Our Supreme Council members wear the Cross of Salem around their neck and perhaps it is well that we consider some of the events and the background leading to the importance to our Order of that Cross.


It is advantageous to go back to Isaiah 53 which foretells the life of our beloved Emmanual and concludes (Isaiah 53.XII) "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


The word Emmanuel occurs only once in the New Testament in Matthew 1 XXIII which reads "And lo a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Emmanuel which being interpreted is "God with us".
Matthew is merely repeating a prediction of that great Messianic Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7.XIV) "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel".


In the service of the Eighteenth Degree certain Latin quotations have been restored. They are not obligatory, but may now be used as a substitute for the English.
Of considerable interest is the phrase "Pax Vobiscum" Peace be with you.
Pax from the Latin word once used by schoolboys as a call for a truce and Vobiscum, with the preposition after the pronoun.


Pax Vobiscum occurs only once in the Latin Bible, in Genesis 43.XXIII when Joseph's brethren finding coins in the top of their corn sacks a second time return in trepidation to Egypt and Joseph says "Pax Vobiscum, Nolite Timere" Peace be with you. Do not fear.


The nearly allied phrase "Pax Vobis" occurs several times in the Vulgate e.g. in the Book of Tobit the Angel Raphael uses these worlds in revealing his identity. Much more importantly this is the phrase which Jesus according to John's Gospel used in greeting his disciples on that very first Easter morning and again some eight days later when Thomas doubted.


In ecclesiastical use the word Pax (distinct from PYX) means the "Kiss of Peace" performed at High Mass. It is also the name of the crucifix reliquary or tablet passed around among the clergy and congregation for this Kiss of Peace. Here is the origin of our custom of "Kissing the Bride" for the Salisbury Rubric says that a husband and wife may not kiss during a wedding ceremony before the Kiss of Peace.


The phrase Pax Vobiscum also derives from a practice in the Catholic Church, both Anglican and Roman, so that wherever the priest in the order of service uses the versicle "Dominus Vobiscum" "The Lord be with you" a Bishop is entitled to substitute Pax Vobiscum. Consider the combination of Emmanuel. "God with us" and "Pax Vobiscum" using the episcopal substitute "The Lord be with you" or even maybe "The Kiss of Peace be with you".








In Scottish Chapters the phrase is Pax Tibi - Latin the singular form of Pax Vobiscum. It is argued that this is logical in addressing one person but it would seem that this form was adopted to avoid in Presbyterian minds any identification with Catholic ritual.


We are all so accustomed to certain anthems sung in church, the words of which are "Gloria in excelsis deo" that we accept these as the Latin for Luke 2 XIV. The actual Latin of the Vulgate is "Gloria in altissimis deo" a direct translation of the Greek.


The Latin Grace "Benedictus Benedicat, Per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum". "May the Blessed One (i.e. the Lord) bless (this food)" to which the Return Grace Benedicto Benedicatur responds "Let blessings be given back to the Blessed One" through Jesus Christ our Lord, is several centuries old. It is actually a very old Jesuit grace.


Not unreasonable perhaps when one notes that our Order at one time included many Jesuits and the eighteenth degree was indeed referred to as the "Jesuit degree".



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