of the Emperean or, Perfect Lady and Perfect Knight
The Highest Degree of the Adopted Rite
In using the gavel,
one rap calls the Temple to order, and seats them; two raps
call up the officers only, three raps call up the Temple.
The voting sign is the uplifted hand.
A member desiring to enter the Temple while in session, will proceed to the outer door and give three distinct raps, and if it is in order to enter they will be answered by three from within. The door will then be opened, if they are vouched for they will be allowed to enter.
On entering they will proceed to the sacred altar and give the salutation to the presiding officer, who will respond in a like manner, after which they will take their seats in the Temple.
The salutation is the regular military salute.
When the members wish to re tire before the Temple is closed, they will proceed to the altar and give the salutation the same as on entering; if in order and answered, they will then retire. If any persons are present whom the Sentinel cannot vouch for, a committee will be appointed by the chair to examine them and report.
The time having arrived for opening the Temple, the King takes his place upon the throne and calls the Temple to order.
King: We are now about to open this Temple; if there are any present who have not taken our solemn obligation they will please retire. The Guard will request the Sentinel to appear for examination.
The Sentinel will approach the East and give the King the salutation and word of the degree.
King: The sentinel is duly prepared for the duties of his office; he will repair his station to guard and protect our Temple. The Marshals will ascertain if all present are qualified to remain. If there are any visitors present they will give their names and the name of the Temple to which they belong, that the same may be received and recorded.
The Marshals proceed to the altar and salute the King; they then take up the password, the Marshal in the West going to the North, and the Marshal in the East to the South; each carrying staves, the members arising as they give the word; when they reach the East they salute the King and give him the word. They again salute and pass to their stations.
King: All present being qualified to remain, and the Temple being in order, the Marshals will notify the Queen and her courtage that we are ready to receive them.
The doors are thrown open, and the Queen and her suite enter, each line passing from their respective doors diagonally before the altar, saluting as they pass, then forming in open column between the altar and the throne.
King: The conductors will escort the Queen to her proper station in the Temple.
All salute, the King responds, and hands her the gavel, saying: Officers and members, attention; behold your Queen.
The Temple salutes, and the Queen responds.
Queen: Officers and members, we are met here this evening for the purpose of conferring the Emperean Degree, and for the purpose of transacting such other business as may properly and regularly come before the Temple, so as to secure the prosperity and perpetuity of our beautiful Order of the Adopted Rite. Let us attend to these duties with fraternal love and forbearance, ever mindful of the face that to err is human – to forgive is divine; that we may perform our work in a reverential spirit, may we all pause at the threshold and unite in a moment of silent prayer to the Great Giver of every good and perfect gift while the officers repair to their respective stations for the active duties of the Temple.
Soft music is played, while the officers quietly wheel to the right and left and march to their stations, the Marshals escorting the Princess; salute and return to their posts. When in position the Queen will say: Please sing the opening ode.
(Tune, "Tramp, Tramp.")
There are many glorious heights, for our watchful feet to climb·
There's a shining crown for those who work and win;
It's on the summits high, of the mansions in the sky,
Prepared for all the wanderers freed from sin.
Rise, Oh! rise to nobler Knighthood, Sisters, Brothers, don't delay;
But with purpose firm and sure, let our vows for aye endure,
As we take the onward upward, glorious way.
We will loose no Knightly pride, And will never turn aside
From the kindly friendships formed and nourished here;
But with voices clear and strong, we will sing our welcome song,
As we pledge anew our faithful throng so dear.
CHORUS:-Rise, Oh! rise, etc.
Queen: If desired for information, the Secretary will read the minutes of our last meeting. They were then read and approved.
The order of business is entirely at the discretion of the Queen. All business may be transacted under Good and Welfare.
Propositions for Membership.
Balloting for Candidates.
Conferring of the Degree.
Master Masons and Ladies of the Star and Amaranth are eligible. Candidates may be proposed and balloted for at the meeting of initiation.
Queen: The Associate Conductress will retire and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting for the degree.
The Associate Conductress obtains the names and reports, giving each of their names.
The Marshal in the East then meets her, salutes, and receives the report and carries it to the East.
Queen: Worthy Secretary, there appear at our inner gate the following candidates, who desire the light of this degree; have they been duly elected to this right?
The Secretary answers.
Queen: If there is no objection, I will proceed to confer the degree upon them. Hearing none, it is so ordered.
Hands the gavel to the King.
King: The Conductors will repair to the preparation room and prepare the candidates; and the Secretary will accompany them and see that the fees are paid. When they are duly prepared, the Conductors will make the usual alarm at the inner door. The Marshals will guard the door. The members may have the liberty of the floor until the sound of the gavel in the East.
Marshal: Most Excellent King, there is an alarm at the inner door.
King: Attend to the alarm and ascertain the cause.
Marshal: It is our conductress with candidates prepared to receive the work of this degree.
King: You will admit them.
If the candidates are Sir Knights or Master Masons, they are obligated on their honor as such and seated until the ladies are given the work, when all sign the By-Laws.
On entering, the candidates are led by the Conductors down the North side of the temple, to the East, then cross to the South, and down the South to the West, and form in front of the Princess. During the march the following hymn will be sung, or some other suitable hymn or musk.
Hail! all hail our worthy members,
Who still choose a better part,
Let their glorious aspirations
Keep a welcome in each heart.
Still progressing, let us ever
Keep our obligation pure;
From all evil may we sever,
Thus our happiness secure
Princess: My Sisters, when you first entered this Temple of our Adopted Rite, you were taught the great virtues of Fidelity, Constancy, Purity, Hope and Fervent Love. You were then instructed in the sublime principles of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, and all the great truths of Amaranthan glory. Our beautiful order in all things is designed to be educational. We wish now to invest you with more truths, so as to increase your love and devotion to our cause. For she who is conscious that she is right, and whose faith is in God, becomes a power unto herself in whatever station she may fill. Mankind are of the highest created beings-the noblest work of the Creator. Social and intellectual beings, endowed with infinite capacities, inspired with infinite desires, and filled with the hope of heaven. When our faculties are properly cultivated and refined, how noble and God-like we may become; how gifted for good in the sphere of scientific research and mental achievement. Masonry and the Adopted Rite seek to develop the noblest faculties of the mind and heart. In the early days they built the temples and great cathedrals, and dedicated them to the various forms of worship, where, it is said, God spake to man and with man. Wonderful, indeed, is the inventive genius of noble men and women.
By it the majestic steamers now ride in triumph the mountain waves; railways girt the continents, and run through every land; the very lightning of the clouds is chained, and through it we speak to other lands beneath old ocean's bed. All nature seems to be made tributary to the intellectual attainments of man. With his pen he controls the destiny of the mightiest nations of the earth; with the words and symbols of sacred Truth, he points the minds of countless millions up to Heaven and to God. With the eye he now measures the countless worlds and glistening stars. With the ear attuned to nature's melodies, we may enjoy the sweet raptures of a universe in harmony. With the hand, the brush, and chisel, he creates almost divinely. Within this Temple we seek to develop in a measure these intellectual gifts, so as to increase our happiness in the social world. To be true to ourselves, to live nobly and die gloriously. If you wish to continue with us it will be necessary for you to take upon yourself our obligation of fidelity to our sacred cause. My Sisters, do you wish to proceed?
An affirmative answer is required.
Princess: The candidates will be placed in position at the altar.
The room is darkened by turning down the lights. The candidates are caused to kneel at the altar in silent prayer.
Conductress: When you have finished your devotions, say amen, and we will invest you with the obligation.
The King proceeds to the altar and addresses the candidates.
King: My Sisters, you will pronounce your name in full and repeat after me: …, I do solemnly and unreservedly promise to keep inviolate the sacred obligation I have already assumed, and I do further promise that I will never reveal to any person, not a member of the Emperean, any of the private work of this degree, nor any of the signs, grips or signals, or business, except it be in a proper and lawful manner, and never in the presence of our enemies. And I do further promise, to carry out in life the works of charity here inculcated, and to protect and defend the person and good name of my Sisters and Brothers in this exalted Knighthood. All of which I unreservedly promise, upon my sacred honor, under the penalty of expulsion from the companionship and association of my Brothers and Sisters.
King: And may God help you to keep this your sacred obligation, and to perform all the duties you have assumed.
Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, assemble.
The officers and members form a circle around the altar.
King: Remove the vails and let the Sisters be brought to light.
As the vails are removed the lights are turned on.
King: The Marshals will escort the Herald with the colors to the East.
The King turns and slowly assumes bis position on the throne. The Marshals and Herald take their positions midway between the altar and the throne, face the King and salute; he responds; they then face the altar.
King: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, salute your colors.
King: Marshals, what is the penalty of treason?
The Marshals, bringing their swords to a present, exclaim: The penalty of treason is death! Honored Ladies and Sir Knights respond: The penalty of treason is death.
King: And such be the doom of all traitors who are false to their obligation and a traitor to our cause. The Marshals will return to their positions.
During this part of the service soft music will be played.
King: The Conductors will now present the candidates to our Honorable Queen, that she may further advance them on their way.
The candidates are conducted by way of the North to the throne and form a semi-circle. Conductress says: The candidates are in order.
Queen: My Sisters, from the sublime work of our Eastern Star, and the glorious teachings of the Amaranth, you come here to learn more of our sacred obligations and more of duty.
Your work is an ennobling one, having so well kept your vows as to entitle you to these important privileges. Self conquest is the noblest victory achieved on earth. The Scriptures teach us that he who ruleth his own spirit is greater than he who taketh a city. But remember one thing more, and let it sink deep into your heart and influence you while you live: Selfishness always defeats itself. There is no escape from this divine mandate.
We cannot live to ourselves alone; we are destined to influence others for weal or for woe. The human family is one common brotherhood. Each member of that family has an interest equal to your own if properly maintained. You suffer, I suffer, society suffers, by the loss of a single soul. We are all interwoven into the fabric of society. And our relations are such that not one fiber can be broken without injury to all. To melt the stony heart; to build anew the cheerful fires of the hearthstone; to teach duty and the way to discharge that duty; to revivify the soul, and nerve the arm for deeds of benevolence; to practice Christ-like charity, is the object of this degree of Perfect Knighthood. As you advance in the noble work, may your heart be touched with that joy that leads to everlasting gladness.
King: The Conductors will reconduct the candidates to the Princess, who will prepare them for advancement.
While the Conductors and the candidates are passing down the South to the West, the following hymn will be sung:
(Tune, " Missionary Hymn.")
We hail with joy unceasing
The band whose pledge is given;
Whose members are increasing,
Beneath the smile of Heaven.
Their faithfulness unfailing,
Shall lead to brighter days,
When holiness prevailing,
Shall fill the earth with praise.
Conductress: Honored Princess, I am directed to present these Sisters to you, that they may be clothed for the solemn rites of Knighthood.
Princess: My Sisters, the emblematical color of this degree is white, symbolized by the white apron; its language is integrity and purity. It means much to those who love our beautiful order, for constancy is our only safeguard. It is an emblem of truth, so be you true, for your own sake, for society's sake, and for our country's sake. The white apron has ever been worn as a badge of protection and purity. It was worn by the great architects and builders of temples and cathedrals of worship in the past, to keep them from soiling their clothes; it is worn by our members to remind them that if they would be worthy of advancement and honor in society, they must keep their minds and hearts free from spot and stain.
Here the Princess, Conductors, and attendants tie the aprons oil the candidates. In the meantime the Princess continues repeating:
The world honors those who are faithful to their trust until death; and it brands with eternal infamy and shame those who are false and unfaithful. Traitors have wiped out by one single act the otherwise glorious record of a lifetime; and hypocrisy is always under the ban of heaven. But when true to our souls, true to our manhood, steadfast in principle, never yielding to wrong-living and dying for the right-how humanity redeems itself by such self-sacrifice and example of true nobility. Like the martyred braves, may you be ever true, my Sisters, until the last-until death. Stand for principle and the good of society, be true to yourselves, to humanity – and to your God – until you shall stand white-robed and angel-crowned in the Temple, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Conductors, you will now conduct the candidates to Lady Truth, who will still further advance them on their way.
The candidates are conducted by way of the North to Lady Truth in the Southeast corner of the Temple. The following is sung as a solo: (Tune, "Sweet Marie. ")
I've a Savior in the land far away,
His star I now behold from the lay.
Every Christian as they stand,
'Round our altar by command,
Can worship in this band and obey.
Could they place their hand in Thine, Savior, dear,
And see Thy glory shine bright and clear,
They would like the angels sing,
As around Thy cross they cling,
And the jeweled crown they bring, all for Thee.
Come to me, Savior, dear; Savior, dear, come to me,
While proved at Thine altar fair, hear my plea,
For your love so pure and sweet,
Makes my happiness complete,
While I falter at your feet, Savior, dear.
Conductress: Lady Truth, I am directed to present to you these sisters for further advancement.
Low, sweet music.
Lady Truth: My Sisters, it affords me great pleasure to assist you in advancing. Tradition and the Holy Scriptures teach us that when God created all things, He formed the Garden of Eden; and planted therein all that was beautiful and good of tree, shrub, plant, and flower, and so distributed His handiwork that it was paradise. His last great work of creation was to adorn it with woman, and we now look to woman for those noble traits of character that adorn society. Ever foremost in deeds of charity, lenient and forgiving, watchful over the sick and unfortunate, where affection claims her she is there, patient and devoted. Her virtues and her charms are such that ancient mythology chose her as the type of a perfect divinity. The Goddesses of the golden grain, of the fragrant flowers, and all that is beautiful and good in nature, were deities of loveliness in female form. In the same category we find the heroines in the Temple of Fame. I charge you, my Sisters, to be ever mindful of the proud position you occupy in society, and seek to walk worthily before the world and Heaven. You will now be presented to Lady Faith for her teachings.
Conductress: Lady Faith, our Sisters seek more of the teachings of our order.
Lady Faith: My Sisters, the interests, the social relations, and the destiny of man and woman are identical with each other, God created them of one flesh, endowed them both with infinite capacities, and inspired them with infinite desires, and crowned them with the hope of Heaven, one the companion and helpmeet of the other. They must share, and share alike, the glory or shame that awaits them in the outer world. For the laws of nature are such that none can escape the consequences of their acts. They will ever rise up before us to praise or condemn. They are the faithful sentinels that never tire and never sleep. The laws of nature never fail; the bee hives honey; the vine stores her juices; the viper distils poison, so does the poppy and the upas. And so it is with the workings of the human mind, every good thought brings forth good results, and every bad thought produces evil. The principles inculcated in the mind of the child by its mother are there, and there forever. Hence it is very important that the mind be stimulated with that which is pure and good. The beautiful in nature should ever be before us. The Scriptures touch us that favor is deceitful, and flattery is pain. But a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised, for he shall do good. and not evil, all the days of her life. Many have excelled in these virtues, may you exceed them all, that the world may be made better and humanity blest.
You will now be conducted to Lady Wisdom for further instruction.
Suitable music as before.
Conductress: Lady Wisdom. I present these Sisters for further instruction.
Lady Wisdom: My Sisters, we live in a world of trials, but yet a world of splendid opportunities. To the pure soul, all of God's creation appears promising and beautiful. Even the snowflakes, as they fall to the ground amid the wintry storms, seem as if fairies of the air caught water-drops and moulded them into flowers to garland the wings of the wind. It is sad to think that even a single human soul should fail to perceive the beauty that is ever around us. Mature forever preaches us in tones of beauty and love. She writes her laws among the blooming flowers and glistening stars. My Sisters, be trustful, be pure, be free, is the hymn that nature sings, and ever tolls upon our ears, as we pass through the misty mazes of time. The little birds warble in it in their songs, the winds whisper it among the lofty pines, the roaring waves sound it as they pass with their mighty rumblings o'er old ocean's bed. The one great lesson taught by all is be true, my Sisters, be true – true to yourself, to society, and to your God.
You will now be conducted to Lady Hope, who will further teach you in the lessons we inculcate.
Suitable music continues.
Conductress: Lady Hope, these Sisters seek more light in our Knighthood.
Lady Hope: My Sisters, when you entered here you were veiled and the lights were dim. This was to teach you that you may often wander on lonely and uncertain paths, and must trust to your guides and a kind Providence to protect and lead you.
While you were in that condition you had to choose between darkness and a desire for light and knowledge. You were allowed to choose for yourself, and you choose wisely, and were brought to light. You were clothed with a white apron, in part to teach you that those whom we admit to our Temple are not chosen for their outward appearance, that we are not deceived by display, and seek only pure and good. It is the emblem of a pure mind and a pure heart; and it is in the mind and heart we seek to accomplish good works. Therefore, my Sisters, wear it with pleasure, and remember that a noble and generous heart may beat warmly beneath a plain and humble garment. Here is the withering but fadeless wreath of Amaranth; it has been severed from the living root; much of its fragrance is gone. In its condition it calls to our minds the words of the Prophet, "All flesh is grass, and man cometh forth as a flower and is cut down." But these solemn reflections of our transitory state on earth give place to a brighter and more glorious truth. In the course of time the branches from which these leaves were plucked will spring again to life and bring forth other leaves, pure, sweet and bright. The tiny spears as they shoot forth will preach new lessons of the resurrection and immortality: that there is hope beyond, there is life eternal. Take this wreath and bear it to the throne for further lessons of our fraternal teachings.
Music as before.
The candidates are arranged before the throne, from North to South.
Conductress: Most excellent King, these Sisters have traveled the circuit of our Temple, and now come to you for more of our fraternal teachings.
King: My Sisters, the Queen will now address you.
Queen: When fraternal love binds us all together, how sweet and beautiful is life. My dear Sisters, from out of your heart cast every grudge; banish every unkind thought; put away every prejudice, and let a gleam of the calm blue heaven of fraternal goodness shine softly and sweetly into your soul, and remember that only stainless garments befit a member of our perfect Knighthood. Evil exists, it meets us everywhere, and the motto of the world is, "Hit him hard – he has no friends."
I charge you, let it not be found in your mind and heart, but from its presence learn to know the value of the good and true. As the sunset glow veiled in the night is often the promise of the red dawn of a brighter day, so ofttimes the evil which exists shows the good that lies beyond. My Sisters, may such be your hope, that when the western hills obscure life's sun, you may rest secure in the peaceful promise of a never-ending day.
Though the clouds hang heavy, and the night of life seems dark, and the world as cold and cheerless as the land where the rainbow ends, do not forget that far beyond is eternal life, and a sweet repose among the angels and the shining stars.
Puts the wreath of fadeless Amaranth upon the head of the candidates.
With this emblem of immortality I now crown thee a Perfect Lady of the Perfect Knights. Significant indeed are its teachings-it points to our Emperean Home, where He dwelleth whom we seek to worship, King of Kings, and Lord of All. Anchored in the faith, He has promised we shall meet Him there.
All hall the power of Jesus' name,
Let Angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
King: Conductors, present our Honored Ladies to the Secretary, to sign the By-Laws, and then return them to their present position for the closing instructions and ceremonies.
Music by the organ, or singing. As they sign they are returned one by one to their places before the throne and when all are in order the Conductress says: Most Excellent King, your orders have been obeyed; we await your pleasure.
King: Honored Ladies, you now stand before us, clothed with all the privileges and honors of our Knighthood. l trust that our relations here will be mutually pleasant and profitable. In the discharge of your duties you have assumed great and important responsibilities. Life has its sunshine and its shadows, its days and its nights, its seasons of joy and of sorrow. In the world's great drama every knight and lady bas a part. We owe it to ourselves and our families and our fellows that we act well that part. When the darkness of death comes to the home of a friend, it is our duty to be there to comfort and console the afflicted; and if possible point out to the bereaved, that beyond the darkness and the gloom, the bright stars are shining for the better day. To share in the misfortunes of our friends, broadens our vision of goodness, tempers the heart, and makes golden the light that falls on the saddened hearthstone where loved ones dwell. Remember, my dear friends, that night has glories that the day can never reveal. Night brings out the stars, and displays a universe in harmony. While the day tells of the budding flowers and the sparkling streams, the lights and shadows of the grand old wood, while in it we see the majestic mountains towering to the sky, and the peaceful homes along the valleys amid the foliage and nature's golden harvest. While we arise in the morning and behold the dewdrops sparkling like diamonds on the opening blossoms of the trees, we go forth at evening tide and behold the sunset glows with rubies; look where we may, if our hearts are right, and beautiful visions of nature appear. Ah, yes, as it is said, even the clouds have their silver lining.
When tired day sinks into night,
Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars of silvery light,
Seems like a canopy which love has spread,
To curtain a sleeping world.
My Sisters, gaze on the silent shining spheres, as they move like unerring cycles through the azure sea, Look! From each there radiates some light to brighten and to bless us all. So when the night of sorrow comes to the Knightly home, be thou a star of sympathy and love, to remove the shadows and inspire hope for the life beyond. May words of counsel and of cheer, set to the music of fraternal love, fall from your lips, that will give a glow to the cheek and a sparkle to the eye, and hope to the weary soul. Thus you will live to a grand and noble purpose, the memories of the past will be pleasant and your future glorious. The sign of this degree is the folded hands hanging gracefully in front of your body. The word is Justice.
Take the sword in his hands, placing is on the head of each: I now confirm thee a Lady of the Perfect Knight.
He then says: The Marshals will assemble with the Herald and Prelate, and display the standard and the colors.
Music. The candidates about-face the West. The Marshal in the West escorts the Herald with the flag, and the Marshal in the East the Prelate with the standard. They form a section of fours in the Northeast corner and march to the center midway between the altar and the throne and wheel to the right and face the altar and halt and come to a rest – the Herald and the Prelate in the Center.
Herald: By virtue of the authority of this Temple and by order of our Most Excellent King, I now proclaim these Honored Ladies members of our Knighthood, and entitled to all the rights, benefits and privileges of the same. The members will form our circle of unity.
The urn is now lighted, and each of the officers at the points comes forward and drops an emblematical flower into the flame.
Queen: There was a beautiful custom among God's chosen people to make sacrifices in every righteous cause; typical of the great sacrifices made for us by the Divine Master, we cast these emblems of love and affection into the flame, by this service we are reminded that death comes to us all and none can escape the relentless mandate. But out of the ashes and the grave ascends the immortal soul to the bosom of Him who gave it, for it is the breath of the Deity, the work of the Almighty, and He has said the pure in heart shall see GOD. May the sweet incense ascend the skies and with it our humble prayer. My Sisters, if you would win the victory and wear the victor's crown, be true to your obligation; though enemies shall assail you and the waters cease to flow, and the verdure shall cease to grow, the granite hills crumble into dust, let your noble deeds stand as an everlasting record in the great book of life, kept by the Recording Angels in the archives of the Emperean at the Mercy Seat of God.
Prelate, with hand out and extending upward: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, the work of this degree is now completed. There is but one higher – it is with the Divine Master in the Promised Land, far beyond the quiet watching of the silent stars. To Him we commend you all-blessed Savior beyond the star gemmed constellations.
Immortal love, what pomp superb is thine,
Man peal thy loftiest hymn, at God's sublimest shrine;
And thou, whole universe, join in the song of this event,
Can the feeble tongue proclaim Thy Glories? No –
Heart–reason–prone, awed into naught, we sink,
At Thine Almighty Throne.
May our fraternal love abide with us all forever. Amen.
Members respond: Amen.
Recess for congratulations.
Reading of the minutes, after call to order.
Queen: The Temple will now be closed. The Herald will make the proclamation.
Herald: We are again about to pursue the temptations and trials of life. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. -1 John, I .-7.
The members will unite in singing "Blest be the Tie that Binds Our Hearts in Christian Love," as the closing hymn.
Queen, striking the gavel: The meeting is now closed.
The members respond: Adieu.