Lodge No. 114 F. & A.M.
Handled Loving Cup
This beautiful gold and white
three handled loving cup was made to commemorate the 100th Anniversary
(1809-1909) of Solomon's Lodge No. 114 F. & A.M. of Philadelphia,
Pa. It also pictures the Grand Lodge of Pa. building on one panel and
the Lodge Officers for 1909 on another panel. It was made by the Thos.
Maddocks Sons. Co. of Trenton New Jersey and stands 7 1/4 inches tall.
We have discovered two different versions of this same Loving Cup... both cups
have a picture of the Grand Lodge of PA building dtd 1909 at 1 North Broad Street in
downtown Philadelphia where Solomon Lodge No. 114 currently meets and another version
pictures the names of the Lodge Officers when the cup was made in 1909 instead
of the 1809 picture of their maiden Lodge building.
A special "Thanks"
to Brother Fred Lowstetter for submitting the pictures of his wonderful Loving
Ceremony of the Loving Cup
An Ancient Masonic Ceremony of Sharing
This is an old tradition in Wellington Lodge No. 1385 usually performed at the
conclusion of a banquet. It is a very old custom which seems to have almost
died out, at least in Craft Masonry. Wellington tries to maintain this
tradition and is famous for it.
Actually the Loving Cup should be passed after the Entered Apprentice song has
been sung. This is a ceremony handed down through the ages and need not be
limited to initiations, which Wellington does not do.
The procedure was for three Brethren to stand, two would unsheath their swords
and the third (middle) to hold up the cup by the two handles and to drink
whilst the two others defended him, one facing him and the other with his back
to the drinker’s back. Having taking his draught, the drinker then wipes the
cup with a napkin. The two brethren with thier backs together then turn to
face each other and the cup is handed over. The next brother in the line now
stands to protect the back of the drinker, and so on.
A later variation of the Loving Cup for toasting is the large two handled
wassail bowl or cup, usually pewter or silver and sometimes bearing the Lodge
badge or crest. At the festive Board it is passed round from Brother to
Brother around the table. The word “wassail” comes from the old English “Waes
Hail”, meaning “Be thou whole and of good health”. The custom of protection of
the drinker’s back is said to date back to Saxon times, when a man might be
treacherously stabbed whilst drinking - hence a friend or two defend him with
drawn swords. This may be borne out by the murder, in A.D. 979 of King Edward
(later known as Edward the Martyr), when he was so stabbed on the orders of
his stepmother, Elfrida, so that her own son, Ethelred could become King
instead. He was stabbed at the feast while drinking mead from a two handled
loving cup by a paid assassin.
There are many forms of the ceremony but the process of sharing, coupled with
mutual protection is the same — it reinforces the ancient Masonic bond we have
with each other.