This program is an adaptation of the 4th Night Program as presented in the Instructor’s Manual. It is meant to be presented at a meeting immediately after one or more new Masons have been raised, but could just as easily be presented at any meeting where a brush up of Masonry is to be presented. It should be presented by at least 2 experienced Brothers, but having additional presenters, each taking a portion of the program, is preferred. Since this program attempts to teach many facets of our meetings, it is necessary that any presenter have enough experience to present and to answer questions.

Program Night Format

  • 6:30 Free Supper for all newly raised Master Masons in your lodge and/or the district
  • Open the Lodge in the Master Mason Degree
  • Offer new Master Masons an opportunity to give back their Master Mason Lesson,
    either as a group or individually            10 – 15 minutes
  • Instruction on Masonic Examinations    10 – 15 minutes
  • Protocol                                                 15 – 20 minutes
    • Lodge Room Behavior
    • Salutations
    • Entering an Open Lodge
    • Avouching
    • Masonic Titles
    • Grand Honors
  • Brief discussion of the Maine Masonic Textbook      10 minutes   
  • Balloting                                                                     10 – 15 minutes
  • Questions & Answers
  • 9:30    Wrap it up


Revised Fourth Night Program


A. Instruction on Masonic Examinations

How Examinations of visitors are conducted

  • Committee of three
  • Visitors examined individually
  • Who the visitor should approach (Tyler or Sr. Warden)

The visitor will be asked to:

  • Present his dues card (check with Tyler’s book for Lodge listing)
  • To repeat the Tyler’ Oath page 184 in cipher. In this Grand Jurisdiction, it is only necessary to repeat the oath, not read it or memorize it. (read this aloud)
  • Arrange the Great Lights in each degree (demonstrate)
  • Give due-guard and signs, grips and words (demonstrate)
  • Give Grand Masonic Word in proper manner (demonstrate)

In extreme circumstances the visitor may be asked to relate in his own words certain parts of the degrees
Once having satisfied the examining committee, the visitor has the right to inspect the Lodge’s Charter or Charter Certificate

B. Protocol


1. No one should pass between the East and the Altar.

  • Master relies on the Great Light (Holy Bible) to rule and govern his Lodge. Line of vision should never be broken.
  • Exception – during Degree work Officers may pass this way in a clockwise motion while conducting candidate.

2. Lodge at Labor.

  • No audible conversation or noise that will distract the  attention of the candidate or interrupt the business of the Lodge.
  • No one may leave the Lodge room without the permission of the W.M.

3. Lodge at Ease.

  • Same as Lodge at Labor except that the Brethren, may converse quietly.
  • No one should move about or leave Lodge room without the permission of the W.M.

4. Lodge at Refreshment.

  • Masonic term meaning, “Recess”.
    Permissible to leave the Lodge room.
    Craft is under the direction of the Junior Warden. He is responsible for the general welfare of the membership.


1. Due-guard given to

  • Worshipful Master or presiding officer from rear of altar on entering or retiring from an opened Lodge.
    Wor. Master or presiding officer when addressing him.
  • Due-guard and sign given in place for each degree with Grand hailing sign at the opening of M.M. Degree; F.C. Degree only the first two due-guards and signs; and the E.A. Degree only the first Due-guard and sign. Private Grand Honors – Due-guards and signs as given in M.M. opening, except no Grand Hailing Sign. (See Grand Honors)


1. Member or frequent visitor.

  • Tyler can avouch for – causes alarm at tyled door – J.D. responds at the order of the W.M., reports to the W.M. that X number of brethren are without, properly clothed and avouched for and wish to gain admission; permission granted, they enter, approach rear of Altar and give due guard and sign of Degree.
  • Tyler should be aware of the progress of the meeting and determine when a Brother should be admitted.
  • No one should be admitted during Degree work (should wait for break after first section) or balloting.
  • Emergency calls, from without for a member in a meeting should be delayed until a break, or the Tyler should use discretion and send a message by a Brother seated near the preparation room door. No alarm at tyled door during work.

2. Visitor for the first time.

  • Must be avouched for or examined.


1. General procedure.

  • Address the Senior Warden.
  • Give no signs.
  • Avouch only if you have sat in a Lodge with visitor.
  • A member of the Examining Committee can avouch for a visitor who   has passed the examination.
  • A Brother who will be absent from a meeting can avouch for a visitor only if he has sat in a Lodge with him, and can avouch for him in the presence of a Brother who will attend that meeting. This must be done in person and not over the phone.


1.   Brother

  • Entitled after taking Entered Apprentice obligation

2.  Worshipful

  • Entitled after installation as Worshipful Master
  • Entitled to all appointed Grand Lodge Line Officers

3.   Very Worshipful 

  • Entitled – District Education Representative

4.   Right Worshipful

  • Entitled – Elected Grand Lodge officers: DGM, SGW, JGW, GT, GS
  • Appointive: DDGM and Grand Lecturer, Asst Grand Lecturer

5/. Most Worshipful

a. Entitled – Grand Master

6. Past Officers

  • Highest title attained is retained for life except appointed Grand Lodge Line Officers

7. Use of titles.

  • In Lodge – Always use Masonic Title with full name or last name
    Examples; R.W. Robert M. Jones or R.W. Bro. Jones
  • Do not use title and first name only in direct address or in correspondence; i.e. Bro. Bob.


Grand Honors are of two kinds: Public and Private. Each is given differently, and is intended for use on designated occasions as mentioned below. The manner in which Grand Honors are given and used as adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1940 is as follows:


A – How Given

Public Grand Honors are given “by crossing the arms upon the breast, the left uppermost, the tips of the fingers touching the points of the shoulders, and bowing three times with arms thus crossed.” This form was adopted in 1894.

B-When Used

Public Grand Honors are to be used in all public ceremonies that require the use of Grand Honors. They may be used also as a token of esteem “in receiving all Grand Lodge officers of our own or other Grand Jurisdictions, with the exceptions as noted under Private Grand Honors, and for permanent members of our own Grand Lodge.”


A – How Given

Private Grand Honors consist of the due guards and signs of the three degrees, each given on the step of the degree. These Private Grand Honors may be given” ‘in procession’ or ‘in place’ whichever is desired by the Grand Officer to be received, or as may be most expedient; if given “in procession” each Brother when reaching the East steps and faces the East and on step of degree gives due guard and sign of the first degree the first time around the hall, of the second degree the second time around, and of the third degree the third time around.”

B – When Used

Private Grand Honors shall be used when:

  • A Masonic Hall is to be dedicated; unless semi public
  • A new lodge is to be constituted; unless semi public
  • A new Master-elect is to be installed; unless semi public
  • The Grand Master or his official representative is to make an official visitation to a Lodge; unless semi public or opened on EA or FC Degree

In all cases, Private Grand Honors can only be given in a tyled lodge of Master Masons. These Honors may also be accorded to Past Grand Masters of our own or other Grand Jurisdictions.


The Maine Masonic Text Book, sometimes called the Blue Book, should be in the possession of every Mason as it contains about everything that the newly raised Mason needs to know at this stage of his Masonic career. It is not possible to explain the wealth of material in this book in the time available; however, we will endeavor to highlight some areas that may prove helpful and instructive. The Table of Contents in the front of your book provides an easy reference for further study and research on your part.

The First chapter gives a brief history of Masonry. While Masonry is said to have existed before written records it is sufficient for our purposes to say that Speculative Masonry as we know it today began when the First Grand Lodge was formed in London, England in June, 1717.

The second chapter describes the opening and closing ceremonies, and the Form for Minutes of the Meeting. As they are a necessary and important part of every communication of your lodge knowledge of them will make you much more conversant with the affairs and proper conduct of such meetings.

Chapters three through five pertain to the three degrees during which you were initiated, passed, and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.

Chapters six through eight concern Installation, Reception of Visitors and Masonic Processions. Acquaint yourself with chapter nine, Funeral Services, so that you might know who is entitled to Masonic burial.

Chapter thirteen, MISCELLANEOU5, contains information all Masons should be familiar with, especially the Jewels of the officers. These are worn suspended from the collars; also a likeness is sometimes imprinted on the officers’ aprons.

Chapter fourteen gives us the Sources of Masonic Law. They are: The Ancient Landmarks, The Ancient Charges, The Old Regulations, The Constitution of our Grand Lodge, The Regulations and Decisions of our Grand Lodge, The Usages and Customs of the Fraternity, and The By-Laws of the Lodge.

The Ancient Landmarks are twenty-five in number. Mackey in 1858 in an article on “The Foundations of Masonic Law” made the first distinct enumeration of the landmarks, which was subsequently incorporated in the Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence. Although never formally adopted by the Grand Lodge of Maine, they are printed for informational purposes in the Blue Book.

The First Landmark pertains to the modes of recognition on which you were taught during your progress through each degree.

Landmarks Nineteen, Twenty, and Twenty-one really blend together to form the foundation of the spiritual, moral and unalterable characteristics of Masonry.

Number Nineteen, a belief in the existence of God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, has to be one of the most significant and compelling landmarks.

Landmark Number Twenty, subsidiary to this belief in God as a landmark of the Order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life. To believe in Masonry, and not believe in a resurrection would be absurd.

Number Twenty-one is a landmark that a “Book of the Law” shall be an indispensable part of the furniture of every lodge. (This is also referred to as V.S.L. Volume of the Sacred Law.) THE BOOK OF THE LAW IS THAT VOLUME WHICH, BY THE RELIGION OF THE CANDIDATE, IS BELIEVED TO CONTAIN THE REVEALED WILL OF THE GRAND ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE. The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, are by definition the Furniture of the Lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction and must be displayed in an open Lodge. In the case of a non-Christian candidate, for the Volume of the Sacred Law peculiar to the candidate’s religion to be present on the Altar, we can conclude that both volumes should be present and open on the Altar.  The ideal arrangement would be to have them adjacent to each other on the Altar with two squares and compasses arranged in the manner appropriate to the degree being exemplified, one set of square and compasses on each Volume of the Sacred Law.  The Holy Bible should not be covered by another Volume of the Sacred Law because it is from the Holy Bible that the master of the lodge derives the light by which he rules and governs his lodge.    The candidate(s) can then be obligated on the Volume of the Sacred Law of his religion, as well as on the square, and the compasses, while the integrity of the arrangement of the Three Great Lights, viz., the Holy Bible, square, and compasses, is maintained.

The remaining chapters concern Masonic Offenses and the Digest of Opinions. There are countless ramifications to these subjects, but the answers to many questions that will arise from time to time will be found on these pages.


This part of the program is designed to be presented by two speakers.

Spk1:     Do you remember when you applied for the degrees?  Your petition was read and then it had to lay over for four weeks while the Committee of Inquiry did its work.  Once it had been read, it had to go to a ballot, no matter what you or the committee decided.  In fact, the ballot had to go on even if someone had filed an objection. 
Spk2:     What’s that?
Spk1:     If somebody went to the Worshipful Master or before the Lodge, and objected to you, it would count as a black ball, even if the objector wasn’t present for the ballot.
Spk2: Even if he isn’t there?
Spk1:     Yes and an objection is fatal to a petition, even after the ballot is held.  It counts as a black ball, right up to the Initiation.  After that it takes a two-thirds vote of the lodge to stop a candidate.

                    Once the Worshipful Master called for the petition, no one can enter or leave the Lodge room.  The Senior Deacon prepares the ballot box, and gives it to the Worshipful Master for inspection.  The Worshipful Master checks to see that there are enough white balls for the members present, and that there are at least six black cubes.  He reads the petition and instructs the brethren
                    The Wor. Master then announces: “Remember, my brothers:  the balls, which are white, elect.  The cubes, which are black, reject.  Be careful, and remember to vote for the good of the order.”
                    It is not true Masonry to reject an applicant because he has not paid you the homage which you think is due you, or because he is a friend or relation of someone whom you dislike or disrespect.  If you judge an applicant by these standards, all of our teachings have gone for naught.  If however you have sincere reservations regarding the fitness of the applicant to be taken by the hand as a brother, do not hesitate to give the lodge the benefits of those doubts.  Judge not on the basis of absolute perfection, rather, judge him as you would wish to be judged.
                    The Senior Deacon may pass around the Lodge, stopping at each officer’s station and at every member on the sidelines, or he may place the ballot box on a table behind the altar, but never on the altar.  He should never pass between the Master and the altar. Every member present must cast a ballot, although the Worshipful Master may excuse the Tyler.  When all present have balloted, the WM says:    “All present having balloted, I declare the ballot closed.”
              The Worshipful Master may direct the Senior Deacon to present the ballot box to the Senior and Junior Wardens, but, unless specified by the by-laws of the individual lodge, it is his prerogative.  The Master then inspects and destroys the ballot.  If there were two or more black cubes cast, the petition is rejected; if only one black cube is found, the Master immediately orders another ballot, without comment.  A single black cube on the second ballot is considered as a rejection, but it is the Master’s prerogative to order a third ballot, if he feels that there is some possibility of a mistake.  When the result of a ballot is announced, it is binding upon the Lodge.