Brethren and Friends: It has been a custom among the Fraternity of Free
and Accepted Masons from time immemorial, at the request of a departed
Brother or his family, to assemble in the character of Masons and, with
the solemn formalities of the Craft, to offer up to his memory, before the
world, the last tribute of our affection.
Our Brother has reached the end of his earthly toils. The brittle
thread which bound him to earth has been severed and the liberated spirit
has winged its flight to the unknown world. The silver cord is loosed; the
golden bowl is broken; the pitcher is broken at the fountain; and the
wheel is broken at the cistern. The dust has returned to the earth as it
was, and the spirit has returned to God who gave it.
An anthem or other solemn music may here be
Master reads Sacred Roll: Brother
(full name), a Master Mason. Member of (Name of Lodge and Number) .
Entered into rest (date), Age x years, y months and z days.
Almighty Father! Into Thy hands we commend the soul of our
The Great Creator having in His infinite wisdom, removed our
Brother from the cares and troubles of this earthly life, thus severing
another link in the fraternal chain by which we are bound together, let us
who survive him be yet more strongly cemented by the ties of Brotherly
love; that during the brief space allotted to us here, we may wisely and
usefully employ our time, and, in the mutual exchange of kind and friendly
acts, promote the welfare and happiness of each other.
While we pay this fraternal tribute to his memory, let us not
forget, my brethren, that we, too, are mortal; and that our spirits, too,
must return to the God who spake them into existence. "Man that is born of
a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a
flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not."
The almighty fiat has gone forth — "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt
thou return;" and that we are all subject to that decree, the daily
observation of our lives furnishes evidence not to be forgotten.
Seeing then, my brethren, that life is so uncertain, and that all
material pursuits are vain, let us no longer postpone the all-important
concern of preparing for eternity; but let us embrace the present moment,
while time and opportunity are offered, to provide for that great change
when all the pomp and pleasure of this fleeting world will pall upon the
senses, and the recollection of a virtuous and well-spent life will yield
the only comfort and consolation. Thus we shall not be unprepared to enter
into the presence of the one all-wise and powerful Judge, to whom the
secrets of all hearts are known; and on the great day of reckoning we
shall be ready to give a good account of our stewardship while here on
With becoming reverence let us supplicate the Divine Grace, whose
goodness and power know no bounds, that, on the arrival of the momentous
hour, our Faith may remove the clouds of doubt, draw aside the sable
curtains of the hidden world beyond, and bid Hope sustain and cheer the
CHAPLAIN: — Most Glorious God! Author of all good, and Giver of
all mercy! Pour down Thy blessing upon us, we beseech Thee, and strengthen
our solemn engagements with the ties of sincere affection! Endue us with
fortitude and resignation in this hour of sorrow, and grant that this
dispensation from Thy hands may be sanctified in its results upon the
hearts of those who now meet to mourn! May the present instance of
mortality draw our attention toward Thee, the only refuge in time of need.
Enable us to look with eyes of Faith toward that realm whose skies are
never darkened by sorrow; and after our departure hence in peace and in
Thy favor, may we be received into Thy everlasting kingdom, to enjoy the
just reward of a virtuous and well-spent life. Amen!
BRETHREN: — So mote it be!
Solemn music may here again be introduced,
after which the Master continues.
MASTER: — Our Brother has been raised in that blissful Lodge
which no time can close, but which will remain open during the boundless
ages of eternity. In that Heavenly Sanctuary, the Mystic Light, unmingled
with darkness, will reign unbroken and perpetual. There, under the
protection of the All-Seeing Eye, amid the smiles of Immutable Love, in
that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, — there, my
brethren, may Almighty God in His infinite mercy, grant that we may meet
again, to part no more.
Master displays apron
The Lambskin Apron is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a
Mason; more ancient than the Golden Fleece or the Roman Eagle, more
honorable than the Star or Garter, or any distinction that can be
conferred by king, prince, potentate or any other person. By it we are
continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct so essentially
necessary to gain admission into the Celestial Lodge above where the
Supreme Grand Master of the Universe forever presides.
Master displays Acacia
This Evergreen, which once marked the temporary resting place of
one illustrious in Masonic history, is an emblem of our enduring faith in
the Immortality of the Soul. By it we are reminded that we have an
imperishable part within us, which shall survive all earthly existence,
and which will never, never die. Through the loving goodness of our
Supreme Grand Master, we may confidently hope that, like this Evergreen,
our souls will hereafter flourish in eternal spring.
We shall ever cherish in our hearts the memory of our departed
Brother and, commending his spirit to Almighty God, we trustingly leave
him in the hands of that Beneficent Being who has done all things well;
who is glorious in His Holiness, wondrous in His Power, and boundless in
His Goodness; and it should always be our endeavor so to live that we too
may be found worthy to inherit the kingdom prepared for us from the
foundation of the world.
NOTE: A eulogy may be delivered at this
point by Master or any other person, if desired, after which the Master
MASTER: — We extend to the bereaved relatives and friends of our
departed Brother our sincere sympathy in this hour of sorrow, and we pray
that "He who tempers the wind to the shorn Lamb" will give them His divine
comfort and consolation, and that they may come to realize that the spirit
of our Brother is happy in his Father's house, where "God shall wipe away
all tears from their eyes, and where there shall be no more death, neither
sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former
things are passed away."
"Committal" may take place in the Chapel or
Lodge room or graveside at the place of interment.
MASTER: — Soft and safe to thee, my Brother, be thy resting
place! Bright and glorious be thy rising from it! Fragrant be the acacia
sprig that there shall flourish! May the earliest buds of spring unfold
their beauties o'er thy resting place, and there may the sweetness of the
summer's last rose linger longest! Though the winds of Autumn may destroy
the loveliness of their existence, yet the destruction is not final, and
in the springtime, they shall surely bloom again. So, in the bright
morning of the resurrection, thy spirit shall spring into newness of life
and expand in immortal beauty, in realms beyond the skies. Until then,
dear Brother, until then, farewell!
CHAPLAIN: — The Lord bless us and keep us! The Lord make His face
to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us! The Lord lift upon us the light
of His countenance and give us peace! Amen!
BRETHREN: — So mote it be!