Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Station and Places: Seneschal


On May 29th, 2010, I was dubbed a Companion Knight of York Tri-Valley College #178. After the end of the ceremony, the Pre-Eminent Governor asked me to sit as Seneschal and I gladly accepted, with him knowing I would not be at the next year's meetings as I am deploying to Iraq.

I am always interested in the etymology and history of the various stations. If you subscribe to studying the mysterious group known as "Priory of Sion", historically there were Seneschals, that were 2nd rank from the top of the pyramid-like structure.

The etymology of "Seneschal" comes from the Proto-Germanic words sini, meaning senior, and skalk, meaning servant. Seneschal literally means 'senior servant'.

Historically in France, the seneschal would be sometime the personal representative of the King charged with dispensing justice and administrative duties. In other kingdoms, seneschals were in charge of feasts and domestic ceremonies. They would seem to be close to stewards in this regard. Other duties would include managing the property and finances of the Lord under who they served.

So when we tie this into the York Rite College, we see that the Seneschal is in charge of organizing the dinners and making sure all properties of the Governor are cared for. While he may not preside over them the Seneschal should be diligent in the planning of such ceremonies as installation and initiations.

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