West End Ritual of Craft Freemasonry
Ceremony of Opening the Lodge in the First Degree
DC: Brethren, please receive your WM All rise.
WM (If it is the custom of the Lodge): Opening Hymn Brethren.
WM: Brethren assist me to open the Lodge.
WM (to JW): Bro. (name), what is the first care of every Freemason?
JW (s no s ): To see that the Lodge is properly tyled.
WM (to JW): Direct that duty to be done.
JW (to IG): Bro (name), (IG goes to NW corner of Lodge, s. no s.) see that the Lodge is properly tyled.
IG (to JW after performing duty, s. no s): Bro (name), the Lodge is properly tyled.
JW (Gavel) (to WM.): Bro (name) the Lodge is properly tyled.
WM (to SW): Bro (name) the next care?
SW (s. no s): To see that none but Masons are present
WM: To order Brethren, as Masons (Done.)
WM: Bro JW., how many principal officers are there in the Lodge?
JW: Three, the WM. and S and JWs
WM: Bro SW, how many assistant officers are there?
SW: Three besides the Tyler or Outer Guard, namely, the S and JDs and Inner Guard
WM. (to JW): The situation of the Tyler?
JW: Outside the door of the Lodge.
WM (to JW): His duty?
JW: Being armed with a drawn sword to keep off all cowans and intruders to Freemasonry and to see the Candidates are properly prepared.
WM (to SW): The situation of the Inner Guard?
SW: Within the entrance of the Lodge.
WM (to SW): His duty?
SW.: To admit Masons on proof, receive Candidates in due form and obey the commands of the JW.
WM (to JW): The situation of the Junior Deacon?
JW: At the right of the SW
WM (to JW): His duty?
JW: To carry all messages and communications of the WM from the S to the JW and to see that the same are punctually obeyed.
WM (to SW): The situation of the Senior Deacon?
SW: At or near the right of the WM.
WM (to SW): His duty?
SW: To bear all messages and commands of the WM to the SW and await the return of the JD
WM: Bro JW., your place in the Lodge?
JW: In the South WM.
WM: Why are you so placed?
JW: To mark the sun at its meridian, to call the Brethren from labour to refreshment and from refreshment to labour, that profit and pleasure may be the result.
WM: Bro SW., your place in the Lodge?
SW: In the West WM.
WM: Why are you so placed?
SW: To mark the setting sun and to close the Lodge by command of the WM having seen that every Brother has had his due.
WM (to IPM): Wo Bro (name), the Masterís place?
IPM: In the East WM.
WM: Why is he placed there?
IPM: As the sun rises in the East to open and enliven the day, so is the WM placed in the East to open the Lodge and employ and instruct the Brethren in Freemasonry.
WM: Brethren, the Lodge being duly formed, before I declare it open.
Chaplain or WM: Let us invoke the assistance of the GAOTU, on all our undertakings may our labours, begun in order be conducted in peace and closed in harmony.
OMNES: So mote it be.
WM: Brethren, in the name of the TGAOTU, I declare the Lodge duly opened (all cut sign) for the purposes of Freemasonry in the First Degree.
WM 1į Knocks
SW 1į Knocks, raises column.
JW 1į Knocks
IG 1į Knocks
Tyler 1į Knocks
During these TB disclosed, IPM arranges B, S & C.
Opening Hymn sung if not already done.
The Brethren resume their seats.
The Warrant of the Lodge is drawn to the attention of the Brethren.
The rules in the Book of Constitutions and the Lodge By-Laws relating to candidates for Initiation must be strictly observed. The WM should read out the name(s) of the Candidate(s) and the Secretary the particulars from the Grand Lodge-form of application, including the certificate signed by the WM. The ballot is then taken, conducted by the Deacons. The SD should first bring the Ballot Box to the WM who should examine a and call the attention of the members to the Naydrawer, which he should exhibit empty. The Ballot Balls should be distributed by the JD starting with the WM. The WM should declare the result of the Ballot to the Lodge.
If the candidate is to be Initiated forthwith the Tyler should be instructed to prepare the Candidate after he has signed the Declaration Book, when this is done the Tyler reports by giving the EA knocks on the door of the Lodge.
IG advancing to NW corner with s and s: Bro JW, there is a report.
JW (rising, s and s, no Gavel): WM there is a report.
WM: Bro. JW, enquire who wants admission.
JW (completes s and resumes seat): Bro. see who seeks admission.
IG completes s, opens door, leaving it ajar for the following examination which should be audible to the Brethren.
IG (to Tyler): Whom have you there?
Tyler: Mr. (full name), a poor Candidate in a state of d, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, now comes of his own freewill and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry.
IG: How does he hope to obtain those privileges?
Tyler: By the help of God being free and of good report
IG: Wait while I report to the WM.
It is the duty of the IG to see that the Candidate is properly prepared, having done so he closes door and advances to NW corner.
IG (with s and s): WM, Mr (full name), a poor Candidate in a state of d, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry
WM: How does he hope to obtain those privileges?
IG: By the help of God being free and of good report
WM: The tongue of good report has already been heard in his favour; do you, Bro IG vouch that he is properly prepared?
IG: I do WM.
WM: Then let him be admitted in due form. (gives one knock) Bro Deacons.
The IG completes sign and awaits arrival of Deacons Kneeling stool is placed in position on squared pavement at NW corner. Candidate taken in charge by JD and admitted by IG on the p of the P.
IG (to Can ): Do you feel anything?
Reply should be in the affirmative
JD assisted by SD, leads Candidate to Kneeling Stool, and stands him facing east with JD on his right and SD on left. IG briefly holds P above Candidateís head to show that the usual custom has been observed.
WM.: Mr (name), as no person can be made a Mason unless he is free and of mature age, I demand, are you free and of the full age of 21 years?
CAN: I am (If necessary JD tells Can to answer).
WM: Thus assured you will kneel whilst the blessing of Heaven is invoked in aid of our proceedings.
WM gives one knock, Can kneels. All rise with s of r. Deacons hold their wands crossed above the Candidateís head, the JD in front.
WM or Chaplain: Vouchsafe Thine aid, Almighty Father and Supreme Governor of the Universe, to our present convention, and grant that this Candidate for Freemasonry may so dedicate and devote his life to Thy service as to become a true and faithful brother among us Endue him with the competency of Thy Divine Wisdom, that, assisted by the secrets of our Masonic Art, he may the better be enabled to unfold the beauties of true Godliness to the honour and glory of Thy Holy Name.
OMNES: So mote it be
WM: Mr. (name), in all cases of difficulty and danger in whom do you put your trust?
CAN (prompted by JD): In God.
WM: Right glad am I to find your faith so well founded; relying on such sure support you may safely rise and follow your leader with a firm but humble confidence, for where the name of God in invoked, (all drop s of r) we trust no danger can ensue.
Deacons lower wands, all except Deacons resume seats.
The WM gives one knock.
WM: Brethren in the North, East, South and West, take notice that Mr (full name) is about to pass in view before you to show that he is a candidate properly prepared to be made a Mason.
JD (taking candidate by the r h): Step off with your l.f. JD conducts Can along the north and past the WM. The SD follows and resumes his seat. JD continues down the south to the JW and, with the candidateís r h sís the JW t t on the r s.
JW: Whom have you there?
JD (with s and s): Mr (full name), a poor Candidate in a state of d, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry.
JW: How does he hope to obtain those privileges?
JD: By the help of God being free and of good report. (JD completes s).
JW (rises and takes candidateís r h with both hands): Enter, free and of good report (JW resumes seat).
JD then takes Candidate to SW and with Candidates r h, sís the SW t t on the r s.
SW: Whom have you there?
JD (with s and s): Mr. (full name), a poor Candidate in a state of d, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry.
SW: How does he hope to obtain those privileges?
JD: By the help of God being free and of good report. (JD completes s).
SW (rises and takes Candidateís r h in both hands): Enter, free and of good report. (Remains standing).
JD leads Candidate to left of SW, places Candidateís r h in SWís l h and ensures Candidate stands facing East.
SW (with s and s): WM, I present to you, Mr. (full name), a Candidate properly prepared to be made a Mason.
WM: Bro SW your presentation shall be attended to, for which purpose I will address a few questions to the Candidate which I trust he will answer with candour.
SW completes s returns Candidate to JD and resumes his seat. JD places Candidate in north west corner of Lodge.
WM: Mr. (name), do you seriously declare on your honour, that unbiassed by the improper solicitations of friends against your own inclination, and uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a Candidate for the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry?
CAN.: I do, (If necessary JD tells Can to answer).
WM: Do you likewise pledge yourself that you are prompted to solicit those privileges by a favourable opinion preconceived of the institution, a general desire for knowledge, and a sincere wish to render yourself more extensively serviceable to your fellow creatures?
CAN.: I do. (If necessary JD tells Can to answer).
WM.: Do you further seriously declare on your honour that avoiding fear on the one hand and rashness on the other, you will steadily persevere through the ceremony of your initiation, and if admitted, will ever after act and abide by the ancient usages and established customs of the Order?
CAN: I do. (If necessary JD tells Can to answer).
WM: Bro. SW, (who rises with s and s) direct the ID to instruct the Candidate to advance to the East in due form.
SW completes sign and resumes seat
SW: Bro JD, (JD, without letting go of Candidate, gives s and s) it is the W. Masterís command that you instruct the Candidate to advance to the East in due form.
JD (completes s): Step off with your l.f. (Then s the Lodge, conducts Candidate to the proper place about 4 feet from WM and facing South, instructs him thus)
JD: Place your feet together, turn out your l.f., h. to h., to form a s., take a s. s. with your l.f. dragging the r. after it h. to h., take another a little longer, dragging the r. after it as before; take another, a little longer still, again dragging the r. after it as before. (Done).
Note if the JD has gauged the distance correctly and the ss are properly performed the Candidate should arrive at the k s. JD should ensure that Candidate face S. WM with his l.f. pointing east, and his r.f. in the form of a s, pointing south. SD takes position to l. of Candidate.
WM: Mr. (name), it is my duty to inform you that Masonry is free and requires a perfect freedom of inclination in every Candidate for its mysteries. It is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue. It possesses many great and invaluable privileges, and in order to secure those privileges to worthy men, and we trust to worthy men alone, vows of fidelity are required, but let me assure you that in those vows there is nothing incompatible with your Civil, Moral or Religious duties. Are you therefore willing to take a great and solemn obligation founded on the principles. I have already stated, to keep inviolate the secrets and mysteries of our Order?
CAN: I am. (If necessary JD tells Candidate to answer; he does NOT prompt).
WM.: Then you will kneel on your l.k., place your r.f. so as to form a s., give me your r.h. which I place on this book, which is the VSL, while your l.h. will be employed in supporting a p. of cs., one p. presented to n.l.b
The WM gavels, all rise with s of f. The Deacons hold their wands crossed over Candidateís head, JDís in front.
WM: State your several names at length and repeat after me: I, (Candidateís full name), in the presence of the G.A.O.T.U., and of this worthy, worshipful and warranted Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord, do hereby and hereon solemnly and sincerely swear that I will always hele, conceal and never reveal any part or parts, point or points of the secrets and mysteries of or belonging to Ancient Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry, which may heretofore have been known by, shall now, or may at any future time be communicated tome, unless it be to a true and lawful Brother or Brothers and not even unto him or them until after due trial, strict examination or sure information from some well-known Brother, that he or they are worthy of that confidence, or in the body of adjust, perfect and regular Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. I further solemnly promise that I will not write those secrets, indite, carve, mark, engrave or otherwise them delineate, or cause or suffer it to be done by others if in my power to prevent it, on anything movable or immovable under the canopy of Heaven, whereby or whereon any letter, character or figure, or the least trace of a letter, character or figure may become legible or intelligible to myself or to anyone in the world, lest our secret art and hidden mysteries may improperly become known through my unworthiness. These several points I solemnly swear to observe, without evasion, equivocation or mental reservation of any kind, in the certain knowledge that on the violation of any of them I shall be branded a wilfully perjured individual, void of moral worth, and totally unfit to be received into this worshipful Lodge, or any other warranted Lodge or
Society of men who prize honour and virtue above the external advantages of rank and fortune. So help me God and keep me steadfast in this the g. and s. O. of an E.A. Freemason.
WM removes cs from Candidateís l.h. Candidateís r.h. remains on VSL.
WM: As what you have repeated may be considered but a serious promise; as a pledge of fidelity and to render it a g. and s. O., you will s. it with your l. on the VSL. (Done).
(All complete s., Deacons lower wands)
WM: Having been kept for a considerable time in a state of d., what, in your present position is the predominant wish of your heart?
CAN. (prompted by JD): L.
WM: Bro. JD let that blessing be restored to the Candidate.
JD loosens h w.
WM: To order Brethren (WM gives time with gavel and one knock (not repeated by Ws) the Brethren c their hs simultaneously with the JD removing the h w. JD gently restrains candidate from looking around so as to ensure that he sees only WM, VSL, s and cs).
WM: Having been restored to the blessing of material 1. I will point out what we consider the three great, though emblematical lights in Freemasonry: they are the Volume of the Sacred Law, the s and the cs. The Sacred Writings are to govern our faith, the s. to regulate our actions, and the cs. to keep us within due bounds with all mankind, particularly our Brethren in Freemasonry.
WM (Removes Candidateís r.h. from the VSL by taking it in both his own hands): Rise, duly obligated Brother among Masons.
The Brethren resume their seats and the JD wheels Candidate in a clockwise direction to the right of WM. SD resumes seat.
WM: You are now enabled to discover the three lesser lights in Freemasonry, which are situated (points) East, South and West and are meant to represent the (points) Sun, the Moon and the Master of the Lodge, the Sun to rule the day, the Moon to govern the night and the Master to rule and direct his Lodge.
During the following address the IG should bring the p. to the WM so as to present it at the proper moment.
WM: Bro. (name), by your meek and candid behaviour this evening you have symbolically escaped two great dangers, but traditionally there was a third which would have awaited you until the latest period of your existence. The dangers you have already escaped are those of s. and s., for on your entrance to the Lodge this p. was presented to your n.l.b to imply that, had you rashly attempted to rush forward, you might have been accessory to your d. by s., as the Brother who held it would have remained firm and done his duty.
WM hands P. back to IG who returns to his seat. JD then removes c-t and hands it to WM who continues: There was likewise this c-t. with a running n. about your n. which would have rendered any attempt at retreat equally fatal (on these words WM demonstrates with c-t. then hands it to IPM) but the danger which would traditionally have awaited you until your latest hour was the physical penalty at one time associated with the Obligation of an EAF, that of having the t.c.a had you improperly disclosed the s. of Freemasonry. The full penalty was that of having the t.c.a., the t.torn o. by its r and b. in the s. of the s. at l.w.m. at least a cís.l. from the s. where the t. regularly e. and f.t in tf h. The inclusion of such a penalty is unnecessary, for the Obligation you have taken this evening is binding upon you for so long as you shall live.
Having taken the great and solemn Obligation of an EAF., I am now permitted to inform you that there are several degrees in Freemasonry with peculiar secrets restricted to each; these however are not communicated indiscriminately but are conferred upon Candidates according to merit and ability. I shall therefore proceed to entrust you with the secrets of this Degree, or those marks by which we are known to each other and distinguished from the rest of the world, but must premise for your general information that all s., l. and p. are true and proper signs by which to know a Mason.
You are therefore are expected to stand perfectly erect, your feet in the form of a s. (JD instructs Can) your body being considered an emblem of your mind and your feet of the rectitude of your actions.
You will now take a s.s. towards me with your l.f., bringing the r.h. into its hollow (Done). That, (points) my Brother, is the first regular s in Freemasonry and is the position in which the secrets of the Degree are communicated. They consist of a s., t and w. Please copy me (WM stands). The
s is given by placing the r.h., t.e so as to form a s., to the l. of the t., drawing it smartly across and d. it to the s. This you will perceive alludes to the symbolic penalty of the degree which implied that, as a man of honour (WM places r.h. to front of body, JD ensures Can copies) and an EAF, (WM gives s., Can copies) you would rather have had your t.c.a. (WM completes s., Can copies) than improperly disclose the secrets of Freemasonry.
The g or t. (here WM extends his r.h. which Can should take, prompted if necessary by JD) is given by a distinct p with the t. on the f.k-j. of a Broís r.h. (Note: it is for the WM to properly place the Canís t., after which the WM completes the g. with his own t.)
This g., when mutually given and received, serves to distinguish a Bro. by night as well as by day; it also demands a w., a w. highly prized among Masons as a guard to their privileges; too much caution therefore, cannot be observed in communicating it. It should never be given at length but always by l. or s., to enable you to do which I will tell you the word, it is .... (Can repeats, prompted by JD, WM then spells it and again JD prompts Can to repeat it. It is not again repeated in full).
As in the course of the ceremony you will be called upon for this w. the JD will now dictate the answers you are to give.
(WM emphasises grip): What is this?
CAN (prompted by JD throughout the examination): The g. or t of an EAF.
WM: What does this g demand?
CAN: A w.
WM: Give me that w. (JD must ensure Can does not answer prematurely).
CAN: At my initiation I was taught to be cautious; I will l. or h. it with you.
WM: xxx it and begin (It the WMís choice of l. or h.) (Done).
WM: This word was derived from the l.h.p. which stood at the p.e to K.Sís T., so named after .... a g.g. of D, a prince and ruler in Israel. The import of the word is in s. Pass Ö.
The JD, s. the Lodge, conducts the Candidate to the right of the JW (Note: the Can and JD should stand side by side, facing west, by the side of the JWís pedestal).
JD (s. & s.): Bro. JW., I present to you Bro (name) upon his initiation.
JW: I will thank Bro (name) to advance to me as an EAF showing the s.
JD completes s. and instructs Can. as to s. and s.
JW: Have you anything to communicate?
CAN (prompted throughout by JD): I have.
JW rises and Can communicates g. guided by JD who adjusts Canís t. after which JW completes g.
JW: What is this?
CAN: The g or t of an EAF.
JW: What does this g demand?
CAN: A w.
JW: Give me that w.
JD. prevents Can from answering and dictates the following: At my initiation I was taught to be cautious, I will l. or h. it with you.
JW: xxx it and begin. (If the WM has híd it the JW should l. it and vice versa)
JW: Pass ....
The JD, s the Lodge, conducts Can. to the right of the SW (Note The Can. and JD should stand side by side by the SWís pedestal, facing north)
JD (with s. & s.): Bro SW., I present to you Bro (name) upon his initiation.
SW: I will thank Bro (name) to advance to me as a Mason.
JD completes s. and instructs Can, to take s. only.
SW (points): What is that?
CAN (prompted throughout by JD): The first r.s. in Freemasonry.
SW: Do you bring anything with you?
CAN: I do (gives s. instructed by JD).
SW: What is that?
CAN: The s. of an EAF.
SW: To what does it allude?
CAN: The symbolic penalty of the degree, which implied that as a man of honour and an EAF., I would rather have had my t .c a. (suiting the action to the words as instructed by the JD) than improperly disclose the secrets of Freemasonry.
SW: Have you anything to communicate?
CAN: I have.
SW rises and Can communicates g. guided by JD who adjusts Canís t, after which SW completes g.
SW: What is this?
CAN: The g. or t. of an EAF.
SW: What does this g. demand?
CAN: A w.
SW: Give me that w.
JD again prevents Can from answering and dictates the following: At my initiation I was taught to be cautious, I will l. or h. it with you.
SW: xxx it and begin. (If the JW has híd it the SW should l. it and vice versa, i.e. he copies WM).
SW: Whence was this word derived?
CAN: From the l.h.p. which stood at the p.c. to K.S.T., so named after ..., a g.g. of D, a prince and ruler in Israel.
SW: The import of the word?
CAN: In Ö.
SW: Pass Ö. (SW remains standing).
The JD conducts Can to the left of the SW, placing Canís r h. in the l h. of the SW squaring Can to face WM.
SW (s & s): WM, I present to you Bro (name) on his initiation for some mark of your favour.
WM: Bro SW I delegate you to invest our Brother with the distinguishing badge of an EAF. (SW completes s.)
SW (keeping hold of apron during whole of discourse): Bro (name) by the WMís command I invest you with the distinguishing badge of an EAF. It is more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honourable than the Star, Garter or any other order in existence, being the badge of innocence and the bond of friendship and I strongly exhort you ever to wear and consider it as such; and I further inform you that if you never disgrace that badge (SW strikes a and all the Brethren strike their own badge simultaneously) it will never disgrace you.
Pay attention to the WM
Note. EAĎs Apron must always be worn flap up.
SW hands Can over to JD and resumes his seat. JD takes Can to NW corner of Lodge.
WM: I will add to the observations of our Bro SW, that you are never to put on that badge should you be about to enter a Lodge in which there is a Brother with whom you are at variance or against whom you entertain feelings of animosity. In such a case it is expected that you will invite him to withdraw in order to settle your differences amicably, which, if happily effected, you may then clothe, enter the Lodge and work with that love and harmony which should at all times characterise Freemasons. But if, unfortunately, your differences are of such a nature as not to be so easily adjusted, it were better that one or both of you retire than that the harmony of the Lodge should be disturbed by your presence.
Bro JD, (JD gives s & s) place our Brother in the NE part of the Lodge. (JD completes s.)
JD: Step off with your left foot.
Conducts Can to NE corner of Lodge where both face South): Stand with your l.f. across the Lodge and r.f down the Lodge. Pay attention to the WM.
WM: Bro (name) it is customary at the erection of all stately and superb edifices to lay the first or foundation stone at the NE corner of the intended building. You, being newly admitted into Freemasonry, are placed in the NE part of the Lodge (points) figuratively to represent that stone and on the foundation laid this evening may you raise a superstructure perfect in its parts and honourable to the builder. You now stand to all external appearances a just and upright EAF., and I give it to you in terms of strong recommendation ever to continue and act as such; indeed I shall immediately proceed to put your principles to the test by calling upon you to exercise that virtue which may justly be denominated the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemasonís heart: I mean Charity. I need not here dilate on its excellences, doubtless it has often been felt and practised by you. Suffice it to say, it has the approbation of Heaven and Earth, and like its sister, Mercy, blesses him who gives as well as he who receives. In a society so widely extended at that of Freemasonry, whose branches are spread over the four quarters of the globe, it cannot be denied that we have many members of rank and opulence; neither can it be concealed that among the thousands who range under its banner, there are some, who from circumstances of unavoidable calamity and misfortune, are reduced to the lowest ebb of poverty and distress. On their behalf it is our usual custom to awaken the feelings of every newly-made Brother by making such an appeal to his charity as his circumstances in life may fairly warrant. Anything therefore, you feel disposed to give, you will deposit with our Brother JD, it will be thankfully received, and faithfully applied.
SD stands at Candidates left while JD advances a few paces and, turning to face. Candidate asks him.
JD: Have you anything to give in the cause of Masonic charity?
Can replies (Note: The Can should not be prompted to reply, If the Candidate does not reply quickly the JD should repeat the question and obtain an answer).
JD: Were you divested of all ms. and m.ss previous to entering the Lodge?
JD: Otherwise would you have given freely?
JD (standing in from of and facing WM with s and s): WM our Bro affirms that he was divested of all ms. and m ss. previously to entering the Lodge, otherwise he would have given freely.
JD completes s and resumes position at r of Can, SD sits.
WM: I congratulate you on the honourable sentiments by which you are actuated, likewise on the inability which in the present instance precludes you from gratifying them. Believe me, my Brother, this trial was not made with a view to sport with your feelings: far be it from us any such intention. It was made for three especial reasons: first, as I have already premised, to put your principles to the test; secondly to evince to the Brethren that you had neither ms nor m ss about you, for if you had, the ceremony of your initiation thus far must have been repeated, and thirdly, as a warning to your heart, that should you at any time meet a friend or Brother in distressed circumstances, who might solicit your assistance, you will remember the peculiar moment you were received into Freemasonry, poor and p., and cheerfully embrace the opportunity of practising towards him that virtue you now profess to admire.
I will now present to your notice the working tools of an Entered Apprentice Freemason (JD conducts Candidate to front of WMís pedestal. WM stands) They are the 24 inch Gauge, the Common Gavel and the Chisel. The 24in. gauge is to measure the work; the common gavel to knock off all superfluities, the chisel is to further smooth and prepare the stone for the hands of the more expert workmen
But as we are not all operative, but rather free, accepted or speculative Masons we apply these tools to morals. In this sense the 24in. gauge represents the 24 hours of the day, part to be spent in prayer to Almighty God, part in labour and refreshment, and part in serving a friend or brother in time of need, that not being detrimental to ourselves or connections. The common gavel denotes the force of conscience which should keep down all vain and unbecoming thoughts which might obtrude during any of the afore-mentioned periods, so that our words and actions may ascend to the Throne of Grace unpolluted. The chisel points out the advantages of education, by which means alone we are rendered fit members of well-organised society.
As in the course of the evening you will be called upon for certain fees for your initiation, it is but right you should know under what authority we act. This is our Charter or Warrant of Constitution (opens and shows it) from the Grand Lodge of England, which is open for your inspection at this or any subsequent Lodge meeting.
This is the Book of Constitutions and these our By-Laws, both of which I recommend to your serious perusal, as by the one (presents Book of Constitutions) you may learn the duties you owe the Craft in general and by the other (presents By-Laws) to this Lodge in particular.
You are now at liberty to retire in order to restore your personal comfort, and on your return to the Lodge I shall call your attention to an ancient charge, founded on the excellences of the Institution and the qualifications of its members.
WM may wish to congratulate Candidate.
The JD, squaring the Lodge, conducts the Candidate to the NW corner.
JD: Salute the WM as an Entered Apprentice Freemason. (Done)
The Candidate then retires, JD and IG resume seats when Candidate ready. Tyler gives one knock.
IG (s & s): Bro JW, there is a report.
JW after receiving discreet acknowledgement from WM gives one knock. IG drops sign and opens door.
IG (to T): Whom have you there?
Tyler: Bro. (name) on his return.
IG: Wait while I report to the WM. (Closes door; goes to NW corner and with s & s says): WM, Bro (name) on his return.
WM: Admit him Bro IG. Bro JD.
IG drops sign and when joined by JD admits Candidate and secures door. JD places Candidate in NW corner
JD: Salute the WM as an EAF (Done).
JD then places Candidate in centre of Lodge and stands one pace to the rear. The WM, or some other brother (preferably a PM) appointed by him, then delivers the Ancient Charge which should never be omitted. The Charge is given from the appropriate side of the WMís pedestal.
Bro. (name), having passed through the ceremony of your initiation, I congratulate you on being admitted a member of our ancient and honourable institution. Ancient no doubt it is, as having subsisted from time immemorial, and honourable it must be acknowledged to be, as by a natural tendency, it conduces to make those so who arc obedient to its precepts.
Indeed, no institution can boast a more solid foundation than that on which Freemasonry rests: the practice of every moral and social virtue; and to so high an eminence has its credit been advanced that in every age monarchs themselves have been promoters of the art, have not thought it derogatory to their dignity to exchange the sceptre for the trowel, have patronised our mysteries, and joined in our assemblies.
As a Freemason, I recommend to your most serious contemplation the Volume of the Sacred Law; charging you to consider it as the unerring standard of truth and justice and to regulate your actions by the divine precepts it contains. Therein you will be taught the important duties you owe to God (gives s. of r on last two words) to your neighbour, and to yourself.
To GOD by never mentioning His name but with that awe and reverence which are due from the creature to his Creator; by imploring His aid on all your lawful undertakings; and by looking up to Him in every emergency for comfort and support.
If it is the custom of the Lodge WM may gavel and all stand with s. of r. during this last paragraph.
To YOUR NEIGHBOUR, by acting with him on the square, by rendering him every kind office which justice or mercy may require, by relieving his necessities and soothing his afflictions, and by doing to him as, in similar eases, you would wish he would do to you.
And to YOUR SELF, by such a prudent and well-regulated course of discipline as may best conduce to the preservation of your corporeal and mental faculties in their fullest energy, thereby enabling you to esert those talents wherewith God has blessed you as well to His glory as the welfare of your fellow creatures.
As a citizen of the world, I am to enjoin you to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing or at all countenancing any act that may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; by paying due obedience to the laws of any State which may for a time become the place of your residence, or afford you its protection, and above all, by never losing sight of the allegiance due to the Sovereign of your native land, ever remembering that nature has implanted in your breast a sacred and indissoluble attachment towards that country whence you derived your birth and infant nurture.
As an individual, I recommend the practice of every domestic as well as public virtue.
Let Prudence direct you,
Temperance chasten you,
Fortitude support you,
and Justice be the guide of all your actions.
Be especially careful to maintain in their fullest splendour those truly Masonic ornaments which have already been amply illustrated: Benevolence and Charity.
Still, as a Freemason, there are other excellences of character to which your attention may be peculiarly and forcibly directed. Amongst the foremost of these are Secrecy, Fidelity and Obedience.
Secrecy consists in an inviolable adherence to the obligation you have entered into, never improperly to disclose any of those Masonic secrets which have now, or may at any future period, be entrusted to your keeping, and cautiously to avoid all occasions which may inadvertently lead you so to do.
Your Fidelity must be exemplified by a strict observance to the Constitutions of the Fraternity, by adhering to the ancient landmarks of the Order, by never attempting to extort or otherwise unduly obtain, the secrets of a superior degree; and by refraining from recommending anyone to a participation in our secrets, unless you have strong grounds to believe that by a similar Fidelity he will ultimately reflect honour on your choice.
Your Obedience must be proved by a strict observance of our laws and regulations; by prompt attention to all signs and summonses; by modest and correct demeanour in the Lodge; by abstaining from every topic of political or religious discussion; by a ready acquiescence in all votes and resolutions duly passed by a majority of the Brethren; and by a perfect submission to the Master and his wardens, while acting in the discharge of their respective offices.
And, as a last general recommendation, I exhort you to dedicate yourself to such pursuits as may enable you to remain respectable in life, useful to mankind and an ornament to the Society of which you have this day become a member, that you will the more especially study such of the liberal arts and sciences as may lie within the compass of your attainment; and that without neglecting the ordinary duties of your station, you will feel yourself called upon to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
From the very commendable attention you appear to have given to this charge I am led to hope you will duly appreciate the value of Freemasonry, and indelibly imprint on your heart the sacred dictates of Truth, of Honour and of Virtue (Gives s. of f at each word-viz. Truth, Honour Virtue).
Lecture on the First Tracing Board
The usages and customs among Freemasons have ever borne a near affinity to those of the ancient Egyptians. Their philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, couched their systems of learning and polity under signs and hieroglyphical figures which were communicated to their chief priests, or Magi, alone, who were bound by solemn oath to conceal them. The system of Pythagoras was founded on a similar principle, as well as many others of more recent date. Masonry, however, is not only the most ancient but the most honourable Society that has ever existed, as there is not a character or emblem here depicted, but serves to inculcate the principles of piety and virtue among all its genuine professors.
I will first call your attention to the form of the Lodge, which is an oblong square, in length from East to West, in breadth between North and South, in depth from the surface of the earth to the centre, and even as high as the heavens The reason a Freemasonís Lodge is described of this vast extent is to show the universality of the science; likewise, that a Masonís charity should know no bounds save those of prudence.
Our Lodges stand on holy ground because the first Lodge was consecrated on account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met with Divine approbation. First, the ready compliance of Abraham with the will of God, in not refusing to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice, when it pleased the Almighty to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead. Secondly, the many pious prayers and ejaculations of King David, which actually appeased the wrath of God, and stayed a pestilence which then raged among his people, owing to his indiscreetly having had them numbered. Thirdly, the many thanksgivings, oblations, burnt sacrifices, and costly offerings which Solomon, King of Israel, made at the completion, dedication and consecration of the Temple at Jerusalem to Godís service. Those three did then, do now, and I trust ever will, render the ground of Freemasonry holy Our Lodges are situated due East and West, because all places of Divine worship, as well as Masonsí regular, well: formed and duly constituted Lodges are, or ought to be, so situated, for which we assign three Masonic reasons first, the sun, the Glory of the Lord, rises in the East and sets in the West, second, learning originated in the East and then spread its benign influence to the West, the thud, last and grand reason, which is too long to be entered upon now, is explained in the course of our Lectures, which I hope you will have many opportunities of hearing.
Our Lodges are supported by three great pillars. They are called Wisdom, Strength and Beauty: Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support and Beauty to adorn, Wisdom to conduct us in all our undertakings, Strength to support us under all our difficulties, and Beauty to adorn the inward man. The Universe is the Temple of the Deity whom we serve. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty are about His throne as pillars of His works, for His Wisdom is infinite, His Strength omnipotent, and Beauty shines through the whole of the creation in symmetry and order. The Heavens He has stretched forth as a canopy; the earth He has planted as a footstool; He crowns His Temple with stars as with a diadem, and with His hand He extends the power and glory. The Sun and Moon are messengers of His will and all His law is concord. The three great Pillars supporting a Freemasonís Lodge are emblematic of those Divine attributes and further represent S. K. of I., H. K. of T., and H. A.: S.K. of I. for his Wisdom in building, completing and dedicating the Temple at Jerusalem to Godís service; H.K. of T. for his strength in supporting him with men and materials; and H.A. for his curious and masterly workmanship in beautifying and adorning the same. But as we have no noble orders of Architecture known by the names of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, we refer them to three most celebrated, the Ionic, Doric and Corinthian.
The covering of a Freemasonís Lodge is a celestial canopy of divers colours, even the heavens. The way by which we, as Masons, hope to arrive there is by the assistance of a ladder, in Scripture called Jacobís ladder. It is composed of many staves or rounds, which point out as many moral virtues, but three principal, which are, Faith, Hope and Charity: Faith in the Great Architect of the Universe, Hope in salvation, and to be in Charity with all men. It reaches to the heavens and rests on the V. of the S.L., because by the doctrines contained in that Holy Book we are taught to believe in the dispensation of Divine Providence, which belief strengthens our Faith, and enables us to ascend the first step; this Faith naturally creates in us a hope of becoming partakers of the blessed promises therein recorded, which Hope enables us to ascend the second step; but the third and last, being Charity, comprehends the whole, and the Mason who is possessed of this virtue in its most ample sense, may justly be deemed to have attained the summit of his profession: figuratively speaking an ethereal mansion, veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament, emblematically depicted here by seven stars, which have an allusion to as many regularly made Masons, without which number no Lodge is perfect, neither can any candidate be legally initiated into the Order.
The interior of a Freemasons Lodge is composed of Ornaments, Furniture and Jewels. The Ornaments of the Lodge are the Mosaic Pavement, the Blazing Star, and the Indented or Tesselated Border the Mosaic Pavement is the beautiful flooring of the Lodge, the Blazing Star the glory in the centre, and the Indented or Tesselated Border the skirtwork round the same. The Mosaic Pavement may justly be deemed the beautiful flooring of a Freemasonís Lodge by reason of its being variegated and chequered. This points out the diversity of objects which decorate and adorn the creation, the animate as well as the inanimate. The Blazing Star or glory in the centre, refers to the Sun, which enlightens the earth and by its benign influence dispenses its blessing to mankind in general. The Indented or Tesselated Border refers us to the Planets, which in their various revolutions form a beautiful border or skirtwork round that grand luminary, the Sun, as the other does, round a Freemasonsí Lodge. The Furniture of the Lodge consists of the V. of the S.L., the Cs., and S.; the sacred words are to rule and govern our faith, on them we O. our Candidates for Freemasonry, so are the Cs. and S., when united, to regulate our lives and actions. The Sacred Volume is from God to man in general, the Cs. belong to the Grand Master in particular, and the S to the whole Craft.
The Jewels of the Lodge ate three movable and three immovable. The movable Jewels are the Square, Level, and Plumb Rule. Among operative Masons the Square is to try, whilst constructing rectangular corners of buildings and to assist in bringing rude matter into due form; the Level to lay levels and prove horizontals; and the Plumb Rule to try and adjust uprights, while fixing them on their proper bases. Among Free and Accepted Masons, the Square teaches morality, the Level equality and the Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and actions. They are called movable jewels because they are worn by the Master and his Wardens, and are transferable to their successors on nights of installation. The Master is distinguished by the Square, the Senior Warden by the Level, and the Junior Warden by the Plumb Rule. The immovable jewels are the Tracing Board and the Rough and Perfect Ashlars. The Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on the Rough Ashlar for the WA. to work, mark and indent on; and the Perfect Ashlar for the experienced craftsman to try and adjust his jewels on.
They are called immovable jewels because they he open and immovable in the Lodge for the Brethren to moralise upon. As the Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on the better to enable the Brethren to carry on the propriety, so the V. of the S.L. may justly be deemed the spiritual Tracing of the Great Architect of the Universe, in which are laid down such Divine laws and moral plans, that were we conversant therein and adherent thereto, would bring us to an ethereal mansion not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. The Rough Ashlar is a stone, rough and unhewn as taken from the quarry, until by the industry and ingenuity of the workman, it is modelled, wrought into due form, and rendered fit for the intended structure; this represents man in his infant or primitive state, rough and unpolished as that stone, until by the kind care and attention of his parents or guardians, in giving him a liberal and virtuous education, his mind becomes cultivated, and he is thereby rendered a fit member of civilised society.
The Perfect Ashlar is a stone of a true die or square, fit only to be tried by the S. and Cs.; this represents man in the decline of years, after a regular, well-spent life in acts of piety and virtue, which can no otherwise be tried and approved than by the S. of Godís Word and the Cs. of his own selfconvincing conscience.
In all regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges, there is a point within a c. from which Brethren cannot err; this c. is bounded between North and South by two grand parallel lines, one representing Moses, the other King Solomon; on the upper part of this c rests the V. of the S. L., supporting Jacobís ladder, the top of which reaches to the heavens; and were we as conversant with that Holy Book, and as adherent to the doctrines therein contained, as those parallels were, it would bring us to Him who will not deceive us, neither will He suffer deception. In going round this c., we must necessarily touch on both those parallel lines, likewise on the S.V.; and while a Mason keeps himself thus circumscribed, he cannot err. The word Lewis denotes strength, and is here depicted by certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, forming a cramp, and when in combination with some of the mechanical powers, such as a system of pulleys, it enables the operative Mason to raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance, and to fix them on their proper bases. Lewis likewise denotes the son of a Mason; his duty to his parents is to bear the heat and burden of the day, which they, by reason of their age ought to be exempt from, to assist them in time of need, and thereby render the close of their days happy and comfortable; his privilege for so doing is that of being made a Mason before any other person, however dignified.
Pendent to the corners of the Lodge are four tassels, meant to remind us of the four cardinal virtues, namely: Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice, the whole of which, tradition informs us, were constantly practised by a great majority of our ancient Brethren.
The distinguishing characteristics of a good Freemason are Virtue, Honour and Mercy; and may they ever be found in a Masonís breast.
WM: Brethren, assist me to close the Lodge. All rise.
WM: Bro. JW, JW s & s what is the constant care of every Freemason?
JW: To prove the Lodge close T.
WM: Direct that duty to be done.
JW cuts s: Bro. IG, IG s & s prove the Lodge close T.
IG cuts s, gives appropriate knocks.
When Tyler answers IG returns to NW and with s & s: Bro JW the Lodge is close T. Cuts sign.
JW gavel, s. & s: WM., the Lodge is close T. Cuts s.
WM: Bro. SW., SW s & s the next care?
SW: To see that the Brethren appear to order as Masons. SW cuts s.
WM: To order, Brethren, as Masons in the First Degree. Done.
WM: Bro. SW., your constant place in the Lodge?
SW.: In the West WM.
WM.: Why are you so placed?
SW: As the sun sets in the west to close the day, so is the SW placed in the west to close the Lodge by command of the WM having seen that every Brother has had his due.
WM: Brethren, before the Lodge is closed, WM or Chaplain let us with all reverence and humility express our gratitude to the G.A.O.T.U. for favours already received; may He continue to preserve the Order by cementing and adorning it with every moral and social virtue.
OMNES: So mote it be.
WM: Bro. SW., the labours of the evening being ended you have my command to close the Lodge. Gavel with rh.
SW . Brethren, in the name of the G.A.O.T.U., and by command of the WM, I close the Lodge. Gavel, with rh., and lowers C.
All cut sign.
JW: And it is closed accordingly until emergencies excepted, of which every Brother will receive due notice. Gavel.
The JW does not raise his Col. The only occasion when JW should raise Col., is when the Lodge is called from Labour to refreshment.
SD obscures TB.
IPM removes s & c and closes VSL.
IG gives 1į knocks.
IPM, with hand on VSL: Brethren, the Lodge being closed, nothing now remains but according to ancient custom to lock up our secrets in a safe repository, uniting in the act F.F F. Suiting actions to the words and copied by all Brethren.
OMNES: May God preserve the Craft no sign.
WM, if is the custom of the Lodge: Brethren, we will now sing the first verse of the National Anthem. Done.
WM: Closing Hymn, Brethren.
During the closing Hymn the procession will be formed, the DC and/or ADC, depending on custom of the Lodge, will square Lodge collecting JD and SD and then JW and SW. On reaching WMís pedestal Warden will halt and ADC and Deacons will continue to a convenient point in the South.
DC.: The Brethren will remain standing while the WM accompanied by his Wardens and other distinguished Brethren naming them by rank leave the Temple.
Procession moves off, IG opens doors and Deacons stand before doorway with wands arched for main procession to pass through.
Ceremony of Opening the Lodge in the First Degree