Ritual for Past Master
Iowa


2003



 
RWM:
Brethren, this lodge is about to induct Brother A.B., a Mark Master, into the Oriental Chair. He has been found proficient in the preceding degrees. If there are no objections he will be introduced and received in due form. Pause.
Brother Senior Deacon, SD stands a brother Mark Master is in attendance, desiring to be inducted into the Oriental Chair. Proceed to the performance of your duties.
SD faces west and gives * with foot.
Mar rises. Advances and halts three paces in front of SD.
SD:
Brother Marshal, Marshal salutes with sword, acknowledged by SD how would you prepare a Mark Master to be inducted into the Oriental Chair?
Mar place a cable-tow five times around his body, clothe him as a Mark Master, conduct him to the door of the lodge and cause him to give five distinct knocks hereon with his own hand.
SD:
You will proceed to the preparation room and prepare the brother you will there find in waiting in the manner you have just described.
Mar carries sword, returns sword, about faces and advances in a direct line through the preparation room door without knocks. SD is seated. K is prepared and gives five knocks. *** **
SD rises and faces RWM:
Right Worshipful Master, there is an alarm at the door of the preparation room.
RWM:
Attend the alarm, Brother Senior Deacon.
SD faces west, goes directly to the preparation room door and gives knocks, *** **, opens door:
Who comes here?
Mar:
A brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft, raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason, advanced to the degree of a Mark Master, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being inducted into the Oriental Chair.
SD:
Is it of your own free will and accord?
K:
It is.
SD:
Is he duly and truly prepared?
Mar:
He is.
SD:
Worthy and well qualified?
Mar:
He is.
SD:
Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
Mar:
He has.
D:
By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
Mar:
By the benefit of the pass.
SD:
Has he the pass?
Mar:
He has it not, I have it for him.
SD:
Advance and give it.
Mar advances and gives the pass (Giblem). The grip is not exchanged.
SD:
You will wait with patience until the Right Worshipful Master is informed of your request and his answer returned.
Closes door, faces east and moves along north march line, until even with altar, faces south and goes to altar. Faces east. With foot gives *** **.
RWM:
Who comes there?
SD:
A brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft, raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason, advanced to the degree of a Mark Master, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being inducted into the Oriental Chair.
RWM:
Is it of his own free will and accord?
SD:
It is.
RWM:
Is he duly and truly prepared?
SD:
He is.
RWM:
Worthy and well qualified?
SD:
He is.
RWM:
Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
SD:
He has.
RWM:
By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
SD:
By the benefit of the pass.
RWM:
Has he the pass?
SD:
He has it not, I have it for him.
RWM:
Give me the pass.
SD:
Giblem.
RWM:
Let him enter and be received in due form.
SD returns to preparation room door, opens without knocks:
It is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master, that you enter this lodge of Past Masters and be received in due form.
Faces east, advances four steps, halts, faces west and waits. Mar takes K by Ks left arm and advances to SD. Mar halts K on reaching SD and releases arm, then steps back one pace.

My brother, places head of gavel against Ks left breast I receive you on the gavel, because it is an emblem of authority and the working tool of a Past Master.
Removes gavel, faces to place himself on the left side of K, takes K by the left arm and hands gavel in a backward motion to Mar, who lays it near his station:
Right Worshipful Master, your order has been obeyed.
RWM:
Brother Senior Deacon, conduct the Brother west of the altar.
SD conducts K to the west of the altar, passing to the east.
RWM:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
1st knock:
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and Night.
2nd knock:
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper
3rd knock:
The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
4th knock:
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
5th knock:
Brother Senior Deacon, conduct the brother to the Junior Warden in the South.
SD conducts K to the south. Gives with foot *** **.
JW, rises:
Who comes here?
SD:
A brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft, raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason, advanced to the degree of a Mark Master, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being inducted into the Oriental Chair.
JW:
Is it of your own free will and accord?
K:
It is.
JW:
Is he duly and truly prepared?
SD:
He is.
JW:
Worthy and well qualified?
SD:
He is.
JW:
Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
SD:
He has.
JW:
By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
SD:
By the benefit of the pass.
JW:
Has he the pass?
SD:
He has it not, I have it for him.
JW:
Advance and give it. Done. You will be conducted to the Senior Warden in the west for further examination.
SD conducts K to the west. Faces SW and gives *** ** with foot.
SW, rises:
Who comes here?
SD:
A brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft, raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason, advanced to the degree of a Mark Master, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being inducted into the Oriental Chair.
SW:
Is it of your own free will and accord?
K:
It is.
SW:
Is he duly and truly prepared?
SD:
He is.
SW:
Worthy and well qualified?
SD:
He is.
SW:
Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
SD:
He has.
SW:
By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
SD:
By the benefit of the pass.
SW:
Has he the pass?
SD:
He has it not, I have it for him.
SW:
Advance and give it. Done. You will be conducted to the Right Worshipful Master in the East for final examination and instruction.
SD conducts K to the east. Faces RWM and gives *** ** with foot.
RWM, rises:
Who comes here?
SD:
A brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft, raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason, advanced to the degree of a Mark Master, and now wishes to receive further light in Masonry by being inducted into the Oriental Chair.
RWM:
Is it of your own free will and accord?
K:
It is.
RWM:
Is he duly and truly prepared?
SD:
He is.
RWM:
Worthy and well qualified?
SD:
He is.
RWM:
Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
SD:
He has.
RWM:
By what further right or benefit does he expect to gain admission?
SD:
By the benefit of the pass.
RWM:
Has he the pass?
SD:
He has it not, I have it for him.
RWM:
Advance and give it. Done. You will be re-conducted to the Senior Warden in the West, who will teach you to approach the East, advancing by one upright regular step, your feet forming an angle of a square, your body erect to the Right Worshipful Master in the East. Sits.
SD proceeds with K by right angles to the SW in the west:
Brother Senior Warden SW rises it is the will and pleasure of the Right Worshipful Master that you teach the brother to approach the East, advancing by one upright regular step, his feet forming an angle of a square, his body erect to the Right Worshipful Master in the East.
SW:
Face to the East.
SD takes K by left arm and faces him towards the East by backing around to his right, using K as a pivot.
SW:
Advance one step with your left foot. Done. Bring the heel of right to the heel of the heel of the left and form an angle of a square, your body erect. Done. Right Worshipful Master, your order has been obeyed.
RWM, rises:
My brother, you are again at the Altar of Freemasonry but before proceeding farther it will be necessary for you to take upon yourself a solemn obligation pertaining to this degree, which will not conflict with your duty to God, your country, your neighbor, or yourself. With this renewed promise on my part as Master of the lodge, I ask you, are you willing to take such an obligation as all Past Masters have done before you?
K:
I am.
RWM:
Brother Senior Deacon, place the brother in due form to be made a Past Master.
SD:
Advance to the altar. Done. Kneel on both knees. Done. Your body erect. Done. Both naked hands resting on the Holy Bible, square and compass. Done. Right Worshipful Master, the brother is in due form.
RWM, ***, all rise:
Brother Marshal Mar salutes, RWM responds you will form the brethren in parallel lines at the altar.
Mar carries sword. Proceeds in a direct line to one pace east of the dais, about faces, places sword in a horizontal position, pointing west with hilt close to the center of his body, waist high:

Brethren in the north, three only names companions, advance to the line of the sword.
Moves west in a direct line to one pace west of altar, turns south moves to one pace south of the altar, turns east and moves to one pace west of dais, about faces, brings sword to same position:
Brethren in the south, three only names companions, advance to the line of the sword.
About face, salutes RWM who responds, left face in line with companions in the south. JD lowers lights.
RWM:
The class will please rise. The class and the active candidate will say I, your name, and remain silent: Done of my own free will and accord in the presence of Almighty God and this Right Worshipful lodge erected to Him and dedicated to the Holy saints John do hereby and heron most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear as I have heretofore done but with these additions That I will not communicate the secrets of a Past Master to a Mark Master any more than those of a Mark Master to a Master Mason or those of a Master Mason to the rest of the world neither these nor any of them to any person or persons whomsoever until by strict trial due examination or lawful information I shall have found him or them as lawfully entitled to the same as I am myself.
I furthermore promise and swear that I will not rule or govern this or any other lodge over which I may preside in an arbitrary manner but, with moderation and decorum I will use my best endeavors to promote harmony unanimity and concord among the members.
I furthermore promise and swear that whatever may be my station in Freemasonry to whatever position of honor or rank I may be chosen I will ever remember that all men are my brothers and entitled to every consideration and respect.
The class and active candidate will now repeat after me: All this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same without the least equivocation mental reservation or self evasion whatsoever binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my tongue slit from tip to root should I in the least knowingly or wittingly violate or transgress this, my Past Master's obligation so help me God and keep me steadfast.
Remove Ks hands from the Holy Bible.
In token of your sincerity of purpose in these solemn engagements, you will kiss the Holy Bible, now open before you. Done. RWM replaces pages in original position. Brother Senior Deacon, our brother being bound to us by a fivefold covenant which can never be broken, you will release him from his cable-tow. Faces east, goes to get hat, faces and moves west to a point 2 paces west of dais and recovers.
You now discover me, JD turns up lights, as Master of the lodge, approaching you from the East move toward altar under the due guard and sign of a Past Master. halt You were taught to advance one step with your left ft, done bringing the heel of the right to the heel of the left forming an angle of a square. This is the due guard. give This is the sign give and alludes to the penalty of the obligation. This due guard give and sign give are always to be given upon entering or retiring from a lodge of Past Masters. Advancing to K In token of the further continuance of my brotherly love & friendship I present my right hand and with it the grip and word of a Past Master. As you are uninstructed, Brother Senior Deacon will answer for you.
Takes K by ordinary grip and assists him to rise.

Arise.
If necessary, move K to a position in front of the class.
Take me as I take you. Takes K by true grip of a Mark M. Will you be off or from?
SD:
From
RWM:
From what?
SD:
From the true grip of a Mark Master to the grip of a Past Master.
RWM:
Pass. Done. From a grip to a span; from a span to a grip; a two-fold cord is strong, but a three-fold cord is not easily broken. What is this called?
SD:
The grip of a Past Master.
RWM:
Has it a name?
SD:
It has.
RWM:
Give it me.
SD:
I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it.
RWM:
How will you dispose of it?
SD:
Syllable and halve it.
RWM:
Syllable it and begin.
SD:
Begin you.
RWM:
Nay, you begin.
SD:
Lam
RWM:
Gib
SD:
Giblam
RWM:
This is the grip of a Past Master, the name of which is Giblam, meaning stone squarers.
Returns to east and seats the lodge with *

Brother Senior Deacon, conduct the brother to the East.
SD brings K to the east, facing the RWM. Steps back one step.
Lec:
The duties of the Master are many and various. To him are confided, for his guidance and direction, all the implements of Freemasonry, and the various furniture of the lodge, especially the Great Lights in Freemasonry, which will guide you to all truth, direct your path to the Temple of Happiness and point out to you the whole duty of man.
However men may differ in creed, yet all men agree that within the pages of the Holy Bible are found those principles which lay the foundation upon which to build a righteous life.
Leads K to altar, SD following, staying behind K.

Freemasonry would take all men by the hand and, leading them to its 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 Freemasonry, 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 Freemasonry 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 county. Live according to its sublime precepts. Govern yourself that you may be able 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.
Lec returns to place and is seated.
SD conducts K to the east, by right angles, placing him two paces west of and facing the RWMs station. RWM steps down from dais and faces K.
RWM:
My brother, I now present you with the badge of a Master. Done It is the square, and teaches you to regulate your conduct in a just and perfect manner with all mankind, more especially a brother Mason. I will now induct you into a representation of the Oriental Chair, once occupied by our Grand Master, Solomon, King of Israel, and may a portion of his wisdom descend and rest upon you.
After"chair", takes K by right hand with his right hand, and walking at Ks left side and giving the lines as they walk, leads him up the steps and turns him directly in front of chair in a position to be seated after "upon you." SD proceeds up steps on Ks right, without touching him. With RWM on north of K and SD on south. RWM takes K by grip of PM, while SD takes K by reverse grip.

Masonic tradition informs us that when KS became infirm, he was assisted in taking his seat and rising therefrom, by means of this grip, given by two faithful Giblites. Seats K. SD returns to place. As King Solomon wore a crown as an emblem of royal dignity, so, as a mark of distinction, and agreeably to an ancient custom, you, as a Master, are to be covered while presiding over a lodge. RWM removes his hat and covers K. I now present you with the working tool of a Master. Done. It is the gavel, your emblem of authority. Use it wisely and justly, never in the cause of injustice or oppression.
 

Scottish Charge

RWM:
I will now instruct you in the use of the gavel. One knock gives 1 knock brings up the junior officers. Two knocks given brings up the Junior and Senior Wardens. Three knocks given brings up the craft. To seat the craft, knock once given. Let me see - you have the master's jewel, you are covered with that mark of distinction that all masters have worn before you, and you have been instructed on the use of the gavel. I think my job is finished. Goodbye and good luck!
Argument ensues. After suitable time, RWM prompts K to give one rap. Removes hat from K and takes over presiding. Prompts K to say:
K:
The Past Masters will form a semi-circle in the East.
Lec:
My Brother, it would be unfair of me to ask you to stand alone during the trying moments which are about to experience.
You have occupied a position of high honor in Freemasonry, of which you might well be proud. Upon assuming this responsible office you were, as you will recall specifically charged to rule with moderation and decorum, guarding as you would your life, that Great Light in Freemasonry.
Upon being inducted into a representation of the Oriental Chair, which is a seat of power, once occupied by King Solomon, a brief prayer was offered up, that a portion of his wisdom descend and rest upon you. You were instructed in the use of the gavel and the various duties of a Master, at the conclusion of which, you were placed in charge of the lodge.
How well you have fulfilled this obligation is for us to decide.
Your facial expressions betray your thoughts, but lest they be embarrassing or humiliating causing you to rebel within, let us picture for you your present state of mind.
As the sun bursts forth in all its glory from behind the dark foreboding storm clouds of early morning, and melts their terrors into a beautiful sea of blue, bidding us rise and view a perfect day, so now the sunlight of reason bids you rise to the occasion and view yourself in that mirror of perfect understanding.
Your smile informs me that you have reasoned now, that this has been a test. Your intuition has probably told you that these heated arguments might not have been the sincere realities they appeared to be, and in fact, I doubt if you will find the slightest ill-will existing among these Past Masters whom you have heard in these misleading arguments.
Your present regrets speak well for you, but I am free to inform you that we could hardly expect you to take charge of such a situation with the ability of a Past Master.
Our Masonic tradition exacted in olden times of one who aspired to this honorable degree, the ability and experience of a Master, but in these modern days we find our members in all walks of life, and the necessity of disseminating Masonic knowledge is increased tremendously.
As a consequence and agreeable to the fraternity, we take this shorter method, in the hopes that you will derive great knowledge from the lessons conveyed, and that you will, when time permits, fortify yourself with the characteristics of leadership which identify the true Past Master.
You have summoned us before you to pass judgement on your ability as a Master, seeking the honorable degree of Past Master. We are frank to inform you that we have already formed our opinion but before giving you our final decision, we shall require of you a seal of your faith and unaltered determination to live according to the sublime precepts contained in that sacred book, to govern yourself that you may be able to govern others, to learn first that you may be able to teach; that you may in truth be worthy of the distinction which the name "Past Master" implies.
Past Master: give me the due guard and sign of a Past Master. Done.
As Freemasonry would take all men by the hand, I am happy to extend you mine in token of your acceptance. Congratulations.
All Past Master congratulate the K and class. SD comes around as the last person and takes K to be seated with the class. When all are seated:
RWM:
You will now stand and receive the charge.
CHR:
My brothers, you have been invested with the secrets of the degree of Past Master and 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 this 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.
RWM introduces the degree team. Then **:
The degree team will now retire.


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