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Order of the Grand High Priest

The Holy Order of the Grand High Priest

THE HOLY ORDER OF THE GRAND HIGH PRIEST

Issued by the Grand Council of the Order, 1879

Foreword

The Holy Order of Grand High Priest, which has been worked extensively in Lancashire and Yorkshire and various other parts of England under the aegis of certain "Antient" Lodges, was one of the four ceremonies which the Grand Council took under its control at its formation in 1879. Both in this country and in the United States it has always been designated an "Order"; that title, instead of Degree, has been preserved.

Almost everywhere the Order has been closely associated with Royal Arch Masonry. Under the Constitutions of the Grand Council, no  Brother can be admitted to the Order unless he is an Installed Principal of a Royal Arch Chapter.

Members of the Order are designated "Excellent Companions".

The Ceremony is undoubtedly very old, but the date of its earliest working and even its country of ongin have not been definitely established. Indeed, the abrupt transition in our ritual from the blessing of Abram, the Mesopotamian immigrant, by Melchizedek, the Canaanite Priest-King, to the consecration four centuries later of Aaron the Levite as the first Jewish High Priest suggests that our present version of the ceremony, although long established, may be an amalgamation of two distinct degrees. There is evidence of other ceremonies under the title of the "Order of Melchizedek" or the "Priesthood of Metchizedek", in which Abram is attacked, pays tithes and is blessed, and it may be that the consecration was added at a later date to provide a High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter, or to enhance the dignity of the First Principal.

Be that as it may. the present evidence is that the principal elements of the ceremony are not derived from the legends and traditions of seventeenth century English Masonry, but are descended from one of the alleged 1100 "High Grades" invented on the Continent in the middle of the eighteenth century; possibly they derive from an ancestor of "Melchizedek" degree said to have been worked in Berlin in 1780, or of the "Order of Melchizedek or Royal Priest", the sixth Degree of the Order of the Asiatic Brothers, a short-lived Rite founded in Vienna in about 1780 to admit Jews, who were not then eligible for admission to "Lodges of St. John".

Meanwhile in America, probably from the same ancestor, was derived the Order of Metchizedik" which was being practised at about the same period by some Royal Arch Chapters in Massachusetts. A little later, in 1789, William McKean was "anointed after the Order of Melchizedek" to qualify him to preside, according to the customs of St. Andrew's Chapter, Boston, at the time of election as Royal Arch Master of the Royal Arch Lodge.

At the organisation in 1797 of what soon afterwards became the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States, attention was drawn to this ceremony. The General Grand Chapter approved the Ritual in 1799, but did not assume control of the Order, which developed under the title of the "Order of High Priesthood" (recorded in the second (1802) edition of T. S. Webb's "Masonic Monitor"), but with considerable variations among the different State Grand Jurisdictions, particularly with regard to the qualification for reception. Under many Jurisdictions it is an optional degree or "honorarium" conferred only by Grand Conventions on those who have presided over a subordinate Chapter: under some a Companion is anointed as a High -Priest before installation in the First Chair of a Chapter: under others it is an essential qualification for election to the First Chair: under others it is equivalent to the Installation of the Third Principal in an English Royal Arch Chapter, or of the High Priest in an Irish Chapter: and in at least one State Jurisdiction the ceremony is not worked at all.

This lack of uniformity has led from time to time to criticism, and to proposals for assimilation of practice. However, the General Grand Chapter, which itself worked a ceremony based on the meeting of Melchizedek with Abram, who paid tithes to him, declared in 1853 that "It is not within the province of this General Grand Chapter, or of any State Grand Chapter, to define the duties or powers of a Council of High Priests".

A consequence of this variety of qualifications among the American State Jurisdictions is that in some an English member of this Order is not necessarily qualified to attend a meeting of a Council of High Priests, the equivalent of an English Convention of Anointed High Priests.

The Order of High Priesthood, being under the control of the Royal Arch, is not included among the American Allied Masonic Degrees.

The Order of High Priesthood has been traced in Canada in 1818, but later it became dormant.

Two versions of the Order seem to have reached Ireland through different channels. One version was brought in about 1770 almost certainly directly from France: it was shewn to a body of Knights Templar, who decided to keep it as a Christian Degree. It was therefore worked in Encampments of Knights Templar and in Lodges which had Royal Arch and Knight Templar sections: or, if a single Lodge had not enough qualified Brethren, two or more Lodges formed a "Union Band" to work it. By 1780 the Order was fairly widespread in Ireland: many certificates, mostly dated in the 1790s, survive with the heading "Sacred Band of Royal Arch Templar Priests after the Order of Melchizedek".

After about one hundred years this.version ceased to be worked in Ireland.

This French version had, however, also spread as a Priesthood of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests (K.T.P.) to North-West England and to Scotland, and thence to Newcastle, where it has been worked without interruption since at least 1810. It has since spread all over England. From New Zealand it was carried to the United States, to complete an almost perfect circle: for there it became linked with the Priestly Order of the Temple, a body dating back to at least the 1820s and using a ritual which overlaps that of the American Order of High Priesthood already mentioned.

The other version which reached Ireland was the Order of High Priesthood itself from the United States. This was adopted by the Royal Arch and by the Early Grand Rite. It does not appear to have made so great an impact and was quietly dropped, but not before it had been carried to Lancashire and other parts of England, particularly ports which had direct access to and from Ireland: it may thus be regarded as the parent of the English Order of Grand High Priest.

This American version also travelled to Scotland where, as the Degree of High Priest, it was worked unofficially in Craft Lodges before 1800. On the foundation of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland in 1817, negotiations with the (Templar) Royal Grand Conclave led to a redistribution of the control of some nineteen degrees, and the High Priest became the final legree of the Royal Arch series. It is apparently not known when it ceased to be worked under the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter, but it is not mentioned in an "intimation" in 1845 of the degrees which subordinate Chapters were entitled to confer. The exact ritual used is no longer extant.

This American version, under the title of "Sublime Order of High Priesthood" was also received in Scotland under a Charter dated 1822 from the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland for the erection of the Early Grand Encampment of Scotland. Under that body, and its successor the Early Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, an Installed Third Principal was entitled to claim admission to this Order in a "Council of High Priests of Royal Arch Masons after the Order of Melchizedek". This ritual has many details in common with the Capitular version, but has additions common to the early Templar working of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests.

In the old Knight Templar working of the Royal Grand Conclave of Scotland the candidate partook of bread from the point of a sword and wine from a chalice placed on the blade. A similar detail is found in the early workings of the Mediterranean Pass in some Priories of Malta under the English Constitution. It may be noted that ceremonies involving bread and wine have been practised from the earliest times.

Melchizedek is a mysterious figure, who appears in person in the Volume of the Sacred Law only in three verses of the passage read by the Chaplain from Chapter 14 of the Book of Genesis: these verses, 18 to 20, curiously interrupt the connection between verses 17 and 21, as if they were a later interpolation. He is mentioned rather casually therein as King of Salem and the Priest of the Most High God, and then disappears from the Old Testament except for a reference in Psalm 110: "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek". The tradition of his priesthood must therefore have continued for nearly nine hundred years, until the reign of David. His importance is that, unlike the other local kings who had warred and carried off Abrain's nephew, he was also a priest. Nevertheless it is surprising that Abram, the Mesopotamian, recognised by the payment of tithes the authenticity and authority of a Canaaffite (i.e. Hittite) Priest-King.

The name Melchizedek means "King of righteousness", and Salem, of which he was King, means "peace". Salem also occurs in only one other passage in the Old Testament, and that likewise is in a Psalm, No. 76:-"1n Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place is in Zion". In Jurisdictions where a Third Principal is eligible for this Order, Salem has sometimes been identified, for obvious Masonic reasons, with Shalem, a city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, where Jacob pitched his tent on his return from Mesopotamia and built an altar (GenesIs 33, vv. 18-20). Josephus, however, states that the capital of Melchizedek's Kingdom was "Jeru-Salem'. Among many fabulous stories purporting to give the history of Melchizedek, Arabian sources say that twelve neighbouring kings built in his honour a city, to which he gave the name "Jerusalem". Recent research tends to favour this identification.

This Order carries us to a high realm of Masonic thought. The Companion who is admitted to it is left in no doubt that he is set apart for high duties and responsibilities in life, both as a Mason and as a man: he is taught that, to carry them out, he is called upon to dedicate himself to the service of the Most High God and also to that of his fellow-men.

In former times it was customary for some of the companions to form two sides of an equilateral triangle and to kneel during prayer in the Opening and Closing of a Convention. In most Councils this is no longer practised.

Although the Ritual makes reference to the presence of the "indispensable number of three", should nine Anointed High Priests be present, then traditionally it is said that the Ceremony is performed in "due and ample form".

All quotations from the Volume of the Sacred Law are taken from the Authorised Version, which must be used in this Ceremony.

A Tabernacle of the Order represents the encampment of Melchizedek in the valley of Shaveh (the King's dale) and should be arranged as shewn in the sketch. The room is divided by curtains which must be capable of being opened and closed. The Eastern part represents the royal tent of Melchizedek. These curtains are open during the Opening of the Convention: they are closed for Part I of the Ceremony of Reception and for the first portion of Part II, until the Candidate is invited to enter the Tent: thereafter they remain open.

During Part II, if there is room, all the companions move inside the Tent and stand in the North and South in order to partake of bread and wine: if there is not sufficient room, as many companions should move in as is consistent with the dignity of the Ceremony.

An equilateral Triangle is placed in the centre of the floor outside the Tent: three candles on tall candlesticks form a further equilateral Triangle outside the former: the apex of each Triangle points towards the East.

During Part 1 there is a pedestal in the centre of the inner Triangle on which is placed a V.S.L., opened at Genesis, chapter 14. For Part II both pedestal and V.S.L. are moved inside the Tent and placed in front of the President's chair: a small kneeling stool or cushion is then placed in the centre of the inner Triangle. No square or grid-iron or other object is to be placed on the V.S.L. when opened. There are no lights or candlesticks beside the chairs of the Principals in the East.

The titles of the Officers of a Convention of the Order are:-

Most Excellent President

Vice-President

Chaplain

Master of Ceremonies

Conductor

Herald

Assistant Master of Ceremonies

Steward

Sentinel.

The President wears a white robe, with a breastplate over it, and a mitre. The Vice-President wears a scarlet robe and the Chaplain a light blue robe: for these two Officers, Royal Arch robes are appropriate. It is not normal practice for Officers to wear the Collars of the Officers of a Lodge of St. Lawrence: nor do they usually carry wands.

If there are two or more candidates for the Ceremony of Reception (if more than three, by dispensation), one must be selected as the Representative Candidate. The others should be led into the Tabernacle before the Ceremony starts, and be seated in the Western part of the room (i.e. outside the Tent). Only the Representative Candidate will take the Obligation at the pedestal in the centre: the other candidates will take the Obligation standing in their places, each supporting an open V.S.L. on his left hand with his right hand thereon.

The other candidates may, if desired, be led out when the Representative Candidate retires at the end of Part 1, so that they can attend to the instruction given to the Representative Candidate with regard to his defence with the sword: in that case they will be brought back into the Tabernacle and seated as before, before the start of Part II.

When the Representative Candidate is invited to enter the Tent, he will be placed on the extreme right of the opening formed by the curtains: the other candidates will then be led up to stand in line with him, in order that they may all partake of bread and wine which must be offered to each candidate in the traditional manner by the President.

During the partaking of wine, the sword may be passed along the line, handed from one candidate to the next, for each in turn to hold horizontally in front of him: alternatively the M.:. of C.: from behind may hold the sword horizontally in front of each candidate in turn.

When the Conductor is directed to place the Representative Candidate in the centre of anointing, the other candidates will be formed behind him in the West. After the Representative Candidate has been anointed and raised, he will be temporarily led aside: each other candidate in turn will then kneel in the centre of the Triangle, be anointed, raised and conducted back to his place. After all anointing has been completed, the Representative Candidate alone will be entrusted and invested in the centre of the Triangle by the President.

A candidate in this Order is said to be "admitted and anointed, consecrated and set apart to the Holy Office of Grand High Priest".

The Regalia traditionally worn in this Order consists only of a Jewel in the form of a mitre on an equilateral triangle, both in gold, suspended by a red ribbon: the apex of the triangle points upwards.

The traditional knocks in this order are: ****-*****

The following items are required for the Ceremony of Reception:-

Curtains cutting off the Eastern end of the room, if practicable; otherwise, screens.

Large wooden or brass Triangle for centre of floor (that used in a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge is suitable).

Three candles on tall candlesticks.

Pedestal and V.S.L. (placed in the centre of the Triangle during Part I, and inside the Tent in front of the President's chair during Part II).

Small kneeling stool or cushion (placed in the centre of the Triangle during Part II).

Small V.S.L. for Chaplain; extra Vs.S.L. for use by additional candidates.

White surplice or alb for President (this must be clean).

For President, a plain Mitre (without a cross) and a Breastplate with twelve small jewelled squares thereon (see Exodus, chap. 39, vv. 8-13).

Scarlet robe for Vice-President and light blue robe for Chaplain (Royal Arch robes may be worn).

On side table within or adjacent to Tent:-

one sword, unsheathed;

On a plate, bread or breakfast roll broken or cut into two unequal pieces; goblet containing red or white wine, with a napkin; oil and wine for anointing, in suitable containers, and a small towel or napkin;

jewel for candidate.

Outside the door one sword, unsheathed, for candidate.

The Tabernacle

 

A.  M.E. President

B.  Vice-President

C.  Chaplain

D.  Master of Ceremonies

DI . Assistant Master of Ceremonies

E.  Conductor

F.  Herald

G.  Steward

H.  Entrance to Tent

J . Triangle

j1 j2 j3 Candles on tall candlesticks

KI, K2 alternative positions for Pedestal with V. S. L. theron

L. Table located where convenient within  or adjacent to Tent, on which are placed:- one sword, unsheathed; plate with bread or breakfast roll broken or cut into two unequal  pieces; goblet containing wine, with napkin; vessels with oil and wine for anointing, and towel or napkin; jewel for Candidate.

Form of Opening a Convention of the Holy Order of the Grand High Priest.

During the Opening the curtains of the Tent are open.

Pres.:  Excellent Companions, assist me to open this Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest.  (All rise.) Ex.: Comp.: Herald, what is the first care of Anointed High Priests when in Convention assembled?

Her.: (no sign) To ensure that the outer avenue is secure and that the Tabernacle is duly guarded.

Pres.: Direct that duty to be done.

Her.: Ex.Comp. Steward, you will see that the outer avenue is secure. Steward gives one knock on door, answered by Sentinel.

Stwd.: Ex.:Comp.: Herald all is secure and the Tabernacle is properly guarded.

Her.: (whilst giving sign.) M.: E.: Pres.: the avenues to the Sanctuary are secure and the Tabernacle is properly guarded.

Pres.:  Ex.: Comp.:  M. :of C.: are you an Anointed High Priest?

M.: of C.: (whilst giving sign.) M.:.E.: Pres.:, I have partaken from the point of the sword that in which we may all participate.

Pres.: Where did you receive that exalted honour?

M.: of C.: In a just and lawfully constituted Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest, consisting of the indispensable number of three.

Pres.: Do you find that indispensable number now present?

M.; of C.; I do, M. ;E.; Pres.:

Pres.: Speak the Sacred Word.

M.: of C.:  El Shaddai.

Pres.:  Ex.: Comps.:, to order for prayer.

Chap.:  May the Supreme High Priest of Heaven and Earth enlighten us with the knowledge of His truth, and grant that the members of this Convention may be endued with wisdom to understand and explain the mysteries of our Holy Order. May He be with us in all our assemblies, guide us in the paths of rectitude, enable us to keep all His statutes while life shall last, and finally bring us to the perfect knowledge of His holy Name.

All .Amen.

Pres:. Ex.: Comps.:, in the name of Melchizedek, I declare this Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest duly opened.

Stwd.: gives one knock on door, answered by Sentinel. M.: of C.: opens V. S. L. on Pedestal at Genesis, chap. 14.

All sit.

Ceremony of Reception: First Part

The President, Vice-President and Chaplain are seated within the Tent, the curtains of which are drawn closed. As many of the Companions as possible sit outside the Tent for Part I: all Companions should stand outside the Tent during the Obligation.

Conductor leaves Tabernacle to take charge of Candidate: he explains to him that the drawn curtain towards the Eastern end of the Tabernacle represent the Tent of Melchizedek, King of Salem.

Sentinel knocks on door

Her. :(whilst giving sign.) M.:.E.: Pres.:, there is an alarm at the inner avenue.

Pres.: Attend to the alarm and see who seeks admission.

Her.: goes to door, which is opened by Steward.

Her.: Who comes here?

Cond:. A Companion of the Holy Royal Arch who desires further light in Masonry by being Anointed, Consecrated and Set  Apart to the Office of High Priest.

Her.: How does he hope to gain admission?

Cond. :By having been found worthy by the voice of his Brethren and the approval of his Companions.

Her. :Halt, while I make a report.

Steward. closes door.

Her.: (whilst giving sign.) M.: E:. Pres.:, a Companion of the Holy Royal Arch, who desires further light in Masonry by being Anointed, Consecrated and Set Apart to the Office of High Priest.

Pres.: How does he hope to gain admission?

Her.: By having been found worthy by the voice of his Brethren and the approval of his Companions.

Pres.:, Vice-Pres.:. and Chap.:  rise, pass through curtains and stand facing West: curtains must be closed behind them.

Pres. :Let him be admitted.

Steward. opens door: Cond.: and Can.: enter and stand in West.

Pres.: Ex.: Comp.: M.: of C.: you will instruct the Candiate. how to advance to the pedestal in due form.

M.: of C.: places Candidate in West at correct distance from pedestal.

M.: of C:. The method of advancing to the pedestal in due form is by nine complete steps, halting and bowing at the third, sixth. and nineth.

Candiate advances to pedestal.

Pres.: Companion you have duly presented yourself to be Anointed, Consecrated and Set Apart to the Holy Office of High Priest. The members of this Convention, yielding a ready response to your wishes, are now prepared to confer on you that exalted honour. You must first, however, take a solemn Obligation to keep inviolate the secrets of this Holy Order. You will stand erect; place your right hand on the V.S.L.; and raise your left hand towards Heaven.

Candidate complies.

M:. of C.: Ex.: Comps.:, to order.

Pres. :State your names at length and repeat after me:-

I ........ in the presence of this Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest, erected to the glory of the Supreme High Priest of Heaven and Earth, and dedicated to Melchizedek do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear never to reveal any of the secrets or mysteries of this Holy Order, except to a Companion Anointed High Priest, or within the body of a just and lawful Convention of this Holy Order to a Candidate duly presented, and even then only in the presence of Companion High Priests no fewer in number than the indispensable three, duly summoned for that purpose.

1 further engage that 1 will assist a Companion High Priest even to the dividing of my last loaf, and should his necessities demand it, even though he be a personal enemy, 1 will feed him at the point of my sword.

1 further promise that 1 will not wrong a Companion Anointed High Priest, or unlawfully take from him anything, from a thread even to a shoe latchet; and should unhappily any different arise between us, on his giving to me the sign of this Holy Order, all animosity on my part shall cease, and I will hail him as a Companion and a friend.

These several points I solemnly swear to observe, without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind, under no less a penalty, on the violation of any of them, than that the earth may open and swallow me up as it did Krah, Dathan and Abiram.

So help me the Great Disposer of All and keep me steadfast in this my solemn obligation of a Companion Anointed High Priest.

As a pledge of your fidelity, you will seal this Obligation once on the V.S.L.

Candiate complies.

M.: of  C.: Ex.: Comps.: be seated.

Pres.:, Vice-Pres.: and Chap.: remain standing outside closed curtains.

Pres.: You will now attend to a portion of the V.S.L.

Chap.: reads from small V.S.L. held in hand Genesis, chap. 14, vv. 1 to 4 and 8 to 24.

1. "And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaorner king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

2. That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

3. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

4. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled."

8. "And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar); and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;

9. With Chedorlaorner the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.

10. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.

11. and they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

12. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. And he brough back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

17. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaorner, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

19. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

20. And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

21. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

22. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

23. 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 shouldest say, 1 have made Abram rich:

24. Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eschol, and Marnre; let them take their portion."

Pres.: Companion AB.  I am now permitted to inform you that the Most .Excellent President of a Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest repre sents Melchizidek King of Salem. and the Priest of the Most High God.

You may now retire to reflect on this first part of the Ceremony of your Reception. On your re-admission you will represent the Patriarch Abram on his journey over the plains, when returning from the slaughter of the kings.

Principals retire within curtains and resume their chairs. Conductor and Canidate withdraw.

Ceremony of Reception: Second Part

Pedestal is moved from centre of Triangle and placed within Tent in front of President's chair: small kneeling stool or cushion is placed in centre of Triangle.

All the Companions move inside the Tent and stand in the North and South in order to partake of bread and wine: if there is not sufficient room, as many Companions should move in as is consistent with the dignity of the ceremony: those remaining outside take no active part in the ceremony, apart from standing to order as directed.

The curtains remain closed: M. of C. details two Companions inside the Tent to draw curtains open when so directed by him.

Outside the door Candidate is armed with a sword unsheathed, which he holds at the carry. Conductor instructs Candidate how to parry blow with his sword by sinking on one knee and holding sword horizontally above his head by the hilt in his right hand and by the point in his left hand.

M.: of C:. picks up sword from Table "L " and hands to Pres.: He then directs Steward to open door and admit Conductor and Candidate without report.

Conductor and Candatidate enter: instructed by Conductor, Candidate advanced slowly via North towards the East. Pres.: with sword in right hand hastens out through curtains, and aims a downward blow at head of Candidate who parries it in the manner taught.

Pres.: Who art thou?

Cond. :(answers for Candidate. throughout) Thy friend and brother Abram.

Pres.: My friend and brother Abram?

Pres. :brings sword to carry: Cond.: takes sword from Can.: and holds it at carry.

Cond.: (Can.: still kneeling) Behold the captives and the spoils: I give thee tithes of all.

Pres.: (still with sword at carry) Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. transfers sword to left hand.

Arise, my friend and brother Abram.

raises Can.: to his feet by right hand, and starts to lead him towards Tent.

Pres.: Enter my Tent, eat of my bread and drink of my wine.

As - Pres.: speaks these words, two Comps.: previously detailed draw curtains open under direction of M.: of C.: Pres.: leads Can.: to Tent and places him at Point "H" Cond.: remains standing in North with sword at carry.

M.: of C.:  Ex.:. Comps.:, to order.

All rise. Pres.: stands in centre of Tent facing West with sword still in left hand. M.: of C.: takes from Table "L" plate with bread already broken into two unequal pieces: he proffers plate to Pres.:, who with right hand takes larger piece of bread and impales it on the sword up to the hilt: he fixes smaller piece firmly on the point of the sword, which he then holds at carry in left hand.

M.: of C.: replaces plate on Table "L", and takes post behind Can.

Pres.: breaks of small piece of bread from hilt with right hand and eats it. He then changes sword to right hand, held at carry: he presents sword vertically to each Companion in turn within Tent, who breaks off a small piece of bread from the hilt with his own right hand and eats it.

Pres.: offers first to Vice-Pres.:, then to Chap.:; then to Comps. in North from West to East; finally to Comps. in South from East to West: during this progress Pres.: recites slowly Psalm 133.

Pres. :"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

Pres.: then stands facing West in front of Can.:

Pres.: Eat with us this bread, which you receive at the point of the sword, to teach you that y ou should ever be ready to divide your last loaf with a Companion Anointed High Priest, and should his necessities demand it, even though he be a personal enemy, to feed him at the point of the sword.

Pres.: presents point of sword to Can., who, prompt d by M.: of C.:, breaks off with right hand a small piece of bread from point of sword and eats it.

Pres.: hands sword to M.: of C.:, who lays it aside on Table "W"; he brings goblet and napkin from the Table and hands them to Pres.: M.: of C.: takes sword from Cond.: and resumes place behind Can.:

Pres.: stands in centre of Tent, facing West, and drinks from goblet.. he offers it to each Companion in turn with the, Tent, who

takes it and drinks: as before, Pres.: offers goblet first to Vice-Pres.:, then to Chap.:, then to Comps. in North, and finally to Comps. in South.. after each Comp. has drunk Pres. :wipes goblet with nakin: during this progress Pres. recites slowly Psalm 134.

Pres.: "Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion. "

Pres.: stands facing West in front of Can.: either: M.: of C.: hands sword to Can.: and instructs him to hold it in his right hand horizontally across his body at breast level, hilt to the right.

or.

M.: of  C.:, from behind, holds sword at arm's length horizontally in front of Can.'s breast, hilt to the right.

Pres. :Drink with us this wine, which you receive over the sword, to teach you that you should ever be ready to divide the luxuries as well as the necessities of life with a Companion Anointed High Priest.

Pres.: passes goblet over sword to Can.: who, prompted by M.: of C.:, takes it and drinks. Pres.: takes back goblet over sword.

M.: of C.: either removes sword from Can.: or takes it away from in front of him: he holds sword at carry. M.: of C.: takes goblet from Pres.: and lays aside both goblet and sword on Table "W".

Pres.: from centre of Tent, facing West, addresses all Comps.

Pres.: Ex. Comps., as often as ye eat bread or drink wine, learn therefrom to succour, protect and defend a Companion Anointed High Priest. If he hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink; if he be naked, clothe him; if he be sick or afflicted, visit him and minister unto him; sympathise with him in his sorrows, and rejoice with him in his joys. These things do unto him, and never forsake him.

Ex.: Comp.: Cond.:, you will place our friend and brother in the centre of the Triangle.

M.: of C.: Ex. Comps:., resume your places.

Comps.: who have been standing inside Tent return to their places and remain standing.

Cond.: leads Can. via North to the base of Triangle in West, facing East: he instructs him to kneel on his right knee on the stool or cushion in the centre of the Triangle, and to assume an attitude of prayer.

Pres.:, Vice-Pres.: and Chap.: advance to apex of Triangle, where they halt facing West.

All Comps. assume attitude of prayer.

Chap.: May the Supreme High Priest of Heaven and Earth grant His blessing to this our Companion, so that he may teach the laws and commandments of the Lord, and perform the duties of his office with fervency, fidelity and zeal.

All .Amen.

M. :of C.: fetches from Table  "L" vessels containing oil and wine, and napkin: he stands in a convenient place on the right of Pres.: Pres.:, Vice-Pres.: and Chap.:, each together form the Triangular Anointiing Sign, apex to East, on top of head of Can.

Pres.: with right hand dips finger or dropper into vessel of oil held by M.: of C.:  he anoints Can. on head within T.A.S. three times as he speaks.

Pres.:  By virtue of the power in me vested as the representative of Melchizedek King of Salem and the Priest of the Most High God.

I Anoint you.  Consecrate you, and Set you Apart to the Holy Office of Grand High Priest.

Pres.: takes napkin from M.: of C.:, dries head of Can. and returns it.

Pres.:, Vice-Pres.: and Chap. : retain T.A.S. overhead of Can.

Pres.: with right hand dips finger or dropper into vessel of wine held by M.: of C:.; while pronouncing the blessing he anoints Can. on head within T.A.S. three times as he speaks words of  Numbers, chap. 6, vv 24 to 26.

Pres. :'The Lord bless thee and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

All.  Amen.

Pres.: takes napkin from M.; of C.:, dries head of Can.: and returns it. Pres.:, Vice-Pres.: and Chap. ; drop T.A.S.. Pres.: takes Can. by right hand and says

Pres.: Rise A B.

Pres.: then raises Can.: the words must be said while Can. is still kneeling, and before he is raised. Cond.: removes kneeling stool or cushion, and re-positions Can.: in centre of Triangle.

M. :of C.: Ex. Comps.:, be seated.

M.: of C.: lays aside oil, wine and napkin on Table "W": he picks up sword which he holds at carry, and resumes his place close to the right of Pres.:, ready to hand sword to him during explanation of Hailing Sign.

Principals remain standing at apex of Triangle, but Vice-Pres.: and Chap.: step back two paces.

Pres.: I will now explain to you the secrets of this Holy Order. Which is done.

M.: of C.: lays aside sword on Table "L"; he takes Jewel to Pres.:

Pres.: I now invest you with the Jewel worn by a Companion Anointed High Priest.

Invests Can.:

Pres.:, Vice-Pres.: and Chap.: return to the East and resume their chairs. Can.: remains standing in centre of Triangle, with Cond.: behind him. M.: of C.: resumes his seat.

Lecture

Pres.:  Ex. Comp  AB anointing with oil was the principal and divinely appointed ceremony in the inauguration into each of the three typical offices of the Jewish Commonwealth - Prophet, Priest and King. It was received as a symbol of sanctification, and of dedication to the service of the Most High.

In this ceremony you were anointed first three times with oil, and then three times with wine: both these triple anointings are in allusion to the Triangle, a symbol of the Deity. We are thus reminded that the true Mason should so dedicate himself to the service of the Most High God. As the unchangeable Priesthood of Melchizedek was superior to that of Aaron, which passed away, so do we look forward, after the close of this earthly existence, to an entrance into that Tabernacle "not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens".

Remember, my Companion, that the responsibilities of this Holy Order rest not alone upon the Officers, but equally upon the individual members of the Order, a dereliction of duty being equally destructive in the one case as in the other.

As you value, then, your honour as a man and a Mason; as you prize the purity and permanency of the Order; as you fear to displease the Almighty, Whose Name you have solemnly invoked; so keep inviolate every pledge you have made, and perform with fidelity every duty to which you have become bound.

Let the Lion of the Tribe of Judah be the symbol of your strength and boldness in the cause of truth and justice. Be as patient as the Ox with the foibles and errors of your Brethren, and as swift as the Eagle to do every good work. Set before your Companions of the Royal Craft the bright example of an upright and perfect Man, and especially of a Companion Anointed High Priest.

Let "Holiness to the Lord" be engraven upon all your thoughts, words and actions. Finally, after this painful life is ended, may the Most High, Who dwelleth between the Cherubim, admit you into His glorious and everlasting Sanctuary, there to adore Him for evermore.

Pres. :Ex. Comp AB now a Companion Anointed High Priest, we welcome you. I bid you take your seat in this Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest.

Cond.: leads new Companion Anoited High Priest. to a convenient seat, and resumes his own.

Form of Closing a Convention of The Holy Order of the Grand High Priest

During the Closing the curtains of the Tent are open.

Pres.: Ex. Comps., assist me to close this Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest. (All rise). Ex. Comp. Herald, what is the last great

care of every Anointed High Priest?

Her.: (whilst giving sign) To ensure that the outer avenue is secure and that the Tabernacle is duly guarded.

Pres.: Direct that duty to be done.

Her.: Ex. Comp. Steward, you will see that the outer avenue is secure.

Steward. gives one knock on door, answered by Sentinel.

Steward. Ex. Comp. Herald, all is secure and the Tabernacle is properly guarded.

Her.: (whilst giving sign.) M.:. E.:. Pres.:, the avenues are secure and the Tabernacle is properly guarded.

Pres.: Ex. Comps., to order for prayer.

Chap.: May the Lord save us and gather us from among the nations to give thanks unto His holy Name. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, and let all the people say Amen. Praise ye the Lord.

All Amen.

Pres.: Ex. Comp. M. :of C.: give me the Sacred Word.

M.: of C.;  Adonai

Pres.: Ex. Comp. M.: of C.: our labours being ended, you have my command to close this Convention.

M.: of C.: In the name of Melchizedek and by command of the M.:.E.: Pres.: , I close this Convention of the Holy Order of Grand High Priest.

Steward. And it is closed accordingly.

Gives one knock on door, answered by Sentinel.

Chap. closes V. S. L. on Pedestal "K2"



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