order of high priesthood
the masonic manual
THIS order appertains to the office of High Priest of a Royal Arch
Chapter; and no one can be legally entitled to receive it, until he has
been duly elected to preside as High Priest in a regular Chapter of Royal
Arch Masons. This order should not be conferred when a less number than nine duly qualified High
Priests are present. It should be conferred by the Grand High Priest of
the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, or such Present or Past High Priest as he
may designate for that purpose. A convention, notified to meet at the time
of any communication of the Grand Chapter, will afford the best
opportunity of conferring this important and exalted degree of Masonry
with appropriate solemnity. Whenever it is conferred, the following
directions are to be observed:
A candidate desirous of receiving the order of High Priesthood, makes a
written request to his predecessor in office, or, when it can be done, to
the Grand High Priest, respectfully requesting that a convention of High
Priests may be called, for the purpose of conferrinig on him the order.
When the convention meets, and is duly organized, a certificate of the due
election of the candidate to the office of High Priest must be produced.
This certificate is signed by his predecessor in office, attested by the
Secretary of the Chapter. On examination of this certificate, the
qualifications of the candidate are ascertained. The solemn ceremonies of
conferring the order upon him then ensue. When ended, the presiding
officer directs the Secretary of the convention to make a record of the
proceedings, and return it to the
Secretary of the Grand Chapter, to be by him laid before the Grand High Priest,
for the information of all whom it may concern. The convention of High
Priests is then closed in due form.
It is the duty of every companion as soon after his election to the
office of High Priest as is consistent with his personal convenience, to
apply for admission to the order of High Priesthood, that he may be fully
qualified properly to govern his Chapter.
* * * * * * * *
The following passages of Scripture are made use of during the
ceremonies appertaining to this order:
And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son (who dwelt in Sodom), and his
goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram
the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of
Eschol, and brother of Aner; and these were confederate with Abram. And
when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained
servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued
them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants,
by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the
left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought
again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women
also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his
return from the slaughter oI Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with
him, at the valley of Shevah, which is the king's dale. And Melehizedek,
king of Salem, brought forth bread aind wine: and he was the priest of the
most high GOD. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most
high GOD, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand. And he gave
him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the
persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of
Sodom, I have lifted up my hand unto the LORD, the most high GOD, the
possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to
a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou
shouldst say, I have made Abram rich: save only that which the young men
have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol,
and Mamre; let them take their portion. - GENESIS xiv. 12-24.
* * * * * * * *
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto his
sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying
unto them, the LORD bless thee, and keep thee; the LORD make his face to
shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. - NUMB vi. 22-26.
* * * * * * * *
For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high GOD, who
met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to
whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being by interpretation,
King of righteousness, and after that also, King of Salem, which is, King
of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither
beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of GOD,
abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto
whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily,
they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the
priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to
the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of
Abraham. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest forever after the order of
Melchisedec. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest. For
those priests (under the Levitical law) were made without an oath; but
this with an oath, by him that said unto him, the LORD sware, and will not
repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizcdec. - HEB.
* * * * * * * *
The Grand Officers will meet at a convenient place and open.
The subordinate Chapter will meet in the outer courts of their hall,
and form an avenue for the reception of the Grand officers.
When formed, they will dispatch a Committee to the place where the
Grand officers are assembled, to inform the Grand Marshal that the
Chapter is prepared to receive them; the Grand Marshal will announce the
committee and introduce them to the Grand officers.
The Grand officers will move in procession, conducted by the
committee, to the hall of the Chapter, in the following order:
Two Grand Stewards;
subordinate Chapters, according to seniority, by threes,
Three Great Lights;
Orator, Chaplain and other
Grand Secretary, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Royal Arch
*) Grand P. Sojourner, Grand Captain of the
Host, and Deputy Grand High Priest;
Grand Scribe, Grand King, and
Grand High Priest.
*) The Grand P. Sojourner, Grand Captain of the Host, and Grand Royal
Arch Captain, are appointed pro-tempore.
When the Grand High Priest enters the grand honors are given.
The Grand Secretary will then call over the names of the officers
elect; and the Grand High Priest will ask whether they accept their
respective offices. If they answer in the affirmative, he then asks the
members whether they remain satisfied with their choice. If they answer
in the affirmative, he directs their officers to approach the sacred
volume, and become qualified for installation.
The Grand Marshal will then form the whole in procession, and they
will march through the veils into the inner apartment, where they
will surround the altar, which is previously prepared, in ample
form, for the occasion.
All present will kneel, and the following prayer will be
"Almighty and Supreme High Priest of heaven and earth! Who
is there in heaven but thee, and who upon earth can stand in competition
with thee? Thy OMNISCIENT mind brings all things in review, past,
present and to come; thine OMNIPOTENT arm directs the movements of the
vast creation; thine OMNIPRESENT eye pervades the secret recesses of
every heart; thy boundless beneficence supplies us with every comfort
and enjoyment; and thine unspeakable perfections and glory surpass the
standing of the children of men! Our Father, who art in heaven, we
invoke thy benediction upon the purposes of our present assembly. Let
this Chapter be established to thine honor: let its officers be endowed
with wisdom to discern, and fidelity to pursue, its true interests; let
its members be ever mindful of the duty they owe to their GOD; the
obedience they owe to their superiors; the love they owe to their
equals, and the good will they owe to all mankind. Let this Chapter be
consecrated to thy glory, and it members ever exemplify their love to
GOD by their beneficence to man.
Glory be to GOD on high.
Response - "So mote it be. Amen."
The officers are then qualified in due form.
All the Companions, except High Priests and Past High Priests, are
then desired to withdraw, while the new High Priest is solemnly bound to
the performance of his duties; and after the performance of other
necessary ceremonies, not proper to be written, they are permitted to
The whole then return to their appropriate stations; when the Grand
Marshal will form a general procession, in the following order:
Three Royal Arch Stewards with Rods;
Tyler of a Lodge;
Stewards of Lodges, having Jewels;
Secretaries, having Jewels;
Wardens, having Jewels;
Mark Master Masons;
Royal Arch Masons, by three;
Royal Masters, by
Select Masters, by three;
Orders of Knighthood;
the new Chapter;
Members of the new Chapter, by three;
Masters of Veils;
Secretary, Treasurer, R. A. Captain; and
Sojourner, carrying the Ark;
A Companion, carrying the Pot of
Two Companions, carrying Lights;
Scribe, High Priest and
Grand Chapter, as before prescribed;
On arriving at the church, or house where the services are to be
performed, they halt, open to the right and left, and face inward, while
the Grand officers and others in succession, pass through and enter the
The officers and members of the new Chapter, and also of the Grand
Chapter, being seated, the Grand Marshal proclaims silence, and the
An Anthem or Ode is to be performed.
An Oration or Address is to be delivered.
An Ode or piece of Music.
The Deputy Grand High Priest then rises and informs the Grand High
Priest, that "a number of Companions, duly instructed in the sublime
mysteries, being desirous of promoting the honor, and propagating the
principles of the Art, have applied to the Grand Chapter for a warrant
to constitute a new Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, which, having been
obtained, they are now assembled for the purpose of being constituted,
and having their officers installed in due and ancient form.
The Grand Marshal will then form the officers and members of the new
Chapter in front of the Grand officers; after which, the Grand High
Priest directs the Grand Secretary to read the warrant.
The Grand High Priest then rises and says, By virtue of the high
powers in me vested, I do form you, my respected Companions, into a
regular Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. From henceforth you are authorized
and empowered to open and hold a lodge of Mark Masters, Past Masters,
and Most Excellent Masters, and a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; and to
do and perform all such things as thereunto may appertain; conforming,
in all your doings, to the General Grand Royal Arch Constitution, and
the general regulations of the State
Grand Chapter. And may the God of your fathers be with you, guide and
direct you in all your doings."
The furniture, clothing, jewels, implements, utensils, etc.,
belonging to the Chapter, (having been previously placed in the centre,
in front of the Grand officers, covered,) are now uncovered, and the new
Chapter is dedicated in due and ancient form.
The dedication then follows: the Grand Chaplain saying, "To our Most
Excellent Patron, ZERUBBABEL, we solemnly dedicate this Chapter. May the
blessing of our Heavenly High Priest descend and rest upon its members,
and may their felicity be immortal.
"Glory be to GOD on high." -
Response by the Companions.
"As it was in the beginning, is now, and
ever shall be, world without end! Amen". - "So mote it be."
The Grand Marshal then says, "I am directed to proclaim, and I do
hereby proclaim, this Chapter, by the name of -- Chapter,*) duly
consecrated, constituted and dedicated. This, etc
*) All legally constituted bodies of Royal Arch Masons are called
Chapters; as regular bodies of Masons of the preceding degrees, are called
Lodges. Every Chapter ought to assemble for work, at least ones in three
months; and must consist of a High Priest, King, Scribe, Captain of the
Host, Principal Sojourner, Royal Arch Captain, three Grand Masters of the
Veils, Treasurer, Secretary, Tyler and as many members as may be found
convenient for working to advantage.
The Deputy Grand High Priest will then present the first officer of
the new Chapter to the Grand High Priest, saying,
"MOST EXCELLENT GRAND HIGH PRIEST: - I present you my worthy
Companion -- --, nominated in the warrant, to be installed High Priest
of this (new) Chapter. I find him to be skillful in the royal art, and
attentive to the moral precepts of our forefathers, and have therefore
no doubt but he will discharge the duties of his office with
The officers of the Chapter officiate in the lodges, holden for
conferring the preparatory degrees, according to rank, as follows,
The High Priest, as Master.
The King, as Senior
The Scribe, as Junior Warden.
The Captain of the Host, as
Marshal or Master of Ceremonies.
The Principal Sojourner, as Senior
The Royal Arch Chapter as Junior Deacon.
The Master of the
First Veil, as Junior Overseer.
The Master of the Second Veil, as
The Master of the Third Veil, Master
The Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, Stewards and Tyler, as
officers of corresponding rank.
The High Priest of every
Chapter has it in special charge, to see that the by-laws of his Chapter,
as well as the General Grand Royal Arch Constitution, and all the
regulations of the Grand Chapter are duly observed; that all the officers
of his Chapter perform the duties of their respective offices faithfully,
and are examples of diligence and industry to their companions; that true
and accurate records of all the proceedings of the Chapter are kept by the
Secretary; that the Treasurer keeps and render exact and just accounts of
al the moneys and other property belonging to the Chapter; that the
regular returns be made annually to the Grand Chapter; and that the annual
does to the Grand Chapter be regularly and punctually paid. He has the
right and authority of calling his chapter together at pleasure, upon any
emergency or occurrence which, in his judgment, may require their meeting.
It is his privilege and duty, together with the King and Scribe, to attend
the meeting of the Grand Chapter, either in person or by proxy and the
well-being of the institution requires that this duty should on no
occasion be omitted.
The Grand High Priest then addresses him as follows:
COMPANION. - I feel much satisfaction in performing my duty on the
present occasion, by installing you into the office of High Priest of
this (new) Chapter. It is an office highly honorable to all those who
diligently perform the important duties annexed to it. Your reputed
Masonic knowledge, however, precludes the necessity of a particular
enumeration of those duties. I shall, therefore only observe, that by a
frequent recurrence to the constitution, and general regulations and
constant practice of the several sublime lectures and charges, you will
be best able to fulfill them; and I am confident that the Companions who
are chosen to preside with you, will give strength to your endeavors,
and support your exertions. I shall now propose certain questions to
you, relative to the duties of your office, and to which I must request
your unequivocal answer.
Do you solemnly promise that you will redouble your endeavors to
correct the vices, purify the morals and promote the happiness of
those of your Companions, who have attained this sublime degree?
That you will never suffer your Chapter to be opened, unless there
be present nine regular Royal Arch
- That You will never suffer either more or less than three brethren
to be exalted in your Chapter at one and the same time?
That you will not exalt any one to this degree, who has not shown a
charitable and humane disposition; or who has not made a considerable
proficiency in the foregoing degree?
That you will promote the general good of our order, and, on all
proper occasions, be ready to give and receive instructions, and
particularly from the General and State Grand officers?
That to the utmost of your power, you will preserve the solemnities
of our ceremonies, and behave, in open Chapter, with the most profound
respect and reverence, as an example to your Companions?
That you will not acknowledge or have intercourse with any Chapter
that does not work under a constitutional warrant or dispensation.
That you will not admit any visitor into your Chapter, who has not
been exalted in a Chapter legally constituted, without his being first
That you will observe and support such by-laws as may be made by
your Chapter, in conformity to the General Grand Royal Arch
Constitution, and the general regulations of the Grand Chapter?
That you will pay due respect and obedience to the instructions of
the General and State
Grand officers, particularly relating to the several lectures and
charges, and will resign the chair to them, severally, when they may
visit your Chapter?
- That you will support and observe the General Grand Royal Arch
Constitution, and the general regulations of the Grand Royal Arch
Chapter, under whose authority you act?
- Do you submit to all these things, and do you promise to observe
and practice them faithfully?
These questions being answered in the affirmative, the Companions all
kneel, and the Grand Chaplain repeats the following prayer:
"Most Holy and glorious LORD GOD, the Great High Priest of heaven and
earth! we approach thee with reverence, and implore thy blessing on the
Companion appointed to preside over this new assembly, and now prostrate
before thee; fill his heart with thy fear, that his tongue and actions
may pronounce thy glory. Make him steadfast in thy service grant him
firmness of mind; animate his heart, and strengthen his endeavors; may
he teach thy judgments and thy laws; and may the incense he shall put
before thee, upon thine altar, prove an acceptable sacrifice unto thee.
Bless him, O LORD, and bless the work of his hands. Accept us, in mercy;
hear thou from heaven, thy dwelling-place, and forgive our
Response - " So mote it be"
The Grand High Priest will then cause the High Priest elect to be
invested with his clothing, badges, &c; after which he will address
him as follows:
MOST EXCELLENT: - In consequence of your cheerful acquiescence with
the charges, which you have heard recited, you are qualified for
installation as the High Priest of this Royal Arch Chapter; and it is
incumbent upon me, on this occasion, to point out some of the
particulars appertaining to your office, duty and dignity.
The office of High Priest is a station highly honorable to all those
who diligently perform the important duties annexed to it. By a frequent
recurrence to the constitution and general regulations, and a constant
practice of the several sublime lectures and charges, you will be best
enabled to fulfill those duties; and I am confident that the Companions,
who are chosen to preside with you, will give strength to your
endeavors, and support to your exertions.
mitre, with which you are invested, remind you of the dignity of
the office you sustain, and its inscription impress upon your mind a
sense of your dependence upon GOD; that perfection is not given unto man
upon earth, and that perfect holiness belongeth alone unto the
The breast-plate with which you are decorated, in imitation of
that upon which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes, and worn
by the High Priest of Israel, is to teach you that you are always to
bear in mind your responsibility to the laws and ordinances of the
institution, and that the honor and interests of your Chapter and its
members, should be always near your heart.
The various colors of the robes you wear, are emblematical of
every grace and virtue which can adorn and beautify the human mind; each
of which will be briefly illustrated in the course of the charges to be
delivered to your subordinate officers.
I now deliver into your
hands the Charter under which you are to work; you will receive
it as a sacred deposit, and never permit it to be used for any other
purposes than those expressed in it.
I present you with
the Book of the Law, the great Light in every degree of Masonry.
The doctrines contained in this sacred volume, create in us a belief in
the dispensations of Divine Providence, which belief strengthens our
FAITH, and enables us to ascend the first step of the Grand Masonic
Ladder. This faith naturally produces in us a HOPE of becoming
partakers of the promises expressed in this inestimable gift of GOD to
man; which hope enables us to ascend the second step. But the third and
last being CHARITY, comprehends the former, and will continue to
exert its influence, when Faith shall be lost in sight, and Hope in
I present you with the
Constitution of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter; the Rules
and Regulations of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of this State; and also,
with the By-laws of your Chapter. You will cause all these to be
frequently read and punctually obeyed.
And now, Most Excellent, permit me, in behalf of the Craft here
assembled, to offer you our most sincere congratulations on your
accession to the honorable station you now fill. I doubt not you will
govern with such order and regularity as to convince your Companions
that their partiality has not been misplaced.
Companions of Chapter, -- Behold your High Priest. [They rise and
bow, or, if the Installation be not public, salute him with the honors
of Royal Arch Masonry.] Recollect that the prosperity of your
Chapter will as much depend on your support, assistance and obedience,
as on his assiduity, information and wisdom.
The Marshal of the Chapter will then present the second officer
to the Deputy Grand High Priest, who will present him to the Grand High
Priest. The Grand high Priest will then ask him whether he has attended
to the ancient charges and regulations before recited to his superior
officer; if no answers in the affirmative, he is asked whether he fully and freely assents to the same: if he answers in the
affirmative, the Grand High Priest directs his Deputy to invest him with
his clothing, &c., and then addresses him as follows, viz:
- The important station to which you are elected in this Chapter,
requires from you exemplary conduct; its duties demand your most
assiduous attention; you are to second and support your chief in all the
requirements of his office; and should casualties at any time prevent
his attendance, you are to succeed him in the performance of his duties.
Your badge (the Level, surmounted by a Crown) should
remind you, that although you are the representative of a King, and
exalted by office above your companions, yet that you remain upon a
level with them, as respects your duty to GOD, your neighbor, and
yourself; that you are equally bound with them to be obedient to the
laws and ordinances of the institution, to be charitable, humane and
just, and to seek every occasion of doing good.
Your office teaches a
striking lesson of humility. The institutions of political society teach
us to consider the king as the chief of created beings, and that the
first duty of his subjects is to obey his mandates - but the institutions of our
sublime degrees, by placing the King in a situation subordinate to the High
Priest, teaches us that our duty to GOD is paramount to all other
duties, and should ever claim the priority of our obedience to man; and
that, however strongly we may be bound to obey the laws of civil
society, yet that those laws, to be just, should never intermeddle with
matters of conscience, nor dictate articles of faith.
The Scarlet Robe, an emblem of imperial dignity, should remind
you of the paternal concern you should ever feel for the welfare of your
Chapter, and the fervency and zeal with which you should endeavor to
promote its prosperity.
In presenting to you the Crown, which is an emblem of royalty,
I would remind you that, to reign sovereign in the hearts and affections
of men, must be far more grateful to a generous and benevolent mind than
to rule over their lives and fortunes; and that to enable you to enjoy
this pre-eminence with honor and satisfaction, you must subject your own
passions and prejudices to the dominion of reason and charity.
You are entitled to the second seat in the council of your
companions. Let the bright example of your illustrious predecessor in
the Grand Council at Jerusalem, stimulate you to the faithful discharge
of your duties; and when the King of kings shall summon you into his
immediate presence, from his hand may you receive a crown of
glory, which shall never fade
- The office of Scribe, to which you are elected, is very important and
respectable. In the absence of your superior officers, you are bound to
succeed them and perform their duties. The purposes of the institution
ought never to suffer for want of intelligence in its proper officers;
you will therefore perceive the necessity there is of your possessing
such qualifications as will enable you to accomplish those duties which
are incumbent upon you, in your appropriate station, as well as those
which may occasionally devolve on you by the absence of your
The Purple Robe, with which you are invested, is an emblem of
union, and is calculated to remind you that the harmony and
unanimity of the Chapter should be your constant aim; and to this end
you are studiously to avoid all occasions of giving offence, or
countenancing anything that may create divisions or dissensions. You
are, by all means in your power, to endeavor to establish a permanent
union and good understanding among all orders and degrees of masonry;
and, as the glorious sun, at its meridian height, dispels the mists and
clouds which obscure the horizon, so may your exertions tend to
dissipate the gloom of jealousy and discord whenever they may
Your badge (a Plum-rule, surmounted by a Turban,) is an
emblem of rectitude and vigilance; and while you stand as a watchman
upon the tower, to guard your companions against the approach of those
enemies of human felicity, intemperance and excess, let this
faithful monitor ever remind you to walk uprightly in your station;
admonishing and animating your companions to fidelity and industry while
at labor, and to temperance and moderation while at refreshment. And
when the great Watchman of Israel, whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps,
shall relieve you from your post on earth, may he permit you, in heaven,
to participate in that food and refreshment which is "
"Such as the saints in glory love,
And such as angels eat."
COMPANION: - The
office with which you are entrusted is of high importance, and demands
your most zealous consideration. The preservation of the most essential
traits of our ancient customs usages and landmarks, are within your
province; and it is indispensably necessary that the part assigned to
you, in the immediate practice of our rites and ceremonies, should be
perfectly understood and correctly administered.
Your office corresponds with that of Marshal, or Master of
Ceremonies. You are to superintend
all processions of your Chapter, when moving as a distinct body, either
in public or private; and as the world can only judge of our private
discipline by our public deportment, you will be careful that the utmost
order and decorum be observed on all such occasions. You will ever be
attentive to the commands of your chief, and always near at hand to see
them duly executed. I invest you with the badge of your office, and
presume that you will give to your duties all that study and attention
which their importance demands.
COMPANION: - The
office confided to you, though subordinate in degree, is equal in
importance to any in the Chapter, that of your chief alone excepted.
Your office corresponds with that of Senior-Deacon, in the
preparatory degrees. Among the duties required of you, the preparation
and introduction of candidates are not the least. As in our intercourse
with the world, experience teaches that first impressions are often the
most durable, and the most difficult to eradicate; so it is of great
importance, in all cases, that those impressions should be correct and
just; hence it is essential that the officer, who brings the blind by a
way that they knew not, and leads them in paths that they have not
known, should always be well qualified to
make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight.
Your robe of office is an emblem of humility; and teaches
that, in the prosecution of a laudable undertaking, we should never
decline taking any part that may be assigned us, although it may be the
most difficult or dangerous.
The rose-colored tesselated border, adorning the robe, is an
emblem of ardor and perseverance, and signifies, that when we have
engaged in a virtuous course, notwithstanding all the impediments,
hardships and trials we may be destined to encounter, should endure them
all with fortitude, and ardently persevere unto the end; resting assured
of receiving, at the termination of our labors, a noble and glorious
reward. Your past exertions will be considered as a pledge of your
future assiduity in the faithful discharge of your duties.
COMPANION: - The
well-known duties of your station require but little elucidation. Your
office in the preparatory degrees corresponds with that of Junior
Deacon. It is your province, conjointly with the Captain of the
Host, to attend the examination of all visitors, and to take care that
none are permitted to enter the Chapter but such as have traveled the
rugged path of trial, and evinced their title to
our favor and friendship. You will be attentive to obey the commands of
the Captain of the Host during the introduction of strangers
among the workmen; and should they be permitted to pass your post, may
they, by him, be introduced into the presence of th Grand Council.
The White Banner, intrusted to your care, is emblematical of
that purity of heart and rectitude of conduct, which ought to actuate
all those who pass the white veil of the sanctuary. I give it to you
strongly in charge, never to suffer any one to pass your post without
the Signet of Truth. I present you the badge of your office, in
expectation of your performing your duties with intelligence, assiduity
COMPANION: - I
present you with the Scarlet Banner, which is the ensign of your
office, and with a sword to protect and defend the same. The rich and
beautiful color of your banner is emblematical of fervency and
zeal; it is the appropriate color of the Royal Arch degree. It
admonishes us that we should be fervent in the exercise of our devotions
to GOD, and zealous in our endeavors to promote the happiness of
COMIPANION: - I
invest you with the purple banner, which is the ensign of your
office, and arm you with a sword, to enable you to maintain its honor.
The color of your banner is produced by a due mixture of blue and
scarlet; the former of which is the characteristic color of the
symbolic or first three degrees of masonry, and the latter
that of the Royal Arch degree. It is an emblem of unions, and is
the characteristic color of the intermediate degrees. It admonishes us
to cultivate and improve that spirit of union and harmony, between the
brethren of the symbolic degrees, and the companions of the sublime
degrees, which should ever distinguish the members of a society founded
upon the principles of everlasting truth and universal philanthropy.
COMPANION: - I
invest you with the blue banner, which is the ensign of your
office, and a sword for it: defense and protection. The color of your
banner is one of the most durable and beautiful in nature. Is is the
appropriate color adopted and worn by our ancient brethren of the three
symbolic degrees, and is the peculiar characteristic of an
institution which has stood the test of ages, and which is as much distinguished by the
durability of its materials or principles, as by the beauty of its
This an emblem of universal friendship and benevolence; and instructs
us that in the mind of a Mason those virtues should be as expansive as
the blue arch of heaven itself.
COMPANIONS: - Those who are placed as overseers of any work should
be well qualified to judge of its beauties and deformities, its
excellencies and defects; they should be capable of estimating the
former and amending the latter. This consideration should induce you to
cultivate and improve all those qualifications with which you are
already endowed, as well as to persevere in your endeavors to acquire
those in which you are deficient. Let the various colors of the
banners committed to your charge, admonish you to the exercise of
the several virtues of which they are emblematic; and you are to enjoin
the practice of those virtues upon all who shall present themselves, or
the work of their hands for your inspection. Let no
work receive your approbation but such as is calculated to adorn and
strengthen the masonic edifice. Be industrious and faithful in
practicing and disseminating a knowledge of the true and perfect work, which alone can stand the test
of the Grand Overseer's square, in the great day of trial and
COMPANION: - I with
pleasure invest you with your badge as Secretary of this Chapter. The
qualities which should recommend a Secretary are, promptitude in
issuing the notifications and orders of his superior officers;
punctuality in attending the meetings of the Chapter;
correctness in recording their proceedings; judgment in
discriminating between what is proper and what is improper to
becommitted to writing; regularity in making his annual returns
to the Grand Chapter; integrity in accounting for all moneys that
may pass through his hands; and fidelity in paying the same over
into the hands of the Treasurer. The possession of these good qualities,
I presume, has designated you a suitable candidate for this important
office; and I cannot entertain a doubt that you will discharge its
duties beneficially to the Chapter, and nonorably to yourself. And when
you shall have completed the record of your transactions here below, and
finished the term of your probation, may you be admitted into the celestial
Grand Chapter of saints and angels, and your name recorded in the
book of life eternal.
COMPANION: - You are
elected Treasurer of this Chapter, and I have the pleasure of investing
you with the badge of your office. The qualities which should recommend
a Treasurer, are accuracy and fidelity; accuracy in
keeping a fair and minute account of all receipts and disbursements;
fidelity in carefully preserving all the property and funds of the
Chapter, that may be placed in his hands, and rendering a just account
of the same, whenever he is called upon for that purpose. I presume that
your respect for the institution, your attachment to the interests of
your Chapter, and your regard for a good name, which is better than
precious ointment, will prompt you to the faithful discharge of the
duties of your office.
AND REV. COMPANION: - You are appointed Chaplain of this Chapter; and I
now invest you with this jewel, the badge of your office. It is
emblematical of eternity, and reminds us that here is not our abiding
place. Your inclination will undoubtedly conspire with your duty, when you perform, in the Chapter,
those solemn services which created beings should constantly render to
their infinite CREATOR; and which, when offered by one whose holy
profession is, "to point to heaven and lead the way," may, by refining
our morals, strengthening our virtues, and purifying our minds, prepare
us for admission into the society of those above, whose happiness will
be as endless as it is perfect.
- You being elected Stewards of this Chapter, I with pleasure invest you
with the badges of your office. It is your province to see that every
necessary preparation is made for the convenience and accommodation of
the Chapter, previous to the time appointed for meeting. You are to see
that the clothing, implements and furniture of each degree,
respectively, are properly disposed and in suitable array for use,
whenever they may be required, and that they are secured, and proper
care taken of them, when the business of the Chapter is over. You are to
see that necessary refreshments are provided, and that all your
companions, and particularly visitors, are suitably accommodated and
supplied. You are to be frugal and prudent in your disbursements, and to
be careful that no extravagance or waste is committed in your department; and when you
have faithfully fulfilled your stewardship here below, may you receive
from heaven the happy greeting of "Well done, good and faithful
COMPANION: - You are
appointed Tyler of this Chapter, and I invest you with the badge, and
this implement of your office. As the sword is placed in the hands of
the Tyler, to enable him effectually to guard against the approach of
all cowarns and eaves-droppers, and suffer none to pass or repass
but such as are duly qualified; so it should morally serve as a constant
admonition to us to set a guard at the entrance of our thoughts; to
place a watch at the door of our lips; to post a sentinel at the avenue
of our actions; thereby excluding every unqualified and unworthy
thought, word and deed; and preserving consciences void of offence
toward GOD and toward man.
As the first application from visitors for admission into the Chapter
is generally made to the Tyler at the door, your station will often
present you to the observation of strangers; it is therefore essentially
necessary that he who sustains the office with which you are intrusted,
should be a man of good morals, steady habits, strict discipline,
temperate, affable and discreet. I trust that a just regard for the honor and reputation
of the institution will ever induce you to perform, with fidelity, the
trust reposed in you; and when the door of this earthly tabernacle shall
be closed, may you find an abundant entrance through the gates into the
temple and city of our GOD.
M. E. COMPANION: - Having been honored with the free suffrages of the
members of this Chapter, you are elected to the most important office
which is within their power to bestow. This expression of their esteem
and respect should draw from you corresponding sensations; and your
demeanor should be such as to repay the honor they have so conspicuously
conferred upon you, by an honorable and faithful discharge of the duties
of your office. The station you are called to fill is important, not
only as it respects the correct practice of our rites and ceremonies,
and the internal economy of the Chapter over which you preside; but the
public reputation of the institution will be generally found to rise or
fall according to the skill, fidelity and discretion with which its
concerns are managed, and in proportion as the characters and conduct of
its principal officers are estimable or censurable.
You have accepted a trust, to which is attached a weight of
responsibility, that will require all your efforts to discharge,
honorably to yourself and satisfactorily to the Chapter. You are to see
that your officers are capable and faithful in the exercise of their
offices. Should they lack ability you are expected to supply their
defects; you are to watch carefully the progress of their performances,
and to see that the long-established customs of the institution suffer
no derangement in their hands. You are to have a careful eye over the
general conduct of the Chapter; see that due order and subordination are
observed on all occasions; that the members are properly instructed;
that due solemnity be observed in the practice of our rites; that no
improper levity be permitted at any time, but more especially at the
introduction of strangers among the workmen.
In fine, you are to be an example to your officers and members which
they need not hesitate to follow; thus securing to yourself the favor of
heaven and the applause of your brethren and companions.
ADDRESS TO THE OFFICERS GENERALLY.
COMPANIONS IN OFFICE: - Precept and example should ever advance with
equal pace. Those moral duties which you are required to teach unto
others, you should never neglect to practice yourselves. Do you desire
that the demeanor of your equals and inferiors toward you should be
marked with deference and respect; be sure that you omit no opportunity
of furnishing them with examples in your own conduct towards your
superiors. Do you desire to obtain instruction from those who are more
wise or better informed than yourselves? Be sure that you are always ready
to impart of your knowledge to those within your sphere, who stand in
need of and are entitled to receive it. Do you desire distinction among
your companions? Be sure that your claims to preferment are founded upon
superior attainments; let no ambitious passion be suffered to induce you
to envy or supplant a companion who may be considered as better
qualified for promotion than yourselves; but rather let a laudable
emulation induce you to strive to excel each other in improvement and
discipline; ever remembering, that he who faithfully performs his duty,
even in a subordinate or private station, is as justly entitled to esteem
and respect, as he who is invested with supreme authority.
COMPANIONS: - The exercise and management of the sublime degrees of
Masonry in your Chapter hitherto, are so highly appreciated, and the
good reputation of the Chapter so well established, that I must presume
these considerations alone, were there no others of greater magnitude,
would be sufficient to induce you to preserve and to perpetuate this
valuable and honorable character. But when to this is added the pleasure
which every philanthropic heart must feel in doing good, in promoting
good order; in diffusing light and knowledge; in cultivating Masonic and
Christian charity, which are the great objects of this sublime institution, I cannot doubt
that your future conduct, and that of your successors, will be
calculated still to increase the lustre of your justly esteemed
May your Chapter become beautiful as the TEMPLE,
peaceful as the ARK, and sacred as its most holy
place. May your oblations of piety and praise be
grateful as the INCENSE; your love warm as its
flame, and your charity diffusive as its fragrance. May your
hearts be pure as the ALTAR, and your conduct acceptable
as the OFFERING. May the exercise of your CHARITY be as constant as the
returning wants of the distressed widow and helpless
orphan. May the approbation of Heaven be your encouragement, and
the testimony of a good conscience your support; may you be endowed with
every good and perfect gift, while traveling the rugged path of
life, and finally be admitted within the veil of heaven, to
the full enjoyment of life eternal. So mote it be. Amen.
The officers and members of the Chapter will then pass in review in
front of the grand officers, with their hands crossed on their breasts,
bowing as they pass.
The Grand Marshal will then proclaim the Chapter, by the name of --,
Chapter No. -- to be regularly constituted, and its officers duly
- The ceremonies conclude with an Ode, or appropriate piece of
- The procession is then formed, when they return to the place from
whence they set out.
- When the Grand officers retire, the Chapter will form an avenue for
them to pass through, and salute them with the grand
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