The Three Degrees of the Order
The Order of the Secret Monitor or Brotherhood of David and Jonathan in the British Isles and its Districts and Conclaves Overseas is one of the fastest growing Masonic Orders in the United Kingdom and is administered at Mark Masons’ Hall in London.
As with many orders in Freemasonry, the ceremonies typically surround a biblical story or legend and this Order is based upon the remarkable friendship which existed between David and Jonathan as can be found in the Bible – First book of Samuel.
There are three Degrees in the Order of the Secret Monitor as follows:
First Degree - Induction Ceremony
During the Induction Ceremony the story unfolds recalling the friendship that developed 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.
The First Degree of our Order graphically describes how Jonathan warned David in a non-obvious manner (hence Secret Monitor) not to return to King Saul’s household.
There are wonderful lessons to be learned of friendship, support and fidelity.
Second Degree - Princes Degree
The Second Degree derived from the Book of Samuel is also known as the Princes Degree and the candidate is admitted into an Assembly of Princes. We find that through his friendship with Jonathan, David was informed of the plot to kill him and fled to the hills for safety. In order to keep David informed of developments within the King’s court, Jonathan devised a special system of communication 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.
This Degree also tells how David admitted into his band one who had escaped from a massacre carried out at the order of Saul
This is a beautiful ceremony where again wonderful lessons are learned of friendship, support and fidelity.
Third Degree – Installation of Supreme Ruler
This third and last Degree concerns the Installation to the headship of a Conclave known as a Supreme Ruler and refers to David’s kingship. Within the ritual of this Degree there is a ceremony of Commissioning, which permits rank and status throughout the Order as a whole, enabling the Supreme Ruler to confer this Degree in any conclave. A certificate is issued to confirm the office holder has been Commissioned.
The ceremony is quite unique in Freemasonry.
All these ceremonies are very moving and it is upon the principles of fidelity and friendship exemplified therein that the system of communicating friendship and caring among the members of the order is promoted in a practical way.
Anyone seeking to improve their Masonic knowledge would find great satisfaction in this beautiful Degree in Freemasonry, which is the essence of our whole structure.
All of the Conclaves in the Province meet two or three times annually and anyone interested in obtaining further information should contact the Provincial Grand Recorder, Wy.Bro. Mike Gerschel on 07968 725822 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with one of the Conclave Secretaries as listed on the Conclaves page.