Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
4. Secret Master
5. Perfect Master
6. Intimate Secretary
7. Provost and Judge
8. Intendant of Buildings
9. Master Elect of Nine
10. Master Elect of Fifteen
11. Sublime Master Elected
12. Grand Master Architect
13. Royal Arch of Enoch
14. Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Master Mason
15. Knight of the East or Sword
16. Prince of Jerusalem
17. Knights of the East and West
18. Knight of the Rose-Croix de Heredom
19. Grand Pontiff
20. Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges
21. Noachite or Prussian Knight
22. Knight of the Royal Axe
23. Chief of the Tabernacle
24. Prince of the Tabernacle
25. Knight of the Brazen Serpent
26. Prince of Mercy
27 Commander of the Temple
28. Knight of the Sun
29. Knight of St Andrew, or Patriarch of the Crusades
30. Knight Kadosh
31. Grand Inspector Commander
32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
The Fifth Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite, and the Second Degree of the Ineffable Series
The solemn ceremonies of the degree of Perfect Master, are
intended to represent and recall to mind the grateful tribute of
respect we owe to the memory of a departed worthy brother. The
examination of the mausoleum, its pronouncement of being perfect, and
the advantages we should derive in inculcating the virtues of the
deceased are vividly depicted and impressed upon the initiate.
Our Ancient Brethren, whelmed in grief, Lamented their departed
Chief, Let us his pupils long revere, A name to Masonry so dear. Just
Hiram Abif, Just Hiram Abif.
In mystic rites our Lodge displays Its sorrows and its fadeless
praise. Long may the sweet acacia bloom, And garlands fresh adorn the
tomb Of Hiram Abif, Of Hiram Abif.
look West, its splendors fall, The lesser lights grow dim and pale,
The glory once reflected there, Now dawns upon a higher sphere. Blest
Hiram Abif, Blest Hiram Abif.
is hung with green cloth from eight white columns, four on each side,
and equidistant. An altar, draped in black, strewed with tears, is
placed in the East at the foot of the throne. In front of the altar
is a coffin, draped in black, resting on a bier, with the jewel and
apron of Grand Master Hiram Abif. Four lights are placed at each of
the cardinal points. Marks of blood are in the northeast section of
the Lodge. The star in the interlaced triangle of the Secret Master's
degree is changed from white to red, so as to throw a lurid light.
Senior Grand Warden is the Master, and represents Adoniram. He is
styled Right Worshipful, or Respectable Master, and is clothed as a
Prince of Jerusalem. He is seated in the East.
Junior Grand Warden is seated in the West, represents Zabud, and is
styled Grand Inspector. He wears a black robe and cap, together with
the order and jewel of a Prince of Jerusalem.
Captain of the Guard represents Zerbal, Captain of King Solomon's
Guards, and is dressed as a Perfect Master.
Master of Ceremonies represents Stolkin, and is dressed as a Secret
and hood drawn over the head-apron, collar, jewel, and white gloves,
bordered with black.
White, with a green flap; on the centre is a cubic stone, surrounded
by three circles, with the Hebrew letter I in the centre.
Collar - A
watered green ribbon, at the end of which is suspended the jewel.
Jewel - A
compass open on a segment of a graduated circle at an angle of sixty
**** denotes life, death, virtue, and immortality.
That we should learn to pay due respect to the memory of a deceased
The following ode is sung by the Brethren as the Candidate is
Come, ye sighing sons of sorrow, view with me your brother's tomb;
Learn from it your fate-to-morrow, death perhaps may seal your
Sad and solemn flow our numbers, while disconsolate we mourn
The loss of him who sweetly slumbers, mouldering neath the silent
Once, when full of life, he never proved unfaithful to our laws;
Zealous, like him, be we ever, to promote the glorious cause.
To the exalted power Almighty, softly breathe an ardent prayer
On his sacred mound tread lightly, while we wipe the falling tear.
O Almighty and Eternal God, there is no number of thy days or of
thy mercies. Thou hast sent us into this world to serve thee, but we
wander far from thee in the
path of error. Our life is but a span in length, and yet tedious,
because of the calamities that enclose us on every side. The days of
our pilgrimage are few and evil; our bodies frail; our passions
violent and distempered; our understandings weak, and our wills
perverse. Look thou upon us, our Father, in mercy and pity. We adore
thy majesty, and trust like little children to thine infinite
mercies. Give us patience to live well, and firmness to resist evil,
even as our departed brother resisted. Give us, O most merciful
Father, faith and confidence in thee; and enable us so to live, that
when we come to die we may lie down in the grave like one who
composes himself to sleep, and that we may be worthy hereafter to be
remembered in the memories of man. Bless us, O God. bless our beloved
fraternity throughout the world: may we live and emulate the example
of our departed brother; and finally, that we may in this world
attain a knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come, life
Death regards not those sweet engagements and pleasing
intercourses, and those improving joys which are known to Freemasons.
Death summons away, in the midst of his day and usefulness, many a
beloved brother of our craft. We behold his sun at meridian, and
rejoice at its brightness; but alas it soon sets, and the evening
shades of existence close around him forever.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil
days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no
pleasure in them; while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the
stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain. In the
day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men
shall bow themselves and the grinders cease because they are few, and
those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall
be shut in the streets when the sound of the grinding is low, and he
shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of
music shall be brought low. Also when they shall be afraid of that
which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond-tree
shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire
shall fail: because man goeth to his long-home, and the mourners go
about the streets: or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden
bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the
wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth
as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
This ceremony was orginially established to commemorate the death
of our Grand Master Hiram Abif, whose labours at the building of the
first Temple, and whose tragical. death, furnish so much of the
mystical knowledge of Ancient Craft Masonry. It is retained by us
that it may be improved as a lesson both useful and instructive. Let
us look forward to brighter scenes, when our deceased brother, who
had been smitten down by the resistless hand of death, shall be
raised from his prostrate state at the word of our Supreme Grand
Master, and admitted to the privilege of the Perfect Lodge above.
Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Master, who
presides, represents the noble Adoniram, the son of Abda, of the
tribe of Dan, who conducted the works of the Temple, before the
arrival of Hiram Abif at Jerusalem. Afterwards, he was sent to Mount
Lebanon, to inspect the work that was there carrying on for the use
of the Temple.
recalled on the death of Hiram Abiff, and had the honour of being the
first of the seven that were substituted in his stead. He is
decorated with the orders of the degree of perfection, and those of
Prince of Jerusalem.
He sits in
Solomon's chair under a canopy, holding a setting maul. There is but
one warden, who represents Stolkin. He is ornamented with a jewel of
perfection, and sits in the west, holding a mallet. He does the duty
of Inspector. The master of the ceremonies represents Zerbel or
Beneia, Captain of King Solomon's Guards. He is decorated with a
green ribbon round his neck, in the form of a collar, to which is
hung a pair of compasses, the points of which form an angle of ninety
degrees; which is the jewel of this degiec. His apron is white, lined
with green, and he carries a naked sword in his hand. All the
brethren are decorated in the same manner with Zerbel, with a similar
collar, jewel, and apron; the flaps of the apron down, and the jewel
embroidered or painted thereon.
middle of the apartment are painted four circles on a square
stone, with the letter I in the centre ; the outer circle enclosing
the other three.
Opening the Lodge.
P. I. R. W. M. Brother Inspector Stolkin, is the lodge tiled,
and are we all Perfect Masters?
Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Master, it
is, and we are all Perfect Masters.
P. I. R. W. M. If so, give notice
that I am about to open the lodge of Perfect Masters.
Respectable brethren, the Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable,
and Worshipful Master gives you notice that he is about to open the
lodge of Perfect Masters.
As a call
to order, the Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and
Worshipful Master knocks four times; the Inspector does the same ;
and the same is done by one brother in the south, and another in the
north. Then all the brethren make the sign of admiration, with their
eyes lifted up to heaven, their arms extended, and hands open. Then,
looking down upon the earth, they cross their arms upon their bellies
and exclaim alltogether - CONSUMMATUM EST.
P. I. R. W. M. Brother Stolkin,
what is the clock?
It is four.
P. I. R. W. M. If so, it is time for the workmen to begin
their labour. Give notice that the lodge of Perfect Masters is opened
Inspector gives this notice, and the work begins.
Reception or Passing
candidate or secret Master being in the preparing room, decorated as
such, the master of the ceremonies moves from his seat in solemn
silence, and striking the Inspector four times on the right shoulder,
thus addresses him:- Venerable Brother Inspector, Brother N---, a
secret Master is in the antechamber, and solicits the favour of being
admitted a Perfect Master.
Inspector then reports him to the chair, on which the Thrice
Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Master asks :-Is
he deserving this honour, and do you answer for his zeal, fervour,
Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful
Master, I do.
P. I. R. W. M. Let him then be instructed in the usual manner.
Inspector orders the master of the ceremonies to introduce the
candidate, who is to be first examined in the former degrees. He is
also divested of his sword and everything offensive. A green silk
cord is thrown round his neck, both ends of which are held by the
master of the ceremonies in his left hand, with a naked sword in his
right. He is thus led to the door of the lodge, on which the master
of the ceremonies strikes four times. The Inspector inside repeats
four knocks, and informs the lodge that somebody knocks as Perfect
Master. The Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable and Worshipful
Master orders the Inspector to inquire who knocks. The Inspector
orders the Tiler to open the door cautiously, and to inquire who it
is. The Tiler obeys, and is anwered by Zerbal, that Brother N----, a
secret Master, is desirous of being admitted to the honours of a
Perfect Master. The Tiler then shuts the door, and reports the
candidate's request to the Inspector, who communicates it to the
Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Master, who
orders the candidate to be introduced. The door is opened, and he is
led to the south side, near the tomb, having the sign of a secret
Master on him. The Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and
Worshipful Master, seeing him in that attitude thus addresses him
you desire, my brother?
The favour of being received a perfect Master.
P. I. R. W. M. Brother Inspector, teach the brother to travel.
Inspector leads him by the green silk cord from the south passing by
the west, four times round the lodge. At each angle he gives the
different signs, from the apprentice upward, and does the same every
time he passes the Master. After which, he is carried to the tomb,
which he is made to cross saltier (by a leap). He is then led up to
the altar, with his right knee a little bent, having still the sign
of a secret Master on him. After a short pause the Thrice Puissant,
Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Master bids him advanee,
kneel, and lay his hand on the Bible, to take the obligation. The
penalty of which is dishonour, in addition to all former obligations
Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Master takes one
end of the cord that is round the canidate's neck and draws it off,
saying : my dear brother, I draw you from your vicious life, and by
the virtue of the power which I have received from the most
illustrious of Kings, I raise you to the dignity of a Perfect Master,
on condition that you fulfil and faithfully observe every thing that
is prescribed by our bye-laws. This the candidate promises to do.
sign of this degree is a sign of admiration. Extend your arms, open
your hands and look towards heaven. Then let your hands fall, and
cross them on your belly as low as you can, with your eyes looking
mournfully towards the earth.
sign is, to bring the toes of your right foot reciprocally to each
other, until your knees touch. Lay your hand on your heart, and then
draw it across your breast, forming a square with your elbow.
The third sign is, to clench each other's wrist, like the Masters:
carry your left hand between each other's shoulders, and press four
times hard with the fingers on the back, when you give the Master's
word, which is M.: B.:. Then, interlace the four fingers. of your
right hand with the thumbs upright passing against each other and
forming a square.
Traditional History First Version
Solomon, having been informed that the body of Hirain Abif was found
and already deposited on the outside of the temple, towards the
north, near to a well, in which his Jewel had been found, was happy
to have the poor consolation of finding the precious remains of so
great a man. He gave orders and strict charge to his Grand Inspector,
the noble Adoniram, that the funeral obsequies should be as pompous
and magnificent as for the king himself. He likewise ordered that all
the brethren should attend it with white aprons and gloves and
strictly forbad that the bloody stains should be washed away, until
he had wreaked his vengeance on the perpetrators of the horrid deed.
The noble Adoniram chief of the works of the temple, soon finished a
plan for a beautiful monument, which was erected and finished in nine
days. It was made of black and white marble. The heart of Hiram Abif
was enclosed in an urn, and exposed for nine days on the three steps
of the sanctum sanctorum, previous to the finishing of the temple,
and then placed on the top of a beautiful obelisk, which was built on
the side of the temple, at the west door, a little to the north, in
order to mark out the place where the murderers had first deposited
him in a pit, before they removed him to the place where Stolkin
found him under the sprig of Cassia. The heart of the excellent Hiram
Abif was then exposed to public view in the urn with a sword run
through it. The brethren came to express their grief on the occasion,
kneeling on the first step which led to the sanctum sanctorum. At the
expiration of nine days, the heart was deposited on the obelisk, and
covered with a triangular stone, on which was engraved, in Hebrew,
the characters I. M. R The I is the initial letter of the ancient
master's word, and M. B. are initials of the new word. A sprig of
Cassia was entraved over the I.
After this, Solomon had all the triangular medals taken from the
Masters, and the Master's word changed to that now given in the third
degree. The body of the respectable Hiram Abif was buried in middle
of the great chamber, separated from the temple, with all the honours
due to so great a man. It was in this chamber that Solomon used to
hold his chapter, and confer with Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram
Abiff, on the sacred mysteries. Three days after the ceremonies were
over, Solomon, surrounded by all his court, went to the Temple, and
all the workmen were placed in the same order as on the day of the
funeral. The king offered up a prayer to the Almighty, then examined
the tomb, the canopy, the repeated triangle, and the letters which
were engraved thereon. He also examined the pyramid, and finding
everything perfectly executed, he cried, in ecstasy. CONSUMMATUM EST.
All the brethren answered with the sign of admiration, and said,
Amen, amen, amen.
Traditional History Second Version
G.: O.: Some time after the death of
our Grand Master Hiram Abiff, King Solomon was informed that the body
The perpetrators of the horrid deed were not at this time
discovered, and it was not certain but that they might have the
hardihood and effrontery to mingle with the brethren, and seem to
join in the general grief, in order to better conceal their guilt and
prevent suspicion. In order to ascertain the truth of the matter,
King Solomon caused a general muster of all the workmen to be made.
Happy to have the poor consciousness of having found the
precious remains of so great and so good a man as Hiram Abif, and
having an opportunity of paying a just tribute of respect to his
memory, he ordered the noble Adoniram, his Grand Inspector, to make
suitable arrangements for his interment. The brethren were directed
to attend with white gloves and aprons, and he forbade the marks of
blood which had been spilled in the Temple to be effaced until the
traitors should be discovered and punished.
In the meanwhile, he directed the noble Adoniram to furnish a plan
for a superb tomb or obelisk, of white and black marble, which plan
was accepted and the work finished.
Three days after the funeral ceremonies had been performed, King
Solomon repaired with his Court to the Temple, and all the brethren
being arranged as at the funeral, he proceeded with his brethren to
see and examine the tomb and obelisk, with the inscription there on.
Struck with astonishment and admiration, he raised his eyes and hands
to heaven and exclaimed "It is accomplished and complete!
Q. Are you
a perfect Master ?
A. I have
seen the circle and the square enclosing the two columns.
were they placed
A. On the
place where was deposited the body of our Master Hiram Abif.
Q. What do
the columns represent?
columns of Jachin and Boaz, through which I must have passed to
arrive at the degree of Perfect Master.
could Solomon mean by establishing this degree ?
A. He did it in honour of Hiram Abif, in order to imprint on the
minds of the people an unaffeeted love and respect for his memory,
and to incite in them a desire to find out his murderers ; for, at
this time, it was not known of the murderers' audaciousness to mix
themselves with the brethren, and to partake in the general
expressions of consternation and grief in order to conceal their
guilt, and prevent suspicion. Solomon, to ascertain this ordered a
general muster of all the workmen, and found that they all answered
to their names excepting the ruffians who had run away. He therefore
ordered the noble Adoniram to build an elegant monument for him, at
the westsouth-west part of the temple, that there the body should be
privately interred, and no brother admitted to the knowledge it, who
was not a secret master. The body was also privately embalmed and
some time after removed to another apartment separated from the
temple, where the King held the chapter.
of that great man, after being exposed nine days, on the third step
of sanctum sanctorum, and having received the homage of the brethren
who knelt on the first step, was then deposited in the urn, and fixed
on the top of the obelisk, with a sword pierced through it, implying
that such an atrocious deed had cried aloud for public vengeance.
Q. What instructions have you received from the different degrees
through which you have passed?
A. By them
I have learned to regulate my morals, cleanse my heart from all
stain, in order to qualify myself for the high desire of perfection,
at which I hope some day arrive.
does the square stone in the middle of the circle mean?
teaches us, that the foundation of our building must be laid on a
living rock, of which we are originally formed.
what are the circles ?
are an emblem of the Divinity, which hath neither beginning nor end.
Q. What do
they altogether represent?
creation of the universe, which was accomplished by the will of God,
and the power which he gave to the primitive qualities,
Q. What do
you mean by primitive qualities?
A. I mean
heat, cold, and moisture, from the combination of which the four
came they to be mentioned here?
order to remind us, that God is everywhere, that without the divine
influence, no solid building can raised.
does the letter I, in the middle of the square signify?
A. It is
the initial letter of the Perfect Master's word.
you pronounce it?
does it mean?
A. It is the name by which I know the Grand Architect of the
have you been received Perfect Master?
A. By a
point to my heart and a rope round my neck.
Q. Why a point to your heart 7
A. In memory that I have consented that my heart should be plucked
Q. Why had
you a rope round your neck ?
teach me that by this humbling power, I must not pride myself in the
progress which I make in Masonry and virtue.
many signs have you?
A. One by
Q. Why one
by five ?
A. To call
to my memory the degrees through which I have passed.
many tokens have you?
A. One by
five, which reminds me of my five points of entrance.
four rounds about the Temple, and the fifth, the sign of admiration.
does the tomb represent, which you perceived when you entered the
burial of our respectful Master Abif, in the valley.
Q. Why is
it placed at the north part of the sanctuary ?
teach us, that a man must divest himself of all worldly care, to be
qualified to enter the sanctum sanctorum.
Q. What is
the meaning of the rope that comes from the coffin in the north, goes
by the obelisk in the south, and binds the columns together which are
fixed crossways ?
represents the rope which the brethren made to draw up the body, and
afterwards to let down the coffin. That rope was made of green and
Q. Does it
signify anything else?
further signifies, that we have broken through the darkness of sin.
have you done in entering the lodge ?
A. I came
to the altar, working as an Entered Apprentice. Fellow-Craft, and
Master, to cross the two columns.
Q. Why so?
remind me, that it was by the means of having passed through those
degrees, that I have obtained the honour of being made a Perfect
there no mystery couched under this explanation?
teaches us that we cannot arrive at the sanctum santorum by any other
method than by a purity of morals, an attitude of intention and
secrecy, which are to be learnt in the first degree.
Q. Why did
you enter the sanctum sanctorum by the side?
A. That I
might learn by it to avoid the common way of mankind.
Q. What is
imprint on my mind that, being dead to sin, I expect to gain new life
by practice of virtue, and to make a progress by these means in the
sublime science, which I hope some day to be acquainted with, by
arriving at the highest degree.
Q. Who can
communicate them to you ?
alone, whose knowledge is infinite.
Q. What do
the two pyramids on your draft represent, one being in the south and
the other in the north, and what signify the figures on them ?
A. The two
pyramids represent Egypt, where the sciences were much cultivated,
and whence some had their origin. On the South pyramid is drawn the
meteor which guided the Master, in search of the body of Hiram Abif ;
and on the North pyramid, the Perfect Master Mason's Jewel is
does the Perfect Master Mason's Jewel signify?
A. It puts
us in mind, that as Perfect Masters, we should act according to the
strict rules of propriety, caution, and attention, in the whole tenor
of our proceedings through life.
was the name of the Master of the Apprentices?
name was Boaz, and to him Solomon did the honour, of calling the
column on the left side of the Temple after him.
Q. Who was the Master of the Fellow-Craft?
name was Jachin, a man much esteemed and respected by Solomon, who
did him the honour of calling right hand pillar after his name, and
at which place he paid the Crafts their wages.
was the name of the Master of the Masters?
name was Mahabone or Macbenach, a very virtuous man, held in the
highest esteem by Solomon and one of the first intendants of the
building. He was also the intimate friend of Hiram. Abif, which
induced Solomon to send him in search of the body of his deceased
friend, when every former attempt to find it had proved ineffectual.
Solomon ordered him to go, and requested three things of him ? First,
that he should bring back that respectable man's jewel ; second, that
he should bring with him that ever-to-be-lamented man, dead or alive;
and third, that he should discover the perpetrators of that horrid
Macbenach comply with these three orders ?
fifteen others, who were chosen to attend him on this search, he
first went to the Temple, where, seeing the blood that had been spilt
in many parts, he traced it to a well in the north part of the
Temple, whence he concluded, that Hiram Abif had been killed and
thrown into this well. Thus prompted, and further encouraged by a
luminous meteor which stood over the well, he determined to have it
drawn dry. This being done, he went down into it, found not the body,
but the Master's jewel. It appears, that Hiram Abif, when attacked by
the ruffians, must have plucked off this jewel, and thrown it into
the well near the great staircase, rather than it should fall into
the hands of such villains. Macbenach blessed heaven, and jointly
with his companions, offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for their
signal success. After this they went on, in order to comply with the
other part of their instructions. They had the meteor still for their
guide, when they stopped it a small hill between Lydria, and Joppa,
to rest awhile, and then it was that Brother Stolkin found the body
of the respectable Hiram Abif, as is related in the third degree.
Form of Closing the Lodge
P. I. R. W. M. What is the clock, Brother Stolkin?
Thrice Puissant, Illustrious, Respectable, and Worshipful Adoniram,
it is five o'clock.
P. I. R. W. M. Since it is five o'clock, and the work is
ended, it is time to refresh ourselves, so give notice that I am
going to close the lodge.
S.Take notice, brethren, that this
lodge is about to closed.
Adoniram, Stolkin, a brother in the south and another in the
north, each knock four times. (They all make the sign of admiration
and consternation at the tomb, and Adoniram, pronounces the lodge