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Reception Of the Grand Master
and Other Grand Lodge Officers
by the Constituent Lodges

CHAPTER xvI

THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER'S HANDBOOK

Grand Lodge, F.A.A.M. of the District of Columbia


When the Grand Master is announced as a visitor, the Master directs the Master of Ceremonies, with the Deacons and Stewards, to assemble and prepare to receive the Grand Master. The Master of Ceremonies, Deacons and Stewards then proceed to the Tilerís door and form in open ranks, facing in, the Deacons being nearest the entrance. When the above named officers are in position, the Lodge is called up and the Master directs that the Grand Master be admitted. The Master of Ceremonies faces the Grand Master as he enters and makes a salute with the baton across the breast. The Deacons cross rods above the Grand Master, the Master of Ceremonies faces about, the Stewards close ranks (their rods being in the right hand at a "carry"), and the procession approaches the altar on the angle of a square, the Master of Ceremonies and Stewards in advance, the Deacons attending the Grand Master on either side, the Senior being on his right.

The Master of Ceremonies takes position on the north or left hand side of the altar, a few paces beyond the altar towards the east. The Senior Steward on the south or right-hand side, near the center of the altar; the Junior Steward at a corresponding position on the north or left-hand side. The Deacons retain their positions by the Grand Master, with rods crossed above, during the time occupied in making the customary sign to the Master and grand honors to the Grand Master.

After the signs have been exchanged, the Master directs the brethren to give the grand honors, then addresses the Grand Master in words of welcome and invites him to the East. When the Grand Master leaves the altar, the Deacons lower their rods to the position of attention.

The address of welcome having been delivered, and on the direction of the Master, the Grand Master is escorted on the square to the East by the Master of Ceremonies; the Stewards and Deacons retain their positions at the altar. As the Grand Master mounts the Masterís platform, the Master of Ceremonies assumes a position on the north side of the Lodge near the Senior Deaconís chair, facing in.

When the Grand Master arrives on the Masterís platform, the gavel is presented to him in language appropriate to the occasion. The Grand Master may accept or decline receipt of the gavel. One rap then seats the brethren, and is a signal for the Master of Ceremonies, Deacons and Stewards to resume their respective places in the Lodge.

When the Grand Master is accompanied by other brethren, the same ceremony shall be observed, with these variations:

The brethren accompanying the Grand Master will be formed, two by two, immediately behind the Stewards and the procession, on reaching the altar, divides, the Senior Steward and those following him passing by the south or right-hand side of the altar towards the East until clear of the altar, the Junior Steward and those following him passing by the north or left-hand side a corresponding distance, Each brother, on reaching the altar, will make the customary salutation to the Master.

When the lines have advanced a sufficient distance toward the East, the Stewards halt and the lines face inward. The Master of Ceremonies, then takes position on the north or left-hand side of the altar, on the left of the Junior Deacon, The instructions heretofore outlined apply to the remainder of the ceremony.

The Deputy Grand Master will be received by the Master of Ceremonies and the Deacons, all brethren standing, the grand honors and tender of gavel being omitted, except when he visits a Lodge as Acting Grand Master.

The Senior and Junior Grand Wardens will be received by the Master of Ceremonies and Stewards, all brethren standing, conducted to the altar and thence to seats in the East.

Past Grand Masters will be received as the Grand Master, the tenders of the gavel being omitted.

Past Deputy Grand Masters will be received as the Deputy Grand Master when only a visitor.

Masters of Lodges will be received by the Master of Ceremonies, all brethren standing, conducted to the altar and thence to the East.

Past Masters will be received by the Master of Ceremonies, introduced to the Master and invited to the east, the brethren not standing.

Whenever the Grand Master or other Masonic dignitary has been received with honors appropriate to his station, no one of less rank can be honored while he is present, without the permission of the ranking dignitary present, except he hails from a foreign jurisdiction. Hence, when visiting officers of different rank are announced, the inferior or past officers precede those above them in due order on entering the Lodge. When there are more than one of similar rank, all of that rank should enter together, the highest officer in rank is always last, to whom the honors should be paid.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014