The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...



Prepared under the direction of The Grand Lodge of Maine A. F. & A. M. by the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service.  

Dedicated To Most Worshipful Ralph J. Pollard, Honorary Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Maine; Chairman of the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service, 1954 - 1970 and author of the " Pollard Plan " program of Candidate Instruction



The Opportunity Overview for Instructors Overview for Instructors Overview for Instructors Overview for Instructors
The Challenge Instructional Goals Review Session Overview Session Assisting the new MM
The Need Orientation Session Educational Process Educational Process Review of Pollard Booklet
Proper Help Review of Pollard Booklet Topics for Review  Topics for Review Master Mason Degree
The Manual & its Use Handout Materials Review of Pollard Booklet Review of Pollard Booklet List of Handout Materials
A Coordinated Plan Sheet AC 1 List of Handout Materials List of Handout Materials Sheet MM 1
Planning & Evaluation Sheet AC 2A Sheet EA 1 Sheet FC 1 Sheet MM 2A
  Sheet AC 2B Sheet EA 2 Sheet FC 2 Sheet MM 3A
  Sheet AC 3 Sheet EA 3 Sheet FC 3 Sheet MM 4
    Sheet EA 3a Sheet FC 4 Sheet MM 5
    Sheet EA 4 Sheet FC 5 Fourth Night Program
    Sheet EA 5    
    Sheet EA 6    



In 1980, Most Worshipful Harland F. Small, presiding Grand Master of Freemasons in Maine, directed Right Worshipful Ernest H. Curtis, then chairman of the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service, to develop a revised plan for the masonic education of candidates and new master masons including a manual for masonic instructors.

The Grand Lodge's Pollard Booklets developed by Most Worshipful Ralph J. Pollard, one of Maine's finest masonic scholars, were used as a basis for this expanded educational opportunity for candidates and new master masons. A comparative study was conducted of educational plans and educational manuals employed in other grand jurisdictions, and the advice of prominent Maine masons was sought and compiled. The resulting plan and the draft for an accompanying instructor's manual was "fieldtested" by the committee by direction of Most Worshipful C. Ross Buzzell and through the cooperation of forty lodges within the state.

At the termination of this "pilot phase," the draft for the instructor's manual was reviewed by the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service and read for final review by two past grand masters appointed by Most Worshipful Peter C. Schmidt: Most Worshipful brothers Charles E. Crossland and Roger I. White.

As a result of the combined effort of many masons, The Instructor's Manual places in the hands of masonic educators and instructors within this grand jurisdiction a most valuable tool which will assist them in their efforts to assure that Freemasonry shall "live in the hearts of men."

R.W. Walter M. Macdougall, Chairman
Committee on M.E. & L.S.
A.L. 5985

back to top



Each of us has come to this honorable and ancient Fraternity with the purpose of improving himself in Masonry. Each of us has quickly learned that this improvement is not a passive process. We are to improve both through active study and by doing. Service and comprehension become our watchwords. "Every human being has a claim upon our good offices," and we are to "endeavor to add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding,." Such are the admonitions which we receive. Such is the opportunity which Freemasonry offers us.

We are provided with working tools; we hear the inculcation of "wise and serious truths," and we witness the unfolding of Freemasonry's ritual with its symbols shining like stars in a great constellation. We begin the journey from the shadows in the west toward the illurnihed east. It is a journey of individual striving and personal commitment, yet it is not intended that we should travel alone or without assistance.

The ancient charges give ample indication of the essential relationship between the mason who had mastered his craft and the apprentice who was commencing his training. From generation to generation, the art and the science of the builder was transmitted through a program of education within the Craft. Upon this instruction of the apprentice rested both the continuance of the art and the growth of the science.

Near the end of that era in which Freemasons built in stone, there appeared in the minutes of a Scottish Lodge and in the regulations known as the Shaw Statutes the mention of an appointed "Intender." The duty of the Intender was to expand the knowledge and to increase the understanding of the apprentice and new mason. In the position of the "Intender," we find an early expression of the importance of a continuing program of education within the active and well-functioning lodge.

Today, the masonic instructor within each lodge is an "Intender" in the fine old meaning of that term. His is the opportunity to assist the accepted candidate and the new mason in building a masonic foundation. His is the challenge to encourage the new mason's efforts, to provide direction, and to give a proper scope to the abilities of each individual whom he has the privilege of helping. But it is not the new mason only who is the beneficiary in this process, of masonic education, for through the instructional process the teacher comes to more fully understand the meaning of his own profession as a Freemason.

back to top


When we apply the analogy of that greatest of cosmic events to the making of a mason, we mean no irreverence. When the potential of Frtlemasonry is consummated in the reality of a man's life, it is for him a cosmic event. It is for him the coming of a new day - a day illumined by the light which dispels the darkness.

There must be light at the beginning of a man's masonic experience - a light which kindles his interest and which makes clear and shining his path through the three degrees of Craft Masonry. The purpose of any program in masonic education is to assure that there will be that light in full measure. It is a challenge of the highest order, for often the opportunity of capturing the interest and of inspiring the commitment of a man to the way of the Freemason comes but once and with his knock upon the lodge door.

Will there be light? Will we raise a man into the fellowship and wisdom of the Craft? This is the challenge.

back to top


The Fraternity has good reason to request from the initiate and new mason his wholehearted participation. Without such a willingness on the part of the individual, the Fraternity can contribute little to his experience and to his masonic growth. Correlatively, the candidate and new mason have equal right to expect from the Fraternity ample instruction and assistance.

Without such guidance and help, a man cannot be expected to find his way alone through the bewildering range of topics, ideas, and concepts which await him when he knocks upon the lodge door. Consider the spectrum which confronts the new mason:

1.    The multifold teachings and symbolisms of our ritual.
2.    The aims of the Fraternity at large.
3.    The history of Freemasonry.
4.    The present organization and government of the Craft.
5.    The individual's responsibility as a member of his lodge.
6.    The rights and privileges of the individual mason.

Obviously, it takes years of study and exposure to fully understand all these masonic considerations, but to some extent the candidate and new mason is exposed to all these aspects during the brief time he is taking the degrees of Craft Masonry. If we expect him to find his way, to build a proper foundation, and to feel a sense of belonging as a working member of his lodge, he must have proper help. The need for masonic instruction of the finest caliber beyond that provide  in our degree work is as obvious as it is essential.

back to top


Proper help is the key phrase in the aim of masonic education '. We should complete this phrase by adding proper help for the individual candidate and new master mason.

While there are many similarities between the backgrounds, abilities, and aims of the men who seek admission into the Fraternity, each man is to some degree different and must be greeted and understood as an individual who must make Freemasonry his own. Masonic education, at its best, is personalized education based upon universal truths. It is a process of instruction which capitalizes upon the candidate's strengths and which matches the instruction to the means by which he learns most readily.

The choice of methods utilized in masonic education is most important, for it is the applied method which sets what educators term the "climate" or the feeling of a cooperative endeavor and a sense of progress toward desired goals.

The methods which we employ as masonic instructors must be more than immediately effective; they must be consistent with the mission and philosophy of Freemasonry as well as with its ritualistic vehicle. The assumption that the ends justify the means is a dangerous one, for the means by which we deal with other human beings inevitably shape the end product.

In addition, the choice of educational methods and means to be used in masonic education must be governed by the fact that we are involved in a specialized form of adult education.

It is worth taking a closer look at these factors which govern our instructional efforts.

The mission of Freemasonry is to build a better world of human relationships and achievements through the inspiration, dedication, and understanding of individual human beings. The task of the masonic instructor, therefore, is not one of indoctrination, but rather of assisting in the growing comprehension of a new brother. The direction and the storehouse of wisdom for such a journey in growth is contained within the ritual of Freemasonry. The role of the masonic instructor is to accompany the new brother in his journey from the west toward the East and to do so with understanding and inspiration.

The vehicle which characterizes our, Craft degrees is one of symbolism and allegory. The spiritual as well as the intellectual growth of mankind has long developed by means of this same vehicle which begins with what the hands can touch and with what is common in our experience and which ends in the abstract which only the soul and the mind can grasp. The vehicle of masonic ritualistic instruction is especially well suited to the fundamental goals of the Fraternity. A chief aim of the masonic instructor should be to assist the new mason in exploring the wealth of meaning provided in the symbolism, allegory, and teachings of Craft Masonry.

The philosophy of Freemasonry which is carried upon the vehicle of symbolism and allegory is predicated upon the belief in the potential of the individual human being whose intellect and sense of moral purpose arise from the intimate relationship of the Creator to that which is created. Such a belief emphasizes the importance of the individual and presents the purpose of life as an on-going quest for fulfillment and, the attainment of wisdom and compassion. At every step, the methods adopted for use in Programs of masonic instruction must assist the individual mason in his progress toward voluntary incorporation of Freemasonry's wisdom and inspiration within his own understanding and convictions.

Finally, both the magnitude and the challenge presented in masonic education demand that the instructor make use of the best information concerning the learning process in general. Much is known about this process, about effective teaching practice and about the variability of learning styles. IT IS NOT EXPECTED THAT THE MASONIC INSTRUCTOR WILL BE A MASTER TEACHER; however, he will find a study of the elements of good teaching practice well worth the effort. One of the great advantages of a commitment to masonic education is the inevitable growth of instructor himself both in his knowledge of Freemasonry and in his ability to help a new brother.

back to top


The Instructor's Manual presented on the following pages may well appear to be a masonic educator's smorgasbord.

It is important for the reader and user of this manual to keep in mind that this manual is intended as a guide and as a source book. IT IS NOT THE INTENTION OF THE GRAND LODGE COMMITTEE ON MASONIC EDUCATION AND LODGE SERVICE THAT ALL THE MATERIAL PROVIDED IN THIS MANUAL WILL BE USED WITH EACH CANDIDATE OR NEW MASTER MASON. The variety-of needs, interests, and backgrounds of those brethren with whom the instructor will be working demands that the manual provide the instructor with a range of material from which he and the new mason can make appropriate selections. While the presentation offered in this manual is not the only form which a masonic educational process can take, the manual does underscore many essentials in the development of masonic understanding. It brings together a great deal of masonic information along with suggestions for varied approaches thus saving the masonic instructor much time in research and in preparation.

Those parts of the manual which use the lecture mode ARE NOT INTENDED FOR MEMORIZATION on the part of the instructor. Research, especially in the area of adult education, demonstrates that we retain very little of what we are exposed to through the lecture method. Our understanding and retention of facts and concepts is greatly facilitated by participation in a dialogue and in "hands-on" experiences where all our senses are brought into play. Those parts of the manual which employ the lecture mode do so only as a means of providing a general format while suggesting important considerations which should be considered in a "give-and-take" experience carried on by the instructor and the new mason. The old proverb which says "Tell me and I shall forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I shall understand" contains a good deal of wisdom.

The main body of this manual is divided into four sections: The Accepted Candidate, The Entered Apprentice, The Fellow Craft, and The Master Mason. Each section is subdivided into three parts. The first part of each section attempts to set the tone and to provide an overview. The second part may be described as an "on-sight visitation" in which the candidate is provided with an opportunity of preparing for or reviewing each step in his masonic experience provided in the degree work. The third part contains background material and suggests topics for use in discussing the Pollard Plan Booklets.

In addition to the four sections listed above, there is provided a fifth element entitled The Fourth Night Program . This program represents a vital part of the entire educational effort. Held in open lodge, this program gives the opportunity for welcoming the new master mason into the fellowship of his lodge and for introducing him to the activities and practices of the Craft when assembled on the level.

back to top


Proper help for candidates and new master masons can only be assured through the high caliber of instructional effort within the lodges and by, the active support of such programs by the Grand Lodge acting through its Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service.

Such a mutual assistance calls for a plan which will provide communication, assign duties, assure evaluation, and maintain support. The following plan represents a recommended format.

I.    The Candidate and New Mason Educational Program Within the Lodge

A.    General Objective: To assure that every candidate and new mason receives individual help in preparing for, reviewing and in understanding his masonic experience through a structured educational program provided by dedicated and well-trained instructors.

B.    Personnel: The instructional personnel at the Lodge level should consist of an Educational Coordinator and at least two Instructors. (Lodges with large numbers of candidates may need more than two instructors.)

1.    Educational Coordinators:

a.    Appointment - The master of each subordinate lodge should appoint an educational coordinator. The master should notify the Grand Secretary of this appointment within two weeks of the master's installation by returning the following form:

I have appointed Brother _______ as Educational Coordinator for______ Lodge. Our brother is a well-informed mason with mason with an interest in the well-being of the Craft. He has read the duties of an Educational Coordinator and the Masonic Instructor's Manual and has expressed his willingness to fill this important post during the ensuing year.

___________________W. M.

b .    Duties of the Educational Coordinator - The Coordinator shall be responsible for the candidate and new mason's education apart from the ritual instruction of the degree work. He shall assign instructors, schedule instruction sessions, monitor the quality of instruction, make available instructional materials, and assist in the training of instructors. In addition, the Coordinator shall keep a record of the educational progress of each candidate including a record of the giving of the ritual lessons before the lodge. (See Candidate Education Record Sheet.)

2. Educational Instructors:

a.    Appointment - The master of the lodge in concert with the Educational Coordinator shall appoint at least two instructors.

b.    Duties of the Educational Instructors - The instructors under the direction of the coordinator shall conduct the educational sessions.

Alternative Approach - In cases where the candidate load is small and where lodges are so geographically located as to allow close cooperation, lodges may wish to combine their 'candidate educational programs utilizing appointed instructors from the various lodges working under a chosen educational coordinator who shall make his reports to both the masters and to the District Representative of the Grand Lodge Committee on Education. It is possible that such a united program could be organized upon a district level. However, such a program would not relieve the master of each lodge from the responsibility of assuring that candidates and new masons of his lodge are receiving adequate, individualized instruction. Under such conditions it will be the master's duty to see that proper records are kept showing the educational progress of each candidate.

II.    The Committee on Masonic Education's Part and Role - 

A. The District Representatives of the Committee on Masonic Education

1.    Role: The District Representatives shall be the contact between the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Services and the educational coordinators in each lodge.

2.    Duty of District Representatives: It shall be the duty of the District Representatives to assist the educational coordinators in the organization of lodge programs for candidate education, to assure a supply of educational materials, to maintain communication to and from the Committee on Masonic Education, and to help in the arrangement of training sessions for the lodge educational instructors. In those cases where lodges are pooling their educational programs, the representatives shall assist in the coordination. Of particular importance is the representative's role in relaying the field experience of the coordinators and instructors to the Committee on Masonic Education for the purposes of program evaluation and revision.

B. The Committee on Masonic Education's Role

The Committee shall work through the district representatives to provide the following:

1.    Instruction and training sessions for coordinators and instructors.

2.    Support of Lodge Programs by:

a.    Advisory services on problems of an educational nature.

b.    Supply of new and revised educational materials.

c.    Providing of a regular and systematic opportunity for evaluation and revamping of the educational program and materials through the joint evaluation of representatives, committee members, coordinators, and instructors.

3.    Encouragement in the form of visitations and the presentations of aspects of Masonic education.

4.    Circulation of a newsletter for coordinators and instructors featuring current information on education and shared field experiences.

5.    Periodic updating covering advances in teaching techniques, the understanding of the learning process, and Masonic scholarship.

back to top


Pre-planning, attempt, evaluation, reconstruction, and renewed effort represent the process through which we humans progress toward any desired goal. As Masonic educators, we are dependent upon feedback gained during actual instruction if we are to continually improve our educational endeavors.

Such a continued process of setting a tentative direction and then refining that direction on the basis of experience and evaluation calls for a joint effort between the Committee on Masonic Education, the Committee's representatives, and the instructional teams working within the lodges.

The Instructor's Manual provides the basis upon which we can begin this process in the direction of our goal which is to provide the proper help to every individual who seeks the wisdom and the united strength of Freemasonry.

back to top



Programs of masonic education traditionally have stressed the importance of a proper preparation particularly for the accepted candidate. In making this emphasis, masonic educators have realized that right beginnings can be the key to a rich and lifelong masonic experience.

A preview of certain aspects of Freemasonry is important to the proper preparation and orientation of the accepted candidate, but such a preview should not be the primary consideration of the instructor. The instructor's first objective should be an exemplification of that pervasive spirit of concern and mutual assistance which characterizes the life of the individual mason and the masonic lodge.

If the instructor can foster the candidate's interest, if he can share his own enthusiasm for Freemasonry, and if he can convince the candidate of his sincere interest in the individual's progress in Masonry, he will have served both the accepted candidate and the Fraternity admirably. Educationally speaking, a positive start means that there has been elicited within the candidate an interest which will lead him to continue in the practice of his craft as a Freemason.

back to top


1.    The accepted candidate shall be prepared in both heart and mind for "the dignified and important ceremonies of initiation."

2.    A climate inductive of continued self-improvement in Masonry shall be achieved along with a feeling of cooperative endeavor on the part of the instructor and the candidate.

3.    The instructor shall endeavor to understand the candidate's particular background and point of view. The instructor shall endeavor to understand the candidate's strengths and particular interests.

The Instructor's Discretion

The instructor should use his own judgment as to the extent to which the following orientation material should be employed. The more "intellectual" the candidate's background and inclination, the more useful it will be to impress upon him that the lodge room and what will take place during the degree work are rich in symbolism. For some candidates, however, the aura of mystery and the excitement of the unknown may be a more important part of his feeling of anticipation. In the latter case, the orientation may better serve its purpose by being less specific and detailed.


At the end of this section will be found a number of handout sheets (Sheets AC13). These sheets serve two purposes. They provide the candidate with material for serious consideration while also supplying him with material which he can share with his family. Sheets AC1 and AC2 have a great deal of information which helps show the intent of the Fraternity. Sheet AC3 is, obviously, intended specifically for the wife of the accepted candidate.

back to top


The orientation session for the accepted candidate has as its goal (a) a general acquaintance with the emblem of Freemasonry, (b) a familiarization with the Fraternity and with the lodge and its masonic significance.

(Notes: The term "lodge" is used here in both the physical meaning of "the lodge room" and in its wider significance as a body of Masons undertaking the morally operative and speculative labors of the Craft. The following portion of the Accepted Candidate Orientation Session has been adopted from an educational plan developed by the brethren of Ashlar Lodge, No. 105, and prepared by Worshipful Brother Thomas H. Ford. The text included under each of the following headings is not intended for memorization by the Mason conducting the orientation but is provided as a guide.)


1.    Setting of Orientation Session

A very important part of setting the proper climate for masonic educational sessions is the choice of the meeting place. It must be a place which is conducive to learning.

Because the principal objective of the first educational meeting between the instructor and accepted candidate is one of orientation within the framework of Freemasonry, the meeting should take place within the lodge building which shall be the candidate's "Masonic Home."

2.    Lodge Officers Present

Besides the educational personnel, it is important and highly recommended that the Tyler and at least the Junior Deacon be present during the first part of the orientation session. These two officers play a most important part in receiving and preparing the candidate at the time of his initiation. The accepted candidate should have a chance to make their acquaintance in a Masonic setting. Moreover, the correct attitude of both the Tyler and the Deacons is best assured through this sharing of the orientation session. Such a meeting together helps assure a team effort.

During the pilot phase, in which this educational program was "field tested," it was found most helpful if the master, wardens, and senior deacon could also be present at the first orientation session. In this way the accepted candidate gets to meet the officers who will be performing the degree work while sensing the interest which these officers and the lodge they represent have in a potential member of the Craft.

3.    Preparations for the Orientation Session

    a.    Lodge and preparation room should be uncluttered, orderly, and clean. First impressions are important.

    b.    A large reproduction of the Masonic Emblem should be present in the anteroom of the lodge. (The lodge may have such an emblem as part of its decoration. If so, this emblem will serve very well.)

    c.    Bible closed upon altar with the square and compasses laid out as before the lodge is opened.


A.    The Masonic Emblem

        1. The ancient symbols of square and compasses

        2. The symbol of the square

        3. The symbol of the compasses

        4. The letter ''G"

        5. World recognition

B.    The Preparation Room

        1. Preparation for initiation

        a. purpose of room

        b. symbolic clothing

        c. blindfold

2. Remarks before entering lodge room

    a. the lodge in the operative days

    b. the lodge today  business and work

C.    Orientation Within the Lodge Room

        1.    The lodge vs. the' lodge room

        2.    The altar

        3.    The Bible, square and compasses

        4.    Directional positioning of lodge

        5.    The stations and places of principal officers

            a. Master's station (Chaplain and Senior deacon)

            b. Junior warden station (and Stewards)

            c. Senior warden station (and Junior deacon)

D.    Intent of Officers and the Lodge toward Candidate


A.    The Masonic Emblem

Objective: To begin the accepted candidate's Masonic orientation by focusing his attention on the esoteric symbol of the Craft, which, in time, he will wear with pride as a Master Mason.

Essentials: The square and the compasses have been viewed as symbols of moral significance for thousands of years and wherever civilizations has thrived. In the process of your Masonic experiences you will learn much about the symbolism of these two ancient tools. For now you should know that the square symbolizes pride in excellent work, honesty, and honor. The compasses symbolize that our energies and actions must be controlled and welldirected. To these two great symbols, Masons in the United States have added the letter "G" which reminds us that without God all enterprises of importance lose their significance.

All across the world this symbol is recognized as the emblem of Freemasonry. Even the United States Patent Office so recognizes this symbol of Compasses and Square. For generations it has been worn with pride by Master Masons who are known to be builders of a better world.

(Note to instructor: Be sure that the word "Compasses" is emphasized and that the candidate realizes this is not the word "compass.")

Reference for instructor: The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 12.

B.    The Presentation Room

Objective: While it is obviously our purpose to familiarize the accepted candidate with this important part of the lodge building, there is a further objective. That objective is to impress upon the mind of the candidate that preparation must involve his heart and his mind.

Essentials: You will be brought to this room before entering the Lodge upon your first Masonic experience as a candidate for the Entered Apprentice Degree. Here you will be prepared for your entrance.

You will put on symbolic clothing. Everything has meaning in our masonic practices including the clothing which you will wear while being initiated. The particular meaning will be fully explained to you during the degree work.

You will be blindfolded, or as we call it, hoodwinked. This practice is not intended to remove your defenses. You are, during. that period of your initiation, in a symbolic state of darkness or "Lack of Masonic Knowledge."

To the man who comes to this room prepared in his heart and mind to seek and to find light and understanding, a truly significant experience lies before him. When you pass through this door as a candidate for the first degree in Masonry you shall be commencing a journey which has been the inspiration to good men for centuries.

Beyond this door is the lodge room. Many years ago when Freemasons were employed in the building of the great churches and buildings of the past, the lodge was a shedlike building in which the masons shaped, carved and fitted the parts for the building. In the lodge the apprentices learned the skills of their trade. The lodge was also the place where Masons sat to eat and the quarters where many of them slept.

For us, the lodge still remains a place of learning and of fraternal enjoyment. Within our lodge Masons meet to learn their craft as builders under the service of God and in behalf of their fellows. Within the lodge we carry on such business as is necessary to our organization, and we perform our degree work. You will notice that we refer to the performing of degrees by using that time honored word "work." The degrees represent an important part of the labors of present day Freemasons.

C.    Orientation Within the Lodge Room

Objective: To provide the accepted candidate an opportunity to see the lodge room as a 'space itself symbolically oriented and dedicated to a purpose which transcends four walls.

Essentials: This is our lodge room. While we sometimes speak of this room as "the lodge," our lodge is actually the closely united brethren who meet here. At the proper time in the future, there will be much to experience and discover concerning a lodge of Freemasons. At this time, I would like to focus your attention upon the altar which occupies the center of this room.

Throughout the story of men, the altar has had a special significance. It is the center of his devotion to that which is far greater than himself. A Masonic altar always has a Book of Sacred or Religious law upon it. We use the Holy Bible, but in other lands where different religions exist the sacred books belonging to those faiths are used.

You will notice that beside the Bible are, placed the square and compasses which have to Masons a special meaning. Their significance in relation to the Book of Sacred Law you will learn in the process of your masonic experience.

This Lodge room is itself a symbol and like the earth around us is oriented in relationship to the compass points.

(Note to instructor: It may be worthwhile to explain to the candidate(s) that the verb "to orient" comes from the same root as "the orient" or the east that place of the rising of the sun and that ancient maps were oriented to the east rather than to the north as is now the customs)

Here in the east is the chair of the Worshipful Master whose duty it is to direct and to guide the lodge..

(Note to instructor: The accepted candidate should not think that the term "Worshipful" indicates any sacred quality in the office of master of a lodge. The word comes down from the past where it was a designation of honor similar to our present use of the word "honorable.")

Beside the master is seated the Chaplain whose special religious duties support the Master and the Brethren. On the floor and to the right of the ..Master's chair is the seat of the Senior Deacon who will be your special conductor during the initiation ceremonies.

(Note to instructor: Depending upon the accepted candidate(s) ability to absorb information and at discretion of the instructor, the three steps of the master dais can be pointed out with mention that these are also symbolic. The same can be done if the lodge has the ashlars and the station lights as permanent furnishings.)

If we walk clockwise as the sun would travel across the sky, we come to the south. This is the chair of the Junior Warden. Because the Junior Warden, as well as the Senior Warden and the Worshipful Master, has special responsibilities we speak of their chairs and places about the lodge as stations. On each side of the Junior Warden's station are seated the Stewards whose duties include the preparation of food  a duty which has its own importance.

Still travelling as the sun rounds the sky, we come to the west and to the station of the Senior Warden who next to the Master holds the highest office with in the lodge. The Junior Deacon sits to the right of the Senior Warden. One of the duties of the Junior Deacon is to prepare the candidate for initiation.

(Note to instructor: Again according to the instructor's discretion mention can be made of the steps at each Warden station and to the lights of the Wardens if such are fixtures within the lodge room.)

All of these officers have but one intent and that will be to present to you the truths and insights of Freemasonry. You should realize that nothing is said or done in our degree work without having special significance. Many things may not be clear to you at the time you receive the degree. This is understandable. Each time we witness or take part in the work of the lodge, we get something more out of the. Masonic ritual. After each degree, instruction will be available along with the opportunity to discuss your experiences with your Masonic instructor.

back to top


Overview: The review of the Pollard Plan Booklet, The Accepted Candidate, provides an excellent opportunity for the instructor to work with the candidate on an individual basis. Through discussion the instructor can determine those areas in which special attention should be given in order to properly prepare the accepted candidate for initiation. The individual review sessions also provide an opportunity for the instructor and candidate to focus  upon areas of special interest to the individual.

The instructor should keep in mind the guidelines for adult education given in the introduction of this manual.

The following portion covering the second section of the orientation process consists of the text of the Pollard Booklet interspersed with notes and references, which are designed to be of assistance to the instructor.

Words in the Pollard text which may need definition for clarity are circled. A definition of these circled words is to be found in the supplement following this section of the manual.

The best procedure for the instructor to follow is to use the outline of the booklet provided below to quickly review the text with the candidate. He should then stimulate a discussion and dialogue over those points which are of particular interest to the candidate. With such a procedure in mind, it is obvious that only a part of the provided supplementary material may be utilized in any individual case.


I    The Candidate's Acceptance 

    A. Investigation

    B. Election

    C. Initiation  the next step

II    Freemasonry 

A. Extent and age

B. Satisfying human experience 

C. Means of instruction 

D. A way of life 

III    Freemasonry and its secrets 

IV    Freemasonry:    nonsectarian but religious 

V    Freemasonry:    nonpolitical 

VI    Masonic charity 

VII    Freemasonry: a serious and impressive undertaking 


1.    Note to Instructor: The fact that the applicant's petition for the degrees can still be objected to after the ballot may disturb the candidate. If so, the instructor may point out that this is not a likely occurrence. However, Masonic law guards the right of objection on the part of any brother to an application for the degrees (See Grand Lodge Constitution, Sect. 124, p. 43; Digest of Decisions pp. 6061.)

2.    Note to Instructor: The Instructor may find it wise to make some distinguishment between Freemasonry and "fraternal organizations" in general. While it is not our purpose to belittle any fraternal organization, Freemasonry should not be confused with many fraternities which may be familiar to the accepted candidate. The best approach, should the need arise, is to have the candidate describe his impression of fraternal organizations to which the instructor may respond as to whether such preconceptions apply to Freemasonry.


To the newly accepted Candidate:

Dear Sir:

You have applied for membership in a Masonic Lodge. Your application has been accepted, and, after a careful investigation of  your character and standing in the community, You have been elected to receive the degrees within the gift of the lodge. In due time, if no objection  is made, you will be called  for initiation, and will  be made a Mason according to the the Fraternity.

In the meantime, it is desirable that you learn certain facts concerning the Institution you are about to join. You are naturally interested in Masonry, and it is the purpose of this booklet to furnish you with information which will enable you to get the most out of your experience as a candidate.

Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widespread of fraternal organizations. In it, you will make many friends, and will find a warm and satisfying human fellowship. Its social side is important, and you will derive a great deal of pleasure therefrom. However, Masonry is much more than a mere social organization. It is a system of moral philosophy, at once simple and profound, taught by means of an ancient ritual rich in symbol's and phrased in the quaint, and beautiful old English of bygone centuries. What you, personally, may get out of Masonry depends very largely upon yourself.

3. Note to Instructor: "Ancient Ritual"     The fascinating subject of the sources and development of masonic ritual is a consideration too complex to be made a part of candidate instruction. However, the candidate's first impression of our ritual will be greatly enhanced if he realizes that a portion of the lessons and lectures dates from the earliest records of the operative lodges and that Freemasonry has directly inherited elements of its degree work from the dawn of man's religious and social practices. (Reference  for typical example of ancient ritual practices see Jones, The Freemasons' Compendium, p. 274, on circumambulation.)

"Symbolism" The importance of understanding the role of symbolism in Masonic philosophy and instruction cannot be overemphasized. The candidate should be aware of the vital role which symbolism plays in his everyday life. The following quote for Carlyle's Sartor Resartus is worth mentioning: " . . it is in and through. symbols that man, consciously or unconsciously lives, works and has his being." Even a brief enumeration of symbols employed in daily life should serve to show Now true Carlyle's statement is. (References

"Symbolism in Freemasonry." Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols pp. 46; Newton, The Builders, pp. 143 ff; Jones, freemasons' Compendium, pp. 1823 and pp. 426 ff; Mackey's Symbolism of. Freemasonry (revised by Clegg) pp.19; Short Talk Bulletins (MSA), "Symbolism" March, 1925; February, 1952; July, 1954; and July, 1957, "quaint and beautiful old English.") The accepted candidate should be encouraged to make a practice of noting any words used in our ritual which he does not understand or which seem strange. A supplemental list of words which often give candidates problems will be provided at the end of each instructional section in this manual. In addition, the instructor should have a good, standard dictionary close at hand during educational sessions.

4. Note to Instructor: We do not wish to so overuse this admonition that it loses its force. However, it is important that the candidate realize that Freemasonry demands a personal commitment and that it is only through such application that real benefit can be received. The Instructor can greatly assist by being sure that the candidate has every opportunity to participate in the educational sessions. Such questions by the instructor as "How do you feel about that?" are most appropriate.

The last sentence in this paragraph contains the common description of Freemasonry as "a way of life." This description should be coupled with the discussion of the candidate's commitment to Masonry. It is to be a part of his life. It should be noted that the phrase is "a way of life" (as it is usually stated) and not "the way of life." Such a distinction bespeaks Freemasonry tolerance and its encouragement to all members of the Fraternity to open their minds and hearts to the full range of religion, as well as to the arts and the sciences. Perhaps a more accurate description 'of Freemasonry is that it should be a most important element in our "way of life" offering a stable foundation and incentive upon which we may erect a superstructure of wisdom, character, and human understanding.

Many of its members have found it to be a deeply rewarding and highly satisfying way of life.

Freemasonry has its secrets, as you will in time discover, but it is not, properly speaking, a "secret society." Such a society is one whose principles, objectives, meeting places and membership are hidden from the general public. Freemasonry meets none of these qualifications. Its principles and objectives are widely published and generally known. Its meeting places are matters of common knowledge, and its members take pride in wearing the insignia which proclaims their membership therein, Freemasonry is certainly a private society, but there is nothing secret about its principles and teachings. Its only secrets are matters of ritual and means of identification.

Freemasonry is entirely nonsectarian All theological discussion is prohibited in its lodges, and its membership includes men belonging to many different religious denominations. It is not a Church and it is not a substitute for the Church. It makes no claim to save souls to reform sinners, or to discharge any of the proper functions of a Church. It is, however, essentially and fundamentally religious. It requires of all its members a positive, wholehearted and a belief in Almighty God, the Author,Creator and Ruler of the Universe, and, in the most impressive manner, it teaches the immortality of the soul, It stresses the value and importance of prayer. 

5. Note to Instructor: It is likely that the accepted candidate has encountered or will be confronted by those who feel that it is a childish practice for Masons to have any secrets. Such a view results from a pseudosophistication and/or a lack of historical knowledge. While the holding of secrets by the Craft during the era of the building guilds did involve the maintenance of trade monopoly, the practice also embraced the fact that the truth and proper understanding can only be obtained by those who are willing to become an initiate and to strive and labor toward the final goal. In a real sense the keeping of Masonic secrets is part of our symbolic teaching. Moreover,' Freemasonry has been a bulwark of freedom and human integrity and as such has been persecuted by totalitarian regimes. This fact coupled with the fact that the unscrupulous have often tried to exploit the Craft gives a certain grim reality to the need for secret modes of recognition.

6.    The phrase "a private society" is an excellent chance for a useful discussion between the instructor and candidate. (References; Newton, The Builders, p. 235 note; Jones, Freemasons' Compendium, pp. 275282; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 618620.)

7.    Note to Instructor: What is indicated here by "theological discussions" is those debates over theological statements which are intended to be the basis for sectarian and dogmatic assertions of particular religions.

8.    Note to Instructor: Perhaps no other single element so clearly separates Freemasonry from the closed systems of organized religions as the fact that Freemasonry offers no doctrine or formula for salvation such as characterize most religions. it is not the intent of  Freemasonry to redeem the sinner, but rather to assist men who are dedicated to the proposition of being builders of character and a better society under God.

9.    Note to Instructor: Caution should be exercised in considering the Masonic subject of the "immortality of the soul." This consideration is sometimes referred to in masonic texts as being synonymous with "resurrection." As "resurrection" connotes particular religious beliefs concerning immortality, it would seem the wisest choice to simply reaffirm that Freemasonry holds that there is spiritual entity within man which shall survive the grave. (References: Newton, The Religion of Freemasonry, p. 3; Coil's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, pp. 517518. The instructor may find it interesting to note Landmark Number Twenty as compiled by Mackey (Maine Masonic Textbook, p. 160.)

10.    The Holy Bible is considered the Volume of Sacred Law within this Grand Jurisdiction. However, the accepted candidate should realize that Freemasonry recognizes the Holy Books of other major religions as also being volumes of sacred law. (References: Digest of Decisions, p. 12; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 674.

11.    While the relationship between Masons and members of the Roman Catholic Church has greatly improved, the official position of the Roman Catholic Church toward Freemasonry is still ambivalent. The instructor should also realize that a very strong negative feeling and position is to be found in many Protestant churches. Such feelings may well be known to the candidate and may surface in the discussions during the educational sessions. (Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 573575; Jones, Freemasons' Compendium, pp. 1912.)

12.    This paragraph may call for special attention. The prohibition against use of the f fraternity for political purposes and the disruption of its labors by partisan disputes is not to be confused with Freemasonry's admonition that the individual brother should take an active part in civil society and those institutions by which that society is politically and socially maintained. (Unless this distinction is understood by the accepted candidate, our pride, for instance, in the work of our country's forefathers who were Masons may seem strange in lights of the forbidding of all political discussions within the lodge.) Note also that the history of the Fraternity gives proof of Freemasonry's ability to surmounting the ravages resulting from civil and political strife.

13.    Current data indicates that masonic charities amount to over a million and a half dollars per day in the United States.

14.    The instructor may wish to stress that the benefits of membership in Freemasonry is more likely to be those of the spirit self-fulfillment and understanding through a close association with brother Masons and through meaningful service to fellow men. The Instructor may wish to mention some of the lodge's programs, such as that of "outreach" and the widow's program. The quicker the new Mason understands the potential for personal and collective good which lies in the Masonic opportunities for service, the quicker  he will begin his true Masonic education.

15.    The message of this paragraph can best be stressed and supported through the earnest interest evinced in the individual candidate by the educational coordinator and the instructor working in conjunction with the Master and the Elder Brother. In addition, the instructor should be alert to the presence of nervousness on the part of the candidate. He should assess its cause and endeavor to practice the Masonic tenet of "restoring peace to troubled minds."

The Holy Bible is indispensably present, in every lodge, and from it are drawn the moral and spiritual teachings of the Fraternity.

The doors of Masonry are open to all servants of the Ever Living and True God. Although Freemasonry does not exclude anyone from its membership because of his Church affiliation, there are some denominations which prohibit their members from becoming Masons.   In some instances the mistaken impression has gone abroad that Freemasonry refuses admission to these men. It is the Church and not Freemasonry that denies them membership. If you believe that your Church may be one of these, it would be advisable to consult with your Minister or Priest before taking any of the Degrees.

Freemasonry is strictly nonpolitical, and no political discussion is allowed in its lodges As an organization, it expresses no opinion on political questions, makes no attempt to control legislation, and does not seek to influence public officials in the discharge of their duties. In their capacity as citizens, individual Masons are, of course, free to exercise any of their civic rights and privileges, and many leading figures in both of our great political parties have also been members of the Order. While utterly nonpartisan, Freemasonry is thoroughly patriotic. It teaches loyalty to one's Country, love of the Flag, obedience to the law, and respect for the civil magistrate.

Freemasonry is rightly known as a charitable and benevolent society. The sums expended annually on Masonic charity are truly impressive. However, Freemasonry is neither a sickbenefit society nor an insurance company. It pays no fixed benefits. It is not organized for such a purpose, and its small dues are utterly inadequate to support such a program. As a Mason, you will certainly be called upon to contribute to Masonic charity, but it is verv unlikely that you will ever receive any financial benefits therefrom. Should you ever be overtaken by misfortune and want, Masonic charity is certainly available but it is to be hoped that you will never need such assistance.

Now that you have been accepted as a candidate, some of your friends who are already Masons may attempt to have a little fun with you by hinting at terrible things to take place in the course of your initiation. Pay no attention to such nonsense. Initiation into Freemasonry is a serious and impressive business in which there is no room for anything frivolous or undignified. Everything taking place in the initiatory work has a deep symbolic significance, as you will understand when you have finished your degrees. In the meantime, come to your initiation in a reverent and receptive frame of mind, prepared to pay close attention to everything you see and hear. Come clean of body and pure of heart. Come prepared for a great experience, which may have a profound influence on your future life. You will not be disappointed.

back to top


SHEET AC 1 - The External Qualifications

SHEET AC  2 - 
    Coming Prepared
    What Freemasonry Expects of You

SHEET AC  3 - Handout for the Wife of an Accepted Candidate

Also recommended for the accepted candidate is the pamphlet Maine Freemasonry published by the Grand Lodge of Maine and available from the Grand Secretary's office.


The external qualifications may, for the sake of convenience, be divided under several heads:

    1. Physical. A petitioner must be a man in the full sense of the word. He must be of lawful age,1 because no person can undertake all the Masonic obligations except he has reached years of discretion and is legally responsible for his acts. This rules out a young man under age; it also rules out a man in his dotage who has lost the powers by which a man recognizes and discharges his responsibilities.

    2. Mental. The mental qualifications are not expressly defined, though a number of Grand Lodges demand that a petitioner be able to read and write English. But they are clearly implied and are as binding as though explicitly expressed.. Much is taught a Mason; much is demanded of him; it is impossible for him to understand such teachings, or to meet the demands, unless he possesses at least average intellectual abilities.

    3. Political. By these are meant all that have to do with citizenship and a man's life as a neighbor, as a member of his community. It is required that he be a free man, in no sense a slave, a bondman, or one who has lost his rights of citizenship; his own master, free to discharge his Masonic duties without interference from outside. He must be "under the tongue of good report"; that is, possess a sound reputation among those who know him best. He must be a good citizen, one who is obedient, as the Old Charges express it, "to the Civil Magistrate," and keeps himself from embroilment in rebellion and mobs in defiance of the claims of public order.

    4. Moral and Religious. A Mason must be a "good and true man," a man "of honor and honesty," who governs himself by the Compass, tries himself by the Square, and tests himself by the Plumb. So imperious are the Fraternity's moral requirements that to think of a Mason as not devoted to integrity and rectitude of character is a contradiction in terms.

It is required of a petitioner that he believe in God. It is required that all Masons practice tolerance, and that no petitioner be questioned as to the peculiar form or mode of his faith and he must not question his brethren.

back to list of handouts        back to top



The privileges of Freemasonry are no greater than the responsibilities of its votaries. Your obligations as a member of the Fraternity will not conflict with those you have already assumed by virtue of your membership in modern society. On the contrary, the Masonic Fraternity. reiterates, reinforces and reemphasizes them.

Thus, in asking Masonry to share with you its past, present and future, and all the privileges of. its brotherhood, you must bear in mind the fact that the relationship is a reciprocal one, and therefore certain things are expected of you. Remember always:

(a) That the calling of a Freemason is a high one, and that you should never suffer yourself to derogate from it.

(b) That loyalty to home, to country, and to the Fraternity is expected of you at all times.

(c) That patriotism is a bounden duty, and you should not countenance disloyalty or rebellion.

(d) That the Masonic institution stands for liberty, equality and fraternity  not only for Masons, but for all mankind.

(e) That freedom of thought, speech, and action is the watchword of Freemasonry, as far as this is not incompatible with the same rights on the part of others.

(f) That, in like manner, every Freemason is the enemy of ignorance, bigotry, oppression, superstition, and of all mental and spiritual darkness.

(g) That a Mason champions the cause of the widow, the fatherless, the weak, and the oppressed; and challenges the arbitrary assumption by anyone of the power to dictate the actions, belief s and destinies of any group or individual.

(h) That the time honored virtues so cherished by our forefathers are still "coin of the realm" among Masons, and that humility, patience, charity, and gentleness are among the hallmarks of purity and integrity of character.

back to list of handouts        back to top


You should approach Masonry with a receptive mind. As you progress through the degrees, you should interpret for yourself, as far as possible, all that you.. hear and see. Whatever seems difficult or obscure should be a challenge to you to search out its meaning  for you may be sure there is a meaning in every word and act of our ceremonies.

When in seriousness of purpose you cross the threshold of the Lodge, it should become for you a sacred place. In a very vital sense, the Lodge will become a home in which you will learn contentment in service to your brethren, honor to your God, and in study of the many lessons Masonry seeks to teach.

As you seek entrance into this new sanctuary, give careful attention to these duties:

1. When you come, be clean of body. And let this cleanliness be a symbol of a greater purification within your heart. Let it represent the integrity of your intentions.

2. Be clear in mind. Come with your mental faculties free from distracting thoughts that would tend to divert you from the instructions you will receive. Seek to set aside all prejudice and any spirit of antagonism. Be free to accept and assimilate the solemn truths you are about to receive.

3.    Be pure in heart. Put away evil thoughts of every kind. If you have done anyone a wrong, seek honestly to redress it.

4. Be prayerful in spirit. Whether or not it is your habit to pray daily to your God, pray on the eve of your initiation for His blessing on the step you are about to take, for wisdom to understand, and for strength to keep you steadfast.

back to list of handouts        back to top



We in the Masonic Fraternity are quite aware that you may feel some misgivings about your husband's intention to join our order. His membership will take him occasionally away from you for an evening and leave you alone at home.

You may be reflecting on his new outside interest. You may have unspoken questionings about Masonry itself. We can understand your feelings.

We would like to ease your mind in this regard. It is one of Masonry's ideals that its influence on a member may make him more loving, considerate, and thoughtful of those in his home.

Those who respond to masonic influence are likely to grow in those qualities a wife appreciates. This growth is not something which can be guaranteed, but it IS the INTENT of the Masonic Brotherhood.

We sincerely hope that you will find that you have exchanged your occasional evenings alone for an increasingly devoted husband because of his affiliations with Masonry.

We also hope that, in the future, we shall have the pleasure of your company at our semipublic installations and our lodge programs especially planned for the wives of masons. Should you ever be in the need of assistance, we trust you will remember that there is a body of Freemasons who care.

back to list of handouts        back to top



In the conclusion to his Critique of Practical Reason, Immanuel Kant wrote:

"Two things fill the mind with everincreasing wonder and awe, the more often and  the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: The starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."

Unlike his contemporaries, Mozart and Goethe, Kant was not a Mason, yet the quote above speaks eloquently of the twin feelings of awe and responsibility which build within the mind and the heart of a man as he participates in the three degrees of Craft Masonry   an awe of the majesty of the Supreme Architect and the sense of the Mason's own responsibility as a builder.

In three experiences provided by the degrees, the Light of Masonic knowledge and faith dispels the darkness of ignorance and lowly purpose. The light first illuminates our moral obligation within the brotherhood of man  a position in which we are placed through the blessing and wisdom of God. The light next floods our minds as we realize the "fund of ingenuity implanted in man," and once again the light f ills our hearts as we contemplate the f final destiny of the builder.

The Masonic journey from darkness toward light has its beginning in the giant stride of the Entered Apprentice degree. In the brief span of this first degree, the foundations are laid. A full list of the Masonic elements which are presented in this degree, either directly or by implication, is astonishing.

Realizing how much is contained within the Entered Apprentice degree, there is a temptation for the Masonic instructor to attempt too much in reviewing the candidate's experience. Such an attempt leads to lecturing rather than to discussion and may encourage indoctrination rather than exploration.

The educational process outlined in this manual is designed to present the new Mason with a brief review within the setting of the Lodge room, a less formal review of the Pollard Plan booklet, and the opportunity for discussion and exploration based upon handout materials.

There are several considerations which the instructor should keep in mind during the educational sessions:

1. The instructor should be alert to any opportunity which may arise which will serve to focus the candidate's attention upon the sense of reality with which Freemasonry confronts the major problems and concerns of mankind. Masonry is concerned with the realities symbolized by both darkness and light, and it brings these two realities together, each in its own proper place, within the structure of the symbolic Lodge. This most important aspect of Freemasonry cannot be "taught" in the sense of preachment, but, as instructors, we can greatly assist the new Mason's discovery of these fundamental considerations by helping him in his search for clear statements of Freemasonry's goals.

2. The instructor should keep in mind that there are within the Entered Apprentice degree certain complex elements. Some of the complexity arises from the fact that the major symbols used in our ritualistic teachings have a wide spectrum of interlocking meanings. We all like things to be simple and neat, but the great symbols of mankind are not so, just as the human experience which they symbolize is not. (The point within a circle is a good example of such a complex symbol.) Moreover, our ritual contains references to ritualistic elements which, over the years, have been detached from their original place and significance and can only be appreciated through extended study. (The perfect points of entrance are a prime example.) While the instructor should not attempt to detail these complications and ramifications to the candidate, he should be aware that confusion is likely if . the new Mason is thinking deeply, about his Masonic experience. The instructor should strive to indicate, when such questions arise, the direction for future exploration on the part of the new Mason.

3. There are in the Entered Apprentice degree a number of ancient practices which have spiritual and special significance. The fact that these practices are both fundamental in symbolism and ancient in origin have led Masonic scholars to label these elements as "rites." The instructor need not mention these "rites" by their technical names, nor need he belabor their ancient significance. He should, however, keep them in mind as he endeavors to assist the new Mason in finding the meaning of what took place in the first degree. A list of these "rites" along with some references is given below:

a. Rite of Illumination (Let there be Light)
    Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 1 and 13
    Short Talk Bulletin (MSA), "Light" Sept. 1955
    Instructor Manual, G.L. of Maryland, p. 9

b. Rite of Circumambulation
    Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 20 and 31
    Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, p. 274

c.  Rite of Destitution
    Tried and Proven (MSA) p. 30

d. Rite of Discalceation
    Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pps. 16, 30
    Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 207

e. Rite of Investiture
    Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 31,
    Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, p. 249

f.  Rite of Salutation
    Tried and Proven (MSA) p. 30

4. It should be remembered that the Entered Apprentice as a figure in Freemasonry is also a symbol (though this is not made clear until the third degree lecture). The following quote taken from the instruction plan called Tried and Proven is worth noting:

"He (the Entered Apprentice) represents youth, typified by the rising sun, trained youth, youth willing to submit  itself to discipline and to seek knowledge in order to learn the great Art of Life, the real Royal Art, represented     and interpreted by all the mysteries of Masonry."

5. Finally, one of the most important features of the Entered Apprentice degree is the Tenets of our Profession as Masons, followed by the four Cardinal Virtues of Freemasons. Handout Sheet EA  5 provides a means for reviewing these foundational tenets and virtues of Freemasonry.

back to top


Objectives: To provide the new Mason the opportunity to review the major events of the Entered Apprentice degree within the physical setting in which the experience took place. To provide a clarification of elements within the ritual. (This clarification will be continued during the review of the Pollard Plan booklet and in discussions using the handout sheets.)

Setting and Preparation: The review session takes place in the Preparation Room and the Lodge Room. Both rooms should be checked to see if they are neat and clean. The following items should be laid out in the Preparation Room:

a. Slipper, hoodwink and cabletow
b. Handout sheet (EA  1.)

The following items should be laid out in the Lodge Room:

a. Lesser lights arranged
b. Bible, square and compasses laid on altar
c. Ashlars in place (if available). If the Lodge does not have ashlars, then a representation can be provided by using handout sheet EA-3.
d. Working tools of the Entered Apprentice laid out in East.
e. Copy or Charter Certificate laid out in the East.
f.  Handout sheet EA  3 and sheet EA  4.

Climate: The instructor or educational coordinator should endeavor to build an atmosphere which is informal. This section is intended to be a structured review, but the candidate should feel free to take his time and to ask questions.

back to top



I.    (In Preparation Room)

a. Beginning  Your own free will and accord.
b. Questions asked by Junior Deacon  Handout sheet (EA  1.)
c. Items pointed out
        1. Hoodwink (darkness)
        2. Slipper
        3. Cable tow  

II.    (In the Lodge Room)

a. Altar

1. Prayer
2. A question of trust
3. No danger

III!    Circumambulation

a. Oldest of ceremonies
b. The Sun  symbol of life-giving light
c. Light  symbol of God's blessing and eternal plan

IV.    Obligation and Light

V.    Great and Lesser Lights

a. Arrangement of Greater Lights b. Arrangement of Lesser Lights

VI.    Penalties

VII.    Working Tools of Entered Apprentice

VIII.    Apron

IX.    The Lodge

a. Charter
b. Dimensions and universality
c. Supports
d. Ornaments
e. Jewels

X.    The Northeast Corner

a. On a Masonic journey
b. Light to come

back to top


(Note: The text below is not intended for memorization, but is meant to serve as a guide.)

(I)    (In the Preparation Room)

There is no need for me to remind you that it was in this room that you began your Masonic experience as a candidate for the Entered Apprentice degree. I would, however, like to remind you that you began this Masonic journey of your own free will and accord because it is only by your own commitment that Freemasonry can become truly meaningful to you.

You were asked particular questions by the Junior Deacon. You may like to have a copy of these questions along with a list of qualifications for initiation to take with you (Sheet EA 1 and Sheet AC 1.) These articles you will also remember (point out a slipper, hoodwink and cable tow.) You learned that these articles have a symbolic meaning in fact, several closely associated meanings.

You will recall that you entered the Lodge in darkness, that you carried no minerals or metals either as weapons or wealth, and that you came neither naked or clothed and without worldly distinction, for the Masons who awaited you were interested in your inner character and not your social position or your outward appearance. You entered the Lodge neither barefoot nor shod both as an indication of your serious intent and your humility. The. cable tow was also a symbol of your willingness to subject yourself to initiation so that you might enter into the tie of Masonic Brotherhood.

(II)    (In the Lodge Room and behind the Altar)

Here you knelt at the Altar of Freemasonry for the first time while a prayer was given, asking that the Creator of the Universe might grant you Masonic wisdom and that through your Masonic experience you might be better able to act with brotherly love and to understand that which is true for now and forever.

You were asked a most important question. Do you remember what that question was? (Wait for response)

Having given this answer, you were assured that no danger lay ahead. Your trust was well placed and your immediate safety in the hands of a friend. And thus began your Masonic journey within this Brotherhood of men.

(Note: The instructor may feel it wise to further underscore this first symbolic presentation of brotherhood.)

(III) With the assistance of the Senior Deacon, you then circled the Lodge  turning from East to West as the Sun rises and sets. At that moment you were partaking of one of the oldest rituals of mankind, the symbolic following of the Sun path and the celebration of light and life. The Sun, for Masons, is a symbol of a greater light, the light of that creative wisdom and love which created the Universe.

(IV) This celebration of light as a symbol of life, wisdom and God's plan of creation was again dramatized following your obligation. Do you remember the nature of this dramatization and its special relation to you? (Response) This same ceremony also symbolized the commitment of the Brethren of this Lodge to assist you by both instruction and friendship in your apprenticeship, for your sacred promises had made you a brother.

(V) For the first time you observed the great symbols of Freemasonry in their proper arrangement for the Entered Apprentice degree. The principal instruments of the Craft, whose teachings you are now in the process of understanding, radiate their symbolic meaning to the Craft and especially to the Worshipful Master of this Lodge who has the special responsibility of the government of the Masons who gather here. For this reason we never walk between these symbols, when they are properly displayed upon our altar, and the Master's station.

(Have the new Mason(s) arrange the lights for the Entered Apprentice degree with instructor assistance.)

Your first view of these principal symbols of Freemasonry in conjunction with the Volume of Sacred Law was lighted by the flames of the three Lesser lights. (Point out their arrangement.)

You will remember that the three lesser lights are symbols of those regulating principles in Nature and of the necessary government of a society in which peace and progress are the goal and, in particular, in the society of Freemasons.

(VI) Before leaving the altar, I would like to call your attention to the penalties of your obligation. These penalties have been a part of Freemasonry ritual from the days when such penalties were grim realities. The old and terrible penalties are today symbolic only. However, a violation of your obligation still carries sobering consequences, including the loss of self-respect and the respect of your Masonic Brethren as well as the Fraternity at large. (Advance to the Northeast.)

(VII) You will recognize these as the working tools of an Entered Apprentice. No doubt you noticed how well the use of the tools by Masons who worked in stone was employed to instruct Masons who work in the building of character. (Briefly review the actual and symbolic use of the working tools while allowing the new Mason(s) to handle the tools. Be dramatic in demonstrating their operative use.) (Ref. Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pps. 3738; Maine Masonic Textbook, (pps. 2425.) (Advance to East)

(VIII) Here, each of us has stood while the Worshipful Master presented us with the badge of a Mason, the Lambskin Apron, a badge which, because of the character and the actions of this Fraternity, is honored around the World. For me it was a moment I shall never forget, and I trust it was the same for you. (Turn the new Mason(s)to face the West.)

(IX) As an accepted candidate you were told that you would learn more about the symbolic lodge in which Masons meet. In the Entered Apprentice degree you were given this information. You learned that a Lodge must be furnished with the Holy Bible, the square and the compasses, whose Masonic teachings are the Great Lights within this Lodge. The Lodge receives its official right to exist and to work by means of a charter of which this is a copy (or certificate). (Show the new Mason(s) the copy of the Certificate of Charter. The instructor may wish to point out the interesting points concerning his own Lodge's Charter.)

You will remember that the Lodge is said to be a special shape or form. (Observe response and instruct if necessary.) This form was anciently thought to be the shape of the World in which we have our human existence. The Masonry which we are co practice in the World embraces beliefs fundamental to mankind. In keeping with the far flung dimensions of the symbolic Lodge, the roof is the clouded canopy, the symbol of God's overarching presence in which we hope to find ourselves by the practice of faith, hope and, most importantly, love.

It is important to remember that it is not walls which support this symbolic Lodge but rather the essentials of all man's finest endeavors, namely, Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. (Reference: The instructor will find MacBride's Speculative Masony,pps.83-100, most helpful in answering questions on the Symbolic Lodge)

(Handout Sheet EA  3 may be useful in the following discussion.)

The symbolic Lodge is adorned with both Ornaments and Jewels, the latter being the   jewels of spiritual worth, and not those of monetary value. Its ornaments, you will remember, are the Mosaic Pavement which, with its black and white tiles, reminds us of both the good and the agony which life can bring. The Border which surrounds it (do you remember its name?) symbolizes the blessings of God whose radiance is represented by the symbol of a Blazing Star. 

There are six jewels which enhance the Symbolic Lodge. Let us name them over: The Square, which teaches Morality; the Level, which teaches Equality; and the Plumb, that instrument which in everyday practice tells when walls are truly vertical and erect, which symbolically teaches the upright, the just and the honest life. To these are added the rough Ashlar and the perfect Ashlar (point out). The rough Ashlar is emblematic of man without knowledge, rough, and lacking self-discipline and proper training. The perfect Ashlar, square and finished, symbolizes the man which we all hope to become. The Trestle Board reminds us that God has communicated His wisdom and His will through His creation and His inspiration of men. Thus He has given us the plans for spiritual building. (Reference: Maine Masonic Textbook, p. 27. (Note: There seems to be little purpose in making a point of "movable" and "immovable" categories imposed upon the Jewels of the Lodge as this distinction, itself, has proven mobile in the development of Masonic ritual.)

(IX)    (Return to Northeast Corner)

And now we return to the Northeast corner of the Lodge  the place where you found yourself at the close of the Entered Apprentice degree. It is a place poised between the darkness and the light  a place of beginnings in your Masonic journey toward the East, where the Light of Masonry shall gleam with increased brilliance in the Degree of the Fellowcraft.

(Handout Sheet EA  4 provides an opportunity to further familiarize the new mason with the layout of a lodge, the position of the officers and the jewels of their office. The instructor can judge best how much the new mason can absorb and how interested he is in this important consideration.)

back to top



General Note to the Instructor: Repetition can be an important tool in mastering the principles of the Masonic degrees. However, repetition can also be deadly dull when not necessary. The instructor should use his own judgment as to whether certain elements in the following sections on the Entered Apprentice degree have already been covered sufficiently. Quite often additional meanings and personal significance's dealing with the symbolic teachings of our ritual can be developed during the discussions sessions even when the same element has already been covered in the previous review. Again, this section is intended to take the form of a dialogue between the instructor and the candidate.

Objective: To provide the new Mason with the opportunity to explore the teachings of the Entered Apprentice degree and the material contained in the Pollard booklet with the help of a Masonic instructor.


I.        Teachings of the degree 
II.       The Apprentice in History 
III.      Rights of the Entered Apprentice 
IV.      George Washington and other famous Masons 
V.       Early prominent Masons in Maine
VI.      Admonition to new Mason


1.    Note to Instructor: "Lowest" has an unfortunate connotation. Be sure that the line "is in many ways the most important" is stressed.

2. Instructional suggestion: Have the  new Mason give examples of the fundamental importance of a belief in God as he views the teachings of the Entered Apprentice degree. (Reference for Instructor: Newton, Joseph Fort, The Religion of Masonry.)

Note to Instructor: The new Mason should understand that Freemasonry does not demand that the candidate profess a particular, dogmatic concept of God. See Jones' Freemason's Guide and Compendium, Chap. 3, for background in the Masonic position formulated during the 18th century.

3. Instructional suggestions: Check with the new Mason to see if he has any question concerning the Entered Apprentice obligation. If vocabulary is a problem refer, him to the Handout of unusual words for this degree. (For general reference on obligation, see: Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 26; Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, pp. 275289)

4. Note to Instructor: The instructor may feel that this subject has been sufficiently covered; however, its fundamental importance cannot be overstressed. It would be interesting to discover if the new Mason feels he has received light during his first Masonic experience. (Reference: Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 2122; Short Talk Bulletin, "Light", Sept. 1955.)

5. Note to Instructor: The Great Lights have been reviewed and can be reviewed again when using the handout sheet covering symbols. Perhaps the most important aspect to be considered 'here is the fact that the Great Lights symbolize moral principles which should become manifest in the Mason's actions and personality. (Reference: Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 2124.)

Instructional suggestion: Combine with consideration of No. 8, below. The honor and distinction involved in the apron arises from the actuality of our profession as Masons.

6. Note to Instructor: Again the candidate should understand that the Holy Bible is considered the Volume of Sacred Law within those Grand Jurisdictions where the Christian Hebraic religions predominate. (Reference: Newton, The Religion of Masonry p. 71; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 51852

7. Note to Instructor: Instruction and practice in giving the sign, grip and word is the responsibility of the brother assigned to help the new Mason with his. lesson. However, asking the new Mason how he is progressing in the learning of his lesson would be an indication of the instructor's interest.

8. Note to Instructor: The symbolism of the Lambskin Apron should be reviewed. (Reference: Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols. p. 31.) As in the case of the meaning of the Great Lights, the distinction and honor of the Masonic Apron, as far as the World is concerned, and to a great degree among Masons, must reside in the degree to which the Tenets and Virtues of Freemasonry shine out in the character of the individual Mason. (Sheet EA 5 provides a review of the Tenets and the Cardinal Virtues.)

Instructional suggestion: The review of the Badge of a Mason provides an excellent place to review the Tenets and Cardinal Virtues of our profession as Freemasons.


To the newly initiated Entered Apprentice:  Dear Brother:

You are now a Mason. The moment that you assumed  your obligation you became a brother among us, and we welcome you to our ancient and honorable Fraternity.

The Entered Apprentice degree which you have just received is the first or lowest in the series of Masonic degrees. It is, however, second in importance to no other degree. Indeed, this degree is in many ways the most important of all; for it is this degree which confers the Masonic status and makes a man a Mason.   Moreover, in this first degree the candidate learns some of the most important of all Masonic lessons. He learns the importance which Masonry attaches to prayer. He learns that every Mason must put his trust in God, and that no atheist can ever become a Mason. He learns the nature of a Masonic obligation. He is brought from darkness to light and sees before him for the first time the three Great Lights in Masonry. He learns that the Holy Bible the rule and guide of every Mason's faith. He learns the sign, grip and word which enable him to prove himself a Mason. He is invested with the Lambskin apron which is the honored badge of Masonry. He learns the important Masonic lessons of secrecy and charity. He learns the symbolic moral uses of the working  tools. And finally, in the charge which completes this degree, he has summarized for him the duties which he owes to God, his neighbor, in his Country and himself.

It is not the purpose of this booklet further to discuss the ritualistic instruction which you have received. The ritual speaks for itself, and its teachings can best be understood by a careful study of that ritual. 

The Tenets represent one of the most eloquent passages in our ritual, and it would be advisable to use the ritual text. The text provides ample basis for discussion on how these Tenets may be put into practical and immediate practice. (Reference: Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 29.)

The text for the four Cardinal Virtues as it appears in present rituals has been unfortunately complicated by an attempt to fuse several elements. (Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 241.) It would seem best to review the four Cardinal Virtues with out reference to the Perfect Points of Entrance. Should the question about the latter, about all the instructor can say at this point in the new Mason's instruction is that this has been a matter of interesting speculation for Masonic scholars. (General reference of Tenets and Cardinal Virtues: Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 2930; Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, pp. 9456; Instructor's Handbook (Maryland), p. 8; Short 'Talk Bulletin (MSA) ,The Seven Cardinal Virtues", Aug. 1950.)

9. Note to Instructor: "Charity" in Masonic terminology includes both aid to the and the love of our fellow men. Unfortunately, the word "Charity" is sometimes associated with such considerations as tax deductions where there is little real concern for others. ','Masonic Secrets" has been covered under the orientation session for the Accepted Candidate. The instructor and the new Mason are the best judges of whether additional discussion is necessary.

This booklet merely seeks to present a little additional information, which is not contained in the ritualistic work.

The degree of Entered Apprentice, like the other two degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, dates from the Middle Ages, when the Masonic Fraternity was actually an operative guild of architects and builders. The mediaeval Entered Apprentice was a young man or boy actually engaged in learning the trade of an operative stonemason. Such apprentices were carefully   selected, only freeborn youths of good character, respectable parentage, and sound physique being accepted. Those chosen were apprenticed   to a Master for a term of seven years during which time they were given thorough instruction, not only in both the practical and the theoretical  phases of operative masonry but also in moral deportment, in good manners, and in their religious duties. They received particularly careful instruction in geometry, for the geometrical principles underlying Gothic architecture constituted the real secret or "mystery" of the mediaeval Craft, whereby the Masonic guild enjoyed a tight monopoly in the construction of such major buildings as castles and cathedrals.

These apprentices were under a rigid discipline. Their moral conduct was strictly supervised. They were forbidden to play at cards or dice, and were not allowed even to enter a tavern or public house unless sent there on business by their Master. When off duty, they always traveled in pairs, so that each could have a witness that he had indulged in no forbidden conduct.

When his seven years of apprenticeship was completed, the young Mason was required to pass a strict professional examination. 

10. Note to Instructor: The Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice have been re-handled and briefly explained in the first section of this review session. There will be additional opportunity to review these in the use of the handout sheet on symbols. The instructor may wish to pause long enough to see if the new Mason has any thoughts on their application to his own life.

11. Note to Instructor: The Charge has a special place in Masonic ritualistic history, since it is one of the oldest forms of instruction of the Operative Craft. The charge given to the Entered Apprentice has some important instructions for the new Mason. An outline of the charge is included in the handout sheets and may be used at this time to review the basic statements and admonitions. (Handout Sheet EA  2.)

12. Note to Instructor: While it is not important to the new Mason at this time, the instructor should be aware that Masonic scholars widely disagree about the origin and antiquity of the ' three degrees and about the third degree in particular. (Reference: Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, Chap. 15).

13. Note to Instructor: The new Mason may have questions concerning the phrase "Free Born." It may be worthwhile to mention briefly that this is another example of living Freemasonry's retention of the old regulations which often give both wisdom and stability to modern Masonry. In many cases the older regulatory forms become symbolically important. The new Mason might be interested in relating this particular old requirement to the Biblical warning that "no man can serve two masters." In any event, the reference allows the opportunity to mention the Ancient Charges and Old Regulations which await the new Mason's future study. (Sheet AC  1, paragraph 3, can be utilized in considering this topic.).

14. Note to Instructor: The term of seven years (not always a fixed requirement) indicates both the commitment and the scope of the ' skills which the Entered Apprentice had to demonstrate. As for the present, seven years from now, the new Mason will still be discovering new insights in the Entered Apprentice degree.

15. Note to Instructor: "Theological', here refers to symbolic and mystical considerations as well as to a relationship with the church in the Middle Ages. Arguments have been made that there is no direct evidence that Operative Masons practiced any system of a symbolic nature, however, it seems more than likely that they did.

16. Note to Instructor: The mention of "Geometry" as the basis and essential science of Operative Masonry provides an excellent opportunity to aid in the preparation of 'the new Mason for the Fellowcraft degree. He should look forward to discovering more about this close association between Geometry and Masonry in the coming degree.

17.  Note to Instructor: It is interesting to note that the Entered Apprentice of today shares the experience of the Entered Apprentice of the Operative era in having to pass an examination. It is to be hoped that the new Mason will realize that Speculative Masonry calls for a high level of performance in its own right just as building in stone did in the past,

18. Note to Instructor: The meaning of "Free" in the term "Freemason" has been greatly discussed by Masonic scholars. (Reference: Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, pp. 147159.) The meaning given here is both meaningful and possibly correct.

If successful, he was then declared "free of the trade and was admitted as a Fellow of the Craft,    a fully qualified and skilled workman, and a member of the. local operative lodge. In memory of this ancient requirement, you will
be required to learn a lesson based upon the ritualistic work of this degree and pass an examination thereon before you can be advanced to the    next degree in Freemasonry.

As an Entered Apprentice Mason you enjoy certain rights and privileges and also suffer under certain disabilities. You are entitled to instruction, and, when qualified, to advancement. You are free to sit in lodge when opened on the Entered Apprentice degree and to witness the work of that degree. Except at funerals, you are also free to walk in public Masonic processions. On the other hand, you are not yet a member of the lodge and have no voice or vote in its affairs. Neither are you entitled to Masonic burial

As an Entered Apprentice, it is your privilege to contribute $5.00 to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, in Alexandria, Virginia. American Masons take pride in the fact that George Washington was an active and devoted Mason, He was initiated in Fredericksburg Lodge, now No. 4, of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was later the Worshipful Master of what is now Alexandria Washington Lodge, No. 22, of Alexandria, Virginia, and was still serving as Master of this lodge when elected President of the United States. He took his oath of office as President upon the Bible belonging to St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of New York City. Acting as Grand Master of Maryland, pro tem, he laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol with Masonic rites.

19. Note to Instructor: The learning of the Entered Apprentice lesson is the task of the new Mason with the help of the brother assigned to help him. Again it would be helpful if the Instructor were to inquire how the memorizing was progressing.

20. Note to Instructor: Present Grand Lodge Regulations limit Masonic processions to funerals and attendance at religious services unless special permission is granted. (Reference: Constitution, Sec. 101, pp. 3738.) One reason for this is Masonry's wise abhorrence of ostentatious show. This position may be difficult for the new Mason to appreciate in an era when "commercialism" is considered to be clever.

21. Warning to Instructor: We have been living in an era which has taken special pleasure in despoiling heroes in the name of "realism." It is possible that this section of the Pollard booklet will not have the good result which was hoped. If the new Mason has been told or if he believes that Washington 'padded his accounts at the expense of a struggling new country, he may not be very impressed by Brother Washington's Masonic   affiliations. The instructor, as a Freemason, should be greatly concerned with the "debunking" of values, the "putting down" of noble ideas, and the belittling of fine men. His best defense, however, is not argument, but through a thorough knowledge of the facts along with a true appreciation of human nature. (Reference: Roberts, G. Washington, Master Mason.)

22.    Reference for Instructor: Peyton Randolph  Patriot, President of First and Second Continental Congress. Joseph Warren  Patriot and soldier, important member of the Boston Committee on Correspondence and leader at the Second Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Henry Knox  Commander of Artillery under Washington and later Secretary of War. His holding of a large tract of land in Maine led to the naming of one of our counties. Edmund Randolf  Statesman, Attorney General under Washington and Secretary of State under Jefferson.
John Marshall  Served in the Revolution and became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

23. The name Gerald Ford should be added to this list.

When he died in 1799, Masonic funeral services were conducted by his lodge.

Many others among the Founding Fathers of our Republic were members of the Fraternity, including such outstanding figures as Peyton Randolph, Joseph Warren, John Hancock, Paul' Revere, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, Henry Knox, Edmund Randolph and John Marshall.

The following Presidents of the United States have been members of the Craft: George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson (E.A.)

We also take pride in the fact that the first Governor of the State of Maine, the Hon. William King, was also the first Grand Master of our Grand Lodge. As of 1971, thirty one governors of the State of Maine have held membership in the Masonic Fraternity.

Our British brethren take equal pride in the number of kings and princes belonging to the Order. In the last 200 years alone, no less than eighteen members of the Royal Family have been Masons. The late King George VI was a Past Grand Master both in Scotland and in England.

So you see, my brother, that you have become a member of a most distinguished fellowship. Unlike an apprentice of 500 years ago, you will spend but a short time in your apprenticeship. Improve it well, study your lesson, and you will soon be called upon to take your second step in Masonry.

back to top


SHEET EA  1 - The Junior Deacon's Questions 

SHEET EA  2 - Outline of the Entered Apprentice Charge

SHEET EA  3 - Symbols of Entered Apprentice Degree

SHEET EA  3A - Questions on Entered Apprentice Symbols and Degree

SHEET EA  4 - General Plan of a Lodge Room, Officers' Jewels, and Officers' Places

SHEET EA  5 - The Tenets of a Mason and The Four Cardinal Virtues 

SHEET EA  6 - Vocabulary List for Entered Apprentice Degree


I. Do you seriously declare upon your honor, before these witnesses, that, unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?

II. Do you seriously declare upon your honor, before these witnesses, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire for knowledge, and a sincere wish to be serviceable to your fellow creatures?

III. Do you seriously declare upon your honor, before these witnesses, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the Fraternity?

back to Handout List        back to top


I. Congratulations to you on becoming an Entered Apprentice.

II. "No institution was ever raised on a better principal or more solid foundation; nor were more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down than are inculcated in the several Masonic lectures."

III. Three great duties

A. To God

1. never mention His name without reverence

2. implore His aid

3. realize that God is the author of all good

B. To your neighbor  acting on the square

C. To yourself  avoid all intemperance which might keep you from upholding the dignity of your profession as a Mason.

IV. Citizenship   understanding the importance of proper government and law in the land in which you reside.

V. Watch your actions  do not let prejudice or bias lead you into a dishonorable action.

VI. Freemasonry is not intended to interfere with your necessary vocation; however, your frequent attendance in lodge is earnestly recommended.

VII. Don't get involved in pointless arguments over the importance and nature of Freemasonry.

VIII. Continue your Masonic studies.

IX. Keep the mysteries of Freemasonry in your heart.

X. Consider carefully if the Fraternity will be strengthened by the membership of any individual who expresses a desire to join the Order.

back to Handout List        back to top


sheetea-3.gif (21779 bytes)


1. Which figures represent the working tools of an Entered Apprentice?

2. Can you name the pillars shown in figure "a"?

3. What do these three pillars symbolize?

4. Which figures represent the furnishings of a lodge?

5. What is an indented tassel.? Which figure includes an indented tassel?

6. Which of the furnishings of lodge is dedicated to the Craft?

7. What is the symbolic significance of. the central symbol in figure "d"?

8. Which figure represents the lesser lights?

9. What do the lesser lights represent?

10. Charity or love of one's fellow man is represented in which figure?

11. Can you give the name for the two stones shown in figure "c"?

12. Can you give the significance of these two stones in your own words?

13. What does figure "g" teach in regard to a Mason's life?

14. Which figure represents the badge of a Mason?

15. What in particular does this badge of a Mason represent?

16. Which figures represent the jewels of a lodge?

17. Are there any jewels of a lodge which are not shown on this sheet?

18. Where does the ladder shown in figure "k" symbolically lead?

19. Which figure has to do with two important patrons of Freemasonry?

20. Which figure represents a symbol of human life?

21. Which figure shows a symbol dedicated to the master of a lodge?

22. Which figure symbolizes a change in our lives which we all hope will take place? (Through our endeavors to improve our characters.)

23. Which figure has to do with the proper use of time?

24. Which figure involves master plans for building?

back to Handout List        back to top

Some additional questions not related to figures shown:

1. Can you give the tenets of your profession as a Mason?

2. What portion of your degree experience referred to parts of the human body?

3. Can you remember the symbols which represented the proper attitude of an Entered Apprentice in ancient times?

4. Do you remember any special instructions that involved various forms of written expression?

5. Can you give any reasons for orienting a lodge east and west?

6. What are the symbols of the Entered Apprentice's spirit of freedom, fervency and zeal?

back to Handout List        back to top


sheetea-4.gif (37878 bytes)

back to Handout List        back to top



The tenets of your profession as a Mason are BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, and, TRUTH.

sheet5a1.gif (5703 bytes) BROTHERLY LOVE.
By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family  the high and low, rich and poor; who, as created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

sheet5a2.gif (6711 bytes) RELIEF.
To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Masons, who profess to be linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, sympathize with their misfortunes, compassionate their miseries, and restore peace to their troubled minds, is the grand aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections.

sheet5a3.gif (6029 bytes) TRUTH.
Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct. Hence, while  influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us; sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us, and the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare and rejoicing in each other , s prosperity.

statue2.gif (12880 bytes)


Temperance is that due restraint upon our affections and passions which renders the body tame and governable and frees the mind from the allurements of vice.

Fortitude is that noble and steady purpose of mind whereby we are enabled to undergo any pain, peril or danger when prudentially deemed expedient.

Prudence teaches us to regulate our lives and actions agreeably to the dictates of reason, and is that habit by which we wisely judge and prudentially determine on all things relative to our present as well as our future happiness.

Justice is that standard or boundary of right which enables us to render unto every man his just due without distinction. This virtue is not only consistent with divine and human laws but is the very cement and support of a civil society.

back to Handout List        back to top



ACCORD (v)  to agree, agreement

ARCHIVES (n)  a storage place for documents and records

AVOUCH (v)  to acknowledge

AWE (v)   Reverential fear; amazement

BIAS (n)  prejudice; influence or affect unduly

CENSURE (n)  condemnation or blame

COUNTENANCE (v)  approval; support; encourage; favor

COWEN (n)  a person who lays brick or stone without mortar impersonating a skilled mason

DEBASE (v)  to lower in character; degrade

DEMEANOR (n)  behavior; manner

DENOTES (v)  represents; signifies

DEROGATORY (adj.)  lessening in good reputation


DEITY (n)  God

DIVEST (v)  to strip; dispossess; deprive

ECLIPTIC (n)  apparent path of the sun

EMBLEMATICAL (adj.)  serving as an emblem; symbolic

EMINENT (adj.)  standing above others; distinguished

EQUIVOCATION (n)  a deception arising from the use of a word

FERVENT (adj.)  enthusiasm

FRUITION (n)  realization; the yielding of natural or expected results

IMMEMORIAL (adj.)  extending beyond memory of record

IMPLORE (v)  to call to urgently

INCULCATE (v)  to teach; to impress upon the mind

INDENTED TESSEL (n)  the skirt work around the lodge originally;  a chord tied in lovers knots and having tassels emblematical of the ties of brotherhood

INESTIMABLE (adj.)  above price; very valuable

INTEMPERANCE (v)  lack of moderation especially in the use of alcohol

INVIOLABLE (adj.)  that which must not or can not be violated

INVIOLATE (adj.)  pure; unbroken

INVOKING (v)  to call on for aid or protection

MAXIM (n)  a brief statement of a practical principle

MENTAL RESERVATION (n)  the unexpressed qualifications of a statement that would, if uttered, effect or alter its meaning so as to violate its truth

PRECEPT (n)  a prescribed rule of conduct or action

RASHNESS (adj.)  acting without forethought

REPROACH (v)  to bring disgrace upon; blame, discredit

SUPERFLUITY (n)  wastefulness; intemperance

TOKEN (n)  a visible sign; evidence

TRANSGRESS (v)  to break the bounds of; sin; exceed

ZEAL (n)  enthusiastic devotion

back to Handout List        back to top



In the era of the operative builder, the Fellows of the Craft represented the professional Masons. They were mature men who had passed their years of apprenticeship and were skilled in the arts and the sciences of their calling. It was these men who would erect the houses of faith and temporal power which characterized their day. As it was then, so it is now. The Fellowcrafts represent the craftsmen dedicated to learning  learning both moral and intellectual  the men filled with the mission of speculative Masonry today. 

The instructor who has pondered the Fellowcraft Degree in an honest search for what it has to say to him in his years of manhood is bound to be of great help to the new Fellowcraft. Such an instructor will find a natural bond between himself and the man he wishes to assist  a bond which has its substance in the community of human experience, for if two words can be found to describe the Fellowcraft Degree they are these two. 

Because it is necessary for the instructor and the new Fellowcraft to consider the full implication of the degree and not just its parts, an excellent interpretation of the ritual has been included in the handout materials. In addition, this overview ends with a discussion of the degree and the role of the instructor. This discussion may serve to highlight the many facts of this degree.

The review session follows the format used in the orientation session for the Entered Apprentice.

The second section provides an opportunity to review this historical development of the Fraternity as summarized in the Pollard Plan Booklet for the Fellowcraft degree. In the discussion of the booklet there is an excellent opportunity to explore the contribution which the Fraternity has made to both society and individual, as well as its potential for service in the future.

Finally, the handout materials provide extended and alternative means of review and instruction. It is hoped that the use of this material will be such as to stimulate the new Mason to contemplate the meaning of the Fellowcraft degree in his own life.

The Degree in the Middle
(A view of the Fellowcraft Degree and the Instructor's Role) 

Like the proverbial plight of the "middle child" the Fellowcraft Degree often does not receive the attention it deserves. Moreover, certain Masonic scholars have been negative in their criticism of the Degree's content and form. (See Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 184.) While these students acknowledge the glories of Prestonian language included in the ritual, they view the Fellowship Degree as an eclectic attempt to retain elements which early ritualists were loath to discard after the ceremonies associated with the Fellowcraft had been plundered in the formalization of the Master Mason Degree and the setting aside of the Mark Master. 

A careful scrutiny of our second degree leads the Masonic educator to a very different conclusion. A study of the degree leaves him wondering just how any program of Masonic education can do justice to this middle experience of Freemasonry which is as rich in color and design as a Persian carpet and which has such a vital place in the three steps of Craft Masonry. 

To begin with, the degree samples the experience of the builder  his awe, his inherent capabilities, his undaunted lust to imitate the divine plan  form the rude beginnings of civilization to the present and (let us pray) from the present forward to that time when the intellect of man joined with compassion and virtue shall erect the high spires of wisdom beneath which man shall dwell with the blessings of peace and plenty. 

Wisdom is the central theme of the Fellowcraft Degree and it is symbolized by the sanctuary of the Middle Chamber. This sanctuary is reached by means of a Flight of Winding Stairs which represent nothing less than a liberal and a moral education.

 One critic has called the instruction given in the Fellowcraft Degree "puerile." It must be admitted that the ritual presents only the briefest view of the development of the arts and the sciences and of their place in the story of the builder. With a few suggestive brush strokes, the ritual sets the stage for further inquiry before hurrying on toward the Middle Chamber. It is a rapid overview, but in no way is it childish. We can hardly expect the ritual to be set aside while a course in analytic geometry is conducted in order to convince the candidate that truly geometry "is the root of the mathematics," or while a survey of modern atomic physics is presented to illustrate how form and structure permiate the world of nature. 

For the Masonic educator, understanding what has been left out is as important as comprehending what has been included. Of course, it is impossible for the instructor to develop, in educational sessions, the considerations implied by the ritual just as it was impossible for the Masons who first formulated the present degree. The instructor, however, can open doors, as it were, which will allow the new Fellowcraft to glimpse the wide vistas which spread out on every side from this "middle degree." 

Despite its emphasis upon the academic, the Fellowcraft Degree. is a most human and close to home experience. It is far from being cold and austere. As Masonic writers have often pointed out and as the lecture of the third degree makes manifest, our "middle degree" is concerned with our "middle years" of manhood. The Middle Chamber as a goal, the flight of winding stairs as a way, and our manhood as the stakes, are united in a presentation which has to do with the maturing human being as seen through the history of civilized society in general. It is obvious that we are not dealing with any particular chronological age when we consider Masonic manhood, but rather the period in life when a man must come to grips with human existence  its joys, wonders and its agonies. If a man is to reach the Middle Chamber his youthful exuberance and his native ingenuity must pass between the Pillars of moral strength and disciplined establishment. 

The Fellowcraft is a degree of passages. In fact, we might say that it is a celebration of the "rite of passage" both in terms of mankind and the individual. It is a degree poised on the waterfords of human existence and decision. The wages of the Mason the symbolic corn,wine and oil await,but they shall be given only to the man whose intellectual awakening is oriented by the Cardinal Virtues and whose skills are dedicated to the wellbeing of others. The rewards of health, peace and plenty are available for the human being who has found solid significance within himself and within his relationship toward the world and toward mankind. 

We need go no further to underscore the importance of the quest for Masonic manhood, be it for the individual or for the wellbeing of the Craft. It is equally obvious that the "middle degree" makes meaningful the God centered, moral lessons of the Entered Apprentice Degree while preparing the way to the significance of the Master Mason Degree. Any educational assistance which renders these points clearer to the new Mason are worth our effort and our careful planning. 

The Masonic instructor can best accomplish his objective of assisting the new Mason by taking advantage of every opportunity to focus attention upon the thematic material of the Fellowcraft Degree and by leading the way toward a contemplation of the degree's message to the individual. 

As an example of such an opportunity, let us take one aspect of the ritual which might well bring a question from any new Mason who is thinking critically about his Masonic experience. It is a point which has certainly been brought up by other students of Freemasonry. This point of question has to do with the Orders of Architecture. 

Would it not have been more in keeping with the portrayal of the operative apprentice's training and of the Fellow's skill had the early ritualists incorporated Gothic art rather than the classical Orders of Architecture? The answer is that it would have been. But this situation in our ritual needs no apology on the part of the Masonic instructor. The appearance of the classical orders in our present ritual presents a splendid opportunity for leading the new Mason toward an understanding of the development of modern Freemasonry. 

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the older discovery of an all embracing faith was mingled with the upwelling of the enlightenment which found in the classical world, as well as the emerging of science, an inspiration for a new hope in man's ability "to imitate the Divine Plan" and to use the laws of nature for the purpose of bettering society and man's life here upon earth. Freemasonry, perhaps alone among the major institutions accomplished in its philosophy and ritual a synthesis between the older age of faith and the emerging age of reason  an all-important synthesis the general want of which in our present society has given rise to many of our current social ills and individual anxieties. What an opportunity for bringing light in the new Mason's understanding of the importance of Freemasonry is supported atop the Orders of Architecture! 

One of the principal activities of the Masonic instructor lies in making more significant the past experiences of the new Mason while preparing the way to the next step in his Masonic journey. In the Fellowcraft Degree, the new Mason is introduced to the Temple of King Solomon. How better can the new Fellowcraft be led to contemplate the moral significance of the Entered Apprentice Degree or be prepared for the coming experience of the Master Mason Degree? 

The Middle Chamber lies within Solomon's Temple. The new Mason may well wonder why. He may also reasonably question why the temple has so fascinated men through the centuries. Unless he can find an answer to these questions, an important teaching of the Fellowcraft may be missed. The temple was not, after all, more magnificent in earthy trappings, nor built on a grander scale then many a temple along the Nile and the Euphrates. What is it about the Temple which has so stirred man's mind? Is it because God's very presence dwelt in that sanctuary and among the people? If this is so, then we have found a special significance for the temple motif in Freemasonry. Without the presence of' the Supreme Intellect, ordering the universe and active in the lives of men, our aspirations and our hopes are but ripples in the void of blind chance soon to disappear in the meaninglessness of chaos. Without God's presence in the Middle Chamber as a symbol of wisdom the darkness will follow our climb up the Winding Stairs and at the turning we shall meet only despair. 

Finally, let not the Masonic educator lose sight of the meaning within the very name of this degree which is so much in the middle and in the midst of our Masonic lives. 

Fellowcraft  Fellows of the Craft   the fellowship within the Craft all speak of the essential character of our Fraternity which finds its final pronouncement in the Five Points of Fellowship in the Sublime Degree. In the Masonic educator the new Mason should find a living example of this fellowship dwelling within the lodge of the builders.

back to top


Objective: To provide the new Fellow of the Craft the opportunity to review the major experiences of the Fellowcraft Degree within the physical setting in which that experience took place. To provide clarification of the elements within the ritual to be followed by a review of the Pollard Plan Booklet, Number Three. 

Setting and Preparation: The first section of the review session shall take place in the preparation room and in the lodge room. Both rooms should be checked to see that they are clean and neat. The following items should be laid out: 

I. Items in the preparation room
    a. Cable tow
    b. Senior Deacon1s working tool

II. Items in the lodge room
    a. Bible, square, and compasses laid on altar.
    b. The working tools of the Fellowcraft in the east.
    c. Handout sheets
    d. (optional) Sheath of wheat suspended

Climate: The Instructor or Educational Coordinator should endeavor to build an atmosphere which is both inspirational and informal. This section is intended to be a structured review, but the new Fellowcraft(s) should feel free to ask questions and take an active part in the review.

back to top


Outline of Review Session 

(In the Preparation Room) 

I. The Three Jewels of the Fellowcraft

II. The Fellowcraft Degree  a quest for wisdom

III. The Cable Tow

    1. The physical cable tow
    2. The cable tow of personal conscience

IV. Reception into the Fellowcraft Lodge

V. The Obligation

    1. Duty to Craft
    2. Duty to others

VI. The Working Tools

1. The Square
2. The Level
3. The Plumb

VII. The Wages of a Fellowcraft

VIII. The Fellowcraft Degree as a Rite of Passage

IX. The Pillars

X. King Solomon's Temple  a Holy House

XI. The Globes

XII. The Winding Stairs

1. Quest for knowledge
2. The need for faith
3. Three steps
4. Five steps
5. Seven steps

XIII. The Sheath of Wheat and the Water Ford

XIV. The Middle Chamber

1. Geometry
2. Letter "G" lecture
3. Wisdom and the Supreme Intellect

XV. The next step  the Sublime Degree

Note: The text below is not intended for memorization. It is intended as a guide for the instructor. Set in brackets are references to various Masonic sources. These references are included as an assistance to the instructor who wishes to enlarge his own background and understanding.

back to top


(New Fellowcraft(s) in the preparation room) 

The preparation room is an appropriate place for us to begin a review of the Fellowcraft Degree, for how well we are prepared for any new undertaking determines how much we will profit from the experience.

In the preparation for this review, I would like you to recall the Three Jewels of the Fellowcraft. (If necessary, remind the new Fellowcraft(s) of the explanation of the three jewels and their explanation as given in Fellowcraft's lesson.) 

Knowledge and its proper use in the quest for manhood is a major theme of the Fellowcraft Degree, but as we pass through the experience of this degree, we are impressed with the fact that, as important as instruction and study are, something more than a liberal education is needed. We must find wisdom, and wisdom involves a personal commitment, as well as an understanding of facts. Wisdom is a matter of the heart, as well as the mind and of morality, as well as knowledge. It demands an understanding of ourselves and of others which passes beyond mere attainment of information. 

(Instruction Manual (Maryland) p. 18; Short Talk Bulletin, "The Attentive Ear," March 1964; Robert's The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 555 

As you stood awaiting admission into the Lodge of Fellowcrafts, you wore the cable tow for the second time. (Review with the new Fellowcraft(s) the way in which the cable tow was worn and the explanation as given in the Fellowcraft(s) lesson.) The cable tow which you wore has many meanings. Among these meanings are imposed control, dependence, and even subjugation. During the course of the Fellowcraft Degree, this physical cable tow was removed, and through your free and willing resolve, you assumed quite another cable tow which involved not outside control, but your own inner dedication to a way of life and to the mutual obligations of a Mason to the Fraternity. By this cable tow of your conscience you became a Fellow of the Craft. The length of this cable tow is determined by the extent of your own abilities and your own resources. 

(Note: The length of the cable tow has been the topic of much discussion. Interestingly, the physical length by which a Mason's obligation required his answer to a summons by his lodge was determined among the first speculative lodges of London as being three miles  the distance a man might walk in one hour. The Baltimore Convention of 1843 defined the length of the cable tow to be that extent of commitment which represents what might be reasonably expected of the individual brother.) 

(Short Talk Bulletin, "Cord, Rope, and Cable Tow, September 1950; Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 1 314; Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 270~ a~ 284-285.)

Knowledge, understanding, responsibility, and achievement are principal themes of the Fellowcraft Degree. In order for there to be wisdom, these elements of character must be united with that inner morality and just purpose which characterize the individual who is in tune with his Divine Creator. This union of knowledge and virtue which is the mark of wisdom was symbolically represented by the manner in which you were received into the Lodge of Fellowcrafts. (Review the manner of reception using the Senior Deacon's Tool, if necessary, to focus attention on the personal implications of the reception ceremony.) 

(Note: As there are two choices of scripture to be given during the Rite of Circumambulation, the instructor will have to adapt the following consideration to the practice of his own lodge.) 

The scripture which was repeated as you circled the lodge room was an important part of your Masonic instruction. Only with the support of faith can man face the challenges and the tribulations of life with a lasting hope, and only through a growing appreciation of the full meaning of love (charity) does faith enfold us in a sense of belonging to that which is universal and divine. You will remember the final words of the scriptural passage  "And now abideth faith, hope, and love (charity). These three; but the greatest of these is love (charity)."

In some lodges, the scripture presentation is taken from the seventh chapter of the Book of Amos. (This scripture is to be found in the Maine Masonic Textbook, p. 33.) In this text, Amos envisions God standing upon a wall with a plumbline in his hand. The plumbline is a symbol of moral uprightness set as a standard conduct, as God intended, among the lives of men. 

(Standing behind the altar)

Your obligation as a Fellowcraft was more specific than that of the Entered Apprentice. In particular, emphasis was placed upon your duty to the Craft as a whole and your responsibility to involve yourself in establishing the well-being of each individual member. In a larger sense, the duties of a Fellowcraft are emblematic of his responsibility toward his fellow human beings both from a standpoint of the maintenance of civil society and through private charity. 

(Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 42.) 

(Standing in the east) 

The importance of the Fellowcraft is no place better shown than in the selection of working tools which are his particular implements of labor. These tools were and still are essential instruments in the hands of the operative workman. As symbols, they become the jewels of office worn by the three principal officers of the lodge the square worn by the master, the level by the senior warden, and the plumb worn by the junior warden. These are the working tools furnished to you as a Fellow of the Craft.

(Note: The new Fellowcrafts(s) should be allowed to handle the working tools as they are discussed. The tools should be such that they could be used in operative practice, and sufficient care should be taken to assure that the new Fellowcraft(s) understand how they operate.) 

As you have been taught, the square is a symbol of morality and of virtue. It has been as considered from the earliest records of civilized society. "Acting upon the square" has become a common expression in our everyday conversations. Perhaps the repeated use of this expression along with the more recent misuse of the term "square" as a term of derision has tended to dull a general appreciation of the wisdom symbolized by this instrument. If so, such is not the case among Freemasons. For us the symbolism of the square reaches beyond our daily dealing with our fellow man. It pertains to the very foundation of the universal order itself. It symbolizes the combined actions of a brotherhood of men seeking to understand the meaning of life and moving toward that perfection of character which reflects the splendor of our Divine Creator. 

The key feature of the square is its angle of ninety degrees formed between the horizontal and the perpendicular. The square is closely related, therefore, with both the plumb and the level. 

(Note: The relationship of the square to the horizontal and the perpendicular can be illustrated by use of Fellowcraft Sheet, Number One, but this sheet should not be handed to the new Fellowcraft(s) until after all the tools have been examined and discussed.) (Perhaps the best discussion of the square and the law of the square is to be found in A.S.  MacBride's Speculative Masonry, pp 36-68. See also Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 431-433; Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 43; Short Talk Bulletin the Square," April 1924.)

The plumb, though a simple instrument in construction, responds to that vast and unseen gravitational field which surrounds us here upon the earth. Directed by this force field, the plumb points to the center of the earth thus allowing us to establish a perpendicular and to judge the "straightness" of verticals. (Note: The instructor should use both hand motions and the plumb, itself, to make clear this portion of the discussion.)

The plumb symbolizes uprightness of conduct. It symbolizes our response to both the moral sense within and that code of virtuous conduct which man has discovered to be fundamental in his proper and constructive dealings with his fellow men.

By uniting the square with the plumb, the level allows the operative workman to lay horizontals. Symbolically the level teaches equality that standard of human dignity and individual worth which so characterizes the spirit of Freemasonry. Each of us has been created to achieve, to establish, to express our own individuality, to face life, to live with compassion  in short to be a man. It is upon these God given elements of our human nature that true worth of the individual rests and not upon race, lineage, creed, or manifestation of special achievement or renown.

Each Mason comes to fully appreciate that statement so beloved among the Craft which proclaims  "We meet upon the level and we part upon the square."

(Short Talk Bulletin, "The Level and the Plumb," June 1924; Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 43-44; Instruction Manual (Maryland) pp. 21-22; Jones, Freemason and Compendium,~l44~ installation ceremony found in The Maine Masonic Textbook, p.64 and pp.68-70, is an excellent source.) 

At the close of the first section of the Fellowcraft Degree, you were told that operative Masons received certain wages in payment for their labors. (Check to see if the new Fellowcraft(s) remember the nature of these wages.) The rewards of our labors within speculative Masonry cannot be valued in terms of material wealth. They represent the nourishment of our spiritual lives and the opportunity to truly serve our fellow men thus obtaining that health of spirit and that joy of soul which is beyond price. 

(Standing before the two pillars)

The second section of the Fellowcraft Degree is a symbolic passage which represents both the growth of civilization from its primitive beginnings and the individual Mason's quest of manhood and the attainment of wisdom. At the beginning of his symbolic journey stand these two pillars.

You will find the subject of pillars, both those of the dawn of religion and those featured in Masonic traditions, a most fascinating subject. Sufficient for our present purposes, is the fact that Masonic passage as Fellows of the Craft begins with those symbolic representations of strength and establishment and of power and control. The pillars also stand as a testimony of a promise on the part of our Creator and an obligation on the part of men.

We are told that these two pillars represent the brazen columns which stood at the entrance to King Solomon's Temple. It is important to remember that the splendor of Solomon's Temple and the grip which this structure has had upon the minds of men lays in the fact that the presence of God, active and moving in the hearts of his people, was felt to emanate from this holy house.

The globes which represent the earth and the heavens give a further symbol of God's creation and the universal nature of the application of the principals of Freemasonry.

(Note: The instructor should be aware that the globes represent a relatively recent addition to the symbolic pillars  see Roberts, p. SI. The reference in the ritual to storage of records alludes to another Masonic tradition often referred to by the term antediluvian Masonry. See ~4~ke's Revised History of Freemasonry (Clegg), Vol. 1, Chapter Seven  "The Legend of  Lamech's Sons and the Pillars"  Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 45 and 47; Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 3~359; Tried and Proven, p. 39; Instruction Manual (Maryland p. 22; Short Talk Bulletin, "Columns and Pillars," November 1949; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 51-52 and 475-477. On Solomon's Temple  First Kings,67 and Second Chronicles, 24; Mackey's Symbolism of Freemasonry, pp. 86100;  MacBride's Speculative Masonry, pp. 101-129; 1st Kings, CThp7Tter.(Note: The following section can be illustrated with handout sheet Fellowcraft Sheet, Number Two.)

The goal of the symbolic quest for manhood and for wisdom as portrayed in the Fellowcraft Degree is the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's Temple. In First Kings, Chapter 6, Verse 8, we are told: "and they went up with a flight of winding stairs into the middle chamber . . . " The flight of winding stairs represents the attainment of knowledge and the quest for achievement. (Note: The role which numbers play in the symbolism of the winding stairs and the part which a mystical interpretation of numbers have figured in man's groping for an understanding of the universe is indicated on handout sheet number two. The instructor may wish to call the new Fellowcraft(s) attention to this side issue. However, much caution should be taken in considering the role of numerology in Masonic ritual. See Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 451 and 490-491; and Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 121-122 and 405.)

The winding stairs, like all true symbolic presentations, provides us with a host of implications and insights upon which we may expand our appreciation of life and its meaning. Step by step the stairs represent the upward climb of men's understanding and his quest to "imitate the Divine plan." The view is more extensive the higher we ascend, yet this view with its widening horizon can only be obtained by the toil of climbing. It has been suggested that the winding stairs has a further illusion. Because of the turning, what awaits us as we progress is hidden, and we must progress with courage and with faith that the stairs will carry us upwards to that destiny which the Divine Creator, in His wisdom, has ordained. 

Our Masonic experience is represented in the first three steps of the winding stairs along with the support of the three principal officers of the lodge and the assistance of the craft as a whole. 

The next five steps represent man's attempt to build with harmony, strength and beauty through the proper use of form and proportion. The lessons from the orders of architecture reach beyond their applications in stone to the building of the temple within the individual. They symbolize a proper development of our mental capacities and our five senses.

The potential of our intellects and our rational ability to comprehend are symbolized in the next seven steps which depict the seven arts and sciences which once made up the curriculum of a classical education. Here we have outlined the essentials of the communication, computation, logical analysis, and awe inspired by the universal order. Though phrased in a language of the past, the scope of these arts and sciences contains the basis for man's present and future attainments of the mind and the inventions of his creative nature.(Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 5154; Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium 2952~ a~ 84; Instruction Manual (Maryland pgs. 18&19, Mantor's Manual Georgia), pp. 4647; Tried and Proven, pp. 3538;  

We now come to an interesting part of the Fellowcraft ritual. In many ways it represents a curious portion of the instruction, but at least one interpretation brings us a realization of the seriousness of human quest. The sheaf of wheat is a symbol of plenty, the results of a well earned harvest, but this sheaf is suspended at a river crossing  a place of crossing over and of danger. In symbolic language, we have arrived at a point where it is of greatest importance for us to be able to frame correctly what we have experienced. Knowledge without understanding, power without compassion, strength without control, ingenuity without moral responsibility, and even understanding without inner conviction and faith are all in vain and will not suffice to complete your passage to the Middle Chamber and wisdom. (Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 54; Bible, Judges, Chapter 12.)

(New Fellowcraft(s) standing in the east.)

Euclid once noted that "there is no royal road to geometry." There is no easy path to understanding the full import and meaning of the Masonic symbolism represented by the science of geometry.

Once the science which was the foundation of the ancient, operative craft, geometry represents the united wisdom of Freemasonry today  unifying the meaning of its symbols, displaying the wonders of structure and form in nature, underscoring the necessity of social and civil order, and giving evidence of the Supreme Intelligence which created both the universe and the mind of man. 

Here in the east, representing the Middle Chamber, was given to you one of the most splendid of Masonic utterances  the so-called "Letter G Lecture." As this lecture is printed out in the Maine Masonic Textbook, we urge you to read it with care. Here in symbolic representation you arrived at a place where, in reality, only your continued dedication, perseverance, Labor, and study can bring you  to the Middle Chamber of wisdom where the imperfect understanding of man touches the perfect understanding and the will of the Supreme Architect. Here within the symbolic Middle Chamber of our second degree you stand as a Fellow of the Craft supplied with the skills and the tools of a workman. Before you lies the degree of a Master Mason with its sublime teachings of man's final destiny. (Note. Handout Sheet, Fellowcraft Sheet Number Three, provides a condensation of the excellent material on the meaning of the Fellowcraft experience as taken from the Tried and Proven.) (Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 5657; Tried and Proven, pp. 3440; Instruction Manual Maryland, pgs. 1819; Mentor's Manual Georgia), pp. 4748;Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 2953~Short Talk Bulletin, "The Letter G," June 1933}

back to top


NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: See the general suggestions and explanations given under the second section of the Entered Apprentice Review Session.


I.  History of the Fellowcraft

II.  The Outstanding Features of the Fellow Degree

a. The Fellowcraft Lecture
b. Teachings of the Fellowcraft Degree

III  History of Modern Freemasonry

a. Connections with Operative Masonry
b. Transition from Operative to Speculative Masonry
c. Creation of the Grand Lodges of Great Britain
d. The Spread of Freemasonry
e. Freemasonry in America

1. First lodges in the Colonies
2. First lodges in the District of Maine
3. Spread of Freemasonry across the United States
4. The Fraternity in Maine

IV. Present Freemasonry (Statistics)

back to top


(Pollard Plan Pamphlet)


To the newly passed Fellow Craft:

Dear Brother:

You have now taken your second step in Masonry, and have passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft. You have received further light in Masonry and have assumed additional Masonic obligations, but you are not yet a member of the lodge. Today, the Fellow Craft degree is little more than a steppingstone between the first and third degrees of Masonry. However, in an earlier day, this degree was of much greater importance.

During the operative era, Fellow Crafts made up the great body of the Masonic Guild. They were the skilled workmen who actually erected the mighty churches of the Middle Ages, and the inspired artists whose magic chisels turned stone to lace and enriched architecture with sculpture of surpassing beauty. They were also the ordinary voting members of the operative lodges, from whose ranks the lodge officers were chosen. In those cities where Guild membership conferred the franchise they formed an important portion of the electorate It was not until the speculative era was far advanced that the Fellow Craft degree began to lose some of its earlier importance.

The outstanding feature of the Fellow Craft degree. as we know it today is the long lecture in the second section of the degree given in part by the Senior Deacon as he conducts the candidate, and in part by the Worshipful Master within the guarded precincts of the Middle Chamber. This lecture dating from Grand Lodge of Maine the eighteenth century, is one of the most interesting portions of our ritual. Repeatedly shortened, enough of it remains to show the intentions of the early ritualists who incorporated it into our work. This lecture is nothing less than a highly condensed symbolic version of the instruction imparted to an operative Entered Apprentice during his seven years of apprenticeship instruction which was necessary before he could he admitted as a Fellow of the Craft. Like the education of the ancient apprentice, this lecture is a quaint blending of the practical and the the commonplace and the sublime, the material and the spiritual In it, we find emphasized the respect which our ancient brethren entertained for the seven liberal arts and sciences; the particular importance which they attached to geometry, the science upon which their own art was erected; and the reverence which the Craft has always shown for the Great and Sacred Name of God.

It has been said that the principal teachings of the Entered Apprentice degree are moral while those of the Fellow Craft degree are intellectual.  This degree certainly does encourage study. Accordingly, it is thought fitting that this booklet should contain a brief history of Freemansonry. Study this carefully, for this knowledge will greatly increase your understanding and enjoyment of the Fraternity which you have joined.

A Brief Outline of Masonic History

Freemasonry is very old. Its beginnings are lost in the mists of antiquity, and its early history is clouded with legend and tradition. The present article, however concerns itself only with the sober and well documented history of more recent centuries.

Modern speculative Freemasonry is a direct continuation of the great operative Masonic Guild of the Middle Ages. Several of our existing lodges. located in Scotland. have written records reaching far back into the operative era and completely covering the interesting and important transition period, during which the operative Craft was transformed into the speculative society of the present day. The operative Freemasonry of the Middle Ages was itself an offshoot of those Comacine Masters who flourished in Italy in the eighth century and who were, in turn, descended from the ancient  Roman Colleges of Builders.

The Golden Age of the operative extended from the tenth century to the sixteenth. During this period, the Masonic Fraternity designed and constructed all of those magnificent Gothic churches which are the wonder and glory of Western Europe, and which have been variously described as "the frozen music of the Middle Ages" and as "prayers in stone."   It also furnished the military engineers who constructed the massive castles so characteristic of that warlike era. At this time. the real ,secret or "mystery'   of the craft was nothing less than a knowledge of the principles of higher mathematics underlying Gothic architecture.

During the operative period, local lodges existed at each place of employment, made up of the workmen on the job and presided over by the local Master supervising the work. Many of these lodges were temporary. ~Vhen the job was finished, the lodge dissolved. However, in larger centers of population, where work was always plentiful, and near those great cathedrals which took many centuries to construct, certain lodges became permanent and were eventually incorporated into the fixed guild system of the community. Some lodges, like those at Kilwinning and Edinburgh, came to be known as "principal head lodges" or Masonic courts for the settlement of local trade disputes. Certain noble families also served the Craft as hereditary patrons and judges. 

Under the overall control of Parliament, the supreme legislative and judicial authority for the Craft was vested in Generall Assemblies of Masons", held at stated intervals. All Masters were required to attend these Assemblies, which roughly corresponded to our present Grand Lodge sessions. These Assemblies  settled disputes, imposed punishments, conducted professional examinations, and made regulations for the government of the Craft. As the actions of these Assemblies were quasi-legal some local magistrate was usually associated with the presiding Master, thus lending his authority to the proceedings. The chief executive officer of the operative Craft was a Grand Master Mason, Master of the Work, or Warden General of the Masons, appointed by the Crown.

Numerous copies of the old manuscript constitutions of the Operative Masons come down to us, the oldest surviving copy dating from the year 1390. These old manuscripts are similar in subject matter, showing a common origin. They are very evidently copies of still earlier documents, now lost. They purport to contain the regulations adopted by a General Assembly of Masons, which met at York, England, in 926 A. D.

Much information regarding the operative Craft can also be learned from public and ecclesiastic records. A list of the Master Masons employed in building York Cathedral has been preserved. Mention of the Craft occurs in numerous acts of Parliament and in the municipal records of many ancient cities. The Worshipful Company of Masons of London was granted a coat of arms in 1472. The old Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel). now No.1 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, was repeatedly mentioned in the Burgh records, the first entry being in 1387 A. D. It was incorporated in 1475, was designated as "the first and principal lodge in Scotland" by the Schaw Statutes of 1598, and has its minutes in unbroken continuity from 1599 to the present. The old lodges at kilwinning, Melrose and Aberdeen have similar records reaching back to their operative days. The decline of the operative Craft began in the sixteenth century. Gunpowder had rendered castles obsolete. The revival of   learning had made geometry a matter of common knowledge, and had thus broken the monopoly which the Guild had so long . The Protestant Reformation, dividing Christendom into warring camps, had brought the cathedral building era to an end. Accordingly, the need for a highly specialized Guild of architects and builders ceased. Operative Freemasonry in the British Kingdoms would have died a natural death, as it did on the Continent of Europe, had not the old British lodges contained within themselves a certain number of members or Accepted Masons. These speculative members were men unconnected with the building trade, who had been attracted to the lodges by the fraternal fellowship which they found therein by a desire to share in the municipal franchise or by the sublime moral and ph ilosophical principles which Masonry had inherited from a remote antiquity. These accepted Masons were frequently men of the highest consideration, peers of the realm, generals in the army, university professors, lawyers and clergymen. When the operative Craft declined, these speculative members perpetuated the institution in its present form. This change was gradual. With each passing year, fewer and fewer operative members were admitted to the lodges and more and more speculative members, until the change was complete and Freemasonry emerged as a polite society of gentlemen, whose only building activity is that concerned with the building of human character.

The transition period roughly coincided with the seventeenth century. At the beginning of this century, the lodges were still operative bodies, with only a few speculative members; at its close, the speculative had well-nigh exclusive control. This change in the nature of the Fraternity made necessary a change in its government. In the year 1717, four old lodges meeting in London and Westminster united in establishing the Grand Lodge of England, the Premier Masonic power of the world. The year 1725 found an Irish Grand Lodge fully established at Dublin, with six subordinates. In 1736, the many ancient lodges in Scotland established a Grand Lodge for that Kingdom.

All legitimate Freemasonry in the world today is derived from these original British Grand Lodges.

Speculative Freemasonry became very popular in Britain during the eighteenth century, and has always retained that popularity. It has enjoyed the patronage of Royalty, and has counted among its members the greatest nobles and the most distinguished citizens of the United Kingdom.

From Britain, Freemasonry was transmitted to all sections of the British Empire, the military lodges attached to regiments in the British Army having played an important part in this work. Freemasonry was also transmitted to foreign countries, where it met with varied receptions. In those countries blessed with civil and religious liberty, it took root and flourished. On the other hand in countries suffering under either temporal ecclesiastical despotism Free masonry has always been subject to a bitter and relentless persecution.

In certain countries, local devotees have made the Fraternity over into something bearing little resemblance to its British original.

We do not know exactly when Masonry first came to America. John Skene, Deputy Governor of New Jersey from 1685 to 1690, was a member of the old Scottish Lodge of Aberdeen. In 1704, Jonathan Belcher, later Governor of Massachusetts, was made a Freemason in London. We have reason to believe that Masons were meeting in Boston and Philadelphia prior to 1733, but these meetings were purely voluntary and without Grand Lodge authority.

The first regular lodge in the New World was established in Boston, in 1733, by Major Henry Price, Provincial Grand Master under the Grand Lodge of England. Long before the Revolution, regular lodges had been established in all the thirteen Colonies. The first lodge in what is now the State of Maine, now our Portland Lodge. No. 1. was chartered under English authority in 1762. The Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland, and the schismatic English body known as the "Ancients" were all active in chartering American subordinates.

The Revolution made the American lodges independent of their British parents. Sovereign Grand Lodges were established in each of the thirteen States. Some of these Grand Lodges chartered subordinates in the new country to the west. As new States were formed, the lodges therein established independent Grand Lodges of their own. When Maine was admitted to the Union in 1820, the thirty-one lodges in the State united in forming the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine. Today, there are fifty-one Grand Lodges in this Country. One in each state and one in the District of Columbia.

These fifty-one American Grand Lodges have a combined membership of about 4,000,000. The nineteen Grand Lodges in the British Commonwealth have approximately 1,500,000 members. Numerous Grand Lodges exist in other Countries, but their membership is relatively small. Altogether, they cannot have more than 200,000 members.

(Footnotes to Pollard Plan)

#1. The author of the booklet is referring to that time when the Fellowcraft Degree conferred full membership into the Fraternity and not to the instructional worth of the present degree. See ~ones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 292-293.

#2. The term "Gothic" may not be sufficiently familiar to the new Fellowcraft to make meaningful what is being said at this point. The instructor should have at hand some illustrations of Gothic Cathedrals.

#3. The outstanding features of the Fellowcraft Degree have been covered in the first section of this review. However, this treatment provides opportunity for review and additional discussion.

#4. The instructor may wish to ask the new Fellowcraft to recall examples of moral teachings from the Entered Apprentice Degree and to recount some aspects of the Fellowcraft Degree which emphasize the intellectual endeavor.

#5. Reference: Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, pp. 123 and following; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 596GOO.

#6.Reference: Newton, The Builders,& pp. 67-96; Jones, Freemasons' Guide

#7 and Compendium, pp. 47-49 and 58.

#8 New Fellowcrafts with the inclination for further study will find the subject of cathedral buildings and. religious architecture of that period fascinating. One feature in particular may be worth mentioning. The design of the cathedrals include an emphasis  on upward soaring verticals. These have been called the "vertical of faith" and were featured in conjunction with the "horizontals of reason."

#9. The cathedrals represented a tremendous feat of engineering. The best of mans understanding of both the sciences and the arts went into their construction. Many new Fellowcrafts may be interested in exploring the role of geometry in the art and the science of architecture.

#10. The operative lodges erected on the job were the scene of activity, learning and fraternal gathering. See Newton, The Builders, pp. 126-131.

#11. Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. ~

#12. The term "Masters" here should not be confused with the present term "Master Mason." In this context "Master" refers to a Fellow of the Craft who had been chosen to direct the efforts of operative masons.

#13. Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, (under this Constitutions), pp. 285-290; Knoop, 3ones and Hamer, Early Masonic Catechisms.

#14. Reference: Home, Alex, TheYork Legend in the Old Charges. Also see the various headings under York in Jones, Freemasonst Guide and Compendium.

General note to Instructors on pages five and six: Just how meaningful and interesting the new Fellowcraft will find these pages depends upon his background and his interest in historical continuity. The main point to be made is that Freemasonry in all its wisdom evolved through a long history of operative masons in which building was a way of life and closely tied to their religious faith and their concern for their brothers.

#15. References: Jones, Freemasons' Guide

#16. and ~9~~yd½ur~, pp. 69 and following

#17. and ~130; Coil's Masonic

#18. Encyclopedia, pp. 569-600.

19. Note to Instructor: For information on masonic continuations in Europe see Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 109-110, and pp.64-66.

#20. The Builders by Joseph Fort Newton presents eloquent coverage of those ancient masonic concepts which were transmitted from the operative craft to the emerging speculative Fraternity. The Instructor cannot urge too strongly that the new mason read this book early in his masonic experience.

#21. For information on the founding of the Grand Lodge of England see Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 165 and following, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp.Little Masonic Library, Vo. 2, pp. 98-107.

Note to Instructor on page seven:The spread of Freemasonry around the world is a story of the traveling of the faithful and should be at least known by the new mason in brief outline. Important also is his understanding of the necessity for masonic government and law as a safeguard against the deterioration of standards and the corruption of the order's objectives and teachings.

#22. Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 417-418 and pp. 43-47.

#23. Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 58-62.

Note to Instructors: The new Fellowcraft may find it difficult to imagine persecutions of the fraternity. It is important for him to know something of this dark portion of masonic history and the threats that lurk in the present. It is his right to know that Freemasons have paid a price for their convictions. Perhaps this subject best demonstrates the importance of Freemasonry.

#24. The first lodge in what is now Maine was Portland Lodge, Number One. Portland Lodge consolidated with Ancient Landmark, Number Seventeen and Atlantic Lodge, Number eighty-one to form Triangle Lodge, Number One.

#25. It is probably not important to the new Fellowcraft that he understand much about the controversy between the "ancients" and the "moderns." This is a subject he can pursue later. However, the instructor should be ready to answer questions should they arise. Reference: Jones, Freemason's Guide and Compendium, pp. 193 and~T~owi~

#26. At the present time there are fifty Grand Lodges in the United States one in each of the fifty states with the exception of Hawaii  and one in the District of Columbia.

back to top


SHEET FC 1  - The Plumb, the Level, and the Square

SHEET FC  2 - Pictorial Representation of the Flight of Winding Stairs, Order of Architecture, the Five Senses, and the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

SHEET FC  3 - Explanatory Text ( from Tried and Proven, pp.3540 )

SHEET FC - 4 - Outline of Fellowcraft Charge

SHEET FC - 5 - Vocabulary List for Fellowcraft Degree



There is a close relationship between these three tools. Both the tools themselves and this interrelationship provide an endless source of symbolic application.

It should be noted that both the operative plumb and level, as depicted in the masonic representations, depend upon the force of gravity for their operation. (If this is not clear, ask your instructor to explain.) The symbolic level and plumb are also dependent upon a universal principal  in this case, that Divine and moral purpose which Freemasons believe pervades the whole universe. The square is closely associated with both the level and the plumb. Its significance lies in providing the builder a means of testing that perfect relationship which exists between the horizontal and the perpendicular. 

bwplumb.gif (2037 bytes) The Plumb The plumb as a symbol appears in the Old Testament (see Amos 7: 78 ).. The symbolic meaning of the plumb in the Book of Amos is one of judgment  a judgment of uprightness. Such a judgment may appear straightforward, but, as in all such situations which involve the complexities of life. The judging of uprightness in both ourselves and in others is never a simple operation. A man must judge himself and, in turn, be judged by others according to the most upright principles that he knows. Freemasonry teaches that while an uprightness of character is a deeply personal matter, there are outward standards of conduct which involve the tenets of our profession as masons and the cardinal virtues of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice. It is to these standards of rectitude that each mason must compare his conduct when applying the plumb to test the course of his actions and the value of his opinions. 

bwlevel.gif (1558 bytes) The Level The level is a symbol of equality. Again the mason must consider what is implied when we speak of equality and employ the symbol of the level. What is the basis for the concept of human equality of which Freemasons speak and upon which they endeavor to base their dealing with other human beings? Certainly it is not a naive assumption that all humans are born with equal potentials for that equality can be assured by taking the, awards from those who achieve giving them to non-achievers. The masonic concept of equality is based upon a recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings as individuals and as members of the human family as created by God. Equality thus involves not only the right to equal opportunity but the right to genuine respect for all based upon "the internal and not the external qualifications."

The equality of the level transcends any supposed differences of race, gender, ability, honors, or material acquisitions. 

bwsquare.gif (1406 bytes) The Square Of all the symbols prominent in the teachings of Freemasonry, none  is more ancient or widespread in its common use than the square. Yet for all its use, what is the meaning of the symbolic square? To say that the square symbolizes honesty in thought and conduct is only to introduce the meaning of the square. To reiterate that, the 'symbolic square is linked closely to the level and the plumb is only to suggest its implications. "To act upon the square" is a phrase which involves the whole meaning of being a Freemason. To constantly be aware that each act, each thought, and each impulse should be tested for its true relationship to our purpose as masons is the proper application of the moral and symbolic square,. To "try" with a square is a fine old word meaning a repeated application of that instrument to see if one is achieving the "right angle" relationships intended. To "try" our lives, thoughts and actions by the symbolic square is to test how closely we are living to the principles symbolized by the plumb and the level and which are given voice in the moral teachings of Freemasonry.

There is a very old saying among masons that in parting each others company, they do so "on the square." Though they depart in many directions, they take with them that symbolic instrument which will assure that their actions will be a continuation of a common purpose as builders of well-being and that they shall return in proper relationship to the intentions of the Grand Architect.

(Note: For further consideration of the plumb, level and square ask your instructor for references to the many sources on this subject.)

back to Handout List        back to top


sheetfc-2.gif (24555 bytes)

back to Handout List        back to top



Masonic thinkers often point out that the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry (The Entered Apprentice, The Fellowcraft, and The Master Mason Degrees) can be associated with man's passage through life  his youth, his adulthood, and his fully mature years. In such a view, the Fellowcraft represents adulthood. 

1. Does adulthood mean having lived through a certain number of years or does it represent a condition in which a man has become acquainted with the realities, the responsibilities, the disillusionments, and the rewarding challenges of life? A Fellowcraft, as our ritual describes him, is a hewer in the mountains  a man laboring in the midst of life and being put to the test of whether he shall be proven adequate. As an adult his life is in the balance. Will he find in life's experience a joy and reward or defeat and drudgery?

 2. Experience and education are two important contributors to the state of adulthood. Through his senses and contact with life around him, man learns the lessons of experience. Through education, a man's awareness and understanding are greatly extended by means of the experience of others. A Fellowcraft will recall that both experience and education are principal concerns in the Fellowcraft Degree, and that there is a third concern toward which the progress of that degree continually travels that concern is the quest for wisdom.

3. Experience brings us into direct contact with life; education expands our knowledge and competencies, but there is a greater and essential element. To make meaningful the varied experiences which come our way, to see ourselves and others in a fair perspective, to feel that our lives have a meaning associated with that which is far greater than ourselves involves wisdom.

4. If a man is to acquire wisdom, it is by a winding and upward climb and arduous progress involving caring and sacrifices, knowledge and understanding, faith and communion.

5. In adulthood it will be made evident whether or not a man has discovered for himself that "pass" which will admit him into the Middle Chamber where dwells the source of wisdom and universal meaning and there he will receive the wages of joy and fulfillment.

(For further discussion see the Masonic Service Association's Tried and Proven,pp. 35-40.)

back to Handout List        back to top



I. The internal not the external qualifications.

II. Adherence to duties and the value of these duties.

III. Laws and Regulations to be strenuously supported.

IV. You are to judge with candor, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with justice.

V. The great value of the liberal arts.

VI. Geometry and the demonstration of the properties of nature and the truths of morality.

VI Expectations placed upon the new Fellowcraft.

back to Handout List        back to top



Abide (v) - be faithful to

Adherence (n) - the act of sticking together; devoted

Admonish (v) - to remind as of duty or obligation

Adorn (v) - to furnish with ornaments; to increase the beauty of

Affirm (v) - to make a statement and maintain it to be true

Allude (v) - to refer; imply; to make indirect reference

Candor (n) - freedom from prejudice; fairness

Chapter (n) - the upper member of a column or pillar

Conflagration (n) - destruction by burning; a great or extensive fire

Contrive (v) - to plan ingeniously; devise; invent

Contemplative (adj.) - to look at attentively; to consider thoughtfully

Consecrate (v) - to set apart as sacred; to make reverent or hallow

Cubit (n) - an ancient measure of length, represented by the length of the forearm, about 18 to 20 inches.

Delineate (v) - to draw an outline; trace out; to portray; depict

Denomination (n) - a class designation; name

Deportment (n) - conduct or behavior; demeanor

Derive (v) - to draw or receive from a source

Discern (adj.) - quick to see a distinction or difference; recognize

Edifice (n) - a large structure of impressive architecture; a building

Evasion (n) - the result of evading; equivocation

Fraught (adj.) - full; laden

Inclemency (n) - harsh, severe weather; also rigor

Inundation (n) - a flood; submerged in water

Logic (n) - the science of valid and accurate thinking

Magnitude (n) - great size or extent; importance

Palliate (v) - to lessen the importance of; conceal

Pilaster (n) - a rectangular column, with base and capital, engaged in a wall

Pommel (n) - a knob or ball at the end of an object

Preferment (n) - the act of promoting to higher office

Proficiency (n) - the state of having thorough knowledge of some art or skill

Resolution (v) - courage; determination; purpose

Repositories (n) - a place in which secrets or valuables are or may be stored

Reprehend (v) - to find fault with; blame

Revere (v) - to regard with reverence; admire

Rhetoric (n) - to speak wisely and fluently with force and eloquence

Salutary (adj.) - wholesome; healthful; useful

Summons (n) - a notice to a person requiring him to act or appear

Sundry (adj.) - miscellaneous; various; several

Symmetry (n) - the element of beauty in nature or art that results from such arrangements and balancing

Unerring (adj.) - making no mistakes; sure; accurate

Vicissitude (n) - a complete change; alternating change or succession, as of the seasons

(List compiled by W. Brother Arthur Fowles)

 back to Handout List        back to top



The fact that our Masonic ritual employs the dramatization of a myth in the final section of the Sublime Degree is of major importance in our consideration of the supporting educational endeavors involving the instructor and the new master mason.

There is a close parallel between this use of allegory in the Third Degree and the utilization of myth in the dialogues of Plato. In the latter we find the shift from logic and argumentation to allegory at those very places where Plato reaches the profound and central themes of his philosophy. The Sublime Degree makes the same transition and for precisely the same reasons.

An understanding of the ultimate meaning and reality which underlies the Third Degree can not be transfused into or imposed upon the initiate, but rather involves an individual quest in which knowledge is amalgamated with spiritual conviction to produce an integrated wisdom, an embracing compassion, and an over-arching faith that there exists both a communion and a covenant between the Creator and the created. Such a state of being and of commitment to the Light comes only to those who are willing to undertake the necessary dedication to the pursuit of truth.

Whether or not the new master mason is aware of the necessity of his own religious and intellectual involvement in this search for the significance of the Sublime Degree and whether he has sufficient motivation to undertake this quest depends upon the success of his preparation during his proceeding Masonic experience. Fundamentally, the foundational work accomplished jointly by the new mason and the instructor must be accomplished before the enactment of the Third Degree. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that the valuable assistance of the Masonic instructor ends with the review of the Fellowcraft Degree. As the instructor is aware (and as the new master mason must realize), the Sublime Degree is not the end but the beginning of the journey toward the East of Symbolic Masonry.

The goals of the instructor working with the new master mason include the following:

A. The providing of materials which assist the new master mason in reviewing his Masonic experience acquired in the three degrees.

B. Acting as a sounding board upon which the new master mason may try and test his growing concept of the nature and purpose of Freemasonry.

C. Providing information upon the various sources of information on the Craft.

D. Stimulating the new master mason to ask wider and more deeply probing questions concerning himself, the Craft, and the philosophy of Freemasonry.

E. Assisting the new master mason in finding a meaningful place in the activities and services of his lodge. (This duty is shared with the officers and members of the lodge.)

With these goals in mind, the following section provides some suggestions and useful information for the instructor.

back to top


Review of the Major Symbols and Working Tools of the Three Degrees:

The newly raised master mason is in an excellent position to review the working tools and major symbols of the three degrees, and the sooner this review is done following his raising the more likely he will be to continue his own Masonic education. The aim of such a review is to bring together all those symbols and working tools in a unified whole. Of course, understanding the combined meaning entails much more than an identification of the parts, but a simple familiarity is essential before interrelationships between the working tools and symbols can be explored.

Supplementary Sheet M.M. - 3 along with the accompanying questions provides a means of review and identification of the principal symbols and the working tools. The instructor will find that while some of these symbols have struck a cord of response in the new master mason's mind and are thus remembered, others remain vague or forgotten completely.

Reviewing the working tools of the master mason provides the opportunity for review of all the working tools. In conducting such a review, it is advisable to go over both the operative and speculative applications. Having the actual set of tools present during the review and allowing the new master mason to again handle these tools as they are discussed will contribute greatly to the value of this review.

(Background for the Instructor - The Craft and It’s Symbols is, for both symbols and working tools which are arranged by degree; Speculative Masonry by MacBride, Chapter II (The Law of The Square); Short Talk Bulletins as follows "Presenting the Working Tools," August 1961; "Tool Symbolism," February 1952; "A Living Perpendicular," November 1 95£; "Horizontals," November 1966; "The Level and The Plumb," June 1924; and "The Square," April 1924.)

The Trowel: As the trowel receives special notice in the Third Degree, the instructor may wish to discuss its symbolic implications in some detail with the new master mason. (Maine Masonic Textbook, p. 50.) As in the case with so much of symbolic ritual, tremendous range of implications are compressed within the symbol of the trowel. The following presents a possible avenue of development by the instructor and the new master mason.

What is the genesis of that "cement which unites us into one sacred band

What should be the motivation which activates a brother as he takes the symbolic trowel in hand and joins this society of brothers?

Abraham Maslow has listed in ascending levels the human needs which generate our motivational desires and which lead us into social interactions. Lowest in Maslow's list we find the physiological needs - the need for food, shelter and for clothing. Next comes the need for security and safety. Once the physiological needs have been met and a sufficient security has been gained, there follows the need for social affiliations and for comradeship. The next level of needs stems from the seeking for recognition and esteem within our social group. At the top of Maslow's list of needs and motivational drives is what he terms "self actualization." Here the drive comes from the inner satisfaction of achieving one's best. In Masonic terms, self actualization is that state in which the duty to be a builder (and the best builder one can be) becomes our happiness. As in the case of all humans, the motivational drives of the mason arise from all the levels characterized by Maslow, but it is the highest level which is the goal of the master mason. In that state, it is not for physical sustenance, or for security, or acceptance, or even for the esteem of his brethren that he labors, but rather with a "noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can work and best agree.'1

Finally there may be an additional step in the growth of the individual mason in which "self" no longer contends and in which it is the needs of the Craft and its work for "the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God" which is the primary motivation. In such a case self actualization blends into true inspiration.

Is it, perhaps, the sharing of this united commitment to the highest which the mason knows which truly cements the sacred band and which has and will continue to unite the craft? (See also: Short Talk Bulletin, "The Trowel," October 1960.)

The Compasses: The Compasses provide the instructor with another rich and open-ended topic to share with the new master mason. Unlike the prominent plumb, the level, and the square, the compasses is not included in the working tools, yet it is everywhere present (either explicitly or implicitly) in our Masonic ritual. Not only is it dedicated to the Craft with that most important utilization (the keeping of our passions within due bounds), but it is closely tied, both in operative and symbolic practice, to the square and to the symbol of the point within the circle.

Brother Joseph Fort Newton calls the compasses the most spiritual of symbols (The Religion of Masonry, p. 53). William Blake's "The Ancient of Days," a depiction of the Creator with the Compasses (reprinted in The Craft and Its Symbols, p. 19), though highly anthropomorphic gives us more poignantly than can words Divine symbolism of this instrument - establishing the bounds of creation and scribing the pathways of order in chaos. There is an intimate relationship between this symbolism of Divine creation and the symbolic use of the compasses by the individual mason in keeping his thoughts and actions within due bounds with all mankind. The new master mason should ponder why friendship, morality, and brotherly love are said to be contained within the points of the compasses.

Interestingly, the compasses was utilized by operative masons to prove their squares upon which the right relationships of their building depended. Supplemental Sheet M.M. - 1 explains this method.

Anchored upon the central point, it is the compasses' outward reach which scribes the circle thus establishing one of the most expressive of Masonic symbols.

(References for the Instructor: The Craft and Its. Symbols, pp. 36-37, for the point within the circle; Short Talk bulletins, Point Within in the Circle," August 1931., "Symbolism: The Circle, "February 1962, and "The Compasses," May 1924.)

 With the great number of topics which might be considered and expanded upon at this stage of the new master mason's experience, it is important for him to have the opportunity of appreciating just how remarkable has been the expansion of his own circle of understanding as well as the extended reach of his own symbolic compasses since his start as an accepted candidate. It is of equal importance for him to realize that there is within the Craft - within its mission, its fraternal sharing, and its outreach of inspiration - a universe of potential growth.

Asking the Powerful Questions: More important than knowing easy answers is the asking of those questions which, though of considerable difficulty, lead to understanding. There is a fine set of questions employed by Brother Roscoe Pound in his evaluation and comparison of key Masonic thinkers (see Pound, Masonic Addresses and Writings, p. 4).

A. What is the nature and purpose of Freemasonry? (Or what ought it to be?)

B. What is its place in the rational scheme of human activities? (Or how is masonry related to other human institutions and does it have a unique mission?)

C. What are the fundamental principles by which Masonry is governed in attaining these ends?

The Hiramic Legend- and The Lost Word: For the new (and older) master mason, no consideration is more central or important than the search for the meaning of the Hiramic Legend and The Lost Word. The Masonic experience of too many masons has been "short circuited" through accepting ready-made and simplistic versions which purport to give meaning but which in fact are travesties.

In addition to the treatment given in the Pollard Plan Booklet for the master mason, the following quotes may serve to "trigger" further discussion between the instructor and the new master mason. (References for Instructor: Newton, The Religion of Masonry, especially Chapter Two; Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, see under Hiram Abif in the index of that volume; Roberts, The Craft an Its Symbols, pp. 81-88; Short Talk Bulletin, "The Importance of the Legend ~ November 1982.)

 Statement made by Edwin Booth who was recognized as one of the foremost Shakespearean actors of his day (1833-1893). (Not to be confused with John Wilkes Booth.)

"In all my research and study, in all my close analysis of the masterpieces of Shakespeare, in my earnest determination to make those plays appear real on the mimic stage, I have never, and nowhere, met tragedy so real, so sublime, so magnificent as the legend of Hiram. It is substance without shadow - the manifest destiny of life which requires no pictures and scarcely a word to make a lasting impression upon all who can understand. To be the Master of a lodge, and to throw my whole soul into that work with the candidate for my audience and the lodge as my stage would be a greater personal distinction than to receive the plaudits of people in the theaters of the world.  Alan Roberts writing in The Craft and Its Symbols (pp. 84-85):

I. "Through the 'secrets' of the Fraternity, we learn that nothing constructive can ever be gained by force. Violence destroys; it never builds. It is much easier to be a wrecker than a builder . Man will always encounter wreckers, ruffians, enemies anxious to extort from him his good name or to acquire something without working for it. There will always be those who will try, through force or otherwise, to make others compromise their fidelity and their trust . . . There is something of the ruffian in all men. The good and the bad are constantly at war with each other in hearts and minds." (See Roberts p. 85 for consideration of the point that destruction need not always take a physical form and for an interesting interpretation of the symbolic blows.) George Steinmetz writing in The Lost Word - Its Hidden Meaning, pp. 129-130):

"At some time, thousands of years ago, the sun rose in t Sign of Leo the Lion (Zodiac constellation) at the spring equinox (season of regeneration), hence he (the new master mason) is said to have been raised by the strong grip or Lion's Paw." (Note: Steinmetz's work must often be considered with some circumspection; however, here he has suggested a very interesting topic for discussion.)  From The Master Mason, instruction booklet of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, (p. 7):

"But the degree of a Master Mason has one other great mystery to show us. We speak of it sometimes as 'The Word,' sometimes as 'that which was lost', and again as 'The Lost Word.' To us it is the symbol of the very truth concerning God and man and the relationship of God to man and man to man. We never find it, yet we constantly seek it with only the assurance that some time, somewhere, when our labors here on earth are ended, when our temple is completed, when Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty exist in one and the same time, then we shall know it in all its fullness. Until then, we must be content with a substitute. So Masonry must remain an unfinished story."

Joseph Fort Newton writing in The Builders (pp. 288-289):

"When is a man a Mason?…When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. When he has kept the faith with himself, with his fellow man, with his God; in his hand a sword for (against) evil, in his heart a bit of a song - glad to live, but not afraid to die! Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world."

back to top


Objective: To provide the new Master Mason(s) with the opportunity of discussing the Pollard Plan Booklet, Number Four, with the aim of assisting him in gaining an overview of the Master Mason Degree as viewed in relation to his past Masonic experience and his future role within the Fraternity.

Setting: This session may be held at any location which is conducive to open, private, and uninterrupted discussion. While the previous review sessions involving the Pollard Plan Booklets have stressed the importance of a one-to-one relationship between the instructor and the new Mason, in this case a group discussion involving the instructor and a number of new Master Masons might have advantages by increasing the sense of belonging to a brotherhood of men with similar interests and concerns.

Preparation: The instructor may wish to have a number of the source books commonly used in Masonic studies present at this session - the objective being to simply acquaint the new Master Mason(s) with these works and not to develop a lengthy research.

In addition, the instructor should have a copy of the List of Regular Lodges Masonic, issued by the Grand Lodge, and a copy of the Grand Lodge Proceedings. Too often we tell a new Mason about some item without taking time to actually show him that item.

Atmosphere: As in past sessions, the atmosphere should be one of mutual exploration and not indoctrination and of encouragement of discussion rather than a demonstration of erudition on the part of the instructor. In cases of group discussions, the instructor should tactfully guard against the domination of one or more individuals while without embarrassment seek to "draw out" the more reticent into participation.


Outline of the Pollard Plan Booklet

I. The Sublime Degree

A. The culmination of the Craft System

B. The master mason in history

C. Early practices in conferring the degree 

D. Outstanding features in the degree

1. The obligation 

2. The Hiramic Legend 

3. The legend as a means of instruction 

E. The Grand Masonic Word 

F. The appeal of the master mason degree 

II. The Mason and His Lodge

A. Lodge membership and lodge charter 

B. Attendance at lodge meetings 

C. Payment of dues 

D. Responsibility at the ballot box pp. 

E. Becoming a working member of the lodge p.7

F. Dignity and decorum in the lodge 

III. The Grand Lodge

A. The mason's relationship to the Grand Lodge 

B. Officers of Grand Lodge 

C. History and statistics 

D. Distinguished masons associated with our Grand Lodge 

E. Charity Fund of the Grand Lodge 

F. Masonic library 

G. The Proceedings 

IV. Visitation 

A. Privilege of visitation 

B. Being avouched for and examinations 

1. Reason for 

2. Imposters and clandestine lodges 

3. Prince Hall Masonry 

4. Regular lodges 

V. Masonic Law and Discipline 

A. Categories

1. Landmarks 

2. Masonic Common Law 

3. Statute Law 

4. Decisions 

5. By-laws of regular lodges 

B. Violations 

1. Masonic

2. Civil

C. Jurisdiction over offenders 

1. Non-payment of dues

2. Other Masonic offenses

3. Trial proceedings

D. Penalties 

E. Ritualistic penalties

F. Statute Law in other jurisdictions 

VI. Wearing Masonic Insignia

A. Types of insignia

B. Wearing Masonic ring 

C. Masonic emblems on stationery 

D. Unethical use of Masonic insignia 

VII. The Additional Degrees 

A. The other rites

B. The York Rite 

C. The Scottish Rite 

VIII. Recommended Books

The Pollard Plan Pamphlet for Master Masons

(With Footnotes, (#1-31))


To the newly raised Master Mason:

Dear Brother:

You are now a Master Mason, and, as such, are entitled to all the rights and benefits of Masonry, both in' your own lodge and in the Craft at large. The following articles explain some of these rights and their corresponding responsibilities.

I    The Sublime Degree

The Master Mason degree is rightly known as sublime, both on account of the sublime nature of its teachings and by reason of its unique position among degrees. This degree is at once the culmination of the Craft system of degrees, and the base upon which all additional systems of degrees have been erected. Let it be clearly understood, here and now, that there is no higher degree in Masonry.#1 There are numerous additional degrees #2 but there can be no higher degree than the highest under the direct jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, the supreme and sovereign in Freemasonry. It is the Master Mason degree which confers the essential Masonic privileges.

This degree, like the others in the Craft series, dates back to the Middle Ages. The medieval Master Mason #3 was a man of the greatest consequence in the community. He was at once an architect and a contractor, a man of science and a man of business. Technically, he was simply a Fellow Craft who had, with the approval of the General Assembly, set up in business for himself, and who was prepared to draw plans, to make and execute contracts, to hire workmen, and to train apprentices. If he had genius, such a Master might rise high in the State, become the confidant and friend of kings and bishops, and command his own price for his services. As an officer of his local guild he might become the chief Magistrate of a Burgh. During the operative period in Craft history, the distinction between Master Mason and Master of the Lodge was never clearly defined. At times the terms appear to be synonymous, at others a distinction is discernible. In all probability, the local Master on a small job was also Master of the Lodge, while on a vast cathedral employing several. Masters, only one served in that capacity.

During the transition period. the Master's   degree was frequently conferred upon Accepted Masons, noblemen and gentlemen with no practical operative training. Such speculative Masters frequently presided over a lodge. In the early days of the modern speculative period, the method of conferring this degree was not uniform. In George Washington's mother lodge,  the degrees were conferred as at present. In many other lodges, only the first two degrees were regularly conferred by the lodge itself, the Master Mason degree being given in a special "Masters' Lodge", held, however, under the authority of the regular lodge charter. It was not until well after the Revolution that the present practice became uniform, that all Masons eventually became Masters, and that the Master Mason alone became a full-fledged voting member of the lodge.

Notes to above:

#1. Note to Instructor: The new master mason should understand that though the additional degrees may well expand his Masonic insight, none can provide by either ancient rubric or newer contrivance a short cut in that quest for the character of a master builder of the spirit and the mind.

#2. Note to Instructor: Pages I 7-19 of the Pollard Booklet, Number Four, provides an excellent source on the additional degrees, should the new master mason have particular questions. The chart "The Steps of Freemasonry" available through the Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company may also be useful as a visual display.

#3. Note to Instructor: Though it is not wise to confuse the new master mason with unnecessary scholarly argumentation, the instructor should realize that no subject has been argued at such length as has the historical origin of the Third Degree. The new master mason should not construe this statement in the booklet to mean that the degree, as we now know it, can be directly traced to the Middle Age. (Reference: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 408 and. 159-162; Jones, Masons' Guide and Compendium, pp. 146-247.)

4. Reference for Instructor: Jones, Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, Chapter Seven; Newton, The Builders, pp. 143-184.

5. Note to Instructor: George Washington was raised in Fredericksburg Lodge in Virginia on August 3, 1753. (Ref. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 677-679; Heaton Lodge at Fredericksburg, M.S.A., 1981.)

 The Master Mason

The outstanding features of the Master Mason degree are the Master Mason's obligation in the first section and the dramatic presentation of the Hiramic legend in the second section. These two things constitute the very heart and soul of Masonry, and are infinitely the most important portions of our ritual.

The Master Mason's obligation contains #6 within itself a complete code of Masonic conduct. Every Mason should learn this obligation by heart, and should thereafter regulate his life according to its provisions. Any violation of this obligation constitutes a most serious Masonic offense, which may be punished by the severest penalties known to Masonic law.#7

The Hiramic legend is one of the Landmarks of Masonry. Without the story of the #8 Temple Builder, our Fraternity would lose its distinctive character. In this quaintly dramatized legend, we find the ultimate lessons of Masonic philosophy-victory over death and the immortality of the soul. In the most dramatic manner, it teaches the fundamentals of life, #9 of death, and of the resurrection.

There is no historic basis for this legend. The Scriptures are silent as to how the Master Builder of the Temple met his death. This legend is an allegory in which the worthy Hiram is made a symbol of the righteous man in his passage through life. Attacked in youth by the allurements of pleasure and folly, and in man-hood by the vicissitudes and trials of life, he at last, in old age sinks under the inexorable hand of death, only to be raised by that supreme Architect of the Universe to a blissful immortality Grand Lodge o/ Maine in that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

The method of teaching these truths employed in the third degree is one of the oldest religious rites known to man. It is older than Freemasonry, older than our civilization, older than the Christian Era. Something very like it was known to the priesthood of ancient Egypt, as we learn from the pictured walls of ancient temples and tombs along the Nile. Something very similar took place during initiation into some of the so called mystery cults which flourished in the Graeco-Roman world. We do not #10 mean to imply that Freemasonry has any connection with the ancient mysteries, but there was certainly a similarity in teaching. Our present degree closely resembles some of the miracle or morality plays so popular in the Middle ages. Indeed, it may well be such a play adapted to Masonic use. Our Operative brethren were certainly acquainted with the legend. On cathedral walls #11 they sculptured representations of God the Father raising the crucified Son #12 in a remarkably Masonic manner!

At the time of his raising, the candidate is invested with the Grand Masonic Word, only to learn that this word is but a substitute, a mere symbol of the True Word that is lost. This is in keeping with the whole pattern of Masonic teaching. In his progress through the Masonic degrees, which is but a symbol of his progress through life, the candidate is a seeker after Divine Truth, symbolized by Light. As he progresses more and more light is revealed, but, when the end of the journey is reached, he learns that the ultimate revelation of Divine #13 Truth can only come to his individual consciousness through the grace of Almighty God

#6 Note to Instructor: The learning of the Master Mason's Obligation is a part of the new master mason's work with his Elder Brother; however, the instructor may wish to check to see if the new mason has any points he wishes to discuss. The regulations of the operative Craft found in the "Gothic Constitution" are very closely allied to our present obligation. The new master mason may find this fact intriguing. (Ref. Compare obligation to the Regius Manuscript, Coil, pp. 285-286.)

#7 Note to Instructor: For information on penalties, refer the new master mason to pages 12-14 of the Pollard Booklets Also to the Maine Masonic Textbook, pp. 310 (punishment), 260 (expulsion), and 316-317 (suspension and expulsion).

#8 Note to Instructor: The term "landmark" is of interest in and of itself being derived from those prominent markers of boundaries. The term as used in Freemasonry represents a subject of intense Masonic debate. The Landmarks as recognized by the Grand Lodge of Maine were first drawn up by the eminent Masonic scholar, Albert G. MacKay (Ref. Maine Masonic Textbook, Chapter XIV). For general discussion see Coil's Masonic

#9 Some caution should be exercised in using the term "resurrection" in relation to the teachings of Freemasonry. Technically, the word pertains to doctrines concerning the rising from the dead usually in some form of bodily representation. It is more accurate to say that Freemasonry teaches the immortality of the soul. (Ref. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 517-518.)

#10. Note to Instructor: The reference to "mystery cult" and to the "Graeco/Roman world" pertain to a complex of religious rites which dealt with the central issue of life, death, and rebirth. These rites include the mythical figures of Dionysius, Orpheus and the so-called Eleusinian Mysteries. (Ref. Encyclopedia Americana under "Mystery Cults," and Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 206-207.) We must remember that from most ancient times, mankind in widely separated locations has established very similar dramatizations and symbolism in his attempt to understand life and death, as well as the hope of something beyond the grave. Similarities, however intriguing, do not necessarily indicate any direct relationship with ancient practices. As the Pollard Booklet wisely points out, masonic scholars have not demonstrated an unquestioned source for the Hiramic Legend.

#11. Reference for Instructor:Freemasons' Guide and Compendium, Chapter l.

#12. Note to Instructor: The new master mason should understand that this sited fact does not necessarily indicate any Christian source of the Hiramic Legend, but may indicate the use of more ancient symbolism known to the operative Craft being employed to express the Christian message.

#13. Note to Instructor: This paragraph deserves special attention by the new master mason. It states clearly a most fundamental and profound consideration in the understanding of Freemasonry and its teachings. (Ref. Short Talk Bulletins, M.S.A.; "The Legend of the Lost Word,' May I 928,~ '1The Lost Word," November 1955; also Tried and Proven, pp. 45-47; and Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 81-90; Coil's Mason Encyclopedia,p. 516.)

The Master Mason

For centuries, the Master Mason Degree has made a powerful appeal to successive generations of thinking Masons. Men from every walk in life and from every intellectual level derive inspiration from this remarkable degree. There is something about the crude old drama which draws men, like a magnet. No matter how often it is witnessed, and no matter how often the beautiful lecture which follows it is # 14 heard, they still have new lessons to teach to the receptive mind.

II     The Mason and His Lodge

You are now a Master Mason, and, as such, are at last a full-fledged member of your lodge. You are now free to attend all its meetings. to participate in its business and its work, #15 to vote. and to hold office therein. In the event of your death. you are entitled to Masonic burial. Your lodge exists by virtue of a charter from the Grand Lodge. Among other things, this charter gives it the power to select its candidates from among those applicants who petition for the degrees. In the exercise of this right, the lodge has seen fit to accept you into its membership. It is now up to you to show that the lodge has made no mistake. #16 This you can do by honorably discharging the duties which you owe your lodge.

Your first duty to your lodge is to attend its meetings. Only by a frequent attendance can #17 Grand Lodge of Maine you hope to imbibe the spirit of Masonry, to learn the many customs and usages of the lodge, to understand and appreciate the beauty of the work, and to enter into the true fraternal fellowship of the Craft.

Your next duty is to pay your dues promptly. Out of the money received as dues, your lodge must pay its usual expenses, care for its charity cases, and meet its financial obligations to the Grand Lodge. Each member must do his part. Do not get in arrears. Pay each year's dues as they become due. Remember, it is always easier to part with $5.00 than with $10.00'.

Probably your greatest responsibility as a member of the lodge arises in connection with the ballot. It is essential that every Mason understand the ethics of the ballot box. As every ballot for the degrees must be unanimous, and as the secrecy of the ballot is inviolable, you, like every other member, are invested with absolute and arbitrary power over the Masonic future of every applicant for the degrees. This is a sobering responsibility. in the discharge of which the good of the lodge should be your only consideration. #18 If you know of anything in the moral character of an applicant which would disqualify him for Masonic membership) it is your duty to cast a blackball. No unworthy person should ever knowingly be accepted into the Fraternity. On the other hand, the ballot should never be used as an instrument of personal spite. If a man is honest and decent, mere personal dislike, political differences or business rivalry should never influence your vote. Needless to say, the use of the blackball to embarrass

#14. Note to Instructor: Material for reviewing the symbols described in the Third Degree Lecture is provided in hand out sheets numbers 2 and 3.

#15 Reference for Instructor: Tried and Proven, pp'. 57-59.

#16.Suggestion to Instructor: The instructor may wish to ask the new master mason to list those duties to his lodge which the new mason feels are most important to the continuing of its labors.

#17. Note to Instructor: The obvious truth entailed in this advice should not mislead the instructor into thinking its wisdom self-evident to the new master mason. This may be a good opportunity for the instructor to share the good which he, himself,, derives from lodge attendance.

#18. Note to Instructor: Special attention should be given to the phrase "sobering responsibility." Though our ritual and our lodge practice clearly defines the duty of a mason in respects to the ballot box, any man sensitive to human feelings will be faced with a difficult decision sooner or later in his Masonic experience concerning this matter. Perhaps no other consideration calls for so much soul-searching as does this important "sobering responsibility."

The Master Mason

In becoming a Mason, you have made a definite investment of your time and money. Whether or not this investment proves to be a good one is very largely up to you. Each man gets out of Masonry about as much as he puts into it. If you would get the most out of your lodge membership, you must be willing to work. Be available for any services which the officers of the lodge may call for. Visit the sick. attend #19 funerals, serve on committees, help with suppers and learn the ritual. so that you may, when called upon, fill some vacant station or place in the lodge. If you demonstrate your interest in the lodge and its affairs, you may some day be called to hold office therein. By holding such office, a rich experience will be yours.

Finally, my Brother, always conduct yourself with dignity and decorum in the lodge. Especially when a degree is being conferred. #20 Do nothing to spoil the work for the candidate. Do not laugh at the wrong time, talk, or make any noise which might distract the attention of the candidate from the lessons which are being taught. The impression made upon a candidate at the time of his initiation is very likely to be permanent. Be very careful that he does not receive the wrong kind of an impression in your lodge. #21

III     The Grand Lodge

You are now Master Mason and as such are a subject of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of _______

Grand Lodge of Maine. Within its proper jurisdiction, the Grand Lodge is absolutely sovereign #22 over all things Masonic. It exercises exclusive territorial jurisdiction in this State, and is the supreme executive, legislative and judicial authority over the Craft.

The Grand Lodge is composed of its own officers for the time being, of certain past officers #23 who are permanent members thereof, and of the Masters and Wardens of all its subordinate lodges. It is presided over by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the chief executive officer of the Craft, who is invested with the powers and prerogatives dating from time immemorial. While the Grand Lodge is in recess, he wields its full executive authority.

The Grand Lodge of Maine was formed in 1820, shortly after the State of Maine was admitted to the Union. It was organized by the thirty-one lodges then existing in Maine, all of which had previously been under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. At the present time (1971), the Grand lodge has 206 subordinate lodges with a total membership of more than 44.000. #24 It is interesting to note that the State of Maine has a larger percentage of its people who are members of the Fraternity than any other State.

Throughout its existence, the Grand Lodge of Maine has been noted for its rigid adherence to the ancient customs and usages of the Craft and for its consistent conservatism on all Masonic questions. It enjoys the respect and confidence of the Masonic world.

The Master Mason

The Grand Lodge of Maine is also known for the great Masons which it has given to the Craft at large, such outstanding figures as Simon Greenleaf, #25 Robert P. Dunlap, and Josiah H. Drummond. In the opinion of many authorities, M.W. Bro. Drummond is the greatest figure American Masonry has as yet produced. He was known as the most erudite and accomplished Masonic scholar of the nineteenth century, as the greatest of all authorities in the field of Masonic Jurisprudence, and as a Craftsman whose genius enriched every branch of the Masonic Fraternity. He served as Grand Master of our Grand Lodge, as Grand high Priest of our Grand Chapter, as Grand Master of our Grand Council, and as Grand Commander of our Grand Commandery. He also served as General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of thc United States, as General Grandmaster of the General Grand Council, and as Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States. His greatest service, however, was rendered as Chairman of our Grand Lodge Committee on Foreign Correspondence, a post which he held for thirty-seven years and in which he won an international reputation as the greatest Masonic Authority of his time.

The Permanent Charity Fund #26 of the Grand Lodge of Maine now amounts to more than $1,000,000. It is in the charge of elected trustees, who also administer the distribution of Masonic charity. The interest on the invested fund and the annual per capita assessment of fifty cents levied upon all Maine Masons are available for Grand Lodge of Maine charitable purposes. Grand Lodge charity supplements but does not replace that of the individual lodge.

The Grand Lodge Blood Bank Program #27 is an outstanding example of Masonic Charity in action. Under this program, thousands of pints of blood have been furnished to Masonic brethren and their families. if you would like to participate in this activity, consult with the local blood bank chairman in your lodge.

The Grand Lodge maintains a splendid #28 Masonic library. which you as a Master Mason are free to patronize. At your request any book will be mailed to you without cost. You pay the return postage. There is no better way to increase your knowledge of Masonry than by patronizing the Grand Lodge Library.

Each year, the Grand Lodge publishes its Proceedings. This volume contains the record of the Annual Communication, together with a vast mass of statistical information regarding Maine Masonry. The report of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence discusses current Masonic conditions throughout the world. You will derive a great deal of information from reading the Proceedings, a copy of which is on file with the Secretary of your lodge.

IV     Visitation

You are now a Master Mason. and. as such #29 are free to visit regular lodges throughout the Masonic world. provided that no personal objection is made by a member thereof. This right of visitation is one of your most important Masonic privileges, and one from which you will derive a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction.

Before visiting a new lodge, you must either be avouched for by a known brother who has already sat in lodge with you or pass a simple examination proving yourself a Mason. You must also present documentary evidence that you were raised in a regular lodge. Your dues card is usually sufficient for this purpose. These precautions are necessary because of the fact that imposters sometimes seek to victimize the lodges and because of the fact that clandestine and spurious bodies still exist in certain jurisdictions. These bodies are usually mere money making rackets run by expelled or suspended Masons. Such persons are frequently sent to jail for obtaining money under false pretenses; but the spurious bodies still exist and make caution necessary. You, yourself, must be careful that you do not inadvertently visit one of these clandestine groups. Your Secretary has a list of all regular lodges which you are free to consult.

A word regarding negro Freemasonry may be in order at this point. Our colored fellow-citizens have a fraternal organization of their own, which they call Prince Hall #31 Masonry, and which is closely patterned upon our own Fraternity. As this Society does not exist by the authority of any regular Grand Lodge, it cannot be regarded as any part of legitimate Freemasonry. Its members cannot visit our lodges, and our members cannot visit theirs. (Note by transcriber- Prince Hall Masonry in some jurisdictions is now, 1999, recognized by the Grand Lodge of Maine.)

Note to Instructor: An important part of any new master mason's education is an early involvement in the work of the. lodge both its degree work and its service to others. This involvement should not be left to chance or to the individual brother's initiative alone but rather should be purposefully "engineered."

21. Note to Instructor: Unfortunately, the new master mason may have witnesses and probably shall see examples which fall short of both dignity and decorum. The instructor should address any past experiences which may be bothering the new mason. He should be frank in his discussion of the fact that not all masons understand the important consideration being treated in this section of the Pollard Booklet. He should be encouraging the new master mason to join with those who take Freemasonry's degree work seriously. In addition, the new mason may be able to suggest ways in which the work in his lodge might be made more impressive.

22 Note to Instructor: The new master mason may need additional information to fully appreciate the present day relationship between the individual mason and the Grand Lodge as seen against the background of those traditions which reflect the medieval era of the operative Craft. Unless he senses the necessity of order and proper government of the Fraternity, such a phrase as "liege subject" may seem quite out of keeping with a democratic society.

Suggestion to Instructor: It may be worthwhile to point out that Past Grand Masters and Past Grand Wardens are permanent members of the Grand Lodge and that these members along with the present officers of Grand Lodge and the three representatives from each subordinate lodge have one vote each.1984 - Maine membership - 37,339. Number of lodges -201.

25. Reference for Instructor: Pollard, History of Grand Lodge of Maine. The instructor may wish to make mention of some prominent member of Grand Lodge who belongs or has belonged to the new master mason's own lodge. The name of Ralph Pollard should be added to the list of Maine's great masons.

26. Charity Fund now amounts to over 1,600,000 dollars.

27. (Needs up-date)

28. General Note: All lodges should build a library which has those essential sources used in the program of Masonic education. However, the Grand Lodge Library is apt to be the only source for many Masonic works not in the lodge library. Special emphasis should be placed upon this exceptional opportunity to use this fine collection. The new master mason should copy down the address of the Grand Secretary. Note should be made of the list of 11Recommended Books(1 on pages 20-22 of the Pollard Booklet along with mention of those sources which have been used in the course of the review sessions.

29. Note to Instructor: The new master mason should be told that he will have an opportunity to see and to practice the necessary steps for passing an examination to sit in another lodge. This instruction session will be part of the "Fourth Night Program."

30. Note to Instructor: The new mason should be shown a copy of The List of Regular Lodges Masonic issued by the Grand Lodge of . He may have questions concerning the meaning of "clandestine lodges" even after having read the Pollard Booklet.

31. Reference for Instructor: Coil's   Masonic , pp. 436-442. General

Note: If new master mason is cognizant of current racial issues, he may well have questions concerning Freemasonry's position and past actions. Again it is wise for the instructor to be frank and open. The aim of universal brotherhood of all men under the fatherhood of God is sometimes as far from being consummated within the Fraternity as it is without. Insofar as Freemasons have greatly contributed to equality and the recognition of manhood without prejudice, we rejoice. In those instances where segments of the fraternity have failed to live to the tenets of our profession, we find reason for sadness and for renewed effort. The new master mason should understand that the Fraternity is human, that it makes no excuses, and that he must join with the laborers of the Craft to make a reality the building of God's house among the races of mankind.


These sections will be either reinforced by "The Fourth Night" instructional session or are such that the new master mason can study them independently. The instructor should check to see that the new mason realizes the fund of information contained in these pages and to see if he already has any questions over this material. For this purpose, the outline of the booklet provided in this manual maybe helpful.

The new mason should realize that the practices discussed in Section V are still very much in effect, and that the ostentatious use of the Masonic emblem and especially its use for personal aggrandizement are counter to the spirit and the purposes of Freemasonry. He should make himself familiar with those points of Masonic etiquette which will be essential in his participation in the business and work of his lodge. THE ELDER BROTHER SHOULD EMPHASIZE THESE POINTS DURING THE FIRST TIMES THAT THE NEW MASTER MASON ATTENDS HIS LODGE.

Sections VII and the bibliography have been alluded to in the notes on the previous pages.

back to top


Culmination - the high point or the final destination toward which all preceding activity has been leading.

Jurisdiction - the rights and authority to direct and control.

Sovereign authority (in this case ) - an authority over which there is no other authority.

Magistrate - person who has the authority to govern and/or to administrate the laws of city or state.

Royal Burgh - in earlier times a city which had been granted a charter from the King.

Synonymous - that which is the same as something else.

Discernible - able to be seen or proved to be present.

Ritual - that part of our Masonic teachings and degree work which is written down (usually in code) and which is officially recognized as being correct.

Landmarks - those most important statements of the Fraternity which describe its beliefs and practices just as boundary markers show the extent and place of pieces of land.

Righteous man - a person who lives by that which he feels is right and morally good.

Vicissitudes - changes in our lives which fall upon us by chance, usually referring to unfavorable events.

Blissful-without worry, pain or troubles.

Mystery cults - ancient religious groups joined by particular beliefs and ceremonies concerning life, death and immortality.

Miracle or Morality Plays - plays or short dramas put on by the church to teach particular religious beliefs and moral actions. These were used when most of the people could not read the Bible

Inspiration - that which gives one a feeling of well-being, new understanding and the will to live in a particular way.

Crude - not fancy. As used in this context, the term does not indicate a lack of good taste but rather a simple, frank presentation

By virtue - by right or by given authority.

Imbibe - to fill with.

Customs and usages - those ways of doing which over the years have come to be regarded as proper and expected.

Blackball - an object which may not always be a ball in shape with which a voter may express his wish not to accept a person for initiation. This is a very old item used in secret ballots.

Dignity - acting with good sense, proper respect, and a serious attitude which fits the situation.

Decorum - proper and expected conduct and appearance.

Executive - that part of the leadership in an organization which has to do with conducting and managing its affairs.

Legislative - that part of an organization which makes the rules under which the group will function.

Judicial - that part of an organized society which judges and makes sure that the laws are carried out.

Prerogatives - rights, powers and recognized privileges.

Immemorial - referring to the past. which came before any written history or remembered record.

Annual per capita assessment - a required contribution to the working funds of the Grand Lodge or individual lodge made once each year and figured as so much for each member of each lodge.

Avouched for - a statement made by a mason which proves the proper masonic membership of another mason.

Imposters - persons who claim to be masons and who are not.

Victimize - to wrongly treat and take advantage of others by fraud for one's own ends.

Clandestine - referring to lodges meeting in secret and without the proper recognition of the Fraternity.

Spurious - false and not genuine although it may appear to be so.

Civil law - the law of the land in which one lives.

Reprimand - to tell someone that they are or have acted wrongly and to warn of consequences should such acts continue.

Suspension - to remove the rights and privileges for a certain length of time.

Expulsion - to remove a mason from the Fraternity and to take away all standing as a Freemason.

Statute Law - rules and regulations which are written down as permanent law for the government of a society or state.

Solicitations of Candidates - enticing men to join the Fraternity.

back to top


SHEET MM - 1   The Proving of the Square

SHEET MM - 2A and MM - 2A Symbols of the Third Degree and appropriate questions.

 SHEET MM - 3A Review of symbols from the three degrees and appropriate questions.

SHEET MM - 4   Outline of the Master Mason Charge

SHEET MM 5 Glossary of Words used in the Third Degree



There is a fascinating and intimate association between the symbols employed by Freemasonry and the concepts and ideas they represent. What is true of individual symbols is equally the case with combinations of symbols which offer analogies that lead our thoughts to new appreciation's and explorations. The old operative method of proving the square offers such an intriguing association involving the square, the compasses, the circle, and the point within the circle. One may also add the ancient symbolism of the triangle to further enrich this old "secret" of the trade.

1. Draw a circle using the compasses.

2. With a straightedge draw a line which cuts the circle in halves by running through the center of the circle.

3. Place a dot on the circle's circumference at any place you choose.

4. Draw two lines which connect the dot on the circumference with the two points where the straight line crosses the circle's circumference as shown below:

You have now formed a perfect right angle by which a square can be tested.

 Note: See Allen Robert's The Craft and Its Symbols, pp.62-63.

back to Handout List        back to top 


p125symbols.gif (15739 bytes)

1. Which of figures represents esoteric symbols?

2. What is the meaning of term "esoteric"?

3. Which figure is associated with a well spent life?

4. When you look at figure 11a", what comes to your mind?

5. Industry is the theme of which figure?

6. What is the name of the great mathematician associated with figure "k"?

7. Which figure is associated with greed, ignorance, and violence?

8. Faith and hope are symbolized by which figure?

9. One symbol represents the duration of human life while another has to do with the stages of human life. Which figures are they?

10. A pure heart is symbolized by which figure?

.11. Circumspection is a key word in the meaning of which figure?

12. Is there any relationship between the lessons taught by the symbols shown. in figures "f" and "j"?

13. In what regards do figures "i" and "a" belong together?

14. Man's ability to reason and to construct useful designs is symbolized in which figure?

15. What relationship do figures "d91, "I" and 9'n" have?

16. Is there any connection between the meaning of symbols "a" and "h"?


back to Handout List        back to top 



sheetmm3A.gif (28894 bytes)

1. The badge of a mason

2. The working tools of a Fellowcraft.

3. The ornaments of a lodge.

4. State of perfection and state of imperfection.

5. Symbolizing the advance of architecture through history.

6. The immortality of the soul.

7. Symbol associated with the spreading of brotherly love.

8. The working tools of an Entered Apprentice.

9. The working tool especially associated with a Master Mason.

10. Symbol associated with faith, hope and charity.

11. Symbol of human life (may be more than one)~

12. Symbol of a wise division of time.

13. An instrument which symbolizes equality.

14. Symbol of the lesser lights.

1 5. Symbol of the pure heart.

16. A symbol which teaches morality and right actions.

17. A symbol of a mason's devotion to the arts and sciences.

18. Two objects represented by the lesser lights.

19. A symbol of youth, manhood and age.

20. A tool closely associated with the Craft but not a working tool.

21. Symbol of rectitude.

22. A symbol which teaches us to circumscribe our desires.

23. A symbol of circumspection and watchfulness.

24. A symbol of innocence.

25. An instrument which can be used to prove a square.

26. Symbol of those designs and plans by which a mason should live.

27. Symbol of Divine Providence (may be a symbol within a symbol).

28. Emblem of industry and of taking one's part.

29. Symbol associated with the bounds of a mason's obligation.

30. A symbol of plenty.

31. Symbol associated with ancient branches of learning (may be a symbol within a symbol).

32. Jewel of a master of a lodge.

33. Symbol of time as well as of death.

34. Symbol associated with a genius and master of geometry.

35. Symbol which includes the fact of good and evil in life.

36. The Great Light of Freemasonry (in our jurisdiction).

37. The jewel of a junior warden.

38. Symbol of the human senses (may be a symbol within a symbol).

39. A symbol associated with violence and death.

40. Symbol associated with the universality of Masonry (may be a symbol within a symbol).

41. Symbol of strength.

42. Symbol involved with the inevitability of divine justice:

43. Symbol of a well spent life.

44. Symbol representing an individual brother (may be a symbol within a symbol).

The jewel of the senior warden.


back to Handout List        back to top 



I. Zeal, progress, and conformity to regulations recognized

II. Duties assumed:

A. Dignity of character

B. Obedience to tenets of the Order

III. Authorizations

A. To correct errors

B. To guard against breach of fidelity in other masons

IV. Conduct

A. Preserve the reputation of the Fraternity

B. Relationships with inferiors, equals, and superiors

C. Universal benevolence and excellence of example

D. Preservation of the ancient landmarks and usages

V. What is Involved

A. Your virtue, honor and reputation

B. Supporting with dignity the character you now bear

C. No motive to cause violation of duty or vows

VI. Reward:

Meriting the honor and confidence of your brethren 

back to Handout List        back to top 



Affability (adj.) - easy and courteous in manner; mild

Artificer (n) - a skillful designer, one who constructs with sk~l

Atheist (n) - one who disbelieves in GOD or the existence of GOD

Benevolence (n) - any act of kindness or well-doing; charity; humanity

Chastity (n) - the state of being a virgin; purity

Circumscribe (v) to confine within bounds; restrict

Dotage (n) - Feebleness of mind, due to old age; senility

Fidelity (n) - faithfulness in the discharge of duty or of obligation

Induced (v) - to lead to or produce, to reach a conclusion by the process of reasoning

Libertine (n) - one who does not restrain his desires

Nonage (n) - immaturity

Province (n) - authority assigned or belonging to a person

Sublime (adj.) - being of the highest degree; supreme; utmost

Tenet (n) - an opinion that a person or organization maintains as true

Unsullied (v) - to prevent injury to or tarnish of

(List compiled by W. Brother Arthur Fowles)

back to Handout List        back to top 


A special evening for new master masons which is dedicated to welcoming the new members of the Craft into the fellowship and masonic labors of his lodge.


General Objective: To provide the new master mason with the culminating experience in his educational pr6gress from an accepted candidate to a master mason which shall take place in open lodge thus forming a transition from the formal educational program into the continuing Masonic experience as an active member of his lodge and of the Craft at large.

Specific Objective:

a. The new master mason(s) shall demonstrate his (their) proficiency in the Third Degree Lesson.

b. The new master mason shall be provided with a brief review of his Masonic experience in the three degrees.

c. The new master mason(s) shall be introduced to the Maine Masonic Text Book as a source of Masonic practices and information.

d. The new master mason(s) shall participate in practicing the modes of recognition and Masonic examination which is required for proving oneself a master mason.

e. The new master mason(s) will be introduced to the by-laws of his lodge with an emphasis upon the signing of the by-laws as a testimony of joining with the brethren of his lodge.

f. The new master mason(s) shall be welcomed into the lodge as an important and respected laborer for the Craft.

Program Process: "The Fourth Night Program" is intended to provide a most friendly and unthreatening means of learning and practicing essentials in the new master mason's continued Masonic experience and service to his lodge and the brethren. As it takes place in open lodge, the program represents the opportunity for the new mason to feel a growing familiarity with his own immediate body of the Craft while emphasizing the lodge's interest in its new brother as a person. The program can accommodate a number of new master masons at one time. Such a "class" will greatly enhance the feeling of the individual brother that he is a part of a band united in purpose and in brotherly love.

While any such program remains in the hands of the lodge's educational coordinator under the direction of the worshipful master, there is a possibility that lodges within a Masonic district may join resources to present the "Fourth Night Program" There are many advantages in such a united effort. One of these is the opportunity for the new master mason to meet other new masons from neighboring lodges while gaining a better conception of the work of the Craft at large. In districts where such a joint enterprise is organized, the participation and coordination activities of the District Representative will be essential.

The following texts are given as a guide. They are intended as a suggested outline to be augmented as the presentors see fit and according to local conditions and needs.









* This section is of less importance for new master masons who have been the recipients of masonic instruction while participating in the three degrees.

** This section may be longer if additional instruction in common lodge practices are included.

Materials needed: Stand behind altar for practice in arranging lights, the Great Lights (for use in practice session), several copies of The Cipher and The Maine Masonic Text Book (number dependent on the number of new master masons participating), visual aids used in lecture on The Maine Masonic Text Book, copies of the lodge by-laws, and Directory of Regular Lodges.


The Fourth Night Program gives an excellent opportunity for the new master mason to give his third degree lesson. In those cases where more than one new master mason is participating in the Fourth Night Program, taking turns in answering the questions of this lesson has proven to be very effective.


Two possible alternatives for this section of the Fourth Night Program are given below. The first, an approved charge, seems most appropriate for new master masons who have had considerable instruction while taking the three degrees. The second is a longer lecture composed by Worshipful Brother Max E. Place for this purpose.


You have now received all the instruction that pertains to our noble craft, and have advanced by regular gradations to the summit of ancient Masonry.

You have been conducted around the courts of the temple, have viewed its beautiful proportions, its massive pillars, its starry decked canopy, its mosaic pavements, its furniture, ornaments, lights and jewels. You have been admitted within the Middle Chamber, and have learned from the example of our ancient Brethren to reverence the Sabbath Day, keep a tongue of good report, to maintain secrecy and practice charity.

You have now entered the Sanctum Sanctorum, and in the inflexible integrity of the illustrious Tyrian, have witnessed an example of firmness and fortitude never surpassed in the history of man. Your representation of our Grand Master Hiram Abif is a type of the upright man in his passage through life, endowed with power and intelligence to carry out the designs of the Grand Architect of the Universe.

He enters the South Gate upon the sunny period of youth, and is met by allurements which, like the ruffian, would turn him from the path of duty; but deaf to the siren tones and sustained by the unerring dictates of the Monitor within, he moves on to the West Gate or middle period of life. Here he is met again by misfortunes, desires, and trials, tempting him to betray his trust; but, with firmness too deeply rooted to be shaken by the vicissitudes of fate, he treads the way of life unfalteringly and arrives in age at the East Gate; that opening through which he looks out on a brighter and better world.

Here he is met by the inexorable enemy to whom all must yield. At the fatal blow 9f death he sinks to the dust and is buried in the rubbish of his earthly nature; but not forever, for by the sprig of Acacia we are reminded of that part which never dies.

And now, my brother, if in all these things you have witnessed a series of unmeaning rites, if the spirit of Truth has not applied to your heart the morals of these teachings; then indeed have our labors been in vain. But I am persuaded that such is not the case. I trust you have entered into the spirit of these solemn rites and understand the full meaning of these interesting symbols; that all the forms and ceremonies through which you have passed from the moment you first knocked at the door of the lodge for admission, until the sublimity of this degree appeared to you, have deeply impressed upon your mind the great fundamental principles of our time honored institution; for then, and only then, can you claim the name of Mason; for then, and only then, can you feel that friendship, that unity, that fervency and zeal, that purity of heart which should actuate everyone who would appropriate to himself the proud title of Master Mason.

As such I welcome you to this lodge, and my sincere wish is that you may so live up to the tenets of your profession that when you are summoned to appear before the Grand Architect of the Universe you may be found worthy to be admitted to the Sanctum Sanctorum, there to rest secure in the protecting love of our Heavenly Father through the boundless ages of a never ending happiness, and enjoy the reflections of a well spent life, in a world where all are equal.

There's a world where all are equal, we are hastening to it fast. We shall meet upon the level when the gates of death are passed; We shall stand before the Orient, and our Master will be there. To try the blocks we offer with his own unerring square. We shall meet upon the level there, but never thence depart; There's a mansion, ‘tis all ready for each trusting faithful heart; There's a mansion and a welcome, and a multitude is there Who have met upon the level and have been tried upon the square.


My Brother (Brethren)

It is difficult for a candidate to absorb the many details contained in the several lectures and charges of the three degrees, and the meaning of the various symbols. Therefore, this supplemental lecture is prepared for the purpose of reviewing them, so that you may have a better understanding as you hear them repeated in your Lodge.

While you were first prepared in your heart to be made a Mason, your first impression of the Fraternity was in the preparation room, when the Jr. Deacon and Stewards prepared you for admission to the Entered Apprentice degree. This is a very important moment in the candidate's introduction to Masonry. It is intended to impress upon him that he is requesting admission of his own free will, gained from a very favorable idea of the order, and not through any mercenary motives or undue influence upon him. This should always be done in a dignified manner, and should be a lesson to all Masons that their conduct is a major factor in the candidate first becoming interested in joining the Fraternity, and his continuing interest in it.

When you were granted permission to enter the Lodge, it was emphasized that it was due to you being avouched for as a fit person to become a Mason - of good report, and well recommended. This resulted from an investigation, of which you were probably unaware, to enable those recommending you to certify that you were a desirable person to become a Brother Mason.

The first step in making you a Mason was when you were conducted to the altar for prayer. Following this, you were asked in whom you put your trust. Masonry is founded. and based on a belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. Masonry in itself is not a religion, but in all degrees there is a religious back-round and influence.

During your time at the altar, and through the obligations you were asked to take in the degrees, it was continually stressed that they were not to interfere with your duties to God, your neighbor or yourself, nor loyalty to your country. Neither were they to be used as a theater for political discussions or activities. As someone has said, Masonry's purpose is to make good men better, and is never intended to interfere with their religion or their personal life or activity.

Your introduction to the Three Great Lights of Masonry, the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, must have made a deep impression on you. These were explained at the time you were initiated, but are well worth repeating: - The Holy Bible is given to be the rule and guide of our faith, the Square to square our actions; and the Compasses to keep us within due bounds with all mankind, more especially with a brother.

The Worshipful Master gave you his right hand in a grip of Brotherly Love and Friendship. This is repeated in each degree. This is similar to the Right Hand of Fellowship which is extended to you in at least some churches by the Pastor and Deacons upon your becoming a member. You may have noticed also that it is almost an invariable custom of Masons to greet each other when attending Lodge by a warm, friendly handshake, even though sometimes the same men may have worked together during the day. This is also true when Masons meet outside the Lodge, and that is as it should be, because our conduct outside the Lodge should be comparable to that when we are in it.

The tools of the Entered Apprentice degree, the 24 inch gauge and common gavel, are presented as symbols of our conduct through life; dividing our time between service to God and Man, our usual vocations, and the rest and refreshment necessary to maintain health and strength. Using the gavel symbolically to smooth our dispositions and actions through life to render us fitting for a spiritual life hereafter.

Time does not permit a complete review of the entire lecture and charge of the Entered Apprentice degree, but it would be remiss not to mention the Tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth; nor the Cardinal Virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. We earnestly recommend that each candidate read and study these carefully as almost all of them are written out in the Maine Masonic Text Book. I am sure you would have no difficulty in finding Brother Masons who will be glad to discuss or explain any questions you may have concerning them.


Here again, as you approached the door of the Lodge, you found it necessary to be properly avouched, and assurance given that you had made suitable progress in the preceding degree. This assured your Brethren of your interest in the Fraternity, and that a suitable impression had been made by them in the Entered Apprentice degree.

During your circuits of the Lodge, you most likely heard the reading of a portion of Chapter I 3 of 1 st Corinthians, instructing you in the value and importance of Faith, Hope and Charity - the greatest being Charity. To Freemasons, Charity is vitally important, not entirely in terms of financial or material assistance, but in our attitude towards our Brethren and the world at large.

The working tools presented to you in this degree are the Square, Level and Plumb, and you were instructed in their symbolic use as guides to our relationship with God and Man, emphasizing that all of us are traveling that road to a land whence there is no return.

You were informed of the two denominations under which Masonry is considered. Of these, you are not particularly involved in the Operative, but your progress in Masonry is very much concerned with the Speculative.

Here again you were reminded of the close relationship between Masonry and Religion, our obligation to Deity and our reverence for His Works.

You were given a brief survey of the Orders in Architecture, the symbolism of the Two Brazen Pillars, and heard your first mention of our Ancient Grand Master Hiram Abif, about whom you were to hear much more in a later degree consequent to the building of the Temple.

You were also reminded of the five senses of human nature, Hearing, Seeing, Feeling, Smelling and Tasting. These may indeed be truly named a blessing from the Almighty God. Imagine, if you can, a. world and life without these five senses, or what a loss even one of them would mean to you.

You were taught the value of the seven liberal arts and sciences, particularly Geometry, which is the base of much of our symbolism, and the letter "G" which is displayed in every Lodge and on most of our Masonic emblems and jewelry.

In summary, the Fellow Craft degree is a resume of the wonders of creation, their importance to our individual lives, and our indebtedness to God for the many blessings received through is love and generosity to us.

The charge which you received at the close of this degree is intended to emphasize your duties as a Mason, insofar as your conformity to our regulations is concerned, and encourages the continuation of the deportment which merited your advancement to this degree.


Upon your request for admission to the Lodge, you were again questioned as to your qualifications and proficiency in preceding degrees, and upon affirmation you were admitted and received on the points of the Compasses. This again emphasized the virtues of Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love - three very essential and valuable tenets of the Fraternity.

Your third degree obligation you will note is increasingly stronger, and imposes moral obligations which should never be neglected nor forgotten.

The working tools of a Master Mason were presented to you, and special emphasis given to the use of the trowel, again calling your attention to the need and benefit of Brotherly Love and Affection for your brethren in the Fraternity.

After your reinvestment, you were again returned to the Lodge for conferral of the impressive section of the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, and informed that you were to represent. Our Ancient Grand Master Hiram Abif for the remainder of the evening. This second section, my Brother (Brethren) is intended to impress on your mind several things: -

First - the need and value of maintaining secrecy concerning Masonic degrees. It has been said that Masonry is not a secret order, but an order with secrets, and this is indeed truly stated. Our Masonic Relief and Charity, for instance, are certainly private business and not for public use or information.

The Hiramic Legend of the second section, as it is called, is purely a legendary representation. There is no historical, factual or Masonic record to base the death of Hiram Abif as an actual event. This is likewise true of many Masonic ritualistic representations, since the history and origin of Masonry are shrouded in mystery and legend. Much of this is due to periodical persecution of the Masonic Orders throughout history, which has made it necessary to leave much detail unrecorded in any written manner, and quite probably has made it necessary on occasion to destroy some records which would be of great value to present day Masons.

However, the symbolism of the Hiramic Legend is a very important part of Masonry, which teaches the ultimate victory of the Soul over Death, and of Light over Darkness. I am sure you will agree that it has made a deep impression upon your mind and memory.

Masonry in this country has as a primary basis the building of King Solomon's Temple, as represented in this third degree. If you will take the time and effort to refer to your Bible, you may read numerous references and descriptions of this undertaking; particularly 1st Kings, Chapters 5-6 -and 7; 2nd Chronicles, Chapters 3 and 4.

We sincerely hope, my Brother (Brethren) that your Masonic experiences thus far have given you a very favorable impression of the Fraternity, and that you will be interested in furthering your Masonic education through attendance at your Lodge Communications, and taking an active part if possible.

Once more, my Brother (Brethren) we welcome you to the Fraternity, and when you are wearing your apron as a Master Mason, may I quote a portion from Thanatopsis and say:

May you so wear it, my Brother, and so -live, "that when thy summons comes to join the innumerable caravan that moves to the calm realms of shade, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death, thou go not, like the quarry slave scourged to -his dungeon, but sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave like one who wraps the mantle of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant sleep."


The following instructions are intended to be a hands-on participation. It has been found that many masons of longer standing enjoy participating in this section along with the new master masons. A welcome to all who wish to participate should be extended.

List Of Items To Be Covered In This Instruction:

A.    How Examinations of visitors are conducted

1. Committee of three

2. Visitors examined individually. Who the visitor should approach (Tyler or Senior Warden)

B.    The visitor will be asked to:

1. Present his dues card (checked with listing in directory)

2.    To take the Tyler's Oath (not always the case)  

3.    Arrange the Great Light in each degree

4.    Give due-guard and signs, grips and words

5.    Give Grand Masonic Word in proper manner

C.    In extreme circumstances the visitor may be asked to relate in his own words certain parts of degrees.

D.    A visitor having satisfied the examining committee of his standing as a regular mason in good standing, has the right to inspect the lodge's charter or charter certificate.

In addition to the instruction given above, the following items common to lodge practice may be covered for the benefit of the new master mason(s).

A.    What to do if you arrive late to a lodge meeting or must leave early. (In the latter case be sure to let the master know before lodge is opened.)

B.    Giving the due guard on entering or leaving an open lodge.

C.    Meaning of raps from the master's gavel. *** all stand, ** wardens only stand, * all be seated or return to good order)

D.    What to do when the master says, "signs, brethren."

E.    How to give the private and public grand honors.

F.    What is the consequence of not paying one's dues - (also reinstatement of membership).

G.    Procedures in balloting

H.    Masonic titles

I.    Who to' see if you have a particular interest in any phase of the masonic activity within your lodge.

J.    What should be said to a man who may be interested in Freemasonry.

K.    Speaking of Freemasonry to non-masons


By R.W. Brother Wallace Ritchie

The Maine Masonic Text Book, sometimes called the Blue Book, should be in the possession of every Mason because it contains about everything that the newly raised Mason needs to know at this stage of his Masonic career. It is not possible to explain the wealth of material in this book in the time available, however, we will endeavor to bring to your attention some of the traditions and teachings of Masonry that will be helpful and instructive, and at the same time increasing your Masonic knowledge. Please open to the Table of Contents in the front of your book. This provides an easy reference for further study and research on your part. The first chapter gives a brief history of Masonry. While Masonry is said to have existed before written records it is sufficient for our purposes to say that Speculative Masonry as we know it today began when the First Grand Lodge was formed in London, England in June, 1717.

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

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

Chapters concerning Installation, Reception of Visitors and Masonic Processions study at your leisure. Acquaint yourself with chapter nine, Funeral Services, so that you might know who is entitled to Masonic burial. Chapters ten through thirteen are as all others, important and informative, but not essential at this time.

Please turn to page 148 MISCELLANEOUS. All Masons should be familiar with the content, especially the Jewels of the officers. These are worn suspended from the collars, also a likeness is imprinted on the officers' aprons.

Chapter fourteen (page 153) give us the Sources of Masonic Law. They are: The Ancient Landmarks, The Ancient Charges, The Old Regulations, The Constitution of our Grand Lodge, The Regulations and Decisions of our Grand Lodge, The Usages and Customs of the Fraternity, and The By-Laws of the Lodge.

The Laws of Masonry, like laws of nations, are both unwritten "common law" and written.

When the Grand Lodge of England was formed the unwritten law was so well known and practiced that-, apparently, it was not thought necessary to codify it. Consequently The Ancient Usages and Customs of the Order, together with the Old Charges and Regulations, constitute an important role in Masonic Law. Law in Masonry is said to be more a matter of the heart than the head, more concerned. with setting forth conduct than assessing penalties.

Let us first consider the Ancient Charges, (page 163). They are six in number. Approved by the Grand Lodge of England in 1722, and published in 1723 in "Anderson's Constitutions," these Charges are concerned with the individual brother and his relations to his lodge and his brethren. Also to his behavior outside the lodge. These Ancient Charges do not permit alteration.

The Old Regulations (page 181) were also published in 1723 in "Anderson's Constitutions." They deal with the Craft as a whole. The Old Regulations were amendable or repealable by the Grand Lodge, at any annual meeting of Grand Lodge, while The Ancient Charges were not.

You will recall that as the work in your Master Mason Degree was completed, you were given a charge which contained these words: "The Ancient Landmarks of the Order, entrusted to your care, you are carefully to preserve, and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the Fraternity."

The Ancient Landmarks are twenty-five in number and are the very bedrock of our Institution. Mackey in 1858 in an article on "The Foundations of Masonic Law" made the first distinct enumeration of the landmarks, which was subsequently incorporated in the Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence. It has since been generally adopted by the Fraternity. At this time we will touch briefly on only five of the landmarks, which will fortify your experience to this point in time.

The First Landmark is unquestioned, and admits to no variation. It pertains to the modes of recognition which you were taught during your progress through each degree.

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

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

Landmark Number 20, subsidiary to this belief in God as a landmark of the Order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life. To believe in Masonry, and not believe in a resurrection would be absurd. He who would have a contrary belief would have no knowledge of either.

Number Twenty-one is a landmark that a "Book of the Law" shall be an indispensable part of the furniture of every lodge. (This is also referred to as V.S.L. Volume of the Sacred Law.)

THE BOOK OF THE LAW IS THAT VOLUME WHICH, BY THE RELIGION OF THE COUNTRY, IS BELIEVED TO CONTAIN THE REVEALED WILL OF THE GRAND ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE. In all lodges in Christian countries, it is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and Mohammedan countries, the, Koran might be substituted.

Landmark Number Twenty-five, the last and crowning landmark of all, is that these landmarks can never be changed. Nothing can be subtracted from them, nothing can be added to, them -- not the slightest modifications can be made in them. As they were received from our predecessors, we are bound by the most solemn obligations of duty to transmit them to our successors. The remaining chapters concern Masonic Offenses and the Digest of Opinions. There are countless ramifications to these subjects, but the answers to many questions that will arise from time to time will be found on these pages.

You may have noticed that the dates on Masonic documents differ from the usual practices. For example, an instrument dated today (current month and day 5979). Ancient Craft Masons commence their era with the creation of the world calling it Anno Lucis (spell out) A.L. "In The Year of Light," or that the world was created 4000 years before Christ, hence 4000 years are added to the current date. A.D. means "The Year of our Lord," and A.L. "The Year of Light."

This discussion has necessarily been very brief. Our objectives were to further your understanding, and broaden your outlook on the philosophy of Masonry. We sincerely hope that we have been able to transmit to you the desire to learn more of our principles and teachings, and also to stimulate your curiosity to read some of the hundreds of excellent books concerning our Institution.

Officers and brethren of (name of lodge) Brother, or Brethren (name of candidates) has/have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, and has successfully passed his/their examination(s) for the third degree. I believe that without any equivocation he/they has/have the capabilities, character, knowledge, spirit, and above all desire to obtain more light in Masonry.

It is hoped you will utilize these talents, for only through the continuing process of developing the new, younger and vibrant members into accepting responsibilities inherent in the conduct of a lodge that Masonry will remain a vital force in the lives of men and our country. However, this brother, or these brethren can only succeed, and realize his/their expectations if you provide the opportunity. Give him/them assistance, advice and encouragement, but never domination.

My Brother, I believe the foregoing charge to the officers and brethren of the lodge clearly demonstrates our faith and confidence in your ability to carry on the teaching and traditions of Masonry in the future as have our brethren before us throughout the centuries. It is hoped you advance through the several offices in the lodge, accept the challenges in these positions of trust. It will require time, effort, tolerance and patience on your part. Your reward will be the enrichment of the lives of others, for what you put in the hearts of others comes back into your own.


(Directions:    The new Master Mason(s) is presented with a copy of the Lodge's By-Laws.)

Presentor:    Our lodge, like all Masonic Lodges within this state, is governed by the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Maine and by its own set of By-Laws which you now hold in your hand. The By-Laws of our lodge have been established by vote of the brethren of this lodge and have been approved by the Grand Lodge.

The articles contained in these By-Laws deal with such considerations ,as the time and place of stated meetings, the election of officers, the establishment of committees, and the proper use of lodge funds.

Our By-Laws are divided into articles to which I now direct your attention.

NOTE:    As the By-Laws of individual lodges differ, adaptations will be necessary at this point. In making these adaptations an effort should be made to give brief statements and to focus the new Mason's attention on those aspects of the By-Laws which will be of greatest interest to him. The examples below have been derived from a typical set of lodge By-Laws.


Article I of our By-Laws states the date, place and time of stated meetings Lodge business can be transacted only on such stated meetings.

Article II covers the election of officers and their installation into office.

Article    III gives    the    composition     and    duties of    standing committees.

Article IV specifies the special duties of the Treasurer, Secretary, and the Tyler of our Lodge.

Article V covers the application and election of candidates for the degrees conferred by our Lodge.

I call your attention to Section Three of Article VI which states the amount of our annual dues and the date upon which such dues should be paid. Your prompt payment of such dues is an important part of your Masonic obligation.

Article VII contains rules concerning the government of conduct during the meetings and work of our Lodge. I urge you to read this article with care.

Articles VIII and IX have to do with fees for the degrees and with making assessments upon the members of our Lodge.

Article X deals with our Lodge Charity Fund, a fund of which I am sure you will be very proud.

Article XI and the final section of our By-Laws states that no amendment or change in these By-Laws can be made unless approved through a 2/3 vote in favor made by the members of our Lodge present at a stated meeting and only after all members have been duly informed of the date upon which the vote shall be taken.

(Directions:    The new Master Mason(s) shall have each article of the By-Laws pointed out to him by the Senior Deacon as the article is described by the Presentor.)

F.    WELCOME INTO THE LODGE    Written by Worshipful Brother Kenneth Mitchell

Brother xxxx, I extend to you a most hearty welcome into Lodge. We rejoice in your being raised to the Sublime Degree' of" a Master Mason and in becoming the newest member(s) of our lodge. I am convinced you will find our Masonic Brotherhood one which will endure no matter where time or circumstances may lead you.

As a member of this lodge you are always welcome to take part in our labor as well as our refreshment, for the joy of Brotherly Love and adoration of Diety can be as manifest at our banquet as at our altar.

You are now a member of an order composed of 40,000 good men in the State of Maine and over five million Masons world wide. You now stand as a brother to such great men as Washington, Franklin, and Maine's own Moses Greenleaf, as well as countless unsung Masons who, through their striving to attain the highest and best within themselves, have given you and I a legacy to perpetuate the Masonic spirit of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.

Once again, welcome Brother xxxx.

The master may wish to place the lodge at ease and allow for the brethren to personally shake the new mason(s) hand(s) and extend welcome.


MASTER:    Brethren, will you please resume your places, and we shall proceed to close. (Directions:    The Lodge is now closed using the "Closing Ceremony" found in the Ritual, pages 176-181.)


Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth, we thank Thee for this opportunity of meeting together in the joy of Brotherhood and in the unanimity of mind and purpose.

We ask Thy special blessing upon our new member(s) of this Lodge and upon those who are near and dear to him (them).

May we, as members of this Lodge and fellows of the Craft, take up the working tools of our profession as Free and Accepted Masons and thus united labor with love and understanding. Make us mindful of each other's needs and those of our fellow men, bind us in the joy of your Truth, and grant, in Thy wisdom and compassion, that we may be steadfast members of the household of the faithful to Thy glory and Thy eternal purpose. AMEN

Closing of Lodge to be followed by refreshments.

back to top

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014