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Duncan's Ritual of Freemansory
By Malcolm C. Duncan
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ENTERED APPRENTICE, OR FIRST DEGREE
Seven Freemasons, viz., six Entered Apprentices and one Master Mason, acting under a charter or dispensation from some Grand Lodge, is the requisite number to constitute a Lodge of Masons, and to initiate a candidate to the First Degree of Masonry.
They assemble in a room well guarded from all cowans and eaves-droppers, in the second or third story (as the case may be) of some building suitably prepared and furnished for Lodge purposes, which is, by Masons, termed "the Ground Floor of King Solomon's Temple."
The officers take their seats, as represented in the Plate on page 8. Lodge-meetings are arranged as follows, viz.: a "regular" is held but once a month (i. e. every month on, or preceding, the full of the moon in each month); special meetings are held as often as the exigency of the case may seem to demand, if every night in the week, Sunday excepted. If Tuesday should be Lodge night, by Masons it would be termed, "Tuesday evening on or before the full of the moon, a regular night."
All business relative to Masonry is done at a "regular," and in the Third, or Master Mason Degree. None but Master Masons are allowed to be present at such meetings; balloting for candidates is generally done on a "regular," also receiving petitions, committee reports, &c., &c.
A petition for the degrees of Masonry is generally received at a "regular" (though, as a common thing, Grand Lodges of each State make such arrangements as they may deem best for the regulation of their several subordinate Lodges).
At the time of receiving a petition for the degrees of Masonry, the Master appoints a committee of three, whose duty it is to make inquiry after the character of the applicant, and report good or bad, as the case may be, at the next regular meeting, when it is acted upon by the Lodge.
Upon reception of the committee's report, a ballot is had: if no black balls appear, the candidate is declared duly elected; but if one black ball or more appear, he is declared rejected.
No business is done in a Lodge of Entered Apprentices, except to initiate a candidate to the First Degree in Masonry, nor is any business done in a Fellow Crafts' Lodge, except to pass a Fellow Craft from the first to the second degree. To explain more thoroughly: when a candidate is initiated to 'the First Degree, he is styled as "entered;" when he has taken the Second Degree, "passed" and when he has taken the Third, "raised" to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason. No one is allowed to be present, in any degree of Masonry, except he be one of that same degree or higher. The Master always wears his hat when presiding as such, but no other officer, in a "Blue Lodge" (a "Blue Lodge" is a Lodge of Master Masons, where only three degrees are conferred, viz.: Entered Apprentice, lst; Fellow Craft, 2d; Master Mason, 3d. Country Lodges are mostly all "BLue Lodgers").
A Lodge of Fellow Craft Masons consists of five, viz.: Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Senior and Junior Deacons ; yet seven besides the Tyler generally assist, and take their seats as in the Entered Apprentice's Degree. The Fellow Craft Lodge is styled by Masons "the Middle Chamber, of King Solomon's Temple."
Three Master Masons is the requisite number to constitute a Masters' Lodge, which is called by Masons "the Sanctum Sanctorum , or, Holy of Holies of King Solomon's Temple." Although three are all that is required by "Masonic Law" to open a Third Degree Lodge, there are generally seven besides the Tyler, as in the other degrees.
All the Lodges meet in one room, alike furnished, for the conferring of the different degrees (E. A., F. C., and M. M.) ; but they are masonically styled by the Craft as the Ground Floor, Middle Chamber, and Sanctum Sanctorum.
A person being in the room, while open on the First Degree, would not see any difference in the appearance of the room from a Master Masons' Lodge. It is the duty of the Tyler to inform all the brethren on what degree the Lodge is at work, especially those that arrive too late (i.e., after the Lodge has been opened), so that none will be liable to give the wrong sign to the Worshipful Master when he enters. If the Lodge is opened on the First Degree, there might be present those who had taken only one degree, and, if the brother arriving late should be ignorant of this fact, and make a Third Degree sign, they would see it; consequently, caution on this point should always be given to such brethren by the Tyler, before entering the Lodge.
Usual way: Brethren that arrive too late come up to the anteroom, which they find occupied by the Tyler, sword in hand; after inquiring of the Tyler on what degree the Lodge is at work (opened), they put on an apron, and request the Tyler to let them in; the Tyler steps to the door, gives one rap ([??]), i.e. if opened on the First Degree; two raps ([??]), if Second Degree; three raps ([??]), if the Third Degree; which being heard by the Junior Deacon, on the inside, he reports to the Master the alarm, as follows, viz.:
J. D. — Worshipful Master, there is an alarm at the inner door of our Lodge.
W. M. — Attend to the alarm, Brother Junior, and ascertain the cause.
Junior Deacon opens the door and inquires of the Tyler the cause of the alarm; when the Tyler will report the brethren's names (which we will suppose to be Jones, Brown, and Smith).
J. D. (to the Master) — Brothers Jones, Brown, and Smith are without, and wish admission.
If they are known to the Master, he will say, "Admit them."
Deacon opens the door, and says, in an under tone of voice, "Come in." These brothers advance to the centre of the Lodge, at the altar make the duegard, and sign of the degree on which the Lodge is opened, which is responded to by the Master, and then take their seats among the brethren. No brother is allowed to take his seat until he has saluted the Worshipful Master on entering a Lodge; and if one omits his duty in this respect, he is immediately reminded of it by either the Master or some one of the brethren present. The Tyler generally cautions the brethren, before entering the Lodge, about giving the sign, before passing them through the door; the Junior Deacon the same, as soon as they are in. This officer's station is at the inner door, and it is his duty to attend to all alarms from the outside, to report the same to the Master, and get his permission before admitting any one.
The author remembers seeing the duegard and sign of a Master Mason given, while yet an Entered Apprentice Mason: he was sitting one evening in the Lodge, when a brother of the Third Degree came in, and very carelessly saluted the Master with the Master's duegard and sign, undoubtedly supposing the Lodge open on that degree — a very common error among Masons.
In large cities there are often more than one Lodge. Some cities have ten or twenty, and even more; in the cities of New York and Brooklyn there are one hundred and thirty-five Lodges, besides Chapters, Councils, Commanderies, &c., &c. Consequently, there are Lodge-meetings of some sort every night in the week, excepting Sunday, and of course much visiting is going on between the different Lodges. The visitors are not all known to the Masters personally; but the brethren are, generally, acquainted with each other, and of course have often to be vouched for in some of the Lodges, or pass an examination; and for the purpose of giving the reader an idea of the manner in which they are admitted, the author will suppose a case, in order to illustrate it. Jones, Smith, and Brown, belonging to Amity Lodge, No. 323, in Broadway, New York, wish to visit Hiram Lodge, No. 449, of Twenty-fifth Street, and for that purpose go on Lodge night to the hall of Hiram Lodge, No. 449, and ask the Tyler for admission. The Tyler, perhaps, will say — Brothers, are you acquainted with our Master, or any of the brethren in the Lodge? Smith, Jones, and Brown will say, perhaps, Yes; or, We can't tell, but pass our names in, and if there are any acquainted with us, they will vouch for our masonic standing. The Tyler does so, in the manner already described; and, if they are vouched for by either Master or any brother, they are admitted, the Tyler telling them on what degree the Lodge is opened, besides furnishing them with aprons.
On the evening of a Lodge-meeting, brethren generally get together at an early hour at the Lodge-room, which has been opened and cleaned out by the Tyler. On arrival of the Master, and the hour of meeting, the Master repairs to his seat in the east, puts on his hat,1 sash, yoke, and apron, with gavel in hand, and says: "Brethren will be properly clothed and in order; officers repair to their stations for the purpose of opening."
At this announcement the brethren put on their aprons, and seat themselves around the Lodge-room, while the officers invest themselves with their yokes and aprons, and take their stations as represented in Plate on page 8, viz.: Senior Warden in the west; Junior Warden in the south; Senior Deacon in front of the Worshipful Master in the east, and a little to his right hand, with a long rod in hand; Junior Deacon at the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west, guarding the inner door of the Lodge, with rod in hand; Secretary at the left of the Worshipful Master, and Treasurer at the right; and, generally, two Stewards on the right and left of the Junior Warden in the south, with rods in hand. After all are thus seated, the Worshipful Master says: "Is the Tyler present? If so, let him approach the east."
At this command, the Tyler, who is all this time near the outer door of the Lodge, approaches the Worshipful Master's seat in the east, with yoke and apron on.
W. M. — Brother Tyler, your place in the Lodge?
Tyler — Without the inner door.
W. M. — Your duty there?
Tyler — To keep off all cowans and eavesdroppers, and not to pass or repass any but such as are duly qualified and have the Worshipful Master's permission.
W. M. — You will receive the implement of your office (handing him the sword). Repair to your post, and be in the active discharge of your duty. (See Note A, Appendix.)
The Tyler retires to the inside of the outer door of the anteroom, and all Lodge-doors are closed after him.
W. M. (gives one rap with his gavel, Junior Deacon rises up) — Brother Junior Deacon, the first and constant care of Masons when convened?
Junior Deacon — To see that the Lodge is duly tyled.
W. M. — You will attend to that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to open a Lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons (Fellow Crafts, or Master Masons, as the case may be), and direct him to tyle accordingly.
The Deacon opens the door, and says to the Tyler — Brother Tyler, it is the orders of the Worshipful Master that you tyle this Lodge as an Entered Apprentice (Fellow Crafts, or Master Mason, as the case may be) ; then closes the door, gives one rap (two, if a Fellow Crafts', or three, if a Masters' Lodge), which is responded to by the Tyler.
J. D. — Worshipful Master, the Lodge is tyled.
W. M. — How tyled?
J. D. — By a brother of this degree, without the inner door, invested with the proper implement of his office (the sword).
W. M. — His duty there?
J. D. — To keep off all cowans 2 and eavesdroppers; suffer none to pass or repass, except such as are duly qualified, and have the Worshipful Master's permission. (Sits down.)
W. M. (one rap, Warden rises to his feet.) — Brother Senior Warden, are you sure that all present are Entered Apprentice Masons (Fellow Crafts, or Master Masons? as the case may be).
S. W. — I am sure, Worshipful Master, that all present are Entered Apprentice Masons (or as the case may be).
W. M. — Are you an Entered Apprentice Mason?
S. W. — I am so taken and accepted among all brothers and fellows.
W. M. — Where were you first prepared to be made an Entered Apprentice Mason?
S. W. — In my heart.
W. M. — Where secondly?
S. W. — In a room adjacent to a legally constituted Lodge of such, duly assembled in a place representing the Ground Floor of King Solomon's Temple.
W. M. — What makes you an Entered Apprentice Mason?
S. W. — My obligation.
W. M. — How many constitute a Lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons?
S. W. — Seven or more, consisting of the Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Senior and Junior Deacons, Secretary, and Treasurer.
W. M. — The Junior Deacon's place?
S. W. — At the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west.
W. M. (two raps with his gavel, when all the officers of the Lodge rise to their feet.) — Your duty there, brother Junior Deacon?
J. D. (makes the sign of an Entered Apprentice Mason, see Fig. 2, page 17.) — To carry orders from the Senior Warden in the west to the Junior Warden in the south, and elsewhere around the Lodge, as he may direct, and see that the Lodge is tyled.
W. M. — The Senior Deacon's place in the Lodge?
J. D. — At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M. — Your duty there, brother Senior?
S. D. — To carry orders from the Worshipful Master in the east to the Senior Warden in the west, and elsewhere around the Lodge, as he may direct; to introduce and clothe all visiting brethren; to receive and conduct candidates.
W. M. — The Secretary's place in the Lodge?
S. D. — At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M. — Your duty, brother Secretary?
Sec. — To observe the Worshipful Master's will and pleasure, record the proceedings of the Lodge, transmit a copy of the same to the Grand Lodge, if required, receive all moneys paid into the Lodge by the hands of the brethren, pass the same over to the Treasurer, and take his receipt for the same.
W. M. — The Treasurer's place in the Lodge?
Sec. — At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.
W. M. — Your duty there, brother Treasurer?
Treas. — To receive all moneys paid into the Lodge from the hands of the Secretary, keep a regular and just account of the same, and pay it out by the order of the Worshipful Master and the consent of the Lodge.
W. M. — The Junior Warden's station in the Lodge?
Treas. — In the south, Worshipful.
W. M. — Your duty there, brother Junior Warden?
J. W. — As the sun in the south, at high meridian, is the beauty and glory of the day, so stands the Junior Warden in the south, the better to observe the time, call the craft from labor to refreshment, superintend them during the hours thereof, and see that the means of refreshment be not converted into intemperance or excess; and call them on to labor again, that they may have pleasure and profit thereby.
W. M. — The Senior Warden's station in the Lodge?
J. W. — In the west, Worshipful.
W. M. — Why in the west, brother Senior, and your duty there?
S. W. — To assist the Worshipful Master in opening and closing his Lodge, pay the craft their wages, if any be due, and see that none go away dissatisfied, if in my power to prevent, harmony being the strength of all institutions, more especially of this of ours.
W. M. — The Worshipful Master's station in the Lodge?
S. W. — In the east, Worshipful.
W. M. — Why in the east, and his duty there?
S. W. — As the sun rises in the east, to open and govern the day, so rises the Worshipful Master in the east (here he gives three raps with his gavel, when all the brethren of the Lodge rise, and himself), to open and govern his Lodge, set the craft to work, and give them proper instructions.
W. M. — Brother Senior Warden, it is my orders that this Lodge be opened on the First Degree of Masonry (or Second, or Third Degree, as the case may be). For the dispatch of business during which time, all private committees, and other improper, unmasonic conduct, tending to destroy the peace of the same while engaged in the lawful pursuits of Masonry, are strictly forbidden, under no less penalty than a majority of the brethren present, acting under the by-laws of this Lodge, may see fit to inflict: this you will communicate to the Junior, Warden in the south, and he to the brethren around the Lodge, that they, having due and timely notice, may govern themselves accordingly.
Excerpted from Duncan's Ritual of Freemansory by Malcolm C. Duncan. Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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