The degrees of the Order are Secret Monitor, Prince and Supreme Ruler. In the First Degree the candidate is ‘inducted’ as a Secret Monitor. The ceremony is based on the friendship 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.
King Saul, became jealous of David’s brilliance and plotted his death. Through his friendship with Jonathan, David was informed of the plot 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 upon which the Degree embraces and develops.
Saul was informed of the friendship between David and his son and blamed those around him for promoting it. The King (Saul) embarked on a major search for David, slaughtering those he believed to be involved in David’s’ concealment but David triumphed and became the second King of Israel. His friendship with Jonathan remained unbroken until the death of the latter. This is the main theme of the Second Degree in which the candidate is “admitted” as a Prince of the Order.
The Third Degree of the Order is unique in English Freemasonry in that it is also the ceremony of installation, in which the elected brother is installed as Supreme Ruler of his Conclave. As part of the ceremony the newly installed Supreme Ruler also receives his ‘commission’ (usually from the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler).
Brief History of the Order
An Order of David and Jonathan existed in Holland in the 18th Century but our present Order was brought from America by Dr. I. Zacharie about 1875. Originally the Order, as worked in America, consisted of a single degree, which could be conferred on any worthy Master Mason by another brother who had received it himself. Under Zacharie, a Grand Council was formed in 1887 and the ritual was extended to the present system of three degrees. Later there followed a problematic period when the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees was empowered to confer the American version of the Degree. The conflict between the two bodies was resolved in 1931 when all rights were transferred to the Grand Council (later Conclave) of the Order of the Secret Monitor.
The most eloquent history of the order on record is that by Past Grand Supreme Ruler, Most Worthy Brother Peter Glyn Williams, C.St.J,. at an Emergency Meeting of Summus Conclave No.3, held in The Albert Halls, Stirling, Scotland, on the 23rd of August 2000 Click HERE for the History.