Order of Holy Wisdom
Ceremony of Admission of a Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest into the Priesthood of Holy Wisdom


2015


Introduction

The Officers of a Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom comprise the following: The High Prelate, the High Priest, the Pillar Priests (7), the Hermeneutes (Secretary), Guide (DC/Conductor), the Reader (Orator) the Acolyte (Inner Guard) and the Keeper of the Door (Tyler).
Members of the Order are known as Knight Priests.
The layout of a Congregation of the Order is as shown.

 


The Clothing of the Order is that worn by a Knight Templar Priest, without the Mitre, and with the addition of a cordelier. That of the High Prelate to be of purple, that of the High Priest to be red, that of the 7th Pillar Priest to be sky blue and those of all other Officers and Members to be white. All with the knot on the right hip. (Members entitled to wear other than white by virtue of their rank in KTP may do so, unless they are acting as High Prelate, High Priest or 7th Pillar Priest)
The Aspirant should wear his Knight Templar Priest tunic and mantle.
All pedestal candles should be of a gold colour if possible but white or cream may be used.
The Altar should be draped in white and placed thereon a plain cross. A lantern (preferably white), which is lit at all times, is placed on the Altar by the High Priest when he enters and removed when he leaves. There should also be a Bible on the Altar. It is permissible for the anointing vessels to be placed on the Altar as opposed to the small table near the High Priest.
Two small tables are placed (1) in the South East, near the High Priest, on which are placed a Holy Bible (bookmarked at John 8: 12 and Proverbs 2: 1) and Anointing Oil and napkin and (2) inside the Temple to the right or left of the Acolyte on which are placed a small bowl of water, a cloth or napkin, a towel and a white cordelier. Outside the door there should be a small container of ashes or dirt and a "filthy" garment.
The Reader should have his part, or the ritual, in a Missal. He would normally act as the prompter.
The following initials are used in the Ritual to designate the Officers.
The High Prelate (HPr)
The High Priest (HPst)
The Seven Pillar Priests (PP)
The Hermeneutes (Her)
The Guide (Gde)
The Reader (Rea)
The Acolyte (Ac)
The Keeper of the Door (KO)
Knight Priests (KPs)
The Aspirant (Candidate) (Asp)

 


Opening

Gde:
Knight Priests to order to receive the High Prelate and our High Priest.
Led by the Ac carrying the HH painting, followed by the HPst carrying the lit lantern in his left hand, and finally the HPr. They enter from the West and proceed via the North to their places. HPst places lantern on the altar. The Ac places the HH painting in position and assumes his place.
Gde:
Knight Priests, be seated.
HPr:
Knight Priests of the Order of Holy Wisdom, to order and assist me by your best endeavours to form this Congregation of the Order. All rise Knight Priest Guide, what is the primary duty to be observed?
Gde:
To assure ourselves that none but Knight Priests of the Order form this Congregation, High Prelate.
HPr:
How is such determined?
Gde:
By the giving of a Sacred Word which must be imparted to the Keeper of the Door before entry is permitted.
HPr:
Since those assembled therefore, must have communicated this Word, how do we assure ourselves further?
Gde:
By calling upon all present to exhibit the Sign which denotes them as Knight Priests of this Order.
HPr:
Knight Priests, to Order with the Sign.
All give the Sign which is then returned by the HPr.
HPr
: I am satisfied that all present may remain All drop the sign and now the High Priest will bring a blessing upon this Congregation, gathered here in the name of our Lord.
HPst:
Let us pray. Reads: O Heavenly Father, who has given for our salvation, the life of your only son Jesu Christos, may Your abundant blessing fall upon those gathered here. May Your wisdom and sagacity prevail in all our actions and deeds and may we prevail over those who would defile Thy Name. May we prove worthy of Thy Holy Name. Amen.
ALL:
Amen and amen.
HPr:
Let the Lights of the Order be illuminated.
The Guide lights the Candle on the pedestal of the 1PP and resumes his place. The 1PP leaves his pedestal (left side) and lights the candle of the 2PP and returns to his pedestal (right side). The 2PP lights that of the 3PP and so on in a similar manner - the 7PP extinguishes and retains the taper.
HPr:
Knight Priests, the Lights of the Order are fulfilled and I do now declare this Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom duly and truly formed and the Priesthood cemented.
HPst opens the New Testament at John 8:12.

Knight Priests be seated.
N.B. It is permissible for the 7PPs, Her, Rea and Gde to enter in a suitable procession prior to the opening.

 


Admission

HPr:
Knight Priest Hermeneutes, what matter brings us here today, to gather in this Congregation?
Her:
High Prelate, the Knight Priests have requested that we make known to you that a duly qualified Knight Priest of the Order of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, aspires to be admitted into the Order of Holy Wisdom.
Note: if there are several Candidates then it is suggested that one be selected as Aspirant and the remainder be admitted prior to his reception.
HPr:
Knight Priest Hermeneutes, you will state the name of the Aspirant.
He does so.
HPr:
Knight Priests, do you confirm that we should admit this Aspirant?
All give a bow of the head.
HPr:
Then let it be so. Knight Priest Guide, you will conduct the Aspirant before us.
If there are additional Aspirants, they should now be admitted and seated before the Exemplar Aspirant is received The Guide then goes to the door, which is opened by the Acolyte, passes out and then reenters with the Aspirant, after which the Acolyte closes the door. The Guide escorts the Aspirant to a point in the West just in front of the Guide 's seat, where he instructs him to clap his hands twice, then three and then tour times with a short pause between each series.
Gde:
Brother Aspirant, you have entered this Congregation and have given salutations two, three and four .. The same represent claps twice Heaven and Earth, claps three times the Trinity, claps four times and finally the Four Elements. I charge you now to listen carefully to the High Prelate.
HPr:
Brother Aspirant you came before us as a declared Knight Priest of the Order of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. Do you so confirm?
Asp:
I do.
HPr:
In which Tabernacle of that Order were you admitted as such?
Asp states the Tabernacle of which he is a qualified member.
HPr:
You will now attend to the Knight Priest Reader who will give a short explanation of the history of the Order.
The Reader now rises and reads or recites:
Rea:
History tells us that the Order of Holy Wisdom was, some 200 years ago, closely associated with your Order but due to many difficulties in the ceremony as originally written, not the least of which was the extreme length of the ritual and the complex paraphernalia employed, the Order of Holy Wisdom fell into disuse. In order that you are able to comprehend the difficulties in working the ceremony of Admission into the Order of Holy Wisdom as originally specified, you should know that the original text called for use of two chambers, and such furnishings as a throne, large velvet hangings, gold plate and serving vessels, specially constructed seating and, last but not least, an actual coffin. In addition, the Officers were to wear a wide range of ecclesiastic garments including surplices, dalmatics, cassocks and stoles, these in several different colours and worn with rich velvet cloaks, again in varying colours. Given such requirements, it is understandable why our forebears did not preserve this ceremony as a working degree.
Since the Order of the HRAKTP was once denoted by the addendum of 'or OHW', it was thought worthwhile to resurrect the Order of Holy Wisdom as a separate, but associated Order, thus ensuring its continued existence.
HPr: As a consequence of what you have just heard, the ceremony in which you will take part today has therefore been abbreviated to meet the demands of time but it retains most of the precepts and characterization of the ritual first known to have existed in the 1790's.
In order that we adhere to the original concepts of the Order of Holy Wisdom, it is necessary that as an Aspirant, you adopt the identity of one Publius, a citizen of Rome and a non-Christian. It was believed that Publius had died but, just before his burial, it was found that he was only in a coma and, on his recovery, wished to accept the Christian Faith.
Are you willing to adopt his name and thereafter continue with your admission as a Knight Priest of Holy Wisdom?
Asp:
I am.
HPr:
Then I must ask you to retire and be again introduced.
Guide conducts the Aspirant to the door and he retires. The Keeper of the Door clothes the Aspirant in a 'filthy' shawl or garment and applies a smear of ash or dirt to his forehead. After a short pause the Keeper of the Door gives one knock. The Acolyte opens the door, admits the Aspirant and closes the door. The Guide conducts him to same place in the West as before.
HPr:
Who is this?
Gde:
Publius, son of Gaius, a Brother in Pagan darkness who now desires to behold the great light of God which illuminates the faithful.
HPr:
Before he may proceed further, have I your assurance that he truly desires to give up that darkness in which he now walks?
Gde:
You have.
HPr:
Then Knight Priest Guide, undertake your further duty.
Guide then circles the Aspirant three times, exclaiming:
Gde, on first encirclement:
We pray that the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ cause all uncleanliness to depart from thee.
Acolyte approaches carrying bowl, towel, and napkin. Gde, cleans dirt from Aspirant's forehead with wet napkin Acolyte retrieves the bowl, towel and napkin, replaces them on his table, and collects the white cordelier.
On second:
We pray that the love of God free you from the tyranny of evil passions.
Gde, removes the filthy shawl or garment and gives to Acolyte.
On third:
We pray that the fellowship of the Holy Spirit enable the sweet savour of good deeds be yours for ever.
Gde, receives cordelier from Acolyte and invests Aspirant. Acolyte resumes his place.
ALL:
Amen and Amen and Amen.
HPr:
Brother Aspirant, you will now answer seven questions from the seven Pillar Priests. Are you willing to give true answers to these questions which must be asked of all those who seek admission to our Order.
Asp:
I am.
HPr:
Then Knight Priest Guide you will proceed.
The Guide advises the Aspirant quietly that the answer he must give is YEA, IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, in each case and then escorts the Aspirant before each Pillar in turn. After receiving the answer to his question, the Pillar Priest involved resumes his seat.
1PP, stands:
Will you, by the Grace of God, observe and obey all Laws, Rules and Regulations of this Order, so far as they correspond with the revealed will of God?
2PP, stands:
Do you sincerely desire to unite with us in brotherly love, in the bond of peace, in Christian fellowship, never to be dissolved by slight offences or perceived difficulties?
3PP, stands:
Will you, if admitted as a Knight Priest of the Order of Holy Wisdom, be true to your brethren of the Templar Priesthood, their trusts, reputations and interests, tor all the days of your life?
4PP, stands:
Will you, as far as lies within your power, seek to heal any dispute between Masons of any degree, as becomes a Disciple of the Prince of Peace?
5PP, stands:
Will you pay due obedience to the government of the country in which your lot has been cast?
6PP, stands:
Will you, if admitted to this Holy Order, observe the behaviour of those who may be Aspirants tor admission hereafter, see that no hypocrite nor fool be allowed to apply tor fellowship with us; exhort such Templar Priests as may prove to be backsliders, encourage those weak in spirit, correct those who deviate from the path of righteousness, censure those who prove false to their vows; that this Holy Order may not be ill spoken of by the profane?
7PP, stands:
Will you truly guard any trust that we shall repose in you, be temperate in your life, modest in your bearing and true to your family; be merciful, as far as you are able, to poor and needy members of the Order should they seek your aid? All of these being precepts of this Order.
After the Aspirant replies, the Gde, conducts him to the East and stops before the kneeling stool.
HPr:
Brother Aspirant, having answered the questions of the Pillar Priests, truly, and in the proper manner, you will now kneel before me.
Guide takes Aspirant to the kneeling stool in the East, facing the High Prelate, and advises him to kneel and offer his hands, palms upwards. When he has done so the High Prelate rises and proceeds to a point in front of the Candidate. High Priest rises, takes the oil and goes to stand on the /eft hand side of the High Prelate and delivers the ai/ into the hand of the High Prelate.
Gde:
Knight Priests, to Order. all stand.
The High Prelate, dips his right forefinger in the oil and anoints the Aspirant, first on the forehead, then on the chin, then on the palm of the right hand and, finally, on the palm of the left hand.
HPr:
May this sign mark you forever as a true Knight Priest of this Holy Order, and may Christian wisdom, of which it is a token, be a lamp to your feet and a light on your path.
The Aspirant is raised to his feet [If there are other Aspirants, they should be brought forward, one at a time and similarly anointed.] The High Prelate and High Priest retire to their seats and on sitting the Aspirant is raised to his feet.
Gde:
Knight Priests, be seated.
The Guide then turns the Aspirant to face the High Priest, who then rises and says:
HPst:
Brother Aspirant, you are now required to answer a further seven questions to show willingness of your undertakings as a Knight Priest of this Holy Order.
Aspirant should answer I WILL to each of the questions.
HPst:
Will you sincerely try to love your Brother Knight Priests?
Will you bear with understanding, the frailties and weaknesses of your Brother Knight Priests?
Will you promise never to speak evil of a Brother Knight Priest?
Will you ever seek to do good as a Brother Knight Priest?
While at your prayers, both Masonic and private, will you ever remember your Brother Knight Priests?
Will you be spent and spend in defence of this Holy Order?
Will you, on final admission as a Knight Priest, be true to your Brother Knight Priests?
The High Priest resumes his seat and the Guide once again places the Aspirant before the kneeling stool and advises him to kneel on his right knee only. The seven Pillar Priests then rise. 7PP proceeds to the immediate right of the Aspirant. The 1PP moves down the North side and the 2PP moves down the South side towards the East and as they pass 3PP and 4PP they fall in behind and as they pass 5PP and 6 PP, they fall in behind. The 1PP proceeds to the immediate left of the Aspirant and the other PPs form a semi-circle around the aspirant. The order (North to South) is 5PP, 3PP, 1PP, Asp, 7PP, 2PP, 4PP, 6PP. They then join hands, right to left in line, so that the right hand of the 1PP and the left hand of the 7PP are free. When this is done the High Prelate leaves his chair as does the High Priest. The latter carries with him the Holy Bible, but stands outside the circle. When all are in position, the High Prelate lays bath hands upon the Aspirant's head. The 7PP lays his left hand on top of those of the High Prelate and the 1PP lays his right hand upon the hand of the 7PP, 5PP and 6PP join hands, resulting in a chain of joined hands.
HPr:
We admit you, within this Chain of Fellowship, into the Priesthood of the Order of Holy Wisdom, be worthy of your place among the Knight Priests and ever be an example to all Knight Priests, that those who follow you, may never be ashamed.
The High Prelate and the Pillar Priests remove their hands. The Pillar Priests then resume their pedestals in a reverse fashion (lf there are other Aspirants they should be brought forward, one at a time, and similarly admitted to the Order, before the Pillar Priests retire).
The High Priest then places the Holy Bible open at Proverbs 2: 1-5 in the new Knight Priest's right hand and says
HPst:
Read these words and be you wise unto Salvation.
The Aspirant reads aloud the holy scripture; the High Priest then opens the Holy Bible at John 8:12 and says:
HPst:
In these words, behold the wisdom of the Triune God.
The Aspirant reads aloud the Holy Scripture; the High Priest retrieves the Holy Bible and resumes his seat. The Guide raises the new Knight Priest and he stands before the High Prelate. The Guide removes the kneeling stool.
HPr:
You will now listen attentively to the Knight Priest Reader who will rehearse you in the fourteen Lessons, the seven Minor and the seven Major, of the Order of Holy Wisdom
The Lessons may be read by the Reader or another Officer may assist if desired. The HPr and HPr return to their seats.
Rea:
The First Minor Lesson: Ye are a chosen generation, a Royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.
The Second Minor Lesson: What agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? Ye are the temple of the Living God.
The Third Minor Lesson: Ye are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.
The Fourth Minor Lesson: Came ye and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob.
The Fifth Minor Lesson: Ye are built upon the foundation of the Prophets and the Apostles, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone.
The Sixth Minor Lesson: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of Satan.
The Seventh Minor Lesson: Thou are worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for Thou hast created all things and it is for, and by, Thy pleasure that all things are created.
Such, my Brother, are the Minor Lessons of our Order.
Hearken now to the Major Lessons. The Reader continues.
Rea:
The First Major Lesson: Be blameless and harmless, sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, in which ye shall shine as lights of the World, holding forth the Word of Life.
The Second Major Lesson: This then, is the message we have heard of Him; and declare unto you that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth, but in Him there is no darkness.
The Third Major Lesson: Beloved, build yourselves upon the most holy Faith, keep yourselves within the power of the love of God, seeking the mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Fourth Major Lesson: Whoever abideth in Him, cannot habitually be a sinner, and he who is habitually a sinner may neither see nor know Him.
The Fifth Major Lesson: Awake, thou that sleepeth and arise from the dead and Christ shall shine his Light upon you.
The Sixth Major Lesson: He showed me a pure river of the water of Life, bright as a crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb.
The Seventh Major Lesson: We all, with unveiled faces, reflecting as in a mirror, the Glory of the Lord, shall be transformed into the same image, to Glory and by Glory, flowing from that Spirit which is the Lord.
HPr rises and faces the Aspirant:
Now that you have cast aside the identity of Publius you shall now be known as Knight Priest (Christian Name only) and I will now place you in possession of the secrets restricted to a Knight Priest of the Order of Holy Wisdom, and these are; The Sacred Word, the Token and the Sign of the Order.
The Sacred Word is given in two parts in conjunction with the Token of the Order which also has two parts. When two Knight Priests of our Order wish to prove each other, the first will touch his forehead and chin with his right forefinger and offer both hands, upwards and fingers curled. The second will repeat this and grasp the other's hands, right to left and left to right in this fashion fingers clenched around the other's when this is completed the first says LUCEM DEI, meaning THE LIGHT OF GOD. HPr and Asp exchange the Words, both Latin and English. The hands are disengaged and reformed with a similar grip but right to right and left to left, right uppermost, forming a cross and the second says ET LUX CHRISTI meaning, AND THE LIGHT OF CHRIST. Asp repeats both Latin and English.
The Sign of the Order is known as the SIGN OF LIGHT and is given by a Knight Priest holding out his left hand, with the 4th and 5th fingers closed, the other fingers and thumb together Thumb underneath as if holding a lantern and the right hand above the eyes as though shading them from its reflected light. I caution you to remember your undertaking to be circumspect in the use of these secrets. In giving the Token you will recall the points of your anointment, while the Sign of Light will recall to you, the meaning of these points.
The motto of the Order is, I am the Light of the World as illustrated in the painting by the artist Holman Hunt, which you will observe in the East of the Congregation. HPr indicates.
HPr:
Knight Priest , we welcome you into the Fellowship of our Order.
You may now be seated, and the Reader will give an explanation of Holman Hunt's painting of "The Light of the World."
Guide takes the new Knight Priest to a vacant seat and thereafter resumes his own.
The HH painting may be placed in a suitable position for ease of viewing. A Knight Priest can be appointed to direct attention to features of the painting du ring the explanation.
When the Reader has finished the Aspirant should be taken to the High Prelate in order that a copy of the ritual can be presented to him.

 


Closing

HPr:
Knight Priests, to Order and assist me to close this Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom. All rise Pillar Priests, let the Lights of our Order be quenched.
7PP:
Mine is the Seventh, Last and Highest Pillar and represents GLORY. Glory to the Most High. Extinguishes candle, as do all Pillar Priests in turn.
6PP:
Mine is the Sixth Pillar and represents POWER. Power to our Order.
5PP:
Mine is the Fifth Pillar and represents LIGHT. May the Light of the Lord shine upon us.
4PP:
Mine is the Fourth Pillar and represents TRUTH. May we always embrace Righteous Speech.
3PP:
Mine is the Third Pillar and represents BEAUTY. May the Beauty of Mercy be always with us.
2PP:
Mine is the Second Pillar and represents STRENGTH. May the Strength of the Holy Trinity be granted to us.
1PP:
Mine is the First Pillar and represents WISDOM. May the Grace of God ever bless this Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom.
HPr:
High Priest, before we depart, you will now offer up a closing prayer.
HPst:
Let us pray. O Heavenly Father, Giver of Light and Pillar of the Righteous, bless these Thy servants and render unto them Thy Divine aid and the protection of Thy Mercy. Amen. Amen and Amen.
HPr:
Knight Priests of the Order of Holy Wisdom, let us depart and celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. I declare this Congregation closed.
HPst closes the Holy Bible, collects the lantern and returns to his place.
Gde:
Knight Priests: Disperse in Peace, travel in the Light of God and ever remember the Fellowship of our Holy Order. Knight Priests will remain to order whilst the High Prelate and the High Priest retire in procession from this Congregation and the hymn is sung.
As we leave this Congregation,
Jesu may we dwell with thee,
With thy Lamp of Holy Wisdom
Shining bright for all to see.
Keep us mindful of Thy motto,
'Lighten us with piety,
'Till we meet again in glory,
May thy light eternal be.
The Acolyte proceeds to the East and collects the H.H. painting, and carries it in front of him, painting showing. As he passes the officers they fall in behind: The HPr joined by the HPst (carrying the lantern in his left hand); the 7th Pillar Priest; together the 5th and 6th Pillar
Priests; together the 3rd and 4th Pillar Priests; together the 1st and 2nd Pillar Priests and finally the Guide and the procession carries on out of the Congregation.

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