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Royal Order of Scotland

Heredom of Kilwinning

Rosy Cross

Rosy Cross

The tradition connected with the R.S.Y.-C.S. or second Degree of the Royal Order, is that King Robert the Bruce having received great service from a party of Masons who had fought under him in the Battle of Bannockburn on Summer St. John's Day, 1314. conferred on them the civil rank of Knighthood, with permission to them to accord it in their Grand Lodge to those faithful and patriotic Brethren who might succeed them, so that the Degree is, strictly speaking, a civil Order granted to Scottish Masons. Originally none were entitled to it but Scotsmen. or perhaps their allies, the Irish, and there were only sixty-three members. That number has been since much extended, and Masons of other nations are allowed to participate in the honour provided they shall first have taken the Degree of  H.R.M. in a Chapter holding of the Grand Lodge of the Order.

A Grand Lodge or Council of Knights of the R.S.Y.- C.S. is arranged similarly to a Chapter of the Order of H.R.M. Two Chambers are sufficient, viz., The Preparation Room and the Reception Room. The T.W.R. is. not required.

The Altar and pedestals are covered with green cloths with fringes of the same colour.

A sword and a trowel for each Candidate are placed beside the Bible on the Altar. The Office-bearers and Knights occupy the same places as in the Chapter of H.R.M. The Knights when entering the Lodge or Council, when opened, give the sign of the R.S.Y-C.S. with a how, and take their places without further ceremony. 

Opening of the Provincial Grand Lodge or Council.

The Provincial Grand Master calls the Knights to order by giving one knock, the Knights rise and the Grand Guarder draws his sword.

P.G.M. Wor. Junior Grand Warden: 

Since 'tis the first of Masons' care 

To see that we well guarded are, 

Pray, Brother Knight, examine straight 

If our Grand Guarder's at the gate.

Junior Grand Warden (no sign)

He there doth stand, and I dare say, 

Will keep all Cowans far away.

P.G.M. I declare Provincial Grand Lodge open (gives knocks of the Degree, which are repeated by the Senior and Junior Grand Wardens and by the Grand Guarder and his Deputy).

P.G.M. And this shall be your Sign (gives Sign, in which he is followed by all present, and the Knights resume their seats).

The Grand Chaplain proceeds to the Altar and opens the Bible at the Book of Malachi, placing thereon Square and Compasses (points to the west). The Sword and Trowel being placed upon the cushion on the north and south side of the Bible respectively.

Reception of the Candidate

Provincial Grand Master. Brother Grand Introductor and Examiner, go and examine the Candidate on the  Degree of H.R.M. If you are satisfied, You will, desire the Deputy Grand Guarder to conduct him to the door.

The examination having taken place, the Candidate is brought to the door clothed as a Brother of H.R.M.

D.G.G. (gives knocks of the Degree).

Grand Guarder (rises and salutes.) Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, there is a report.

P.G.M. Brother Grand Guarder, you will enquire who seeks admission.

G.G. (goes outside, closing the door). Whom have you here?

D.G.G. Brother (gives Surname), a worthy 'Brother of Heredom, who requests the Grand Lodge to confer on him the honour of Knighthood of the R.S.Y.-C.S. as a reward for his faithful services.

G.G. Halt, while I report to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master.

G.G. (closes the door, advances, and salutes) Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, at the door of the Lodge stands Brother (giving. Christian name and Characteristic), a worthy Brother of Heredom, who requests the Grand Lodge to confer on him the honour of Knighthood of the R.SY-C.S. as a
reward for his faithful services.

P.G.M. Let him be admitted.

The Candidate and the Grand Introductor and Examiner are admitted by the Grand Guarder, who closes the door. 

The Grand Introductor and Examiner and the Grand Guarder resume their seats.

The Grand Wardens proceed to the door and receive the Candidate, then with the Senior Grand Warden on his left, the Junior Grand Warden on his right, he is lead forward by the hand to the west side of the Altar.

The Provincial Grand Master leaves the Chair, and with the Grand Sword Bearer and Grand Banner Bearer proceeds to the Altar. When at the Altar, the Sword and Banner Bearers will stand one pace to the rear of the P.G.M.

P.G.M. What is your Christian name and Characteristic?

The Candidate gives his Christian name and Characteristic.

P.G.M. You will kneel on both knees.

The Sword is placed on the Candidate's right hand by the Senior Grand Warden, and the Trowel in his left by the Junior Grand Warden, the Candidate resting both hands on the Bible, the Sword and the Trowel pointing upwards.

The other Knights rise and form a circle round the Altar.

When the Circle has been completed under the guidance of the Grand Master of Ceremonies, the Grand Wardens will take three paces to the rear, draw Swords, and remain at the Salute for the Obligation, when they return to the carry.

P.G.M. You will mentally assent to the following Obligation which I shall now recite. 

In presence of that God we all revere, 

And of these worthy Knights assembled here, 

I do promise and protest 

To conceal within my breast, 

All knightly Secrets I may now receive, 

And that I never will them speak or give 

To mortal, day or night,

Except unto a Rosicrucian Knight. 

Or in the Grand Lodge perfect and complete 

In due and proper form, as they do meet, 

Unless unto the Grand Lodge it seems fit 

Such special powers and privileges to commit, 

And that I will not from this Grand Lodge roam 

To form unlawful Lodges of my own.

All this you promise to observe, do you not?

(Candidate assents). Repeat after me.

And so I say, God grant me aid 

To keep this solemn vow I've made.

The Banner Bearer hands the Banner of the Order to the Provincial Grand Master.

P.G.M. (waving the Banner thrice over the Candidate's head).

When Sanballet Jerusalem distressed 

With sharp assaults in Nehemiah's time, 

The Jews themselves for work or war addressed. 

And did repair their walls with stone and lime. 

One hand the Sword against the foe did shake, 

The other hand the Trowel up did take. 

Oh! valiant minds, lo! here's a worthy part, 

The Jews quailed not at ruin of their wall, 

But, champion-like, improved Freemasons' art 

Which does infer this lesson unto all, 

That, to defend our country dear from harm, 

For work or war we either hand should arm.

The Provincial Grand Master returns the Banner to the Banner Bearer. The Grand Wardens draw swords and salute. The Sword Bearer then presents the Grand Sword to the Provincial Grand Master, who gives the Candidate three strokes with it on the shoulder.

P.G.M. By virtue of the special powers vested in me, I create and constitute you a Knight of the Rosy Cross, to enjoy, under all the Obligations you have contracted, the prerogatives belonging to this honourable Order. Rise Sir (Christian name and Characteristic). (The Candidate rises).

The Provincial Grand Master returns the Grand Sword, to the Sword Bearer, and the Grand Wardens recover from the salute and return swords.

The Candidate then retires (facing East), assisted by the Grand Marischal, and takes his position between the Grand Wardens.

The Provincial Grand Master instructs the Senior Grand Warden to give the Candidate the Sign, Token, and Word of the Degree, and invest him with the Insignia of the Order. The P.G.M. returns to the East, and with the exception of those engaged in the investiture, all resume seats.

The S.G.W. now moves to the front of the Candidate and the Third Grand Steward bearing the Star, Garter, and Sword and Belt, upon a green cushion, and the Fourth Grand Steward the Apron of Knighthood and green Cordon in a similar manner, now take position on the left of the Senior Warden, facing North. The Candidate is then instructed in the S.T. & W_ and invested with the green Cordon above the crimson one, but over the right shoulder and under the left arm, the Apron, Star, Garter, Sword, etc. The Grand Marischal will assist as necessary during the investiture.

After the investiture, the Stewards return the cushions to the Regalia table and resume their seats. The Grand Wardens and the new Knight retire to the West, and remain standing, facing East, for the Lecture.


1. Provincial Grand Master. o. (All rise and form circle.) Wor Senior Grand Warden.

Pray tell me. for I'm at a loss,

Are you a knight of R.SY-C.S.?

S.G.W. A Rosicrucian Knight I am regularly made

To do what's just and shun all harm I ne'er shall be afraid.

2. P.G.M. Where on this honour did you light

Of being made a Rosicrucian Knight?

S.G.W. In Lodge complete, all Knights of fame,

And from Grand Master of the same.

3. P.G.M. How by this honour did you come?

Tell me with your Character and name.

S.G.W. At my own desire advanced

I was incarcerate in Tower

By just essaye and passing fee

Released, then raised to Power

A Cabineter being made,

Degree of honour great

And for my faithful services

I'm since a Knight create.

My proper name and Character,

With " Sir--- thereto conjoined,

Is A.B.-as on record you'll find.

(A is the baptismal name and B is the Characteristic of the speaker).

4. P.G.M. How many is the number meet.

To form a Knighthood Lodge complete?

S.G.W. Sufficient is the number three,

Though oft-times many more there be.

5. P.G.M. Why is it said that three will do? 

Tell me this and tell me true.

S.G.W. Because there is a righteous God 

In Heaven, we Father call 

His only Son, our Saviour, Christ, 

Who suffered for us all 

The Holy Ghost the Comforter 

The Great and mighty Three, 

Yet Three in One, with Whom we hope 

Eternally to be.

6. P.G.M. Who was your Introductor, friend, 

When you for Knighthood did attend ?

S.G.W. Grand Guarder led me to the Gate, 

He knocked : I got admittance straight, 

Received between two Wardens Grand, 

Who led me on by either hand, 

Till I before Grand Master came, 

Who asked my Character and name, 

And made me kneel down at his feet.

7. P.G.M. What did you there and then repeat?

S.G.W. A solemn Obligation I did take, 

And vow most willingly did make.

8. P.G.M. If you in substance can rehearse the same 

I will declare you to be a Knight of Fame.

S.G.W. I then did promise and protest 

To conceal within my breast 

All Knightly Secrets I should then receive; 

And that I never would them speak or give 

To Mortal, day or night, 

Except unto a Rosicrucian Knight. 

Or in a Grand Lodge perfect and complete, 

In due and proper form as they do meet. 

And now I say, God grant me aid 

To keep this solemn vow I made.

9. P.G.M. What ceremonials more were used

When you for Knight were introduced?

S.G.W. On bended knee I there was placed,

With the Sword in my right hand,

The Trowel also in my left,

While Knights did round me stand.

Then o'er my head in solemn form

Three times the Banner passed

I eke three strokes on back received

With Sword; upreared at last.

A Sign & Token, each of which

Did form a Cross complete

A Word also I did receive

So soon as on my feet.

10. P.G.M. What said the Grand, when you were placed

With Sword in your right hand,

And while the Banner waving was?

Answer, at my command.

S.G.W. When Sanballat Jerusalem distressed

With sharp assaults in Nehemiah's time,

The Jews themselves for war or addressed,

And did repair their walls with stone and lime.

One hand the sword against the foe did shake,

The other hand the trowel up did take,

Oh valiant minds, lo! here's a worthy part

The Jews quailed not at ruin of their wall

But champion-like improved Freemasons art,

Which does infer this lesson unto all,

That to defend our country dear from harm

For war or work we either hand should arm.

11. P.G.M. The Sign and Token, each of which,

To you a cross appeared

You'll show to me, and name the Word,

Received on feet upreared.

S.G.W. The Sign is this; the Token thus I give ;

(The Grand Wardens advance within the circle to give the token

I.N.R.I.- the Word which I did then receive.

12. P.G.M. The meaning of that Word you must explain,

Whether it sacred is, or is profane.

S.G.W. Sacred it is, without dispute, 

If rightly understood

Though much it was profaned by those 

Who shed sweet Jesus' blood.

The initials four on label placed 

O'er our dear Saviour's head,

The letters are which form the Word 

In Scripture to be read.

The " I " sweet Jesus' name doth mean, 

" N - for Nazareth use, 

"R " stands for Rex. in Scots, the King. 

Of " I " which constitutes Jews.

13. P.G.M. To what intent established was

The Knighthood of the R.S.Y.-C.S. ?

S.G.W. To mind us of that tree that bore 

The lovely Sharon rose,

Which Jesus was, and lily fair 

That in the valley blows.

14. P.G.M. What doth this Order teach to. you?

(I hope you now to me will show). (This last line is optional).

S;.G.W. To put my whole belief and trust 

In Jesus, Son of God,

By Pilate's orders crowned with thorns

And scourged with a rod,

Who for men's sins upon a Cross

Between two thieves did die

From thence descended into hell,

Now sits enthroned on high

Until the Day of judgment; when

He shall return again . 

With mighty power and righteousness

To judge all sons of men.

The living and the dead shall rise

At the last trumpet's sound

To hear their sentences pronounced

By Him, their judge profound.

It also teaches me to hope

In my dear Saviour's death,

To obtain remission of my sins

And that alone by faith

And that I in that Day shall stand

Before the Lord of might,

Whom I shall see with these same eyes

To which He now gives sight,

Then shall our Saviour Jesus Christ

The sheep from goats divide,

That He may give Eternal Life

To those whom He hath tried,

Within His Lodge celestial 

For evermore to rest, 

With all the holy company 

Of saints and angels blessed, 

Who serve the Glorious -Trinity

The Three in One adore.

P.G.M. (all give Sign ). To Whom be all

Dominion Power, 

And Praises evermore

Omnes. Amen. (The Knights remain standing until the P.G.M. resumes the Chair, then all resume their seats).


P.G.M. Has any Knight anything further to propose for the good of the Order, or of this Provincial Grand Lodge in-particular ?

(Any competent business will be transacted).

P.G.M. o. (All rise). All the Business having been transacted I declare Provincial Grand Lodge closed (gives knocks of the Degree).

The knocks are repeated by the Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, and by the Grand Guarder and his Deputy. The Grand Chaplain proceeds to the Altar, and closes the Bible, bows and resumes station.

The P.G.M. then gives Sign, in which he is followed by all present, and thereafter all remain standing for the Recession

Order of Recession.

After the closing, the Grand Marischal and his Deputy escort the Grand Wardens to the East (south side), and then take position on the north side of the Altar, facing west. The Grand Chaplain proceeds to the Altar, removes the Bible, &c., and cushion, and takes position at rear of the Marischals. The Prov. Grand Master vacates the Chair, and the Grand Sword Bearer moves forward keeping three paces in front. and the Grand Banner Bearer follows three paces behind. The Grand Wardens move to the positions in rear of the Banner, and the remaining Office-Bearers, &c., follow in order of rank as indicated. When the Sword Bearer is three paces from the Chaplain and Marischals, these Officers move forward leading the Recession.

The door of the Lodge is now opened by the Grand Guarder. On arriving at the door, the Marischals fall out of the formation and face inwards whilst the Recession passes. The formation of Recession to be

as follows :- 

Deputy Grand Marischal. Grand Marischal.

Grand Chaplain

(Carrying Bible)

Grand Sword Bearer.

Provincial Grand Master.

Grand Banner Bearer.

Junior Grand Warden. Senior Grand Warden. 

Past Provincial Grand Masters. 

Deputy Prov. Grand Master. 

Past Deputy Prov. Grand Masters. 

Grand Treasurer. Grand Secretary.

2nd. Grand Steward. 1st. Grand Steward. 

4th. Grand Steward. 3rd. Grand Steward.

Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst Preston Illustrations of Masonry Masonic Tutor Support

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