Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar
The Degree of Architect
Compiler's Note: A Lodge of the Architect Degree should be
laid out as shown
in the Diagram. The Altar should be covered with a white
cloth on which should
he a Bible opened at I Kings Ch. VII v. xiii., complete with
S&C and a small
trowel. A small urn, in which is placed a quantity of
sweetmeat, should be
placed outside the Lodge entrance. An empty chair is placed
in the East beside
that of Adonhiram. The black clothes to cover the chair and
the altar are stored
at appropriate places, as are the candles and holders. The
sash for the
candidate should be folded and laid on the altar.
The Officers of an Architects' Lodge are: Worthy Brother Adonhiram, the Acting W.M.; Wy. Bro. Cavelum, the SW; a JW; the Chamberlain, the Asst. Chamberlain, the Inner Sentinel, the High Priest, the Conductor, two or more Architects and a Sentinel. Adonhiram wears a scarlet robe while Architects wear a crimson or red sash.
Adon. gives * and all stand: Brother Architects, the hour of labour is upon us. Let us consider the business that lies before us that we may return to our places in the Temple. Brother J.W. what must be our ever present care?
JW: To see that this Grand Lodge is duly guarded
Adon.: See that duty done.
JW: Brother Inner Sentinel, see to your duty. IS gives the knocks of the degree ** ** * on the door, which is answered by the Guard.
JW: Worthy Adonhiram, our Grand Lodge is duly guarded.
Adon.: Worthy Cavelum, are all gathered here true and faithful members of this Grand Lodge of Architects at Jerusalem?
Cav., if satisfied: All present are so honoured, Worthy Adonhirnm.
Adon.: Then by the authority vested in me by our Grand Master Hiram Abiff, I declare this Grand Lodge open in his name and this I do by ** ** * also by Cav., JW, IS and Guard. Adon.: Brother Architects, while in Grand Lodge, this shall be your sign.
All present face the East give the PS or S of A.
Adon.: Brethren, resume your seats.
Adon.: Brother Chamberlain, you will now proceed to the chambers of our Grand Master and advise him that his Grand Lodge awaits his presence.
The Chamberlain and his Assistant come together to the W. of the Altar, give the sign and retire f/rom the Lodge. After one or two minutes, the Chamberlain gives ** ** * which is reported in the usual way.
Adon.: Brother Inner Sentinel you will see what is the cause of this alarm and if it is our Grand Master with the Chamberlains, you will permit them to enter without further report. Door is opened hut only the Chamberlain enters, he appears to be greatly distressed. rings his hands and lifts diem to his face.
Adon.: Brother Chamberlain, why do you come before us without our Grand Master? Why do you hide your face from view? Come, report at once.
Cham.: Worthy Adonhiram, I bring tidings of great sorrow which are caused by a most terrible narration received from the Court of King Solomon.
Adon.: Speak now, what is this report.
Cham.: Worthy Adonhiram, the message tells that our Grand Master has been foully murdered by three Fellows of Craft and that he is no more.
All stand and give the S of S&H and utter the Word, after holding the sign for a short time they resume their seats.
Cham.: I have sent my Assistant to wait upon the King and beg of him some momento of our late Grand Master, that we may ever revere his memory.
Adon.: Brother Architects, we must place our Lodge in mourning that we may reflect upon the glorious works and deeds of our Grand Master, in privacy and silence. Brethren, prepare the Lodge. Gives *.
The Lodge is prepared as follows: The items on the altar, the VSL. S&C and the Sash are lifted to allow the altar to be covered by a black cloth. then these items are replaced. Similarly, the vacant chair in the East is draped in black. Five black candles are lit, two on the North and South sides of the altar and three on the floor, forming a triangle, between the altar and Adonhiram. During these alterations, the Conductor slips out of the Lodge. When all has been completed, everyone resumes their seats, then after a little white there is an alarm which is attended to in the usual manner and the Asst. Chamberlain is admitted carrying the urn. He should carry it, held in both hands in front of the face [as in the sign of the degree] and come to a halt at the West side of the altar, facing Adonhiram.
Adon.: Brother Asst. Chamberlain, we are relieved to see you return. What have you brought with you?
A.Ch.: King Solomon, knowing that at all times, our Grand Master did ever consider his Brethren in this Grand Lodge, to be his most faithful companions, did permit that I should bring to you the heart of our late Grand Master, which I bear before me in this urn.
Adon.: Brethren, let us bow our heads in silent prayer while the sacred relic of our Grand Master is laid upon the Altar.
All bow their heads. Asst. Ch., with urn held as before, slowly passes once around the Lodge then places the urn upon the altar and thereafter resumes his place.
Adon.: Now let this Grand Lodge be in mourning for seven days and seven nights, each day representing one year of the service given by our Grand Master Hiram Abiff in the building of the Temple. Gives *.
The Brethren all assume the S of S and after a short time comes a further alarm at the door of the Lodge.
IS: Bro. JW, there is an alarm at the Door of Entrance.
JW: Worthy Adonhiram, there is an alarm at the Door of Entrance.
Adon.: Bro. JW you will ascertain the cause of the alarm and who comes to disturb our mourning for the loss of our Grand Master.
JW: Brother IS as above and report to Worthy Adonhiram.
IS: Who comes while our Grand Lodge mourns the loss of our Grand Master?
The Conductor steps into the Lodge without the Cand. and says: Outwith stands a Master Mason who has been duly employed in dressing the stones for the Temple and who was under the tutelage of our Grand Master. He wishes to make further advancement as an Architect in order that he may pay his respects in this Grand Lodge for he oft heard Grand Master Hiram speak well of this company.
IS: By what right or benefit does he expect to do so?
Cond.: By the light of the Signs of the Three Degrees to which he has been admitted and by the benefit of the Pass Word of an Architect.
IS: Is he in possession of that Pass Word?
Cond.: He is not but I will give it on his behalf.
IS: Then advance and do so. Done. The Pass Word is correct, wait here until I report to Worthy Adonhiram.
IS goes to the East where he stands before Adonhiram, gives the Sign and reports all that has gone before and returns to his station.
Adon.: Brother Architects, I was first angered when I heard the alarm which disturbed our mourning but it was caused for the most honourable of reasons and I shall permit the applicant to enter. Do you agree?
All bow the head in acquiescence.
Adon.: Brother Conductor, you will admit the applicant, cause him to be led twice around our Grand Lodge and to prove his proficiency, to halt before the JW in the South and give the Sign of an EA, then in the West to give Worthy Cavelum the Sign of an FC, before halting before me in the Past to give the sign of a MM.
Cond. gives Sign and retires. He ensures Cand. wears a MM apron and is hoodwinked. They enter the Lodge without alarm and perambulated as described, at the JW's pedestal the Cond. causes the Cand. to give the Pen. Sign of an EA, the JW gives * and says:
JW: I acknowledge you as an EA of Ancient Masonry. Pass on.
Cond. takes Cand. before the pedestal of Cavelum and causes him to give the Pen. Sign of a FC, Cavelum gives ** and says:
Cav.: I acknowledge you as a FC of Ancient Masonry. Pass on.
Cond. takes Cand. before Adonhiram and causes him to give the Pen. Sign of a MM, Adonhiram gives *** and says:
Adon.: I acknowledge you as a Master Mason of Ancient Masonry. However, my Brother, before we can permit you to proceed further in this Degree, it is necessary that you declare your abhorrence of the treachery and crime which caused us the irreplaceable loss of a fom1er Brother Architect.
Cand., prompted by Cond: I do abhor and detest it.
Adon.: As a test of your integrity you will now partake of the heart of the victim which we have emblematically preserved.
Chamberlain goes to the altar and takes the urn and trowel, advances to the East and then to Adonhiram and remains there. Adonhiram takes a little of the sweetmeat on the point of the trowel. hands it to the Cand. and says:
Adon.: May this be as a bond, and cement us together in brotherly love and union. May it be indissoluble. Say with us: Evil be to him who would disunite us.
Cand. and all present repeat the same.
Adon.: Having now satisfied us of your integrity, you will take the Obligation of this Degree.
Adonhiram returns the urn and trowel to the Chamberlain who replaces them on the altar and resumes his seat. When he has done so, the Cond. takes the Cand. before the altar on the West side. When the Cand. is so placed, Adonhiram advances to the East side of the altar.
Adon.: Brother Architects, please be upstanding. All rise. Brother …, be pleased to kneel before the altar, and place your left hand on the Holy Testament and your right on the urn. Cond. assists by directing the hands of the Cand. You will repeat after me.
I, ..., before this Grand Lodge of the Degree of Architect, upon the Holy Word and the emblematical remains of our departed Brother, do solemnly vow and promise that I will keep the secrets of this degree, separate and distinct from any that I have already received, or may hereafter receive, and that I will never confer the same without due authority of this Grand Lodge, under no less a penalty than to be ever disgraced among Masons.
You will now cease repeating, remove your hands and confirm this Obligation by saluting the Holy Word once with your tips. Cand. does so.
Brother Architects, please be seated.
Brother …, you will now be restored to the light of day. Cond. removes the hoodwink. and raises the Cand.
You can now see before you, three Great Lights with the trowel placed across the S&C, and also this urn in which is emblematically placed the heart of our murdered Grand Master, Hiram Abiff. You will perceive that upon our Trestle Board, points accordingly the Blazing Star having in its centre the letter G, meaning GLORY, GRANDNESS and GEOMETRY. In the rays emitting from the Star, are the letters S, U, G, G, H and S, meaning Submission, Union and Gomar, meaning Beauty, which is the Motto of an Architect and Gaboan, Hiram and Stolkin. The Secrets of this Degree consist of three Signs and a Word. The first Sign is the Pass Sign, which is given by holding both hands in front of the face with the fingers slightly curved as if around an urn. This sign is the working sign of this Degree.
The second Sign is known as the Sign of Sympathy and Horror. This is given by placing the right hand across the eyes, palm outward, with the left hand similarly placed about eight inches in front of the right, thus. This sign alludes to that given by the Architects assembled in Grand Lodge when first hearing of the death of Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, in sympathy with his demise and in horror of the manner of his death. This sign is always accompanied by the Word of the Degree, which is Alas, poor Hiram.
The third and final Sign is the Sign of Sorrow, which in this Grand Lodge is always given whilst sitting. The left hand should be placed across the forehead, with the thumb on the left temple and the fingers on the right. The left elbow is cupped in the right hand and the head is slightly bowed. In this manner did the Architects reflect while the Grand Lodge was in mourning. As in all Orders of Masonry, you must exercise caution in revealing these secrets to others.
I now clothe you as an Architect invests Cand. with the sash. You will now be conducted before our Trestle Board, where our Brother the High Priest will enlighten you further.
Adonhiram returns to his station and when he has done so, the Cond. takes the Cand. and places him in front of the Trestle Board. The High Priest then rises and pointing to the Board where required says:
HP: In this Degree you are invested with a crimson sash, touches Cand.'s sash which typifies the blood of a former Architect who lost his life rather than sacrifice his honour. Let it ever remind you to be constant. Another symbol points, is the Blazing Star with which you are already acquaint as it teaches Submission to lawful authority, Union amongst the Brethren and Beauty, as a result of combined effort. Tradition informs us that Gomer, or Beauty, was the first word uttered by Adam when he opened his eyes and beheld the splendour which was the Garden of Eden.
HP: Gaboan, we are informed, was the proper and original name of the ground on which the Sanctuary was built. Hiram as you already know, was our beloved Grand Master, and his demise is therefore the reason that the Lodge is hung with black. Stolkin is the name of him who discovered the hiding place of the three ruffians who murdered our Grand Master. The contents of the urn should be Corn or flour, Wine and Oil, the consecrating elements, although traditionally, it holds the heart of Hiram Abiff. This concludes the lecture and with it, the ceremonial of this Degree.
The HP salutes Adonhiram and resumes his seat. Cond. escorts Cand. to a vacant place and when he is seated, then returns to his own station, salutes and takes his seat. Adonhiram may make some suitable words of welcome to the new Architect.
Adon. gives * and all stand: Let this Grand Lodge now be closed. Bro. JW, what is your care and duty. Follows the same as at the Opening.
Adon.: Worthy Brother Cavelum, what are your particular duties?
Cav.: To see that all the plans and designs of the Temple are held in safe keeping, and to close this Grand Lodge at your Order, Worthy Brother Adonhiram.
Adon.: Are all the plans and designs in your safe keeping?
Cav.: They are.
Adon.: Then you have my Order and Command to close the Grand Lodge.
Cav.: Brother Architects, you will face the East with Sign of this Degree and hold the same until I close. All do so. By the Order and Authority of Worthy Brother Adonhiram, this Grand Lodge is closed.
Gives ** ** *, followed by the JW, IS and Guard.