Sunday, November 11, 2012

Consistory

The fourth body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is called the Consistory. This body consists of the 31° and the 32°.

Here is a brief description of the degrees:

31° - Inspector Inquisitor

The central teaching of this degree is justice. To be free, a Mason must begin by passing judgment on himself. He presents himself for examination. By  acting honestly in first giving judgment on himself  within the principles of justice and equity, it should  not be doubted when he shall do the same to his brothers. The brother who finds mercy in himself, who has not been too lenient towards himself, or  punish himself too severely, can also judge his  brothers. In so doing, he can be certain that he has  not acted contrary to his former obligations. He has  freed himself.

The lessons of this degree teach us to judge yourself in the same light as you judge others consider both actions and motives.

The jewel of the degree is a Teutonic Cross of silver worn with a white watered ribbon around the neck.




Though no apron is worn in the Tribunal,  there  was an apron that was to be worn when the  Inspector Inquisitor visited an inferior body. That  custom has been dispensed with but the apron is  still a part of the history and symbolism of the  degree; so it is displayed here. It is of pure white  lambskin with a Teutonic Cross embroidered  in  black and silver upon the flap.




The collar is white and at the point upon the breast  is a gold triangle emitting rays with the letters 'XXXI'  in the center.

32° - Master of the Royal Secret


This degree teaches many lessons, but the mystery concealed is that man is a creature of free will and capable of recreating himself. If he accomplishes  this goal, he will attain a genuine power that can  shake the limits of science, surpass the problems of this earth, decipher the secrets of space, surpass the limits of ceremony and catechism, and attain genuine enlightenment; a gnosis which is the foundation of all religions. He will also surpass the narrow views of  interest in the area of morals, and will comprehend  a genuine virtue that transcends his own interest. Thus, it will become his nature to help his fellow men,  and, in so doing, he will discover the divine light within which brings true freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and  freedom of culture.

The lessons of this degree are that "genuine brotherhood requires mutual regard, opinion, esteem and charity". We always look for the good in all, make allowances for other's short comings. We trust the Supreme Architect to lead us to friendship, morality and brotherly love.
A Soldier of the Light seeks truth and knowledge. A Soldier of Freedom demands for the people free vote and voice and attains freedom of voice, vote, and opinion for himself. A Soldier for Religion combats spiritual tyranny with reason and truth. A Soldier of the People encourages men to be self-reliant and independent. A Soldier of Scottish Rite Masonry is zealous and ardent in the performance of his duties to God, his country, his family, his brethren and himself.
The jewel of the order is a Teutonic Cross of gold with arms frosted.  In the center are the letters 'XXXII°', surrounded by a green wreath.




The apron is of white silk or velvet, twelve inches square, edged with two stripes of gold lace, each half an inch wide, and  an inch apart, and fringed with gold. Between the stripes of lace is a stripe of black velvet. On the flap are embroidered six flags, three on each side, the lower one blue, the middle one red, and the upper one gold. On these, in the center, is a Teutonic  Cross of gold, and over that an eye of gold, surrounded by rays. On the cross, a black double-headed eagle, with beak and claws of gold, holding a sword of gold, one claw on the hilt.. On the  body of the apron is the Tracing -Board of the degree in all the colors. The reverse side of the apron is of crimson silk or velvet. It is tied by a heavy cord of crimson silk.



The cordon is worn from the right shoulder to the left hip and is four inches wide, doubled, black edged with white on the principal side and crimson on the other. At the point of the principal side is embroidered a red Teutonic Cross with a silver double-headed eagle superimposed. On the crimson side, at the height of the heart, is embroidered a Teutonic Cross in black.

References


1.Constitory. (n.d.). Retrieved from Scottish Rite of California: http://www.scottishritecalifornia.org/consistory.htm

2. Scottish Rite Degrees: Consistory. (n.d.). Retrieved from Master Mason: http://www.mastermason.com/jjcrowder/scottish/scottish.html#eagle

3. Scottish Rite Consistory. (n.d.). Retrieved from MasonicDictionary.com: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/consistory.html

4. What Are The Scottish Rite Degrees? (n.d.). Retrieved from Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Jacksonville, Florida: http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/scottish_rite_degrees.htm

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