Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
The Degree of Excellent Mason & Master and the Veils


 
1996/2015


Compiler's Note: This ceremony is associated with the Royal Arch and indeed a Veils Ceremony is still worked today prior to Exaltation to the RA. in Scotland, Ireland and at Bristol. The Lodge works as a Council and the presiding officer is called Zerubbabel. Z. sits in the East, with the SW known as Haggai and the JW Zechariah, in the W and S respectively. There are three Captains, Guardians of the Veils, a Conductor, an IG and Tyler. As in the RA, the members are known as Companions.
There are jour veils, ranged from West to East, being Blue or Green, Purple, Scarlet and White. An altar is placed to the eastern side of the White Veil on which is the Old Testament, opened at Ezra Ch. V v. i. The Council represents the Tabernacle of the Grand Lodge at Babylon. The apron of an Ex. M & Mis white bordered with crimson and on the fall is embroidered a five pointed star in gold.

 

Opening

Z.:
Excellent Companions, Masons and Masters, you will assist me to open this Council, all stand. Ex. Comp. Zechariah, what is the constant care of Excellent Masons and Masters when met in Council.
Zech.:
To see that the door of the Council is closely tyled and that it is guarded against intrusion, Ex. Comp. Zerubbabel.
Z.:
You will see that duty performed.
Zech.:
Ex. Comp. Inner Guard, you will see that the Council is properly tyled. The IG gives *** ** on the door, which is repeated by the Tyler.
IG:
Ex. Comp. Zechariah, the Council is properly tyled.
Zech.:
Ex. Comp. Zerubbabel, this Council stands close tyled and is guarded against intrusion.
Ex. Companions, having thus proved ourselves secure, I deciare this to be an open Council of Excellent Masons and Masters, to undertake such business as shall regularly come before it and this I do by three Names of our Ancestors, Moses Aaron and Enoch, and also by *** **. The knocks are repeated by H., Zech., IG and Tyler, and all sit.
Z.:
Ex Companions, do we have any business to bring before the Council?
H.:
Ex. Comp. Zerubbabel, we have none save that a traveller who waits before our door, wishes to enter.
Z.:
Ex. Comp. Conductor, you will retire from the Council and seek from this stranger that which he desires.
Cond. retires from the Council, he ensures that the Cand. is prepared as if a traveller on a journey, clothed in a loose robe or hassock, girt at the waist with a card, a pack on his back, a staff in his hand and sandals on his feet. He should preferably be veiled but may wear a hoodwink. When he is so prepared, the Cond. gives *** **.
IG:
Ex. Comp. Zecheriah, there is an alarm. Zech. reports same to Z who advises him to enquire the cause. Zech so advises the IG.
IG opens door and asks:
Who comes here?
Cond.:
A true and worthy mason, who has been admitted a Master of the Blue and has sat in the Chair of King Solomon and now wishes to be acknowledged as an Excellent Master and Mason.
IG:
Wait until I report the same. IG reports to Zech. who does also to Z who then gives permission for the Cand. to be admitted. The Conductor perambulates with the Cand. and halts in front of Zech.
Zech.:
Why does this Brother wish to be acknowledged as an Excellent Mason and Master?
Cond.:
That he might repair to Jerusalem and assist to rebuild the House and City of God.
Zech.:
By what right does he expect to be thus privileged?
Cond.:
By his right as a Master of the Blue and the Word of that Degree.
Zech.:
Let him advance and give it.
Cand, gives the word- Justice and Judgment.
Zech.:
The Word proves correct, you may pass to Excellent Comp. Haggai.
Cond. takes Cand. before Haggai and halts.
H.:
How comes this Brother here.
Cond.:
He seeks to be acknowledged as an Excellent Mason and Master.
H.:
Who permitted his passage to my station?
Cond.:
The Excellent Companion Zecheriah who took from him the Word of a Master of The Blue.
H.:
What else does he bring?
Cond.:
The Word of King Solomon's Chair
H.:
Let him advance and give it to me.
Cand. advances and gives - Giblim.
H.:
That Word also proves correct, you may pass to Excellent Comp. Zerubbabel.
Cond. perambulates Cand. as before.
Z.:
How comes this Brother here?
Cond.:
He seeks to be acknowledged as an Excellent Mason and Master.
Z.:
Who permitted his passage to my Station?
Cond.:
He gave first a Word to Ex. Comp. Zechariah who then passed him to the Excellent Comp. Haggai. To that Companion he gave a second Word, which Word allowed his passage to come before you, Ex. Comp. Zerubbabel.
Z.:
Does he have the Pass Word of this degree?
Cond.:
He does not, but I will gladly give it for him.
Z.:
Then approach me and do so.
Cond. advances and gives - Abraham.
Z.:
Let the stranger be admitted in due and ancient form.
Cond. leads the Cand. once around the Council Room and then halts at the proper place where the transparency of the Burning Bush is revealed. The Veil is removed and the Cand. is instructed to place his right hand over his eyes as if protecting them from the glare of the flames. The Cand. is then perambulated three more times white Zecheriah reads Exodus III vs i to vi. When the reading is finished the Cond. brings the Cand. to the First Veil and instructs him to knock *** ** with his staff.
C 1st V.:
Who comes here, who approaches the First Veil of the Tabemacle?
Cond.:
A true and worthy mason, who has been admitted a Master of the Blue and has sat in the Chair of King Solomon and now wishes to be acknowledged as an Excellent Master and Mason.
C 1st V.:
By what right and benefit does be expect to do so?
Cond.: By benefit of the Pass Word leading through the First Veil.
C 1st V.:
Let him advance and give me the word.
Cand., instructed by the Cond. gives - Abraham.
C 1st V. opens the Veils and says:
Enter within the First Veil of the Tabernacle and listen to a word of exhortation from the Sacred Writings.
Zech. reads from Exodus IV vs i to v and at the proper part the Cand. is instructed to cast down his staff and how to pick it up again.
C 1st V.:
I will now entrust you with the Sign, Token and Word of the First Veil. The Word is the same as that which enabled you to proceed this far - Abraham. The Token is given by each Companion encircling the other's right wrist with both hands thus. The sign is given by casting your staff upon the ground and picking it up by the end furthest from you, as if you were grasping a serpent by the tail. You may now pass to the Second Veil of the Tabernacle.
Cand. is again instructed to give *** ** with his staff.
C 2nd V.:
Who comes here, who approaches the Second Veil of the Tabernacle?
Cond.:
A true and worthy mason, who has been admitted a Master of the Blue and has sat in the Chair of King Solomon and now wishes to be acknowledged as an Excellent Master and Mason and who is now in possession of the S, T and W, or Secrets, of the First Veil of the Tabernacle.
C 2nd V.:
That being so, let him advance and communicate those Secrets to me. Cand. is instructed to give the S, T and W of the 1st V.
C 2nd V. opens the Second veil and says:
Enter within the Second Veil of the Tabernacle and listen further.
Zech. reads from Exodus IV vs vi to viii.
C 2nd V.:
I will now entrust you with the Sign, Word and Token of the Second veil. The sign is given by placing your right hand within your bosom and then withdrawing it and seeing that it is leprous and then putting it back within your bosom again, and once more withdrawing it and seeing that the flesh is restored. The Token is given in the same manner as before hut below the elbow. The Word is Isaac. You may now pass on to the Third Veil of the Tabernacle.
Cand again raps *** **.
C 3rd V.:
Who come here, who approaches the Third Veil of the Tabernacle?
Cond.:
A true and worthy mason, who has been admitted a Master of the Blue and has sat in the Chair of King Solomon and now wishes to be acknowledged as an Excellent Master and Mason and who is now in possession of the S, T and W, or Secrets, of the Second Veil of the Tabernacle.
C 3rd V.:
That being so, let him advance and communicate these Secrets to me.
Cand. does so.
C 3rd V opens the Third Veil and says:
Enter within the Third Veil and listen once more.
Zech. reads Exodus IV v. ix.
C 3rd V.:
I will now entrust you with the Sign, Token and Word of the Third Veil of the Tabernacle. The Sign is given by taking this pitcher of water and pouring out thus water is poured into a glass vessel in which red dye has been placed, as if turning to blood. The token is the same as before but just above the elbow. The Word is Jacob. You may now pass on the Fourth Veil.
Can does so and again raps with his staff *** **.
Z.:
Who wishes to enter the Inner Sanctum
Cond.:
A true and worthy Mason who has been admitted a Master of the Blue and has sat in the Chair of King Solomon and who, having now passed the Three Veils of the Tabernacle, wishes to enter within the Fourth Veil and be acknowledged as a member of this Council of Excellent Masons and Masters.
Z.:
By what right and benefit does he do so?
Cond.:
By the S, T, W or secrets of the Third Veil.
Z.:
That being so, let him advance and communicate these Secrets to me.
Cand. does so.
Z.:
Enter within the Fourth Veil of the Tabernacle.
Zech reads. Exodus III v xiv.
Z.:
Excellent Companion Conductor, you will cause the Candidate to kneel before the altar with both hands upon the open Testament, there to take the Obligation of an Excellent Mason and Master.
Companions, be upstanding.
 

Obligation

I, , do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, in the presence of Almighty God and before this Council of Excellent Masons and Masters, that I will never reveal any of the Secrets of this Degree to any one of a lesser degree, nor communicate them to a Brother unless he has come by them in as lawful a manner as I have this day. I will always acknowledge this Council as my Mother Council. All this I swear under no less a penalty than that the Plagues which befell Egypt should fall upon me The Great Jehovah enable be to remain true to this, my solemn obligation as an Excellent Mason and Master.
Z. then says:
Companions be seated.
Excellent Companion Conductor, raise our new Companion. Does so. Z raises both hands over the head of the Cand. And God spoke unto Moses and said unto him, I am the Lord and I appeared unto Abraham, but by my name Jehovah was I not known. Lowers his hands. Companion , the Secrets of this degree consist of the Words, Tokens and Signs of the three Veils with which you are already acquaint. The Pass Word is Abraham, and this word and those of the Second and Third Veils Isaac and Jacob, are as notated in the 15th. verse of the third Chapter of Exodus. The Grand Word of this degree is I am that I am, and with the Grand Grip which is given by placing your right hand in the arm pit of the other and placing your left on his right shoulder, these shall be a Pass which will enable you to progress further in our Ancient Art.
 

Lecture

H.:
As the first three degrees of Masonry must have been become widely known during the 470 years that elapsed between the building of the Temple and the issuance of the decree of Cyrus, King of Persia, which gave freedom to the captive Hebrews. As the degree of Excellent Mason and Master only held to those captive at Babylon and so as to prevent others from sharing in the glorious work of rebuilding the Temple, our Grand Master Zerubbabel ordained that any mason who had been freed at Babylon, could only proceed to Jerusalem to work on the rebuilding of the Temple, if first he had been admitted into that degree. When so admitted, all Excellent Masons and Masters were provided with a Grand Word and Grip which would enable them to be received at the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. Companion, you now possess this word and token and should travel on to Jerusalem.
Z.:
Comp. , this now concludes the ceremony of your admission as an Excellent Mason and Master and the Conductor will seat you amongst your Companions. Does so and resumes his station.
Z.:
Companions is there anything further to be brought before this Council.
Zech.:
Ex. Comp. Zerubbabel, our labours are completed.
Z.:
That being so, assist me to close the Council. All rise.
 


Closing

Z.:
Ex. Comp. Zechariah, does the Council remain tyled? As at the Opening. Then, Ex. Comp. Haggai you shall attend my command and close this Council. ***.
H.:
Ex. Companions, By command of our Ex. Comp. Zerubabel, I declare this Council closed. *** **.
Zech.:
And it will remain so until recalled in due form to meet here at Babylon or when the Grand Lodge will form at Jerusalem. *** **.
IG:
Companions, the Council is closed, prepare to depart. ***.
T.: *** **.

 



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