Masonic Ceremony

Sovereign Princes of the Rose Croix in Ancient Masonic Ceremony

The Sir Knights of the Rose Croix of respectable chapters, Rose of Perfect Silence and L’Amitie-Axiom, under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of Louisiana of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in and for the sovereign and independent state of Louisiana, its territories and dependencies held at the Masonic Temple, 315 South Rampart Street, the ancient ceremonies of extinguishing the lights on Thursday before Easter, and of re-lighting the lights on Easter Sunday morning.

In the midst of these ceremonies the Inspector Generals assisted the Most Powerful Sovereign Grand Commander to install in office the following perfect masters: For Rose of Perfect Silence Sir Knights Theodore Williams as most wise; Joseph Johnson as senior warden; Sheldon LaFrance as junior warden; James Coston as orator; Curtis Pipkins as secretary; John H. Polk as treasurer; Paul Hopkins as master of ceremonies; Edward R. Roth as master expert; Edward Lawrence as guard of the tower, and Emanuel Milton as tyler; for L’Amitie-Axiom Sir Knights Clarence Richards as most wise: William Richards as senior warden; Homer Eugene as junior warden; Antoine Cordova as orator; Joseph Molina as secretary; Louis Tureaud as treasurer; John Casimir as master of ceremonies; Mitchell Toca as master expert; John L. Hatcher as guard of the tower, and John Martin as tyler.

Other Sir Knights in attendance were D. Barnes, A. Bonsigneur, J. Brown, A. Carter, J. Casey, G. Carter, R. Coston, H. Daniels, E.P. Dominick, I. Dillon, W. Dixon, S.C. Ford, O. Hammond, B. Harris, J.V. Hamilton, W. James, G. King, J. Gray, A.H. Metoyer, R. Meteye, C. Narcisse, S. LaFrance, L. Loeb, N. Jean, T.M. Perrault, J. Pruet, R. J. Raymond, J. Studley, I. Steward, W. Vance, G. H. Taylor, N. Thomas, E.B. Williams, J. Williams and G. Amos.

The principal task of the Freemason, which is to improve his own character, eliminating those negative traits that might exist in his personality and developing his moral and spiritual resources (what is known as “polishing the raw stone”) is in great measure the result of the interaction among brethren within and without the Lodge. However, the most important means to advance in this work is necessarily introspection and meditation, that is, reflection and self-awareness.

Freemasonry  was introduced to Louisiana by French settlers at an early date—after the revolution broke out in San Domingue (1791).  Freemasonry was in a flourishing condition there.  The European-ancestored population of San Domingue like that of New Orleans, was almost exclusively of Latin origin, the greater portion being French by birth or descent, and the combined influence of national affinity, commercial intercourse and flight from revolts by the enslaved people led to the introduction of Freemasonry into Louisiana.  Many of the San Dominque refugees who fled to Cuba and then to New Orleans brought their Freemasonry traditions with them.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite of freemasonry was established in Louisiana, in the city of New Orleans, in 1813. Historically, the establishment of a Grand Lodge of Symbolic Masonry in England in 1717 was the beginning of a form of Masonic government which now exists practically throughout the world and was first formally introduced in this country from France and her West Indian colonies.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority.  The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. The first two of the Chapter degrees, which serve as a transition between the Lodge of Perfection and the Rose-Croix Chapter, deal with the Second Temple of Jerusalem, built by the Jews returning from the Babylonian captivity. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.

With the influx of Northerners after the purchase of Louisiana by the United States there were a number of Masons who applied to the Grand Lodge of New York for a charter in 1806.  This was the first lodge in New Orleans that worked in the English language, the language which came to dominate the organizations in Louisiana.

Sources: “Sovereign Princes of the Rose Croix in Ancient Masonic Ceremony,” Louisiana Weekly, 4/14/1945, pg. 12, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana;;; “The History of Masonry in Louisiana,” “A History of the Scottish Rite in Louisiana,” Square and Compasses, January 1927, vol. XXXIV, No. 9, George Long Papers, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.


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