The “Chair Degrees” of York Rite masonry, so called as the candidate must be the installed or a past presiding officer of the respective York Rite body. They may also differ somewhat in name or character from one jurisdiction to another.
Holy Order of High Priesthood
The Order of High Priesthood is an association for past and current High Priests of local Chapters of Royal Arch Masons. Sometimes referred to as the Anointed Order of High Priesthood. In antiquity, this degree was known as the Order of Melchizedek. The Holy Order of High Priesthood degree tells the story of Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and his encounter with Melchizedek, High Priest of Salem. The candidate is then solemnly anointed, consecrated and set apart to the Holy Order of High Priesthood.
The first authenticate record of this Order is to be found in the proceedings of the Grand Chapter of Ohio in 1828. The Order of High Priesthood dates from the year of the blessing of Abraham by the high priest, Melchizedek, King Salem. It is called Anno Benedictionis (A.B.) – “In the year of Blessing” and adds 1913 to the common time. Therefore the year 2008 becomes 3921.
The Order’s ritual was compiled and arranged by Robert Macoy. In addition, recommend reading KJV Hebrews 7: 1, 5, 17, 20 & 21:
“For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, priest of the most high GOD, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being by interpretation, King of righteousness, and after that also, King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of GOD, abides a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily, they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham. For he testifies, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest. For those priests (under the Levitical law) were made without an oath; but this with an oath, by him that said unto him, the LORD has sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Click here for the list of Current Officers and other information about the Order of High Priesthood in Oklahoma
Order of the Sword and Trowel
The Order of the Sword and Trowel, or also known as the Order of the Silver Trowel or Thrice Illustrious Master, is a degree conferred upon those who are serving or have served as Illustrious Master for a Council of Cryptic Masons.
The degree gets a name from the jewel of the degree (above). The order is also known by the name of the Order of Anointed Kings. The degree consists of two sections – the candidate representing young King Solomon in both sections.
In the first section, the candidate learns of the conspiracy by his half-brother Adonijah, to wrest the throne by cunning from Solomon. He also learns of his mother (Bathsheba) interceding with the aged and ailing King David to prevent this. After securing David’s approval, Solomon is symbolically conducted to Gihon by Benaiah where he is duly obligated, anointed, and hailed as King by Nathan, the Prophet, and Zadok, the High Priest.
In the second section, the newly anointed King is brought before his father, David, who, in his dying moments, instructs him in moral wisdom and counsels him to govern uprightly and to serve the Lord with all his strength. Upon Solomon’s assent, the King expires.
Oklahoma Past Commander’s Association
Past Commanders Associations, very like the related Order of Knights Preceptor, were formed to promote the cause of Chivalric Masonry through a dedication of Templar Leadership to its principles, and to further the knowledge of its history, background, customs, usage, and traditions.
Our Past Commanders Association meets twice every year, traditionally during the Oklahoma York Rite Grand Sessions and when the other York Rite Chair Degrees are administered. Membership in the Oklahoma Past Commander’s Association is open to all Past Commanders whose term in office is complete and:
- His Commandery has stood its Annual Inspection
- He filled the station of Commander at said Inspection according to the requirements of the Work and Tactics Committee.