Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord
Initiation Ritual of the Fourth Grade



2011


 
All members of the Fourth Grade will be referred to as either Elders of the Council or as Councillors.
Those taking part in the ceremonial are referred to as officers of the Council and the square format in which they sit is designated the Council Chamber. The Priests sit just outside the Council Chamber.
The Priests will wear surplices.
The Candidate. known as The Aspirant' will wear Sandals.
An extra Pedestal is placed in front of the Summus for the VSL.
A Transparency of the Hosts of the Lord and the Serried Ranks is placed behind the Summus. At this stage the Transparency is 'Closed'. The Standards of the Armies of Israel are placed either side of it. Stands for R.A. staves are placed by the seats of members of the Council.
The Banner of the Order is ranged in the East, as so directed by the Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Twelve large stones are to be placed in the Temple as follows, just west of the seats for the Priests:
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
The positions of the stones are numbered and the numbers will have relevance in the ceremony.
Outside the Temple the Ark of the Covenant is concealed. The Banners are ready to place in Stands already in position for when the first procession leaves the Temple.
The Consistory having been opened in the First Grade and then adjourned all those below the Fourth Grade will retire. The ceremony then proceeds as follows:

 

Opening Fourth Grade

Grand Summus stands and Gavels once and says:
Companions assist me to open this Council of Elders in the Fourth Grade of our Order. Companions the day is far spent, the night is at hand. Companion Grand Guarder what saith the Grand Watchman?
Grand Guarder gives a Court Bow to the Grand Summus opens door and says to the Grand Watchman outside:
Companion Grand Watchman what of the night?
Grand Watchman:
Companion Grand Guarder the night is at hand and all is safe and well.
Grand Guarder returns to his place, gives a Court Bow to the Grand Summus, and says:
Grand Summus all is safe and well.
Grand Summus:
Companions you will stand to Order with the sign of the Fourth Grade of the Order.
ALL Companions give sign.
Grand Summus:
I declare this Council duly opened in the Fourth Grade.
Gavels four times
Grand Director of Ceremonies opens the VSL at Joshua 5:13-15, which is on a pedestal in front of the Summus.
Grand Director:
Be seated Companions of Ceremonies
Ceremony of the Third Grade
Grand Summus:
Companions, it is my intention today to promote to the rank of Councillor, our Distinguished Companion and several other Distinguished Companions, as a reward for their continued service to our Order.
Grand Director of Ceremonies you will retire and introduce the Aspirants.
The Grand Director of Ceremonies retires. He then:
(a) Leads all bar the representative Candidate to reserved seats in the Temple
(b) Retires again and returns with Distinguished Companion (who is wearing a Third Grade Black Sash in addition to his scarlet cord & breast jewel) and places him just west of the High Priests.
Grand Summus:
Let Distinguished Companion stand forth and prove his worthiness of the rank to which he aspires.
Aspirant takes one pace forward.
Deputy Grand Summus, seated:
Distinguished Companion , allow me to congratulate you on your preferment. Please tell me how did you obtain that sash you wear?
Aspirant, prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
I received it in appreciation of my faithful service.
Deputy Grand Summus:
Whence come you?
Aspirant, prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
From the Siege Perilous.
Deputy Grand Summus:
What seek you here, in our Council Chamber?
Aspirant, prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
To perform the commands of The God of our Fathers.
Deputy Grand Summus:
Companion Grand Director of Ceremonies, what proofs of his obedience does he bring with him?
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
He has safely passed though the paths of dangerous duty. He has looked peril and death itself in the face, and has been rewarded by a sign accompanied by secret words.
Deputy Grand Summus:
While your replies to my inquiries appear to be quite satisfactory, I must inform the Grand Summus of your request.
He turns to Grand Summus and confers.
Deputy Grand Summus:
You spoke of a sign and secret words. Will you communicate them to us?
Aspirant, prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
I cannot do so but I can share them with you.
Aspirant, prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
M... m....
Deputy Grand Summus stands:
Rm.
Deputy Grand Summus:
Will you now show us the sign.
Aspirant shows sign of third grade to all.
Deputy Grand Summus:
Most Distinguished Grand Summus, the Aspirant has duly proved himself.
Gives court bow and sits.
Grand Summus:
Right Distinguished Assistant Grand Summus, from whence did our ancient brethren derive the words M... m...?
Assistant Grand, rises:
History informs us, that, on Summus festive occasions, when our ancient Egyptian Brethren were tempted to forget that life is not designed for pleasure alone, but that their gods were preparing a day of reckoning, for the just as well as the unjust, they caused an interruption to their feasts, by bringing in a mummy, to remind them of the uncertainty of life, and the words M... M... were whispered, from one to another, in a gloomy tone.
Grand Summus:
Were we then to consider the grave to be man's final resting place?
Assistant Grand: It was so intended, but the spirit of Summus man, which looks into futurity and recognises the apparent injustice that inheres within our present state of being, yearning to behold, in some future state, the full perfection of which it finds abundant signs in the handiwork of the creator, instinctively apprehended that this world is not the final stage and cheerfully responded with the victorious cry R...m.
Grand Summus:
Companion Grand Episcopus, when life endeth are we not but as dust in the sight of God.
Grand Episcopus, rises and recites, and does not read:
Life is real, life is earnest;
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to Dust returnest
Was not spoken of the soul.
Grand Episcopus then sits.
Grand Summus, to Aspirant:
Distinguished Companion , what brings you before our Council of Elders?
Aspirant, prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
A desire to render service to our Lord.
Grand Summus:
Then you must take your seat amongst us and pay attention to our Grand Lecturers.
Grand Director of Ceremonies conducts Aspirant to his seat then sits himself.
Grand Lecturer (1), stands:
After the spies had left the house of Rahab and returned to
Shittim, (pronounced SHE-TEEM) they said to Joshua," The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.
Early the next morning Joshua and the Children of Israel set out from Shittim and went to the banks of the River Jordan where they camped for three days before crossing over.
After three days the officers went throughout the camp giving orders to the people. "When you see the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are the Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. But keep a distance of two thousand cubits between you and the Ark; do not go near it."
Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."
He then said to the priests, "Take up the Ark of the Covenant and cross over ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them.
And the Lord said to Joshua, "Tell the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant, 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the liver'."
So when the people set out to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. As soon as the priests reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.
The priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
To order Companions.
To assist the singing and movements which follow are linked thus:
The Organist plays a two line introduction, then all stand to sing:

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me now and evermore.
Feed me now and evermore.
During the singing of the first verse the following discipline is completed:
The Officers in the East remain in position. The Aspirant and the 11 Officers on the Floor rise, take a pace forward, turn to the West and directly leave the Temple in the following Order:
WEST
G. Rec.                      G.Treas.
G. Herald                  G. Reg.
G.Lect. (4)                G. Lect. (3)
G.Lect. (2)                G. Lect. (1)
Asst. GDC                GDC
Dep GDC                 Aspirant
The Priests proceeded by the Grand Episcopus, then take two paces forward. turn to the West and follow them out. Outside all turn and face the East. The Ark of the Covenant is now in position outside. As are the Standards in bases. (i.e as they directly leave the Temple remain in Columns the Floor Officers stop by Standards and the Priests by the Ark of the Covenant.

Open now the Crystal Fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow.
Let the fiery cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be thou still my strength and shield.
Be thou still my strength and shield.
During the singing of the second verse the following discipline is completed:
The Priests lift the Ark of the Covenant. The Standards have been ranged by the Watchman for collection thus:
EAST
Aspirant Judah              Dep.GDC Issachar
GDC Naphtali               Asst.GDC Zebulun
G.Lect. (1) Asher           G.Lect. (2) Reuben

G.Lect. (3) Dan             G.lect. (4) Simeon
G.Reg. Beryamin           G.Herald Gad

G.Treas. Manasseh       G. Rec. Ephraim
The above hold Banner in Right Hand The above hold Banner in Left Hand

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and hell's destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan's side;
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee.
I will ever give to Thee.
During the singing of the third verse the following discipline is completed:
During the third verse the procession proceeded by the Grand Episcopus and led by the Priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant and the officers of the Council, holding their banners, proceeds into the Temple.
The Priests stop when they are between the rows of stones representing the river. (The stones will be placed as at the opening). The members of the Council pass either side of them to their stations where they place their banners beside their seats and remain standing.
When the hymn ends the Priests, carrying the Ark on their shoulders, remain between the stones: all others will have returned to their stations.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Companions be seated.
Grand Lecturer (2), stands: When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stand and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."
So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan and carried them to their camp where they set them down.
Grand Lecturer 2 sits.
The Floor members of the Council rise together as follows:
Aspirant (3)                     Dep. GDC (4)
GDC (2)                          Asst. GDC (5)
G. Lect. One (1)              G. Lect. Two (6)
G. Lect. Three (9)           G. Lect. Four (10)
G. Reg. (8)                      G. Herald (11)
G. Treas. (7)                   G. Rec. (12)
Starting with Grand Treasurer and Grand Recorder they tum together and face the West. They then move in unison to the West and individually pass between the stones, either side of the Ark of the Covenant, tum outwards and go to the allocated Stones numbered by the Officer above. They bend down and pick up their allotted stone. They then stand holding their stone facing east. As they do this the next two will stand and move: thus forming a continuing collection of Stones. The last to collect the Stones are the Aspirant and Dep. GDC, who will immediately return to their seats followed by the rest of the officers. when they arrive in front of seats.
All face inwards, place the stone on the floor in front of them and sit down.
Grand Lecturer (2), rises and continues:
Now the priests who carried the Ark, remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Command the priests carrying the Ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan."
So Joshua commanded the priests, "Come up out of the Jordan"
Grand Lecturer 2 sits.
The Priests carry the Ark, place it on the pedestal, covered by the Cloth and. proceeded by the Grand Episcopus, go to their stations and sit.
Grand Lecturer 2, rises and continues
: And the priests came up out of the river carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran as a flood as before.
On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.
Grand Lecturer 2 sits.
The Council Officers pick up the stone in front of them and rise. Then in pairs they move to the East and deposit the stone they are holding in the area immediately between the Summus and the Pedestal which has the VSL thereupon. lifter they have deposited the stone they break left and right and go and stand in front of seats.

Aspirant (3)                  Dep. GDC (4)

GDC (2)                       Asst. GDC (5)
G. Lect. One (1)           G. Lect. Two (6)
G. Lect. Three (9)        G. Lect. Four (10)
G. Reg. (8)                   G. Herald (11)
G. Treas. (7)                G. Rec. (12)
When all the stones are in front of the Grand Summus and the officers are back in front of the seats. The Grand Director of Ceremonies will say:
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Be seated Companions.
Grand Summus stands and says:
Joshua said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry land. ' For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before them until they had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God"
Aspirant is escorted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies to a position just outside the Council of Elders. facing the Grand Summus.
Grand Summus:
Companion .... A further trial is now required of you. Are you willing to take it?
Aspirant answers.

Then you must leave our Council Chamber and walk in darkness, but fear not for your Conductor will guide you.
Aspirant is blindfolded and led towards the west of the temple by the Grand Director of Ceremonies and the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. The transparency is quickly opened and the lights have been dimmed. So Aspirant is facing West.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Come my Companion, you must assist in the war against the enemies of the Lord.
Aspirant prompted by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Alas! my Master, what shall we do?
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
Aspirant prompted by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Alas! I cannot see, for my eyes are hid.
Grand Director of Ceremonies turns Aspirant around to face east.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Look as I look.
Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies removes blindfold and Grand Director of Ceremonies points to the Transparency in the East.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
What do you now descry?
Aspirant, prompted by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies raises his right arm and points to the transparency behind the Grand Summus:
Upon the distant mountains, I see approaching, in serried ranks, The Hosts of the Lord.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Then we must return and report what we have seen.
They return and go to a position inside the Council Chamber; west of the Pedestal in front of the Grand Summus
Grand Summus:
Companion, I welcome you on your return. What did you discover?
Aspirant prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
All around us on the distant mountains I saw the Hosts of the Lord.
Episcopus rises and reads:
Now it came to pass, that as Joshua was by Jericho, there came to him a man, with a sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went up to him and said to him "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?"
Then he answered "Nay, but as the Captain of the Host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua knew him and went up to him, and saluted him, and did obeisance unto him. And said "What saith my Lord unto his servant?"
And the Captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua. "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy." And Joshua did so.
Grand Director of Ceremonies instructs Aspirant to remove his sandals.
Grand Summus:
Would you, my Companion, take service in such a Host?
Aspirant prompted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies:
That is my desire.
Grand Summus:
Then I now call upon the Grand Episcopus for prayer.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
To Order, Companions.
Grand Episcopus:
May the God of our Fathers pour down His blessing upon him who stands before Thee, who has passed through the paths of dangerous duty and now comes seeking to become a member of our Council.
Vouchsafe to him O Lord Thy guidance and support, that the enemies of our peace may see that Thine arm stretched out to save can crush the mightiest force.
Sustain him as Thou did the soldiers who, with Joshua, fought the battle of the Lord in the Valley of Jericho, and grant that he may be a conqueror over all that wage war upon our souls; grant him grace in order to live his life according to Thy will and live in charity with all men.
Omnes:
So mote it be.
The Organist plays a two line introduction, then all sing:

O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or Earth received her frame,
From everlasting though art God,
To endless years the same.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away.
They fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.
Grand Summus:
Companions Aspirant, You will now all take a solemn obligation with regard to the secrets of the Fourth Grade and your duties as an Elder of this Council.
Companion .... You will stand erect, place your right hand on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
The other Aspirants will stand to order with the Sign of Fidelity. You will all state your several names at length and repeat after me:
I, ..., in the presence of the God of our Fathers and of this Council of Elders in the Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord do promise, faithfully and zealously, to support and encourage all my fellow Elders of the Council and to keep inviolate all their secrets and deliberations.
All this I swear, on my honour as a Distinguished Companion by sealing this my Solemn Obligation with my lips, four times, on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
All other Aspirants are offered VSLs to seal their obligations.
Grand Summus:
You will now return to your seat and listen to our Grand Lecturer (3) while he relates the story of one of the greatest battles recorded in the annals of history.
Aspirant replaces his shoes
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Be seated, Companions.
Grand Lecturer (3), rises:
Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No-one went out and no-one came in.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, "See I have delivered Jericho into your hands along with its king and his fighting men." March around the city once with all the armed men and the priests carrying the Ark. Do this for six days. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times and sound the trumpets.
When you hear a long blast on the trumpet. make all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.
So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them "Take up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord." And he ordered the people, "Advance! March around the city, with the armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord and the rear guard following"
All this time the trumpets sounded, But Joshua had commanded the people "Do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout! So he had the Ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there.
Grand Lecturer 3 sits
The following Companions rise (in pairs) and take the Banners ranged in the East:
Grand Treasurer - Ox
Grand Recorder- Eagle
Grand Registrar- Man
Grand Herald - Lion
The Deputy and Asst. Grand DCs, followed by the Grand Treasurer, Grand Recorder, Grand Registrar and Grand Herald (Carrying Banners) and Grand Episcopus move to the predetermined positions in the West.
When they are in position the Priests rise, advance to and lift the Ark of the Covenant and form up behind the Grand Episcopus.
Then the Aspirant and the Grand Director of Ceremonies move to their predetermined positions in the West, all facing west.
WEST
Asst. GDC                              Dep.GDC
Grand Recorder (Eagle)       G. Treasurer (Ox)
                  Grand Episcopus
Priest                                     Priest
                Ark of the Covenant
Priest                                    Priest
G. Herald (Lion)                  G. Registrar (Man)
GDC                                    Aspirant
Grand Director of Ceremonies, quietly:
Escort Forward.
The procession moves towards the west. turns right and advances to the east down the north side of the temple, outside the Council Chamber across to the south side and directly back to their original position in the west. During the perambulation TOTAL SILENCE IS MAINTAINED except that the Organist plays quiet trumpet music.
The procession halts. the Priests lower the Ark onto the table. The Director of Ceremonies quietly instructs all to face East.
When all are in position
Grand Lecturer (4), rises:
Joshua arose early the next morning and the Priests took up the Ark of the Lord.
The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the Ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
On the seventh day. They arose at daybreak and marched around the city in the same manner save that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the trumpet sounded, Joshua commanded the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent."
Grand Lecturer 4 sits.
The Grand Director of Ceremonies quietly instructs the escort to turn to the west. The Priests pick up the Ark.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Companions To Order, Escort Forward.
Procession proceeds around the temple as before, save that on this occasion the procession travels to the west before turning back eastwards to reach its start position. During this perambulation. the Organist plays a loud continuous trumpet sound and then into introduction for hymn. VERY LOUD
Played to tune "Guide me o thou Great Jehovah."

Alleluia as he leads us.
We shall gain the victory.
Lift your voices, shout the praises.
To his glorious majesty.
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Glory be to God on high.
Glory be to God on high.
On the final note of the hymn, the Organist plays a crescendo of notes to imitate the walls of Jericho falling. This should coincide with the Ark's arrival back to its start position.
Grand Regent Vicarius:
The walls have collapsed.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Companions, other than the escort, be seated.
Deputy Grand Summus, rises:
When the trumpets sounded and the people shouted, the walls of Jericho collapsed, just as the Lord had said; so every man charged in and they took the city.
They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into Rehab's house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her." So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord's house.
But Joshua spared Rahab with her family and all that belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho. She lived among the Israelites for the rest of her days.
Deputy Grand Summus sits.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Escort resume your stations.
The Grand Treasurer, the Grand Recorder, the Grand Registrar and the Grand Herald replace Banners (in pairs) and go to seats. The Priests place the Ark of the Covenant in its former position and return to seats. The Deputy and Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies and Grand Episcopus return to their seats.
Grand Director of Ceremonies:
Companions be seated.
Grand Director of Ceremonies and the Aspirant move to a position just east of the Ark of the Covenant.
Grand Summus, rises: Companions, henceforth you will all be addressed as Councillors or Elders of the Council and it now gives me great pleasure to entrust you with the sign and words of this Grade.
The sign is given by looking upwards and pointing towards the sky with the index finger of the right hand, this sign is accompanied by the words 'Adonai-Sabaoth', pronounced 'Adonai Sabbay Oth' which is Hebrew, denoting 'Host of the Lord', and refers to Joshua's meeting with the Captain of the Host of the Lord.
The Scarlet Cord you wear over the left shoulder with the tassels falling on the right side of the body, should now be worn over the right shoulder with the tassels falling on the left side of the body.
Grand Director of Ceremonies conducts Aspirant to a position in front of Grand Summus who invests him with the Fourth Grade jewel and congratulates him.
Grand Director Ceremonies conducts Aspirant to his seat in the Council Chamber.
Grand Summus:
Grand Recorder you will now read the names of those Aspirants who are to be received into our Council so that I may congratulate and invest them.
The Grand Director of Ceremonies takes position just west of the Council Chamber. The Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, with a few designated assistants, forms a line of Aspirants who. when each name is called, walks, alone, into the Council Chamber. down the North side, is received by the Grand Summus and leaves by the South side.

 

Closing

Grand Summus, stands, gavels once and says:
Companions, assist me to close this Council of Elders.
Companions you will stand to Order with the sign of the Fourth Grade.
Companions stand to Order with sign of the Fourth Grade.
Grand Summus:
By virtue of the authority vested in me, I close this Council of Elders.
Gavels four times.
Grand Director of Ceremonies closes the VSL which is on a pedestal in front of the Summus.
The Consistory is then resumed in the First Grade.