Contents of the Blue Book


Masonry Its Organization. History
Opening and Closing a Lodge. Form for Minutes
Admission of Candidates. The First Degree
The Second, or Fellow Crafts’ Degree
The Third or Master Mason’s Degree
Installation of the Officers of a Lodge
Reception of Visitors
Masonic Processions
Funeral Service
Installation of Grand Officers
Constitution of a New Lodge
Dedication of Masonic Halls
Laying the Corner Stone of a Public Edifice


Sources of Masonic Law
The Ancient Landmarks
The Ancient Charges
The Old Regulations
Masonic Offenses and Their Punishment
Incorporation of “Trustees of
the Charity Fund”

Digest of Decisions



No one, elected or appointed to office in a chartered lodge, can enter upon the discharge of his duties until he has been installed. The officers of a lodge under dispensation receive their authority directly from the Grand Master or Grand Lodge, and cannot he installed: and they acquire no rank by such service.

The officers of a newly constituted lodge are installed by the Grand Master, or his representative: and he may, in person or by special Deputy, at his pleasure install the officers of any lodge. Subject to this prerogative of the Grand Master, it is the right and duty of every Master to install his successor, or cause him to be installed. But a Warden, acting as Master, cannot, unless he is a Past Master, install his successor, although he may call a Past Master to the chair to perform the ceremony. Any Past Master, and no one but a Past Master (and by that term is meant the Past Master of a lodge), can install a Master. When the Master has been installed, it devolves upon him to install the other officers, but, of course, he may call upon the one who installed him to install all of them. In England, it has been the custom for each subordinate officer to install his successor, but it has not been adopted in this country to any great extent: the retiring officer is sometimes called upon to invest his successor, and even to deliver the charge, but he does this only as the mouth-piece of the Installing Officer. An installed officer holds his office until his successor is installed: and hence, while a reelected officer should be re-installed, yet, if he is not, he will hold his office by virtue of his former election and installation.

If objections are made by a member of the lodge, to the installation of any officer, the Installing Officer should examine the objections, and, if he deems them insufficient, should proceed with the installation: but if he deems them sufficient, he must suspend the installation of that officer and appoint a time and place for a hearing upon the truth of the allegations upon which the objections are based. If he finds that the allegations are not true, he installs the officer: if he finds that they are true, and that the officer ought not to be installed, he must send to the lodge a certificate to that effect to he entered on its records, and the proper measures should be taken to hold a new election. If the installing officer is the Grand Master, or his Deputy specially authorized to hear and determine objections to an installation, there is no appeal from his decision: but in all other cases, an appeal lies to the Grand Master from the final decision of the Installing Officer, and, in case an appeal is taken, all further proceedings are suspended until it is determined. But if the decision of the Installing Officer is that the objections are not sufficient, or are not sustained at the hearing, the appeal from his decision must he taken before the installation, or it will be too late.

While, in some jurisdictions, officers can be installed only in a tyled lodge, in this and most others they may be installed in public. When the installation is public, arrangements should be made for the following programme:

Installation Of The Master.
Music.-Master’s Installation Ode.
Installation Of Senior Warden.
Music.-Senior Warden’s Installation Ode.
Installation of Junior warden.
Music.-Junior Warden’s Installation Ode.
Installation of other Officers.

The lodge should open at its Hall and march in procession to the place where the ceremonies are to be performed: and, after they are finished, return to its Hall and close. If the services are at the Hall, the lodge should be opened and closed in an ante-room, and never in the presence of profanes.

A portion of the ceremony of the installation of a Master can be performed only in a Convention of not less than three Past Masters of a lodge. It is known as the Past Master’s Degree,” and is often confounded with a degree of the same name conferred in Royal Arch Chapters; but the Chapter Past Master cannot, in this State, be recognized by a Past Master of a lodge. In different jurisdictions, the usage, as to the time when this ceremony is to be per-formed, differs: in some, it must be performed as a part of the installation ceremony; in these, when the installation is in a lodge, all except Past Masters (including Masters in the chair) are required, at the proper time, to retire, while the Master is invested with this “degree,” and then to return to assist in the remaining ceremonies; and when the installation is public, this ceremony is either performed before leaving the lodge room for the public hall, or after returning from the public services: in others, the Installing Officer, at his convenience, generally before, but it may be after, the installation, with the necessary assistance, performs this part of the ceremony.

After installation the officer is entitled to serve, unless it appears that he is actually ineligible, all other questions being settled by the installation. When an officer is declared. by competent authority, to be duly installed, his installation is valid, although portions, or even all, of the ceremony have been omitted.

When a meeting is held for installation, the lodge must be opened on the third degree. A suitable Brother is appointed as Marshal for the occasion, to present the officers and perform such other duties as the Installing Officer may require of him.

After a prayer and (if practicable) appropriate music, the Marshal, by direction of the Installing Officer, collects the Jewels, the Three Great Lights, the Rule, the Line, the Book of Constitutions, the Charter, the Records, the By-Laws, the Gavel, the Truncheons of the Wardens, the Deacons’ Rods, the Stewards’ Rods, the Marshal’s Baton and the Tyler’s Sword, and place them upon a table, so arranged that he can promptly hand them to the Installing Officer when required.


Ins. Officer.

Brother Marshal, you will present to me the Master elect of _____________Lodge.

Marshal- Worshipful Master, I present Brother________________ to be installed Master of this Lodge. He has been found to be of good morals and of great skill, true and trusty, and as he is a lover of the whole Fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth, we doubt not he will discharge his duty with fidelity.

Ins. Officer- Let him face the West. Brethren, [and all who are present] you now behold before you Brother who has been duly elected Master of this Lodge and is now presented for installation. If any one of you know aught wherefore he should not be installed into that most honorable and responsible office, stand forth and declare it, or forever after hold your peace ! Hearing no objections, I will proceed with the installation. Brother Marshal, you will place our Brother at the altar, there to receive the benefit of prayer, and take upon himself his official obligation.

The Master elect is placed at the altar facing the East; the Chaplain is conducted to the altar facing the West. All rise.


Most Holy and Glorious Lord God, we approach Thee with reverence and implore Thy blessing on this Brother, elected to preside over this Lodge, and now kneeling before Thee. Fill his heart with Thy fear, that his tongue and actions may pronounce Thy glory. Make him steadfast in Thy service; grant him firmness of mind; animate his heart and strengthen his endeavors. May he teach Thy judgments and Thy laws, and be a true and faithful servant. Bless him, o Lord, and bless the work of his hands.

Accept us in mercy. Hear Thou our prayer. Forgive our transgressions; and, finally, receive us into the Celestial Lodge above, where Thou forever reignest Amen.

Response. So mote it be.

Ins. Officer to Master elect, still kneeling.- You will repeat after me your official obligation:

I solemnly promise, upon the honor of a Mason, that in the office of Master of _____________ Lodge, I will, according to the best of my abilities, strictly comply with the Constitution and Regulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine, and all other ancient Masonic usages, so far as the same shall come to my knowledge.

The Brethren are seated.

Ins. Officer to Master elect, still kneeling.- MY BROTHER: Previous to your investiture, it is necessary that you should signify your assent to those ancient charges and regulations which point Out the duty of a Master of a lodge:

You agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law.

You agree to be a peaceable citizen, and cheerfully to conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.

You promise not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme legislature.

You agree to pay a proper respect to the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men.

You agree to hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the Order of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations; and to submit to the awards and resolutions of your Brethren, when convened, in every case consistent with the Constitutions of the Order.

You agree to avoid private piques and quarrels, and to guard against intemperance and excess.

You agree to be cautious in carriage and behavior, courteous to your brethren, and faithful to your lodge.

You promise to respect genuine Brethren, and to discountenance impostors and all dissenters from the original plan of Masonry.

You agree to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the Lodge

You promise to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his officers when duly installed, and strictly to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, or general assembly of Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and groundwork of Masonry.

You admit that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry.

You promise a regular attendance on the committees and communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice, and to pay attention to all the duties of Masonry, on convenient occasions.

You admit that no new lodge shall be formed without permission of the Grand Lodge, and that no countenance be given to any irregular lodge or to any person clandestinely initiated therein, being contrary to the ancient charges of the Order.

You admit that no person can be regularly made a Mason in, or admitted a member of, any regular lodge, without previous notice and due inquiry into his character.

You agree that no visitors shall be received into your lodge without due examination, and producing proper vouchers of their having been initiated in a regular lodge.

These are the regulations of Free and Accepted Masons. Do you submit to these charges, and promise to support these regulations, as Masters have done in all ages before you?

The Master assents.

Ins. Officer- In consequence of your cheerful conformity to the charges and regulations of the Order, you are now to be installed Master of this Lodge, your Brethren having full confidence in your care, skill and capacity to govern the same.

Brother Marshal, conduct the Master elect from the altar to the East.

My Brother: With pleasure I invest you with this jewel of your office, the SQUARE. As the Square is employed by operative Masons to fit and adjust the stones of a building, that all the parts may properly agree, so you, as Master of this lodge, are admonished, by the symbolic meaning of the Square upon your breast, to preserve that moral deportment, among the members of your lodge, which should ever characterize good Masons; and to exert your authority to prevent ill-feeling or angry discussion arising to impair the harmony of their meetings.

I also present to you the three Great Lights in Masonry: the Holy Bible Square and Compasses..

The Bible, the Great Light in Masonry will guide you to all truth will direct your paths to the temple of happiness, and point out to you the whole duty of man.

The Square teaches us to harmonize our conduct by the principles of morality and virtue.

The Compasses teach us to limit our desires in every station, that, rising to eminence by merit, we may live respected and die regretted.

I also present to you the RULE and LINE. The Rule directs that we should punctually observe our duty, press forward in the path of virtue, and, inclining neither to the right nor the left, in all our actions have Eternity in view.

The Line teaches us the criterion of moral rectitude, to avoid dissimulation in conversation and action, and to direct our steps to the path which leads to Immortality.

The BOOK OF CONSTITUTIONS you are to search at all times. Cause it to be read in your lodge, that none may pretend ignorance of its requirements.

You now receive in charge the CHARTER, by authority of which this lodge is held. Without its presence you cannot open your lodge: you are, therefore, to preserve it carefully and transmit it safely to your successor.

You also receive in charge the By-Laws and RECORDS of your lodge. You are to see that the By-Laws are faith-fully obeyed and that the RECORDS are correctly kept, determining what is proper to be recorded.

And lastly, I place in your hand this GAVEL, the use of which you have already been taught. Use it not arbitrarily, but prudently, and. if occasion require, firmly, to the end that good order and harmony be preserved.

The symbolic colors of your station are white, and are emblematic of Innocence, of Peace, and of Wisdom. In its application to humanity the color white denotes purity, good reputation, and happiness. In its Sacred Language it signifies the regeneration of the soul, and in Divine Language it is the symbol of Divine Wisdom of the Supreme Grand Architect of the Universe.

“Wisdom,” says Solomon, ” is the glorious emanation of the All-Powerful Divine, the purity of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the operations of God, and the image of his goodness; it is a one, yet it is capable of becoming a plurality. The Prophets saw the Divinity clothed in a garment white as snow, and his hair white, like unto wool.” “God created the universe from his love, and he sustains it by his wisdom. In every system of Cosmogony, the Divine wisdom, the Eternal light dissipates the primitive darkness, and fashions the world in the womb of Chaos.”

This symbol is also represented by a white taper, which at the opening of the lodge you are (presumed) to light at the altar, thereby reminding you that before entering upon the important duties of your station you should first seek to be enlightened by the Divine wisdom, which can only be obtained by diligently searching the revealed word of Him “who is without beginning of days or end of years. “*

I now conduct you to the Oriental Chair, and hail you as Master of this lodge. Call up the Brethren. Done.

Master, Behold your Brethren!

Brethren, Behold your Master!

Brethren, Salute your Master!

The brethren salute the Master, who remains seated, with the Private Grand Honors if the ceremony is private, or with the Public Grand Honors if other than Masons are present The Brethren are then seated, and the Installation Ode may be sung.

If the Installation is in a lodge, instead of following the foregoing form, after the by-Laws and Records are presented to the Master, the Installing Officer may adopt the following:

Ins. Officer.- You will now be solemnly inducted into the Oriental Chair of King Solomon: during the performance of this ceremony, it is requested that all but regularly installed Masters of lodges and Past Masters, will retire.

All but Masters and Past Masters having retired, the new Master is invested with the mysteries of the Past Master’s degree and solemnly inducted into the chair.

When the doors are opened, the brethren return and form an avenue from the West to the East, the new Master being in the chair.

Ins. Officer.-Master, behold your Brethren! Brethren, behold your Master!

*From William M. Cunningham’s “Craft Masonry”: to be used or omitted at discretion.

The grand honors are given, after which a procession is formed and the brethren pass around the lodge three times, signifying their respect and obedience by the usual distinctive marks in the different degrees, during which time the Installation Ode may be sung.



Behold, O Master in the East,
What glories greet thee there;
What floods of radiance eastward stream:
The sun is rising fair.

Behold, O Master, glorious Arts
Were cradled in the East;
Behold what Sciences came forth
Man’s waking mind to

O Master, in thy symbolled East.
Seek Wisdom from above;
And spread the light which Heaven shall send
Within the
Lodge in Love.

The Marshal is directed to conduct the Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary elect to the East, where, standing with the right hand on the left breast, they take the official obligation and are severally presented to the Installing Officer.


MY BROTHER:-You have been elected Senior Warden of this lodge, and I now invest you with this jewel and the implement of your office.

The LEVEL demonstrates that we are descended from the same stock, partake of the same nature, and share the same hope; and though distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet no eminence of station should make us forget that we are Brethren; because a time will come, and the wisest knows not how soon, when all distinction but that of goodness shall cease, and death, the grand leveller of human greatness, reduce us to the same state.

Your regular attendance on the meetings of your lodge is essentially necessary. In the absence of the Master, you are to govern the lodge. I firmly rely on your knowledge of Masonry and attachment to the lodge, for the faithful discharge of the duties of this important trust.

Your station in the West denotes the affection of, or the love of, truth. The symbolic colors of your station are red, which is emblematic of Strength, of Zeal, of Virtue, and of Love.

This symbol is represented by the red taper, which at the opening of the lodge you are (presumed) to light at the altar, there6y reminding you that before entering upon the duties of your station, you should first seek an endowment of that strength and Divine love which is requisite for the faithful discharge of the duties of your office.]

Look well to the West.

The Senior Warden is conducted to the West by the Marshal, and the following words may be sung:

O Warden, with thy LEVEL poised, What lesson dost thou
Are all men equal? Shall the worm On king and peasant
O Warden, where King Hiram stood,
Like him, seek Strength above;
Sustain the East, pay all their dues,
Protect the weak in love.

No one, elected or appointed to office in a chartered lodge, can enter upon the discharge of his duties until he has been installed. The officers of a lodge under dispensation receive their authority directly from the Grand Master or Grand Lodge, and cannot he installed: and they acquire no rank by such service.

The officers of a newly constituted lodge are installed by the Grand Master, or his representative: and he may, in person or by special Deputy, at his pleasure install the officers of any lodge. Subject to this prerogative of the Grand Master, it is the right and duty of every Master to install his successor, or cause him to be installed. But a Warden, acting as Master, cannot, unless he is a Past Master, install his successor, although he may call a Past Master to the chair to perform the ceremony. Any Past Master, and no one but a Past Master (and by that term is meant the Past Master of a lodge), can install a Master. When the Master has been installed, it devolves upon him to install the other officers, but, of course, he may call upon the one who installed him to install all of them. In England, it has been the custom for each subordinate officer to install his successor, but it has not been adopted in this country to any great extent: the retiring officer is sometimes called upon to invest his successor, and even to deliver the charge, but he does this only as the mouthpiece of the Installing Officer. An installed officer holds his office until his successor is installed: and hence, while a reelected officer should be reinstalled, yet, if he is not, he will hold his office by virtue of his former election and installation.


MY BROTHER: You have been elected Junior Warden of this lodge, and I now invest you with this jewel and the implement of your office.

The PLUMB admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several stations, to hold the scale of justice in equal poise, to observe the just medium between intemperance and pleasure, and to make our passions and prejudices coincide with the line of our duty.

To you is committed the superintendence of the Craft during the hours of refreshment; and it is, therefore, indispensably necessary that you should not only be temperate and discreet in the indulgence of your own inclinations, but careful to observe that none of the Craft be suffered to convert the means of refreshment into intemperance and excess.

Your regular and punctual attendance is particularly requested; and I have no doubt that you will faithfully execute the duty which you owe to your present position.

Your station in the South signifies truth in light. The symbolic colors of your station are blue, and denote Beauty, Fidelity, Eternity, Friendship and Divine Truth.

This symbol is also represented by a blue taper, which at the opening of the lodge you are (presumed) to light at the altar, thereby reminding you that as it is your province to first direct the minds of the uninformed in their search after truth, so should you seek to be endowed with that Divine truth which is so essential to the faithful discharge of the duties of your station.]*

Look well to the South.

*From Cunningham’s “Craft Masonry.”

The Junior Warden is conducted to the South by the Marshal, and the following words may be sung:

O Warden, with the PLUMB upraised,
What doth thy emblem teach?
Do all the Craft uprightly walk,
And practice what they preach?

o Warden, where the Faithful One
Observed the glorious
Like him adorn with BEAUTY still
The work by him begun.


MY BROTHER: You have been elected Treasurer of this lodge, and it is with pleasure that I invest you with the jewel of your office. It is your duty to take charge of the stock and other property of the lodge, receive all moneys, keep a just and true account of the same, and pay them out by order of the Worshipful Master, and consent of the lodge. I trust your regard for the Fraternity will prompt you to the faithful discharge of the duties of your office.


MY BROTHER: You have been elected Secretary of this lodge, and I now invest you with the jewel of your office. It is your duty to carefully observe the proceedings of the lodge, keep a true and perfect record of the same, receive all moneys from the hands of the Brethren, and pay them to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor. Your good inclination to Masonry and this lodge will induce you to discharge the important duties of your office with fidelity, and by so doing you will merit the esteem and applause of your Brethren.

The Master, having announced his appointments, the Marshal is directed to conduct the remaining officers to the East; and, having received their official obligation, they are severally presented to the Installing Officer.


MY Brother: You are appointed Chaplain of this lodge, and I invest you with this jewel. It is your special duty to conduct the devotions of the lodge, and bear before the throne of Heavenly Grace the spiritual needs of your Brethren. In all your intercourse with your lodge, it is expected that you will “point to Heaven and lead the way.”


MY BROTHER: You are appointed Marshal of this lodge. I invest you with this jewel, and place in your hands this baton as the badge of your office. It is your duty to organize the lodge, form and conduct all processions, introduce and accommodate visiting Brethren, and attend to such other interests, in the practice of our rites, as the Worshipful Master shall direct


BRETHREN: You are appointed [or, have been elected] Senior and Junior Deacons of this lodge, and I invest you with the jewels of your office, and place in your hands these black rods, which you will bear, in the performance of your official duty, as symbols of your deputed authority.

It is your duty to attend on the Master and Wardens, and to act under their direction in the active duties of the lodge; and, as from you the first impression of our Institution is received by the candidates, you should be particularly careful, by the seriousness of your deportment, to properly prepare them for the dignified and important ceremonies of initiation.


BRETHREN: You are appointed [or, have been elected] Senior and Junior Stewards of this lodge, and I invest you with the jewels of your office, and place in your hands these white rods- which you will bear in the performance of the duties of your office, which are to assist the Deacons and other officers in performing their respective duties. You are also to see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and that every Brother is suitably provided for. Your regular and early attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal and attachment to the lodge.


MY BROTHER: You are appointed Organist of this lodge, and I invest you with this jewel. Under the direction of the Worshipful Master, you will conduct the musical services of the lodge.

As harmony is the strength and support of all institutions, so may the harmony over which you shall preside strengthen and support every gentle and ennobling emotion of the soul.


My Brother: You have been appointed Historian of this lodge and I invest you with this jewel . It is your duty to collect and preserve everything of importance pertaining to the history of this lodge, and to record all events worthy of preservation. Faithfulness and accuracy are essential to the proper discharge of the duties of your office.


MY BROTHER: You are appointed Tyler of this lodge, and I invest you with this jewel and the implement of your office. As the sword is placed in the hands of the Tyler, to enable him effectually to guard against the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers, and suffer none to pass or repass but such as are duly qualified, so it should admonish us to set a guard over our thoughts, a watch at our lips, and post a sentinel over our actions; thereby preventing every unworthy thought, word, or deed, and preserving consciences void of offense towards God and towards man

The officers are severally conducted to their stations by the Marshal, as each is installed, and, when all have been installed, by direction of the Installing Officer, the Marshal proclaims as follows:


I am directed to proclaim, and I do hereby proclaim, that the Worshipful Master, Wardens, and other officers, elected and appointed, of__________________ Lodge, have been regularly installed into their respective stations. This proclamation is made from the East [one blow with gavel]. the West [one blow with truncheon), the South [one blow with truncheon], Once, Twice, Thrice; all interested will take due notice, and govern themselves accordingly.


WORSHIPFUL MASTER: The superintendence and government of the Brethren who compose this lodge having been committed to your care, you cannot be insensible of the obligations which devolve on you as their head; nor of your responsibility for the faithful discharge of the important duties of your position.

The honor, reputation and usefulness of your lodge, will materially depend on the skill and assiduity with which you manage its concerns; while the happiness of its members will be generally promoted, according to the zeal and ability with which you disseminate the genuine principles of our Institution.

For a pattern of imitation, consider the great luminary of nature, which, rising in the East, regularly diffuses light and luster to all within its circle. In like manner it is your province to spread and communicate light and instruction to the Brethren of your lodge. Forcibly impress upon them the dignity and high importance of Masonry; and seriously admonish them never to disgrace it Charge them to practice out of the lodge those duties which they have been taught in it; and by amiable, discreet and virtuous conduct, to convince mankind of the goodness of the Institution; so that when a man is said to be a member of it, the world may know that he is one to whom the burdened heart may pour out its sorrows; to whom distress may prefer its suit; whose hand is guided by justice, and whose heart is expanded by benevolence. In short, by a diligent observance of the bylaws of your lodge, the Constitutions of Masonry, and, above all, the Holy Scriptures, which are given as a rule and a guide to your faith, you will be enabled to acquit yourself with honor and reputation, and lay up a crown of rejoicing, which shall continue when time shall be no more.

BROTHER SENIOR AND JUNIOR WARDENS: You are too well acquainted with the principles of Masonry to warrant any distrust that you will be found wanting in the discharge of your respective duties. Suffice it to say, that what you have seen praiseworthy in others, you should carefully imitate; and what in them may have appeared defective, you should in yourselves amend. You should be examples of good order and regularity; for it is only by a due regard to the laws, in your own conduct, that you can expect obedience to them from others. You are assiduously to assist the Master in the discharge of his trust; diffusing light and imparting knowledge to all whom he shall place under your care. In the absence of the Master, you will succeed to higher duties; your acquirements must therefore be such that the Craft may never suffer for want of proper instruction. From the spirit which you have hitherto evinced, I entertain no doubt that your future conduct will he such as to merit the applause of your Brethren and the testimony of a good conscience.

Brethren of ___________ Lodge: Such is the nature of our Constitution; that as some must of necessity rule and teach, so others must learn to submit and obey. Humility in both is an essential duty. The officers who are appointed to govern your lodge are sufficiently conversant with the rules of propriety and the laws of the Institution to avoid exceeding the powers with which they are entrusted; and you are of too generous dispositions to envy their preferment. I therefore trust that you will have but one aim, to please each other, and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.

Finally, my Brethren, as this association has been formed and perfected in so much unanimity and concord, in which we greatly rejoice, so may it long continue. May you long enjoy every satisfaction and delight which disinterested friendship can afford. May kindness and brotherly affection distinguish your conduct as men and as Masons. And may the tenets of our profession be transmitted through your lodge, pure and unimpaired, from generation to generation.



The reception of Visitors with the honors due to their rank is an ancient custom of the Fraternity, which should not be allowed to fall into disuse. It is an act of grave discourtesy to a visiting officer, to omit his formal reception by the lodge.

1. Grand Lodge. When a visit from the Grand Lodge is announced, the Master, having opened the lodge on the third degree, stations the Deacons and Stewards at the sides of the door with their rods crossed, and arranges the Brethren in lines from the door to the Chair, facing inwards. He then sends a Past Master to escort the Grand Lodge, which enters in procession, the Grand Tyler, however, remaining at the door. The Grand Lodge proceeds up to the East, and opens to the right and left, when the Grand Master passes through and ascends the Master’s platform, and the other Grand Officers pass to the right of the Master. The Master receives the Grand Master according to ancient usage, with the private grand honors of Masonry, and resigns to him the chair and the gavel, whereupon each other Grand Officer assumes his appropriate station in place of the corresponding officer of the lodge, and the Brethren are seated.

When the Grand Master has finished the business for which the visit was made, or at his pleasure, he resigns the Chair to the Master, whereupon the other Grand Officers resign their respective stations to the proper officers of the lodge and repair to the East and take seats on the right of the Master.

If the Grand Lodge retires before the lodge is closed, the same ceremony is observed, the grand honors being given just before the Grand Master steps from the platform to take his place in the procession.



I. Advance Planning.

A. Notification by letter.
B. Grand Marshal consults with Master of Lodge before meeting.
C. Grand Master’s suite

1. Formed in anteroom.
2. Formed according to Grand Master’s wishes.

II. Receiving Grand Master.

A. Grand Marshal makes demand at tiled door.

1. Informs Senior Deacon that the Grand Marshal is in waiting.

a. Grand Marshal escorted into Lodge.
b. Announces that the Grand Master is in waiting and wishes to be received in the Lodge.
c. Wor. Master informs Grand Marshal that a procession of the proper officers will be formed and will wait upon the Grand Master. This procession will consist of the lodge Marshal, Deacons and Stewards.

2. Or Grand Marshal informs the Senior Deacon that the Grand Master is in waiting and wishes to be received in the Lodge. (Follow procedure as in 1c. above.)
3. The Grand Marshal meanwhile forms his suite outside in the following order;

Grand Stewards
Grand Pursuivants
Grand Chaplain
Past District Deputies
District Deputies
Grand Secretary
Grand Treasurer
Past Grand Wardens
Grand Wardens
Past Grand Masters
Deputy Grand Master
Grand Master
Grand Deacons
Grand Standard Bearer
Grand Sword Bearer

B. Entering the Lodge hall.

1. When Lodge officers arrive at the outer door, Stewards will remain inside the hall, face each other and cross rods to allow suite to enter beneath the arch formed. Deacons go to the rear of the procession. Marshal will inform the Grand Marshal that the Lodge is ready to receive the Grand Master and will then step to one side.

2. Grand Marshal announces “The Grand Lodge of Maine”.

3. Wor. Master gives three raps to raise the Lodge.

4. Suite marches to rear of altar in double file, halts at the altar, opens ranks and faces inward while the Grand Marshal goes to rear of column and escorts the Grand Master to rear of altar. In escorting the Grand Master, the Grand Marshal offers his right arm.

Note: While this takes place, the lodge Marshal, Stewards and Deacons go quietly to their respective places in the Lodge.)

5. The Grand Marshal introduces the Grand Master to the Master of the Lodge.

6. Wor. Master asks the Grand Marshal to escort the Grand Master to the East, where he is welcomed by the Master and in turn introduced to the Brethren, at the conclusion of which he is given the private Grand Honors at the request of the Master, taking cue from the Grand Marshal.

(Note: Private Grand Honors consist of giving the Dueguards and signs of the three degrees. DO NOT GIVE GRAND HAILING SIGN)

7. Master presents gavel to Grand Master and asks him to preside.

8. Grand Master accepts gavel and asks Grand Marshal to introduce the balance of the suite.

9. As each of the remaining officers is introduced, he steps between the lines, facing East, salutes with DG and steps back into line. When all have been introduced, Grand Marshal leads entire suite to East, forming a semicircle facing West;

10. OR, As each is introduced he steps to rear of Altar, salutes, and proceeds toward the East forming lines facing inward on North and South sides of hall alternately.

11. Grand Master introduces Grand Marshal and suite is accorded the Public Grand honors by the Brethren. (Note: Public Grand Honors consist of crossing arms, left over right, tips of fingers resting on shoulders, then bowing three times.)

12. Suite is then conducted once around the Lodge and will find convenient seats for themselves.

C. Seating the Lodge.

13. Grand Master uses gavel to seat Lodge and returns gavel.

D. Master of Lodge continues with opening.

III. Program for the Evening.

A. Lodge program presented
B. Grand Master to be the last one to speak. Allow as much time as Grand Master feels necessary to present his message.


IV. Closing Lodge.

A. Master uses regular form for closing Lodge.
B. Or, asks Grand Master to close in Ample Form.

3.District Deputy Grand Masters, and Special Deputies of the Grand Master.. In 1823, the Grand Lodge adopted the following form for the reception of District Deputy Grand Masters, and the same form is appropriate for the reception of Special Deputies:

“The District Deputy Grand Masters shall give previous reasonable notice of their intended visit to the Master of the lodge, who shall summon the same, and provide one of the anterooms, or some other convenient place within the lodge building, to which the District Deputy Grand Master will repair and inform the lodge by their Marshal that he is in waiting. The lodge being opened, the Master shall then direct the Marshal, accompanied by the Deacons and Stewards with their rods, to wait on the District Deputy Grand Master and inform him that the lodge is ready to receive him, and conduct him to the door of the lodge in the following order:

1st. Marshal.
2nd. Stewards
3rd. Deacons.
4th. District Deputy Grand Master.

On arriving at the door of the lodge the Marshal makes demand, and the door being opened, he announces “the District Deputy Grand Master,” and they enter the lodge; the Brethren arise, the Stewards and Deacons halt within and open to the right and left, crossing their rods, the District Deputy Grand Master enters between them, preceded by the Marshal; being entered, the Brethren salute him in ancient form, the Marshal conducts him to the East and the Master offers him the chair. The visit being ended, and the District Deputy Grand Master signifying his intention to retire, he is conducted to his chamber in the same manner, the Stewards and Deacons halting as above at the door of his apartment only. And the substance of the above order will be observed when the District Deputy Grand Master visits by deputation of a Past Master or Master of a lodge, except that such Deputy will not take the chair, but sit uncovered at the right of the Master.”

4. Other Brethren – When a Brother visits a lodge, and has been examined, or avouched for, the Master sends the Senior Deacon to introduce him. That officer conducts him to the usual place and says:

“Worshipful Master, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Brother __________ hailing from ___________________ Lodge.”

The Master calls up the lodge and says:

“Brother _____________________it gives me pleasure to introduce to you the members of ___________________ Lodge and their visitors, and to welcome you to a seat among us.”

The Senior Deacon conducts the visitor to a seat, and the lodge is called down.

No brother should be allowed to visit a lodge for the first time without an introduction. If the visitor is a Past Master, he should be invited to a seat in the East: and if he is an Officer of any Grand Lodge, or a Permanent Member of our own Grand Lodge, or a Past Grand Master, he should be received with the grand honors at the time of his introduction.

The Master should take great care to extend the proper courtesies to visiting brethren and to make them feel that they are welcome.

He should invariably, as soon as the lodge is opened, give a general invitation to all Past Masters to take seats in the East: and this invitation should be accepted by those present, unless there are special reasons for not doing so.



The too great frequency of Masonic Processions in public is an evil greatly to be deplored. In this State no lodge can form a public procession, except for funerals and attendance upon Divine Services, without the consent of the Grand Master. Formerly lodges had the right to appear in public on St. John’s Days; and if the ancient manner of celebrating those days should ever again prevail undoubtedly lodges would be permitted to do so without being required to obtain special permission.

The rule is that Masonic processions are allowable only when some Masonic work is to be done. But in former times Masons frequently appeared in public in their distinctive character to pay respect to the Chief Magistrate, either upon occasions of a public reception of him, or of public mourning for his death. Some have attempted to make a distinction, holding that when the Chief Magistrate is, or has been a Mason such a course is proper, but when not it is improper. But an examination of the Old Charges and Regulations will clearly show that there is no ground for this distinction, and that they teach the propriety of Masons, in their character as such, honoring the Chief Magistrate while living, and mourning for him when dead.

The post of honor in Masonic processions is in the rear. Marshals should walk or ride on the left flank of a procession. When a procession faces inwards, the Deacons and Stewards cross their rods, so as to form an arch for the Brethren to pass beneath.

All processions return in the same order in which they set out.

The Musicians, if Masons, follow the Stewards: otherwise they precede the Tyler.

When there is an escort, it leads the procession, but halts just before reaching the place of destination, to allow the body escorted to pass by it.

In WEB’s Monitor, published in 1805, and in subsequent editions, places are assigned, in processions of lodges, to Royal Arch Masons and Knights Templar immediately preceding the Master and it was for some time customary for masons of those degrees to take places in a lodge procession, clothed in their peculiar insignia. This is believed to have been an innovation at that time, as it is not found in any of the earlier Monitors, either of WEBB or other authors. Indeed, in the Pennsylvania Ahiman Rezon of 1783, it is stated by the authority of DERMOTT in 1772, that “Royal Arch Masons must not, at a procession, nor in any other place except in the Royal Arch Lodge, be distinguished by any garment or badge different from what belongs to them as officers or members of the Grand, or their own private lodge.” Dalcho, in his Ahiman Rezon of 1807, says: “In all Masonick Processions, no Freemasons shall wear the insignia of any order above the degree of a Master Mason”: but, in his edition of 1822, he assigns a place in.lodge processions to “Masons of such of the higher degrees as are recognized by the Grand Lodge, in the form of their respective Orders,” and changes the sentence above quoted to the following: “In all Masonic Processions, no Freemason shall wear the insignia of any Order which is not recognized by the Grand Lodge.” Most of the recent Monitors have followed the precedent of WEBB:

Mackey, however, follows DALCHO, and assigns places to “members of the higher degrees.” The better practice is to follow DERMOTT’s, and DALCHO’s original rule, except in cases in which a Mason of a different grade has been invited, in his distinctive or official character, by the Body or Officer having charge, to participate in Life ceremonies.

But bodies of other grades, recognized as Masonic, may properly be assigned positions in Masonic processions. Knights Templar, and similar organizations, appearing as a body, should always act as escort: other bodies are placed immediately in front of the officiating lodge, and the Grand Lodge, if that is in attendance. At the funeral of Past Grand Master ROBERT P. DUNLAP, his Commandery acted as escort, his Chapter marched in the procession immediately in front of his Lodge, and members of the Supreme Council, in which he was an officer, in their distinctive clothing, accompanied the Grand Lodge. The same is true of the funeral of CHARLES W. MOORE, with the addition that a body of the Scottish Rite, of which he was a member, also marched in the procession. At the laying of the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple in Boston, the Grand Commandery, followed by its subordinates, acted as escort to the procession; the Grand Chapter, preceded by its subordinates, was posted immediately in front of the Grand Lodge, which was accompanied by a Commandery, as a Guard of Honor, one half marching in front and one half in the rear of the Grand Lodge: the same order was observed at the dedication of that Temple.

When several Commanderies act as escort they march in the order of their ages, oldest in front: but all other Masonic Bodies, as well as Commanderies, when not acting as escort, march in the reverse order of their ages, the youngest in front.

The following is the order of Grand Lodge Processions in this State, on ordinary occasions:

Grand Tyler, with drawn sword.
Grand Stewards, with rods.
Grand Organist.
Grand Pursuivants, with swords.
Holy Writings, borne by a Master supported
by two of his Stewards.
Grand Chaplains.
District Deputy Grand Masters.
Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer.
Past Grand Wardens.
Past Grand Masters.
Officiating Grand Chaplain.
Grand Wardens.
Deputy Grand Master.
Mason of oldest lodge, carrying Book of Constitutions.
Grand Master,
supported by the Grand Deacons, with rods.
Grand Standard Bearer.
Grand Sword Bearer, with sword.
Grand Stewards, with rods.

The Grand Deacons should march on a line about five feet apart and a little in advance of the Grand Master, and when he passes through the lines, his supports should accompany him in advance of the Deputy Grand Master.

The following is the order of procession for a single lodge, on common occasions:

Tyler, with drawn sword.
Stewards, with rods.
Entered Apprentices. *
Fellow Crafts.*
*Omitted at funerals.
Master Masons.
Secretary and Treasurer.

Holy Writings, Square and Compasses, carried by the oldest member of the lodge not in office, accompanied by the Chaplain.

Past Masters. Master, supported by the Deacons.

If several lodges unite in a procession, they may form separately in the above order, or all or a part in one body, as follows:

Two Tylers, with drawn swords.
Tyler of oldest lodge, with drawn sword.
Two Stewards of oldest lodge, with rods.
Entered Apprentices.
Fellow Crafts.
Master Masons.
Junior Deacons.
Senior Deacons.
Junior Wardens.
Senior Wardens.
Past Masters.

But when a lodge has work to do, it must form by itself, and the other lodges may form separately or as a body. It may, however, except when it is to be constituted, invite masons, whose lodge is not present, to march with it, although, if other lodges are present, it is better to have the visitors march with them.

When the Grand Master, or the Deputy Grand Master acting as Grand Master, is present, the Book of Constitutions should be borne before him by the Master of the oldest lodge (or the Senior Past Master), and it must never be borne in procession except before the Grand Master or Deputy acting as such. On entering public buildings, the Bible, Square and Compasses and the Book of Constitutions should be placed in front of the Grand Master.

When the Grand Master, or the Deputy, joins a lodge procession, he should be placed immediately in front of the Master and Wardens, and two Deacons and a Sword Bearer should be appointed to attend him: a Grand Warden should be assigned the same position and be attended by two Deacons: but if such Grand Officer has charge of the ceremonies, he should be posted immediately in the rear of the Master.

These forms of processions may be used by the Grand, or a subordinate lodge, on all public occasions, for which a form is not specially laid down.

It should be remembered, that all Masonic processions are under the strict discipline of the lodge room, and, therefore, no one should enter or leave one without permission of the Master, conveyed through the Marshal or Junior Deacon.


Provision for Military Honors Masonic Funeral Service Adopted 1955


To be Used by Lodges



No one below the degree of Master Mason can be buried with, or participate in Masonic funeral ceremonies. None but Master Masons who are members of a lodge or registered by the Grand Lodge, are entitled to Masonic burial, but a lodge may, if it sees fit, bury with Masonic honors an unaffiliated Mason. It is the duty of the lodge of which a Brother is a member, or of the nearest lodge, to” perform the usual Masonic burial service over deceased Master Masons, when requested so to do by the deceased or his nearest relatives.”

Masonic clothing can be worn at funerals, only when a lodge is present in its organized capacity. A lodge can unite in the funeral procession of a person not a Mason, only as mourners, and not then without the express consent of the Grand Master, or Grand Lodge.

When other organizations unite in the burial of a Mason, the lodge after taking charge of the body will conduct the services as if none but Masons were present. The Masonic service must be the final one, except that a religious service at the grave is permissible.

Upon the decease of a Mason, the Master of his lodge should ascertain whether the deceased had requested to be buried with Masonic honors, or if such is the wish of his immediate relatives, taking special care not to urge it upon them. If the deceased is a member of a distant lodge, or, of no lodge, but entitled to Masonic burial, the duty devolves upon the oldest lodge in the place where he died, unless some other arrangement is made by those interested.

It is the duty of the Master to see that suitable bearers are provided, but in this, as well as other respects, he should consult with the friends of the deceased.

The Marshal should make himself familiar with the route the lodge will take and with the location of the grave and the approach to it, in order that he may avoid confusion and be prompt in the movement of the procession.

If the deceased was a Grand or Past Grand Officer, the Grand Master should be promptly notified, in order that he may convene the Grand Lodge, if he sees fit, and be present himself: in such case, the Grand Master, or, in his absence, his representative, will conduct the burial service.

A special communication of the lodge should be opened, after which the brethren proceed to the place where the service is to be held. The brethren should be dressed, with as much uniformity as practicable in dark clothes, with white gloves and aprons, the Officers and Past Masters wearing their jewels: black crape should be worn on the left arm, above the elbow, and a sprig of evergreen on the left breast; and the insignia of the officers should be trimmed with black crape tied with a white ribbon; and a white lambskin apron should be placed upon the coffin.

The Masonic procession, upon arriving at a proper distance from the grave, should countermarch, and approach it in two lines in open order, passing from the foot to the head, where the Master takes his position, with the Chaplain on his left. Each line should form somewhat in the shape of a half circle, extending from the Master beyond the foot of the grave far enough to give room for the mourners always, and, if the nature of the ground allows and the attendance is large enough to require it, as far as the services can be heard with convenience. If it is impracticable for the brethren to form in a single line within convenient distance, other lines may be formed in the rear of the first.

The mourners take their places inside the circle at the foot of the grave, and the bearers on each side of it: the Deacons cross their rods over the head and the Stewards over the foot, and retain their places throughout the service.

If the body is to be placed in a tomb, the coffin should be deposited a little in front of it and remain there until the ceremonies are finished: and the brethren form around the coffin in the same manner as around the grave.

The custom of burying a brother with Masonic honors is ancient, but it has not been ascertained when it originated: the early Constitutions do not mention it, but in 1742 a caricature of a Masonic funeral procession was published, and in 1754 a regulation was adopted restraining the custom. A Service was first published in 1772 by WILLIAM PRESTON, in his “Illustrations of Masonry.”


Chaplin: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He will keep thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and even forevermore.

Master: Death and the dead are with us again, my brethren, teaching us the brevity and uncertainty of human life, the instability of human fortune, and demanding of us the last sad offices of charity and brotherhood. Again we lament the loss of a brother who sleeps the sleep that, on this earth, knows no wakening.

The body of our late brother lies before us, overtaken by that relentless fate which is sooner or later to overtake us all, and which no worth or virtue, no wealth or honor, no tears of friends and loving ones can avert or delay, teaching us the impressive lesson, continually repeated, yet always soon forgotten, that ere long everyone of us must follow in his way.

Very eloquent, my brethren, are the pale, still lips of the dead! With a pathos and impressiveness that no living lips can equal or even approach, these lips of marble preach to us sermons that cannot be translated into words. Most eloquently they tell us how vain and empty are all hatreds, jealousies, disputes and rivalries, of human life. But this body is not our brother, but that which was his material part until God laid his finger on him and he slept. He was mortal but now has put on immortality.

Chaplin: Let us pray.

Almighty and Most Holy God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we bow in thy presence with a profound sense of our dependence in thee. Thou alone art our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Most humbly do we seek thy blessing in this our time of need. May thy consolation be sufficient in our trouble, and thy peace comfort us in our sorrow. In thy keeping we leave our brother, assured that in the larger life of the spirit upon which he has entered thou wilt do for him more abundantly than we can ask or think.

Remember in thy great mercy his sorrowing relatives and friends. Give to them thy peace which passeth all understanding that they may be comforted. May they not sorrow as those who have no hope, but with Spiritual vision see beyond the grave the glories of the eternal life to which thou hast called their loved one.

Teach us anew the brevity of this earthly life, even at its longest. Help us to live as becometh immortals, giving ourselves in goodly and loving service to thee and to humanity, that when this earthly house of our tabernacle is destroyed we may have an abundant entrance into that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, where parting will be no more. Amen.

All: Our Father which art in heaven: Hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

Master: Brethren, men cannot always labor nor live always. Today our brother answers not our call. Once he lived and labored among us, but now his star has set on this world and he has passed into the light that lies beyond the darkness of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. We shall no more hear his voice until we shall have answered, in another world, the voice that has called him thither. In a little while, as it has happened to our brother whose memory we now honor, so will it happen to us, and we like him shall be gathered to our fathers. Let us then not forget the lessons taught us by our brother’s death; but remembering the uncertainty of life and the little value of those things for which most men strive, may we the more earnestly endeavor to obey the laws of God and labor to do good to our fellow men.

(The Master now takes the Apron and deposits it on the casket (if at the house); in the grave (if at the burial place) and continues as follows):


The lamb skin Apron is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason. Here we have no permanent lodge or place of abode, but we look for one to come. Not trusting in ourselves, but in God, who preserveth the living and enliveneth the dead, we hope to pass an everlasting day of blissful brotherhood in a lodge in that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

This Evergreen is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul. By it we are reminded there dwells within our tabernacle of clay an imperishable, immortal spirit over which the grave has no dominion and death no power.

(The Master then brings his right hand to his left breast; then extends it, palm downward, over the grave (or casket if at house), depositing the Evergreen, then carries it above his head, pointing to Heaven, and then drops it to his side.)

Master continues:

From time immemorial it has been the custom of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons to render services indicative of their respect for a deceased brother, their sorrow at his loss, their sympathy with his friends and their steadfast faith in a life beyond the grave. In accordance with this custom we now commit the body of our brother to its kindred dust and leave him reverently and trustingly in the hands of him who doeth all things well.

Friend and brother, farewell. Thou art at rest from thy labor. Raised by the Supreme Grand Master’s word may you hereafter share the honors of perfection, the joys of bliss immortal.

Chaplin: Let us pray.

Our gracious Father, with a glorious faith in the resurrection we consign the body of our brother to its grave; comfort us in our afflictions; forgive us all that thou seeth amiss; bring us finally to the Celestial Lodge above to be with thee forevermore. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

Chaplin : The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

And unto him, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glory and honor forever and ever. Amen

The lodge escorts the mourners to the entrance of the cemetery, (if the service has been held there) and returns to the hall and closes. If service has been held at house the lodge returns at once to hall and close.


(The following provision is made for military honors at the grave under the Worshipful Master’s direction, when appropriate and requested. These honors shall be given immediately preceding the Chaplain’s prayer of committal.)

Master: Inasmuch as our departed brother, having rendered to his country loyal service in the armed forces, is entitled to military honors, these honors will now be rendered by a detail from………….

(The Master will here mention the organization or branch of service officiating. Military honors will then be rendered according to service regulations.)

(Following the military honors, the Masonic ritual will be concluded with the Chaplain’s prayer of committal and benediction).


The Committee offers the following brief and simple ritual as a suggested Memorial Service to be held on the evening before a funeral for a deceased Brother.

The directions governing the Officers and Brethren of the Lodge at a Masonic Memorial Service shall be those directions provided in the Maine Masonic Text Book, found in the chapter on “Funeral Service,” that would apply to this Memorial] Service.

Where the room is limited when this service is conducted we suggest the Master take his position at the head and the Chaplain at the foot of the casket; the Deacons with crossed rods at the head and the Stewards with crossed rods at the foot, retaining their places throughout the Memorial Service; the assembled Brethren remain in their seats until the conclusion of the service. The Brethren will deposit their Evergreen in the usual manner at the conclusion of the Service

On those occasions when the Lodge is requested to participate in the funeral of a Brother, if the Master so desires, this Memorial Service may be substituted for the regular Masonic Funeral Service.

We submit a brief Committal Service to be used at the grave if desired.

The Ritual for Masonic Memorial Service is as follows:



Friends and Brethren, we who are Masons have assembled on this occasion to express our respect and esteem for our Brother who has passed beyond our mortal sight and to share with those near and dear to him our belief in the immortality of the soul.

In this time of sorrow, when we all need comfort and consolation, let us turn reverently to God who, in the midst of the trials and tribulations that are a part of life, can alone endue us with that quietness of spirit and that peace of mind and heart which the world can neither give nor take away. Let us pray.


God, our Father in Heaven: Thou art the giver of life and light and love, our help and solace in times of trial and sorrow. Thou hast assured us that when we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Thou art with us. Thy rod and Thy staff comfort us. Thou art our light and our salvation, our refuge and our strength in every time of trouble.

We thank Thee for the life of our Brother. We thank Thee that he was one of our fellowship and that we were privileged to labor with him in the mystic tie of brotherhood. We are grateful to Thee for the precious memories of him which we shall always carry in our hearts. We thank Thee for all that he has meant to those who were near and dear to him through the ties of family and friendship.

Most of all, we are grateful to Thee for teaching us that, while the body is mortal, the soul is immortal. Though the outward form we knew and loved be removed from our sight, we have the assurance that Thou hast taken to Thyself his soul, which is the enduring essence of life. This conviction Thou hast implanted in us through Thy Holy Word, which is the Great Light of Masonry.

We earnestly beseech Thee that this short time which we spend together may renew and strengthen our convictions and our hope. Let Thy peace abide with us now and lead us ever in the paths of righteousness. In Thy name we make our prayer. Amen.

Master: From time immemorial it has been the custom of Masons to assemble with the family and friends of a departed Brother to honor his memory and to voice their sympathy to those whom he loved and who loved him. The message we bring is one of the triumph of life over death, the victory of hope over despair.

Masonry has come down from the far past. It used the tools of the builder’s trade as emblems and symbols to teach Masons how to build character and moral stature. It teaches service to God, to a Brother, to all mankind. It seeks constantly to build the temple of the soul and thus to fit us for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Masonry is a fellowship that unites Masons in friendship and good will. It teaches the spiritual values of life that lie beyond the physical senses.

Masonry confronts the fact of death with the greater fact of faith in the immortality of the soul. Masons believe sincerely that when life on earth comes to a close, the soul is translated from the imperfections of this mortal sphere to that all perfect glorious and celestial Lodge above, where God, the Grand Architect of the universe, presides.

With these truths and convictions our Brother was well acquainted. Though perfection of character is not of this world, yet we are persuaded that our Brother sought to live by these truths and principles of Masonry; that they sustained and supported him; and that by them his life was made richer, fuller and more meaningful.

(Here the Master or Secretary of the Lodge should give the Masonic biography of the Brother When and in what Lodge he was made a Master Mason; what offices, if any, he has held; any special committee service he has rendered; such other items of Masonic interest available. This biographical data is especially recommended when this service is used strictly as a Memorial Service.)

Master When our Brother labored with us in Masonic attire, he wore a white apron which he was taught is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason. By it he was constantly reminded of that purity of life and that rectitude of conduct so necessary to his gaining admission into that Celestial Lodge above. He will now wear that apron forever as the emblem of the virtues it represents.*

The Evergreen is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul. By it we are reminded of the immortal soul of man which survives the grave and which will never, never die. In accordance with our custom, I now place this Evergreen over the heart of our Brother.*

And now to you who shared with our Brother the intimate ties of family and friendship, we tender our affectionate sympathy. Our hearts respond to your hearts in your grief. We trust that these affirmations of faith, in which our Brother shared, may speak to you and inspire you to live with hope and courage. We ask you always to remember that the God and Father of us all is a Loving God, a Compassionate God whose ears are ever open to the cry of the afflicted. Let us pray.


Eternal and Everlasting God, we look to Thee in faith and confidence, knowing that Thy love has power to bring comfort and consolation, even in this time of bereavement, to those near and dear to our Brother. Fill their hearts more and more with the blessed assurance of immortality and of Thine abiding love. Bless them and keep them, 0 Lord. Make Thy face to shine upon them and be gracious unto them. Lift up Thy countenance upon them and give them Thy peace. Amen.

(The Master concluding his statement explaining the APRON, holding it by the two upper comers with the flap toward himself, will place the Apron over the edge of the casket, allowing the strings to fall within the casket. In depositing the Evergreen, the MASTER brings his right hand to his left breast; then extends it, palm downward, over the casket depositing the Evergreen, then carries it above his head pointing to Heaven, and then drops arm and hand to his side.)

At the conclusion of the service the other Officers and Brethren will approach the casket and deposit their Evergreen in like manner.)


(A brief Committal suggested for use only on the day of and following the Public Funeral Service.)

Master: God has been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever He had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting He is God. He can make us glad even in the days when we are afflicted, for His word appears to His servants and His glory unto their children.

Chaplin: As the God and Father of us all, in His infinite wisdom, has taken our Brother to Himself, we now commit his body to the grave in the sure confidence that his soul is at rest in that Eternal Temple where life and love prevail. (The Master scatters flower petals on the coffin.)

Let us pray. Our God and Father, we have thus with loving hands committed the body of our Brother to its earthly resting place. His soul we commend to Thy gracious keeping. As we go our several ways, may Thy blessing rest upon us and may Thy presence be with us now and evermore. In Thy Holy name we make our prayer. Amen.



A Grand Master may be installed by a Present or Past Grand Master of the same or another jurisdiction: if it is not practicable to have the ceremony performed by one of that rank, the Senior Past Master present may act himself, or call to the chair some Past Grand Officer to act under his direction.

In some jurisdictions, at the installation of a Grand Master, a ceremony, corresponding to the “Past Master’s Degree” and called the “Past Grand Master’s Degree,” is required. It is, however, a recent invention, and never has been practiced in this or our mother Grand Lodge.

When the Grand Master has been installed, he installs the other Grand officers himself, or, if he sees fit, causes them to be installed by another, who acts merely as the mouthpiece of the Grand Master.

At the appointed hour, the Installing Officer takes the chair, calls to order, announces the business before the Grand Lodge, and appoints some competent Brother to act as Grand Marshal. If the retiring Grand Master is not officiating, he may be requested (instead of the Grand Marshal) to present his successor.

By direction of the Installing Officer, the Grand Marshal collects the jewels and insignia of office, and the Grand Secretary reads a listing of the officers elected.


Ins. Officer.

Brother Grand Marshal, you will please present the Grand Master elect

Grand Marshal. Most Worshipful, I have the honor to present Brother _______________who, having been duly elected Grand Master of Masons for the ensuring year, signifies his acceptance of the office and his readiness to be installed therein.

Ins. Officer.>

Let him face the West.

Brethren, you now behold before you R.W. Brother________________ who has been duly elected Grand Master of Masons for the State of Maine and is now presented for installation. If any one knows aught wherefore our Brother should not be installed into that high and most responsible office, let him now stand forth and declare it, or forever after hold his peace!

Hearing no objections, I will proceed with the installation. Brother Grand Marshal, you will place our Brother at the altar, there to receive the benefit of prayer and take upon himself his official obligation.

The Grand Master elect is placed at the altar facing the East: the Grand Chaplain is conducted to the altar facing the West: the Grand Lodge is called up.

The Grand Chaplain will make an appropriate extemporaneous prayer, or he may use the following:

Grand Chaplain.

Brethren, let us pray.

Eternal source of Life and Light! We ask Thy blessing upon Thy servant now before Thee, as he is about to enter upon new and responsible duties and assume new and important relations to his Brethren. Invest him with Thy choicest gifts: may heavenly wisdom illuminate his mind: may heavenly power give strength to his exertions; may heavenly goodness fill and enlarge his breast: may his feet rest upon the rock of justice: and from his hands may streams of beneficence continually flow. May his administration of the affairs of the Fraternity resound to Thy glory, the good of the craft and the welfare of mankind.

Add Thy blessing upon the officers associated with him: may they be faithful and zealous in upholding the hands of their chief in all good deeds; and with a just sense of their accountability to Thee and to the craft, may they labor for the advancement of the interest of our Institution.

Bless the Grand Lodge and its subordinates, and all Brotherhood, wherever dispersed. Make them more helpful and beneficial to each other and to all Thy children; and inspire them with an ardent love to Thee, to their Brethren and to the whole human family.

In Thee we put our trust: guide us through all the vicissitudes of life, and at last bring us to dwell in Thy presence forever. Amen.

Response. So mote it be.

The Grand Chaplain is conducted to his station, but the Grand Master elect remains kneeling at the altar.

Ins. Officer to Grand Master elect.

You will repeat after me your official obligation.

I solemnly promise, upon the honor of a Mason, that in the office of Grand Master of Masons, I will, according to the best of my abilities, strictly comply with the Constitution and Regulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine, and all other ancient Masonic usage’s, so far as the same shall come to my knowledge.

The Brethren are seated.

Ins. Officer.

Brother Grand Marshal, you will conduct the Grand Master elect from the altar to the East.

Ins. Officer.

Brother______ you having been duly elected Grand Master of Masons, and having taken the obligation required by our Constitution to qualify you to enter upon the duties of that office, it is with much pleasure that I invest you with this jewel as the badge of your office.

It will silently admonish you always to do justice to the cause of Masonry, and to consult, as the exalted rank you now hold demands of you, the real interests of the Institution: it will instruct you to infuse into the many lodges, of which you are now the head, the true spirit of our Order; to make wise decisions for the good of the Fraternity; to give due commendation to the worthy; and to rebuke those who act contrary to our laws.

By immemorial usage and the irrevocable landmarks of Masonry, you are invested, as Grand Master of Masons, with powers and prerogatives which are well nigh absolute. The interests of the Craft, for weal or woe, are placed in your hands during your term of office. The good resolutions which, I doubt not, you have formed in your own mind, that these powers shall not be abused or perverted by you, I would gladly strengthen by a word of admonition, which it will not become me henceforth to utter. The very consciousness of the possession of a great power will ever make a generous mind cautious and gentle in its exercise. To rule has been the lot of many, and requires neither strength of intellect or soundness of judgment; to rule well has been the fortune of but few, and may well be the object of an honorable ambition. It is not by the strong arm or the iron will, that obedience and order, the chief requisites of good government, are secured, but by holding the key to the hearts of men.

The office of Grand Master is of great antiquity and respect, and is one of the highest dignities to which we may aspire. Its incumbent, to rule well, should possess and practice several important requisites.

As a man, he should be of approved integrity and irreproachable morals; freed from the dominion of hasty temper and ill governed passions; of good repute in the world; and practicing, as an example to the Craft, the cardinal virtues of Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance and Justice.

As a citizen, he should be loyal to his government, obedient to it, laws, prompt in the duties he owes to society, and a pattern of fidelity in all social and domestic relations.

As a Mason, he should cling to the old landmarks, and be sternly opposed to their infringement; be proficient in the laws, language and literature of the Fraternity; be desirous to learn and apt to teach; though not for the time a workman, yet be master of the work and qualified to earn his wages; be prompt to aid and relieve, and slow to demand it; be ever mindful, that though elevated for a time above his fellows, that he is elevated by them, and that he is yet a Craftsman, more sacredly bound by a Craftsman’s obligation; and that he should cultivate everywhere, and at all times, the golden tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

As an officer, he should remember, first of all, that he is an individual Mason, sharing in that respect a common lot with his Brethren, and therefore interested in the welfare of each and all: be devoid of undue ostentation and haughty overbearing; be accessible to all, cultivating the closest friendship and the most unlimited confidence with his associate officers; be eager to take counsel with his Brethren, and ready to give it; be patient in investigation and hearing; be deliberate in judgment; be prompt in execution; be forbearing long and much with evil doers; be ready to reward good; be devoid of favoritism and wholly impartial; be watchful over the treasury; having an eagle eye upon every portion of his jurisdiction; and breasting over the restless spirit of innovation.

Such are some of the more important qualifications which a Grand Master should possess, and the leading errors which he should avoid.

While the tools of Operative Masonry to us the most expressive symbols the Book of Constitutions and the Holy Writings are all placed in your charge, I would call your attention specially to the latter. In this you find the principles upon which masonry is founded: from this it derives its wisdom, strength and beauty: this will confirm your faith, strengthen your hope, encourage your charity, and direct you to that temple where all is harmony, love and peace.

I also deliver to you the emblem of that power with ‘Which you are now invested: in your hands it must never be sounded in vain: use it only for the good of the craft.

I now seat you, Most Worshipful, in the Grand East, at the head of an Order which is calculated to unite men by true friendship, to extend benevolence, and to promote virtue. And allow me to say that the honor, with which you are invested, is not unworthy of a man of the highest position, or most distinguished abilities. May you do honor to your exalted station: and late, very late in life, may you be transmitted from the fading honors of an earthly lodge, to the mansions prepared for the faithful in a better world!

Please call up the Grand Lodge.

Brethren, behold your Grand Master!

Brethren, salute your Grand Master!

The Brethren salute by bowing three times with the right hand on the breast, or by giving the Grand Honors, as the Installing Officer may direct: after which a procession is formed and the Brethren pass around the Hall three times, signifying their respect and obedience by the usual disunclive marks in the different degrees. The Grand Master announces his appointments: and the Grand Marshal is directed to conduct the Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary elect to the East, where, standing with the right hand on the left breast, they take the official obligation and are severally presented to the Installing Officer.


R.W. Bro__________________ it is with much pleasure that I invest you with this jewel as the badge of the office of R.W. Deputy Grand Master.

Under our Constitution, you have power to grant dispensations for processions: and it is your duty to attend all communications of the Grand Lodge, and to render such assistance to the Grand Master as may be required of you; or, if the Grand Master is absent, to preside in his stead: in case of his death or removal from the State, you succeed to his powers, duties and responsibilities.

Your office, therefore, is one of great dignity and much importance, and carries with it a heavy responsibility. The honor that has been conferred on you and the trust that has been reposed in you, demand a corresponding fidelity to the interests of those whose kindness and confidence you are indebted for your official elevation. Let the Book of Constitutions be your constant study, that you may be the better enabled to preserve inviolate the laws and ancient landmarks of the Order, and to assist the M.W. Grand Master with your counsel; and that you may be prepared to exercise the functions of his office, to which you are liable to be called.


R.W. Brother: In investing you with the jewel of Senior Grand Warden, I perform a pleasant duty.

The position which you occupy in the Grand Lodge and among the Fraternity is one of no little importance.

In the Grand Lodge, to control practically, under the direction of the Grand Master, the admission of all visitors, to announce specially those who are of rank or eminence, and to aid in the preservation of order, and at all times to render counsel and advice to the Grand Master, are high and responsible duties, requiring circumspection, vigilance, and reflection; but when to these is super added the more onerous labor, in conjunction with the Junior Grand Warden, of diligently preserving the ancient landmarks throughout the jurisdiction, it then becomes a trust of deep moment to the welfare of the Craft Your fitness for the discharge of such a trust undoubtedly led to your selection for the office by your Brethren, and it will be your duty and pleasure so to act as to justify their confidence.

Look well to the West!


R.W. Brother: as the duties of your office and the qualifications for it are almost identical with those of the Senior Grand Warden, except as it respects the introduction of visitors, I will only add to the Charge given to that officer, that you be equally vigilant and circumspect, not only at your station in the Grand Lodge, but in the broader field of action without, dividing with him his labors, and taking due care that the great object of your united solicitude shall remain inviolate.

Accept the jewel of your office, and repair to the South, being ever watchful, whether in labor or at refreshment, that the high twelve of observation do not find you with your work, and that of the Craft you superintend, unperformed.


R.W. Brother: I invest you with this jewel as the badge of the office of Grand Treasurer.

It is your duty to have charge of the personal property and funds of the Grand Lodge: to receive all moneys due the Grand Lodge: to pay all bills passed by the Finance Committee, and all sums voted by the Grand Lodge or the Trustees of the Charity Fund: to render annually to the Finance Committee, your accounts, with the vouchers: to lay before the Grand Lodge, on the first day of each annual communication, a detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures of the preceding year: and finally, to obey all orders of the Grand Lodge and of the Trustees in relation to their respective funds and properties.

The keys forming the jewel of your office have a twofold significance: they are instruments to bind as well as to loose; to make fast as well as to open. They will never, l am confident, be used by you in any other manner than the constitutions, laws, rules, and regulations of the Grand Lodge shall direct.


R.W. Brother: Usage, as well as positive enactment’s from time to time, have rendered the duties of the office of Grand Secretary more onerous and varied than that of any other officer. Brought by his official position more immediately into communication with the whole body of the Fraternity, it is requisite that he should possess ability, skill, and industry, to meet the various demands upon him. Placed in a position where he holds almost constant correspondence with our Masonic Brethren of every state and country, upon him devolves, in a large degree, the good name and credit of the Masonic family of this State. The Fraternity should enable him to maintain it; he should strive that it be maintained. Courtesy and patience are to be elements in his manners and character. Vigilance and fidelity must also be necessary qualities.

Our constitutions, my Brother, point out to you fully the duties of your office, and l will not recapitulate them. Your capability for their prompt and faithful execution has induced your Brethren to confide this trust to you, and I feel assured that it is well placed.

In investing you with your official jewel, the pens, l am persuaded that they will make an enduring record, not only to your praise, but to the welfare of a Craft so largely dependent upon your experience and integrity.

The Grand Marshal will now present the appointed officers, who take the official obligation in the same manner as the others.


R.W. Brother: The constitution imposes upon you the duty, under the direction of the M.W. Grand Master, of answering all foreign communications made to the Grand Lodge, and, when desired by him, to read all communications to it. From your known attachment to Masonry, I have no doubt that you will perform all the duties which may be devolved upon you in a manner creditable to yourself and satisfactory to the Grand Lodge.


R.W. : Brethren: I have caused you to he invested with the jewel of the office to which you have been appointed.

With the exception of the Grand Master and Grand Secretary, you are the most important officers in the Grand Lodge. In the several districts you are the representatives of our Grand Master, invested with a portion of his powers, duties and responsibilities. Upon each of you, more than upon any other Brother, depend in your several jurisdictions the harmony, the prosperity, and the proper transaction of business of the lodges.

It is your duty to visit each lodge, at least once during the year; inspect its mode of working; examine its bylaws; see if its records have been properly kept, ascertain if its hall is safe and properly supplied with furniture and working tools; communicate to it all edicts received from the Grand Secretary; and give it such instruction as your wisdom may suggest.

It is moreover your duty to make your report to the Grand Master at the time named in the Constitution duty which should be omitted or delayed under no circumstances within your control. Whether the lodges have done their duty or not, do yours: let them understand that the responsibility for omissions and delays must fall where it belongs, and set them the example of doing duty promptly.

In the discharge of your duties, you will have many serious and important questions propounded to you, the solution of which will require a full knowledge of the Constitution, Regulations and Decisions of the Grand Lodge, and skill in Masonic jurisprudence. If any one of you has accepted this office under the impression that it is a position of honor, with few or no duties, save the agreeable visitation of lodges, I beseech him to dismiss that idea at once from his mind, and realize that its duties can he successfully performed only by constant care, labor and study. Your selection by the Grand Master shows the opinion he entertains of your Masonic knowledge, your willingness to labor, your fidelity and your discretion: endeavor to discharge your duties in such a manner as to show that his confidence has not been misplaced.


Worshipful and Reverend Brethren: Having been appointed Grand Chaplains of this Grand Lodge, I invest each of you with the appropriate jewel as the badge of your office.

The sacred volume, surrounded by the emblem of eternity, is the fitting badge of those to whom we look “to point to Heaven and lead the way.”


W. Brother: It is your duty to direct the organization of the Grand Lodge, before it is opened: collect from the members all communications and papers and place them before the Grand Secretary: introduce visitors: direct the formation of processions and conduct them: call the lodges when required, and execute all commands of the Grand Master, as he shall require.

These duties require energy, activity, and quickness of perception. The good order of the Fraternity, in its general assemblies and processions, depends upon your care, skill and assiduity. Possessing these qualifications, you have

been appointed Grand Marshal, and I now with pleasure install you into office, and invest you with your appropriate jewel. It denotes command, as the organ of the Grand Master, to whom you will be near at hand to execute his orders.


W. Brethren: It is your duty to communicate messages and attend the Grand Master in processions.

As messengers of the Grand Officers, and as useful assistants in our ceremonies, your respective official positions are of very great value and importance to the comfort and good order of the Grand Lodge. Vigilance and zeal are necessary requisites of your offices, and we know that you possess them.

As Senior and Junior Grand Deacons of this Grand Lodge, you are now invested with the jewels of office, together with these rods, as tokens of your authority.


W. Brethren: It is your duty, under the direction of the Grand Treasurer, to have in charge all the jewels, clothing, furniture and regalia of the Grand Lodge, properly distribute the same, and, at the close of each session, see that it is safely deposited.

In olden times, your province was to superintend and provide for the festivals of the Craft, and that duty still remains to you, although there is rarely occasion for its exercise. Receive the jewels of your office, together with the white rods.


W. Brother: As Grand Sword Bearer, and Assistant Grand Marshal, the Sword which you bear is the time-honored symbol of Justice and Authority. It reminds the beholder of the dignity of the body whose emblem it is. It is also the guardian and protector of the standard of the Grand Lodge. Be ever faithful to your trust. Let this jewel of your office remind you of its nature.


W. Brother: It is your duty to bear the Banner of the Grand Lodge in processions.

The banner of a nation is the emblem of its honor; as we strive to transmit our banner to those who shall come after us, without spot or stain upon its folds, so should we also endeavor to transmit to our successors our glorious Institution in all its purity, with no landmark removed or principle subverted.


W. Brethren: Your station is at the inner door of the Grand Lodge: it is your duty to attend to the officers, members and visitors; to see that they are suitably clothed, and, under the direction of the Grand Marshal, that they take their proper stations: and in all public processions you will precede and assist the Grand Marshal. You are to act as the messengers of the Grand Lodge, and the heralds to announce the approach of visitors and strangers. In so doing, possess yourselves of the necessary information to announce their rank and position properly, and exercise a sound discretion, so as not to interfere with its labors. Be cautious and vigilant, that no improper person may gain admittance. Receive your emblem of office and repair to your station.


It is your duty to preside at the organ at the opening and closing and other ceremonials of the Grand Lodge.

When listening to your labors, may the Craft remember that harmony is as essential to the prosperity of the Brotherhood, as to music.


W. Brother: The importance of the duties of your place cannot be overrated. Care and watchfulness are indispensably requisite, and in all cases, unless thoroughly satisfied with the character and identity of those desiring admittance, let your doubts prevail. Ours is a sanctuary, entrusted to you faithfully and vigilantly to guard, and you have always at hand the means of being fully satisfied. Irreparable injury might result from a negligent or careless discharge of your duty. Your station is ever outside the door, and to which you will now repair with this jewel, and also with this implement of your office. (Giving a Sword)

It is desirable that the Installing Officer deliver a brief and appropriate charge to the members of the Grand Lodge.

The Installing Officer calls up the Grand Lodge and directs the Grand Marshal to make the usual proclamation. Grand Marshal.

I am directed to proclaim, and I do hereby proclaim that the Most Worshipful Grand Master and other officers, elected and appointed, of this Grand Lodge, have been regularly installed into their respective stations. This proclamation is made from the East [one blow with gavel], the West [one blow with truncheon], the South [one blow with truncheon], ONCE, TWICE, THRICE; all interested will take due notice, and govern themselves accordingly./p>

If the Installation is public, a program, with music and an address similar to that for a subordinate lodge, may be readily arranged. If time allows, the ceremonies should always be interspersed with appropriate music.