Ancient Illustrious Order Knights of Malta
Sixth Degree – Blueman Master Builder
This ritual dates from 1909
Ceremony of Initiation
The previous Order of Business
having been disposed of, should there be one or more candidates to receive the
Blueman Master Builder Degree, the Sir Knight Commander will say: Sir Knight Warder, what is the particular cause of our assembling here?
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, knightly association, the propagation of our Order,
and the advancement of such worthy Companions as are desirous thereof.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knight Warder, ascertain if there be any such in the preparation
room, by raising the wicket and inquiring of the Sentinel.
Warder, having done so: Sir Knight Commander, there are.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knights Captain General, Senior and Junior Wardens, retire to the
preparation room, prepare and introduce the candidate.
These officers then retire to the
preparation room, and the candidate is prepared as follows: He is divested of
his outer clothing, and invested with a pair of blue drawers or overalls. A belt
is placed around his body, and he is presented with a trowel, which is put in
his waist-belt. He is then blindfolded. The Captain General then leaves the
candidate in charge of the Senior and Junior Wardens, re-enters the Council
Chamber, and announces as follows: Sir
Knight Commander, the candidate is duly prepared and ready to be received.
The Warder will then rap the
number of the degree on the door of the preparation room, to signify that all is
in readiness. The Senior Warden then gives **** **** ***
loud raps upon the door of the Council Chamber, and the Warder says: Sir Knight Commander, there is an alarm from the Sentinel.
Sir Knight Commander: Ascertain the cause.
The Warder then gives ****
**** *** loud
raps, opens the door of the preparation room, and says: Who comes here to disturb the peace and harmony of this duly convoked
Blueman Master Builder Commandery?
Senior Warden: A true and worthy Sir Knight who, having received the first five degrees
of our Order, now desires to be advanced to the sublime degree of Blueman Master
Warder: How does he expect to gain admission?
Senior Warden: By the benefit of a password.
Warder: Has he that password?
Senior Warden: No, but I have it for him.
Warder: Advance and give it.
The Senior Warden gives the
entrance password to the Warder.
Warder: The pass is right. I will acquaint the Sir Knight Commander with his
Warder will then close the door.
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, there is without a true and worthy Sir Knight who,
having received the first five degrees of our Order, now desires to be advanced
to the sublime degree of Blueman Master Builder.
Sir Knight Commander: What recommendation has he?
Warder: The entrance password of this sublime degree, which has been presented
for him by the Senior Warden of this Commandery.
Sir Knight Commander: Being vouched for by our Senior Warden, his claim is just. You have
therefore my command to permit the candidate to enter.
The candidate is then admitted
and conducted slowly around the Council Chamber eleven times, the Prelate at the
same time reading: And Hiram, King of Tyre, sent his
servants unto Solomon, saying: I have considered the things which thou sentest
to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and
concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto
the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shall
So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees
according to all his desire.
And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of
wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil; thus gave
Solomon to Hiram year by year.
And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised
him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon and the two made a league
And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of
He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali,
and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass; and he was filled with
wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came
to King Solomon and wrought all his work.
And it came to pass in the four hundred and
eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt,
in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is
the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. And the house
which King Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits,
and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.
And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which
is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof,
and according to all the fashion of it. So he was seven years in building it.
At the conclusion of the
Prelate’s reading the candidate will be conducted to the station of the
Generalissimo, who will ask the following questions.
Generalissimo: Where are you from ?
Candidate, prompted: The west.
Generalissimo: Where are you going?
Candidate, prompted: Traveling to the east to learn the mysteries of a Blueman Master Builder.
The candidate will then be
conducted slowly twice around the room in a stooping posture, and taken before
the three Grand Master Builders, who sit in the west. Previous to this the three
Grand Master Builders, Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram
Abif, represented by the Sir Knight Commander, Captain General, and Prelate,
respectively, should take up positions on the west side of the room, with a
triangular table or altar covered with blue cloth in front of them, on which are
placed a Bible, compasses and a blue ribbon, square and mallet.
The Sir Knight Commander, as King
Solomon, is clad in a blue robe and a gold crown. The Captain General, as Hiram
of Tyre, and the Prelate, as Hiram Abif, are each clad in a blue rube, the
former wearing a crown, and the latter a turban. The three Grand Master Builders
should take their positions promptly. As the Senior Warden presents the
candidate to the three Grand Master Builders, he will say: Companion, you are now standing before our three Grand Master Builders,
representing King Solomon, Hiram King of Tyre, and Hiram Abif, the widow’s
son, to whom you will now make obeisance.
The candidate makes a very low
bow to the three Grand Master Builders, and the Senior Warden continues: Most Worshipful Master Builders, I present unto you a workman who is
desirous of participating in the labors necessary for the erection of the holy
Temple, and finally, if his work be approved, of being received into the
fraternity of Blueman Master Builders.
King Solomon will step forward
and examine the candidate, after which he will say: Companion, having examined you and finding you to be without the necessary
working implements to carry on your labors, I present you with this mallet,
which you will use the better to shape the rough stones cut in the quarries as
becometh a Blueman Master Builder.
King Solomon places the mallet in
the candidate’s right hand, after which Hiram, King of Tyre, will also step
forward and examine the candidate, and say: Companion,
I also have examined you and find you to be without the necessary working
implements to carry on your labors. I therefore present you with this square,
which you will use in measuring and laying out right angles, as becometh a
Blueman Master Builder.
Hiram, King of Tyre, places the
square in the candidate’s left hand, after which Hiram Ahif will also step
forward and examine the candidate, and say: Companion,
having also examined you and finding you to be without the necessary working
implements to carry on your labors, I present you with these compasses, with
which to mark measurements, subdivide distances and describe circles or curves,
as becometh a Blueman Master Builder.
The compasses are suspended from
the candidate’s neck with a blue ribbon, by Hiram Abif, after which he will
continue as follows: Moreover, I present you with a
password which will enable you to associate with the workmen in their labors. Gives
Keyword. It is the sublime keyword of a
Blueman Master Builder, and should direct your attention to the Great Temple
above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides. Go and prove
yourself worthy to be admitted to our labors by good work, true and trusty.
The candidate is then conducted
to a position near the center of the room, and King Solomon addresses the
Companions as follows: Companions, as you are henceforth to recognize this
candidate as a fellow worker pass around and receive from him our sublime
All the companions will then step
up to the candidate in single file, and as they pass by he will communicate to
each, in a whisper, the sublime keyword. The candidate will then be conducted to
the preparation room, when the Senior Warden will instruct him in the number of
this degree, and the proper raps. The candidate then communicates the number to
the Sentinel, and, assisted by the Senior warden, advances to the inner door and
gives * * raps with his mallet. The Warden answers the alarm by giving the same
number of raps, opens the door, and the Sensor Warden and candidate enter, and
after passing twice around the room, they stop before the three Grand Master
Builders seated at the table, to whom the candidate makes obeisance. King
Solomon then addresses the candidate as follows: Companion, before proceeding further with the
ceremony of initiation, you will be presented to Hiram, King of Tyre, who will
examine you in order to see if you are properly prepared to take the solemn
obligation of a Blueman Master Builder.
The candidate is then conducted
to Hiram, King of Tyre, to whom he makes obeisance Hiram, King of Tyre, examines
the candidate and reports as follows: King
Solomon, I have examined the candidate and find him in possession of the working
implements necessary to take the solemn obligation of this degree.
The candidate is then presented
to Hiram Abif, to whom he makes obeisance. Hiram Abif will then read as follows:
Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my
whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all
them that have pleasure therein.
His work is honorable and glorious; and his
righteousness endureth forever.
He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He hath given meat unto them that fear him, he will
ever be mindful of his covenant.
He hath shewed his people the power of his works,
that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.
The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all
his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in
truth and uprighteousness.
He sent redemption unto his people; he hath
commanded his covenant forever; holy and reverend is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a
good understanding have all they that do his commandments; his praise endureth
Teach me O Lord the way of thy statutes, and I
shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law;
yea I shall observe it with my whole heart.
The candidate is then conducted
to the center of the room, where there should belying on the floor a piece of
oilcloth or canvas, about 1˝ yards square, on which are painted the four
cardinal points of the compass, upon which he deposits his working implements as
follows. The compasses he places in the north, the trowel on the south, the
mallet on the west, and he himself stands in the east, facing inward or toward
the three Grand Master Builders in the west. The square he takes in his left
hand, and the Senior warden hands him a small Bible, which he holds in his right
King Solomon: * * *.
At the sound of the gavel all
Companions rise and advance the hailing sign of the degree, when King Solomon
will administer the following obligation to the candidate
I, ... Knight, standing in the east, the source of
light and glory, and in the presence of the representatives of the Three Grand
Master Builders who, under the guidance of the Great Architect of the Universe,
erected the Temple to the Most High God, with the Bible in my right hand, the
square in my left, do solemnly and sincerely vow and swear that I will always
conceal, and never reveal, the signs, secrets or mysteries of the degree of
Blueman Master Builder to any one who is not entitled to receive the same. That
I will ever endeavor to regulate my actions by the precepts of the sacred
volume, and spread over all my thoughts, words and actions the genuine cement of
brotherly love and affection, so that our whole Order, being fitly joined, may
grow up a holy temple unto the Lord. So help me God.
You will now kiss the holy Bible.
Hiram Abif: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow
citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the
foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief
corner-stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an
holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation
of God through the Spirit.
King Solomon: In your present position, what are you most in need of?
Candidate, prompted: Light.
King Solomon: And God said let there be light, and there was light. And God divided the
light from the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
The blindfold is then instantly
removed from the candidate’s eyes amidst flames and thunder, and he beholds
eleven lights in proper position before him, which have been previously arranged
by the Senior or Junior Warden King Solomon will then approach the candidate,
and, giving the grip of the degree, will say: I greet you as a Blueman Master Builder. How many lights do you see?
Candidate, counting them: Eleven.
King Solomon: Those lights represent the number of this degree. It was in the eleventh
year of King Solomon’s reign that the temple was dedicated and consecrated.
The two raps by which you were admitted the second time represent the second
month, Zif, in which King Solomon began to build the house of the Lord.
The Three Grand Master Builders, King Solomon;
Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abif, the widow’s son, under whose supervision
the temple was erected, represent the Holy Trinity, under whose constant
guidance the greater temple of the Christian Church is being built, having for
its foundation the apostles and prophets, Jesus Chrst himself being the chief
Thus being in possession of the sublime keyword of
the Christian Master Builder, and using well the spiritual implements of your
profession, you will finally be welcomed into that house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens, and be enabled to discern the holy of holies with
undimmed eyes, and to bask forever in the bright light of the Son of
Righteousness. Be not weary in well doing, for in due time ye shall reap if ye
The use of the working implements
of a Blueman Master Builder will then be explained by the three Grand Master
Builders, as follows; Hiram Abif, stepping forward and taking up the compasses,
says: The compasses teach us to limit
our desires in every station of life, thus rising to eminence by merit, we may
live respected and die regretted.
Hiram Abif then returns to his
station, and Hiram, King of Tyre, will step forward, take up the square, and
say: The square teaches us to regulate our actions by
the precepts of the sacred volume, and to harmonize our conduct by the
principles of the Christian faith.
Hiram, King of Tyre, then returns
to his station, and King Solomon steps forward, and, taking up the mallet, says:
The mallet teaches us to correct irregularities,
and reduce our aspirations to a proper level. It is also an emblem of power, and
in every Commandery of our Order is more potent in its decisions than the
arbitrament of the sword: symbolizing that due power and just authority which
reside in the office bearers of this Ancient and Illustrious Institution, for
the proper Control and government thereof.
King Solomon then lays down the
mallet, and, taking up the trowel, says: The
trowel incites us to spread over all our thoughts and actions the genuine cement
of Christian love and friendship, so that our whole Order, being fitly joined
together, may grow up a holy temple unto the Lord.
I will now instruct you in the grip, signs and
password of this sublime degree.
The grip is ...; the entrance password of a
Blue-man Master Builder is ...; the hailing sign is ..., which denotes the C...
and S.... We use this to commemorate the circumstance that King Solomon.
The Senior and Junior Wardens
will repeat the lecture, after which King Solomon will deliver the charge.
S.W.: Brother, what are you?
J.W.: A Blueman.
S.W.: A Blueman what?
J.W.: A Blueman Master Builder.
S.W.: Where did Blueman Master Builders first assemble?
J.W.: They assembled in the east and journeyed to the
S.W.: Did they bring anything with them?
J.W.: They did.
J.W.: Signs, symbols and ceremonies.
S.W.: Where did they obtain them?
J.W.: At the building of King Solomon’s temple.
S.W.: How do you know that you are a Blueman Master
J.W.: I am always taken and accepted as such by all
Companions of that degree.
S.W.: How were you prepared for that honorable
J.W.: I was divested of my outer garments, invested with
a pair of blue overalls, held in position by a belt around my waist, and
presented with a trowel, which was carried in my waist-belt.
S.W.: Were you then admitted?
J.W.: After being vouched for by the Senior Warden, who
acted as my sponsor, I was.
S.W.: How were you then dealt with?
J.W.: I was led eleven times around the room, and then
conducted to the Generalissimo, who inquired whence I came, whither I was going,
and for what.
S.W.: What was your reply?
J.W.: From the west to the east, to learn the mysteries
of a Blueman Master Builder.
S.W.: How were you next dealt with?
J.W.: I was conducted twice around the room in a
stooping posture, and presented before the three Grand Masters, who sat in the
west: Solomon, King of Israel; Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abif (the
widow’s son); to whom I made obeisance.
S.W.: What was your next experience?
J.W.: The Senior Warden having presented me, I was
examined by the three Grand Masters as to my qualifications for participating in
the labors necessary for the erecting of the temple.
S.W.: What followed?
J.W.: King Solomon placed a mallet in my right hand;
Hiram, King of Tyre, a square in my left, and Hiram Abif suspended a pair of
compasses from my neck, after which he gave me the sublime keyword (or central
password) of a Blueman Master Builder, and then ordered me to prove myself
worthy by work true and trusty.
S.W.: What did you do with the sublime keyword?
J.W.: I gave it to all my fellow workmen severally.
S.W.: How were you next dealt with?
J.W.: I was conducted to the preparation room, where the
Senior Warden instructed me in the number of this degree and the proper knocks,
after which I sought admission to the council chamber.
S.W.: How did you gain admission?
J.W.: By two knocks and a number.
S.W.: How were they imparted?
J.W.: By mallet and mouth.
S.W.: How were you further dealt with?
J.W.: I was led twice around the room and again taken
before the three Grand Master Builders, to whom I made obeisance. King Solomon
then sent me to Hiram, King of Tyre, for examination, and he found me qualified
to assume the obligation of a Blueman Master Builder.
S.W.: How did you dispose of your working tools?
J.W.: I placed the compasses on the north, the trowel on
the south, the mallet on the west, while I stood in the east facing the three
Grand Master Builders in the west, and, with the Bible in my right hand and the
square in my left, took the solemn obligation of a Blueman Master Builder.
S.W.: What is the number of this degree?
S.W.: Why do you take eleven for your number?
J.W.: Because it was in the eleventh year of the reign
of King Solomon that the temple was dedicated and
S.W.: Give me the entrance password of a Blueman Master
J. W.: S...
S. W.: Advance the hailing sign.
J.W. advances hailing sign.
S. W.: What does it denote?
J.W.: The C... and S...
S.W.: Why do we use this symbol?
J.W.: Because King Solomon used the impression thereof
on all official documents.
S.W.: Have you the grip of a Blueman Master Builder?
J.W.: Hold your T...
S.W.: Hold your T... How did you stand when brought to
J.W.: Mid flames and thunder.
S.W.: Have you the great and mighty grand password of a
Blueman Master Builder?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: Will you give it to me?
J.W.: I will if you begin.
S.W.: U... and T...
J.W.: T... and U...
S.W.: T... P...
J.W.: O... G...
S.W.: B... G...
S.W. and J.W.: Amen.
Charge to the Candidate
Companion, you have now been advanced to the sixth
degree of our Order, that of Blueman Master Builder.
As you have been deemed worthy of advancement to
this sublime degree, you must be sensible that your obligations are increased in
proportion to your privileges. It should be your earnest desire and constant aim
to prove yourself worthy of the confidence that the members of this Commandery
have reposed in you, in admitting you to this degree.
Let uprightness and integrity attend your steps; let justice and mercy mark your
conduct; let fervency and zeal stimulate you in the discharge of the various
duties incumbent upon you; be ever watchful and zealous for the prosperity and
welfare of the Order. Be true and just to your Companions in all your actions,
and let your conduct toward them on all occasions be such as will entitle you to
their respect and esteem. Should misfortune overcome you in the faithful
discharge of the obligations which you have voluntarily taken, you may have
confidence that among the members of this Order you will find friends who will
minister to your distress and comfort you in your hour of affliction.
The Commandery will now be at ease for