Ritual for the Lodge of Sorrow

 

This facultative ritual exists of 6 parts, they are:

 

1.   Opening

2.   to establish that the work has stopped

3.   the searching and finding of the tools, and of the crack in the chain of brethren

4.   the chaplain gives a sketch of the life of the departed brother or sister

5.   the renewal of the mutual covenant

6.   the closure

 

1.   Opening; according the first degree.

 

When there are non-masonic visitors, they are led into the lodge by the Brother of ceremonies, while appropriate music is playing. The W\M\ welcomes them, and gives a simple explanation about the ceremony that will take place.

 

2.  We establish that the Masonic work has stopped.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Junior Warden, what are Freemasons building?

 

Junior Warden:            A invisible Temple, to the example of the Temple of Solomon.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Senior Warden, how do we imagine this Temple in the lodge?

 

Senior Warden:            It is in the tracingboard, illuminated through three Lights.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Senior Warden. When do freemasons perform their labours?

 

Senior Warden:             Only at a proper time, A\M\

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Junior Warden, which is this proper time?

 

Junior Warden:            The hour of full noon, to start the work, The hour of full midnight to end the work.

 

W\M\:                    How then, did it happen, that the Lodge is assembled on the unusual hour of midnight, Br\ Junior Warden?

 

Junior Warden:            Where the G\A\of the U\ puts His immortality opposite the work of his mortal labourers, his labourers will meet in great distress in the Lodge to go through a joint remembrance at his building plan., in order to regain the power to resume the work.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Senior Warden, do we need to assume, that such a situation of distress is now present in our Lodge?

 

Senior Warden:            Alas, W\M\, the signs are there, that this is the case now. We have formed the Lodge, but only a reminder and a glimmer of eternal Light is with us.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Senior Warden, what is your task in the Light of Wisdom?

 

Senior Warden:             Keeping supervision on the work at the Column of the North.

 

W\M\:                    What work is performed on this Column?

 

Senior Warden:             The labour at the Rough Ashlar, which has to become a Pure Cubic.

 

W\M\:                    What is the purpose of this work, Brother Senior Warden?

 

Senior Warden:             When the house was built , it was made out of stone, which was polished   in the quarry.

 

W\M\:                    Brother Junior Warden, which is your task, in the Light of Power?

 

Junior Warden:             Keeping supervision on the work at the Column of the South.

 

W\M\:                    What work is performed on this Column?

 

Junior Warden:             That the Cubical Stone will fit in the building, according to the plan of the Master.

 

W\M\:                    In where will this Cubical Stone be inserted?

 

Junior Warden:             Over the rough-cut rocks of the foundation, hewn and exquisite stones were raised, made fit for the building by the square.

 

W\M\:                    And where Wisdom and Strength unite into Beauty, there the Master works at the tracingboard, in order to lead the work and to make sure the work will progress. Brothers Warden, will examine if the work is continuing.

 

( The Wardens stand up)

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Junior Warden, is the construction progressing?

 

Junior Warden:             We see yet, the Lights of Beauty, Strength, and Beauty, (points at the  lights), which support the construction, but a eerie silence. No new stones are supplied to me.

 

W\M\:                    Brother Senior Warden, what for is this silence? Is the work not progressing?

 

Senior Warden:             Alas W\M\, with the Rough Ashlar, tools are laying around,    untouched. (points at the rough ashlar)

 

W\M\:                    Brothers Warden, Let us investigate this in close detail; put yourselves in the West, at the head of your Columns. Brothers Warden, then investigate on your Columns, why the Tools are laying around idle.

 

3.   the searching and finding of the tools, and of the crack in the chain of brethren.

 

   (first the Junior Warden walks alongside his Column, and returns

   in the West, then the Senior Warden walks alongside his Column

   and on his way back, he stops at the empty seat in the middle of the

   Column in the North, on which are the apron and gloves of the

   deceased; the place directly next to this chair is taken by a Brother

   N., who had special ties with the deceased Brother)

 

Senior Warden:             Why are apron and gloves lying around here useless, while the work    should be in progress?

 

Br\N. :                      (stands up and replies) Br\ Warden, they were not put on today,    while Br\ (name of the deceased) has not appeared on the job.

 

Senior Warden:             Thou, who worked shoulder to shoulder with him, tell me, what is the reason of this?

 

Br\N. :                      The G\A\of the U\ has called him to the Eternal East, and made him put down his tools, Br\ Warden.

 

(then the Senior Warden returns to the W.’. of his Column, after which both Wardens get seated again)

 

Senior Warden:             W\M\, the work has no progress, because the Tools are taken out of the hands of our Br\ __________ The G\A\ of the U\ has called him into the Eternal East.

 

W\M\:                    Then there is mourning in the Lodge, and mourning demands before   anything else for contemplation.

 

   (mourning music)

 

W\M\:                    Brothers, the Lodge is alarmed. One of our co-workers is called to the Eternal East, and so, he had to put down his Tools. His co-workers had to experience, that a chain in the chain of Brethren is gone, and they are painfully aware of the crack in the chain.

 

We can only become aware of the loss for the Lodge, if we notice which place our Brother had in our midst. As a apprentice he worked, like all of us, at the Rough Ashlar, as Fellow he filled in his task in this lodge with strength, inside and outside the lodge, and as a Master he worked in loneliness on the tracingboard, lest the building could progress. But where necessary, he has not scrupled to work as a Fellow, and where it was needed, to perform the humble work of an apprentice. Because the true Master knows to work there, where it is needed, and he will always help there, where his labours at a whole will receive the most benefit. The master knows how to be the most humble of all.

 

Our Br\ worked as long as it was day, and when the night arrived, he put down his Tools, in the certainty, that He, who can oversee the entire building-plan, knows best, when a task should begin or end.

 

We trust, that the G\ A\ of the U\ will be satisfied about the labour of our brother, and possible defaults in the delivered labour will have covered with the trowel of Love.

 

Brothers, it is good, to let Br\ ___________ be an example for us, and I call upon you, Br\ chaplain to give a testimony of this man, Brother and laborer in the Royal Art.

 

4.   Testimony by the chaplain.

   (The Chaplain gives his speech, in which he pictures the deceased

   brother as human, but also as a freemason. He ends his speech

   with the words:

Chaplain:                    W\M\ I have fulfilled your charge, and tried to give a testimony about Br\ ___________, who worked with us in the Lodge, as long as it was day.

W\M\:                    Br\ chaplain, receive thanks for the labours you just performed.

 

   (music)

 

W\M\:                    Brothers, there is mourning in the Lodge; mourning for the loss that we suffered, with the departing of the Br\, whom we commemorated a moment ago.

 

                                    We will realize, that despite the pain, which this loss caused us, the   work needs to progress nevertheless, and that we do not have the right to surrender to complaint. Only because of continuous labour can will we be able to honor the memory of the Br\ he went before us to the Eternal East.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ of ceremonies, lead Br\ N_______, who worked shoulder to   shoulder with Br\ ____ to the Altar of Truth, and let he bring me the   apron and gloves, which are not used anymore.

 

   (this is done, while the W.’.M.’. himself goes to the Eastside of the Altar)

 

W\M\:                    (receives first the apron)

The apron carries the traces of hard and honest labour.

 

(receives the gloves)

The gloves bear evidence, that the Br\, who wore them, understood in hat spirit the labours needs to be done. Now they are not longer necessary, I receive them back (folds the apron with the gloves within it), and I ask you, Br\ N., to give me a warning, when you will meet a person of good name, who wants to work with us, and who is worthy to receive this apron, and these gloves, in order to use them in the way Br\ ____________ has used them. Then, I will hand then out again, so that they can serve with the work. I thank you, Br\N., retake your seat on the Columns. (the br\ of Ceremonies leads Br\N. back to his seat, while the W\

   M\ goes back to the throne, while he takes gloves and apron with him.)

 

   (quiet music)

 

5.   Renewing of the mutual covenant

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Junior Warden, through what was, in former times, the memory of a deceased Brother honoured?

 

Senior Warden:             By the forming of the triangle, symbol for the spirit, which returns to her source, when her material carriage goes down to her composed elements. Formed by white roses as symbol for the pure life to which he was called.

 

W\M\:                    Brothers Warden, I ask you now to come to the Altar of Truth, to receive the roses. In order brothers and sisters! (the wardens go directly to the Altar and are place like a initiation around the Altar with the W\M\. After they received the roses, they go directly to the coffin and are place next to it, while the W\M\ takes his place in the East)

 

While sad music is played, three circuits are walked: after the first round the Senior Warden lays down the rose and says: “Wisdom in life”

 

After the second tour, the Junior Warden lays down the rose, and says: “Strength in dying”.

 

After the third tour the W\M\ lays down the rose, and says: “Beauty in the dawn of Eternal life”.

 

(After that they stand around the coffin, until the music is finished, then they go back to their places.

 

W\M\:                    Please be seated.

 

   (music)

 

   The guests who are not freemasons are thanked for their presence,

   and the Br\ of ceremonies leads them out of the Temple.

 

W\M\:                    What more means the symbol of the roses to us?

 

Junior Warden:             It is symbol of eternal memory and a immortal covenant.

 

W\M\:                    Br\ Senior Warden, how do we symbolize this covenant?

 

Senior Warden:             Through the chain of brethren, W\M\.

 

W\M\:                    Sisters and brothers, let we confirm this covenant then with the Chain of Brethren.

 

   (the Br\ of ceremonies calls to form the Chain of Brethren, closed)

 

Br\ of Cer\:             W\M\ the Chain of Brethren is formed.

 

W\M\:                    Sisters and Brothers, we know, that when the earthly home in which we live is broken down, we will have a Temple in the spirit, not made with hands, a eternal home. Because we expect the city with fundaments, of which the architect and artist, is the G\A\ of the U\ That is why these words are spoken to us: do not hold on to the chaos of this world, go away from her center, separate you, and I will accept you, and you will be One, each other’s Brethren. Now, let you allow yourselves to be used as living stones, so that, on the corner stone, the entire building, skillfully erected, will raise as a Temple, in honor for the G\A\ of the U\. Then we can testify: “Your builders made your beauty perfect.”

 

Sisters and Brothers, lets stay in thoughts with Br\ ___________ and let us remember all those who could not be in our midst today.

 

   (then everybody retakes their seats again)

 

W\M\:                    Sisters and Brethren, we can openly honour the remembrance of our    Brother, while we continue to work in our Lodge. Let we then in the full Light take up our Tools again and resume our work.

   (during these last words of the W\M\ the lights are turned on to

   their normal strength)

 

   (Music)

 

6. Closure; according the first degree ritual

 

 

 

         

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