Ritual for Degree of Past Master
The honorary degree of Past Master is more closely associated with the Symbolic or "Blue" Lodge than with Chapter Masonry. It was originally conferred only upon the newly elected Master of a Symbolic Lodge. But as it has become a permanent part of the Capitular System, it is conferred here symbolically. Thus those receiving the degree of Past Master in the Chapter are termed virtual Fast Masters, or Past Masters in effect, as distinguished from those who have been elected and installed in a regularly constituted Symbolic Lodge, who are called actual Past Masters. The virtual Past Master has no rights or privileges, as such, outside the Chapter.
The Past Master degree should never be conferred on the same day that the Mark Master degree is exemplified.
The degree of Mark Master dramatically brings to the candidate the startling revelation that the most beautiful attribute of man is fit only to be heaved over into the rubbish before he has acquired a consciousness of its existence—and it is enough to occupy the mind of the candidate for the time being. Let him have an opportunity to reflect upon the symbolism of the Mark Master degree.
Before beginning the ceremony of opening, a competent Companion should be selected to prepare the candidate(s) for the Past Master degree. This will usually be the Director of Work.
There must be no waiting period in the Lodge room when the Senior Deacon is directed to present the candidate.
The Director of Work will conduct the candidate (s) to the preparation room in ample time and clothe him in a white apron as a Master Mason with a cable-tow five times about his body.
The officers of a Chapter take rank in a Lodge of Past Masters as follows:
High Priest as Right Worshipful Master;
King as Senior Warden;
Scribe as Junior Warden;
Treasurer and Secretary occupy corresponding stations;
Principal Sojourner as Senior Deacon;
Royal Arch Captain as Junior Deacon.
The Captain of the Host has no specific duties in this degree. If the Allegory is given the Guards will be appointed by the High Priest.
Note: When an officer or Brother is addressed by the Right Worshipful Master or officer in the course of the degree—the one addressed will promptly arise. The Brother addressing will pause until the one addressed has arisen-before proceeding with order or directive.
RWM, *: Brethren be clothed. Officers take your stations.
Brethren clothe themselves and take seats. Officers put on their jewels. JD closes door.
RWM: Brother Senior Warden: Proceed to satisfy yourself that all present are Past Masters.
SW either makes personal observation or directs the Deacons to ascertain if all can be vouched for and report to him.
SW: Right Worshipful Master: All present are Past 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 Past Masters and direct him to tyle accordingly.
JD opens door without raps and says aloud so that all may hear:
JD: Brother Tyler: The Right Worshipful Master is about to open a Lodge of Past Masters. You are directed to tyle accordingly.
JD closes door and gives *** **. Tyler outside answers with *** **. JD returns to his station and reports:
JD: Right Worshipful Master: The Lodge is duly tyled.
RWM: How are we tyled, Brother Junior Deacon?
JD: By a Brother Past 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 Past Master?
SW: I am. Try me.
RWM: How will you be tried?
SW: By the Gavel.
RWM: Why by the Gavel?
SW: Because it is an emblem of power-and the working tool of a Past Master.
RWM: How shall I know you to be a Past Master?
SW: From a grip to a span and from a span to a grip.
RWM: What makes you a Past Master?
SW: My obligation.
RWM: Where were you made a Past Master?
SW: In a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of Past Masters.
RWM: How many compose a Lodge of Past Masters?
SW: Three or more.
RWM: When composed of only three who are they?
SW: The Right Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden.
RWM: What is the Junior Warden's station in the Lodge?
SW: In the South.
RWM gives ** and all officers except the RWM arise.
RWM: Why are you in the South Brother Junior Warden? What are your duties there?
JW: As the Sun in the South at its meridian height is the glory and beauty of the day-so stands the Junior Warden in the South-the better to observe the time. To call the Craft from labor to refreshment to superintend them during the hours thereof and see that they do not convert the purposes of refreshment into intemperance or excess. To call them on again in due season that the Right Worshipful Master may have pleasure and the Craft profit thereby.
RWM: What is the Senior Warden's station in the Lodge?
JW: In the West.
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 labors.
RWM gives *** and all arise.
RWM: Brother Senior Warden, it is my will and pleasure that … Chapter No. … be now opened on the Past Master degree for the dispatch of such business as may regularly come before it under the usual Masonic restrictions. Communicate this order to the Junior Warden in the South and he to the Craft for their government.
SW: Brother Junior Warden: It is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master in the East that … Chapter No. … be now opened on the Past 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.
JW: Brethren, it is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master in the East, communicated to me by the Senior Warden in the West, that … Chapter No. … be now
opened on the Past 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 gives the due guard and sign of a Past
RWM: *** **.
SW: *** **.
JW: *** **.
The Charge is given by the Chaplain or some duly qualified Brother appointed by the RWM for that purpose by reading from the Bible the First Psalm. This should be read from the Chaplain’s station near the Secretary’s desk and always from the Bible. At the conclusion of the reading:
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon, display the three Great Lights.
SD goes directly across to Secretary’s desk, takes the three Great Lights and reverently arranges them on the Altar. Bible should be opened at Ecclesiastes 12. SD returns to his station, leaving Altar on right.
RWM: In the name of God and the Holy Saints John, I declare … Chapter No. … open in form on the Past Master degree.
Brother Junior Deacon, inform the Tyler.
RWM immediately seats himself and gives * which seats the Lodge. JD goes to the door and gives *** **. thereon. Tyler outside gives *** **. JD opens door and says aloud so that all may hear:
JD: Brother Tyler, this Chapter is now open on the Past Master degree.
JD closes door. He returns to his station and reports:
JD: Right Worshipful Master, that duty is performed.
RWM gives * which seats the JD and completes the ceremony of opening.
RWM: Brethren, we have met for the purpose of conferring the Past Master degree upon Brother , a Mark Master. If there be no objection we will proceed to induct him into the Oriental Chair.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon: You will retire to the preparation room where you will find Brother … present him immediately west of the Altar.
SD goes west from his station to the preparation room door and passes through without raps. Directing the candidate to follow him single file, he conducts him to a point about four feet west of Altar and says:
SD: My Brother, you will face the East. Take one step with your left foot. Bring the heel of the right to the heel of the left and thereby form a right angle. Stand erect.
SD: Right Worshipful Master, I have the pleasure of presenting to you Brother …. He has been regularly initiated, passed and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, advanced to the degree of Mark Master and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being inducted into the Oriental Chair.
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 Past Masters have taken before you?
Candidate must answer in the affirmative.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon: You will place the candidate at the Altar in due form to be made a Past Master.
Candidate advances to the Altar under the direction of the SD.
SD: 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 Wardens and JD remain standing in their stations. The Brethren form two parallel lines from Altar toward East. The RWM uncovers, goes between the lines to the Altar. RWM does not lay hands on hands of candidate in giving obligation and says:
RWM: S I, prnc y nme i f a rpt a m tb ob.
I, …, o m o f w a ac, I th prsnc o A G, a ths R W L o P M e t hrn a dedctd t th H Sts J d h-by a h-on m s a s p a s tt I w n corn th s o ths deg t a per o pers whmsvr, expt i b t a tr a lwfl Bro P M o w th bdy o a j a lwfly con L o P M, nor unto hm or thm, u b s td ex o lwfl I I s hve f hm o thm a lwfly e t thm a I am mysf.
I frthmr p a s tt I w nt rule o grvn this or ay othr L ovr wch I in prsde i an arbitrary man bt wth moderation a decorum I w use m best endeavors to promote harmony, unanimity a concord amg th members.
I frthmre p a s tt whtever may b m station i Msnry to whtevr postn of honor or rank I may b chsn I w evr rembr tt a men r m Brthrs and entltd t evry consdrtn a respect.
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 I equiv, men res o slf evsn whtsvr b m u n I pen thn tt o hvng in tng slit frm tip t r s I i t 1 k o wtngly v o tr ths m P M ob. S h m G a k m stdfst.
RWM: My Brother: In token of your sincerity of purpose in these solemn engagements, you will disengage your hands and kiss the HB.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon, our Brother being now bound to us by a five-fold covenant, which cannot be broken, you will release him from his cable-tow.
RWM returns to East, recovers and seats Lodge by *.
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 Past Master.
RWM does not take the step until after he has made the statement.
RWM: This is the step of a Past Master: take one step with the left foot. Bring the heel of the right to the heel of the left and thereby form the right angle of a perfect square. This is the due guard. This is the penal sign. RWM illustrates.
RWM: The penal sign refers to the penalty of your obligation. Upon entering or leaving a Lodge of Past Masters you will advance to the Altar and give the due guard and sign. My Brother, you will now arise-and step backward two paces.
RWM passes on north side of Altar, to candidate.
RWM: In token of my Brotherly Love and Friendship, I present you with my right hand and with it —the grip and word of a Past Master.
RWM takes the candidate by the true grip of a Mark Master. If there is more than one candidate, before the ceremony of opening the Director of Work will select a Companion for each extra candidate. This is for the purpose of giving each candidate the same instruction the first candidate receives at the hands of the RWM. A Companion selected for this purpose is not to speak but perform the manual part of the work in same manner as RWM and must be rehearsed if necessary. The Companion or Companions so selected will find seats on the south side of the Lodge and when the RWM directs candidates to arise and step backward two paces will immediately pass to a position facing candidate west of Altar. Thus there will be a Companion in front of each candidate as RWM begins his explanation and no time will be lost or confusion result.
RWM: Bro. SD, w y b o o frm?
RWM: Frm wht u-to wht?
SD: Frm th grp o a Mk Ms t th grp o a PM.
RWM: Pass. From a grip to a span and from a span to a grip. A two fold cord is strong but a three fold cord is not easily broken.
The g is gvn by the two rt hands clspng th arm btwn th wrst a elbow. The RWM only clspng the rt arm of the candidate with hs lft hnd btwn shldr a elbow.
RWM: Bro SD wht i tt?
SD: Th grp o a PM.
RWM: H i a nme?
SD: I hs.
RWM: Gve i in.
SD: I d 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 last syl. RWM gvs f syl. SD gvs word in full.
RWM: This is the grip of a P.M., the name of which is …, meaning stone squarers.
After giving grip and explanation RWM returns to his station. If extra Companions have been used as previously indicated-they immediately seat themselves among the Brethren.
SD conducts candidate(s) to chair(s) in the north east part of room facing south and says-slowly and distinctly in order that candidate(s) may fully understand-
SD: In the Allegory which follows you will represent a faithful Craftsman whose name was Levi. Imagine yourself to be Levi, as the drama unfolds and go with him in spirit as he speaks and acts for you.
SD immediately seats himself beside and on west of candidate(s) until lights go off and then vacates chair.
As RWM occupies his station he bows his head-covering his eyes with his hand as though in deep reflection. After the candidate(s) has had a few seconds in which to observe the attitude of the RWM; all lights go off and the room is in total darkness.
Officers quickly vacate their stations. No one must leave the room. The four Temple guards must assume their stations quickly and quietly. Then lights come on low.
KS enters from preparation room door and goes toward the East by way of SW and JW stations. As KS approaches SW station:
WG: The King! The King!
WG salaams. As KS approaches JW station.
SG: The King! The King!
SG salaams. As KS is midway between JW station and the East-STG says:
STG: Great King! Live forever! Mighty Solomon the Wise!
NTG and STG both hurry up to KS. Each takes him naturally by an arm and they start to lead him toward the center of dais as though to assist him into the East. KS disengages one arm and by pointing indicates that he desires to be seated in the easterly chair of the two on the floor. STG and NTG conduct him to and seat him therein by PM grip and then resume their stations.
HKT enters. He proceeds east along the north side of the room and thence south, just east of Altar. As he approaches SG:
SG: Who comes here? Who approaches the South Gate?
HKT: Hiram King of Tyre.
SG steps aside and says:
SG: Hiram King of Tyre ever has permission to enter. Pass to the West Gate.
SG salaams. WG as HKT approaches.
WG: Who comes here? Who approaches the West Gate?
HKT: Hiram King of Tyre.
WG stands aside and says:
WG: Hiram King of Tyre ever has permission to enter. Pass to the apartment of the throne. HKT proceeds on north and thence east toward apartment of the Throne. NTG steps out as HKT approaches from west and says:
NTG: Who comes here? Who approaches the presence of our mighty King?
HKT: Hiram King of Tyre.
NTG salaams and addresses KS
NTG: Great King! Hiram King of Tyre seeks admission to the apartment of the throne.
KS struggling to his feet in excitement says:
KS: Hiram King of Tyre! My Brother! Admit him.
NTG stands aside and motions HKT to pass. HKT walks rapidly to KS who embraces him by placing both hands on his shoulders for a moment while saying:
KS: Welcome my Brother, welcome. And a thousand thanks for your attendance at my behest.
HKT: Mighty Solomon! Your joy at this meeting is equaled by mine own. The ends of the earth would not be outside the length of my cable-tow when summoned by you to a Lodge of Master Masons over which you so capably preside.
KS walks toward his chair. on floor. NTG and STG rush to assist in seating him by PM grip. They return to stations, KS continues:
KS: Many years have passed and much has happened since you and I wrought so mightily together. Hiram: In the eternal scheme of things I have but a short time in which to plan the future. And as aforetime we three did agree, so I am confident you and I can arrive at a wise decision. Sit down and let me spread my thoughts before you.
KS motions HKT to the empty chair beside him. They immediately enter upon an inaudible discussion with appropriate gestures and continue this until Levi arrives in the East. Levi, a Craftsman from the Temple, comes in promptly. He follows the course taken by HKT and is challenged by the SG who stops him with upraised hand:
SG: Who comes here? Who approaches the South Gate?
L: A Craftsman from the Temple, seeking admission to Solomon the Wise.
SG: Return, Craftsman. No one is permitted to enter at this irregular hour.
Levi turns, walks a few steps, hesitates and then turns and gives the Grand Hailing Sign, including the words.
SG: Hail friend!
Levi returns to South Gate and SG asks and Levi answers the first three questions of the E.A. lecture.
SG: Give me the due guard and sign of an E.A.
SG: I have no orders fitting these circumstances-but in view of your proficiency I will allow you to pass to the West Gate.
Levi approaches West Gate and WG stops him with upraised hand
WG: Who comes here.? Who approaches the West Gate?
L: A Craftsman from the Temple, seeking admission to Solomon the Wise.
WG asks and Levi answers the first four questions of the FC lecture.
WG: Give me the due guard and sign of a Fellow Craft.
WG: I have no orders fitting these circumstances but in view of your proficiency I will permit you to pass to the apartment of the throne.
Levi continues north and thence east and is met by the NTG after he has passed the Altar.
NTG: Who comes here? Who dares approach the throne of our mighty King?
L: A Craftsman from the Temple, brought by the summons of Solomon the Wise.
NTG advances a few steps toward KS and salaams and says:
NTG: O King, a Craftsman from the Temple comes before your throne. He claims it is in answer to your summons.
KS: It is well. KS turns to HKT
KS: This should be the Craftsman of whom I have just told you.
HKT: Let us examine him and assure ourselves that he is a man of proper worth.
KS: A wise precaution Hiram. Examine him.
NTG returns to his station. HKT arises and advances to meet Levi. HKT propounds and Levi answers the first two questions of the Master Mason lecture. HKT addresses Levi:
HKT: Communicate to me the substitute for the Lost Word of a Master Mason.
Levi does so in correct manner. HKT turns and bows to KS and says:
HKT: Great King, your order has been obeyed. I find the Craftsman proficient.
HKT seats himself. Levi kneels on both knees and salaams. Lights come on full.
KS: Hiram, here by my summons is Levi, a Craftsman from the Temple. Upon reflection he refused, as did several others of his Brethren, to have any part in the slaying of Hiram Abif.
HKT looks at Levi a moment as if trying to recall a fleeting memory and says:
HKT: I remember you now. It was you, was it not, who found the body in a grave at the brow of a hill?
L: It was. A sprig of acacia, which too easily gave way excited my curiosity and we found the grave there.
KS motions to Levi to arise.
KS: Levi, your faithful services and your proficiency as a Craftsman have long merited recognition. Therefore Hiram King of Tyre and myself have agreed that as you have wrought, so shall you be rewarded. When Grand Master Hiram Abif was slain before the Temple was completed there seemed at first no further use for the activities of the Craft and as you know, I have not opened a Lodge of Master Masons since that time. However, life stops at death and death for me is now a close companion. So when I am no longer able to preside over a Lodge of Master Masons it must be arranged that others shall take my place.
Levi again drops to his knees and holding out his arms toward KS says:
L: Most Excellent King, may that time be long distant.
KS motions Levi to arise. HKT says:
HKT: Levi, we cannot hope for immortality in mortal beings. Someday, be it ever so distant, we must all relinquish our life upon earth. But in our Freemasonry we can perpetuate the knowledge of our Craft and preserve for future ages those Masonic truths which we so warmly cherish. Thus, by constant search and study, our successors may hope to find somewhere, sometime, that sacred Treasure, that Ineffable Word, known only to Grand Master Hiram Abif, King Solomon and myself; the secret of a Master Mason.
Levi to HKT, with emotion and excitement
L: O King! Thou dost well phrase the hope of the entire Craft.
Levi pauses a few seconds, as though trying to grasp the import of what has been said and then to King Solomon:
L: Mighty Solomon, thou hast pronounced thy servant worthy. Wilt thou communicate to me now this secret which has been so care-fully guarded?
KS: No Levi, we cannot do so. Years ago we three agreed that this secret should be communicated only by the three of us, all present and all agreed. Alas, poor Hiram. He cannot be present, except in the love of our hearts.
KS pauses briefly and then continues:
KS: No Levi, this cannot be. You and your Brethren have the substituted word. Future generations will, I hope, discover the right. But be not saddened Levi. We have not called you hither without cause and mark well, you of all Brethren have been selected to succeed me.
L: But Great King, how can this be? I am not of royal blood, neither am I of the generation of the Priesthood.
KS: Remember Levi, the office of Worshipful Master is vested in him who best can work or best agree, whatsoever may be his worldly station. Hear then our decision!
KS places his hand on arm of HKT and nods to indicate that he desires him to convey the decision. HKT arises and says:
HKT: Brother Levi, we intend to induct you symbolically into the seat of honor of King Solomon. Therefore, that most Wise Master will now proceed to confer upon you this great distinction.
KS arises slowly and walks feebly toward the dais. As he takes the first step he stumbles. NTG and STG hurry to his assistance, helping him up the steps to the RWM station. As KS turns they take him by the grip of a Past Master and assist him to sit down. NTG and STG return to their stations, facing West. KS takes up gavel, gives * and says:
KS: The officers will repair to their several stations. Levi, you will assume the station of Hiram Abif in the South.
Levi salaams and goes to his station. HKT goes to the West, passing south of Altar. WG takes station of SD. SG takes station of JD. NTG and STG remain standing just below dais facing the East but draw a little closer together. When all are in position KS says:
KS: This, my seat in the East, shall be known in all Lodges as the Oriental Chair.
KS pauses briefly. Then turning toward the candidate(s) says:
KS: And in remembrance of me and in token of our Brotherly Love and Friendship, let each of you in future times, when assuming this station, recall that he was at this time symbolically installed herein by two faithful Giblimites, with the aid of this Grip.
KS holds out his hands toward NTG and STG who again ascend and-facing KS assume the grip. They raise KS and seat him. KS, as they retain grip says:
KS: Thank you, my Brothers.
NTG and STG release grips and return to their stations on floor, facing the West. KS takes up crown.
KS: As I wear a crown as an emblem of royal dignity, so, as a mark of distinction, let my successors, whatever may be their worldly stations, remain covered while presiding over a Lodge.
KS places crown on his head. He takes up the scepter and says:
KS: As I hold in my hand a scepter of office, so shall future Masters wield over their Lodges a Gavel of cedar or other material. It will be their emblem of authority to use wisely and justly, never in the cause of injustice or oppression.
KS takes up square and invests himself.
KS: The badge of a Master shall be the Square, because it teaches us to regulate our conduct in a just and perfect manner with all mankind, especially with a Brother Mason.
KS deposits scepter on pedestal. He removes the crown and places it beside the scepter and says:
KS: Brother Senior Deacon, you will conduct Levi to the East.
SD goes west from his station and thence southwest of Altar to JW station. SD takes Levi by the left arm and conducts him west of Altar to north side of Lodge and thence east and south to a position between NTG and STG just west of RWM station. NTQ and STG face East as SD and Levi take position. KS motions to the two Temple guards who ascend and take KS by grip of PM and assist him to the floor. KS takes Levi by right arm and slowly turns him toward the West while acting SD goes to candidate(s) and conducts him north of Altar to a point four or five feet west of Altar. SD faces candidate(s) to the East. SD is on south side of candidate or line. There must be sufficient space for KS and Levi to pass easily between line and Altar. NTG and STG face the West. When all is quiet KS addresses candidate(s)
KS: However men may differ in creed yet all men agree, that within pages of the Holy Bible are found those principles which lay the foundation upon which to build a righteous life.
KS takes Levi by the right arm and conducts him slowly toward the west, passing Altar on north side and turns Levi so that both are standing west of Altar and east of candidate(s) facing the East. KS on south side of Levi. NTG and STG follow. NTG takes position on north side of Altar facing south, and STG takes position on south side of Altar facing north.
For a striking and dramatic effect all Lodge room lights may be turned off and a small flood or spot light directed upon the open Bible as KS and Levi arrive at the Altar. A flood light should also be directed upon the American flag and turned on immediately as KS gives the line "Defend it as you would defend the flag of your country." Additional effect may be secured by having a concealed fan so placed as to wave the furls of the flag.
As KS takes the arm of Levi in a friendly manner, using the position for such support as he requires, he proceeds with the following lines-observing proper timing. KS releases Levi’s arm as he points to Bible.
KS: Masonry takes all men by the hand and leading them to the Altar would point to the open Bible and urge each to faithfully direct his steps through life by the light he shall find therein.
If from our sacred Altar the atheist or irreligious man should ever wrest this Book-and thus remove or even obscure the Great Light of Masonry that light which has been for centuries the rule and guide of all Masons then could we no longer claim the proud title and rank of Master Mason.
But as long as that sacred Light shines upon our Altar as long as it illumines and brightens the pathway of the Craftsman by the golden rays of Truth so long will Masonry live and shed its beneficent influence among men.
Guard then my Brother this sacred Book as you guard your life. Defend it as you would defend the flag of your country.
At appropriate times and when referring to them KS points out the Holy Bible and the American flag for emphasis and effect.
Live according to its sublime precepts. Govern yourself that you may be worthy to govern others. Learn first that you may be able to teach for justice, moderation and decorum, should mark the acts of the upright man.
As KS concludes SD immediately instructs candidate(s) in low voice to follow him. SD turns right-going north and thence east-conducting candidate(s) back to their chair(s).
At the same time KS, grasping arm of Levi turns south and thence west and thence north and out preparation room door. NTG passing west and STG turning south, fall in together and follow about four feet in rear. HKT follows NTG and STG. At the JD station SG falls in behind. The WG who has been temporary SD-having seated candidate(s) passes west on north side of room-timing his movements so that he will join SG and pass out with him.
As the Allegory cast passes through the preparation room door lights go off and room is in darkness. Regular officers quickly and quietly resume their stations. Regular SD resuming his seat beside and west of candidate(s).
As RWM occupies his station he bows his head, covering his eyes with his hand. Lights come on full. After a few seconds RWM raises his head and addresses the SD.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon, you will conduct the candidate to the East.
When the candidate(s) are before the RWM he gives *** which calls up the Lodge-]ncluding the RWM. The Charge is then given by RWM or some qualified Companion selected for that purpose.
My Brother, you have been invested with the secrets of the Past Master Degree and have been inducted into a representation of the Oriental Chair, wherein the wisest of Kings once ruled. While brief may have been the ceremonies of the Degree, the lessons conveyed are of great importance and according to ancient regulations, essentially necessary before you could be exalted to the most sublime degree of the Royal Arch.
For he who would attain to the honorable station must be a Ruler of the Craft. He who would rule must first learn the great lesson of obedience and the observance of every obligation heretofore taken, squaring his actions by the square of virtue and keeping his passions and prejudices within due bounds.
He only can teach, who has passed through the severe school of discipline and he rules best who has learned the important lesson of self control. Self, a subject, although a king; self, a servant, but still a Master; self, a Craftsman, yet a ruler of the Craft, a Ruler whose scepter is justice, whose kingdom is in the heart of humanity and whose throne is builded in love.
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.
In whose eyes a vile person is condemned but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. (Psalm 15).
RWM: My Brother, you will now be seated among the Brethren.
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 Past Masters and direct him to tyle accordingly.
JD goes to the door and gives thereon *** **.
Tyler replies with *** **. JD opens the door and says:
JD: Brother Tyler, the Right Worshipful Master is about to close this Lodge of Past Masters. You are directed to tyle accordingly.
JD closes door and returns to his station and says:
JD: Right Worshipful Master, the Lodge is duly tyled.
RWM gives ***. All arise.
RWM: Brother Senior Deacon. Close the three Great Lights.
SD goes to the Altar and reverently closes the Bible and takes the three Great Lights to the Secretary, leaving altar on his left. He stands beside the Secretary’s desk while
RWM: In the name of God and the Holy Saints John, I declare … Chapter No. …, closed in form on the Past Master degree. Brother Junior Deacon, inform the Tyler.
JD goes to door and gives thereon *** **. Tyler replies with *** **. JD opens door and says
JD: Brother Tyler, this Lodge of Past-Masters is closed.
JD returns to his station and says:
JD: Right Worshipful Master, that duty is performed.
RWM gives * which dissolves the Lodge.