The Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord

History and Origin

The story is that, founded upon 18th century documents housed in the Amsterdam Masonic archives, the Royal Order of Knights of the Scarlet Cord was developed in 1889 as a means of raising contributions to the Fund of Benevolence of the Order of the Secret Monitor by a leader, His Honour Judge F. A. Philbrick K.C. Membership was restricted to Princes of the Order of the Secret Monitor, and holders of a special Badge, showing membership of the Fund of Benevolence of that Order.
During its relatively short life the Order consisted of one Consistory, the Metropolitan Consistory in London, together with four sub-Consistories in England, South Africa, India and Burma. It worked regularly until the First World War compelled it to enter a period of inactivity, and on being revived at the end of hostilities it continued to operate until 1929 when the Order again went into abeyance.
In 2006, Scarlet Cord Conclave No. 500 was consecrated, thus reviving the Order, under the banner of the Order of the Secret Monitor.
The official Inauguration of the Ancient & Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord took place on 21 July 2010 at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London. This event saw the Constitution, Dedication and Consecration of the Grand Senatus, and the Installation of the Grand Summus, from which time the Order has advanced, now consisting with 132 Consistories in England and Wales and in Switzerland, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, India and Saint Lucia, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica. Late January 2020 the Order had 3.313 members.
The grades administered by this grand body comprise:
Grade 1. Ostiarius or Doorkeeper
Grade 2. Lector
Grade 3. Fellow or Healer & Exorcist
Grade 4. Councillor
Grade 5. Keeper of the Hidden Secret
Grade 6. Prince of Jerusalem

Structure and Qualification

Admission to the Order is confined to those who are a subscribing Prince in the Order of the Secret Monitor, with Assemblies of the Order being termed as Consistories.
Consistories of the Order are formed into Provinces or Districts, and it is from these senior bodies that a specially appointed team of high ranking Companions are empowered to confer those senior grades upon Members who are deemed to be deserving of such recognition. The ultimate grades of the Order are conferred by the Grand Summus personally, or by an appointed representative.
Holders of the first three grades are designated Companions, while those prepared for a Presidency are Eminent Companions, and once installed, Distinguished Companions; those of the Fifth and Sixth grades are addressed as Very, or Right Distinguished. Grand Officers are required to hold the fourth Grade of the Order, whilst the fifth and sixth Grades are the sole prerogative of the Grand Summus, and are only conferred upon Companions who have rendered outstanding service to the Order.

The Grades

1st Grade - Ostiarius or Doorkeeper: This ceremony relates how the Israelites seeking access to the land of Canaan sent spies into Jericho. They are given sanctuary from the king's men by Rahab who assists in their escape, thus procuring for herself and her posterity the gratitude of the Israelite nation.
The candidate is appropriately invested with a scarlet cord, alluding to the seal of silence and circumspection.
2nd Grade - Lector: This illustrates the story of Naomi and the unfeigned devotion of her daughter-in-law Ruth, who is subsequently betrothed to Boaz, the great grandfather of David. In this ceremony the applicant candidate is formally advanced as one of the Chosen and Elect.
3rd Grade - Fellow, Healer or Exorcist: The aspirant is required to occupy the seat of one who is destined to seek for the perfect light, and is charged that, like the Maccabees, he will be required to face difficulties and dangers, in order to sanctify and strengthen his faith and to consider death and resurrection.
4th Grade - Councillor: In this narrative the Children of Israel, transporting the Ark of the Covenant, miraculously traverse the River Jordan, and after successfully reaching the heights of Gilgal, the city of Jerusalem was ultimately ceded to Joshua and his followers. Here the postulant is duly received and acknowledged in his new calling.
5th Grade - Keeper of the Hidden Secret: In this episode within the Masonic tradition of King Solomon's Temple, reference is made to the ultimate failure of a united Israel, and how in spite of oppression by the King of Babylon, the Ark of the Covenant is safely preserved. lt inculcates the valuable lessons of faith, ministry and perseverance.
6th Grade - Prince of Jerusalem: This ceremony illustrates the ultimate triumph of the Jewish people who repelled against the yoke of oppression under the inspiring leadership of the Maccabees, the heroic deeds of whom, strengthened Judaism for all time. This is the ne plus ultra of the Order, and exhorts an essential belief in the everlasting power of Almighty God.

  • Preparation Ceremony for the Installation of a President
  • Installation Ceremony of a President of a Consistory