Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
Grade VII – Adeptus Exemptus
The Vault is prepared by placing upon the floor a pastos, with its head near
the centre of the Vault and its foot to the East.
The Sacred Volume is placed on the pastos at the head, and a lighted lamp at the foot: a memorial tablet may be placed on the pastos, and it this is done it should be placed so that it can be read from the East. The chairs should, as far as is practicable, be set out to form a seven-sided shape, with apex to the East. The Vault is but dimly lit. If possible, there should be a single light in the South, which can be switched on at the appropriate moment. If no such light is available, then the general lighting will have to be used.
The candidate must be an Adeptus Major Grade VI, and must wear the Jewel of the VI Grade.
Whenever possible, although this may be varied by permission of the S.M. or a Chief Adept, there should be not more than one Candidate for Grade VII.
The Candidate must know the Secret Words of Grades I - VI.
In the anteroom the Acolyte prepares the Candidate and instructs him how to knock for admission. (Five and One).
This Grade is conferred technically at Noon in the Vault of the Adepts. A Blazing Sun is in the South, but at the commencement of the ceremony the Vault is but dimly lit, and the Blazing Sun is not visible. A Pastos lies on the floor its head to the West, furnished as for Grade V but additionally a circular Altar is placed towards the foot of the Pastos, orientated so that the ‘Shin’ can be read from the West.
The Conductor is placed next to the Expositor preferably to his North. A seat is reserved for the Candidate next to the Expositor; to his South. A Frater is stationed ready to illuminate the light in the South at the proper time.
The Candidate, wearing the jewel of an Adeptus Major is veiled, and instructed to give the knocks of an Adeptus Major when the cue is given.
Ind.: R.W. Conductor, please confirm that all within the Vault are of Grade VII or above
Con. (having checked): R.W. Inductor, I so confirm.
Ind. gives one knock: all rise.
Ind.: Very Worthy Fratres, I open this College of Adepti Exempti by giving Five and Three knocks ***** *** and with the Mystic Words Mors Janua Vitae.
The knocks are repeated by Expositor and Conductor.
Conductor opens the Bible. All sit.
The Minutes of the last Adept Grade meeting in the Province are now read by the Provincial Secretary, and, after confirmation, are signed by the Inductor. Form A/C is now read by the Provincial Secretary.
Ceremony of Reception
Ind.: Very Worthy Fratres, we are today assembled to celebrate High Noon by the admission of an Adeptus Major of our Order to the full honours of Adeptship.
Our Frater has been selected to receive this privilege on account of his assiduity, and the progress he has made in the studies allotted to him.
Right Worthy Conductor, the Candidate must recite to us the Secret Words of all Grades from Zelator upwards: you may admit him and place him before us.
Con.: I will admit our Frater, as you desire, and he shall be examined by me to learn if he be worthy.
The cue is given to the Candidate to knock as an Adeptus Major. When the knocks are heard, the Conductor proceeds to the door of the Vault, admits the Candidate, and leads him to the North side of the Pastos. The Conductor then proceeds to the South side of the Pastos and stands facing the Candidate.
Con.: Frater Adeptus Major, in order to secure your advancement to the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus it is necessary that you recite to the Fratres the Secret Words of all the Grades through which you have already passed. Give me, then, the Secret Words of the Grade of Zelator (Note that for this Grade both the Password Lux and the Grand Word INRI should be given); of Theoricus; of Practicus; of Philosophus; of Adeptus Minor; and lastly of Adeptus Major.
This done, Conductor proceeds by way of West to North, and stations himself behind Candidate.
Exp.: Very Worthy Adeptus Major, your progress to the highest Grade of Adeptship has been slow and gradual but all the stages of your career have been alike necessary and beneficial. Your Zelatorship was a period of compulsory silence and probation. As a Theoricus you made an intellectual study of our sciences. As a Practicus you gained by experiment a knowledge of the properties of matter, and, as a Philosophus, your intuition was enlarged and deepened, and you contemplated the Divine Power beyond you. In the two preliminary Grades of Adeptship, you have been led to consider your own future; you have been made to realise that you must one day stand face to face with Death; for Death alone is the portal through which you must pass to attain the highest knowledge - the fullest initiation.
Ind.: You have come here symbolically to die: even now your face is shrouded and veiled from the light of day: you stand on the very edge of the grave.
The Conductor removes the veil.
Ind.: And, when your allotted time has come, may you sink into it in peace and honour. No dweller upon earth is in his person immortal; nothing in this world is eternal.
The Sun itself must die, and be dissolved into its elements. Indeed to us men it appears to die daily: every passing day is its light eclipsed. As in regular daily sequence it sinks from our gaze, and none can hinder it, so, my Frater, must you pass into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Your present form is but a passing image which must be restored to the earth from which its material elements were derived. Your Real Self must be veiled from human eyes by that dread mysterious change which men call Death, but which to the Initiate is but the Gate of Life: Mors Janua Vitae, Death is the Gate of Life.
My Very Worthy Frater, these words, Mors Janua Vitae, are the Secret Words of this exalted grade, and, even as I reveal them to you, you should figuratively mark the Sun appearing in its noontide splendour in the South.
At these words the light in the South is revealed.
Ind.: The Sun is a type of the full knowledge which futurity will bring you, the type also of the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus, the fullest and brightest position in our Second Order.
Very Worthy Frater, your years in this life may be many, or they may be few: be you careful that they are well spent. Relax not your vigilance, cease not your exertions. "Ever upward and onward" should be your watchwords, for such is the pathway to Divine existence. Fail not to remember that Mors Janua Vitae, Death is the Gate of Life.
The Sign and Grip are those of Adeptship. The knocks are five and three.
Exp.: Live, my Very Worthy Frater, in the World, but be not of it. Protect the Soul rather than the Body. Be pure in mind, and zealous in good works. Cast away all fear, and bear in your memory the advice I now give to you: Gnothi se auton, "Know thyself’.
The voice of Conscience, which is spiritual intuition, will never fail to guide him aright who respects its shrine; but remember that every time you reject the promptings of Conscience you destroy some portion of its authority, and you fall one step away from the attainment to moral perfection.
Ind.: Knowledge of yourself will lead you to the perception of Universal Knowledge, the completion of which is Absolute Truth.
Exp.: For Man the Microcosm is analogous to the Macrocosm; that which is below is similar to that which is above, but material is not spiritual.
Ind.: Yet even in this material form there dwells a Spark of the Divine, which is the higher Self. Thus each human being contains the germ of infinite improvement.
Exp.: But that improvement depends upon the freedom of your Will: man came from God, to God he may return if he doeth well.
Ind.: We have taught you how to Know.
Exp.: You, alone, can Will.
Con.: You, alone, can Dare.
Ind.: By these means, only, can your efforts be crowned with success. May this occasion never be forgotten by you, may you never fail to keep to the path of duty, and never neglect any opportunity to acquire self-knowledge: so may you be able to assist others to climb the rugged path, which alone leads to the longed for goal of Perfection.
Be seated, my Very Worthy Frater, in this Vault of the Adepti Exempti, and the Expositor will deliver the Lecture of this Grade.
Exp.: Right Worthy Magister Inductor, and Very Worthy Fratres.
The Grade of Adeptus Exemptus completes the Second Order of the Society of the Rose and Cross, and in the name of all the Adepti I congratulate you, Frater on having attained to the Crown of Adeptship, but I also entreat you to continue to pursue your studies and your duties with fervency and zeal. Never be weary of well doing, always strive to excel yourself in all your works, and so it may be that in due course of time you may receive from our Most Worthy Supreme Magus the call to advance into the Ruling Order of our Society; for the path to the Grade of Magister lies always open to the Frater who possesses courage and endurance, if he will add to these virtues enthusiasm in the performance of his work, and an orderly submission to the behests of the Magi who govern our ancient and honourable Society. Yes, my Frater, the Path is always open, and it leads upward all the way, but it is still beset with temptations to turn aside the pilgrim who is seeking the Infinite.
As an Adeptus Exemptus your special care is to guide the studies of the Philosophi who are expected to consider not only the Christian writing, and to follow the behests of Jesus Who is Christ, but also to search out and endeavour to comprehend the doctrines of the great World-Religions which preceded Christianity, and still continue to supply a rule of conduct to many millions of our fellow men.
It should be borne in mind that Freemasonry, as a Speculative Society, when it arose from the more purely Operative Guilds, was in England at first a Christian Fraternity, and that it was not until later that the basis of English Freemasonry was made Theistic.
The Fratres of the Society of the Rose and Cross have at all times professed the Christian Faith and in our Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia of to-day we continue to receive only Christian Masonic Brethren.
The duty of an Adeptus Exemptus is not only to assist in the teaching of the Philosophi, but also to supervise the Adepts of the two lower grades, instructing them by converse and example how to rule and govern their lives so as to live respected, and die full of honour and good works.
You, my newly received Adeptus Exemptus, have so lately passed through the Ceremony in which you stood beside the symbolic grave, that your thoughts must turn quite naturally to the Hereafter, and you are seeking to know the nature of the state or condition in which the disembodied soul may awaken and to peer into the great darkness which overshadows our latter end.
As a Christian you know that it is not given to man to understand "the mysteries of the Kingdom of God". As St. Paul said, "now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face". To the faithful Christian our Divine Master said - "in My Father’s house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you."
Let us love God and act justly by all men, let us study nature, let us teach as well as learn, let us be merciful as we hope for mercy, and by so doing prepare to close our eyes in death when our life’s work is done, calm in the dignity of our manhood, assured of the beneficence of God our Father, and trusting in the promise of our Great Master, Jesus the Christ.
We are Fratres Rosae et Crucis, - so let us remember the Rose as a symbol of the Divine Spirit within us, and the Cross as an emblem of self-sacrifice and high endeavour.
The Conductor leads the Candidate to the Inductor who invests the new Adeptus Exemptus with the Jewel of Grade VII, presents him with the Ritual, and congratulates him. The Conductor then leads Candidate to his seat.
Inductor rises and gives one knock, all rise.
Ind.: Very Worthy Fratres, we are about to close this Vault of the Adepti Exempti with words of thanksgiving.
Let us not only use words of prayer and thanksgiving, but let us also work.
Exp.: Laborare est orare.
Ind.: May we leave this Vault with a firm determination to work out our Salvation with Will and Courage. So guided and supported, the Adept who is faithful to the covenant he has so solemnly made in the presence of his Fratres, will not fail to obtain a great reward.
Exp.: While we All thank God for our lives, for our health, and for our progress in the Society of the Rose and Cross, let our newly exalted Frater also give thanks to Him for the attainment to this Crown of Adeptship.
Ind.: Fratres, when, our work being done, Death closes our lives, we are sustained by hope. So let us close this Vault of Adepti Exempti by reciting the Mystic Words of the Grade, for they give us the promise of a glorious future.
Ind. (alone): Mors. ***** ***.
Exp. (alone): Janua. ***** ***.
Cond. (alone): Vitae. ***** ***.
Cond. closes Bible.
Ind.: Benedictus Dominus Deus Noster. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritul Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
The Vault is prepared by placing upon the floor a pastos, with its head near
the centre of the Vault and its foot to the East.