Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord
Ceremony of the Second Grade
Opening Second Grade
The Consistory having been previously opened in the First Grade and Adjourned:
President stands and gavels once: Companions, assist me to open this Consistory in the Second Grade of our Order.
President: Companions, the day is far spent, the night is at hand. Companion Guarder what saith the Watchman?
Guarder gives a Court Bow to the President, opens the door and says to the Watchman outside: Companion Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman: Companion Guarder, the night is at hand and all is safe and well.
Guarder returns to his place and says: Companion President, all is safe and well.
President: Companions Ostiarii, you will stand to order with the sign of the First grade.
They stand to Order with the sign of the First grade.
Primus (O): Companions Ostiarii, we will now retire.
Let no passageway be opened to a stranger, or to anyone else who fails to give the countersign of an Ostiarius
Primus (O) leads the Ostiarii to the door where, together, they all give the sign of the First Grade and the words D... G... to the Guarder, who responds with the sign and words B... D and the Companions Ostiarii retire.
The Primus (O) gives the sign and the words D... G... to the President who responds with the sign and the words B... D.... The Primus (O) retires.
President: Companion Primus of Lectores, you will prove all those present are members of
the Second Grade of the Order.
Primus (L): Companions, you will stand to order as Companions of the Seeond Grade
All Companions give sign.
Primus (L): Companion President, all the Companions have duly proved themselves.
President: I declare this Consistory duly opened in the Second Grade.
Companions drop sign.
Gavels twice repeated by the Guarder and Watchman.
Director of Ceremonies opens the Volume of the Sacred Law at Ruth.
Director of Ceremonies: Be seated, Companions.
Ceremony of the Second Grade
Primus (O), without knocks once.
Guarder, with Sign of the Second Grade: Companion President, there is an alarm.
President: Enquire who seeks admission.
Guarder gives a Court Bow to the President, opens door and says to the Watchman outside: Who comes here?
Watchman: Companion Primus of Ostiarii seeks admission
Guarder shuts Door, returns to his place, gives the sign of the Second Grade and says: It is our Primus of Ostiarii, Companion President.
President: Let him be admitted.
Primus of Ostiarii enters, greets President with the sign of the Second Grade.
President: My Companion, what tidings do you bring?
Primus (O): Glad tidings! Companion …, an Ostiarius of this Consistory of the Order of the Scarlet Cord is without, and desires to be promoted to the rank of Lector in our Order. Primus of Ostiarii proceeds to his seat.
Primus (L): Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will introduce the Candidate.
The Director of Ceremonies retires. The Candidate, who is wearing a First grade sash, jewel and scarlet cord, is introduced into the Consistory. He stands with the Director of Ceremonies in the west, just outside the square.
Primus (L): Companion Director of Ceremonies, whom have you there?
Director of Ceremonies: An Ostiarius well recommended.
Primus (L): What is his rank?
Director of Ceremonies: He is a Companion of the Scarlet Cord.
Primus (L): Is he in possession of the grip and the word of a Companion of the Scarlet Cord?
Director of Ceremonies to candidate: Give me the grip and word of a Companion of the Scarlet Cord. (R....) Give me the password you received when you attained the rank of Ostiarius in our Order. (S....)
Primus (L): Whence comes he?
Director of Ceremonies: From among the Companions of our own Consistory.
Primus (L): What does he desire?
Director of Ceremonies: To join his Companions in the labours of this Consistory of Lectores.
Primus (L): Does he bring anything with him to recommend him to our favour?
Director of Ceremonies: He bears the Sash and Jewel of the First Grade of our Order.
Primus (L): Companion What further qualifications do you bring?
Candidate: I love my fellow men and would do them good.
Primus (L): You will now retire and await our pleasure.
The candidate is conducted from the temple by the Director of Ceremonies, who then returns to his station. Outside the Watchman divests the candidate of his sash and jewel, instructs him to remove his shoes and place slippers on his feet.
President: Companion Officers, you have heard the responses given by Comp. …. If you consider them satisfactory you will each stand and signify in the usual manner.
Each officer rises and gives OSM sign of approval starting with Primus (O) and finishing with President. All officers sit.
President: Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will re-admit the candidate.
The Director of Ceremonies and candidate, wearing slippers, will both stand just outside the square in the west, both facing east.
Primus (L): Companion, your replies have favourably impressed this Assembly, and I now enquire if you know of any distinguished personage, also known to us, whom you are prepared to emulate?
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies: "I desire in all things to follow the example of the illustrious, pre-eminent and worthy Abou Ben Adhem."
Primus (L): Ah! Abou Ben Adhem. That is a glorious memory amongst us.
May his tribe increase.
For he awoke one night, from a deep dream of peace.
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel, writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And, to the presence in the room, he said,
"What writest Thou?" The vision raised its head
And with a look, made all of sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay not so,"
Replied the Angel: Abou spoke more low.
But cheerily still, and said "I pray thee then.
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again, with great awakening light, and
showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo, Ben Adhem's name, led all the rest.
Primus (L) to candidate: Companion do you pledge your Masonic honour that you will follow the example of one so noble.
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies: "I do, upon my fidelity to all my Companions Ostiarii."
Primus (L), stands: Companion you will enter the square, stand erect in front of the Pedestal, and place both hands on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
Director of Ceremonies: To order, Companions.
The Lectores stand to order with the Sign of Fidelity.
Primus (L): Companion …, you are now about to take the solemn obligation of a Companion Lector. State your names at length and repeat after me:
"I, …, in the presence of the God of Our Fathers and before this Consistory of Lectores, do solemnly promise, on my honour as a Companion Ostiarius, that I will never disclose the secrets restricted to this the Second Grade of our Order. I further solemnly promise that I shall
always bear my full share of its responsibilities, and assist in its regular labours with willingness and alacrity, pleading no excuse save absolute necessity or illness, for absence from its assemblies."
Primus (L): As a pledge of your fidelity, you will seal that solemn obligation twice with your lips upon the Volume of the Sacred Law.
This promise being satisfactory, my Companions Lectores will now bring to your attention an example of the love and compassion the human race would do well to show one another.
The candidate is seated in the west.
Director of Ceremonies: Be seated Companions.
First Lecturer rises and addresses the candidate.
1st Lecturer: Now it came to pass that, in the days when the Judges ruled, there was a famine in the land and a man from Bethlehem in Judaea, together with his wife and two sons, went for a while to live in the country of Moab.
The man, whose name was Elimelech, died, leaving his wife Naomi to be cared for by her two sons Mahlon and Kilion.
They married Moabite women, the one named Orpah and the other Ruth, but after ten years the two sons Mahlon and Kilion both died leaving Naomi without her sons or her husband.
When she heard that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi with- her daughters-inlaw, decided to return to Judah. Shortly after they had set out on their journey Naomi said to them, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home and may the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of a new husband."
Then she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."
But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. It is more bitter for me than for you because the Lord's hand has gone out against me!" At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." When Naomi realised that Ruth was determined to go with her she stopped urging her. So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
First Lecturer sits, and Second Lecturer rises to address the Candidate.
2nd Lecturer: Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side from the clan of Elimelech, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz and he was the son of Salmon and Rahab.
One day Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind the men working there so that we may put food on our table." Naomi said, "Go ahead, my daughter." So she went out and began to glean the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz.
When Boaz arrived he greeted the harvesters and said, "Whose woman is that?" The foreman replied, saying "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi, and pleaded to be allowed to glean and gather behind the harvesters. She has been working steadily all day."
So Boaz approached Ruth and said to her, "My daughter, listen to me, do not go and glean in another field and do not go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. I have told the men not to touch you, and when you are thirsty go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."
At this she bowed down with her face to the ground and exclaimed, "Why have I found such favour in your eyes that you notice me - a foreigner?" Boaz replied, "I have been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband - how you have come to support her among people who you do not know. May you be richly rewarded for what you have done by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
At mealtime Boaz offered her some food, and she ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to continue gleaning, Boaz gave orders to the men, "Even if she gathers among the sheaves, do not embarrass her, rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and do not rebuke her."
Second Lecturer sits and Third Lecturer rises to address the Candidate.
3rd Lecturer: So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. She then threshed the barley and carried it back to her mother-in-law. Ruth also gave to her the food she still had left over.
Her mother-in-law asked, "Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!" Ruth replied, "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz." She then told her of his kindness. "The Lord bless him!" Naomi said. "The Lord has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead. That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."
Third Lecturer sits, and the Registrar stands.
Registrar: It was the law in those days that, following a man's death, his land and property could only be passed on to his nearest relatives to redeem, so that the land stayed within the family. In purchasing the land he would also be responsible for all debts, and take on an obligation to support the deceased's family.
3rd Lecturer, stands and continues: Then Ruth said, "He even said to me, 'Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain'". Naomi said to Ruth, "It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the girls, because in someone else's field you may be harmed." So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz until the barley and the wheat harvests were finished, and she lived with her mother-in-law. Some time later, Naomi said to Ruth, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours?
Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing-floor. Wash and perfume yourself and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing-floor, but do not let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down." So Ruth went down to the threshing-floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
Third Lecturer sits and Fourth Lecturer rises to address the candidate.
4th Lecturer: When Boaz had finished eating and drinking, and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached silently, uncovered his feet and laid down. In the middle of the night something startled the man and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet.
"Who are you?" he asked. "I am your servant Ruth," she said, "Spread the corner of your garment over me since you are a kinsman-redeemer."
'The Lord bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier. You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. Stay here the night and in the morning if he wants to redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing so to do, I vow that as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning."
So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognised. Before she left he said to her, "Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out." When she did so he poured into it six measures of barley and put it on her. Then he went into the town.
When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked "How did it go, my daughter?" Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, "He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, "Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty handed." Then Naomi said, "Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens, for the man will not rest until the matter is settled today."
4th Lecturer resumes his seat.
Primus (L), stands to complete the Lectures: Meanwhile, Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. Primus (L) sits. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down."
Director of Ceremonies instructs candidate to rise and advance to the east.
Candidate sits on the right of the Primus (L).
Boaz then took ten of the elders of the town and said: "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention, and would suggest that you buy it in the presence of those seated here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so that I will know. For no-one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line."
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies: I will redeem it.
Primus (L): On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth, the Moabitess, you also acquire the dead man's widow in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.
Candidate, prompted by Director of Ceremonies: Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You must redeem it yourself.
Registrar, rises: Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his right sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalising transactions in Israel. So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself," and removed his sandal.
Registrar sits. Candidate and Primus (L) stand; Candidate hands his slipper to Primus (L) and says:
Candidate: "Buy it yourself
Primus (L), holding the candidate's slipper in right hand: Then Boaz announced to the elders of the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth, the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, and so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses."
Primus (O) and all Officers within the Square rise, and together exclaim aloud: "We are witnesses".
Primus (L) and candidate resume seats.
Episcopus, rises and recites: So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
The women of the town said to Naomi, "Praise be to the LORD who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."
Then Naomi took the child, who they named Obed, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, "Naomi has a son called Obed." He in turn had a son called Jesse - who was the father of King David.
The Episcopus resumes his seat, and the Director of Ceremonies then places the candidate in front of the President.
Primus (L): Companion, your careful attention to what we have heard is to your credit, and I now enquire if you are prepared to pledge your word that you will preserve inviolate the further Masonic secrets I am empowered to entrust to you.
Director of Ceremonies: Companion …, repeat after me: "My secrecy may be fully relied upon."
Primus (L): Companion …, I now invest you with the jewel of the Second Grade of this Ancient Order, the emblem of the rank to which you have progressed. It is a miniature golden scroll upon which are written, in Greek, the words 'Ara ge ginooskeis' which means 'Dost thou
To answer this question, when put to you by a Companion of the Order, you will nod your head in the affirmative, and holding up your open left hand thus, place the tip of the right forefinger at the base of the forefinger of the left hand and figuratively write on your palm the Greek words I have just communicated to you. This is the Sign of the Second Grade.
I also invest you with this white Sash which is worn over the right shoulder and under the left arm.
The Scarlet Cord which you wear around your waist with the tassels on your left hip may now be worn with the tassels on your right hip.
Primus (L) moves the tassels of the candidate to the right hip.
This will indicate to all your Companions the progress you have made in our Ancient Order.
Primus(L) resumes his seat.
President: I congratulate you on being advanced to this rank, and trust that your assiduity will be such as to warrant this Consistory recommending you for promotion.
Companion Director of Ceremonies, you will now place our newly obligated, entrusted, and invested Companion Lector to be 'Received' in accordance with ancient custom.
All officers rise and form a circle facing inwards. The Director of Ceremonies then places the candidate to the immediate right of the President.
President: Companions, let us now receive our new Companion Lector into our circle and greet him, collectively and heartily, as one of the Elected and Chosen.
All the Lectores stand with the hands crossed on the breast, right uppermost. Each Companion then grasps with his right hand the left hand of the Companion on his left. In this position, they all pass the words round, beginning with the President, who whispers the words to Companion on his left (the Primus (O)), and so on, until it reaches the representative candidate who will be standing on the right of the President. The candidate gives the words to the President, receives them back from the President, and then immediately gives the sign with an affirmative nod, and by writing on the palm of his left hand, as already instructed.
Director of Ceremonies: Companions resume your places and be seated.
President, stands and gavels once: Companions, assist me to close this Consistory of Lectores.
Companions Lectores, you will stand to Order with the sign of the Second Grade.
President: By virtue of the Authority vested in me, I close this Consistory of the Second Grade.
All drop the Sign.
President then gavels twice, repeated by Guarder and Watchman. The Volume of the Sacred Law is closed.
The Consistory is then resumed in the First grade.