli replied, "Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him."
Hannah went home with her husband and some time later she had a son which she named Samuel, which means; 'Because I asked the Lord for him'.
She told her husband the story and said that, "After the boy is weaned I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always."
Elkinah agreed that she should keep her promise to the Lord.
Lecturer (3):
After Hannah had nursed Samuel she took him to Eli saying, "I am the woman who stood before you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me that which I asked of Him. So now I give him over to the Lord for his whole life."
Samuel ministered before the Lord - a boy wearing a linen ephod. Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it with her when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
Eli would bless Elkinah and Hannah saying "May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord."
The Lord was gracious to Hannah and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters.
Meanwhile, Samuel was raised in the presence of the Lord.
Lecturer (4):
Samuel grew up with Eli and his two sons Hophni and Phinehas.
Hophni and Phinehas were wicked men and had no regard for the Lord, they would help with the sacrifice but steal much of the meat for themselves. They would also lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Eli would chastise them and warn them not to sin against the Lord but they would not listen. Samuel however grew in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people.
One day the Lord spoke to Samuel, in a dream, telling him that he had informed Eli that he would punish his house because of the sins of his sons and that Eli was aware of their blaspheming but did nothing to stop them. The Lord was with Samuel as he grew.
And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.
The Lord continued to reveal himself to Samuel at Shiloh.
President:
From this story you will realise that you should always keep your promises so that, like Samuel's parents, you will ultimately find reward.
If you wish to earn the confidence, trust, and respect of your fellow men always remember to, "Promise not that which you cannot deliver, and always be sure to deliver that which you promise."
Scripture tells us that Eli's sons were later killed in a battle with the Philistines and that on hearing the news Eli also died.
Samuel became High Priest and Judge. He anointed Saul and afterwards David to be King over all Israel.
You will recollect once again from the ceremony of Commissioning a Supreme Ruler in the Order of the Secret Monitor that the Prophet Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brethren.
If you are elected to the high office of President of your consistory you will be dedicated as a High Priest and Judge in our Order by your predecessor. You will thus represent the Prophet Samuel.
President:
You are now to be designated as a Distinguished Companion. This patent, which has been signed by the Most Distinguished Grand Summus, qualifies you to be installed as President of a Consistory.
The Director of Ceremonies conducts the candidate to a position in front of the President.
President hands Patent to candidate:
I congratulate you on receiving this Patent for, following your Dedication and Installation, you will receive from the members of our Order the same respect which Samuel received from the Children of Israel.
This completes the ceremony of Preparation.
If the 'Preparation Ceremony' is conducted in a Provincial / District Grand Senatus the Candidate will receive the ceremony of Installation in his own Consistory at a later date.
If the ceremony has been conducted in a Consistory it will be closed in the Third grade, resumed in the First Grade and the outgoing President (or a Past President) will continue accordingly.


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