General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
AT the hour appointed for the installation of the officers of the Grand Lodge, the Installing Officer (who should be the retiring Grand Master, the actual Grand Master of another jurisdiction, or a Past Grand Master) will assume the chair, call to order, and announce the business before the Grand Lodge. The officers to be installed will then vacate their places respectively, and substitutes will be appointed for the occasion.
The Grand Master and the other Grand Officers elect, to be installed, will be in waiting in an adjoining apartment.
The announcement of the Installing Officer may be in the following form:
BRETHREN: Your Grand Master and other Grand Officers for the ensuing year, having been duly elected, we are now in readiness to perform the ceremony of installation. The R. W. Grand Marshal will announce to them that we are waiting to receive them.
The Grand Marshal then retires, and on his return reports:
MOST WORSHIPFUL: The Grand Master and other Grand Officers elect are without, in readiness to be installed into office, when it is your pleasure to receive them.
Installing Officer. The R. W. Grand Marshal will admit them, and conduct them to the East before the altar.
(Should there be objection to the installation of any or either of them, it must now be made.)
As they enter the room, the Grand Lodge is called up by the Installing Officer in the usual manner, and remain standing.
The Grand Marshal conducts them to the altar in procession, two and two, in order of rank, the Grand Master elect and the Deputy Grand Master being first. Ile then says:
MOST WORSHIPFUL: The Grand Officers elect are before you, and await your pleasure. I have the honor to present to you for installation Brother A. B., who has been duly elected Grand Master of Masons of the State of ...... for the ensuing year.
Ins. Off: (to the Grand Master elect). MY BROTHER: The exalted station to which the free choice of your Brethren has called you, involves great responsibilities, and requires to be inaugurated by solemn sanctions. It elevates you to a position from which the power and prerogative may depart with the expiration of your term of service, but the honor and dignity, except by your own act, never. Have you been instructed in the secret rites and ceremonies appertaining to the high office of Grand Master of Masons preparatory to your installation, and by which you may acquire and forever retain the evidence of your rank among Masons?
G. M. elect. I have not.
Ins. Off. My Brother, it will be necessary for you to retire, and receive those instructions from our M. W. Past Grand Masters here present, who will escort you. And as we are now upon the threshold of a great and important undertaking, Masonic teachings-require that we should bow in solemn prayer with cur R. W. Grand Chaplain.
Grand Chaplain. Brethren, let us pray.
The Grand Chaplain may then make an appropriate extemporaneous prayer, or use the following:
ETERNAL Source of Life and Light! We thine unworthy creatures reverently bow before thee in adoration and praise. As when we first saw the light at our mystic altar, we first implored thy guidance, protection, and aid, so now we seek thee for thy divine blessing and direction. In thy might we are strong, and without thee, in our best and highest estate, we are but frail and feeble beings. We humbly implore thy divine favor upon this occasion, and upon the institution in whose services we are now engaged. Make it yet more helpful and beneficial to our race, and inspire all who are connected with it with an ardent love to thee, to each other, and to every member of the human family. Bless now thy servant before thee, who is about to assume a new and important relation to his brethren. Give him wisdom; give him strength; give him love. Enable him so to
bear rule that he may keep in view the best interests of the great brotherhood now about to be committed to his charge. Teach him to feel that he is about to assume great and trying responsibilities, and enable him so to discharge them as to win all hearts. Add thy blessing upon the brethren who are to be associated with him in office. May they feel a just sense of their accountability to thee and to the Fraternity; and may they ever be faithful and zealous, and assist to uphold the hands of their chief in all good deeds. In thee, O GOD! as in the days of our apprenticeship, do we put our trust. Be thou our faithful Friend, Conductor, and Guide, in the unseen vicissitudes of life before us, and bring us all, at last, to see the Great Light, inaccessible and full of glory, in thy presence, where we shall behold thee with unclouded vision for evermore.—AMEN.
Response.—So mote it be!
Ins. Off. The Most Worshipful Brethren, Past Grand Masters present, will now retire with the Grand Master, and give him suitable instructions in the manner known to them only, preliminary to the further ceremonies of installation.
He then calls down, and the Grand Officers elect, other than the Grand Master, are provided with seats near the altar. The Past Grand Masters retire to some suitable apartment, and engage in ceremonies, not proper to be written, with the Grand Master elect.
When this is done, they return, having previously given notice of their approach by the Grand Marshal. Upon their entrance, the Grand Lodge is again called up, and after they have arrived near the East, one of their number says:
Past Grand Master. MOST WORSHIPFUL: Our distinguished Brother having been duly instructed by us, is now prepared to assume his installation vows.
Ins. Off. It is well; and with pleasure do we now proceed in our further services. R. W. Grand Marshal, you will conduct our Brother to the altar, to take upon himself the obligation appertaining to the duties of his office.
The Grand Marshal conducts him to the altar, where he kneels, the acting Grand Deacons holding their rods crossed over his head. The Installing Officer then administers the oath of office, the Grand Master elect. repeating after him, as follows:
I, A. B., in the presence of Almighty GOD, and before the Grand Lodge of the State of ......, do promise and swear, that, to the best of my ability, I will faithfully, honestly, and impartially perform the duties of Grand Master of Masons in this jurisdiction during my term of office; and that I will conform to and maintain the Constitutions, laws, rules, and regulations of the Grand Lodge of the State of ......, and the usages and customs of Free and Accepted Masons, and at all times enforce a strict obedience thereto. So help me GOD.
He then rises, and the Grand Marshal conducts him near the chair of the Installing Officer.
Ins. Off. MOST WORSHIPFUL BROTHER (for from henceforth you are entitled thus to be hailed): In inducting you to your chair of office, as a symbol of the commencement of your government over the Craft, I am performing a most solemn duty. By immemorial usage and the irrevocable landmarks of Masonry, you are invested, as Grand Master of Masons, with powers and prerogatives which are well nigh absolute. The interests of the Craft, for weal or wo, are placed in your hands during your term of office. The good resolutions which I doubt not that you have formed in your own mind that these powers shall not be abused or perverted by you, I would gladly strengthen by a word of admonition, which it will not become me henceforth to utter. The very consciousness of the possession of a great power will ever make a generous mind cautious and gentle in its exercise. To rule has been the lot of many, and requires neither strength of intellect or soundness of judgment; to rule WELL has been the fortune of but few, and may well be the object of an honorable ambition. It is not by the strong arm or the iron will that obedience and order, the chief requisites of good government, are secured, but by holding the key to the hearts of men.
The office of Grand Master is of great antiquity and respect, and is one of the highest dignities to which
we may aspire. Its incumbent, to rule well, should possess and practice several important requisites.
As a man, he should be of approved integrity and irreproachable morals; freed from the dominion of hasty temper and ill-governed passions; of good repute in the world; and practicing, as an example to the Craft, the cardinal virtues of Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice.
As a citizen, he should be loyal to his government, obedient to its laws, prompt in the duties he owes to society, and a pattern of fidelity in all social and domestic relations.
As a Mason, he should cling to the old landmarks, and be sternly opposed to their infringement; be a proficient in the laws, language, and literature of the Fraternity; be desirous to learn, and apt to teach; though not for the time a workman, yet be master of the work, and qualified to earn his wages; be prompt to aid and relieve, and slow to demand it; be ever mindful that, though elevated for a time above his fellows, that he is elevated by them, and that he is yet a Craftsman, more sacredly bound by a Craftsman's obligation; and that he should cultivate every where and at all times the golden tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
As an officer, he should remember, first of all, that he is an individual Mason, sharing in that respect a common lot with his Brethren, and therefore interested in the welfare of each and all; be devoid of
undue ostentation and haughty overbearing; be accessible to all, cultivating the closest friendship and the most unlimited confidence with his associate officers; be eager to take counsel with his Brethren, and ready to give it; be patient in investigation and hearing; be deliberate in judgment; be prompt in execution; be forbearing long and much with evildoers; be ready to reward good; be devoid of favoritism, and wholly impartial; be watchful over the treasury; having an eagle eye upon every portion of his jurisdiction; and breasting over the restless spirit of innovation.
Such are some of the most important qualifications which a Grand Master should possess, and the leading errors which he should avoid. It may be that most, if not all, of your predecessors have failed to reach this standard: but it is attainable; and be it your purpose to reach it, and be a bright and shining example to those who shall come after you!
It now but remains for me to clothe you with the external insignia of your rank and authority.
I now with great pleasure invest you with this jewel of your office, whose symbolic meaning will now have a new and striking significance to you. (Presents the jewel.)
I also present you with this gavel, as the potent emblem of Masonic power, which, in your hands, should never be sounded in vain. (Presents gavel.)
I now surrender to you this seat of authority. (Places him in the chair.)
And render you this, the first act of homage due to you as Grand Master.
The Grand Master having been covered on taking the chair, the Installing Officer uncovers, and bows very low.
Ins. Off. I now hail, salute, and proclaim you Grand Master of Masons of the State of ......! Brethren, behold your Grand Master!
Senior Grand Warden. Brethren, behold our Grand Master!
Junior Grand Warden. Brethren, behold our Grand Master 1
The Brethren, with their arms crossed, * * * * *; and then all, under the direction of the Installing Officer, salute with the public grand honors.
The retiring Grand Master may then address his newly-installed successor and brethren, and the Grand Master may, if he chooses, also address the Grand Lodge. If he does not wish to do so, he may call down, and the brethren continue seated during the remainder of the installation, except as called up during the obligations.
It will be proper for the Grand Master here to announce the names of the appointed officers, that they may be installed with the rest.
In case of the rëelection of a Grand Master, the preceding ceremony will be omitted, except that he be conducted near the chair, the Charge given him, he is invested with the jewel and gave, inducted and saluted as above directed. So in the
case of any other officer being rëelected, he will be invested, and given the Charge only.
The Grand Master then proceeds with the installation of the remaining officers, or he may place the Installing Officer again in the chair, delivering to him, without ceremony, the gavel and jewel. In designating the officers hereafter, we will suppose the last to have been done.
Ins. Off. R. W. Grand Marshal, you will now present the Deputy Grand Master elect for installation.
Grand Marshal. MOST WORSHIPFUL: I have the pleasure to present to you, for installation, Brother C. D., who has been duly elected to the office of Deputy Grand Master.
The foregoing address of the Installing Officer, and presentation by the Grand Marshal, may be used for all the remaining officers, simply changing the name and title of the officer. It may also be used for the Grand Master, when reelected. The order of the Installing Officer, next following, will be omitted when the officer to be installed has been reelected.
Ins. Off. R. W. Grand Marshal, you will conduct our Brother to the altar, to take upon himself the obligation appertaining to the duties of his office.
The Grand Marshal conducts him to the altar, when he kneels, and is attended by the Grand Deacons, as in the case of the Grand Master, and takes the same obligation, with the change of name and designation of office.
Ins. Off. R. W. BROTHER: You have not been an inattentive observer of the ceremony of installing the
[paragraph continues] M. W. Grand Master; for you are aware that, in case of his incapacity to act in contingencies mentioned in our constitutions, you succeed to his duties and prerogatives, as you do also when acting as his substitute in any matters specially delegated to you. Your office, therefore, is one of great dignity and importance; and it was in view of these considerations that your Brethren selected you to fill it. Treasure up, therefore, the suggestions made to the M. W. Grand Master; for you know not how soon they may have a personal application to you; and remember, also, that usage, as well as our particular regulations, have placed you in most intimate and confidential relations to him, as supporter and counselor.
I now, with pleasure, proceed to invest you with your jewel of office (gives it), and proclaim you Deputy Grand Master of Masons of the State of ...... You will now be seated in your place, which is at the right hand of the M. W. Grand Master.
Before he is seated, the Installing Officer calls up the Grand Lodge, and the Deputy Grand Master is saluted with the grand honors.
The others of the first six elective Grand Officers are presented and obligated in like manner as the Deputy Grand Master, but without being saluted with the grand honors.
The Charges to the remaining officers installed (which may be varied at the pleasure of the Installing Officer, when special occasion requires,) are as follows:
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: The position which you occupy in the Grand Lodge-and among the Fraternity is one of no little importance. In the Grand Lodge, to control practically the admission of all visitors, to announce specially those who are of rank or eminence, and to aid in the preservation of order, and at all times to render counsel and advice to the Grand Master, are high and responsible duties, requiring circumspection, vigilance, and reflection; but when to these is superadded the more onerous labor, in conjunction with the Junior Grand Warden, of diligently preserving the ancient landmarks throughout the jurisdiction, it then becomes a trust of deep moment to the welfare of the Craft. Your fitness for the discharge of such a trust undoubtedly led to your selection for the office by your Brethren, and it will be your duty and pleasure so to act as to justify their confidence.
In investing you with the jewel of your office, and directing you to the place of your immediate official action, in the West, I am performing a grateful duty.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: As the duties of your office and the qualifications for it are almost identical with those of the Senior Grand Warden, except as it respects the introduction of visitors, I will only add to the Charge given to that officer, that
you be equally vigilant and circumspect, not only at your station in the Grand Lodge, but in the broader field of action without, dividing with him his labors, and taking due care that the great object of your united solicitude shall remain inviolate.
Accept the jewel of your office, and repair to the South, being ever watchful, whether in labor or at refreshment, that the high twelve of observation do not find you with your work, and that of the Craft you superintend, unperformed.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: In intrusting you with the books and funds of the Grand Lodge, as appertaining to your office, I am but their organ in placing them in your possession, as one well qualified to keep and manage them, as your past integrity, accuracy, and prompt business habits testify, an appreciation of which has been evinced by their choice of you as Grand Treasurer.
The keys forming the jewel of your office have a twofold significance: They are instruments to bind as well as to loose; to make fast, as well as to open. They will never, I am confident, be used by you in any other manner than the constitutions, laws, rules, and regulations of the Grand Lodge shall direct.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: Usage, as well as positive enactments from time to time, have rendered
the duties of the office of Grand Secretary more onerous and varied than that of any other officer. Brought by his official position more immediately into communication with the whole body of the Fraternity, it is requisite that he should possess ability, skill, and industry, to meet the various demands upon him. Placed in a position where ho holds almost constant correspondence with our Masonic brethren of every state and country, upon him devolves, in a large degree, the good name and credit of the Masonic family of this State. The Fraternity should enable him to maintain it; ho should strive that it be maintained. Courtesy and patience are to be elements in his manners and character. Vigilance and fidelity must also be necessary qualities.
Our constitutions, my Brother, point out to you fully the duties of your office, and I will not recapitulate them. Your capability for their prompt and faithful execution has induced your Brethren to confide this trust to you, and I feel assured that it is well placed.
In investing you with your official jewel, the pens, I am persuaded that they will make an endearing record, not only to your praise, but to the welfare of a Craft so largely dependent upon your experience and integrity.
REVEREND AND RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: That Holy Book, which is the chart and text-book of your
sacred calling, is also the great light of Masonry, and forever sheds its benignant rays upon every lawful assemblage of Free and Accepted Masons. Teach us from its life-giving precepts; intercede for us with that Divine Majesty which it so fully reveals and unfolds to us; and warm us by its lessons of infinite wisdom and truth, and you will have faithfully per formed your sacred functions and fulfilled your important trust.
It is fitting that an emblem of the sacred volume should be the jewel of your office, with which I now invest you.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: The care and preservation of our ancient ritual, and the perpetuation of the time-honored landmarks embraced in it, and which may not be written, devolves upon you. And as that ritual has enshrined within it, in symbol and allegory, certain great and essential moral truths, you should be as perfect in the symbolism as in the mere formula of language which teach us how our rites are to be administered. As Grand Lecturer, also, you should be Master of the ceremonial observances of the Fraternity, and give instructions in the manner of rendering them most striking and effective. You are the preceptor of the Fraternity, and your deportment should be consistent with the nature of your office-work. For upon your teachings
depend not only the uniformity and perpetuity, but the character and impressiveness of our rites, and they should be imparted, both by oral communication and example. On no point are the Craft so punctilious and exacting as upon the beauty and accuracy of the work and lectures: hence many eyes will be upon you. A courteous manner, an unwearied patience, and a diligent application are requisites for your place, and no rash or innovating hand will be tolerated in your department of labor.
In installing you into office, and presenting your jewel, I am happy to be enabled to say that your established skill and learning, and your ability to undergo the constitutional tests, have proved you to be a Master Workman.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: The duties of your office require energy, activity, and quickness of perception. The good order of the Fraternity, in its general assemblies and processions, depends upon your care, skill, and assiduity. Possessing these qualifications, you have been appointed Grand. Marshal, and I now with pleasure install you into office, and invest you with your appropriate jewel. It denotes command, as the organ of the Grand Master, to whom you will be near at hand to execute his orders.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: Your duty is to carry and uphold the banner of the Grand Lodge on occasions of ceremony and public procession. The emblems upon it are as ancient as the march of the children of Israel from bondage, and the Ark is the symbol of hope and safety. Bear them well aloft, for the world, as well as the Craft, ever honors them. Receive the jewel of your office, and let it remind you that you are never to part with that standard, when under your care, while you have life to defend it.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: The sword which you bear is the time-honored symbol of Justice and Authority. It reminds the beholder of the dignity of the body whose emblem it is. It is also the guardian and protector of the standard of the Grand Lodge. Be ever faithful to your trust. Let this jewel of your office remind you of its nature.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHERS: In olden times, your province was to superintend and provide for the festivals of the Craft, and that duty still remains to you, although there is rarely occasion for its exercise. But we are taught that "it is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting," and hence on you has been appropriately disposed the dispensation
of our beneficent charities. That it is a grateful duty, all hearts testify, and we know that yours most fully responds to it. Receive the jewels of your office, together with the white rods.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL BROTHERS: As messengers of the Grand Officers, and as useful assistants in our ceremonies, your respective official positions are of very great value and importance to the comfort and good order of the Grand Lodge. Vigilance and zeal are necessary requisites of your offices, and wo know that you possess them.
As Senior and Junior Deacons of this-Grand Lodge, you are now invested with the jewels of office, together with these rods, as tokens of your authority.
WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: You are to act as the messenger of the Grand Lodge, and the herald to announce the approach of visitors and strangers. In so doing, possess yourself of the necessary information to announce their rank and position properly, and exercise a sound discretion, so as not to interfere with its labors. Be cautious and vigilant, that no improper person may gain admittance. You, also, have in your keeping the clothing and jewels of the Grand Officers, which you should be careful to keep in a good condition, and neatly and orderly arranged
for use at all times. Receive your emblem of office, and repair to your station inside the door.
WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: The importance of the duties of your place can not be overrated. Care and watchfulness are indispensably requisite, and in all cases, unless thoroughly satisfied with the character and identity of those desiring admittance, let your doubts prevail. Ours is a sanctuary, intrusted to you faithfully and vigilantly to guard, and you have always at hand the means of being fully satisfied. Irreparable injury might result from a negligent or careless discharge of your duty. Your station is ever outside the door, and to which you will now repair with this jewel, and also with this implement of your office. (Giving a sword.)
The several officers being now duly installed, the Installing Officer will retire, after surrendering the jewel and gavel to the Grand Master. It may be proper and expedient before doing so, to have an appropriate ode or piece of music.
Grand Master. RT. WORSHIPFUL GRAND MARSHAL.: I now declare the several officers of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of ......... duly installed into office for the ensuing year, in AMPLE form. You will cause proclamation to be made in the South, West, and East.
The Junior Grand Deacon proclaims in the South, the Senior Grand Deacon in the West, and the Grand Marshal
in the East, each as follows, the Grand Lodge being called up:
By order of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, and by authority of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of ......, I proclaim that its Grand Officers are now duly installed in ample form.
Response.—So mote it be!
The Grand Lodge is called down.