Masonic Order of Athelstan
Ritual of Installation of a Worshipful Master
As in Ritual No. l, the parts of the Ceremony marked as being undertaken by the W.M. or other specified Officer, may be delegated to or shared with any other duly qualified Brother or Brethren. If this is done, care should be taken that the ceremony flows smoothly and continuity is preserved.
The full Installation Ceremony consists of the Master Elect taking an initial Obligation in Open Court. This is followed by a Priory of Consecrated Priors (Ritual No. 2) followed by the Installation of the Master Elect (Ritual No. 3).
It should be emphasised that the appropriate Volume of the Sacred Law be used. If the Brother concerned is not of the Christian faith, the appropriate VSL should be placed (open) next to the open Bible, or held by him (if appropriate) when taking his Obligation etc. On no account must either Book be placed on top of the other, nor may any object be placed upon either volume except the Sq. and Cs.
Brethren who are not of the Christian faith may adopt the attitude appropriate to their faith (e.g. standing, covered, etc.) at all points in the ritual which contain the instruction to kneel for prayer or in order to take an obligation.
If there is a single Candidate, the W.M. should vary the verbal instruction appropriately.
The Marshal, giving the S of F, will present the M.E. by name; he will raise the M.E.'s right hand with his own left hand.
The Marshal should ensure that copies of the Statutes of the Order, the Provincial By-Laws, and the Court By-Laws and a copy of Ritual No. 3 are at hand for the Worshipful Master (or Installing Officer) to present to the new Worshipful Master.
The Secretary or Marshal should also check, well in advance, that the Master Elect has learned the Address (as delivered by the Worshipful Master) which he has to give after the appointment of the Officers and that the I.P.M. has learned or is in possession of a copy of the Address which he has to deliver.
The Secretary must have a copy of the Nineteen Charges which will be read after the Addresses and should familiarise himself with them in advance of the ceremony, to ensure a fitting presentation.
This version of the Ritual dated l "August 2010 is the only authorised version and all previous versions are superseded and should be withdrawn as soon as possible.
Installation of a Worshipful Master
The Installing Officer will normally be the Worshipful Master.
I.O., *: I must now request all Brethren below the rank of Installed Master, with the exception of the Master Elect to retire from the Court, under the direction of the Marshal.
The Marshal will place a kneeling stool in the centre of the Court.
I.O., rises, *: I declare this a duly constituted Board of Installed Masters.
All rise. The Marshal conducts the Master Elect to the kneeling stool. The Brethren will turn to the East.
All give S of R.
M.E. kneels on kneeling stool, facing East.
E.P.: Let us pray: Vouchsafe Thine aid, Supreme Being and Creator of all things, to this, our solemn rite and grant that this worthy and distinguished Brother may be endued with grace, wisdom and strength to govern his Court with propriety and to impart light to those that seek it, to the honour and glory of Thy Most Holy Name.
ALL: S.M.I.B. All discharge S of R. M.E.rises.
Marshal removes kneeling stool.
I.O.: You will now advance and take a further Obligation, with respect to the secrets of an Installed Master of this Order. Does so. Kneel on both knees; place both hands on the V.S.L.
To order, Brethren. All give S of F.
I.O.: State your names at length and repeat after me: I, … , in the name of the Supreme Being and Creator of all things and before this Worshipful Board of Installed Masters, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully conceal the secrets restricted to the Master's Chair and that I will reveal them to none, except to an Installed Master of this Order, or to a Candidate duly elected or appointed to that Office. So help me, the Supreme Being and Creator of all things and keep me steadfast in this, my Obligation.
You will seal that Obligation with your lips twice and twice further on the V.S.L.
M.E. does so. All discharge S of F.
I.O. takes M.E. by the right hand and raises him: Rise, my Brother (and successor) Only said if the W.M. is the I.O.
I.O. Be seated, Brethren. All sit.
I.O.: leaves his pedestal and standing in the North, facing South, turns the Master Elect to face him.
I.O.: In the degree of a Court Master Mason, you were told briefly of the betrayal of Prince Edwin, the half brother of Athelstan, and informed of how he was set adrift at sea without provisions or any means to manoeuvre his boat. Likewise, how he elected to drown himself rather than face a more painful death of starvation. It is on this event that the Installation Ceremony of a Worshipful Master of a Court is based.
It is nonetheless, also, an Ancient Masonic Ceremony, of that of a Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges, and fully qualifies you to preside over a Court of Master Masons.
I will now proceed to inform you of the secrets of an Installed Master; they consist of signs, a token and words. The signs are of a threefold nature, and once more return us to the use of the number four.
The first of the threefold signs is in the form of four squares. It is called the Sign of Consternation. and arose out of the revelation of Edwin's heinous plan to seize the Crown from Athelstan.
It is given by standing perfectly erect, your feet in the form of a square. Place your right hand, thumb extended in the form of a square, over the left breast whilst placing your left hand, thumb extended in the form of a square, over your lips, thus.
I.O. places his left hand horizontally covering his lips. M.E. copies him.
The second sign is called the Sign of Contrition and came about at Edwin's realisation of the terrible misjudgement he had made and the consequences of it being discovered.
It is given by standing perfectly erect, then half bending the knees at the same time raising the hands in front of the body, palms together, fingers extended, thumb in the form of a square. I.O. demonstrates, M.E. copies him.
The third sign is called the Pastoral Sign and alludes to the carrying of a Lamb by way of comfort in facing what lies ahead.
It is given by standing perfectly erect, feet in the form of a square and by crossing the right arm over the left, thus, I.O. demonstrates, M.E. copies him. It signified Edwin's realisation that all chance of earthly help was past and reminds us of the words of Holy Writ, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Isaiah Chap. 40 v 11) and "It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in Princes." (Psalm 118 v 9).
In former times, some Rituals gave only one sign instead of the first two.
This sign was given by kneeling on the right knee, the left hand being raised, left arm, from shoulder to elbow horizontal, from elbow to tip of extended fingers vertical, palm facing inwards, thumb forming a square which forms two squares; then placing the left elbow on the left knee, fingers extended and closed, thumb forming a square. The head downwards and slightly inclined to the left. I.O. demonstrates and M. E. copies him.
I.O.: The Token is given by each brother grasping the other's right elbow with his right hand and pressing it four times, then sliding the grip along the arm to the wrist, and at the same time exclaiming the name, Cyrus. Lastly, pressing the wrist joint once with the first finger only.
The hands are then slowly pulled apart, resting briefly with the forefinger tip to tip. It is here that the words are exchanged. I say Jekson and you reply Stolkin. I.O. and M.E. exchange the words.
The sacred words are Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh, signifying I am that I am M.E. repeats words.
The fingers are then parted by each taking one step backwards, whilst maintaining the position of the hands i.e. – forefingers extended, tip to tip, other fingers closed. This is called the Accusatory Sign and alludes to Edwin's betrayal being discovered and his brother King Athelstan accusing him of his crime.
Marshal carries a cushion hearing the Apron and Collar and assists as necessary
I.O.: I now invest you with the Badge of an Installed Master Collects Apron from Marshal and does so and Jewel of your Office, Marshal presents W.M. 's Collar, or I.O. takes off his collar which is the highest honour the Court has in its power to confer on any of its members.
I.O.: To order, Brethren. All rise.
With this grip I.O. and M.E. grasp the other's right elbow with their right hand and the
words Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh, I place you in the Chair of King Athelstan.
I.O. moves to the floor and f aces the W.M. in the east and salutes him with the Sign of Humility.
May you achieve 'Honour through Virtue.'
Brethren, we will now salute the Worshipful Master with the Sign of Humility, twice and twice further, taking the time with me. Place the right hand on the left shoulder, right foor one pace to the rear, at the same time, incline the body slightly forward, sweep the right hand in a downward arc to the rear and in line with the right foot, recovering the right hand to the left shoulder, feet together and resuming an erect position, before finally returning the right hand to the side of the body. Done.
I.O. returns to dais and remains standing.
I.O.: Worshipful Master, you will now invest the I.P.M. W.M. does so.
I.O.: Worshipful Master, you will now declare this Board of Installed Masters closed.
W.M.: I declare this Board of Installed Masters closed. *.
I.O.: Brethren, be seated. All sit.
I.O.: Bro. Capt. of the Guards, admit all Court Master Masons.
The Court Master Masons are admitted. The Marshal lines up a maximum of six pre-selected Brethren in the North, facing South, the remainder take their seats.
I.O., rises: Brethren, during your temporary absence, Brother … (Name) has been regularly installed in the Chair of King Athelstan and I call upon you to salute him with the G or R Sign, twice and twice further, taking the time from the Marshal.
MAR.: Brethren, half turn to the East. The Salutations are given.
MAR.: Half turn to the South, Brethren.
I.O.: Brethren, for the first to the fourth times I proclaim Brother … (Name) Worshipful Master of this the … Court … on the register of the Grand Court of the Masonic Order of Athelstan in England, Wales and its Provinces Overseas for the ensuing twelve months, or until a successor is duly elected and installed in his stead.
Mar.: Brethren, be seated. All sit.
It is at this stage that the I.O. presents the Warrant, Statutes, Provincial By-Laws and By-Laws of the Court.
I.O.: Worshipful Master, I now transfer into your safe keeping the Warrant of the Court. During the past twelve months it has been entrusted to my care and in delivering it to you I am sure it will continue to be treated as a sacred Trust and transmitted to your successor as you now receive it.
I hand to you a copy of the Statutes of the Order, a copy of the By Laws of the Province of … and a copy of the By-Laws of your Court, all of which I recommend to your serious perusal. I also hand to you a copy of Ritual No.3, which you will need to study with care.
I.O.: Worshipful Master, you will now appoint and invest the Officers chosen to assist you in the government of the Court.
The Marshal presents the Officers for appointment and investiture. There are no fixed set of words for this so it is all impromptu, but it is suggested that it is done in the most expedient manner possible.
Installation Address - Part l
P.G.M.: Brethren, such is the nature of our Institution that whilst some must, of necessity, rule and teach, so others must, of course, learn, submit and obey. Humility in each is an essential duty. The Brethren elected and appointed to assist in the government of the Court are too well acquainted with the principles of Freemasonry and the rules of propriety to exceed the power with which they are entrusted, and you, Brethren I am sure, are of too generous a disposition to envy their preferment. I, therefore trust that we shall have but one aim in view, to please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.
Masonry, founded on the principles of Geometry, is functionally directed to the service and convenience of mankind, but as we are taught in our Lodges, Speculative, or Free Masonry embraces a far wider range, and nobler objects; the landscaping and cultivation of our Faith in our God, the building and improving of our relations to our fellow creatures and the constructing and repairing of ourselves as complete Human beings. Although through the Millennia its lessons have been veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols, enquiring minds, leaders and rulers in Freemasonry, have from every generation unceasingly toiled to penetrate that veil and to become ever more acquainted with its Mysteries.
These, Our Mysteries in all their aspects have been truly influential in every Age, they are the guiding star of Peace and Love, never weary or forgetful of their divine mission. They teach us through our Lodges to administer relief and comfort to the distressed with unsparing hands, especially in the hour of darkness and despair.
They call to us to bring peace and consolation to the troubled spirit, relief and gladness to the habitations of want and destitution, and light to the darkness and gloom of the grave by pointing to the hopes and promises of a better life to come. To dry the tears of the widow and orphan, and to widen the sphere of human happiness, is the summit of our Profession.
Installation Address - Part 2
W.M.: Our Courts of Freemasons being Holy Temples of Peace and Learning, nothing must be allowed to enter which has the remotest tendency to disturb the quietude of our pursuits as calm, willing students and researchers of the moral geometry of Friendship, Harmony and Brotherly Love. The utmost extension of fraternal affection is expected to be displayed in our Courts - then only can we attain the chief point of Freemasonry, namely, to be happy and to teach and communicate that happiness to others.
Through our Tenets and Charges, we acknowledge there can be no Right without a parallel Duty, no Liberty without the supremacy of the Law, no High Destiny without earnest Perseverance.
May we, like rays of brilliant light from the rising sun, illuminate the West, the South and all the dark places of the Earth, and may God grant that as the work proceeds, we may be of one mind and be given cunning, strength and wisdom to enable us to reflect and impress truth, honour and virtue on all within our circle.
Installation Address - Part 3
I.P.M.: I Charge you: Quietly and modestly move in the sphere of life; without blemish,
Fulfil your duty as a man, a subject, a husband and a father.
Be pious without hypocrisy, benevolent without ostentation, and aid your fellow man without self-interest.
Let your heart beat warm for friendship, be serene and full of enjoyment.
In adversity do not despair, in fortune avoid presumption. Be resolute in the hour of danger.
Free yourself from superstition and infidelity; and joyfully acknowledge the hand of the Eternal Master in all Nature.
Be careful to feel and adore the higher destination of Men, and to preserve our Faith, our Hope, and our Charity as not mere words without any meaning.
Remember our property, even life itself, is not too dear for the protection of true innocents, the virtuous, our society and the defence of truth.
If you wish severity, then judge yourself first. Range yourself against lawless violence.
Be tolerant with the debilities of your neighbour; oppose error with firmness but without arrogance.
Promote intelligence and aid learning without impatience for others.
Honour Virtue, though it may be in the most humble garment. Do not favour Vice, though it may be clad in the finest purple;
Administer Justice to Merit whether it should dwell in the highest palace or in the lowest cottage.
Do not proclaim what you have done, can do, or will do, but where need is, to the best of your ability, lay hold with dispassionate courage, circumspect resolution, indefatigable exertion and the rarest power of mind, and pledge yourself not cease until the work is accomplished. Then, without pretension, retire into the multitude because the good act is done - not for acknowledgement, fame or fortune, but for the cause of the good itself, to the glory of God.
Should you, my brethren meet such a man, then HE is undoubtedly your brother,
Without courting applause, he will be loved by all noble-minded men, respected by his peers and superiors and revered by his subordinates; I.P.M. gives S of F.
God grant that we may ever remember and be faithful to our Charges.
I.P.M. discharges S of F.
Installation Address - Part 4
P.G.M.: Finally, my Brethren, as our fraternity has been formed and perfected in complete unanimity and concord, and in which we all greatly rejoice, so may it continue until time shall be no more. May you long enjoy every satisfaction and delight which disinterested friendship can afford. Within your peaceful walls may you, your children and your children's children celebrate with joy and gratitude the recurrence and works of our Mysteries. And may the genuine tenets of our time honoured Institutions be transmitted through our Courts and Lodges pure and unimpaired from generation to generation.
Nineteen Charges for Masters and Fellows
Sec.: 1. First, that no Master or Fellow take upon himself any lord's work nor any other man's work unless he knows himself able and sufficient of cunning to perform the same;
2. That no Master take any work but that he take it reasonably, so that the lord may be well served and that the Master live honestly and pay his Fellows truly;
3. Also that no Master or Fellow supplant any other of their work. He shall not put him out, except he be unable of cunning to end the work;
4. Also that no Master or Fellow take a prentice but for the term of seven years and the prentice be of able birth, that is, free born, and whole of limbs, as a man ought to be;
5. Also that no Master or Fellow take allowance to be made Mason without counsel of his Fellows and that he take him for no less than six or seven years and that he who would be a Mason be able in all degrees, that is, free born, come of good kindred, true and no bondsman;
6. Also that he have his right limbs as a man ought to have;
7. Also that no man take a prentice unless he have sufficient work for him, or to set three of his Fellows, or two at least, to work;
8. Also that no Master or Fellow take a man's work to task, that was wont to go on journey;
9. Also that every Master shall pay his Fellows as they deserve, so that he be not deceived with false workmen;
10. Also that no Mason slander any other behind his back;
11. Also that no Fellow within the Lodge or without, may answer another ungodly, nor reproachfully without reasonable cause;
12. Also that every Mason shall reverence his elder and put him to worship;
13. Also that no Mason shall be a common player at hazard or at dice or at other unlawful plays, whereby the Craft might be slandered;
14. Also that no Mason shall use lechery or be a baud, whereby the Craft might be slandered;
15. Also that no Fellow go into town at night time unless there is a Lodge of Fellows, without he have a Fellow with him to bear witness that he was in an honest place;
16. Also that every Mason and Fellow shall come to the Assembly if it be within fifty miles if he have warning, and if he has trespassed against the Craft, then he shall abide the award of his Masters and Fellows, and shall stand to the award of the Masters and Fellows to make them accord if they can, and if they may not accord, then to go to the common law;
17. Also that no Master or Fellow make a moulde stone or square, or rule to a layer or set a layer within the lodge or without to hew moulde stones;
18. Also that every Mason receive and cherish strange Fellows when they come over the country and set them at work if they will as the manner is, that is to say, if they have moulde stones in his place, or else refresh him with money to the next lodging;
19. Also that every Mason truly serve the lord for his pay and every Master truly make an end of his work, be it task or journey.