Architect Guild
Ritual of the Honor Degree or Second Degree


1925


More dear in the sight of God and
His angels than any other conquest
is the conquest of self.
-A. P. Stanley.

 
Lodge is opened in form on the first degree. (Where time is short this may be omitted.)
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Secretary, what business have we to attend to in this degree?
SECRETARY:
John Doe, son of Adam, who was initiated in the first degree and desires to be initiated into the second, is present and awaits the pleasure of the Master Architect.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Before proceeding with the initiation, the Secretary will please read the minutes of the last meeting.
Minutes are read and adopted.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
John Doe, son of Adam, arise.
You have been duly initiated into the first degree of our Architect Guild, and have been intrusted with the secrets thereof, do you now desire to proceed with your initiation and delve still further into the mysteries of this most holy lodge?
WAYFARER:
I so desire.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
But you are warned that he who would pluck the rose must endure the thorns.
WAYFARER:
Pleasures are flowers that wither in our hands while we yet do hold them. I seek eternal truth.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
John Doe, son of Adam, thou hast spoken well. Chief Marshal, you may proceed with the initiation.
CHIEF MARSHAL:
Initiative and Decision, it is the will of the Master Architect that you take charge of the candidate and conduct him to the inner chamber, there to await the further pleasure of the Master Architect.
They conduct the candidate to the center of the room, salute the Master Architect, and then retire, and candidate is taken charge of by Wayfarer. Initiative and Decision stand one on each side of the door.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Chief Marshal, are all things m readiness for the ceremony of initiation?
CHIEF MARSHAL:
All things are ready, Master.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Initiative you may admit the candidate.
Initiative raps and is answered by Wayfarer.
INITIATIVE:
The Master Architect after listening to your request has graciously consented thereto; if you still persist in your purpose, in the name of the Master Architect, you are bidden to enter.
DECISION:
The candidate is requested to place his forefinger upon his lips thus, as he enters within our most holy temple, which is to teach you that silence is golden, and that at all times you are to be discreet in your speech, ever regarding the secrets of a brother as your own. You are also warned to comport yourself in a manner befitting a member of the degree of a novitiate.
He is now conducted to the rear of the room facing the Master Architect. Decision raps twice on the floor with his staff.
DECISION:
Master, the candidate is in position.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Who comes here?
DECISION:
John Doe, son of Adam, who, having learned the lesson of obedience and industry as taught in our first degree, now seeks further instruction in building character by being passed to the degree of Honor and exploring the mysteries thereof.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Has he been presented with the Jewel of Honor?
DECISION:
He has not yet received it, Master.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
You may conduct the candidate to the front, where he may take the obligation and receive the sacred jewel of this degree.
He is conducted to the front.

 
 
Obligation
 
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Is it of your own free will that you enter this degree?
CANDIDATE:
It is.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Before taking upon yourself the solemn obligation of the second degree, you are informed that in it there is nothing that conflicts with your religion; with your duty to your parents or your country. If you still persevere in your determination to become a member of this degree, you will raise your right hand and repeat after me the following:
I (repeating your name) do solemnly promise never to reveal by word of mouth, sign, printing, or any manner what-so-ever the method of my initiation; except it be to my parents, minister, priest, or rabbi; and then only on their special request.
I furthermore promise to exercise a due and just control over all of my activities, be they moral, mental or physical.
I furthermore promise to put all things mean and vile underneath my feet; to live in private the same life I live in public.
I furthermore promise to be the Master of my Character Kingdom; to extend its domain and develop its resources to the utmost of my ability; to the end that I may become an active and constructive factor of the society wherever I may be a member for the good of humanity. So help me God and keep me steadfast in the same.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
My clear candidate, no doubt you congratulate yourself on passing the first degree so successfully and, having taken the obligation of the second degree you no doubt consider yourself a member of that degree; but let me warn you, the most hazardous portion of life's journey still lies before you; there are unknown dangers, there is the Valley of Despair, in the midst of which lies the slough of Despond; then there are the mountains of difficulty, beyond which lie the shining gates of victory.
Before entering upon this hazardous enterprise, I present you with this Jewel, called the Jewel of Honor; be not careless thereof lest it become tarnished; guard it with thy life, for when thou comest to me again, I will require it of thee.
Now, do thou gird up thy loins and run swiftly the journey of life that is set before thee. Tread the straight and narrow path of duty, turn neither to the right hand nor to the left; listen not to the voice of the stranger that may seek to beguile thee from the way thou shouldst go.
He is now conducted round the room and accosted by Pleasure.
PLEASURE:
Wherefore runnest thou so swiftly and whither goest thou?
INITIATIVE:
We are on the journey of life, a high and valorous adventure; our goal is success.
PLEASURE:
Be not so fast, for I see you are already exhausted; come and rest you by the wayside.
DECISION:
Nay, good friend, we have far to go, besides the Master Architect did warn us not to listen to the voice of the stranger; therefore we would fain be on our way.
PLEASURE:
Brave Decision, thou art a very handsome fellow. The fame of thy valor reached me whilst thou wast yet a long way off. The day is old, and the sun is near the horizon.
See, in anticipation of thy coming, I have spread a table of rich viands, come and partake ye thereof; then in the morning thou mayst go on thy way refreshed.
DECISION:
Thou art very fair of speech and overpersuadeth me. I will tarry with thee a little while and then shall be on my way.
They all sit down at the table and begin to eat; lively music is heard and sweet perfume fills the air. One of the attendants slyly exchanges a flower, preferably a poppy, for the candidate's Jewel of Honor; after having eaten a few moments, during which there are ribald songs and jests, Self-Control with the Whip of Necessity comes upon the scene with stern and disapproving looks.
CHIEF MARSHAL:
What means this unseemly conduct? Wherefore this gluttony of thine? Dost thou consort with winebibbers and fools, and thus tarnish the fair Jewel of thy Honor?
Did not our Master Architect charge thee to walk in the straight and narrow path of duty? Wherefore dost thou dally by the wayside? What hast thou to say?
DECISION:
I did listen unto the voice of Pleasure, hanging his head and by her was tempted to rest by the wayside.
CHIEF MARSHAL:
Verily, indeed, thou dost hang thy head in shame for having been beguiled by that wanton called Pleasure. As the price of thy lack of will power, thy perfidious friends hath stolen thy manhood, and, with mocking laughter, hath clothed thee in rags. Arise, retrace thy footsteps to that straight and narrow path from which thou didst come. Go, and haste thee upon thy way.
The Chief Marshal retires and they again proceed on their way round the room; as they do so the lights are slowly put out and they begin to stumble.
DECISION:
Ah, (wailing) woe is me that ever I did listen unto the voice of Pleasure. My knees tremble with weakness and my sight grows dim, therefore do I stumble upon my way.
(At this point the last light goes out.)
Ah, woe is me that I lacked self-control and was tempted from the path of duty. (As they come opposite, the drum suddenly booms forth.) Mine eyes hath been blinded by ignorance and superstition, fear seizes upon my heart and my soul doth tremble exceedingly. (The long drawn out howl of a wolf, a streak of lightning and roll of thunder.) Behold I grope my way through the Valley of Despair. (Growling of dog and other noises.) Strange noises and hideous monsters abound everywhere. (Picture of superstition is thrown upon the screen.) Ah, woe is me that ever I did fall into this slough of Despond.
FIRST VOICE:
Behold, I was but the sport of the tempter, the plaything of a mere wanton; the worm of remorse gnaws at my vitals; the chaos of despair is in my heart.
Despair falls upon the screen and fades into hope. The candidate and Decision kneel in the rear of the room facing the screen.
DECISION:
Is there no surcease from sorrow? Is there no hope in Gilead for the wicked? Shall my soul forever sink into the depth of Hades?
Hope now fades into a star.
SECOND VOICE:
Son of Man, despair not, lift up thine eyes and behold the Star of Hope; it shines for thee and there is a balm in Gilead that heals the wounded and soothes the broken spirit.
A song of hope is sung. The star gradually fades away so as to represent the gray of morning. They walk slowly.
THIRD VOICE:
After the darkness cometh the bright light of day; the owls and the bats of superstition do hie themselves away and hide in the dark corners of the earth.
He is now placed in front of the Master Architect.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Who comes here?
INITIATIVE:
This is the candidate, who, but a little while before, thou didst bid to journey swiftly on life's way.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
This (eyeing him closely) can not be the candidate. Why tremble he in his knees? He walks not uprightly and does even falter in his speech. Behold, (very stern) he is clothed in rags; (very anxiously) surely this can not be the candidate.
INITIATIVE, as if there was a lump in his throat:
It is even he, Master.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
If this be the candidate, where then is the Jewel of Honor which I bestowed upon him?
INITIATIVE, after searching the candidate:
I fear it has been either lost or stolen; for he wandered from the Path of Duty and dallied by the wayside, consorting with winebibbers and companions of ignorance and vice.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Impossible!
INITIATIVE, sadly:
It is true, Master.
MASTER ARCHITECT, stands and in a voice of thunder:
O vile and degenerate! Did I not warn you to walk in the Path of Duty? Did I not warn you to guard with thy life the Jewel of Honor that I bestowed upon thee? Where is it now? (A pause.) Hast thou forsaken Wisdom and forgotten his wise counsel? Thou art not fit to enter within our sacred temple; bear him hence and cast him forth. (Sits down in his chair and covers his face with his hands.) "Verily the spirit of man is frail and prone to do evil as the sparks that fly upwards."
MERCY, kneeling at the feet of the Master Architect: Is
there no hope? Let sweet Mercy plead for the erring one. He has been weak of will; but, beneath his rags, I yet see the image of the Divine.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Without this Jewel there is none.
Love sings in a low sweet voice "Love is The Key."
MASTER ARCHITECT, after listening arises and in an agitated manner:
The bowels of my compassion have been touched by Mercy and Love; but thou hast proven unworthy; thou hast not trodden in Wisdom's ways; therefore hast thou gone astray. Go-seek ye for that which is lost and return to me not until it is found.
WISDOM, steps forward with raised hand: My son, be ye not hasty in thy judgment; neither be ye rash in thy dealings; for this candidate is but a novice, not yet having learned the sublime art of building character. Let his mistakes be stepping stones upon which to build for the future. Perceiveth thou not, that he has failed because of a lack of will-power. Where now is his Chief-marshal, Self-control?
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Wise (kneeling) are the words of Wisdom; Herald, do ye sound the trumpet that the Chief Marshal may come hither. '
Chief Marshal advances and salutes.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
This candidate has assayed to build character; but being cast hither and thither by the winds of adversity, has found his efforts vain; therefore, as Self-Control, I do commission thee as the Chief-marshal of his kingdom.
Chief Marshal salutes the candidate.
DECISION:
"O mighty one, who art thou that thy glance can circumvent heredity, cheat chance, and conquer nature?"
CHIEF MARSHAL:
I am Self-Control.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Chief-marshal, supreme thou stand; thy dominion extends over all; be strong and forsake not the erring one, go and search ye for that which is lost.
They now proceed round the room.
SELF-RESPECT:
Conscience, seest thou yonder motley company? Who think ye they be?
CONSCIENCE:
I do; the Chief-marshal is with them; but they seem to be a ragged lot.
SELF-RESPECT:
They come this way; they must be challenged, do thou stop them on their way and question them.
CONSCIENCE:
Stand. Who comes here? What is the meaning of this rabble?
CHIEF MARSHAL:
This is a candidate journeying on the King's highway.
CONSCIENCE:
But he is in rags (lifting up the rags) and wears not the Jewel of Honor. Has he the pass?
CHIEF MARSHAL:
He dallied by the wayside and lost the Jewel of which ye do speak; and as to the pass, he has not yet received it.
CONSCIENCE:
Ye cannot pass this way except ye do have the pass; besides all those who travel on the King's highway must wear the Jewel of Honor. Return ye to the Master Architect for still further instructions.
They return to the Master Architect.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
How! Art thou here so soon? Hast thou the Jewel?
CHIEF MARSHAL:
Master, as we proceeded on our way we were stopped by Conscience, who, finding that the candidate did not know the pass, and did not wear the Jewel of Honor, refused to allow him to pass and demanded that he be returned to you for still further instruction.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
O candidate! Vain are thy efforts; from place to place art thou buffeted; thus do ye learn the worth of the Jewel of Honor which I bestowed upon thee, and without which no man is willing to trust thee. We cannot admit you within the sacred precincts of the sanctum sanctorum, until these rags have been removed and you again wear the Jewel of Honor.
Return the candidate to Self-respect, and inform him that it is the will of the Master Architect in the north, that he remove the rags from the candidate and restore unto him the Jewel of Honor which he has lost, ere he can receive the pass.
They return to Self-respect.
CHIEF MARSHAL:
It is the order of the Master Architect that you remove from the candidate the rags with which he is encumbered, and restore to him the Jewel of Honor.
SELF-RESPECT:
Candidate, the rags with which you are clothed are the symbol of the loss of your manhood. In view of the great tribulation through which you have passed, and the penitent spirit shown, it is now the Master Architect's will, that I, as Self-respect, remove from you these dishonorable habiliments, and thus symbolically restore to you your self-respect.
CONSCIENCE:
I restore to you the Jewel which thou didst lose through thy lack of will-power, and which is the outward symbol of thy honor, more sacred than life; and which, after the lesson you have this night received, I trust you will cherish as your most precious possession.
SELF-RESPECT:
As you have not yet received the pass, you cannot proceed on your way; you shall again retrace your footsteps to the Master Architect who will give it unto thee, that whithersoever thou mayst go, thou wilt be known as a man of Honor and worthy to be trusted by all mankind.
The candidate is returned to the Master Architect.
CHIEF MARSHAL:
The candidate has been divested of his rags and the Jewel of Honor restored unto him, and, by order of Self-respect, he is returned to you that he may receive the pass and thereby be allowed to proceed on his way as an honorable member of the Honor Degree of our Architect Guild.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Candidate, I rejoice that thou hast found the Jewel which is more precious than life, and my face is no longer hidden from thee.
Herald, sound ye the trumpet that the officers may come hence. Chief-marshal you will arrange them in due form. Initiative, you will take charge of the candidate.
The officers are arranged on the platform as a tableaux, and candidate is placed in front of the Master Architect.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Having endured the trials and tribulations which you are supposed to meet on the journey of life, you are now adjudged to be a member of the Honor Degree of our Architect Guild and worthy of receiving the pass. That you may proceed on the journey of life, I now give you the pass, which you are never to impart in any other manner than that in which you receive it, and always in a low whisper.
Master gives the pass.

Upon entering the door you were instructed to place your finger upon your lips, thus, which was to impose silence and to teach you that never under any circumstances were you to reveal the secrets of a brother or a sister of this degree. And from this is derived the token or outward sign of a member of the Honor Degree and is given thus, and refers to your obligation of secrecy.
Around you is grouped a tableaux representing the kingdom of your character. The soul is represented by the Master Architect, around and near me are the three Divine principles of God character Love, Purity and Truth. These are the officers now so familiar to you; on my right is the Chief-marshal; here stands Honor and Virtue; yonder Industry, a mighty captain is he. Of all these officers there is none mightier than the Chief-marshal, who represents to you the power of the will. He will now address you.
Chief Marshal addresses the candidate.
MASTER ARCHITECT:
Chief-marshal, you may conduct the candidate to his seat; Initiative you may conduct the officers to their seats.
 



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