Royal and Select Masters

Ritual for the Installation of a Master


A council of Select Masters is opened.
The Master elect is presented in the West by a Past Master.
P.M.: Thrice Illustrious Master, I present to you Companion …, for installation as Master of this Council; I find him well skilled in the Royal Mysteries, zealous in diffusing the sacred sacred principles of our fathers, and his Companions repose the highest confidence in his integrity and fidelity.
I.O.: Illustrious Companion, your presentation shall be attended to, and I shall at once proceed to install Companion …, in the chair.
Past Master resumes his seat.
I.O.: Companion …, I feel great pleasure in receiving you as the Master elect of this Council. I need hardly remind you that it is a station highly honourable to him who diligently and faithfully performs the duties imposed upon him.
Before proceeding to install you in the chair of Master, I must claim your attention while the Recorder reads the Charges and Regulations relating to the chair of a Master of a Council, to all of which unqualified assent is required, which you will signify by the sign of fidelity after each clause, at the same time bowing the head in token of submission.
Rec.: Do you solemnly promise:

  1. That you will use your best endeavours to promote the general good of the Order, and the peace, harmony, and prosperity of your Council; and will be ready, on all proper occasions, to give instruction to those who seek it?
  2. That you will not suffer your Council to be opened unless the requisite number of Companions be present?
  3. That you will not suffer to pass the circle of perfection in your Council anyone in whose integrity, fervency, and zeal, you have not entire confidence?
  4. That you will not acknowledge, nor hold intercourse with, any Council that does not work under some regular and constitutional authority?
  5. That you will not admit into your Council any visitor who has not been regularly and lawfully invested with the Degrees conferred therein, without his having been formally heled?
  6. That you will faithfully observe and support the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order, and such By Laws as may be made by your Council in conformity therewith?
  7. That you will pay due respect and obedience to the Grand Master and his Officers, when duly installed, and support them in the discharge of their lawful duties?
I.O.: Do you submit to these requirement and promise to observe and practice the faithfully?
Master elect answers, and is then seated in the South West.
I.O.: I must now request all Companions below the rank of Installed Master in this Order to withdraw.
The Companions withdraw; no salute.
The Master elect is placed in front of the kneeling stool in the West.
I.O. gavels once: I declare this a duly constituted Conclave of Installed Masters.
Companion …, you will kneel while the blessing of heaven is invoked in aid of our proceedings.
Companions, we will now assume the attitude of Prayer turning towards the East.
Companions rise and place right hand on heart, facing East.
Chap.: Most Holy and Glorious Lord God, the Great and Mighty Father of all men, we Thy humble servants desire to approach Thee with all reverence, and to implore Thy blessing upon this our worthy Companion, who has been selected to preside over the affairs of this Council. Fill his heart, we beseech Thee, with Thy fear and love, and make him steadfast in Thy service, that he may be an example to all the Brethren Grant him firmness of mind, animate his heart, and strengthen his endeavours, that by his life and conversation he may promote the honour and glory of Thy Holy Name.
Omnes: So mote it be.
Master elect remains kneeling. All Companions turn to face the center of the Council.
The Installing Officer leaves his chair in the East and stands at the East of the pedestal, facing West.
I.O.: Companion … you will now take the solemn obligation of an Installed Master. Place both hands on the V.S.L., state your several names at length, and repeat after me
D.C.: To order, Companions.
All companions present stand to order with right hand on heart.
I.O.: I do hereby and hereon solemnly promise that I will faithfully and to the best of my ability discharge the duties of Master of this Council until a successor shall have been regularly installed in my stead. I further solemnly promise that I will never reveal the secrets restricted to the chair, except to an Installed Master, or to a candidate lawfully elected or designated to that office and obligated as such in a Conclave of Installed Masters.
All this I promise on my honour as a gentleman and a Cryptic Mason. So help me the Most High, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.
As a token of sincerity you will seal this obligation on the V.S.L., once with your lips.
Companions discharge hand on heart.
I.O. takes the Master elect by both hands.
I.O.: Rise duly obligated Thrice Illustrious Master.
Installing Officer, still holding both hands of the Master elect leads him to a position in front of the Master’s chair. Master elect faces North and the Installing Officer faces South.
The Traditional History is now given.
I.O.: It is traditionally reported that after the Consecration and Dedication of the Holy Temple at Jerusalem, Hiram, King of Tyre, having had his most ardent wish gratified in seeing the completion of the secret vault, and the sacred treasures safely deposited therein, determined on his departure for his own country with the satisfaction of having faithfully discharged his duties to the Craft. He accordingly went to take farewell of the Thrice Illustrious King Solomon. His retinue had already proceeded on their way laden with rich gifts and costly presents, and had pitched their camp outside the walls of Jerusalem.
King Solomon, in his most retired apartment, awaited the arrival of his Illustrious Companion, and on his approach, calling to mind the great and sincere friendship that had existed between the three Grand Masters for many years, and yet remembering the untimely death of one of their number, and that they two alone remained and could not therefore give the grip, he clasped with his right hand the 1eft wrist of King Hiram, who did likewise. Each then gripped his own right wrist with his left hand and raising their hands King Solomon pronounced the words Adonai El Shaddai.
The sign of an Installed Master is given by placing the hands side by side with the first two fingers of the right hand overlapping the first two of the left hand, thumbs under the palms of the opposite hands, the third and fourth fingers together at an angle from the first two, thus forming as nearly as possible a letter w, raising the hands to the forehead, then dropping the hands to the front of the body. The whole represents Shin the first letter of the Hebrew word Shadai which you can observe on the East and West faces of the Ark of the Covenant.
I now invest you with the scarlet robe, also the collar and jewel, these being the insignia of your office.
With the grip of an Installed Master and the words Adonai El Shaddai, I place you on the throne of King Solomon.
Lastly, I present you with this Gavel, the Symbol of Authority.
Only the installing Officer places his right hand on heart.
May the Supreme Master of all aid you with His Grace and have you in His Holy Keeping now evermore.
You will now invest the Immediate Past Master. Done
I.O.: Illustrious Companions, Companion … having been installed as Thrice Illustrious
Master, we will salute him five times with the sign of an Installed Master. The salute is given by raising the sign to the forehead and dropping the hands to the front of the body, five times.
Installing Officer congratulates the newly installed Master on behalf of the Illustrious
Companions present.
I.O.: Thrice Illustrious Master, will you please gavel once and declare this Conclave of
Installed Masters closed. Done
Illustrious Companions be seated.
Companion Steward, admit the Companions.
Visiting Companions will be admitted first and directed to resume their seats without saluting.
Companions of the Council will be admitted and will form column in the North under the direction of the Director of Ceremonies.
I.O.: Companions, during your temporary absence Illustrious Companion … has been regularly installed as Thrice Illustrious Master, and I call upon you to proceed round the Council and salute him, in passing, with the Grand Hailing Sign of a Select Master Done.
I now proclaim Illustrious Companion … Thrice Illustrious Master of this the … Council, No … on the Register of the Grand Council of the Order of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales and its Districts and Councils Overseas, during the ensuing twelve months and until a successor shall have been duly elected and installed in his stead, and I call upon you to greet him with three times nine, taking the time with me. Done.
Companions remain standing.
Thrice Illustrious Master, I now present to you the warrant of your Council, and in entrusting it to your special keeping, feel sure that you will receive it as a sacred deposit, and will transmit it to your successor, pure and unsullied as you now receive it.
Companions be seated. Thrice Illustrious Master, I present to you the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order which I recommend to your careful perusal; and also the By-Laws which you are to enforce in your Council. You will now appoint and invest the officers.