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Cymraeg

Admitting New Members

The Gorsedd of the Bards has three orders/degrees:

New Gorsedd members invested at Swansea, 1962
Successful young candidates (13-14 years old) in the Gorsedd examinations, invested as members in Swansea, 1962.

Members are admitted to these orders during the Monday morning ceremony in the Gorsedd Circle. The Herald Bard and the Bearer of the Grand Sword walk towards the entrance to the Circle and hold the Sword across it to bar the way. Every new member places his/her right hand on the Sword's blade. After a new member has been admitted he/she is led by the Marshalls to the Mistress of the Robes to be invested with his/her Order's head-dress.

Iolo differentiated between the bardic orders in the first Gorsedd ceremony in 1792 although he also emphasised that they should be considered equal in status.

By the second half of the nineteenth century there was real concern regarding the merit of Gorsedd degrees. The scholar, John Morris-Jones, was the severest critic, because, he claimed, 'candidates are admitted as members through an examination which is five times easier than the most basic University of Wales examination '. As a result candidates came to be examined more stringently in order to raise standards.