Order of the Amaranth is a Masonic-affiliated women’s organization founded in 1873. As in the Order of the Eastern Star, members of the Order must be age 18 and older; men must be Master Masons; and women must be related to Masons as wives, mothers, daughters, widows, sisters, nieces, aunts, et cetera, or have been active members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or Job’s Daughters International for more than three years and be recommended by a Master Mason.
Amaranth was founded on Queen Christina of Sweden’s court. Christina had created the “Order of the Amarantha” for the ladies and knights of her court. In 1860, James B. Taylor of Newark, New Jersey drew upon this order to create a new fraternal society. In 1873, Robert Macoy organized Taylor’s society into the Order of the Amaranth, part of a proposed Adoptive Rite of Masonry. Eastern Star was to be the first degree, and until 1921, Amaranth members were required to join Eastern Star first.
In the Order’s teachings, the members are emphatically reminded of their duties to God, to their country and to their fellow beings. They are advocated 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.
Amaranth is organized into Courts, under Grand Courts at the State level. The primary body is called the Supreme Council (which has some subordinate Courts directly under it, as well). Women members of the Order are addressed as “Honored Lady”, while men are referred to as “Sir Knight”.
The officers of a Court are:
- Royal Matron – presiding officer
- Royal Patron – enforces the rules of the order
- Associate Matron – assumes the duties of the Royal Matron in the absence of that officer
- Associate Patron – assumes the duties of the Royal Patron in the absence of that officer
- Secretary- takes care the courts business
- Treasurer- takes care of the courts money
- Conductress – leads candidates through the degree of the order
- Associate Conductress – assist the conductress
- Prelate – leads the Court in prayer
- Historian – keeps records of the court
- Marshal in the East – escorts the royal matron, displays the flag of the country
- Marshal in the West – assist the marshal in the east
- Musician – provides music for the meetings
- Standard Bearer – displays the banner of the order
- Chairman of the Trustees – Revolving Committee a three year term, with a new trustee elected every year.
- 2 yr Trustee -
- 3 yr Trustee -
- Warder – Sits next to the door inside the meeting room, to make sure those that enter the court room are members of the Order.
- Sentinel – Sits next to the door outside the court room, to make sure those that wish to enter are members of the Order.
The Royal Matron, Royal Patron, Associate Matron, Associate Patron, Secretary, Treasurer, Conductress, Associate Conductress and the Trustees are elected by the members of the Court. All are elected annually with the exception of the Trustees, who serve three year terms. One Trustee is elected each year, with the senior Trustee serving as Chairman. The remaining officers are appointed each year by the Royal Matron-elect prior to installation. The elected officers – excluding Secretary, Treasurer and Trustees – are considered line officers and normally advance to the next office the following year: Associate Conductress becoming Conductress, Conductress becoming Associate Matron and so forth. These advancements are not automatic, however, and are subject to the affirmative vote of the members.
The order’s primary philanthropic project is the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation. Additional projects may be designated by individual Grand jurisdictions and/or the local courts. The flag of the appropriate country is prominently exhibited at all meetings.