Rituaal voor de verheffing tot Royal Master

Deze engelstalige versie van het rituaal dateert uit 1995. In Nederland wordt een vertaling van dit rituaal gebruikt, die slechts op kleine details afwijkt van deze versie.


Officers of a Council of Royal Masters:

1. Thrice Illustrious Master (T.I.M.);
2. Illustrious Deputy Master (D.M.);
3. Illustrious Principal Conductor of the Work (P.C.W.);
4. Chaplain;
5. Treasurer;
6. Recorder;
7. Director of Ceremonies;
8. Captain of the Guard;
9. Conductor of the Council;
10. Assistant Director of Ceremonies;
11. Organist;
12. Steward;
13. Manciples (not more than four Manciples may be appointed;
14. Sentinel.
 
The first three represent the Grand Masters: Solomon, King of Israel; Hiram, King of Tyre and Hiram Abiff. They wear robes as in the Royal Arch, with collars of their respective offices over their robes. On the pedestals in front of them are placed two lighted candles. There is also a large lighted candle at the right hand of each.
It is necessary for a candidate to be a Select Master before he may be honoured to this Degree.

Form of opening a Council of Royal Masters

T.I.M. gavels once: Companions, assist me to organize a Council of Royal Masters.
All rise.
T.I.M.: Companion Captain of the Guard, ascertain that the Sanctuary is securely guarded.
C. of G.: Companion Steward, see that the Sanctuary is securely guarded.
Stwd. goes to door, opens it and sees that the Sentinel is present. He then closes the door: Companion Captain of the Guard, the Sanctuary is securely guarded.
C. of G.: Thrice Illustrious Master, the Sanctuary is secure.
T.I.M.: Companions, to order as Royal Masters.
All Companions stand to order, give the Sign of a Royal Master, and discharge Sign.
T.I.M.: Companion Captain of the Guard, are you a Royal Master?
C. of G.: I have visited the Sacred Sanctuary and have seen the glory of the Temple.
T.I.M.: How gained you admission?
C. of G.: As the successor and representative of Hiram Abiff I was appointed to the sacred work of finishing the Temple.
T.I.M.: Where were you honoured as a Royal Master?
C. of G.: Within the body of a just and duly constituted Council of Royal Masters.
The Companions place hand on heart for prayer.
Chap.: May our Supreme Benefactor have us in His Holy Keeping; may He ever direct us to such measures as He himself shall approve and be pleased to bless. May our sanctuary be the pride of the worthy, the resort and seat of all moral virtues, the asylum of the oppressed, until the last of time shall bury the empires of the world in ruin.
Omnes: So mote it be. Companions discharge hand on heart.
T.I.M.: I declare this Council of Royal Masters open.
Thrice Illustrious Master gavels *** *** * *, which is repeated by D.M., P.C.W., C. of G., Steward and Sentinel. C. of G. opens V.S.L. at 1 Kings, chapter 7 and adjusts Square and Compasses.
D.C.: Be seated, Companions.
All sit.

Ceremony of Reception

T.I.M.: Companion Captain of the Guard, you will present the candidate.
The C. of G. rises, salutes and retires from the Council. Outside he hands to the Can. a golden bowl. He then conducts Can. into the Council, without any alarm, and presents him to the P.C.W. in the East.
C. of G.: Grand Master Hiram Abiff, I have here a piece of work for your inspection. Instructs Can. to hand bowl to P.C.W.
P.C.W. receives and holds bowl: This is a beautiful piece of workmanship and the Companion who wrought it is worthy of the confidence of the Craft and shall in due time receive his reward.
C. of G. conducts Can. to the South-East and both stand, facing North.
P.C.W., examining the other vessels on his table, repeats 1 Kings, chap. 7, v. 48-50: "And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the Lord; the altar of gold, and the table of gold whereupon the shewbread was; and the candle-sticks of pure gold, five on the right side and five on the left, before the oracle; with the flowers and the lamps and the tongs of gold; and the bowls and the snuffers, and the basons and the spoons, and the censers of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the Most Holy Place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the Temple." Yes, the Holy vessels for the Sacred Sanctuary are nearly all completed, and I shall soon return to my native land to end my days in peace.
T.I.M. gavels once: Illustrious Principal Conductor of the Work, what is the hour?
P.C.W.: High twelve, Thrice Illustrious Master.
T.I.M.: Let the Companions cease labour and go to refreshment.
P.C.W. gavels once: Companions, it is the order of the Thrice Illustrious Master that you be called from labour to refreshment. Take due notice thereof and govern yourselves accordingly.
All rise and form a circle round the Ark of the Covenant, leaving an opening at the South. The C. of C. takes up a position at the West of the circle.
P.C.W. leaves his seat, passes through the circle at the South and stands before the Ark of the Covenant, facing East. When P.C.W. is in position, the C. of G. will conduct Can. to the South where they join circle, still leaving a gap to represent the South gate.
C. of G.: It is the custom of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff, at high twelve, to enter the Sacred Sanctuary to offer up his devotions to the Deity. Behold him at his devotions.
P.C.W., repeats Proverbs 30, v. 8 and 9: "Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me; lest I be full and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord?; or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of God in vain."
P.C.W. walks around the Ark of the Covenant by the North and East, to the opening in the South.
C. of G., during this movement: Our Grand Master having finished his devotions, let us await his return at the South gate.
C. of G. when P.C.W. arrives at the South gate: Grand Master Hiram Abiff, when shall I receive the Master Word?
P.C.W.: My worthy Companion Adoniram, I do not know if you will ever receive it, for according to an agreement entered into between Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and myself, the word cannot be given until the Temple has been completed, and then only in the presence and with the assistance of all three.
P.C.W. attempts to pass onward, but is again interrupted by C. of G.
C. of G.: But, Grand Master Hiram Abiff suppose that one of those three, even you yourself, should be removed by death. How should I receive it then?
P.C.W. takes Can. by the right arm and conducts him into the circle. C. of G. remains as part of the circle. P.C.W. pauses and meditates; then taking the Can. by the right arm slowly walks him round the inside of the circle: Companion Adoniram, death is a subject which admits of no levity when mentioned by mortal man. The young may die, the old must die, and the wisest knoweth not how soon.
None can escape that inexorable doom. The youngest entered apprentice upon the chequered pavement below dwells ever in the shadow of death; while the invisible hand extends equally over King Solomon on his ivory throne. We walk upon the ashes of generations who have gone the way before us, to which our ashes must in turn contribute, and our bodies crumble into dust. The very air we breathe is but the sighing of spirits once mortal, now clothed in immortality. It is not for me, Companion Adoniram, to hope to escape the common doom of man, but when I die halts in the West, faces East, gives three taps with his right foot, points downwards with his right forefinger the Word will be buried there.
P.C.W. pauses and then continues walking round with the Can.: Companion Adoniram, death terminates the labours of a man. Henceforth generations may build and occupy, but he will not be there. The thoughtful brain, the skilful hand, the sinewy arm are alike useless and superfluous in the grave, where there is neither work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom.
The most gifted of mortal kings thus meditates repeats Eccles. 9, v. 5 and 6: "The dead know not anything: their love, their hatred, their malice, their envy, is forgotten! Neither have they, henceforth, a portion in anything that is done under the sun.
What an incentive is this to an industrious use of our faculties, that we should labour diligently to complete that inner temple for God's eternal praise, and finish our task ere the Sabbath of eternity sets in; and be ready to sleep in peace, as the night cometh when no man can work. My work, Companion Adoniram, is not finished, though I have laboured faithfully and long; but when I die halts in the West, faces East, gives three taps with his right foot, points downwards with his right forefinger the Word will be buried there.
P.C.W. again pauses, and then continues walking round with Can., for the third time. Companion Adoniram, it is through the gate of death that we enter into a place of refreshment and rest, and receive the rewards of our labours. The supreme Master of the Universe, before whom we bow in humble adoration, and whose all-seeing eye has marked our labours in the Lodge below, promises to spread before us in that Sublime Lodge above all the joys and glories of an Eternal Sabbath. After the strong hand of death has levelled all in the humiliation of the grave, the Almighty hand of the Supreme Master will prevail, and exalt every Brother to the glorious companionship of that undissolving Lodge. There the designs upon the trestle board will be seen completed. There the adoration of the twelfth hour will be the everlasting joy. There the noontide of bliss will eternally shine. And there the scales of doubt and darkness will fall from our eyes, and the wise purposes of the Divine Architect will be displayed in all their splendour. With this light of faith beaming upon me, I can say "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" My hope, Companion Adoniram, rests in that Higher Lodge to which I am advancing; but when I die halts in the West, faces East, gives three taps with his right foot, points downwards with his right forefinger the Word will be buried there.
C. of C. takes up a position immediately behind Can. P.C.W. again pauses and meditates. Then, suddenly as if remembering what he has said, in great anguish he continues: Ah!! What have I said, what done? More than I ought, I fear. Still, I rely on your secrecy and fidelity as a Craftsman. Assure me that my trust will not be in vain.
Can., prompted by C. of C.: I assure you.
P.C.W.: Then I am content.
C. of C. takes charge of Can. P.C.W. walks round the Ark of the Covenant by North and East, leaves circle by the South gate, and returns to his seat in the East.
T.I.M. gavels once: Illustrious Principal Conductor of the Work, what is the hour?
P.C.W.: One hour past high twelve.
T.I.M.: Let the Companions cease refreshment and resume labour.
P.C.W. gavels once: Companions, it is the command of the Thrice Illustrious Master that you be called from refreshment to labour. Take due notice thereof and govern yourselves accordingly.
C. of C. to Can.: The Companions being called from refreshment to labour we will repair to the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredatha, and there resume work. C.of C. conducts Can. out of Council.
D.C.: Be seated, Companions. All sit.
P.C.W. will leave his seat. The seat will be left vacant and on it will be placed the robe and collar of P.C.W.. The lights on the pedestal and the large candle will be extinguished. A black drape should be placed on the column.
When the Council is ready, C. of G. will open door and tell C. of C. that he and Can. may now enter.
C. of C. will escort Can. into the Council, without any alarm. They will advance to the East, and stand in front of the pedestal of T.I.M.
C. of C. to Can.: Salute the Thrice Illustrious Master as a Select Master. Done; T.I.M. will acknowledge by giving the knocks of that Degree.
T.I.M.: Companion Conductor of the Council, you will conduct the Candidate to the Captain of the Guard in the West, who will instruct him how to advance to the pedestal.
C. of C. conducts Can. by the South to the North of C. of G. in the West. Both face West.
C. of C.: Companion Captain of the Guard, it is the Thrice Illustrious Master's command that you instruct the Candidate how to advance to the pedestal.
C. of G. takes charge of Can., and both face East. C. of C. remains standing in the West, facing East.
C. of G.: The method of advancing in this Degree is by five steps bringing the heels together, forming two sides of an equilateral triangle.
Can., prompted by C. of G. advances to the pedestal.
C. of G.: You will kneel on both knees and place both hands on the V.S.L. Done
C. of C. takes charge of Can.; C. of G. returns to station.
T.I.M.: You are again kneeling at the sacred pedestal of Freemasonry and are about to take the solemn obligation of a Royal Master. Are you willing solemnly to promise that you will not communicate the secrets of this Degree to anyone except a Royal Master?
Can.: I do.
T.I.M. gavels once, leaves his chair and stands in front of the pedestal, facing West. All stand, with hand on heart.: State your several names at length and say after me:
I, , of my own free will and accord in the presence of the Supreme Architect of the Universe and this Council of Royal Masters, do hereby and hereon most sincerely and solemnly promise never to reveal the secrets of this Degree to anyone in the world except to a true and lawful Companion Royal master, or within a regularly constituted Council of Royal Masters. This I swear to observe on my honour as a Select Master. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in this my solemn obligation of a Royal Master.
In token of your sincerity, you will seal this with your lips twice on the Volume of Sacred Law. Done
All discharge hand on heart.
T.I.M. takes Can. by the right hand: Rise duly obligated Royal master.
D.C.: Be seated, Companions
All sit, T.I.M. moves Can. slightly to the South, clear of the pedestal.
T.I.M. to Can.: Companion, I will now instruct you in the secrets of this Degree. This is the Sign of a Royal Master demonstrates; the Sign is given by placing both hands, fingertips touching, above the head. It alludes to the traditional penalty, contained in the former obligation that you would be buried alive rather than unlawfully disclose the secrets of this Degree.
This Sign is to be given on entering or retiring from a Council of Royal Masters, or when addressing the Thrice Illustrious Master.
C. of C. hands a gavel or another article to T.I.M.
T.I.M.: The Sign of Recognition is given by taking any particle in the hand, giving three taps with the foot and passing it to whom you wish to test saying: "Do you know anything about this?"
T.I.M. hands article to C. of C.
C. of C.: I do, I know the beginning. What do you know about it?
T.I.M.: I know the end. What is the beginning?
C. of C.: Alpha. What is the end?
T.I.M.: Omega.
C. of C.: The first.
T.I.M.: The last.
C. of C.: The beginning
T.I.M.: The end.
C. of C.: Ambat Zaphan underground
T.I.M.: Royal Master, thou art found.
T.I.M. repeats Rev. 22 v. 12 to 14: "And behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be; I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city"
In the communication of the grip, T.I.M. represents Solomon, King of Israel, and the Can. Hiram, King of Tyre.
The Grip or Token is known as the broken Triangle and the origin of this grip is as follows. Solomon, King of Israel, and Hiram, King of Tyre, meeting in the Sacred Sanctuary shortly after the death of Hiram Abiff, involuntarily placed themselves in the position to give the grip This is the Royal Arch Grip. Both stand to order as R.A. Masons and place their feet to form two sides of a triangle. But quickly realizing that one of their number was missing, they immediately placed their left hand on each other's right shoulder and King Solomon pointing downwards, asked: "What do you see there?" To which Hiram, King of Tyre, replied: "A broken Triangle." Can. repeats "A broken Triangle." Then stepping backwards and throwing up their arms, King Solomon exclaimed "Alas", and Hiram, King of Tyre, exclaimed "Poor Hiram". Can repeats "Poor Hiram".
This, then is the grip of a Royal Master and the words are Alas, Poor Hiram. Can. repeats "Alas, Poor Hiram".
T.I.M. returns to his chair. C. of C. conducts Can. to the South-East, and both stand facing North.
T.I.M.: This Degree originated in consequence of a conversation between our Grand Master Hiram Abiff and Adoniram, just before the death of the former. After the Sacred Sanctuary had been completed and a portion of the furniture deposited therein, Adoniram, on a certain day near high twelve, went there to deposit one of the holy vessels. At high twelve, when the craft was called from labour to refreshment, Adoniram did not retire but lingered behind with Hiram Abiff, whose custom it was at that hour to enter the Sacred Sanctuary and offer his devotions to the Deity, and then draw designs upon the trestle board. After the rest of the craftsmen had retired, Adoniram asked Hiram Abiff when he would receive the Master Word, and Hiram Abiff answered in the manner which has already been explained to you. This conversation having been related to King Solomon by Adoniram the Word was deposited where it was found in the Royal Arch.
Following the death of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff it was first supposed that the Master Word was lost. Having been informed by Adoniram that it was Hiram Abiff's wish that, in case of his death, the Master Word should be deposited beneath the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies of the Temple, our two remaining Grand Masters agreed to deposit ot in the ninth Arch of the Secret Vault, on top of the Ark of the Covenant, in a triangular form and in three languages, Syrian, Chaldaean and Egyptian, so that if the children of Israel should ever be carried into captivity and remain so long as to forget their mother tongue, yet in their return it might, if found, be restored by means of the other languages.
And that it might, when found, be known and distinguished as the Master Word, they placed on the top of the Ark of the Covenant, the three Grand Master's jewels, inscribed one in each language knowing that the descriptions thereof would be handed down to latest posterity.
Thus was preserved and brought to light the long lost Master Word, which Masonic tradition informs us, was first communicated by God in the burning bush to Moses, and remained in use for nearly 500 years. It was then lost at the death of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff and lay buried in darkness for 470 years; when at the building of the second Temple, through the merits of Zerubbabel, Haggai and Joshua, it was again restored to the Craft, in whose possession we trust it will for ever remain.
The furniture of the Sanctum Sanctorum included many holy vessels made of pure gold, but the most important was the Ark of the Covenant, called the glory of Israel, which stood in the middle of the Most Holy place under the wings of the Cherubim.
It was a small chest or coffer, 2 cubits and a half in length and 1 cubit and a half in width and depth. It was made of wood, excepting only the mercy seat, and overlaid with gold both inside and out. It had a ledge of gold surrounding it at the top, into which was let the cover called the mercy seat. The mercy seat was of solid gold, the thickness of a hand's breadth; at the ends were two Cherubim looking inward towards each other, with their wings expanded which, embracing the whole circumference of the mercy seat, met in the middle on each side. All the rabbis say it was made out of the same mass without any soldering of parts. Here the Shekinah or Divine Presence rested and was visible in the appearance of a cloud over it. Hence the Bath-Kol issued and gave answers when God was consulted. And here it was that God was said in the Scriptures to dwell between the Cherubim, that is between the Cherubim on the mercy seat, because there was the seat or throne of the visible presence of His glory amongst them.
T.I.M. offers congratulations to Can.: You are now entitled to take your seat in a Council of Royal Masters.
C. of C. leads Can. to his seat.

Form of closing a Council of Royal Masters

T.I.M. gavels once: Companions, assist me to close this Council of Royal masters.
All rise.
T.I.M.: Companion Captain of the Guard, ascertain that the Sanctuary is securely guarded.
C. of G.: Companion Steward, see that the Sanctuary is securely guarded.
Steward goes to door and knocks *** *** * *
Sentinel responds *** *** * *.
Stwd.: Companion Captain of the Guard, the Sanctuary is securely guarded.
C. of G.: Thrice Illustrious Master, the Sanctuary is secure.
Companions place right hand on heart for prayer.
Chap.: Let Brotherly Love continue; and may God of Peace and Love be with us always.
Omnes: So mote it be.
All Companions discharge hand on heart.
T.I.M.: I declare this Council of Royal Masters closed. Gavels *** *** * *, repeated by D.M. and C. of G.
Steward goes to door and knocks *** *** * *.
Sentinel responds *** *** * *.
C. of G. closes V.S.L. and replaces Square and Compasses.
D.C.: Be seated, Companions.


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