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.

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