Passing of the Veils

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE PROVINCIAL GRAND STEWARDS CHAPTER no 9222 PRESENTS A DEMONSTRATION OF  PASSING OF THE VEILS CEREMONY.

ON TUESDAY 16TH APRIL 2019 AT BEACONSFIELD MASONIC CENTRE, OLD SCHOOL HOUSE, WINDSOR END BEACONSFIELD, HP9 2JW

START TIME 5.00PM

NUMBERS WILL BE LIMITED. TO BE CERTAIN OF A PLACE, PLEASE BOOK USING THE CUT 0FF SLIP BELOW.


 

Name                                                       Chapter no

Dietary requirements

 

Cheque enclosed @ £ 20.00 per head. __________ exclusive of wine

Post to: Nigel Bowater, 7 Pinkneys Road, Maidenhead, Berks. SL6 5DJ with a stamped addressed envelope.

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At the time that the Veils ceremony was being worked in England (c.1790-1834) the opening of the Chapter was restricted to Principals and Past Principals. They would enter the Chapter and open it in the same way we do today. The remaining Companions would then enter the Chapter in two columns, led by the Scribes Ezra and Nehemiah, and as many as possible would form in threes to prove themselves RA Masons. There is evidence that in some Chapters once this was done the MEZ would then ask each of the Officers of the Chapter, in ascending order, for their stations and duties within the Chapter. The minutes of the last meeting would then be read and confirmed, a ballot would take place for the candidate(s) for exaltation. The veils would then be drawn across the room and the Janitor informed that all was ready.

The RA Exaltation ceremony is set nearly 500 years after the death of Hiram Abiff, when the Temple at Jerusalem had been destroyed and the Israelites taken captive into Babylon and the Persians, having defeated the Babylonians, allowed the Israelites to return to Jerusalem.

The Ceremony commences with the Candidate, blindfolded and clothed as a Master Mason, standing outside the door of the Chapter. He has been entrusted with the passwords and is ready to take his Obligation.

For almost 100 years, the membership of the RA was restricted to Installed Masters and the password required was the one given in the Master’s Installation Ceremony. In 1835, changed the regulations and Master Masons were allowed to join.

The Candidate is then called upon to advance by 7 steps, halting and bowing at the third, fifth and seventh steps. Different explanations have been suggested for this. One is that it symbolises the approach to the pedestal in the three Craft degrees: 3 in the First, 5 in the Second and 7 in the Third. Another is that this originates from the Super Excellent Master’s Degree, known as the ‘Veils Ceremony’. This once preceded the RA Ceremony (and still does in Bristol.) In that Degree, the Candidate advances by 7 steps; three to the blue veil, two to the purple veil, and two to the crimson veil.

In this meeting we are going to demonstrate this ceremony. As a Province we can only do this demonstration once every 2 years. So this is a unique chance to see this ceremony.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the Buckinghamshire Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter and enjoy this demonstration.

 

John Lionel Keeble

ME Grand Superintendent