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Last Updated:
Saturday, January 20, 2007 02:47:18 PM

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ritual for the 32 of Freemasonry, Scottish Rite - Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
presented by Leo Zagami, Jan 20, 2007

Last Updated: Saturday, January 20, 2007 02:47:18 PM

 


Dit rituaal is afkomstig van de Noordelijke Jurisdictie van de Schotse Ritus in de Verenigde Staten en dateert uit 1981. Het is slechts ver verwant aan het rituaal dat in deze graad in Nederland gebruikt wordt. Op deze site staat ook een (oude) nederlandstalige versie van het rituaal voor deze graad.

32nd Degree of Freemasonry
32 - Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

 

PENING CEREMONY

Candidates shall be admitted and seated before the Opening.

Martial music. Officers of Consistory march to stations. If action is on the stage. Curtain rises and discloses officers in place.

Commander-in-Chief, knocks once: If there be any present, with the exception of candidates, who are not Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, let them depart in peace, that our Consistory may be secure.

Captain of the Guard, see to the approaches, that none profane may draw nigh. Engineer and Seneschal, draw the lines of our Masonic camp and see that we are secure against stealthy intrusion or sudden attack.

Captain of the Guard: Commander-in-Chief, your order shall be obeyed.

Captain of the Guard salutes.

Engineer and Seneschal advances and makes round of camp and receives report from Captain of the Guard, after which, at west of camp, salutes.

Engineer and Seneschal: Commander-in-Chief, the lines and bounds of our camp are set. The Guards are posted.

Our Consistory is secure.

Commander-in-Chief: It is well. What are the pass.

words of our camp?

Engineer and Seneschal: PHA-AL-CHOL: PHARASCH-CHOL.

(Pronounced Fay-all-call and Fay-rashcall)

Commander-in-Chief: Separated yet United. So must it be until we end our campaign and dwell in perfect peace. To order, Princes. Knocks three times. Officers salute with the battery (one and then four knocks). We cherish here that which is good, (Hand on heart) we repel that which is evil (Extend arm to front, palm down); and in all our labors and conflicts we shall say (Hand on heart) ‘Spes mea (Extend hand to front, palm down) in Deo est.’ As our hope is in God, the Orator will lead our devotions.

Officers remain standing on the Sign of Fidelity.

Heads bowed. Orator advances to Altar. Kneels.

Orator: O God, our Father, we bless Thee for our daily work and for the strength which Thou dost bestow. We thank Thee for the giving which makes us richer; for the service which make us stronger; for the discipline which purifies; for the trials which give us courage; and for the call of humanity which joins man with Thee in the work of the world.

We thank Thee for the Past, because it laid the foundation of all good; for the Future, which gives us a vision of better things to be; but most of all do we thank Thee for the Present, with its needs and its inspirations, with its opportunities and its powers; with its service which is joy, and its love which crowns our labors with eternal life.

Our Hope is in God, and in that Hope we pray:

Here the Lord’s Prayer should either be spoken or sung.

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Commander-in-Chief: To the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe; in the name and under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-third and last degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, and by virtue of the authority upon me conferred, I declare the works of … Consistory opened on the Thirty-second Degree.

Knocks once, all are seated.

CEREMONIAL SECTION

Commander-in-Chief: Princes, we meet here in peace, but the call of the world ceaselessly disturbs our quiet. The needs of Humanity are insistent and we dare not ignore them. Fain would I believe that we respond faithfully to every call, but we know the disloyalty that lurks in idleness, the treachery that abides in sloth. Remember, therefore, that we are encamped in the midst of alarms, ever subject to attack from the strong, ever responsive to the call of the weak. First Lieutenant-Commander, what is the hour?

First Lieutenant-Commander: Time was; time is; but no man may say that time shall be. For the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, therefore, the hour is always NOW.

There is an alarm at the door, one knock, followed by four.

Commander-in-Chief: Even now, our call to duty has sounded. Let us hasten to answer ere it is too late.

Captain of the Guard, open wide the door, that he who knocks may enter freely. Master of Ceremonies, receive him as an honored guest, for he brings us the rich gift of opportunity.

Captain of the Guard opens the door and Constans, representing candidate, enters.

Master of Ceremonies, midway between the Commander-in-Chief and the door: Welcome, my Brother, to this Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret. If you are a suppliant, you bring us opportunity to serve.

If you are an ally, you may serve with us. Advance with confidence and our Commander-in-Chief will hear you.

Choir: Thrice welcome we give to the Brother whose heart With the heart of Mankind is akin.

Thrice welcome to all who would do a man’s part In the war against error and sin.

For him Our doors are opened wide,

For him our love, what'er betide,

Thrice welcome we give to the Brother whose heart With the heart of Mankind is akin.

Master of Ceremonies takes Constans by left arm, conducts him to west of camp and returns to his place.

Constans: Commander-in-Chief, a suppliant I come, that I may also be an ally. I know that none should be admitted to your ranks save earnest and sincere men, - Masons, not in name only, but also in deed. I am earnest and sincere, a Mason, and a Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. I know full well my unworthiness, yet I humbly aspire to serve with you for the good of our brother men.

The following colloquy should be slow, solemn and sincere.

Commander-in-Chief: By what name are you called?

Constans: Constans.

Commander-in-Chief: What do you desire?

Constans: To be admitted among you as a fellow soldier and servant in the Grand Masonic Army of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret.

Commander-in-Chief: Why a soldier?

Constans: That I may shield the oppressed; guard the weak; protect the innocent; and combat the enemies of God and humanity.

Commander-in-Chief: Why a servant?

Constans: That I may help the needy; succor the poor; relieve the distressed; and be a builder and true Mason in the holy House of the Temple.

Commander-in-Chief: You ask much, for you ask to be a co-worker with God. How have you prepared yourself for this high employ?

Constans: It is not for me to speak. Unless my Brethren can answer for me, I am indeed unworthy.

Master of Ceremonies: Commander-in-Chief, I vouch for the Masonic progress of this Brother. He has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice; passed to the degree of Fellow Craft; and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. He has been chosen a Grand Elect Mason, proclaimed a Prince of Jerusalem, consecrated a Knight of Rose Croix, and promoted to the rank of Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander.

Commander-in-Chief: Your progress has been steady; yet all this does not suffice if you have not studied and understood the lessons taught, and the principles inculcated in these degrees. Behold the lines of our Masonic camp spread before your view, and be tried by its discipline and tests.

Engineer and Seneschal rises and salutes: The camp of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is a nonagon enclosing a heptagon, within whose lines is a pentagon which encloses a triangle in the center of which is a circle. Thus do we find the mystic numbers, 3, 5, 7 and 9, all emanating from the circle of infinity. As these numbers symbolize Divine attributes and Masonic principles, so should Masonic labor emanate from Divine love, be directed by Divine wisdom, and be exercised in Divine power for the good of mankind and the glory of God.

The second emanation from infinity is denoted by the pentagon, each angle of which represents a division of the Scottish Rite Army. Take heed while their attributes are now rehearsed.

Engineer and Seneschal salutes and returns to station.

Orator rises and salutes: The first angle represents the Symbolic Lodge wherein are given the first lessons in Masonry. The Entered Apprentice is the physical man admonished to labor; The Fellow Craft is the intellectual man in whom knowledge is joined to physical power as science directs energy; the Master Mason is the triune man, in whom the spiritual is united with the intellectual and the physical, and whose works are eternal, because eternal love inspires intelligent labor.

The Worshipful Master may be attended by his two Wardens. They rise, and the Master salutes:

Commander-in-Chief, I here declare as a Worshipful Master in Ancient Craft Masonry, that this Brother has been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, has dedicated himself at the Altar of Masonry, and has been inspired by the Master’s word. He is a worthy Master Mason.

Orator and Worshipful Master salute and are seated.

Hospitaler rises and salutes: The second angle represents the Lodge of Perfection. Herein are taught those duties toward our brother man whose performance leads steadily toward a knowledge of God. We learn that selfish endeavor defeats itself and debases the man who engages in it. We are taught that by united labor for the good of all, humanity is advanced toward the Ineffable Mystery wherein all should be perfect.

Thrice Potent Master may be attended by his Deputy Master, Senior and Junior Wardens. They rise and the Thrice Potent Master salutes: Commander-in-Chief, I here declare as Thrice Potent Master of a Lodge of Perfection, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, that this Brother has labored for the upbuilding of the temple; he has guarded its treasures, and delved into its mysteries. He has studied the Ineffable Symbols, and has learned the Ineffable Word. He is a Grand Elect Mason.

Hospitaler and T.P.M. salute and are seated. Orator rises and salutes: The third angle represents the Council of Princes of Jerusalem. Here is taught the power of Truth to release the captive of error, and to rebuild the temple of human happiness when assailed by ignorance and vice from within, or by injustice and oppression from without. Fidelity to trust, honesty in public and private conduct, devotion to Truth, are the attributes of a Prince of Jerusalem.

The Sovereign Prince may be attended by his High Priest, Senior and Junior Wardens. They rise. The Sovereign Prince salutes: Commander-in-Chief, I here declare as Sovereign Prince of a Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, that this Brother has withstood temptation and has kept his trust. He has labored with the sword of vigilance in one hand, and the trowel of steadfast purpose in the other. He is a Prince of Jerusalem.

Orator and Sovereign Prince salute and are seated.

Second Lieutenant-Commander rises and salutes: The fourth angle represents the Chapter of Knights Rose Croix. Here the light promised to man from ancient times shines in all its glory. The love which gives eternal life is revealed. Faith, Hope and Charity are the pillars of the spiritual temple. The new law is proclaimed, and men learn to "Love one another."

The Most Wise Master may be attended by his Senior and Junior Wardens. They rise. The Most Wise Master

salutes: Commander-in-Chief, I here declare as Most Wise Master of a Chapter of Rose Croix, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, that this Brother has followed the Light. He has learned the new law. He knows that good will overcome evil; that life eternal will conquer death; that through love, our brotherhood is everlasting. he is a Knight Rose Croix.

Second Lieutenant-Commander and M.W.M. salute and are seated. First Lieutenant-Commander rises and salutes:

The fifth angle represents the Kadosh. By impressive ceremonies have been taught the lessons that the future is heir to the present; that the light of Masonry should illumine the darkness of the world; that labor is noble; that all worship is holy when prompted by a devout heart; that God is found through service to men; that from God comes all good and to God all good should return in loving oblation, Finally, that as all men are sons of God, so should men be brethren working together for good.

Chancellor rises and salutes: Commander-in-Chief, I here declare as Chancellor of Knights Kadosh, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, that this Brother has studied the lesson of the ages; he has borne his Masonic light into the world; he has sought to serve his generation that the future may be better because he has lived. He seeks to know God by loving His creatures. He is Kadosh, consecrated to God in service to his fellow men.

First Lieutenant-Commander and Chancellor salute and are seated.

Commander-in-Chief: Out of the fullness of the heart doth the mouth speak. Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, you have heard. Shall Constans be admitted to our fellowship? If such be your will, give the sign of assent.

Assent by right hand extended.

Commander-in-Chief: The Candidates will rise, come to the Sign of Fidelity, and assume the obligation of this degree.

Constans retires quietly, as the Commander-in-Chief directs the Candidates to rise. The Master of Ceremonies escorts the Exemplar to a position near the Altar.

Commander-in-Chief, to Exemplar: Advance to the Altar.

Kneel on both knees, place your left hand on the Holy Bible and sword, your right hand over your heart, and take the vows ... Each candidate will say "I," give his name in full, and then remain silent until I bid you speak.

I, …, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of the Grand Architect of the Universe, do hereby most solemnly promise and vow that I will be governed by, and in my conduct conform to, the statutes of this or of any Consistory to which I may belong, and by and to the Constitutions of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree under whose jurisdiction I may reside.

I furthermore promise and vow, that I will never introduce nor give my consent to any one being admitted to any of the degrees conferred in a Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, unless I am fully satisfied as to his high moral character, worth and standing as a man and Mason, and of his zeal for, fervent attachment to, and exemplification in his life of the true principles of Freemasonry.

I furthermore promise and vow, that I will be loyal to the government of my country; and that I will always support and obey the laws of the same.

I furthermore promise and vow, that I will cordially and sincerely join with the Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret in their noble project of uniting all Freemasons, over all the earth, for the purpose of establishing peace, harmony and concert of action within the Order.

I furthermore promise and vow, that to be better able to serve the Order and mankind, I will strive at all times to behave and demean myself as a Mason should, to be worthy of being associated in the noble and glorious work of making this world a Temple, a fit abiding place for the Grand Architect of the Universe, and that nothing in my conduct or demeanor shall in the least reflect discredit on this Consistory, or on Freemasonry, or tend to destroy, or even diminish, my capacity and power for doing good.

All candidates will repeat after me:

Should I ever willfully violate this, my solemn promise and vow, may I be degraded from the society of honorable men and Masons. Amen!

My Brother, you will arise. The class will be seated.

The Investiture may be delegated by the

Commander-in-Chief to another officer.

I present to you the Golden Spurs of Knighthood; they are a symbol of that zeal, energy of purpose, and sense of duty that should ever spur us to action in a noble and sacred cause.

The presentation of the spurs is symbolic. The spurs should not be put on.

Receive this sash or cordon of the Order; its color is an emblem of sorrow and mourning for the miseries and sufferings of humanity. Receive also and wear this Teutonic cross, the jewel of the Order. Deserve it by the service you shall hereafter render to the good cause in which you now take rank as a chief and leader.

In addition to the cordon and jewel, you, as a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, should be clothed with the ancient and honorable distinctive badge of a Mason, the apron, which is to teach you that notwithstanding the high position to which you have now attained, you should be ever mindful of your obligation as a Master Mason.

On this apron is the special symbol of this degree, the camp. On the flap is an All-Seeing Eye, the symbol of Infinite Wisdom; beneath it, a Teutonic cross surmounted by a double-headed eagle, supported by the flags of the Holy Empire.

Commander-in-Chief gives three knocks: Captain of the Guard, advance the Standards. Sublime Princes, stand at attention, uncover, and salute the Flag of our Country by placing the right hand over the heart.

Standard Bearers will bring the National Flag and the Standard Flag of the Consistory to the Altar, at the right and left of the Commander-in-Chief. All join in singing one verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner,’ No other form of patriotic address is permitted.

Commander-in-Chief: No man can worthily serve in the ranks of the Grand Army of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite unless his heart thrills to the sentiment of a lofty patriotism which will express itself in loyal obedience to his country’s laws as well as in response to his country’s needs. It is not given to all men to bear arms for the nation’s defense, but every man may cherish his country’s flag with a devoted love, may support his country’s laws with a willing obedience, and may so live day by day that the commonwealth shall be prospered through his industry, established through his fidelity, and honored through his integrity.

Such service of country becomes possible only when the individual man, strong in the integrity of his purpose, develops his own highest manhood under the secure shield of civil, intellectual and religious liberty. Man owes it to himself and to his brother men to be his own best self. No obligation imposed upon him by church, state or society can as a last resort destroy the freedom of his spirit or abolish his liberty of private judgment.

Patriotism thus founded and secured, gives assurance of peace and happiness within our borders and is a harbinger of that more glorious time when love of country shall be joined to love of humanity and the Scottish Rite Standard shall rise in peaceful triumph over a world-wide brotherhood of man. So mote it be!

All: So mote it be!

The Standard and Flag are posted.

Commander-in-Chief: Sublime Princes and Brethren, you will remain standing. To Exemplar: Kneel again at the Altar. Exemplar kneels, left hand on Bible, head uplifted.

The Commander-in-Chief advances to the Altar. In accordance with an ancient custom, as he speaks the words. "I now proclaim you … he strikes one light blow on the Exemplar’s right shoulder, and four light blows on the left shoulder.

Commander-in-Chief: To the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe, and by virtue of the authority upon me conferred as Commander-in-Chief of … Consistory, I now proclaim you, and each of you, to be a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, Thirty-second Degree, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

You are now and hereafter entitled to enjoy all the rights, privileges and prerogatives of this degree, and are solemnly admonished to fulfill its duties and its high responsibilities.

Commander-in-Chief, knocks once: Brethren, be seated.

Princes! Brethren! In Allegory we seek to convey the truth.

Man has the royal secret - the eternal gift of God - Love. It cannot be imparted to him by others. It was incarnate when the Father breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

Cherish this love as a divine attribute, a precious birthright, a witness that man is indeed a son of God.

Blessed is the man who is so possessed by the royal secret that he will resist the allurements of pleasure, disdain power which enslaves and knowledge which is arrogant, and be deaf to the call of selfish interest when it encroaches upon the sacred obligations of the Brotherhood of Man.

Blessed is the man who, like Constans, hears the call of humanity, even when it is not addressed directly to himself, recognizes it as the voice of God calling him to labor, accepts it proudly as his accolade of knighthood, and goes forth in princely power. As the immortal poet, Lord Tennyson said, "To ride abroad, redressing human wrong; To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it; But teach high thoughts and amiable words, And courtliness and the desire of fame.

And love and truth and all that makes a man."

I pray you give serious attention to the Allegory of the Thirty-second Degree, about to be presented, which will forever impress upon your minds the meaning of the Royal Secret, the eternal gift of God - Love.

Curtain.

THE ALLEGORY

The Cathedral

This scene represents the chancel of a cathedral, with Altar approached by three steps. Crucifix and candles.

Transparent windows, if possible.

Curtain rises. Organ march, modulating into a Processional Hymn as Choristers enter. Two separate processions -Church and Chivalry.

Crucifer, Acolytes, Thurifers, Priests and Bishop enter chancel, and take positions on the right of the Altar. Bishop, at Altar, for a moment of devotion.

Choristers may sing an appropriate anthem.

After a brief interval, the representatives of Chivalry, Banneret, Herald and Trumpeter, Knights and Prince Commander enter and take positions on the left side. Organ march.

Bishop: Prince Commander, and dearly beloved brethren, the Church welcomes to its Sanctuary the representatives of Chivalry who desire to present an aspirant for Knighthood. Bid him keep his vigil here at this holy Altar, and may God hear his prayers and keep him loyal and true.

Prince Commander: Most Reverend Father and Sublime Princes, we are assembled here for the purpose of admitting to our fellowship a worthy knight. His integrity and fidelity in the past give assurance that he will regard honor as duty, and princely privilege as opportunity for service. Trumpeter, sound a fanfare; Herald, make proclamation.

Trumpet. Herald proclaims loudly.

Herald: Constans! Constans! Constans! Stand forth and be tried by the tests of true knighthood. Make your profession in the presence of all people. Keep your vigil in lonely solitude before Cod. Thus only, may you hope to be proclaimed a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

Organ March. Enter four Knights in full armor, two by two, with Constans clothed in loose flowing white robe over a white costume. Each knight bears armor as indicated in test.

Organ music ceases as soon as the knights arrive before dais.

Knight Kadosh, loudly and solemnly: CONSTANS IS HERE!

Prince Commander: I greet you, Constans. He who would be a prince among his equals should put away all pomp and circumstance, all pride of rank, and here, in the presence of the Prince of Peace, he should stand in humility, clothed in the white robe of purity, outward sign of inward grace.

Constans, is the robe you wear a vain and pretentious adornment, or a token of purity?

Constans: Not of purity, my Lord Prince Commander, but of a desire and purpose to live chastely and without offense among my fellows.

Prince Commander: You have answered well. Is it your desire to be a knight, chivalrous in war, a prince honorable in peace, a friend and a servant to your fellow men in all their needs?

Constans: Such is my earnest desire.

Prince Commander: You ask much; and most unwisely if you be not steadfast. Remember how great is the fall of him who is exalted if he prove unworthy.

Constans: I will remember.

Prince Commander: Who stands sponsor for this aspirant?

Knight of Lodge of Perfection moves to right and forward as directed before.

Knight Lodge of Perfection: I stand sponsor for his Fidelity, my Lord Prince. He has labored fervently in Masonry; his work has been tested by the square, the level, and the plumb. His desires have been circumscribed by the compasses. He has learned the Master’s word and has performed Master’s work.

In token of my faith in him, I place here this cuirass, that he may be girt in strength and stand staunchly against every assault.

Places cuirass on dais before Altar and returns to his place in line.

Knight of Council of Princes of Jerusalem moves to left and front.

Knight Prince of Jerusalem: I stand sponsor for his Truth. While some have actively opposed or tacitly avoided, he has persistently proclaimed and nobly labored for Truth. In token of my faith in him, I place here this helmet, that he may be guarded against the crafty attacks of falsehood and the evil blows of error.

Deposits helmet at head of cuirass and returns.

Knight of Rose Croix: I stand sponsor for his Love. In Faith he has established his purpose and fixed his conduct. In Hope he has triumphed over every obstacle.

In Charity he has borne all things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things. In token of my faith in him, I place here this shield, that not only he, but also those whom he serves, may be screened from the darts of intolerance, and he sheltered from the arrows of persecution.

Deposits shield near cuirass and returns.

Knight Kadosh: I stand sponsor for his Justice and Mercy. He has learned to judge others by first judging himself. He is righteous in judgment, merciful in act; seeking not to condemn but to save. A check on oppression, a terror to evil doers, a staunch defender of innocence and virtue, he is a true Knight Kadosh.

In token of my faith in him, I place here this sword, confident that he will wield it manfully for the right against the wrong.

Deposits sword and returns.

Bishop: Happy is the man who has such sponsors; thrice blest he who justifies their trust. Fidelity, Truth, Love and Justice are the true attributes of a servant of God, and he who lives by these precepts will be worthy of knighthood.

Prince Commander: Constans, you aspire to princely honor. Remember that such honor can only attend princely deed. Rank and title may be bestowed by others because the givers have been deceived by fradulent pretense or bribed by unworthy reward. In the same way rank and title may be revoked by the givers, because they have been misled by envious deceit or malignant slander.

But honor is above rank and title and is self-earned; the unerring and unfailing reward of true Masonry.

Honor is likewise self-revoked, the inevitable penalty of disloyalty.

From days of old, aspirants for knightly honor have been left in lonely vigil before the Altar of the Most High God - a vigil that is emblematic of that solitary conflict which every man must fight out in the secret places of his own soul, with no witnesses and no succor save the all-knowing and all-mighty Father of men. Constans, we leave you now to your vigil. In this sword and helmet, shield and cuirass, behold symbols of all your powers for the service to which you aspire. Without these symbols of service, you are bereft of all ability to aid in our great work of making this world a Temple, a fit abiding place for the Grand Architect of the Universe, and become only another weak object of our labors; a suppliant, and not an ally.

Guard well your armor, for, in so doing, you guard all your powers for fixture good, all your claims for future honor. Faithfulness to this trust will prove your worthiness for nobler tasks. Recreancy will forfeit all that you have won in the past, all that you may hope for in the future.

Constans: My hope is in God. Kneels by his armor.

Bishop: Our hope is in God. May He ever have you in His holy keeping.

Raises hands in blessing. Constans remains in prayer.

Prince Commander: Keep well your vigil. Constans, farewell.

Organ march. Knights retire in order. The Prince Commander first, escorted by the four sponsoring Knights. Organ modulates into the Recessional Hymn as the Choristers lead the church party out of the cathedral. Lights dimmed. Moonlight through windows.

The Vigil

Constans is left alone in the Cathedral. He slowly rises, views the armor, and speaks.

Constans: The Prince Commander said, "Behold, in this sword and helmet, shield and cuirass, symbols of all the powers for the service to which I might aspire."

He also said, "Guard well your armor, for, in so doing, you guard all your powers for future good."

Picks up cuirass and meditates.

Constans: The Breastplate of righteousness, Carl’s Cuirass, taken from his own breast and placed here in token of his faith in my fidelity, that I might he girt in strength. I will not break that faith.

Deposits cuirass and picks up helmet.

Constans: The Helmet of Salvation. Phillipe’s assurance of my love and truth. I will make that assurance doubly sure.

Deposits helmet and picks up shield.

Constans: The Shield of Faith. Frederick’s testimony of my love for all my Brethren. May that testimony never change.

Deposits shield and picks up sword.

Constans: The Sword of the Spirit. Conrad’s belief in my justice and mercy in the defense of every righteous cause.

Inverts sword to form cross and kneels.

Constans: O thou most high and holy One, grant unto me steadfastness of purpose, that with the whole armor of God I may fight the good fight, and never stain the honor of my sponsors, nor my own.

Lovingly handles the sword and replaces it with the other armor.

The Temptations

Sounds of dance music in distance, guitar, mandolin, tambourine. Enter Florio, masked, festival costume.

Carries domino and mask. Under no circumstances should the character of Florio be played in an effeminate manner nor should any tempter touch or pull on Constans. As each tempter appears, Ignatius should be briefly discovered by a soft spot light eavesdropping from the wings.

Florio: Constans! Hush! It is I, Florio. Come to the dance. The city is wild with gaiety. Come away from this weary vigil. Your lady love sends me to claim your courtesy. She mocks at your vigil. She threatens your dismissal. Come, Constans!

Constans: You are no friend of mine, Florio, to tempt me thus. Away! I will not go.

Florio: But, Constans, no man will know. See, I have brought you mask and domino. You are young. Music, wine, dancing, all are calling you. Come for an hour!

All is safe here. No man will disturb this grim armor in this gloomy sanctuary. Come!

Constans: I tell you NO! Leave me in peace. I will not leave my vigil.

Florio: Then you will lose your love, Constans. Turns to leave, pauses a second, and returns. Would you sacrifice a woman’s love, the kiss of ruby lips, the caress of loving arms, a life of wedded bless, for a night of this weary vigil?

Constans: I will keep my vigil. My hope is in God.

Constans turns and kneels at Altar. Florio looks at him a moment, then rushes away. During above, music has continued softly as though at a distance, and at Florio's exit dies down as though moving away.

Enter Urban in long white heard and wig. He approaches Constans and speaks slowly and with dignity, in contrast to Florio's lighter mood.

Urban: What seek you here, Constans? It is rank?

Power? Station, Foolish man! All these you can have for the taking. Rank the highest the world has ever known! Power beyond all that has ever been exercised by man. Station so exalted that no monarch dare approach without humble obeisance. Why crave for that which you may command? Why this cold and cheerless vigil when luxury and magnificence are yours for the taking? Would you be rich? The Midas power is mine and shall be yours. Are you ambitious? You shall triumph over every opponent, and that without a struggle. You shall rise to imperial power, and that without a rival.

Constans: I have my work to do. I will not heave it.

Urban: Work! Why work, when you may have the power to make all men work for you?

Constans: I work for others and not for self. This is my task and it is a joy to me.

Urban: Constans, I am your friend. I seek you now to share my power. Knowledge is power; knowledge is mine.

With this power, I bend circumstances to my will; I command all the forces of land and sea; I control kings and princes; I conjure a million slaves and compel them to work my will. Come with me, Constans, and you shall rule the whole world.

Constans: Who am I, that I should rule? Give me to serve and I am doubly blest.

Urban: But think of all you could do with this mighty power.

Constans: No, not I, but unhappy slaves groaning in my bondage.

Urban: Constans, put not your hope in princes, I can do …

Constans: My hope is in God. Leave me to my vigil.

Kneels again. Urban shakes his head in disapproval and exits slowly.

Rufus in rural working clothes, enters hurriedly, excited, panting.

Rufus: Constans! Constans! Come quickly! A traitor knight has attacked your castle. Knowing you were here he made stealthy assault and every moment increases his power. Come! Come!

Constans: I cannot go.

Rufus, more and more excited: Constans! Your castle is even now in flames! Your property is being seized. All your treasuries are in peril! Hasten to the rescue!

Constans: I insist keep my vigil.

Rufus: But, Constans, no man can condemn you for responding to this call. O, Constans! Come! Triumph over your enemies and save your home.

Constans: My hope is in God, I will not go.

Constans kneels again, Rufus runs out, exclaiming: He will not come! He will not come!

Enter Ignatius, a monk, ascetic, brown robe, rope-girdle, cowl. Constans is kneeling by armor.

Ignatius: Well done, Constans. Nobly hast thou withstood the enticement of pleasure, the allurement of ambition, and the appeal of selfish interest. But think not that thy soul is safe from temptation, come, now, with me!

Constans has risen, startled.

Constans: I crave your blessing, Reverend Father. I knew not that you were near.

Ignatius: Thou are watched when little suspecting.

Flee from further temptation, so shalt thou save thy soul from perdition! Come!

Constans: Where would you have me go, Father?

Ignatius: Far from this busy world where evil lurks in companionship with men; remote from the society of thy fellows where vice ever tempts and sin ever entices.

Come with me, I say, and in some solitary hermit cell, where none can harass thee by insistent calls for service, or beguile thee by insidious persuasions to vice, thou mayest live piously, and by prayer and fasting win thy soul's salvation.

Constans: But, reverend Father, what of my fellow men?

They are my brethren, children with me of the same Heavenly Father. How can I help in their labors, Succor in their affliction, comfort in their sorrow, if I depart from them and live in solitude?

Ignatius: What is that so thee? Save thine own soul from perdition. While in the society of men, thou art in constant deadly peril. Satan walks to and fro in the crowds to beguile thee. Temptations beset thee in the company of thy friends. Pitfalls yawn for thy soul on every busy way. In solitude only is there safety from sin.

In lonely meditation, in constant prayer, in fasting that will mortify the body, and in self-inflicted tortures that will weaken thy physical power thou shalt win paradise for thy soul. Come with me, I say.

Constans: Reverend Father, of bodily torture I have no fear, of physical hurt I have no dread. Too oft have I dared the battle shock and the peril of war to be careful of self. I cannot but think that God, the Father, created this body for its work, made these arms strong that they might labor, these eyes keen that they might see the need, these ears acute that they might hear the call. To spend all this strength, to risk all these powers in human service, I am willing. But how dare I destroy, or even diminish, the powers God has given me to do good? I dare not.

Ignatius: Spare not thy body, so that by its mortification thou mayest save thy soul.

Constans: I will not spare my body if thereby I may save the soul - or even the body -of my brother.

Ignatius with stern authority, holding up cross and backing away: Who art thou, to argue with me? I command thee, by the power of my holy office, to come!

Come, I say, or thy soul will be damned eternally!

Constans starts to follow and than stops: My hope is in God. I will not leave my vigil.

Ignatius, with increasingly angry emphasis as he

exits: Fool! Thou wilt be lost! Lost! Lost!

Constans looking sorrowfully after Ignatius: Oh, miserable me! Is it so? Must I save my soul only by abandoning all others to guilt and shame? I cannot believe it. If what the monk said be true, why was Light revealed to me in the East? Why was the white apron of service girt about my loins? Why were the tools of labor placed in my hands? If it be true that my soul’s salvation can be won only by solitary meditation, why was the light of reason kindled and my intellect quickened, that I might plan and learn and understand and teach?

If it be true that I am eternally lost unless I save my own soul by incessant prayer and penitence, why was I raised by the strong grip of a Master Mason or the Lion’s Paw, and given the Word by which I might labor?

No! I cannot, I will not believe it. On the five points of fellowship I am vowed to Mason’s work. Here is my equipment pointing to armor and I will labor to the end.

Yet the monk has left me with a terrible thought.

"Lost!" "Lost" he said.

Away with this doubt! Away with this selfish fear! My hope is in God. Throws himself on knees by armor.

Gives grand hailing sign of distress, with words. When I first sought light in Masonry my trust was in God; so now, in this horrible trial, my hope is in God. Let me never be confounded.

If it be true that by companionship and service with my brethren I am doomed to eternal death, grant it to me, O my God, that before that dreadful day of wrath I may labor as a good Mason and by Thy grace lead at least one of Thy children, my brothers, to the perfect light, where he may be saved from eternal darkness.

Help me to labor for my brethren and I shall trust to be saved myself by Thy loving kindness.

My hope is in God. Amen,

Windows grow darker. Everything quiet. Suddenly a noise of alarm bell in far distance, faint shouts, nearer, shrieks, offstage shouting of voices, "The enemy." "Save us," "To the walls" etc. Trumpet. Clash of arms, nearer and receding again, further away and nearer again. During this, Constans starts, listens, arises, paces in growing agitation.

Constans: What is that? An alarm? Can it be a treacherous assault? Or is it only another trial of my fidelity? What shall I do? I was admonished to keep my vigil, limit the city is in peril. They told me I must stay here. All my future depends on my obedience. But how can I stay while children may be murdered and women ravished. No, I cannot stay! I must go.

A cry without, Our leader is slain! Clash of swords, flames red through windows.

Constans: Our leader is slain! And I here in cowardly safety. My people are in peril; I must go. My hope is in God. Grasps sword and shield. Rushes out,

repeating: My hope is in God.

Loud shouts and clashing of swords; noise of battle; cries in unison of My hope is in God, all increasing in intensity, then slowly fading out into silence.

At this point, curtain falls and lights are extinguished for an interval of 30 seconds to denote passage of several hours.

Curtain rises, full lights. People enter laughing and cheering. Cries of Victory. Bishop, priests and Prince Commander to East. Knights enter last, worn and spant, bust happy.

Prince Commander, stretching out hand: Silence, my people. Lift up your hearts. The city is saved. Our enemy is vanquished. Praise be to God, who in our hour of direct peril sent us a mighty deliverer. With our leader wounded nigh unto death and a prisoner among our foes, we were indeed lost had it not been for the miraculous champion who appeared so suddenly, rallied our forces, and snatched victory from defeat. Under God, he is the saviour of this people. Where is our champion, that all may do him honor?

Captain of the Guard, through battle-spent, is not breathless. Speaks rapidly but clearly and distinctly.

Closing sentences solemn and impressive: My Lord Prince Commander, he has vanished again as suddenly as he appeared. We were utterly vanquished, and the city and all its people were at the mercy of our ruthless foe, when he came among us, radiant as an archangel, clothed all in white, his face illumined, his eyes flashing. No armor had he, nor helmet, but a broad shield with which in the first moment of his appearance he saved me from a murderous spear, and a great sword which fell with a flash like lightning and slew my foe. Then he cried out, "My hope is in God,"

and fell like a destroying angel upon the enemy. There was no resisting his assault. The enemy lied before him, appalled at his wondrous power. Even the women and children inspired us as they took up the cry, "My hope is in God" and the battle was won. But our brave champion disappeared in the moment of victory. Surely he was a man sent by God to save our people.

Bishop: We know not the ways of our Heavenly Father, but we truly believe that this was a man sent by God.

Prince Commander, suddenly notices the armor on the

dais: But where is the aspirant whom we heft here in vigil over his armor? Has he been recreant to his trust? Can it be that he fled from the approach of the enemy? He has abandoned his vigil, a craven coward?

If so, then even in this hour of rejoicing, we shall not forget justice. We shall strip him of his dignity and strike off his honors, even as he has dishonored his sponsors.

Never shall Constans be created by us a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

Herald! Summon the recreant Constans.

Herald and trumpeter to right of steps. Blows trumpet.

Herald: Constans! Appear!

Pause. Trumpet and call again. Pause, and a third trumpet and call. Immediately after this third call, the four Sponsor Knights enter, slowly advance to East bearing a bier on which is the body of Constans, covered with battered shield and by his side a broken sword. They stop center stage.

Knight Kadosh, solemnly and reverently: Constans is here.

People gasp, sob, and some fall on knees in sorrow.

Prince Commander kneels at bier, facing front.

Prince Commander: Constans Our Deliverer. How vain is human wisdom! How blind is human judgment! In our hasty anger we said, "Never shall Constans be created by us a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret." His martyr victory has made of our unjust judgment his eternal glory. It was not for mortal man to create Constans a prince. He was a prince, dubbed and created by the King of Kings whose son he is. It was not for mortal man to reveal to Constans the Royal Secret. It was enshrined in his own unconquerable soul, incarnate in that Love which was his divine inheritance.

When he forsook his vigil here, Constans was true to the highest meaning and deepest spirit of his vow. He obeyed the dictates of his conscience and, in loyal response to his country’s call, rushed to its defense.

The cry of distress, the call of humanity, found him obedient to the paramount duty. He was willing to be called a recreant knight if by such a sacrifice he could save his people.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."

Constans Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret! Lead us, too, behind the veil where we may see face to face!

Show curtain on tableau.

CLOSING

The Commander-in-Chief closes by declaration

- - -
The 33 of Freemasonry

 

Source: Correspondence with Leo Zagami
 


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