Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kappa Sigma Bio: George Miles Arnold

The third in this series of Kappa Sigma Biographies is George Miles Arnold, one of the Five Friends and Brothers. George Miles Arnold was born on August 27, 1851, in Troy, NY. George was born while the family was visiting Troy as they were then living in Mobile, AL, where George's father ran a wholesale business. George's mother died while he was still an infant

George Miles Arnold started attending the University of Virginia in 1869 where studied Latin, French, and Mathematics. It was while studying languages  where he earned the nickname "the little Spaniard." It was in the Winter that the Kappa Sigma fraternity was founded and George Miles Arnold was one of the founders, also known as the Five Friends and Brothers. George played an important role in the history of the fraternity as he wrote the Constitution and served as the first Grand Master of Zeta Chapter, the first Chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity in the United States.

In 1871, George started to study medicine, but then in February of 1871 he withdrew from the University after he shot a black resident of Charlottesville while intoxicated. The man survived, but George feared retaliation fled and presumably headed to NY because a few weeks later he was a student in the Medical College of New York; he received his M.D in 1873.

He continued to live in New York working as a doctor and married Minnie Jane Law on September 8, 1874. They had 8 children together, but only 3 survived childhood. Robert Miles Arnold, the only surviving son, would go on to join the Gamma-Zeta Chapter while attending New York University.

It is believed that George Miles Arnold was a Master Mason, but I have not yet confirmed this.


On January 25, 1890, George Miles Arnold died of pneumonia and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx. George Miles Arnold was very dedicated Brother and it was that, "He gave nearly his whole time to the society." In commemoration to this distinguished Brother, the fraternity presents the George Miles Arnold Cup to a Chapter who demonstrates "the highest level of commitment to Ritual education, throughout its entire membership."

References

1. 5 Friends and Brothers. n.d. http://www.umich.edu/~kappasig/5Brothers.htm.

2. The Five Founders. n.d. https://quizlet.com/54353742/the-five-founders-flash-cards/.

3. Bononia Docet Test 1. n.d. https://quizlet.com/20516061/bononia-docet-test-1-flash-cards/.

4. Docet Kappa Sigma. n.d. https://quizlet.com/21517822/docet-kappa-sigma-flash-cards/.

5. Founding of the Order. n.d. http://gukappasigma.celect.org/about-mu-iota-chapter.

6. George Miles Arnold. November 13, 2014. https://uvastudents.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/george-miles-arnold-27-aug-1851-25-jan-1890/.

7. History. n.d. http://kappasigma.org/about/history/.

8. "The Founders of Kappa Sigma." Caduceus of Kappa Sigma 19 (1904): 356-357.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

York Rite Abbreviations, Initialisms, and Acronyms

In Freemasonry has an extensive list of abbreviations, initialisms, and acronyms for certain terms, groups, and officer titles. This list will focus on terms common to the York Rite of Freemasonry and the chair degrees attached to it; I will also include the abbreviations, initialisms, and acronyms for the optional and invitational groups attached to the York Rite, but I will not include all the various abbreviations, initialisms, and acronyms used in those respective groups (that will be a later article).  Some of them may have multiple meanings which will be separated by a semicolon. Some titles or terms may have different ways to be abbreviated which will also be noted. Punctuation between the letters and abbreviations will vary depending on the type of acronym and what is commonly used for it today; I will post them using the most common method, but several of terms can have punctuation that is interchangeable.. You may see some acronyms and abbreviations with no punctuation, the one dot, or the Therefore sign (:. or .'.); traditionally the Therefore sign is used for mathematics and logic problems, but it has been adopted as a custom for abbreviations in Freemasonry.

To clarify the use of terms: Abbreviation is defined as a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole, Acronyms are abbreviations that are pronounced as words (i.e NATO), and Initialisms are abbreviations that are pronounced one letter at a time (i.e. FBI).

-A-
A.B. - Anno Benefacio meaning the "Year of the Blessing" and is used as a dating system in the Order of the High Priesthood.
A:.Dep:. - Anno Depositionis meaning the "Year of the Deposit" which is used in a Council of Royal and Select Masters (or Cryptic Masons).
A:.Inv:. - Anno Inventionis meaning the "Year of the Discovery," a dating system used in Royal Arch Masonry.
AMD - Allied Masonic Degrees, an invitational body within the York Rite that is dedicated to Masonic Research.
A.O. - Anno Ordinis meaning "Year of the Order" used in a Commandery of Knights Templar for dating their records.

-C-
CBCS - Chevaliers Biefaisants de La City Sainte which is French for Holy Order of Knights Beneficient of the Holy City which is an invitation-only Christian Masonic rite.
C:.G:. - Captain General, a dais officer in the Commandery of Knights Templar and Priory of the Knights of Malta; Captain of the Guards (see also "C.o.G.").
C:.H:. - Captain of the Host, an officer in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry (sometimes seen also as "C.H." or "C.O.H.").
Chap. - Chaplain, an officer found in multiple bodies of Freemasonry (may also see "CH" used).
Comp. - Companion, the title for members used in Royal Arch Masonry and Cryptic Masonry.
C.o.G. - Captain of the Guards, an officer in a Council of Cryptic Masons.
C.o.O.: Captain of the Outposts, an officer used in the Priory of the Knights of Malta (the acronym "C.O." may be also used).
C.T. - Companion of the Temple, an honor bestowed by the Grand Encampment on both men and women.

-D-

DC - Department Commander, an officer used by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar who represents the Grand Encampment to a region, a collection of states or nations.
D:.G:.G:.H:.P:. - Deputy General Grand High Priest, an officer used by the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International who represents the General Grand Chapter to a region, a collection of states or nations.
D:.G:.G:.M:. - Deputy General Grand Master, an officer of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International; there are also Regional Deputy General Grand Master who represents General Grand Council to a region, a collection of states or nations.
D:.G:.H:.P:. - Deputy Grand High Priest, an officer used by some Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masonry who represent the Grand High Priest to an assigned District within the Grand Chapter's jurisdiction.
D:.G:.M:. - Deputy Grand Master, the second in command for the Grand Encampment.

-E-

E:. - Eminent, an honorary title used for Commanders, Past Commanders, and certain Grand Commandery officers in the Knights Templar (may also see "Em."); Excellent, an honorary title used for High Priests, Past High Priests, and certain Grand Chapter officers in Royal Arch Masonry (see also E.C.).
E.C. - Eminent Commander, the officer in charge of a Commandery of Knights Templar; Excellent Companion, a title sometimes used for High Priests, Past High Priests, and certain Grand officers in Royal Arch Masonry.
E.H.P. - Excellent High Priest, the head of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry. 
E.P. - Eminent Prior, the officer in charge of a Priory of the Knights of Malta.

-G-

G:. - Grand, a prefix to titles of officers in Grand bodies as seen throughout Freemasonry.

G:.A:.O:.T:.U:. - Great (or Grand) Architect of the Universe, a generic term used to denote the Supreme Being.
Gen:. - Generalissimo, a dais officer in the Commandery of Knights Templar.

G:.C:. - Grand Chapter, Grand Council, or Grand Commandery: levels of organization in the three bodies of the York Rite of Freemasonry; Grand Commander, the presiding officer of a Grand Commandery (see also "R.E.G.C.); Grand Cross, an honorary title or award used in certain bodies of York Rite Freemasonry; Grand Conclave, the term used for the meeting of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
G:.C:.G:. - Grand Captain General, an officer used in Grand Commanderies and the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar; Grand Captain of the Guard, an officer of a Grand Council of Cryptic Masons.
G:.C:.H.: - Grand Captain of the Host, an officer in a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
GCT - Grand Cross Templar, a version of the KGC awarded to certain members of the College of Honors of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.
G.E.K.T. - Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, the highest governing body of Knights Templar in the United States.
G:.G:. - Grand Generalissimo, an officer of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and in the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.
G:.G:.C:. - General Grand Chapter, a level of organization in Royal Arch Masonry usually has authority over Grand Chapters and Chapters that fall outside any Grand Chapter; General Grand Chaplain, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and in the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G:.C:.C:. - General Grand Conductor of the Council, an officer in the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G:.C:.G:. - General Grand Captain of the Guard, an officer in the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G:.C:.H:. - General Grand Captain of Host, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.
G:.G:.H:.P:. - General Grand High Priest, the presiding officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.
G:.G:.K:. - General Grand King, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.
G:.G:.M:. - General Grand Master (see "M:.P:.G:.G:.M:."); General Grand Marshal, an officer in the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G:.M:.1:.V:. - General Grand Master of the First Veil, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International (may also use "G:.G:.M:.F:.V:.).
G:.G:.M:.2:.V:. - General Grand Master of the Second Veil, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International (may also use "G:.G:.M:.S:.V:.).
G:.G:.M:.3:.V:. - General Grand Master of the Third Veil, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International (may also use "G:.G:.M:.T:.V:.).
G:.G:.P:.C:.W:. - General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work, an officer of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G:.P:.S:. - General Grand Principal Sojourner, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.
G:.G:.R:.A:.C:. - General Grand Royal Arch Captain, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.
G:.G:.R:. - General Grand Recorder, the administrative officer for the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G.:S:. - General Grand Scribe, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International; General Grand Secretary, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International; General Grand Steward, an officer of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International; General Grand Sentinel, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.G.:T:. - General Grand Treasurer, an officer of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
G:.H:.P:. - Grand High Priest, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry (see also "M.E.G.H.P.").
G:.J:.W:. - Grand Junior Warden, an officer of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
G:.K:. - Grand King, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry.
G:.M:.1:.V:. - Grand Master of the First Veil, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry (may also use "G:.M:.F:.V:.).
G:.M:.2:.V:. - Grand Master of the Second Veil, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry (may also use "G:.M:.S:.V:.).
G:.M:.3:.V:. - Grand Master of the Third Veil, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry (may also use "G:.M:.T:.V:.).
G:.P:. - Grand Prelate, an officer of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.
G:.P:.C:.W:. - Grand Principal Conductor of the Work, an officer of a Grand Council of Cryptic Masons.
G:.P:.S:. - Grand Principal Sojourner, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry.
G:.R:. - Grand Recorder, an administrative officer in various Grand bodies of York Rite Freemasonry whose duties mirror a Grand Secretary.
G:.R:.A:.C:. - Grand Royal Arch Chapter, a level of organization within Royal Arch Masonry; Grand Royal Arch Captain, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry.
G:.S:. - Grand Secretary, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry (may also use "G:.Sec:."); Grand Scribe, an officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry; Grand Steward, an officer of a Grand Council of Cryptic Masonry; Grand Sentinel; an officer in a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, and Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
G:.S:.B:. - Grand Standard Bearer (see also "G:.St:.B:."); Grand Sword Bearer (see also "G:.Sw:.B:.").
G:.St:.B:. - Grand Standard Bearer, an officer in a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
G:.Sw:.B:. - Grand Sword Bearer, an officer in a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
G:.S:.W:. - Grand Senior Warden, an officer of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
G:.T:. - Grand Treasurer, the financial officer in several Grand bodies of York Rite Freemasonry.
G:.W:. - Grand Warder, an officer of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
-H-
H.P. - High Priest (see also "E.H.P.").
HRAKTP - Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, an honorary and invitational bodies of the American York Rite
-I-
I.O.R.C. - Illustrious Order of Red Cross, the first order conferred by a Commandery of Knights Templar.
Ill:. - Illustrious, an honorary title used in several groups in Freemasonry.
I.M. - Illustrious Master, the presiding officer of a Council of Cryptic Masonry (see also "T.I.M.").
-J-
J.D. - Junior Deacon, an officer used in a Lodge of Mark Master, Lodge of Past Master, Lodge of Most Excellent Master, and Council of Allied Masonic Degrees.
J.W. - Junior Warden, an officer of a Commandery of Knights Templar, Lodge of Mark Masters, and a Lodge of Past Masters.
-K-
KCT - Knight Commander of the Temple, the second highest decoration awarded by the Grand Encampment.
KGC - Knight Grand Cross of the Temple, an award bestowed upon those who have been elected as an officer of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.
K.M. - Knight of Malta (see also "O.M.").
K.T. - Knight (or Knights) Templar, a commonly used term for members of a Commandery and who have received the Order of the Temple.
K:. - King, a dais officer in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
KYCH - Knight of the York Cross of Honor, an invitational body within the York Rite available to those who have served as Worshipful Master of a Blue Lodge, High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter, Illustrious Master of a Council of Cryptic Masons, and Eminent Commander of a Commandery of Knights Templar.
KTCH - Knights Templar Cross of Honor, the highest meritorious award of the Grand Encampment.
-L-
Lt. Com. - Lieutenant Commander, an officer of a Priory of the Knights of Malta (may also see "LC"). 
-M-
Mar. - Marshal, an officer in a a Priory of the Knights of Malta.
M1V - Master of the 1st Veil, an officer of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons (may also see "M:.F:.V:.).
M2V - Master of the 2nd Veil, an officer of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons (may also see "M:.S:.V:.).
M3V - Master of the 3rd Veil, an officer of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons (may also see "M:.T:.V:.).
M.C. - Master of Cavalry, an officer of the Order of the Red Cross.
M.D. - Master of Dispatches, an officer of the Order of the Red Cross.
M.E. - Most Eminent, title applied to office of Grand Master of Templars; Most Excellent, a title for those Companions who are serving or have served as Grand High Priest of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
MEGHP - Most Excellent Grand High Priest, the presiding officer of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
M:.E:.G:.M:. - Most Eminent Grand Master, the presiding officer of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America.
MEM - Most Excellent Master, a degree within Royal Arch Masonry.
M.F. - Master of Finance, officer of the Order of the Red Cross.
M.I. - Master of Infantry, officer of the Order of the Red Cross.
MIGM - Most Illustrious Grand Master, the presiding officer of a Grand Council of Cryptic Masons (or Royal and Select Masters).
MM - Master Mason, title for those who have received the 3rd degree of Freemasonry; Mark Master (also see MMM).
MMM - Mark Master Mason, a degree within American Royal Arch Masonry.
M:.O:. - Master Overseer, an officer of a Lodge of Mark Masters.
M:.P:.G:.G:.M:. - General Grand Master, the presiding officer of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
-N-
N.P.D. - non-payment of dues.
-O-
OHP - Order of the High Priesthood, a chair degree for sitting or Past High Priests.
O.M. - Order of Malta, the second order conferred within a Commandery of Knights Templar.
O.R.C. - Order of Red Cross, the first order conferred within a Commandery of Knights Templar (also see "I.O.R.C.").
OST - Order of the Silver Trowel, a chair degree for the sitting or Past Illustrious Masters (Thrice Illustrious Masters).
O.T. - Order of Temple, third and final order conferred within a Commandery of Knights Templar.
-P-
P:. - Past, an honorary title attached to certain members who have served in specific positions throughout Freemasonry; Prelate, an officer within a Commandery of Knights Templar whose duties are comparative to the Chaplain; Prior, the presiding officer of a Priory of the Knights of Malta (also see "Pr.").
P.C. - Prince Chancellor, officer of Red Cross Order; Past Commander (also see P.E.C.).
P:.C:.W:. - Principal Conductor of the Work, a dais officer in a Council of Cryptic Masons.
P.E.C. - Past Eminent Commander, a title given to those Sir Knights who have presided over a Commandery of Knights Templar.
PGHP - Past Grand High Priest, a title given to those who have presided over a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; this title can be preceded by the abbreviation "M.E.".
PIM - Past Illustrious Master, a title given to those Companions who have presided over a Council of Cryptic Masons.
P.M.P. - Price Master of Palace, an officer of the Order of the Red Cross.
Pr. - Prior (also see "P:.").
Prel.: - Prelate, (also see "P:.").
PS - Principal Sojourner, an officer in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
-R-
RA - Royal Arch.
RAC - Royal Arch Captain, an officer in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
RAM - Royal Arch Mason; Royal Arch Masonry.
RCC - Red Cross of Constantine, an invitational body stemming off of Royal Arch Masonry.
Rec:. - Recorder, the administrative officer of a Commandery of Knights Templar.
R.E. - Right Eminent, an honorary title applied to a Grand or Past Grand Commander; Right Excellent, an honorary title applied to certain Grand Chapter officers of Royal Arch Masonry.
RER - "Rite Ecossais Rectifie" meaning Rectified Scottish Rite (see also "CBCS").
R:.M:. - Royal Master, the first degree within the Cryptic Rite.
ROOS - Royal Order of Scotland, is an invitational order connecting both to the Scottish Rite and York Rite.
R.'. & S.'. M.'. - Royal and Select Masters, two degrees of the Cryptic Rite (see also "R:.M:." and "S:.M:.").
RW - Right Worshipful, the honorary title used for several titles in Freemasonry.
RWM - Right Worshipful Master, the presiding officer of a Lodge of Mark Masters, Lodge of Past Masters, and a Lodge of Most Excellent Masters.
-S-
S:. - Scribe, a dais officer in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; Sentinel, an officer in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Cryptic Masons, and Commandery of Knights Templar (equatable to the Tiler in the Blue Lodge); Secretary (also see "Sec:.").
SAOTU - Supreme Architect of the Universe, another generic term used to denote the Supreme Being.
SD - Senior Deacon, an officer in a Lodge of Mark Masters, Lodge of Past Masters, and a Lodge of Most Excellent Masters.
Sec:. - Secretary, the administrative officer in several groups in Freemasonry such as Royal Arch Masons and Cryptic Masons (also see "Rec:.).
Sen. - Sentinel (also see "S:.").
SEM - Super Excellent Master, an optional degree within the Cryptic Rite.
SK - Sir Knight, a title given to members of a Commandery of Knights Templar.
S:.M:. - Select Master, the second degree of the Cryptic Rite; Sovereign Master, the presiding officer of a Council of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross.
S:.O:. - Senior Overseer, an officer of a Lodge of Mark Masters. 
S.'.S.'. - Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies
St:.B:. - Standard Bearer, an officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar.
S.W. - Senior Warden, an officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar.
Sw:.B:. - Sword Bearer, an officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar.
-T-
Treas:. - Treasurer, the financial officer in several Masonic groups.
T.I.M. - Thrice Illustrious Master, 
T.'. - Treasurer (see also "Treas:.").
-U-
UD - Under Dispensation
-V-
V.E. - Very Eminent, title applied to Deputy Grand Commander. 
VIC - Very Illustrious Companion
-W-
W. - Warder
-Y-
YRSCNA - York Rite Sovereign College of North America, an invitational order within the York Rite dedicated to improving the York Rite of Freemasonry through education and enhanced ritual presentation.
If you know of others not posted, please contact me.

References

1. Abbreviations and Reference Words. n.d. http://phoenixmasonry.org/abbreviations_and_reference_words.htm.

2. Abbreviations vs. Acronyms vs. Initialisms. March 17, 2008. http://data.grammarbook.com/blog/abbreviations/abbreviations-acronyms-and-initialisms-revisited/.

3. Bessel, Paul M. Masonic Abbreviations. n.d. http://www.bessel.org/abbrevs.htm.

4. Denslow, Ray V. A Templar Encyclopedia. 1951. http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/templar_encyclopedia.htm.

5. Masonic Abbreviations. n.d. http://www.themasonictrowel.com/education/references/mabbreviations.htm.

6. Masonic Abbreviations. n.d. http://freemasoninformation.com/masonic-education/freemasonry-in-general/masonic-abbreviations/.

7. Grand Officers. 2015. http://www.knightstemplar.org/officers.html.

8. Leadership. 2014. http://www.ggccmi.org/index.php/leadership-and-contacts.

9. Marshall, George L. Grand Encampment Awards and Honors. 2014. http://www.knightstemplar.org/KnightTemplar/articles/20140828.htm.

10. Officers. 2014. http://www.ramint.org/officers.htm.

11. Order of the High Priesthood. n.d. http://www.idyorkrite.org/index.php/order-of-high-priesthood.

12. Order of the Silver Trowel. n.d. http://www.idyorkrite.org/index.php/order-of-the-silver-trowel.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Laurence Dermott

Within American Freemasonry, Laurence Dermott is a relatively unknown figure. Laurence served as Grand Secretary and, later, as Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, or more commonly known as the Ancients or Antients, as well as authored the Ahiman Rezon, the Constitution of the Antient Grand Lodge.

Laurence Dermott was born sometime in the year 1720 in Ireland; it is argued that he was either born in Dublin where his father, a wealthy merchant, did business or the family home in Strokestown, County Roscommon (northwestern Ireland).

Laurence was initiated into Freemasonry on January 14, 1741, although there is some debate whether his entrance was in 1741 or 1740. 1746 was a significant year for him as he both became Worshipful Master of ## Lodge #26 in Dublin and became a Royal Arch Mason. His joining the Royal Arch would come to have a significant on English Freemasonry and, indirectly, American Freemasonry.

In 1748, Laurence moved to London where he originally affiliated with a Lodge recognized by the Premier Grand Lodge of England, or commonly referred to as the Moderns, but then joined an unaffiliated Irish Lodge.

On February 5, 1752, a year after the formation of the Antient Grand Lodge and the start of the "Great Schism", 
Laurence was elected as Grand Secretary. By April he was successful in pushing for By-Law reform for the Antients and in 1756 the first edition of the Ahiman Rezon was published. It is thought that they were completed years earlier, but wanting for a noble patron caused the delay. There were would be editions published in 1778, 1787, 1800, 1801, 1807, and 1813. The first edition contains a parody of the histories of Freemasonry as written Dr. Anderson and many believe there was a political purpose behind Dermott's writing of the Ahiman Rezon. In this write up Dermott narrates a dream he has where four sojourners that were appointed by Solomon, appear before Dermott and inform him that he is to write a history of Freemasonry. The exact reason behind Dermott's choice of "Ahiman Rezon" is not exactly known, but many believe it translates to "A help to a Brother", but there a few other translations offered up such as "will of select brethren", "secrets of prepared brethren", or "Royal Builders". These other translations are often not accepted as their translations require a stretch of the imagination or erroneous translations.

Laurence served until 1771 when at that time he became the Deputy Grand Master for the Antient Grand Lodge which was essentially the presiding officer as the Grand Master at the time was little more than a figurehead. He served as Deputy Grand Master until 1787.


Many attribute much of the Schism's longevity with the attitude and beliefs of Dermott. He had a great deal of contempt for the Moderns as he saw them as irregular who would sell the degrees for the price of a leg of mutton, and thus said there greatest symbols were the knife and fork. Some wonder if the Grand Lodges would have united earlier if not for Ahiman Rezon and Laurence Dermott.


Due to his uncompromising character and his high intellect he had made many enemies and it has been asserted that he invented by the degree of Royal Arch Mason by dismembering the Master Mason degree, but as history shows the Royal Arch degree was being conferred by 1744 (the earliest mention of Royal Arch Masonry) and Laurence Dermott wasn't Exalted to that most sublime degree until 1746.

The disagreemnt over what degrees were to be conferred was a divisive issue. The Antients considered the Royal Arch degree to be the completion of the Master Mason degree while the Moderns did not. Eventually these two Grand Lodges would resolve their differences and unite in 1813 into one single entity today known as the United Grand Lodge of England. Although the Royal Arch is a pseudo-separate entity in England, a Mason is not considered in possession of all the degrees of Craft Masonry until he has been exalted to the degree of Royal Arch Mason.


Towards the end of his life Laurence suffered greatly from gout and his last appearance in a Lodge was in 1789. He died in June of 1791, but it is unknown as to the exact day nor is it known as to the exact location of his grave. While some question his motives and blame him for the longevity of the Great Schism, I believe it was due to his seeing importance of the Royal Arch degree. He described the Royal Arch degree as "the Root, Heart and Marrow of Freemasonry". His zeal and continuous support for the Royal Arch has made a mark in history and today it's still described that the Master Mason's degree without the Royal Arch degree is a "song half sung, a story half told, a hope unrealized, a promise unfulfilled."

References

1. About Royal Arch Masonry. n.d. http://www.supremegrandchapter.org.uk/about-royal-arch-masonry/history-of-supreme-grand-chapter. 


2. Domenic, Gavin. Mistery of the Royal Arch. September 2006. http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/royal_arch_freemasonry.html. 

3. Laurence Dermott. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Dermott. 

4. Laurence Dermott. n.d. http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/dermott_l/dermott_l.html. 

5. MacDermot-Roe, Ken. Freemasonry and the MacDermotts. n.d. http://www.irishmasonichistory.com/laurence-dermott-freemasonry-and-the-macdermotts.html. 

6. Mackey, Albert G. Laurence Dermott. n.d. http://www.masonicdictionary.com/dermott.html. 

7. The Collected "Prestonian Lectures". 1988. http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/prestonian_lectures_volume_3.htm.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Warden’s Song

I

WHEN e’er we are alone,
And ev’ry Stranger gone,
In Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring,
Begin to play, begin to sing,
The mighty Genius of the lofty Lodge,
In ev’ry Age
That did engage
And well inspir’d the Prince, the Priest,
the Judge,
The Noble and the Wise to join
In rearing Masons Grand Design.


II

The Grand Design to rear,
Was ever Mason’s Care,
From Adam down before the Flood,
Whose Art old Noah understood,
And did impart to Japhet, Shem and Ham,
Who taught their Race
To build apace
Proud Babel’s Town and Tow’r, until it came
To be admir’d too much, and then
Dispersed were the Sons of Men.


III

But tho’ their Tongues confus’d
In distant Climes they us’d,
They brought from Shinar Orders good,
To rear the Art they understood:
Therefore sing first the Princes of the Isles;
Next Belus great,
Who fixt his Seat
In old Assyria, building stately Piles;
And Mitzraim’s Pyramids among 
The other Subjects of our Song.


IV

And Shem, who did instil 
The useful wondrous Skill 
Into the Minds of Nations great: 
And Abram next, who did relate 
Th’ Assyrian Learning to his Sons, that when 
In Egypt’s Land 
By Pharoah’s Hand, 
Were roughly taught to be most skilful Men; 
Till their Grand-Master Moses rose 
And them deliver’d from their Foes.


V

But who can sing his Praise, 
Who did the Tent upraise?
Then sing his Workmen true as Steel, 
Aholiab and Bezaleel; 
Sing Tyre and Sydon, and Phenicians old. 
But Samson’s Blot 
Is ne’er forgot: 
He blabb’d his Secrets to his Wife, that sold 
Her Husband, who at last pull’d down 
The House on all in Gaza Town.


VI

But Solomon the King
With solemn Note we sing,
Who rear’d at length the Grand Design,
By Wealth, and Pow’r, and Art divine;
Helpt by the learned Hiram Tyrian Prince,
By Craftsmen good,
That understood
Wise Hiram Abif’s charming Influence:
He aided Jewish Masters bright,
Whose curious Works none can recite


VII

These glorious Mason Kings
Each thankful Brother sings,
Who to its Zenith rais’d the Art,
And to all Nations did impart
The useful Skill: For from the Temple fine,
To ev’ry Land,
And foreign Strand,
The Craftsmen march’d, and taught the Grand Design;
Of which the Kings, with mighty Peers,
And learned Men, were Overseers.


VIII

Diana’s Temple next,
In Lesser Asia fixt;
And Babylon’s proud Walls, the Seat
Of Nebuchadnezar the Great;
The Tomb of Mausolus, the Carian King;
With many a Pile
Of lofty Style
In Africa and Greater Asia, sing,
In Greece, in Sicily, and Rome,
That had those Nations overcome.


IX

Then sing Augustus too,
The Gen’ral Master true,
Who by Vitruvius did refine
And spread the Masons Grand Design
Thro’ North and West; till ancient Britons chose
The Royal Art
In ev’ry Part,
And Roman Architecture could disclose;
Until the Saxons warlike Rage
Destroy’d the Skill of many an Age.


X

At length the Gothick Style
Prevail’d in Britain’s Isle,
When Masons Grand Design reviv’d,
And in their well form’d Lodges thriv’d,
Tho’ not as formerly in Roman Days: 
Yet sing the Fanes
Of Saxons, Danes,
Of Scots, Welch, Irish; but sing first the Praise
Of Athelstan and Edwin Prince,
Our Master of great Influence.


XI

And eke the Norman Kings
The British Mason sings:
Till Roman Style revived there,
And British Crowns united were
In learned James, a Mason King, who rais’d
Fine Heaps of Stones
By Inigo Jones,
That rival’d wise Palladio, justly prais’d
In Italy, and Britain too,
For Architecture firm and true.


XII

And thence in ev’ry Reign
Did Masonry obtain
With Kings, the Noble and the Wise,
Whose Fame resounding to the Skies,
Excites the present Age in Lodge to join,
And Aprons wear,
With Skill and Care,
To raise the Masons ancient Grand Design,
And to revive th’ Augustan Style
In many an artful glorious Pile.


XIII

From henceforth ever sing
The Craftsman and the King,
With Poetry and Musick sweet
Resound their Harmony compleat;
And with Geometry in skilful Hand,
Due Homage pay,
Without Delay,
To Wharton’s noble Duke our Master Grand
He rules the Free-born Sons of Art,
By Love and Friendship, Hand and Heart.


CHORUS

Who can rehearse the Praise,
In soft Poetick Lays,
Or solid Prose, of Masons true,
Whose Art transcends the common View?
Their Secrets, ne’er to Strangers yet expos’d,
Preserv’d shall be
By Masons Free,
And only to the ancient Lodge disclos’d;
Because they’re kept in Masons Heart
By Brethren of the Royal Art.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Masonic Order of Athelstan

Yesterday I was initiated into Salish Court #96 of the Masonic Order of Athelstan, an invitation-only organization within the American York Rite, in Issaquah, WA. I'd like to thank my friend and Brother Bryan who invited me to join this order. I drove up with my regular traveling companion, Paul, and settled into our hotel before heading over to the Festive Board that was held prior to the meeting in the restaurant below the Lodge room. After eating we headed up to the Lodge room where they installed the officers for the ensuing year and afterward initiated me.

The Masonic Order of Athelstan dedicates its time to the promotion of education and the study of the symbolism and history of Freemasonry. To be a member in this organization, a candidate must be a member of both Craft and Royal Arch Masonry in good standing.

The Masonic Order of Athelstan was created in 2005 after a number of individuals interested in origins of Freemasonry started gathering and researching the Saxon Chronicles which focuses upon events that involve King Athelstan, a figure prominent in some origin theories of Freemasonry. These gatherings became a regular thing that soon the formation of a new order was discussed and encouraged. A ritual was drafted and the ritual used today surrounds the Assembly at York in 926 AD by King Athelstan. The idea became popular enough that the Order of Athelstan was able to form and constitute the "Grand Court of the Masonic Order of Athelstan"

The basic organizational level of the Order is known as a Court reminding of the Court of Athelstan and the central myth of this august body. For a new Court to form there needs to be 15 members to ensure a successful formation as well as the permission of the Grand Lodge of that jurisdiction. The officers of the Court are as follows:

Worshipful Master
Senior Warden
Junior Warden
Eminent Prior
Treasurer
Secretary 
Marshal
Deputy Marshal
Almoner
Senior Deacon
Junior Deacon
Captain of the Guards
Burgh 
Guard
A Court reports to the Provincial Grand Court of their respective jurisdiction who in turns reports to their respective Assistant Grand Master in charge of that region and who is a member of the Grand Court. The Provincial Grand Court can be composed of the following officers:
Provincial Grand Master 
Deputy Provincial Grand Master 
Assistant Provincial Grand Masters
Provincial Senior Grand Warden
Provincial Junior Grand Warden
Provincial Eminent Grand Prior
Provincial Grand Marshal
Provincial Grand Secretary
Provincial Grand Treasurer
Provincial Grand Almoner
Provincial Deputy Grand Marshal
Provincial Grand Sword Bearer
Provincial Senior Grand Deacon
Provincial Junior Grand Deacon
Provincial Grand Organist
Provincial Grand Banner Bearer
Provincial Grand Captain of Guard 
Provincial Grand Guard 
Provincial Grand Burgh
The Grand Court is the supreme authority of the Masonic Order of Athelstan. It is composed of the following officers:
Grand Master
Deputy Grand Master
Assistant Grand Master
Assistant Grand Masters in charge of the Americas, Australia, and India
Provincial Grand Masters
Eminent Grand Prior
Senior Grand Warden
Junior Grand Warden
President DAC and GP Committee
Grand Secretary
Grand Registrar
Grand Treasurer 
Grand Marshal 
Grand Sword Bearer
Grand Lecturer 
Grand High Almoner 
Deputy Eminent Grand Prior
Deputy President DAC and GP Committee
Deputy Grand Secretary 
Deputy Grand Marshal 
Deputy Grand Sword Bearer
Senior Grand Deacon
Junior Grand Deacon
Grand Organist
Deputy Grand Organist
Grand Banner Bearer
Deputy Grand Banner Bearer
Grand Captain of the Guard
Deputy Grand Captain of the Guard
Grand Burgh
Deputy Grand Guard
The Masonic Order of Athelstan came to the United States at AMD Week in 2011 where two Courts were established, one in North Carolina and the other in Pennsylvania. Today there are 9 Courts under the auspices of the Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America.

The Order of the Scarlet Mantle is an appendant order attached to the Masonic Order of Athelstan. It was created to reward those for their meritorious service within the Masonic Order of Athelstan. Members of the appendant order are known as "Knights" and the ritual surrounding this honor commemorates the knighting of Athelstan by King Alfred the Great, his grandfather, which occurred around 898 AD; this is the first recorded knighting in England. Upon being knighted, it has been said, Athelstan was given a scarlet mantle from which the appendant order derives its name. Those who have been knighted bear the initials "KSM" for Knight of the Scarlet Mantle, "KCSM" for Knight Commander of the Scarlet Mantle, or "GCSM" for Grand Cross of the Scarlet Mantle after their name. This appendant order is governed by an officer known as the Grand High Chancellor who is appointed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Masonic Order of Athelstan. The Grand High Chancellor is supported by a number of Grand Chancellors

It was a great night and this morning I had breakfast with some Brethren from the area. Now it's time for the near 500-mile drive back to Boise.


References

1. About the Order. n.d. http://www.athelstan.org.uk/. 

2. Information about The Masonic Order of Athelstan. n.d. http://www.cumbriafreemasons.org/orders.asp?ord=14. 

3. Surratt, D. Allen. Description of the Order. n.d. http://www.athelstan-usa.org/description.html. 

4. The Order of the Scarlet Mantle. n.d. http://www.athelstan.org.uk/about-the-order/the-order-of-the-scarlet-mantle.