Thursday, December 14, 2017

Backup For Brad

It has been a rough few days for my family and I. After I got home from a work trip to Arizona, I was informed that my father has been diagnosed with stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Things are moving very quickly with the rapid progression of this awful disease and my aunt has started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to offset the massive costs. My request is to pass this along and spread the word. Please, if you can donate any amount it would be greatly appreciated and even if you are unable to donate share this post with all of your family and friends so that we can support my family and #BackupForBrad.

Here is the link to the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/backup-for-brad


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Officers of a Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine

The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine is an invitational order of knighthood stemming from Royal Arch Masonry. The basic organization of this order is known as a Conclave and is presided over by the Puissant Sovereign. There can be multiple Conclaves to a jurisdiction which is referred to as a Division and an Intendent General is appointed from the national level which in the US is known as the United Grand Imperial Council and that body is presided over by a Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign.

The officers of a Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine are the Puissant Sovereign, Eminent Viceroy, Senior General, Junior General, Treasurer, Recorder, Prelate, Prefect, Standard Bearer, Herald, Sentinel, and Orator. The first six officers are elected annually and the last six are appointed by the Puissant Sovereign.

The presiding officer of the Conclave, and corresponding to the Worshipful Master of a Blue Lodge, is the Puissant Sovereign who represents Constantine. Traditionally, a sovereign is the supreme authority of a government (such as a monarch) a1nd the Puissant Sovereign stands supreme within the Conclave, but is bound by the rules, regulations, statutes, and laws of his Conclave and of the United Grand Imperial Council. "Puissant" is rooted in the Old French word "poeir" meaning "to be able" and is used as an adjective to indicate strength and power. The etymological root of "sovereign" is "superanus" which is Vulgar Latin meaning "chief or principal."

Equivalent to the Senior Warden in the Lodge, the Eminent Viceroy sits as second-in-command of the Conclave and represents the Venerable Eusebius. Historically, a Viceroy is a ruler exercising authority in a country, colony, city, province, or sub-national state on behalf of a sovereign. The word "eminent" stems from the Latin word "eminentem" meaning "standing out, projecting, prominent, or high." "Viceroy" is a combination of two Old French words "vice" meaning "deputy or in place of" and "roi" meaning king; roi comes from the Latin "regem" (the nominative form is "rex"). So etymologically speaking "viceroy" literally means "in place of a king." This is accurate of the Eminent Viceroy who assists the Puissant Sovereign in the government of the Conclave.

The next two officers are the Senior General and Junior General whom, while elected officers, have duties like those of the Junior Deacon in the Lodge; that of ensuring the security of the Conclave. A general is a senior military officer who commands troops and as a military order it is not unusual to see an officer with a military title within this order. The word "general" comes from the Middle French "capitaine général" which was shortened in the 16th century.

Like the Chaplain found in the Lodge, the Prelate has the duty of offering prayers to God in the Conclave. A Prelate is traditionally a high-ranking member of the clergy and the word is derived from the Latin word 'prelatus' referring to a clergyman of "high rank or of preference over others." The Prelate being the senior most appointed officer demonstrates our commitment as a religious order.

Just as the Senior Deacon does in the Lodge, the Prefect attends at the altar as well as receives and conducts candidates throughout the Conclave. Traditionally, a prefect is often a magisterial or administrative officer whose authority was conferred upon them by a higher authority. The etymological root of this officer is from the Latin word "praefects" meaning "public overseer, superintendent, or director" which is an accurate description of this officer who oversees the aspirants as they are initiated into the order.

The next officer of the Conclave is the Standard Bearer and the Marshal is the closest comparison since the Standard Bearer displays the banner of the order just as the Marshal is the master of ceremonies in the Lodge. Historically in military orders, the duties of the Standard Bearer included being the paymaster and ensuring the equipment (to include the horses) was kept in working order. 

The inner guard of the Conclave is known as the Herald and can be compared to the Junior Deacon in the Lodge. A Herald was traditionally an officer who conveyed messages or proclamations as well as acted as diplomats or ambassadors for monarchs. This word derives from the old French word 'heraut' meaning "messenger or envoy."

As the outer guard of the Conclave, the Sentinel ensures that the Knight Companions are securely guarded. This word is rooted in the Latin word "sentire" translating as "feel or perceive by the senses."

While there is no Orator known in the Blue Lodge, many Grand Lodges have a Grand Orator. Within the Conclave, the Orator takes part in the ritualistic initiation and delivers the history of the order to a new candidate. An orator is a public speaker, often known for their eloquence. The word "orator" comes from the Latin word "orare" meaning "to speak."

References

1. Eminent. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/eminent 

2. General. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/general 

3. General. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/general 

4. Herald. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/herald 

5. Ingram, C. (2007, October 01). What Does the Phrase "God is Sovereign" Really Mean? Retrieved from Christianity.com: https://www.christianity.com/theology/what-does-the-phrase-god-is-sovereign-really-mean-11555729.html 

6. Officer Titles. (n.d.). Retrieved from Division of Arizona, Red Cross of Constantine: https://sites.google.com/site/redcrossofconstantineaz/officers-past-present/officer-titles 

7. Orator. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dictionary.com: www.dictionary.com/browse/orator 

8. Orator. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/orator 

9. Orator. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orator 

10. Prefect. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/prefect 

11. Prelate. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=prelate 

12. Puissant. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/puissant 

13. Red Cross Of Constantine. (n.d.). Retrieved from Freemason Information: http://freemasoninformation.com/what-is-freemasonry/family-of-freemasonry/red-cross-of-constantine/ 

14. Sentinel. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/sentinel 

15. Sovereign. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/sovereign 

16. Sovereign. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dictionary.com: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sovereign 

17. The Conclave. (n.d.). Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/conclave.html 

18. Viceroy. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/viceroy 

19. Viceroy. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dictionary.com: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/viceroy

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I am thankful for my life and for my family who I am spending the day with.  I am thankful for servicemen and women who keep the peace. I am thankful for all of my Brothers withersoever dispersed around the world.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

All Gnostic Saints Day

This day celebrates the lives of a series of historical figures revered by Gnostic Christians. One such list of saints appears in the Collect of the Day of All Gnostic Saints of Ecclesia Gnostica, which reads as follows:
Praise be to Thee, O Father of all Fatherhood, Thou, the unknown God, who was before the fall of the sparks into the darkness of this aeon, for the glorious messengers of the light of Thy everlasting and redeeming Gnosis. Especially do we praise and thank Thee today for the following holy and enlightened teachers and knowers of truth: Valentinus of Rome; Basilides of Antioch; Carpocrates of Alexandria; Bardesanes of Syria; Mani of Babylonia, Martyr; Priscillian of Avila, Bishop and Martyr; Paul of Samosata, Bishop; Peter of Bruys, Martyr; Amalric of Bena; David of Dinan and William of Paris; Bogomil of Dragowitza, Bishop; Peter Waldo of Lyons; Joachim of Flora; Esclaremonde de Foix and the Cathar martyrs; and all the holy souls and wise sages who have in any way or form, under whatsoever guise and appearance attained to and taught the true and ancient Gnosis of God. Grant, O Boundless One, that inspired by and following their most noble example we also may see the light of Thy Gnosis and assist in liberating Thy sparks of light from the chains of darkness, ignorance and malice which afflict them in this aeon. Amen.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day to all the men and women who are serving and have served in the Armed Forces!



Monday, November 6, 2017

Visiting the Detroit Masonic Temple

While I was here at the Detroit Masonic Temple on Saturday night for a presentation, I requested a tour on Monday when I had more time to see this amazing in the daytime. It is truly awe inspiring and seeing this building was on my Masonic bucket list. I wrote about this building back in 2012: Sights and Places: Detroit Masonic Temple, but no words can do it justice. I have to thank Worshipful Brother Rob Moore, Worshipful Master of the Michigan Lodge of Research and Information for taking me on such an informative tour of this historic building. Now I am on my way back home.

Here are just a few of the pictures that I took during this tour:




















Saturday, November 4, 2017

Wisdom of the Founding Brethren

This weekend I am in Detroit for work and before coming out I had contacted the Masons to see if any event would be happening that I could attend. I was informed that the Michigan Lodge of Research would be hosting a Richard H. Sands Lecture at the Detroit Masonic Temple Library and that the lecturer would be  Bro. Shawn Eyer. Bro. Shawn is a Past Master of Academia Lodge No.847 in Oakland, CA, and currently serves as Director of Communications at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, VA, as well as the editor of its newsletter, "Light." He is also editor of "Ahiman: A Review of Masonic Culture and Tradition" and "Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Research and Letters", the oldest independent Masonic publications in North America. I was looking forward to this presentation because I've known Bro. Shawn for a few years now and had not seen him a few years.

Bro. Shawn Eyer gave a presentation titled "Wisdom of the Founding Brethren: Light from the First Generation of Freemasons." Shawn is an exceptional Masonic scholar and lecturer, and I was not disappointed by his presentation. Shawn's presentation centered on looking at primary sources of early Masonry to look at some of the attitudes, ideas, and cultures of the early Masonic Brethren around the time of the founding Brothers. Citing the song "The Freemasons Health" (one of the earliest printed documents of Speculative Freemasonry), a Masonic essay by Robert Samber, Anderson's Constitution of 1723, the York Regulations of 1725, the writings of Francis Drake (1726), the writings of Edward Oakley (1728) writings by Martin Clare, the "Dissertation upon Masonry" (1734), the Book M (1736), and writings by "Brother Euclid" (1738). What I took away from this presentation is that we modern Masons, and humans in general, look back at our predecessors with some bias that they must have been simpler than us, but after looking through their writings, Masonic education isn't a new concept and has been with us since the earliest recorded history of Freemasonry. Many of the earliest essays on Masonry paint a picture of Lodges that fostered an environment for those seeking spiritual, intellectual, and social pursuits and exploration (rather than using research). The Brethren of the Michigan Lodge of Research were very hospitable and welcoming.It was a pleasure to attend this presentation and the fellowship that followed.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Caps of the Scottish Rite

With the Apron and Shrine Fez, the Scottish Rite cap stands out as a distinctive piece of Masonic regalia. The Scottish Rite caps are first bestowed upon Masons who have progressed to the 32° and there are a variety of caps, differing with their colors and insignia which can confuse new members or those who are not members of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite.

The purpose of the Scottish Rite cap is for Masons to show to Almighty God as well as to identiify a degree and any honors one may have achieved in the Scottish Rite. According to the Supreme Council, the cap  is considered a part of the apparel and is not removed, evn for prayer and the presentation of the flag. The Scottish Rite cap is not to be worn in any public place not connected to a Scottish Rite meeting. Note that I am speaking primarily of the caps worn by Masons of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. There are some key differences between the Southern Jurisdiction (SJ) and Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. The NMJ has a cap for officers that are yellow, but that is not a practice in the Southern Jurisdiction.



The black cap adorned with the Scottish Rite double-headed eagle is worn by those who have advanced to the 32° - Master of the Royal Secret. This cap is worn by a majority of the members of the Scottish Rite.



The blue cap emblazoned with golden number 50 surrounded by a wreath is worn by those Scottish Rite Masons who have been a member for atleast 50-years.


The red cap decorated with the red and gold cross of a Knight Commander is worn by those 32° Scottish Rite Masons who have been invested with the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH). When one has been a 32° for atleast 4-years (roughly) can be nominated for their services to the Rite to be awarded the KCCH. It should be noted that this is not a degree, but an investiture to recognize faithful service and does not confer any more power or authority. The KCCH exists in the Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, but is not used universally among other Supreme Councils.



The white cap embroidered with the red and gold Patriarchal Cross designates that one has been coronated a 33° Inspector General Honorary. When a Scottish Rite Mason has been a 32° KCCH for four years, has attained the age of 35, and has continued to provide outstanding service to the Rite, he is eligible to received the 33° Inspector General Honorary. These Brothers are not active members of the Supreme Council, but compose the pool from which those active members are chosen from.


The white cap adorned with the gold Teutonic cross of the Grand Cross and surrounded by a band of dark blue velvet bordered in gold is worn by those distinguished Brothers who have been awarded the Grand Cross of the Court of Honor. This is the highest decoration which can be bestowed on an Inspector General Honorary for exceptional services. This rank and designation is not a degree, and members who hold it are designated 33° GCCH or 33° GC.


The white cap adorned with the red and gold Patriarchal Cross and surrounded by a band of red velvet bordered in gold is worn by Brothers who serve as a Deputy of the Supreme Council. In Orients (states, territories, or countries) that do not have an active member of the Supreme Council, the Sovereign Grand Commander can appoint a Deputy to serve as SGIG of that particular Orient, but that does not give him active membership or a vote on the Supreme Council.


The purple cap emblazoned with a purple and gold Patriarchal Cross with crosslets and surrounded by a band of purple velvet, bordered in gold and decorated with a gold vine of laurel leaves and berries is worn by a Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) and is an active member of the Supreme Council. There is only one active member for an Orient and the SGIG is the highest ranking officer of the Scottish Rite in the Orient.


The violet cap decorated with the Salem Cross with crosslets and surrounded by a band of violet velvet with a gold vine of laurel leaves and berries is worn only by the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. The Sovereign Grand Commander is the highest ranking officer of the Supreme Council invested with the power of supervision and administration within its jurisdiction.

References


1. Blue Hats in Scottish Rite. (2015). Retrieved from Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/freemasonry/comments/3di5nq/blue_hats_in_scottish_rite/


2. Regalia. (n.d.). Retrieved from Long Beach Scottish Rite: http://www.lbscottishrite.org/?p=regalia


3. The Scottish Rite Caps Explained. (n.d.). Retrieved from Valley of Tulsa: http://www.tulsasr.org/?page_id=124


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Masonic Week 2018

Here is the tentative schedule of events for the 2018 Masonic Week that will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Crystal CIty near the Regan National Airport.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

   

7:30am - Trinity Chapel No.2 of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon of the USA

10:00am - Grand Council of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon of the USA

Noon - Festive Board of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon of the USA

1:30pm - Potomac Court No.107 of the Masonic Order of Athelstan

3:00pm - Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan

4:45pm - Grand Council of the Universal Craftsmen Council of Engineers

8:15pm - Royal Ark Mariner degree of the Allied Masonic Degrees


Friday, February 9, 2018

   

    

7:00am - Breakfast sponsored by the Convent General KYCH

8:15am - Grand College of Rites of the USA

9:00am - Ladies Breakfast (no cost)

9:30am - Society of Blue Friars

10:45am - Nine Muses Council No.13 of the Allied Masonic Degrees

Noon - Lunch sponsored by the Grand Council of Knight Masons, USA

1:30pm - Grand Council of Knight Masons, USA

4:15pm - Grand College of America of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest

6:30pm - The 11th Annual Dinner of the Masonic Society

6:30pm - The Great Priory of America of the Chevaliers Bienfasants de la Cite Sainte

9:00pm - Ye Antiente Order of Corks


Saturday, February 10, 2018

   

  

7:00am - Breakfast sponsored by the York Rite Sovereign College

8:15am - Scarlet Cord Degrees of the Allied Masonic Degrees
8:15am - First Grade (Ostiarius or Doorkeeper)
8:45am - Second Grade (Lector)
9:15am - Third Grade (Fellow)
9:45am - Fourth Grade (Councillor)
10:45am - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor

12:15pm - The Philalethes Society Luncheon

2:00pm - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA

2:00pm - Ladies Afternoon Tea

5:30pm - Social Hour

6:30pm - All Masonic Banquet

8:45pm - Masonic Order of the Bath


Sunday, February 11, 2018


08:30am - Washington Monument Assemblage of the Operatives, USA Region (I° to VII°)

09:00am - Lodge of Menatzchim V° of the Operatives (V°, VI°, & VII° only)

10:30am - Lodge of Harodim VI° of the Operatives (VI° & VII° only)

Noon - Closing of Washington Monument Assemblage of the Operatives

12:30pm - Operatives Brunch (I° to VII°)