The Order of the Amaranth
From: <MLPaige@juno.com> (Marie Paige)
Subject: Amaranth's Swedish Beginnings (Repost)
For those of you who sent me a request to repost:
This is historical information about how Amaranth began. It's
interesting at least - even if you have no desire to join. It was typed
from a flyer available to the public a few years back and I hope you
enjoy the historical aspects.
"This resume has been prepared for those who are interested in
becoming a member of the Order of the Amaranth, and for a new member
whose interest has been aroused by the beauty of the degree."
The Order of the Amaranth is a fraternal organization composed of
Master Masons and their properly qualified female relatives. In its
teachings, the members are emphatically reminded of their duties to God,
to their country and to their fellow beings. They are urged to portray,
by precept and example, their belief in the "Golden Rule" and by
conforming to the virtues inherent in TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM and CHARITY
they can prove to others the goodness promulgated by the Order.
The extent of its Charitable Work and overall Benevolence is limited
only by the opportunities that exist, and the ability to secure adequate
funding. Its Philanthropic project is the Amaranth Diabetes
Foundation. The flag of the appropriate country is prominently
displayed at all meetings creating a strong sentiment of patriotism and
devotion to the respective land that we love.
Conspicuously upon the Altar is placed the Holy Bible, the inspired
word of God. Its divine truths send forth its sacred luster to all
parts of the globe and is used among us as a symbol of the will of God.
It reminds us of the omnipresence of the "Almighty" overshadowing us
with His Divine Love and dispensing His blessings among us.
The leaves of the Amaranth plant (Like the "Laurel") is indicative of
distinction and honor, and when formed into the "Amaranthine Wreath"
with its never ending circle, is typical of the bond of fraternal
friendship which encircles our beloved order, and which has a central
place upon our Standard (Ceremonial Flag), surrounding the "Crown and
About three hundred years ago in Sweden, a little girl just six years
old named Christina became the ruler of that country. As she grew to
womanhood, she was very fond of things beautiful, cultured and of social
importance. During her reign as Queen, she created the Order of the
Amarantha for the ladies and knights of her royal court, building it
around the character of Lady Amarantha, who was portrayed as being a
beautiful, virtuous and talented Lady of the Court. Queen Christina
herself acted the part of Lady Amarantha; and the name of the Order was
probably chosen because of the beautiful never-fading red Amaranthus
flowers growing in profusion in Spain and Portugal. The Order was
perpetuated and exists in the Royal Court of Sweden now. As originally
created by Queen Christina, the Royal and Social Order of the Amarantha
had no more connection with Masonry than did the beautiful Catholic
Cathedrals constructed by masons and by builders of old, before the
structure of Masonry was developed and embodied in our present day
Fraternity. So let's leave the Swedish Order of the Amarantha and
return to more modern days.
In the middle of the 19th century, a number of societies were started
in America, in which females could become members. The two that we are
most concerned with are the "Order of the Eastern Star" and the "Order
of the Amaranth".
From the report of Honored Lady Grace Scheninger, a member of the
present Order who visited Sweden in recent years, we find the following
interesting information: "One account was given by an Englishman,
himself a member of the order and a long time guest of Christina's
Court, seems the most plausible and in keeping with the lessons handed
down to us in our present Order. He says: "The person kneeling down
before the Queen held up his hands between the Queen's hands: she
declared his duty in that order, to maintain and defend virtue and the
honor of virtuous ladies, to endeavor to correct vice, to perform
honorable actions, to keep his faith inviolable, in all matters relating
to honor and virtuous performances; which the Court promised to observe.
The Queen put upon his left shoulder and tied under his right arm a
scarf of crimson taffeta, with a broad silver fringe; and the jewel of
the order hung in the scarf, it was about the compass of half a crown;
it was made of gold, a round wreath wrought and enameled like a laurel,
and in the midst thereof two great AA reversed, set thick with diamonds,
the two AA for the first and last letters of Amaranta, and about the
wreath was written 'dolce nella memoria', 'Sweet is the memory', that is
of a certain noble and famous great lady named Amaranta, who was an
eminent pattern and example of the highest honor and virtue, in memory
of whom this Court was instituted."
It again appears in France when the Lodges of Adoption were organized
about 1730, each of which was under the control of a Masonic Lodge until
June 10, 1974, when the Grand Orient of France by an Edict assumed
control of all Lodges of Adoption.
In 1860, Brother James B. Taylor from Newark, NJ, attempted to
compose the material to start a New "Society". He learned that in 1653,
Queen Christina of Sweden,, had combined a group of "Sir Knights" and
"Ladies" together to have "gala" parties. She called this group the
"Order of the Amaranta".
Brother Taylor was so impressed with what he had read that he copied
many of the symbols and much of the phraseology used therein. He even
copied the name, the "Order of the Amaranth".
Brother Robert Macoy, who was in control of the "Order of the Eastern
Star" around 1870, decided that it might be advisable to add two or more
degrees to it. Then, in 1873, he formed the "Rite of Adoption", with
the "Order of the Eastern Star" as the first, or initiatory degree, and
"The Queen of the South" as the second degree and the "Order of the
Amaranth" as the third, or highest degree. His plan was to have these
degrees given separately but under the control of one body.
Both Eastern Star "Chapters" and Amaranth "Courts" were included in
the Adoptive Rite Ritual. The Order of the Amaranth was officially
organized June 14, 1873 in New York City as part of the Rite of
Adoption. Robert Macoy was the first Supreme Royal Patron and Rob
Morris was the first Supreme Recorder of the Order under Robert Macoy.
In the Rite of Adoption Ritual it was said: "This Organization shall be
known as the 'Rite of Adoption of the World' and shall consist of the
degrees of the Eastern Star, the Queen of the South and the Amaranth."
Brother Robert Macoy obtained the material that Brother Taylor had
written about the Amaranth, and revised and perfected it into
"ritualistic" form so that it could be used as the ritual for the third
degree. From 1873 until 1921, all members of the Amaranth were required
to join the "Order of the Eastern Star" first, and to maintain this
membership to be able to stay members of the Amaranth.
In 1921, by mutual agreement, this requirement ceased. They are now
completely separate organizations.
In 1895, Robert Macoy died. New officers arranged for the Supreme
Council of the "Order of the Amaranth" to hold its first meeting of
its officers and members in 1897. Since then, and "Annual Meeting" has
been held each year. Under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council we
have forty-three Grand Courts (each is Statewide), located in the United
States, Canada, Australia, England, Phillippines and Scotland. Also,
Subordinate Courts (local) in Hawaii, New Zealand and Ireland (there are
a few individual states in the U.S. that do not have Grand Courts).
The "Order of the Amaranth" means many things to many people. To
its early members it meant the opportunity to build upon the strong
foundation of TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM and CHARITY. A fraternal order
having for its purpose, service to humanity, set to the music of
fraternal love. To its present members, the "Order of the Amaranth"
means a challenge to build higher and stronger upon these foundations of
Fraternal Love and Service. It means the Hand of Fraternal Friendship
to those in distress. It means Thinking and Remembering about its
members in their hours of sorrow and sickness.
Most of all, it means the opportunity to serve its Fellowmen, to
enjoy the close fraternal ties of mutual respect and understanding to
enrich our lives with friendship worth far more than gold or silver.
If you would like more information on the Order of the Amaranth or
have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Should that be the
case, please send your name, email address and City/ST ONLY. I would be
happy to give you the name and phone number of a member in your area,
but the initial call is YOUR CHOICE.
Marie Paige, Past Grand Royal Matron
Grand Court Order of the Amaranth, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
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