Ancient Order of Scottish Builders
Ritual of the First or Entered Builder Degree
The W.M. gives two raps, which are answered by the D.M. 's one.
W.M.: Officers, be upstanding and assist me to open the Lodge in the First Degree.
Brother Deputy Master, what is the first care of the Lodge?
D.M.: To see the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Order that duty to be done, and report the case to me.
D.M.: Brother Junior Deacon, see that the Lodge is duly tiled.
The J. D. goes to the Lodge-room door, and gives one rap that is answered by the Tiler by another tap outside.
J.D., standing before the D.M. 's station: Brother Deputy, the Lodge is duly tiled.
D.M.: Worthy Master, the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, what is the next care of the Lodge?
S.D.: To see that every one present proves himself a member of this Order.
W.M.: Direct that duty to be done.
The W.M. here gives three raps and says: To order as Brother Scottish Builders of the First Degree.
S.D.: Brethren, by order of the Worthy Master you are requested to prove yourself Scottish Builders.
They all give the Two-fold Sign and word, thus: Standing erect, placing the heel of the right foot in the hollow of the left, forming on oblong square, closing the right hand except the forefinger, and bringing it from right to left with the forefinger pointing to the heart. After being satisfied that all are Scottish Builders, says: Worthy Master, the brethren present having proved themselves Scottish Builders by the two-fold sign, I, in conformity with their example, demonstrate the same to you.
W.M.: The correctness of that sign I acknowledge repeats the sign. Brethren, our Lodge being duly proved, let us, before I declare it open, invoke a blessing from the Sublime Power above.
Almighty God, Maker of the Universe, prosper this Lodge we beseech Thee, and grant that unity, brotherly love and charity may dwell in the heart of every brother, and that all our proceedings may be such as to coincide with Thy approbation. Preside over our Institution, we beseech Thee, and grant that by endeavouring to begin in order, we may close in peace. Amen.
Brother Chaplain, you will please read the Scripture Lesson (Psalm 133).
Singing of the Scottish Builders' Ode.
Brethren of our friendly Order,
Honor here asserts her sway.
All within her sacred border
Must her high command obey.
Join Scottish Builders, join Scottish Builders,
In the song of truth and love.
Leave disputes and strife to others
We in harmony must move.
Honor to her courts invites us
Worthy subjects let us prove
Strong the chain that here unites us,
Linked with friendship, truth and love.
In our heart enshrined and cherished,
May these feelings ever bloom;
Failing not when life has perished.
Living still beyond the tomb.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, display the Great Lights pause illuminate the Lesser Lights pause Display the Dispensation.
In the name of the Sublime Power of the Universe, I,..., Worthy Master. declare this Lodge duly opened for the transaction of such business as may regularly and constitutionally be brought before it.
All repeat: Stand open accordingly.
W.M.: Brother Secretary, are there any candidates in waiting?
Sec 'y.: Yes, Worthy Master, there is in waiting Mr ....
W.M: You will repair to the ante-room, collect the balance of Initiation Fee, read and cause him to sign the Declaration Form.
The Secretary having complied with the W.M.'s orders, returns to the Room and makes his report; reading the Declaration and Certificate of Health.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, Officers and Members, you have heard the Secretary's report, are there any objections why the Candidate should not be initiated?
Members: There are no objections, Worthy Master.
W.M.: Brother Deacons, you will please appear before the Holy Altar. Brother Senior Deacon, how should a Candidate be prepared to be initiated into the Entered Builder Degree?
S.D.: By being divested of all metallic substances, neither naked nor clothed, hoodwinked and a cable-tow around his neck, and his right heel slip shod, right arm, left breast and left knee made bare.
W.M.: You will repair to the preparation room where you will find Mr... in waiting to be initiated into the mysteries of our Order; after he is properly prepared, cause him to make his alarm.
The S.D. retires, during which time the Lodge Room is being prepared for the initiation.
After the candidate is properly prepared, he is instructed to make three distinct raps on the door.
J.D.: Worthy Master, there is an alarm at the door.
W.M.: Ascertain the cause and report.
Giving three distinct raps, opens the door and says: Who comes here?
S.D.: The Senior Deacon with a friend who desires to be initiated into the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders.
J.D.: Wait until I report to the Worthy Master in the East.
Closes door sharply and reports: Worthy Master, the Senior Deacon is outside the door of the Lodge with a Candidate who has been proposed, elected and now comes of his own free will to be initiated into the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders.
W.M.: How does he expect admittance?
J.D.: By the tongue of good report.
W.M.: The tongue of good report has already been heard in his favor. Do you vouch be is properly prepared?
J.D.: I do.
W.M: Then let him be admitted.
A P.W.M. takes compasses, proceeds to the door that is partly opened, says: Candidate, it is the will of the Worthy Master that you be admitted into this Lodge. Take heed upon what you enter.
P.W.M., receiving candidate, presses both points of the compasses to his naked left breast and says: What do you feel?
Can., prompted by conductor says: A Torture.
P.W.M.: As this is a torture to your flesh, so may the recollection thereof be to your mind and conscience should ever you presume to reveal the secrets of Building unlawfully. Pass on.
The Candidate passes on where he is met by a P.W.M. who taps him lightly on his forehead with a Gavel, saying: My next duty is to knock off the rough edges, the better to fit it for the builders' use.
The Candidate is led around Lodge Room three times while presented.
W.M.: My friend, let no one enter upon any great and important undertaking without first invoking the blessings of the Great Builder of the Universe. Brother Senior Deacon, cause the Candidate to kneel on both knees before the Holy Altar.
S.D., after complying with the W.M.'s order, says: Worthy Master, your orders have been obeyed
W.M. raising the Lodge (Three Raps).
Chaplain: Almighty God, Ruler of the Universe and Master of all good Builders, without whose Benediction no human work can proper. Grant unto us Thy servants, Thy Divine Blessings in the special work we are about to undertake. Send Thy rich Blessings upon this Candidate who kneels before Thee. Endow him with all the courage and strength of body and mind; all the firmness of will and clearness of understanding, above all, bestow on him that purity of spirit which shall enable him to realize the true meaning of The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man and thus become a true symbol of a stone fitted for that Spiritual Building, eternal in the Heavens. So mote it be.
W.M.: Candidate, in whom do you put your trust?
Can., prompted by conductor says: In God.
W.M.: Your trust being in God, your faith is well founded, arise, Candidate is assisted by conductor follow your conductor and fear no danger.
The S.D. hearing the insignia of the First Degree (crosskeys) conducts Candidate three times around the Lodge-Room, via the North East, during which time a Hymn is being sung. At the conclusion, the S.D. with Candidate should be standing in the N.E. corner, or right front of the W.M.
S.D.: Worthy Master, I present to you Mr... who is desirous of being initiated into the mysteries of our Order.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, your presentation is acknowledged. You will now conduct the Candidate to the Deputy Master in the West who will cause the links to be entwined about him. During the march around to the D.M., the First charge is given; it should be so timed that it is completed upon the arrival in the West.
You are now within the retreat of the Scottish Builders; here the world is shirt out. You are separated from its cares and distinctions, from its dissensions and vices. Here friendship and love assert their mild dominion, while Faith and Charity combine to bless the mind with peace and soften the heart with charity. Those who surround us have all assumed the obligations, and endeavor to cherish the sentiment peculiar to Building. But before you can unite with them you must pass through an initiatory ceremony, which will ultimately lead you to a primary truth; be patient therefore and firm. Brothers, the stranger now awaits our mystic rights. Then at once the chains prepare.
Conductor: Here they are.
D.M.: Entwine their links about him. This is done by the Con. Man in darkness and in chains, how mournful a spectacle; yet 'tis but the condition of millions of our race who are void of wisdom, though they know it not. To the conductor: Lead on our friend.
The Candidate is than made to tray rood three times, during which time the hymn is being sung; at conclusion he is presented to the Worthy Master.
S.D.: Worthy Master, I present to you, Mr..., who has traversed the imaginary road, but in my opinion has not given satisfaction entitling him to be obligated.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, I shall ascertain from the craft whether they are satisfied.
Members of the craft, you have heard the report of the Senior Deacon; are you satisfied that the Candidate has given sufficient proof, thus far, to entitle him to be obligated in the Order?
Members: Worthy Master, we are not satisfied.
W.M.: Neither am I satisfied. Candidate, you will now be passed through the Dark Valley of the Shadow of Death, where it is expected that you will fear no evil.
The Candidate is now made to pass through the various straits and difficulties, after which he is made to lie on the floor to contemplate on the past and future. (During this time complete silence must be maintained). After a few minutes in this position, he is assisted to rise and led from the Lodge Room.
S.D., upon returning with Candidate, takes him to the right of W.M. and introduces him: Worthy Master, I present to you Mr.... as a Candidate who desires to be made a member of the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders.
W.M.: Your presentation I acknowledge. You will conduct the candidate before the Holy Altar.
S.D., after complying: Worthy Master, your orders have been obeyed.
W.M.: Mr ..., it is requisite that you hear the
You should have a sincere love and veneration for your Almighty Maker, productive of those lively and happy fruits; righteousness and obedience to His commands; a firm and steadfast faith in the Savior of the world, convinced that He is the only Mediator between a sinful creature and an offended Creator. You should be an utter enemy to every species of cruelty; a lover of society and improving company. You should have a hatred to cursing and swearing, and taking the name of God in vain, and should exercise every opportunity to discourage them. Wisdom and prudence should guide your actions; honesty and integrity direct your conduct, and the honor, happiness, and prosperity of this Institution you should endeavor to promote. Lastly, you should pay strict attention to a religious observance of the Sabbath, likewise to temperance and sobriety.
Candidate, will you endeavor to conform to these maxima as far as lies in your power?
Cand: I will.
The Candidate is led three times around the lodge Room while a Hymn is being sung. The Deacons been prepared, he is made to kneel before it on both knees.
The room in darkness, Deacons feet towards east. Be serious as our lesson is as melancholy as it is truthful.
W.M.: We have a lesson to impart to him, one of great moment and deep solemnity, a faithful exhibition of the vanity of worldly things, of the instability of wealth and power, of the certain decay of all earthly greatness. The conductor here removes Hoodwink.
Behold a representation of the effect of sin; that silent yet oppressive lecturer to vice, confusion; but to virtue, peace. It is all which remains on earth of one who was born as you were born, who lived as you now live, and who for many days enjoyed his possession, his power and his pleasure. But now, alas, nothing is left of him, have that sad memorial of man's mortality. The warm heart that is robbed for other woes, or the cold one which held no sympathy, has now mouldered away and joined its kindred dust.
Contemplate the scene? Should it not humble pride? Should it not awake the soul as a just sense of responsibility to God; of duty to itself? And in few of this common lot of all, should it not enlist the tenderest of human sympathies? My friend, that gloomy monitor is but an emblem of what you are sure to be and of what you may soon become. Seriously meditate the solemn admonition it affords, ponder it well, and hope that your heart fosters not evil. The fountain of all wrong, the promoter of crime, hatred and violence, whose fearful consequence must continue to afflict mankind until the coming of that period yet hidden in the womb of time, to which, hope looks forward with prudent joy, ... when the chains of human bondage shall be broken and the tears and woes of this world be submerged by the healing life that shall flow from the Fountain of Benevolence and Peace; then one law shall bind all nations, kindreds and tongues of the earth and that law shall be the law of Universal Brotherhood. And as the coffin and the grave so forcibly speak to us of our mortality, may we not ask the psalmist, "Lord, what is man that Thou are mindful of him, or the Son of Man, that Thou visitest him?" From the sacred scriptures comes the response: "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not. We spend our years as a tale that is told. The dust shall return to the earth, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
The Hoodwink is replaced, the Room is relit, the Candidate is assisted to rise and join a procession around the Lodge Room. Four Brothers hearing D...s followed by S.D. leading Candidate, brothers behind heads covered with white singing, after which the D...s is removed and Candidate made to stand before the Holy Altar.
W.M.: An affirmation will be required of you. But let me assure you that in such affirmation, there is nothing inconsistent with your civil, religious or moral duties. Are you willing therefore to take such an affirmation?
Cand: I am.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will place the candidate in proper position to be obligated. You will please conduct the Candidate to the West and place him in the hands of the Deputy Master who will teach him how to approach the east, the place of light, by three irregular upright steps, and place him in the proper position to take upon himself the solemn oath and obligation of an Ancient Order of Scottish Builders.
The Candidate is caused to kneel on his left knee, his right foot forming a square, his right hand on his left breast and his left hand on the Three great lights.
S.D.: Worthy Master, your orders have been obeyed, the candidate is in proper position.
W.M., rising the Lodge, proceeds,
Affirmation (Obligation of an Entered Builder)
I,..., of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and this regularly assembled Lodge of the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders, do sincerely affirm that I will never reveal anything appertaining to this Order that may entrusted to me to keep secret, unless I be authorized so to do by the proper authorities.
These several points, I sincerely promise to observe without evasion of any kind, and that I now become a member, steadfastly resolving, by God's help to observe and abide by all rules, laws and orders made for the government of this Order.
W.M: My Brother..., so as to make your obligation more binding, you will detach your hands and kiss the Volume of the Sacred Law three times.
Brother, in your present condition, what do you desire most?
Can., prompted by Conductor, says: Light.
W.M.: Light being your desire, light you shall have. Conductor, stretch forth your hands and assist me to bring this new brother to light.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, let there be light. At this time he is brought to light.
Brother, on being brought to light, you first discover three Great Lights by the assistance of three Lesser Lights. The three Great Lights are the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses.
The three Lesser Lights are the three burning tapers. The Candidate is then made to arise. The next voice you hear will be that of Past Worthy Master ..., delivering the Lecture on the skull.
P.W.M.: My brother, give me thy right hand and I will endeavor to teach thee to know thyself. Behold this emblem of mortality. It is the final close of life's eventful history. Its contemplation should daily solemnize thy mind to prepare for another state of being whenever the wise Dispenser of all events sees fit to summon thee away. For instance, where is the tongue from which flowed the eloquence that rendered its possessor the welcomed guest of a hundred households? It is now silent and cannot reply.
The lips that were oft pressed to the cheeks of the loved ones have ceased to reciprocate.
The cheek that was looked upon with fondness and once bloomed with the promise of years is now withered in the blast. The eye with its luster, is decayed and fallen from its socket. The aspiring thought, the imagination of the heart, and the whole of the intellect that influenced society, are laid low by mortality, which eventually levels all in the dust.
Mortal, this tot is thine!
The king and the slave all share the same fate. Wealth, pomp or grandeur are but the vision of today; tomorrow, eternity opens before them, and the stern King of terror strikes them down, and with it, the schemes of ambition, oppression and aggrandizement are brought to naught. What thou now possesseth, the strong arm and the radiant cheek of glowing health, or the brain full of intellect, all become as nothing before the touch of the Destroyer. Let the men whose ruling passion are either the accumulation of wealth, or obtaining place and position in this world, stand here and contemplate what he must come to, for it is appointed unto all men, once to die My brother, seek to know thyself.
Realize the idea, that thy present life is only a probationary one, previous to entering upon an existence of eternal duration. Through life, endeavor to check unruly passions, bear up nobly against adversity, do all the good thou canst to your fellowman; correct thyself by the Standard of truth, and having attained this, thou canst wait calmly for Heaven's decree, and welcome the state of immortality, where the wicked cease to trouble, and the weary are at rest.
My brother, thy initiation is to be considered emblematical of the life of man, the Lodge Room is the world and the Death-Scene the end of life. "Naked you came into the world, and naked you shall go out of it," says the Holy Writ. Then thou was divested of all thy clothing before coming into the Lodge room is emblematical of thy birth, The imaginary road was set thick with dangers. This is intended to represent the various straits and difficulties that man encounters in passing through the world, which is the probationary state; when man is either confirmed in evil as his passions, if uncontrolled, lead him captive, and thus while on earth he becomes fitted to dwell in company with demons; or else regenerated by a belief in the Word of God he becomes fitted for a divine inheritance in the regions of eternal bliss. The hoodwink that was placed over thine eyes is to denote that in our walk through life we are in darkness with regard to what shall happen to us on the morrow. You being bound, represents the good or evil principle that actuate our motives, and thus preserves us in a general state of equilibrium. The death scene is intended as an emblem of thy death to former principles, and that henceforth thou beginnest a new life of usefulness; keeping the great end of living in view, viz: "The perfect knowledge of thyself."
W.M.: You will now be further instructed in the Order by Past Worthy Master.
P.W.M.: Brother, I have little more to say on this occasion except to direct your attention to the glorious works of nature. If we take an attentive survey of the wonderful works of creation, and examine closely the objects that surround us, and rightly consider their nature and prosperities, our deepest admiration must be excited by studying the order and proportions that govern the whole. The mind, capable of reflection, must irresistibly be drawn to adore the Almighty Being, the first Builder of Heaven and Earth, Who directs their operations. The science of Astronomy lifts our minds above the world and its doings and leads us to exclaim, "Glory be to Thee O God." The sun, the center of our system, diffusing light and heat to the world; the planetary system of which our earth is one of the smallest. The starry skies, composed of thousands of suns, the possible center of other systems; while ever and anon, those magnificent displays of mysterious import which we call comets, fly trough unlimited space, for what purpose we know not, rendering man insignificant in comparison therewith. Yet the Word of God declares "Man was created for his glory." Day and night fell not, the seasons are regular and unchanged, the tide ebbs and flows, the earth gives out its abundance to supply man's wants. Who, then, can be insensible to the claim the Great Ruler of all has upon us for those favors received? A pause I shall now direct your attention to the fittings of the interior of this Lodge. Thou art surrounded with things, the meaning of which, thou art at present ignorant of, but as every object here has a hidden truth contained within it, they will be gradually unfolded to thee, so that whenever the object is presented to the mind's eye in ordinary life, thou wilt at once revert to the moral lessons contained in it. Our emblems are scorned by the world, and when exposed to public view, are made the subjects of derision; but to the mind of Brotherhood, they convey instructions that are hidden from those who are uninitiated. Their further uses will be communicated to you in special lodges of instruction. In order that you shall be recognized among brothers, I shall import to you the grip. Here the grip is given.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will now conduct our new brother to the Northeast corner of the Lodge and cause him to sit.
S.D., seating the Brother as instructed, says: Worthy Master, your orders have been obeyed.
W.M.: My brothers, Charity being the mother of mercy, and one of the chief Tenets of our Institution, we should at all times be ready to extend it to those whom we find worthy. Brother Senior Deacon, you will now proceed to take up charity.
S.D., taking the Charity Box, proceeds to all the brothers except the new one. This being done, he says: Worthy Master, your orders have been obeyed.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, have you received Charity from all present?
S.D.: Worthy Master, I have received from all but the new brother whom I have not approached.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, our obligation makes us Scottish Builders, our new brother being duly obligated is entitled to contribute to charity as the others have done, and more so should he place some metallic substance in the Charity Box in commemoration of the step he has just taken. You will now wait on the brother.
The Senior Deacon waits on the brother who has nothing to offer, reports to the W.M. that he has received nothing.
W.M.: Brother ..., it is necessary that you place something in the Charity Box as the other brothers have done; if you find yourself devoid of anything to give, you have my permission to go to any of the brothers present and solicit enough to deposit so that it may be recorded in your favor. The brother goes around the Lodge asking for the loan of a coin. The brothers who are approached will respond, in a serious manner, "I know you not" or "You have my sympathy." After a reasonable time he returns to his seat without receiving anything. The S.D. then approaches him and asks whether he had received anything to deposit, the answer being in the negative, reports to the W.M.: Worthy Master, the brother has nothing.
W.M.: Not even a penny? The lesson on Charity will now be delivered by Past Worthy Master ...
P.W.M.: My brother, that part of the Ritual just concluded may have seemed meaningless to you, but it conveys an instructive import. I shall now endeavor to impress on your mind the ennobling sentiments embodied in this lesson.
Every human being bas a claim upon your kind offices, and should you ever meet a member of the human family in a like condition as you are tonight, you should contribute to him as liberally as his wants may require and your means allow; but especially to a worthy distressed brother Builder.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will now retire with the brother, reinvest him with that of which he had been divested and return as soon as possible so that he may be further instructed into the mysteries of our Order.
S.D. retires with the brother, and after he is fully clothed, makes the alarm (three distinct raps). During the absence, the Grand Altar and the Altar of Incense are prepared.
J.D.: Worthy Master, there is an alarm at the door.
W.M.: Ascertain the cause and report
J.D., giving three distinct raps on the door, opens slide and says: Who comes there?
S.D.: The Senior Deacon with Brother ... for further instructions in the Order.
J.D.: Worthy Master, the alarm is made by the Senior Deacon with Brother ... for further
W.M.: Let them enter.
The J.D. throws open the door. Upon re-entering, the S.D. conducts the brother around the room three times whilst a hymn is being sung, after which he is brought before the Holy Altar and introduced to the W.M. as a brother to be further instructed into the Mysteries of the Order.
W.M.: Brother ..., give your attention to the Chaplain.
The Chaplain reads the First Lesson: Genesis 22 Chapter, verses l to 19, after which the Gloria is sung.
P.W.M. reads the Second Lesson: Revelation 4th Chapter.
Candidate kneels before the Altar of Incense, Brethren stand to order.
Prayer By Worthy Master: Almighty and eternal God, the Architect and Ruler of the Universe, at Whose Creative fiat all things were made. We the frail creatures of Thy Providence do humbly implore Thee, to pour down on this convocation here assembled in Thy Holy Name, the continued dew of Thy Blessings, and to impart Thy grace to this Thy servant, whom we now offer to Thee for Thy safe keeping; grant that his light in Building may shine before men that he may be an attractive star to his Lodge and Order. Therefore brethren, let us invoke His Holy Presence, as there is none besides Him. Perfect in love and purity.
All sing: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.
Hymn concluded, a P.W.M. takes a white apron bordered with pink and invests the Candidate saying: Brother ..., I now invest you with this apron, the distinguished badge of an Ancient Scottish Builder. It had been worn by our ancient brethren who esteemed it an honor to wear as a symbol of virtue; you may therefore receive it unspotted, and wear it thus, remembering always those virtues that are inseparable from the character of every true Builder.
W.M. taking Pink Collarette: Brother .... In the name of the Grand Supreme of the Universe, I now decorate you with the Regalia of your First Degree trusting that you will wear it with honor and soon rise to greater honor in this Lodge. Taking his hand with the Grip. Rise Brother... as a member of the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders, and be thou also a member of ... Name of Lodge.
The W.M. returns to his chair and says: Officers and Brothers, I present to you Brother... as a member of this Lodge and Order.
Brother Senior Deacon, place the brother in the North East corner and cause him to stand on an oblong square, with the heel of the right foot into the hollow of his left, as the youngest Entered Builder.
S.D.: Worthy Master, your orders have been obeyed.
W.M.: Brother ..., you there stand an upright Builder, you are admonished ever to walk and act as such before God and man. What is your name?
Cand. calling his name.
W.M.: I now present you with a new name it is "CAUTION."
It teaches you that as you are barely instructed in the rudiments of Building, you should be cautious in your words and actions, especially when in the presence of enemies of the Fraternity. Now that you are clothed, it is necessary that, as a Builder, you be provided with tools with which to work. Past Worthy Master will present you with the working tools of this Degree and instruct you in their use.
P.W.M., taking the twenty-four inch gauge and the gavel: My brother, the working tools of an Entered Builder are the Twenty-Four Inch Gauge and the Common Gavel; they are thus explained: The twenty-four inch gauge is an instrument made use of by our ancient brethren to measure and lay out their work; but we, as Speculated Scottish Builders, make use of it for a more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. The twenty-four hours of the day that we are taught to divide into three equal parts, whereby we find eight hours for the service of God and a worthy distressed brother. Eight hours for our usual vocation; and eight hours for refreshment and sleep.
The common gavel is an instrument made use of by our ancient brethren to break off the rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use; but we as Speculated Scottish Builders, use it for the more noble and glorious purpose of divesting our minds and consciences of all vices and superfluities of life thereby fitting our minds as living stones; for that spiritual building, that house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens.
W.M.: The lecture of the First or First Degree will now be delivered to you by ....
W.M.: Who was the first Builder?
D.M.: The Sublime Power Master Builder, for while the world lay in chaos, He formed the earth and He made the two great luminaries, the greater to rule the day, the lesser the night; the stars in the firmament He made also.
W.M.: Did He end there, brother?
D.M.: No, He made man after His own image, formed him according to the strictest Builders principles, breathed in his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living creature.
W.M.: Did man retain the dignity of that station in which his Maker first placed him?
D.M.: No, be disobeyed the command of his Maker and brought death into the world, for which God pronounced that by the sweat of his brow, man should earn his bread.
W.M.: What was the result of this, brother?
D.M.: Man had to devise Builders means wherewith he could obtain food and raiment; hence arose the origin of all human works.
W.M.: Who are you?
D.M.: An Ancient Scottish Builder.
W.M.: Where are you going?
D.M.: To the land of promise, in search of a Builders Lodge of the First Degree.
W.M.: How do you expect admittance?
D.M.: By the benefit of a password.
W.M.: Do you have a password?
D.M.: I have.
W.M.: Will you give it to me?
D.M.: No, Worthy Master, I will divide it or letter it with you, the same as I would with any other brother Builder, after just trial and examination.
W.M.: Proceed then.
D.M.: No, you proceed.
W.M.: Why Emmanuel?
D.M.: Man having fallen from his original purity, there came a Redeemer who died for man, that man might live: viz; Emmanuel.
W.M.: Do you have a sign?
D.M.: I have.
W.M.: Advance it. The sign is here shown.
W.M.: What does that mean?
He is then instructed as to the emblems of the First Degree, taught to work his way into the Lodge, when in session, his dress for the Lodge and meeting night. Last and concluding the ceremony is the reception. Brothers, led by the W.M., march round and greet the young brother whilst they hymn: Praise to the Holiest in the Heaven is being sung.
At the closing of the lodge, before the W.M. declares the Lodge closed, the brother-chain is formed, the young brother is placed within and wielded into the chain.
As Scottish Builders, let us always remember those expressive words, that cannot be too deeply impressed on our minds, "Thou God seest me." For the eye of the Lord is in every place, beholding the good and the evil. We may also, in this connection, remind ourselves "that a wholesome tongue is a tree of life." That the secrets we have promised to keep inviolate will never be divulged, except by a person devoid of the principles of honor.
The Heart and the Hand
The command of our law is, that we visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan, Whatever our hand find to do in these respects, therefore, we should do it cheerfully, with the whole heart, not grudging and unwillingly. True friendship goes out with alacrity to the service required of it; and the heart and hand should go forth in consent in the cause of suffering humanity. They must not be divided in their energies.
The Coffin, Skull and Crossed Bones.
The Decree of Heaven is "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return." We all await the inevitable hour. What is our life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Where are the myriads of the human families that have lived and figured on this earth of which hundreds of millions and over a century disappear.
They all in turn sleep with their fathers, and the places that once knew them, shall know them no more forever. Ah! let us reflect; let us seriously meditate on these monitors of "what we are sure to be, and what we may soon become."
The Bee Hive.
The industrious person seldom suffers the agony of want. Even though his labours yield him but a trifle, he is content in the knowledge that he is doing what he can to support himself. The idler is on unhappy wretch, who drags out a miserable existence. While the sleep of the laborer is refreshing and sweet, that of the idler is restless, and unsatisfying.
No person can be happy unemployed. No matter how rich he may be he must work if he would not be miserable. This is a Law of Nature; it cannot be successfully resisted. As members of this Order, one must labor, my brother, if not necessarily for us, then for our fellows.
The Bundle of Sticks.
"In union is strength" is a common axiom. We must be united in this cause of Building, not only in our corporate capacity, but also in our deeds. A single individual, if he labours with a will, may accomplish much in the field of fraternity; but a host united in a solid phalanx in the service of Benevolence may revolutionize the world. If the thousand Scottish Builders we boost of were to go forth now, and put into practice what they profess; if they would labor with one heart, and one mind, in the highways and by-ways of life; how soon might their influence pervade the earth, crushing, withering, annihilating the demons of avarice, lust and pride and raising man to the high and holy estate, for which his Maker designed him. Brothers, forget not your obligations. Wait not for others, but do your part, though you may be but one rod in the bundle.
Raps to be Employed in Entering a Lodge Whilst in Session: three distinct.
Method of Addressing the Assembly After Entering: Proceed to the West, stand directly before the Deputy Master 's station on the level, then walk casually to within a reasonable distance of the Holy Altar; standing on the right angle of on Oblong Square. Take one step with the left foot, bringing the heel of the right foot into the hollow of the left, thereby forming the Right Angle of on Oblong Square.
Fold the fingers of the right hand so that none are exposed except the index; bring hand from right to left, piercing the left breast with the index finger, saying: Worthy Master (if there are Grand Officers present they are next addressed), Past Masters, (Turn completely around via the right until you face the Deputy Master) Deputy Master, Past Deputies, (Complete circle until you again face the W.M.) Officers and Members, Good evening. Completing with the sign of silence; after being acknowledged by the Worthy Master, the Brother is seated.
Words to be Employed in Entering on Entered Builder's Lodge: At Outer Door: Emmanuel.
Inner Door: Alpha - Omega.
Test, With Grip: Boaz.
The Worthy Master gives two raps that are answered by the D.M.'s one.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, what is the first duty to be performed before we close the Lodge?
D.M.: To see the Lodge is duly tiled.
W.M.: Direct that duty to be done and report the case to me.
D.M.: Brother Junior Deacon, examine if the Lodge is duly tiled.
J.D. gives one rap at the door of the Lodge, which is answered by another rap from the Tiler outside. Standing before the D.M.'s station: Brother Deputy Master, the Lodge is duly tiled.
D.M: Worthy Master, the Lodge is duly tiled, and the Tiler on his duty.
W.M.: Brother Deputy, what number of officers constitute a Lodge of the Ancient Order of Scottish Builders?
D.M.: Three, Five or Seven.
W.M.: What three?
D.M.: The Worthy Master, the Deputy Master and the Senior Deacon.
W.M.: What five?
D.M.: The before mentioned three, the Junior Deacon and the Tiler.
W.M.: What number constitutes a duly formed Lodge of the said Order?
D.M.: Seven: The before mentioned Five, the Secretary and the Treasurer.
W.M.: Where is the Tiler placed?
D.M.: At the Door of the Lodge.
W.M.: What is his duty?
D.M.: To admit Scottish Builders only upon proof of being in possession of the password and other requisites.
W.M.: Where is the Treasurer placed?
D.M.: At the right of the Senior Deacon.
W.M.: His duty in the Lodge?
D.M.: To keep safe the coffers of our Lodge.
W.M.: Where is the Secretary placed?
D.M.: In the South.
W.M.: His duty?
D.M.: To keep an account of every service rendered by each brother of our Lodge, whereby we know how far he is worthy of reward.
W.M.: Where is the Junior Deacon placed?
D.M.: At the right of the Deputy Master.
W.M.: His duty?
D.M.: To see that the Tiler does his duty, to carry any message from the Deputy Master to the Worthy Master and to assist the Senior Deacon in visiting the sick brethren of his Lodge.
W.M.: Where is the Senior Deacon placed?
D.M.: At the right hand of the Worthy Master.
W.M.: His duty?
D.M.: To carry Orders from the Worthy Master to any part of the Lodge. To prepare candidates for initiation, and to visit and pay every sick brother of his Lodge.
W.M.: Where is the Deputy Master placed?
D.M.: In the West.
W.M.: Why is he placed in the West?
D.M.: As the moon reflects the rays of the Sun from the east to the west, so the Deputy Master dispenses the instructions he receives from the Worthy Master in the east to the brethren of the Lodge in the west.
W.M.: Where is the Worthy Master placed?
D.M.: In the East.
W.M.: Why is he placed in the East?
D.M.: As the sun rises in the east to rule, brighten and enliven the day, so the Worthy Master is placed in the east to open, govern and instruct his Lodge.
W.M.: Brethren, to order as Scottish Builders. Here the Worthy Master gives three raps, calling all to their feet. Our Lodge being regularly constituted, let us, before I pronounce it closed, express our gratitude to the Sublime Power of the Universe. All facing the East.
Adorable Jehovah, Thou first and last. Thou who madest all things, both movable and immovable, visible and invisible; we return the sincere thanks for all favor hitherto received at Thy hands; and mayest Thou still continue to support this our Institution by cementing and adorning us with every moral and social virtue. Go with us to our respective homes; and grant that when we have done meeting in these earthly Lodges below, we may all meet together in Thy Celestial Lodge above, never to part more.
W.M.: Brother Senior Deacon, close the Three Great Lights. Extinguish the Lesser Lights. Close the Dispensation.
I, ..., Worthy Master of ... Lodge No. ... declare this Lodge duly closed until its next regular communication, unless especially convened, in which emergency due and timely notice shall be given.
All Stand closed accordingly.