Red Cross of Constantine
The Masonic Order of the Red Cross of Constantine appears to have been first organised in the UK by Charles Shirreff around 1780 AD, and was subsequently re-organised in 1804 by Waller Rodwell Wright. During the next fifty years the Order was not very active until in 1865 the Grand Imperial Conclave was reassembled for the election and enthronement of William Henry Wright.
The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John the Evangelist
The first Degree of the Order, that of Knight Companion, leads from the Pagan Dispensation to the Christian, using the Legend of Constantine the Great’s conversion as a symbol of that conversion. The candidate comes as a ‘Knight of Rome’ desiring to embrace Christianity, and he must, in accordance with the General Statutes of the Order, be a Royal Arch Mason.
The second. Degree is that of Venerable Eusebius and is one of the symbolic Priesthoods. A Knight who has attained to this status is eligible for the office of Eminent Viceroy in a Conclave provided he is a member of the Appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John the Evangelist and that he is regularly elected to that office.
The third. Degree is confined to the Most Puissant Sovereign and who represents Constantine, Sovereign-Prince of the East and West. A Sovereign shall have served for one year in the office of Viceroy in a regular Conclave. This Degree completes the Rite of the Red Cross of Constantine.
The Appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John the Evangelist were attached to the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine at an early date and a separate certificate is issued to members of this Order. There is no connection, historically or ritually, between the Masonic Degree of Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and the mediaeval Military Order of the same name, which is said to have been founded in the eleventh century.
The Order is a Degree of Christian Knighthood and Candidates must be both Master Masons and Companions of the Royal Arch. At their Installation they learn of the miraculous victory of Constantine the Great over Emperor Maxentius and his subsequent conversion to Christianity. The Candidate then learns of the banner Constantine, adopted after his vision in the sky, after which they become Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine.
The Appendant Orders are conferred at a separate Divisional meeting. The first in a Sanctuary of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre refers to the discovery of the true cross by St Helena the mother of Constantine in the period between the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. The second part of the Ceremony concerns a discovery of a book of singular importance and the formation of the Knights of St John the Evangelist at the time of the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate.
The regalia of the order is simple, just a sash and two jewels.
There are thirteen Conclaves meeting within the area of the Masonic Province of East Kent.
The nearest for members of Loyal and True are:
The Kent Conclave No 392 at Balmoral Road, Gillingham.
Meetings are held on the second and fifth Wednesday after the 1st January and the 1st Wednesday in December
The Byzantium Conclave No 441 at Balmoral Road, Gillingham.
Meetings are held on the third Friday in January, fourth Friday in July and the second Friday in December
The Pentangle Conclave No 147 in Rochester.
Meetings are held on fifth Fridays, except December. With four fifth Fridays, no meeting in the third quarter.
Enthronement: second fifth Friday in calendar year.
Name: Reg. A. H. Smith
Position: Divisional Recorder
Telephone: 01634 300598
Email: Reg. A. H. Smith
Website : non