Secret society - free mason

About secret societies, free masonry, simbols, rithuals, order, ... Some articles are taken from "Mysteries of Freemasonry" by Captain William Morgan "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey, M.D. 1882. "Secret Societies" by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher Those three books have free licence and no copyright law has broken.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

THE second or fellow craft MASON'S DEGREE

This degree is usually called "passing." The ceremonies of opening and closing the Lodge are precisely the same as in the first degree; except two knocks are used in this degree, and the door is entered by the benefit of a pass-word. It is Shibboleth, and explained in the Lecture. The candidate, as before, is taken into the preparation room and prepared in the manner following: All his clothing taken off, except his shirt; furnished with a pair of drawers; his right breast bare; his left foot in a slipper; the right bare; a cable-tow twice 'round his neck; semi-hoodwinked; in which situation he is conducted to the door of the Lodge, where he gives two knocks, when the Senior Warden rises and says, "Worshipful, while we are peaceably at work on the second degree of Masonry, under the influence of faith, hope, and charity, the door of our Lodge is alarmed." Master to Junior Deacon, "Brother Junior, inquire the cause of that alarm." [In many Lodges they come to the door, knock, are answered by the Junior Deacon, and come in without being noticed by the Senior Warden or Master. The Junior Deacon gives two raps on the inside of the door. The candidate gives one without. It is answered by the Junior Deacon with one; when the door is partly opened by the Junior Deacon, who inquires, "Who comes here? Who comes here?" The Senior Deacon, who is, or ought to be, the conductor, answers, "A worthy brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, served a proper time as such, and now wishes for further light in Masonry, by being passed to the degree of Fellow Craft." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is it of his own free will and accord he makes this request?" Senior Deacon replies, "It is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is he duly and truly prepared?" Ans. "He is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is he worthy and well qualified?" Ans. "He is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree?" Ans. "He has." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "By what further rights does he expect to obtain this benefit?" Ans. "By the benefit of a pass-word." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Has he a pass-word?" Ans. "He has not, but I have it for him." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Give it to me." The Senior Deacon whispers in the Junior Deacon's ear, "Shibboleth." The Junior Deacon says, "The pass is right; since this is the case, you will wait until the Worshipful Master in the East is made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned." The Junior Deacon then repairs to the Master and gives two knocks, as at the door, which are answered by two by the Master; when the same questions are asked, and answers returned, as at the door. After which, the Master says, "Since he comes endued with all these necessary qualifications, let him enter this Worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord, and take heed on what he enters." He enters; the angle of the Square is pressed hard against his naked right breast, at which time the Junior Deacon says, "Brother, when you entered this Lodge the first time, you entered on the point of the Compass pressing your naked left breast, which was then explained to you. You now enter it on the angle of the Square, pressing your naked right breast; which is to teach you to act upon the square with all mankind, but more especially with the brethren." The candidate is then conducted twice regularly 'round the Lodge and halted at the Junior Warden in the South, where he gives two raps, and is answered by two, when the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door; from thence he is conducted to the Senior Warden, where the same questions are asked, and answers returned as before; he is then conducted to the Master in the East, where the same questions are asked, and answers returned as before; the Master likewise demands of him from whence he came, and whither he was traveling; he answers, "From the West, and traveling to the East." The Master says, "Why do you leave the West, and travel to the East?" The candidate answers, "In search of more light." The Master then says to the Senior Deacon, "Since this is the case, you will please conduct the candidate back to the West, from whence he came, and put him in the care of the Senior Warden, who will teach him how to approach the East, 'the place of light,' by advancing upon two upright regular steps to the second step (his heel is in the hollow of the right foot in this degree), his feet forming the right angle of an oblong square, and his body erect at the altar before the Worshipful Master, and place him in a proper position to take the solemn oath or obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason." The Master then leaves his seat and approaches the kneeling candidate (the candidate kneels on the right knee, the left forming a square; his left arm, as far as the elbow, in a horizontal position, and the rest of the arm in a vertical position, so as to form a square; his arm supported by the Square held under his elbow), and says, "Brother, you are now placed in a proper position to take on you the solemn oath or obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason, which, I assure you, as before, is neither to affect your religion nor politics; if you are willing to take it, repeat your name, and say after me:

"I, A. B., of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and this Worshipful Lodge of Fellow Craft Masons, dedicated to God, and held forth to the Holy Order of St. John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, in addition to my former obligation, that I will not give the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason to any one of an inferior degree, nor to any one being in the known world, except it be to a true and lawful brother, or brethren Fellow Craft Masons, or within the body of a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of such; and not unto him nor unto them whom I shall hear so to be, but unto him and them only whom I shall find so to be, after strict trial and due examination, or lawful information. Furthermore, do I promise and swear, that I will not wrong this Lodge, nor a brother of this degree, to the value of two cents, knowingly, myself, nor suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it. Furthermore, do I promise and swear, that I will support the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the United States, and of the Grand Lodge of this State, under which this Lodge is held, and conform to all the by-laws, rules, and regulations of this, or any other Lodge, of which I may at any time hereafter become a member, as far as in my power. Furthermore, do I promise and swear, that I will obey all regular signs and summons given, handed, sent, or thrown to me by the hand of a brother Fellow Craft Mason, or from the body of a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of such; provided it be within the length of my cable-tow, or a square and angle of my work. Furthermore, do I promise and swear, that I will be aiding and assisting all poor and penniless brethren Fellow Crafts, their widows and orphans, wheresoever disposed 'round the globe, they applying to me as such, as far as in my power, without injuring myself or family. To all which I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without the least hesitation, mental reservation, or self-evasion of mind in me whatever; binding myself under no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open, and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder, and carried into the valley of Jehosaphat, there to become a prey to the wild beasts of the fields, and vultures of the air, if ever I should prove wilfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath or obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason; so keep me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."



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