The Order Today
The Great Priory of Scotland works four ceremonies, known as grades on those Royal Arch Masons who are admitted to its ranks. Successful applicants are known as “Aspirants” for the order.
The first ceremony is the Grade of Pilgrim and Esquire.
The Aspirant is admitted to the Preceptory in the guise of a pilgrim travelling through the Holy Lands to Jerusalem, who seeks shelter within its walls.
He later becomes impressed and requests to be enlisted as an esquire of the order.
After having his abilities put to the test, he is enrolled as an Esquire and dressed in the plain white mantle and cap of his ranking in the Order.
The second ceremony is the Grade of a Knight of the Temple.
The Esquire having served his time, is put through a very moving and dramatic ceremony of admission, following which he is dressed in the rank of a Knight of the Temple, a red Cross Pâté being added to the mantle and a white tunic bearing the same with a white sash.
The cap has a red band around the middle.
A Venerable Preceptor or Past Preceptor has a red velvet cap and red cape on his mantle.
The Preceptor is distinguished by his beads of office and baton bearing a Patriarchal or two-barred cross.
District Grand Officers wear a Passion or single-bar cross and silver edging on their caps.