Ritual for Degree of Most Excellent Master
Marshal (with drawn sword) in opening formation is just outside Tyler’s door.
The Marshal will give the command:
Mar: Forward. March.
The procession moves into the Lodge room through Tyler’s door led by the Marshal. Levite No. 1 south, followed by all south Levites will make left turn as soon as he has passed the Altar, leaving room for north column-and right turn so that the south Levites will move to position beside south nine chairs. Levite No. 1 north, followed by all north Levites, will make left turn in same manner and lead his column north and thence east so that north Levites will move to position beside north nine chairs. After turning east Levites south will mark time until Levite No. 1 north is even with Levite No 1 south and then proceed in order to respective places beside chairs-all facing east. All officers except RWM follow in line as indicated. When all Levites are standing beside their chairs facing east Marshal gives command:
Mar: Halt. Inward face.
All face inward and thus form a double line as an honor guard for the RWM who has halted just inside the Tyler’s door. Marshal proceeds to the vacant place in the line opposite Chaplain south and becomes Marshal north. Each member of north and south columns is facing inward. RWM immediately moves through the lines to the East seats himself and gives * which seats the Levites only. Officers remain standing in same position. RWN then says:
RWM: Brethren, be clothed. Officers, take your stations.
Immediately the six officers still standing on floor walk toward each other. When they are about one foot apart the Marshal says
Mar: Halt. Right and left face. March.
Secretary, Chaplain, Marshal and Senior Warden right face and go to their stations while SD and JD left face and go to their stations. All are standing in front of their respective stations.
Marshal sheaths his sword which is the cue for the RWM to give * which seats officers.
RWM: Brother Senior Warden: Proceed to satisfy yourself that all present are Most Excellent Masters.
SW either makes personal observation or directs the Deacons to ascertain if all can be vouched for and to report.
SW: Right Worshipful Master: All present are Most Excellent Masters.
RWM gives * which seats the SW.
RWM: Brother Junior Deacon: What is the first great care of Masons when in Lodge assembled?
JD: To see that the Lodge is duly tyled, Right Worshipful Master.
RWM: Perform that duty. Inform the Tyler that I am about to open a Lodge of Most Excellent Masters and direct him to tyle accordingly.
JD opens door without knocks and says so that all may hear
JD: Brother Tyler, the Right Worshipful Master is about to open a Lodge of Most Excellent
Masters. You are directed to tyle accordingly.
JD closes door and gives *** ***. Tyler replies with *** ***. JD goes to his station and reports
JD: The Lodge is duly tyled, Right Worshipful Master.
RWM: How are we tyled, Brother Junior Deacon?
JD: By a Brother Most Excellent Master without the door, armed with the proper instrument of his office.
RWM: What are his duties there?
JD: To keep off all cowans and eavesdroppers and see that none pass or repass but such as are duly qualified and have permission from the Right Worshipful Master.
RWM gives * which seats the JD.
RWM: Brother Senior Warden: Are you a Most Excellent Master?
SW: I am. Try me.
RWM: How will you be tried?
SW: By the Keystone.
RWM: Why by the Keystone?
SW: Because it completed the Temple and on the ceremony of the completion and dedication of the Temple this degree is founded.
RWM: What makes you a Most Excellent Master?
SW: My obligation.
RWM: Where were you made a Most Excellent Master?
SW: In a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of Most Excellent Masters.
RWM: How many compose a Lodge of Most Excellent Masters?
SW: Two or more.
RWM: When composed of only two, who are they?
SW: The Right Worshipful Master and Senior Warden.
RWM: Why is there no Junior Warden?
SW: Because, just before the completion of the Temple, our Grand Master Hiram Abif was slain, as is represented in a preceding degree.
RWM: What is the Senior Warden’s station in the Lodge?
SW: In the West.
RWM gives ** which calls up all officers except RWM.
RWM: Why are you in the West-Brother Senior Warden? What are your duties there?
SW: As the sun is in the West at the close of the day so is the Senior Warden in the West, to assist the Right Worshipful Master in opening and closing his Lodge. To pay the Craft their wages if aught be due: and see that none go away dissatisfied, harmony being the strength and support of all societies, more especially of ours.
RWM: What is the Right Worshipful Master’s station in the Lodge?
SW: In the East.
RWM: Why is he in the East-Brother Senior Warden? What are his duties there?
SW: As the sun rises in the East to open and govern the day, so rises the Right Worshipful Master in the East to open and govern his Lodge.
To set the Craft to work and give them good and wholesome instructions for their labor. RWM gives which calls up entire Lodge including RWM.
RWM: Brother Chaplain, you will read the 24th Psalm.
The Chaplain or some well qualified Brother reads the 24th Psalm-reverently, slowly and distinctly.
RWM: Brother Chaplain, Officers and Levites, you will lead us as we repeat our Lord’s prayer: "Our Father which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from weevil;
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
At conclusion of prayer
RWM: Brother Senior Warden, it is my will and pleasure that … Chapter No. … be now opened on the Most Excellent Master degree for the dispatch of such business as may regularly come before it, under the usual Masonic restrictions. Communicate this order to the Craft for their government.
SW: Brethren, it is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master in the East that … Chapter No. …, be now opened on the Most Excellent Master degree, for the dispatch of such business as may regularly come before it, under the usual Masonic restrictions. Take notice and govern yourselves accordingly. Look to the East.
The entire Lodge-under the direction of the RWM give the due guard and sign of a Most Excellent Master. RWM gives *** *** SW gives *** ***.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon: Display the three Great Lights.
SD goes directly across to the Secretary’s desk, takes the three Great Lights reverently and arranges them on the Altar. Bible is opened at Psalm 122. SD returns to his station without giving due guard and sign.
RWM: In the name of God and King Solomon, I declare … Chapter No. … open in form on the Most Excellent Master degree. Brother Junior Deacon, inform the Tyler.
RWM seats himself and gives * which seats the Lodge. The JD goes to the door and gives thereon *** ***. Tyler replies with *** ***. JD opens door and says so that all may hear:
JD: Brother Tyler, this Lodge is now opened on the Most Excellent Master degree.
JD returns to his station and says:
JD: Right Worshipful Master, that duty is performed.
RWM gives * which seats the JD and completes the ceremony of opening.
The Director of Work will appoint an assistant in charge of candidates. Previous to the beginning of the First Section he will prepare the exemplar and all other candidates as follows: All candidates are clothed in white aprons as Master Masons. In addition to the white apron the exemplar candidate has a cable tow six times about his body. The assistant remains with the candidates and leads them into the Lodge room when directed to do so.
RWM: Brethren, we have met for the purpose of conferring the Most Excellent Master degree upon Brother …, a Past Master. If there be no objection we will proceed with the ceremony.
RWM: Brother Marshal: You will repair to the preparation room where you will find Brother … duly prepared to be received and acknowledged a Most Excellent Master.
Marshal goes to preparation room door-opens it without raps and enters preparation room and immediately gives *** *** on preparation room door.
SD: Right Worshipful Master, there is an alarm at the door of the preparation room.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon, you will attend to the alarm.
SD goes to the door of preparation room and gives thereon. He then opens the door and says:
SD: Who comes here?
Mar: A Brother who has been regularly initiated-passed and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, advanced to the degree of Mark Master, inducted into the Oriental Chair and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being received and acknowledged a Most Excellent Master.
SD: My Brother: Is this of your own free will and accord?
Can: It is.
SD: Brother Marshal: Is he worthy and well qualified?
Mar: He is.
SD: Is he duly and truly prepared?
Mar: He is.
SD: Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
Mar: He has.
SD: Let him wait with patience until the Right Worshipful Master is informed of his request and his answer returned.
SD closes door, goes to the Altar and gives *** ***.
RWM: Who comes there?
SD: A Brother who has been regularly initiated, passed and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, advanced to the degree of Mark Master, inducted into the Oriental Chair and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being received and acknowledged a Most Excellent Master. He has answered all of the questions in the affirmative.
RWM: Since he comes endowed with all these essential qualifications, it is my will and pleasure that he enter this Lodge of Most Excellent Masters and that you receive him in due and ancient form.
SD returns to door-opens it without raps and says:
SD: It is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master that the candidate enter this Lodge of Most Excellent Masters.
Mar conducts candidate into Lodge and goes to his station.
SD: My Brother: It is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master that I receive you into this Lodge of Most Excellent Masters in due and ancient form.
SD places Keystone base against right breast of candidate, and says:
SD: I receive you upon the Keystone, because it completed the Temple.
SD hands Keystone to Marshal who has come up to receive it. He then conducts the candidate to the East and faces him toward RWM. SD beside his on south, also facing East.
RWM: Harken unto a lesson from the Holy Scriptures
Chaplain or some qualified Brother appointed by RWM now reverently reads Psalm 122: verses I-2-6 and 9 with proper pause between each verse. At the conclusion of the reading the SD conducts candidate to JW station and both face the vacant chair. After a few seconds silence SD solemnly and feelingly says, so that all may hear:
SD: Alas poor Hiram! In the midst of life, duty and usefulness, he was overtaken by death. Suddenly his sun of life went down at noon and his station is vacant. Let us remember his virtues and imitate his worthy example. May we be reminded of the shortness of life and the uncertainty of its continuance, remembering that soon when our Brethren shall assemble to labor, our station will also be vacant forever. May we all at last fill our appropriate stations in heaven.
As the SD conducts the candidate around the room he will pass back of the Levites seated in the chairs if there is space, otherwise he will pass between the two seated columns of Levites. SD conducts candidate west from JW station and thence north and thence east to the RWM in East. As SD and candidate pass SW station SW gives *** ***. Arriving in the East SD gives *** ***.
RWM arises and says
RWM: Who comes here?
SD: A Brother who has been regularly initiated, passed and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, advanced to the degree of Mark Master, inducted into the Oriental Chair and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being received and acknowledged a Most Excellent Master.
RWM: My Brother, is this of your own free will and accord?
Can: It is.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon, is he worthy and well qualified?
SD: He is.
RWM: Is he duly and truly prepared?
SD: He is.
RWM: Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
SD: He has.
RWM: It is well. You will be conducted to the Senior Warden in the West, who will teach you to approach the East in due form.
RWM seats himself. SD conducts the candidate to the SW station- leaving Altar on right.
SD: Brother Senior Warden, it is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master in the East, that the candidate be taught to approach the East in due form.
SW: Brother Senior Deacon, you will cause the candidate to face the East.
SD wheels with candidate so that he is on the south of candidate, when facing East.
SW: My Brother, you will take one step with your right foot. Bring the heel of the left to the heel of the right and thereby form a right angle. Stand erect.
SW seats himself.
SD: Right Worshipful Master, your order has been obeyed.
RWM arises to address candidate
RWM: My Brother, you are again before the Altar of Masonry. Before proceeding further it will be necessary for you to take upon yourself a solemn obligation, pertaining to this degree. Yet I am free to inform you that this obligation contains nothing which can conflict with your duty to God, your country, your neighbor or yourself. With this pledge on my part, as the Right Worshipful Master of this Lodge, I ask you, are you willing to take such an obligation as all Most Excellent Masters have taken before you?
Candidate must reply in the affirmative.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon, you will place the candidate at the Altar in due form to be made a Most Excellent Master.
SD and candidate advance to the Altar. SD says:
SD: My Brother, you will kneel on both knees-your body erect, both hands resting on the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses.
SD: Right Worshipful Master, the candidate is in due form.
RWM gives *** and all arise. The Senior Warden and JD remain standing in their stations. The Levites form two parallel lines facing inward from their positions in front of their respective chairs. The RWM should be robed and wearing crown or other suitable head covering. He does not uncover but goes between the lines of the Levites, who maintain their positions to the Altar in the West. RWM does not lay hands on candidate in giving obligation. Arriving at the Altar RWM says
RWM: Each candidate except the exemplar at the Altar will place his hand over his heart, say I, pronounce his name in full and with the candidate at the Altar repeat after me the obligation
RWM: I, …, o m o f w a ac I the prsnc o A G a ths R W L o M E M e t hm a dedctd t K S d h-by a h-on in s a s p a s tt I w n com th s o ths deg t a per o pers whmsvr xcpt it b t a tr a lwfl Bro M E M o w th bdy o a j a lwfly con L o M E M nor u hm o thm u b s t d ex o lwfl I I s hve fnd hin o thm a lwfly e t thm a I a myself.
I frthmr p a s tt wherever G in cast in lotthr w I b fnd dspnsng true Mas lght a knwldg t m less infrmd brn to th best o in ability.
I frthmr p a s tt I w not derogate frm th character o a br M E M.
A ths I inst s a sinc p a s wth a f a s r t k a prfrm th s wth-t th l equiv men res o slf evsn whtsvr b rn u n 1 pen thn tt o hvng m brst t opn in vtis tkn fin thence-a thrwn u-on a dgnhill t r shd I i th 1 k o wtngly v o t ths m M E M ob S h m G a k in stdfst.
RWM: My Brother, in token of your sincerity of purpose in these solemn engagements, you will disengage your hands and kiss the Holy Bible.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon. Our Brother being bound to us by a six fold covenant which cannot be broken; you will release him from his cable-tow.
RWM does not wait for order to be executed but returns to the East and seats the Brethren by giving *. RWM will remember that if there is more than on candidate, they are seated in West and should so place himself in giving work immediately following that all candidates may see clearly.
RWM: You now discover me as Right Worshipful Master of this Lodge, approaching you from the East upon the step and under the due guard and sign of a Most Excellent Master.
RWM: This is the step of a Most Excellent Master. Take one step with the right foot. Bring the heel of the left to the heel of the right-and thereby form the right angle of a perfect square. This is the due guard. This is the sign.
RWM illustrates clearly and continues:
RWM: It refers to the penalty of your obligation.
Upon entering or leaving a Lodge of Most Excellent Masters, you will advance to the Altar and give the due guard and sign.
RWM: My Brother, you will arise and step backward two paces.
RWM passes on north side of Altar to candidate and places him in such position before the seated candidates that they may be able to see and hear all that goes on. RWM takes the candidate by the grip of a P M and says:
RWM: Bro SD, w y b off o frm?
RWM: Frm wht u-to wht?
SD: Fm th grp o a P M t th grp o a M E M.
RWM: P. Wht i tt?
SD: Th grp o a MEM.
RWM: Hs i a nme?
SD: I hs.
RWM: Gve i m.
SD: Id nt s rec I nthr c is imp i.
RWM: H w y d o i?
SD: I w syl i wth y.
RWM: Syl a bgn.
SD gives second syl. RWM gives first syl. SD gives last syl and then gives entire word.
RWM: This is the grip of a Most Excellent Master.
Its name is …. It is also called the covering grip because it covers the grips of the preceding degrees.
The RWM returns to his station and seats himself. The SD seats the exemplar with the other candidates in the West and returns to his station.
RWM: Brother Senior Warden, is not this the day set apart for the completion and dedication of the Temple?
SW: It is.
RWM gives * which seats the SW and says:
RWM: Brother Marshal, you will assemble the Craft to aid in the completion and dedication of the Temple.
Mar goes east to a point just west of center of dais-draws sword and says:
Mar: All Brethren in robes will arise except Right Worshipful Master. Officers resume marching position in line.
Levites stand before their chairs facing inward. SD and Secretary march toward each other, meet in East-march west two abreast through lines and take positions facing inward at west end of lines of Levites. Chaplain follows Secretary taking position facing inward west of Secretary. JD moves east to position west of Chaplain and SW goes north and thence east to position opposite JD, both facing inward. When all are in original marching position Marshal commands
Mar: Close ranks, march.
Columns march toward each other meeting in center-at which time the Marshal commands:
Mar: Halt. Right and left face.
All face East
Mar: Column left-march.
Marshal leads column without further command to north thence west; thence south and out through Tyler’s door. RWM takes position at end of column and follows out through Tyler’s door.
NOTE: The Companions for the completion ceremony will be in or getting into their robes so that they are ready in ample time for organization into procession as hereinafter more specifically set forth.
Assistant Marshal is in Tyler’s room waiting for the Levites. He places himself at their head and leads them by the most convenient route back into the Lodge room. This should be done quickly and without commotion. All articles removed are taken to the same place-previously arranged to receive them Each Levite has but one article to remove and if he does it promptly room will be cleared under two minutes Levites take out articles as follows:
Lev. 1 n. RWM chair.
Lev. 2 n.RWM ped and gavel
Lev. 3 n. SD chair.
Lev. 4 n. 9th Lev. chair from w
Lev. 5 n. 7th & 8th chair frm w.
Lev. 6 n 5th & 6th chair frm w.
Lev. 7 n. 3rd & 4th chair frm w.
Lev. 8 n. 1st & 2nd chairs frm w.
Lev. 9 n. move Altar to front JW station
Lev. 1 s. Chaplain’s chair.
Lev. 2 s. Chap. ped. & Bible.
Lev. 3 s. Uncover and inspect Sacrif. Altar
Lev. 4 s. 9th Lev. chair from w.
Lev. 5 s. 7th & 8th chair frm w.
Lev. 6 s. 5th & 6th chair frm w.
Lev. 7 s. 3rd & 4th chair frm w.
Lev. 8 s. 1st & 2nd chairs frm w.
Lev. 9 s. move kneeling pad with Altar to front JW station
Assistant Marshal leaves room after last Levite.
Even as the Levites are clearing the room the Director of Work in person, or with the Marshal will be organizing the first procession, the procession for the completion of the Temple.
Immediately after the Assistant Marshal has followed the Levites out of the room he closes the door and the Companion having first section of Prologue arises and addresses the candidates so that all in the room may hear.
Pro: My Brothers, the second section of this degree-about to be enacted—represents the ceremonies of the completion and dedication of King Solomon’s Temple.
It was the design of David—father of King Solomon—to build a house wherein the Lord God of Israel might be worshipped. For this purpose he had collected together a vast treasure of gold-silver-precious stones-jewels— and white fine twined linen.
But inasmuch as David had been a man of war and had shed blood—God had forbidden him to build the house.—that great work having been reserved for his son—the wise King.
Accordingly—soon after Solomon ascended the throne of Israel—the foundations of the Temple were laid on Mount Moriah. It was begun in the year 2992 and finished by the zealous labor of the Jewish people—in the year 3000. A little more than seven years was occupied in its erection.
The first procession is intended to represent that group of Craftsmen which wended its way over the Judean hills—bearing in stately grandeur—the Keystone—which was to complete the final arch—and symbolically—the Temple.
So important was this event—that even the King himself did deign to level himself with the Craft and honor the procession with his presence.
What follows is best told in the three processions which are to be enacted before you. Bear in mind throughout these ceremonies— which have an allegorical meaning—that each of us is a Craftsman—symbolically laboring on a Spiritual Temple-which shall eventually contain the divine Ark of God himself—and which shall never crumble into dust. This— my Brother(s) —is one of the great secrets of Freemasonry. May it truly serve as the Cape-Stone of your Spiritual Temple—now being erected.
The Prologue retires and the First Procession— duly organized and ready to come in—is enacted immediately as per ritual designation of small or large procession.
Order of March: Marshal with drawn sword enters first-through Tyler’s door and leads procession on south side of Lodge room east thence north: thence west and thence south to center of room. Marshal commands in low voice-"open ranks’ and procession marches to the East. When it has arrived in East. Marshal commands:
Mar: Procession halt. Inward face.
Master Overseer takes charge:
MO: Brother Senior and Junior Overseers,:let us conduct the Brethren bearing the Keystone
to its proper position and direct them in seating it in the arch.
After Keystone is seated MO gives command:
MO: Craftsmen, return to position in ranks.
MO likewise returns to position and Marshal takes charge; S.K. of I. and H.K. of T. advance and meet in center of room, walk forward to front of arch and inspect it for a few seconds then S.K. of I. and H.K. of T. face west and S.K of I. says:
KS: It is finished.
Pauses a few seconds and continues:
KS: The Temple is completed. We will now dedicate it to the one living and true God.
Kings return to their respective places in ranks.
Mar: Close ranks, march.
Columns march toward each other meeting in renter at which time the Marshal commands:
Mar: Halt. Right and left face.
All face east.
Mar: Column left, march.
Marshal leads procession out by marching without further command to north, thence west, thence south and out of door into Tyler’s room.
Director of Work and Assistant Marshal have organized and formed additional cast for the Second Procession as the various articles are to be carried in and the Assistant Marshal is at the head of this second part of the Second Procession, which is formed outside, and far enough west, of Tyler’s door so that procession for the completion may maneuver to be in position to lead in the Second Procession.
Pro: In the year 3001—six months after its completion—in the month of Ethanin—the seventh month of the Jewish sacred year—the Temple was dedicated with solemn ceremonies—to the service of the one Living and True God. And in order that these ceremonies might be performed with the greatest possible solemnity—King Solomon postponed the dedication until one of the principal Jewish feasts—the Feast of the Tabernacles—a day he well knew would bring every devout Jew up to Jerusalem.
Accordingly at that time they might have been seen coming from all parts of Judea— from the coast of Phoenicia—to the plains of the Jordan—and there were assembled at Jerusalem—a vast concourse of Jews.
After the people had entered the outer courts of the Temple to view its magnificence—a second procession might have .been seen passing slowly within. It was the procession of priests—bearing the sacred furniture of the Temple—necessary according to sacerdotal law—to fit the sanctuary as an abiding place for God.
Here might have been seen the candlestick with its seven branches-the table of shewbread —the Holy vessels used in the ceremonies of the Temple—and the Altar with its fragrant incense—all carried in solemn procession—by the priests of the Most High God.
Second Prologue retires and the Second Processsion is enacted immediately.
Marshal, with drawn sword, leads in from Tyler's door leading First Section of Second Procession east; thence north; thence west and halts his section of procession. When all of First Section is on north side of room.
Assistant Marshal, with drawn sword, closely following the First Section, leads Cohens and Levites to east on south side of room and halts Second Section of Second Procession. Marshal commands:
Mar: Left face.
All are now facing inward. Cohens all in line and two or three feet in front of their Levites.
East and west sides of room are kept clear that candidates may have unimpaired view of SS.
Marshal salutes Assistant Marshal with sword. Assistant Marshal advances to first Cohen in charge of Altar of Incense and salutes with sword.
1st DEPOSIT. First Cohen directs Levites in low voice to follow him. He moves out to center of floor and thence east to first step of Sanctuary—kneels reverently on both knees for a few seconds—then arises—leads his Levites into Sanctuary and directs placing of A of Incense on north front of Sanctuary, Then he leads Levites back into line—standing aside for them to assume position—after which he assumes his former position. Levites should bear staves or carrier rods back into line and deposit them outside room as procession retires.
2nd DEPOSIT. Assistant Marshal advances to second Cohen in charge of Table of Shew Bread and salutes with sword. Second Cohen follows same procedure as first Cohen, placing Table of Shew Bread at north rear of Sanctuary. Second Cohen and his Levites return in same manner.
3rd DEPOSIT. Done in all respects in same manner—placing Table of Holy Vessels on south front of Sanctuary.
4th DEPOSIT. Done in all respects in same manner—placing Seven-branched Candlestick on south rear of Sanctuary—and return in same manner to line.
When all of the articles have been placed—after the same manner—the Assistant Marshal returns to his position at the head of the south line of Levites-and salutes the Marshal who immediately commands—
Mar: First and Second Sections of Procession, Right Face.
All resume original position in marching column Assistant Marshal then commands:
A. Mar: Second Section, Column left. March.
When Second Section has closed gap in East Assistant Marshal Commands:
A. Mar: Halt.
Marshal then commands:
Mar: Procession, Forward. March.
Marshal leads entire procession out at Tyler’s door.
Note: While the Second Procession is in the Lodge room the High Priest will station himself and his four Levites—number 8 and 9 north and 8 and 9 south—who will bear the Ark—just outside or near the Tyler’s door, taking care to leave room for the four Cohens when they arrive in Second Procession from the Lodge room.
Since the next or Third Procession will really be a procession of the priests the High Priest will lead the First Section of the Third Procession—followed immediately by the four Cohens who were in charge of the Articles carried in the Second Procession, and after the four Cohens by the four Levites carrying the Ark on their shoulders.
Detailed Movement of Second Procession after it leaves Lodge room and reforms into Third Procession.
Marshal leads Second Procession from Lodge room to a convenient room near Tyler’s room and brings his First Section to a halt. The Assistant Marshal leads his Second Section around the First Section and back toward the Tyler’s door—coming to a halt immediately behind the Levites carrying the Ark. The Marshal immediately leads his First Section around and comes to a halt closely behind the Levites, just led into position by the Assistant Marshal
Cohens. When the Cohens pass the High Priest as they leave the Lodge room in the Second Procession—the Cohen who was in charge of the Altar of Incense steps out of line and takes his position in front of Levite 8 south—ark-bearer. Cohen who was in charge of Table of Shew Bread steps out and takes position in front of Levite 8 north—Ark-bearer. Cohen who was in charge of Table of Holy Vessels steps out and takes position in south line behind Cohen No. 1 and Cohen w no was in charge of 7 Branched Candlestick steps out and takes his position in north line behind Cohen No. 2. All face Tyler’s door. This is the only time that any of the Cohens or Levites change their original marching order.
When all are in position the Marshal and Assistant Marshal change places with each other in the line.
Meanwhile in Lodge room. As soon is Second Procession has passed out through Tyler’s door and before Third Procession enters, the Companion selected to deliver the third part of the Prologue arises and appears at once before the candidates—and gives this portion of the Prologue slowly—distinctly and if possible—with a little more of awe and reverence in his voice.
Pro: Finally there came a third procession—larger and more magnificent than all which had preceded it—the splendor of which had never been seen in all Israel before. King and pauper—prince and priest—joined the mighty throng—which accompanied the Ark of the Covenant—the Glory of all Israel—to what promised to be its permanent resting place-within the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple.
First came the High Priest clad in his sacerdotal robes. Next followed the Cohens—or lesser priests. Finally—the procession was filled up with a vast multitude of people.
With shouting and praise they brought up the Ark of the Covenant-and placed it within the Sanctum Sanctorum. King Solomon then ascended a brazen scaffold—five cubits long-five cubits wide and three cubits high—and offered up that sublime invocation—a portion of which will be rehearsed in your hearing.
And when Solomon had made an end of praying—the fire came down from heaven—and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices—and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord—because the glory of the Lord—had filled the Lord’s house. "And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down—and the glory of the Lord upon the house—they bowed themselves-with their faces to the ground upon the pavement-and worshipped and praised the Lord-saying—‘For he is good-for his mercy endureth forever’." (2 Chron. 7:3).
And when the people rose from their suppliant position—and beheld the Temple shining with intense brightness—they were struck with bewildering amazement and raised their hands—in astonishment and admiration at its wonderous magnificence—as well as to protect their eyes from the effect of its exceeding brilliancy.
Nothing ever equalled the splendor of the consecration of the Temple. Israel had sent forth her thousands—and the assembled people beheld-in awful adoration—the vast sacrifice of Solomon accepted.
The shadow and glory of the Eternal proclaimed his presence between the cherubim and the voice of his thunders proclaimed to the faithful of the Graft-that the perfectness of their labor was approved.
Immediately after the third part of the Prologue has been given—Third Procession enters—led by the High Priest in appropriate costume.
The High Priest leads east on south side of room; thence north; thence west. When the High Priest reaches west end of north side of room the Marshal commands:
Mar: First Section, halt.
First Section halts as directed by Marshal but the High Priest continues on with his Cohens and Levites bearing the Ark, toward the south and on reaching center of room High Priest turns toward the East and halts.
When the Assistant Marshal reaches the east end of the south side of room he commands—
A. Mar: Second Section-halt.
Thus east end of room is left open. High Priest now addresses entire assemblage in loud voice—
HP: You will remain here while we continue to bear the Ark to its appointed place in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple.
The High Priest, followed by the Cohens and Levites bearing the ark on their shoulders continue slowly eastward. The Cohens begin to open ranks as they proceed until a space of about eight feet separates their ranks. Upon arriving at the first step of the Sanctuary the High Priest kneels reverently on both knees for a few seconds; the Cohens inward face and kneel on right knees while the Levites come to a halt and remain standing quietly. The High Priest arises. The Cohens arise and stand facing inward. The Levites move toward the East between the lines of the Cohens, and the High Priest leads them into the Sanctuary and directs the Levites to place the Ark on the pedestal behind the white curtain in the Sanctum Sanctorum. As soon as the Ark is seated the Levites leave the Sanctum Sanctorum, led by the High Priest, who returns to the outside of the Sanctuary and addressing the Cohens and Levites, says-
HP: You will return to your position in the Procession while I attend to the solemn duties of my sacred office.
Cohens close ranks, face West and lead Levites back into place at the west end of First Section and all face toward south. Meanwhile the High Priest enters the Sanctum Sanctorum, removes the staves or rods from the Ark and disposes of them. He lights candles of Seven Branch Candlestick, inspects Sanctum Sanctorum to see that everything is in its proper place. High Priest then descends from Sanctuary and places himself near the Sacrificial Altar
After the Ark has been seated and while High Priest is engaged in SS-SK. of I. and H.K. of T. detach themselves from procession on south side of room-go to the West and after High Priest has moved over to the Sacrificial Altar they walk slowly toward the East through the center of room—engaged in inaudible—solemn conversation accompanied by movements of heads and hands. They are followed by two guards. The kings gaze upon the splendor of the Sanctuary briefly—side by side. Then K S. goes to the brazen scaffold—or to north east corner if no brazen scaffold is available—followed by the two guards who pause near him. H.K. of T. moves over toward the position of the Assistant Marshal. The lights are dimmed. At this point all members of cast space themselves so that at the proper time they can fully prostrate themselves without too much interference. The Marshals are charged with the duty of seeing that this is done quietly and without attracting attention of candidates.
King Solomon ascends brazen scaffold and offers prayer:
KS: O Lord God of Israel—there is no God like thee in the heaven—nor in the earth—which keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto thy servants—that walk before thee with all their hearts;
Thou which hast kept with thy servant David-my father-that which thou hast promised him—and spakest with thy mouth-and hast fulfilled it with thine hand—as it is this day.
Now therefore—O Lord God of Israel—keep with thy servant David—my father—that which thou hast promised him—saying—There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel—yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law—as thou hast walked before me.
Now then—O Lord God of Israel—let thy word be verified which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.
But will Cod in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold—heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee—how much less this house which I have built!
Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant—and to his supplication—O Lord my God—to harken unto the cry and the prayer—which thy servant prayeth before thee;
That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night—upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there—to harken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.
Harken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant—and of thy people Israel—which they shall make toward this place—hear thou from thy dwelling place—even from heaven—and when thou hearest—forgive.
Now—my God—let I beseech thee—thine eyes be open-and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
Now therefore arise—O Lord God—into thy resting place—thou-and the ark of thy strength: Let thy priests—O Lord God—be clothed with salvation and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
O Lord God—turn not away the face of thine annointed: Remember the mercies of David-thy servant." (2 Chron. 6.).
Just at the conclusion of the prayer the fire descends upon the sacrificial Altar and the lights come on over the Ark. The ceiling lights may come on bright.
All of the cast instantly prostrate themselves flat on the floor, exclaiming—three times in succession: For He is good-for his mercy endureth forever!
For He is good—for his mercy endureth forever!
For He is good—for his mercy endureth forever!
As the members of the cast arise they give the sign of Adoration by raising both hands directly in front of body to nearly full height-hands about one foot apart—palms of hands to the front and eyes and chin slightly raised.
A few seconds after sign of Adoration is given the Marshal will give command in loud voice:
Mar: Procession, reform in marching order.
Kings return to place. Followed by Guards. High Priest returns to head of the four Cohens. Marshal sees that Levites are in order. Assistant Marshal sees that those In procession on south side of room are in order. Assistant Marshal then gives order-
A. Mar: Second Section, column left. March. Halt.
When the gap between the Second Section and First Section is closed, Marshal gives order:
Mar: Procession. Column left. March.
All go out Tyler’s door.
As soon as the Third Procession is out of the Lodge room-Assistant Marshal sees that:
Levite No. 1 north returns RWM chair to position Levite No. 2 north returns RWM pedestal and gavel.
Levite No. 3 north returns SD chair.
Levite No. 9 north moves Altar to regular position.
Levite No. 9 south places kneeling pad at or around Altar.
Levites then retire from Lodge room quickly-quietly and without ceremony.
Remaining portion of cast will disrobe—sort and place in a convenient place all paraphernalia brought in by any other Chapter so it may be easily removed at the close of the work.
The essential portions of lecture have been incorporated in the Prologue and hence the candidate(s) is ready for the charge.
As soon as the Lodge room is again in order and the officers have resumed their stations the RWM gives *** which calls up the entire Lodge and says:
RWM: Brother you will deliver the Charge of this degree.
The Chaplain or Brother previously designated to deliver the Charge advances to front of Altar, faces toward the candidate (s) in the West and delivers the Charge and at its conclusion takes his seat RWM gives * which seats the Lodge.
My Brother, your admission to this degree of Freemasonry is proof of the good opinion the Brethren of this Lodge entertain—of your character and Masonic abilities.
It is one of your great duties as a Most Excellent Master to dispense light and truth to the uninformed Mason.
As we receive and acknowledge you a member of this Lodge—may we also express the hope that you will seriously endeavor to acquire such a degree of Masonic knowledge—as will enable you to discharge with propriety its various duties—and to preserve unsullied the distinguished title now conferred upon you—of Most Excellent Master.
Let is endeavor to avoid anti-climax. Do not call upon the candidate(s) at this time-of all times-for remarks. If you have done your work well the emotions created by the inspiring spectacle he has just witnessed occupy his thoughts. Give him time for reflection. The candidate will manifest his appreciation in his own way and at the proper time. Now it is time to close-without remarks.
RWM: Brother Junior Deacon: What is the last as well as the first great care of Masons, when in Lodge assembled?
JD: To see that the Lodge is duly tyled, Right Worshipful Master.
RWM: Perform that duty. Inform the Tyler that I am about to close this Lodge of Most Excellent Masters and direct him to tyle accordingly.
JD goes to door and gives *** ***. Tyler repeats *** ***. JD opens door and says, so that all may hear
JD: Brother Tyler, the Right Worshipful Master is about to close this Lodge of Most Excellent Masters. You will take due notice thereof and tyle accordingly.
JD closes door and returns to his station.
JD: Right Worshipful Master, the Lodge is duly tyled.
The RWM gives *** and all arise.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon: Close the three Great Lights.
SD goes to the Altar—reverently closes the Great Lights and takes them to the Secretary. SD may remain standing at Secretary’s desk.
RWM: In the name of God and King Solomon, I declare … Chapter No. … closed in form on the Most Excellent Master degree.
Brother Junior Deacon, inform the tyler.
RWM gives * which dissolves Lodge.