Rosicrucian Writings Online
Impressive Ceremony in California Grand Lodge.One of the Largest Initiations Ever Held in the
West Arouses Considerable Interest
[From The Mystic Triangle October 1925]
AS a farewell ceremony to the membership in California the Imperator planned and conducted on Sunday evening, September 27th, the largest initiation ceremony ever held in the West by the AMORC. From among many applications for membership received, a careful survey of investigation was conducted through personal interviews and other means of inquiry, and seventy-two men and women were initiated into the First Grade of the Order after final selections had been completed. The new Egyptian temple and offices of the California Grand Lodge were crowded to the utmost by the presence of so many new members, the large staff of ritualistic officers. executive officers, and general members. It was undoubtedly the most impressive and beautiful ceremony ever conducted in any of our lodges and the ceremony itself was divided into two periods, from half-past two in the afternoon until half-past nine in the evening.
The Imperator's Address
During the course of the ceremony, when the aprons of the lodge were placed upon the bodies of those who had just been raised at the Shekinah in the center of the temple, the Imperator took occasion to make a special address to Neophytes who were being initiated under his direction. The address follows, and we feel sure that our members everywhere will be pleased to read these words from the Imperator because his lectures and official addresses are seldom published:
"Beloved Neophytes, I now address you as Brothers and Sisters who have been raised to the sublime degree of Zealtors of our Order. This title is conferred upon you because of the plea you made by letter and in person that you were zealously striving to find the greater light and spread that light to all mankind. You have just been raised into the first grade of our Order, at the first point of our sacred Triangle, and you have just pledged your allegiance to the Great Oath of our Brotherhood. With the officers of this lodge robed in their Egyptian regalia, and with the environment of the Egyptian temple of old, you have passed through various features of a ceremony like unto those that were held in the mystery temples of ancient Egypt. And, as a fitting climax to your elevation to the grade of Zealtor, our beloved medalist has tied about your body the apron which you now wear.
"It is necessary that I say a few words to you in regard to the symbolism and purpose of this triangular apron. It does not confer upon you any honor or dignity, it is not given to you to take from this temple, as a token of your admission into the order; nor are you ever to look upon that apron as a symbol of superior endowment. Whatever dignity or honor may ever become associated with these aprons must be conferred upon them by your actions and the life you live. These aprons are to be placed upon your bodies at the outer portal of each of our temples at any convocation or service. This is to symbolize your readiness and your preparedness for work and worship; and whenever you labor in behalf of humanity or whenever you labor in your studies of nature's laws, within or without our temples, the thought should be in your mind that you are a servant laboring in God's vineyard. Let this be in your mind always and in this way will you glorify the symbol of the apron.
"And while speaking on this subject of work and worship and of laboring in behalf of mankind, I want to speak of one other point, and call your attention to the words of the Guardian in the outer chamber who spoke to you just before you faced the Terror of the Threshold in the presence of your conscience. He warned you that before you could cross the threshold and stand the test that awaited you, you must lay aside all honors and titles and with humility enter the Master's temple as a humble Neophyte.
"In selecting the members to form this large class, extreme care was exercised to make it as diversified in its physical and mental composition as possible. The purpose of this was to permit of the largest possible representation of interests and knowledge so that when the discussions take place at the close of each lecture each week, there will be a great diversity of opinion and light of experience cast upon every problem from every angle represented by the persons in this class. In this body of 72 initiates, which will form the regular Friday night class of this Lodge in San Francisco, we have 29 sisters and 43 brothers. Socially, they represent in the material world every grade of social standing from one who has been knighted in England and who has lived in the palaces of Europe, to those who are in more humble circumstances. Professionally, this class includes some who are associated with the Diplomatic Service in this country and other countries, national and city governmental officers, lawyers of local and national repute, physicians of every recognized school of therapeutics, including one who is known in the East for his work in connection with medical research, magazine and newspaper writers, and writers of special articles who are well known to all of us; musicians, singers, and directors of music connected with institutions and opera companies of the East, and the West, professors and teachers of scientific subjects connected with the various schools or institutes of the West, and some of them for twenty years or more leaders in their schools, and representatives of nearly all of the philosophical, occult and metaphysical movements in the U. S. There are others who have been supporting patrons of the fine arts in this city and those who in their private way have been profoundly interested in humanitarian activities.
"The members of this class also represent nine different races of mankind and the diversity in tongue is such that seven languages are adequately represented. Every religion is also represented except any which would prevent the freedom of soul and mind in thought and expression as distinctly set forth in the Great Oath. And you will note that those of various colors and countries are also represented.
"But these differences in social standing, profession, occupation, race, and religion, will have no bearing upon your advancement in your work with this Order, or your individual attainment, except as these differences will cast various beams of light upon the laws and principles being taught and contribute through the many experiences of life those lessons which are valuable to all of us. Here in this Temple and in the mental and spiritual boundaries of the brotherhood, all are levelled to one standard and one grade of existence,--the Divine within the human body. Each shall know the other as Brother or Sister. Each shall extend to the other the grip and clasp of fellowship, and each shall salute the other by no other title than that of a worker and student in our sacred brotherhood.
"And so I greet you again, Beloved Neophytes, as Brothers and Sisters, and direct you to set aside in your daily lives and personal affairs, each Friday night of the immediate future as your lodge night, your class night, your work and worship night. Let it be known to all your friends, relatives and associates that you have set aside one night in each week when nothing but a decree of Divine Providence will interfere with your attendance to your duty and your aspirations. Even physical illness need not keep you absent from your class for long, for the Order and its many workers are always ready to render that aid which will assist in a speedy recovery, and there are those within the organization, even in your own class here, qualified by the systems of various schools to render competent help, and our own principles may be invoked to assist nature in restoring perfect health, if it be the will of God. Therefore, to this particular Temple of the California Grand Lodge shall you come each Friday night at eight o'clock, as come others to this Temple on other nights of the week, and as thousands go to their various lodges of this Order in many cities of this land and other lands,--for the purpose of receiving graded lessons and instructions given by the Masters of the Lodges and participating in the many benefits that are given freely to those who abide by the promises just made at the sacred Altar. With these personal explanations and instructions we will now proceed with the remaining features of this sublime ceremony which illustrates the laws and principles taught in the first grade of our Order."
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