The Order, which is based on the remarkable friendship between David and Jonathan, possibly originated in Scotland, was taken to New York, and then came to England in the late 18th Century. For a time the Order came under the aegis of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees, but in 1931 some fresh understandings were reached, and the Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor was officially recognised. The Order is administered from Mark Masons’ Hall. Click Order of The Secret Monitor
Qualification for Membership
A candidate for Induction into the Order must be a Master Mason in good standing, and a member of a regular Craft Lodge under a recognized Constitution.
The Order is controlled by Grand Conclave with the Grand Supreme Ruler as its head, who has a Deputy and other Grand Officers. Under Grand Conclave there are a number of Provinces (in the UK) and District Grand Conclaves, (overseas) each headed by a Provincial/District Grand Supreme Ruler who is responsible for the management of the Conclaves within his Province or District.
Each private Conclave is headed by a Supreme Ruler who represents David, and the Immediate Past Ruler represents Jonathan. The other principal officers are the Counsellor and the Guide.
Then come the usual offices of Treasurer, Secretary and Director of Ceremonies. Next are four officers who are of key importance in promoting the fundamental principles of the Order – the Visiting Deacons. They are each assigned a portion of the membership and are responsible for communicating with their “charges” between meetings of the Conclave to ensure that all is well with them.
The other officers are the ADC, Guarder and Sentinel. In the Second Degree the titles of some the officers take on the names of certain Biblical characters involved in the story.
The Degrees of the Order and the Ritual
The degrees of the Order are Secret Monitor, Prince, and Supreme Ruler.
In the First Degree the candidate is “inducted” as a Secret Monitor, and the ceremony is based on the friendship between David (father of Solomon) and Jonathan (son of Saul the first King of Israel).
David was a great warrior and a servant of the King, Saul however, soon became jealous of David’s brilliance and plotted to kill him.
Through his friendship with Jonathan, David was informed of the plot and fled to the hills for safety, but in order to keep David informed of developments within the King’s court, Jonathan devised a special system of communication upon which the Degree embraces and develops.
Saul was informed of the association between David and his son, and blamed those around him for encouraging it. Saul then embarked on a major search for David, slaughtering many whom he believed to be involved in his concealment, but David triumphed, and eventually became the second King of Israel.
His friendship with Jonathan remained unbroken until the death of the latter, and this is the main theme of the Second Degree, in which the candidate is “admitted” as a Prince of the Order.
The Third Degree of the Order is unique in English Freemasonry, in that it is also the ceremony of installation, in which the elected Brother is installed as the Supreme Ruler of his Conclave. As part of the ceremony, the newly installed Supreme Ruler also receives his “commission” (usually from the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler), which carries the rank of “Supreme Ruler within the Order”. As installation ceremonies go – this is a long one!
These ceremonies are very moving, and it is upon the principles exemplified therein, that the system of communicating friendship and caring among the members of the Order, is promoted in a practical way.
History of the Order
The History of our Order cannot be bettered than that given by our Most Worthy Grand Supreme Ruler on the 23rd August 2000 at an Emergency Meeting of Summus Conclave No 3 in Stirling Scotland. The eloquence of that speech still is as compelling to us today as it must have been to all those present that had the privilege of receiving it.
To read the full speech Click History Of The Order
Conclaves within the Provinces
There are eight Conclaves meeting within the area of the Masonic Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Click on Conclaves
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