“An Introduction to The Society”
OUR RAISON D’ETRE
The Society exists to perpetuate and preserve a memorial of the practices of operative Free Masons existing prior to, or continuing independently of, modern speculative Freemasonry.
The Society is administered by Grand Assemblage, headed by The Three Grand Master Masons who rule as a triumvirate. They are assisted by a number of Officers with responsibility for administration, ceremonial, finance etc. Current membership is in excess of 2,800, is growing at the rate of over 5% a year and is spread throughout the world, with representation in England and Wales, USA and Canada, South America, Europe, Australasia, South Africa, India, Asia and the Far East. Areas are divided into Regions which are overseen by a Deputy Grand Master Mason assisted by a small team of Officers. There are a number of Assemblages within each Region. Assemblage is the title of an individual unit and is, in reality, four separate Lodges, although for ease of administration it operates as a single unit like any other Masonic unit.
There are seven degrees in the Society. The first four degrees are worked in a local Assemblage, the fifth and sixth are worked by the Region and the working of the seventh degree is the sole prerogative of the Three Grand Master Masons.
These seven degree ceremonies expand on and add to, the ceremonies of Craft, Mark and the Royal Arch. In the Iº, the candidate is not made “a Mason” but following the traditions of the stone masons of old, he is given an apprenticeship. Subject to regular attendance and hard work, he then is able to progress through the other degrees. Because all the ceremonies and much of the furnishings of the Lodge are based on olden practices, one might sometimes imagine you have gone back in time.
Iº Indentured Apprentice
IIº Fellow of the Craft
IIIº Fitter and Marker
IVº Setter Erector
Vº Intendent, Overseer, Super Intendent and Warden
VIº Passed Master(NB: not Past Master)
VIIº Master Mason, of whom three are The Grand Master Masons.
This degree is limited to 7% of the membership.
Each year, at the meeting of Grand Assemblage, the murder of Hiram Abif is enacted. This is a very interesting drama and all members are encouraged to attend, at least once, to witness this unique piece of Masonic ritual.
A new Assemblage is brought into being by another unique ceremony called a Constitution (NB: not Consecration). This ceremony bears no resemblance to any type of consecration carried out in other Masonic Orders. It is a major piece of ceremonial, which involves the planning and initial construction of King Solomon’s Temple.
Regalia is minimal and consists simply of a blue cord or collarette from which is suspended the jewel of one’s rank. Jewels are exchanged as progression is made.
Qualification for membership is Master Mason, Mark Master Mason and Royal Arch Companion in good standing.