Glossary

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Alphabetically Arranged with Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References

Oath

Before any candidate for the mysteries, symbols, tenets, and secrets of Freemasonry can be admitted to a Lodge he is required to make a solemn oath by which he pledges secrecy and assumes the obligation of faithfully conforming his life to the teachings of the Order.  There is nothing profane or immoral in the obligations assumed, nor is there the slightest elements of levity in the procedure.  Hence this oath can not be regarded as the slightest perversion of Holy Scripture or in any sense objectional or sinful.  Neither is the objection sometimes given that the oath is administered before the secrets are made known reasonable or just.  Certainly an obligation, covenant, and promise, exacted previous to the divulging of the specialties of an Order wholly characterized by benevolent intent is not only free of reasonable objection, but fair and honorable.. The oath of a Mason is administered with solemn rites symbolizing and emphasizing the profound and meaningful character of the obligations being assumed.  While these rites are peculiar to Masonry, they are no different in their import and meaning from ceremonies and rites common in administering oaths in other spheres of human relations.  The Masonic oath is attended with the imprecation of certain penalties in the event of violation.  There can be no oath without the elements of both attestation and execration.  All these explanations apply to the oaths required of Masons in each succeeding step of advancement in the Masonic Order.  Ex. 22:11 -  Deut. 6:13 -  Josh. 14:6-9 -  Gen. 14:21-24

Oath, Tiler's

Before any strange and unknown visitor can gain admission into a Masonic Lodge, he is required in the United States of America to take the following oath:  "I, A.B., do hereby and hereon solemnly and sincerely swear that I have been regularly initiated, passed, and raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in a just and legally constituted Lodge of such; that I do not now stand suspended or expelled; and know of no reason why I should not hold Masonic communication with my Brethren."  It is called the Tiler's Oath, because it is usually taken in the Tiler's room, and was formerly administered by that officer, whose duty it is to protect the Lodge from the approach of unauthorized visitors.  It is now administered by the Committee of Examination, and not only he to whom it is administered, but he who administers it, and all who are present, must take it at the same time.  It is a process of purgation, and each one present, the visitor as well as the members of the Lodge, is entitled to know that all the others are legally qualified to be present at the esoteric examination which is about to take place.

Oblation

An annual fee paid to an Order by its members.

Obligation

The solemn promise made by a Freemason on his admission into any Degree is technically called his obligation.  In a legal sense, obligation is synonymous with duty.  Its derivation shows its true meaning, for the Latin word obligatio literally signifies a tying or binding.  The obligation is that which binds a man to do some act, the doing of which thus becomes his duty.  By his obligation, a Freemason is bound or tied to his Order.

Obsolete

A term, usually applied to Orders, for a phaleristic item that is no longer conferred or awarded but there are living recipients.  As distinct from extinct, which refers to a phaleristic item no longer conferred or awarded and there are no living recipients.

Obverse

In numismatics that side of a coin or medal which contains the principal figure, generally a face in profile or a full or half-length figure, is called the obverse.  The side opposite from the reverse.

O'Clock

A method for specifying a location on the circumference of a circular badge by correlating the location to the face of a twelve-hour clock.  Under the o'clock method, the top of the badge is twelve o'clock, three o'clock is the 90 degree position, the bottom of the badge is six o'clock, and nine o'clock is the 270 degree position on the circumference.

Olive wood

A hard, close-grained Mediterranean wood of yellowish-green color, with darker markings. Often used in the Holy Land region for making Jerusalem boxes.  EXAMPLE

Omnific Word

The Tetragrammation is so called because of the omnific powers attributed by the Kabbalists to its possession and true pronunciation.  (See Tetragrammaton.)  The term is also applied to the most significant word in the Royal Arch system.

On - strength; light

This is a significant word in Royal Arch Masonry, and refers to the city of On in Egypt, and indirectly to the sun-god Ra, who represented to the Egyptians much the same conception of Deity as represented by the name Jehovah among the Hebrews.  The city of On was the chief seat of the worship of the god Ra; Joseph's wife, Asenath, was the daughter of Poti-pherah, the chief priest in the Temple of Ra at On.  Gen. 41:45

Opening Of The Lodge

What are the purposes effected at the opening of the Lodge?  The Master is reminded of the dignity of his character and position, and the brethren of the respect and veneration due him in their sundry stations.  These are not, however, the only advantages resulting from a due observance of the ceremony; a reverential awe for Deity is inculcated, and the eye is fixed on that object from whose radiant beam alone light can be derived.  Hence, in this ceremony, we are taught to adore the Great Architect of the universe, and to supplicate the labors then begun may be continued in peace and closed in harmony.  Psalm 33:18

Operative Masonry

What is the familiar characteristic of Operative Masonry?  It is engaged in the application of the rules and principles of architecture to the construction of edifices for private and public use, houses for the dwelling place of man, and temples for the worship of Deity.  It abounds, like every other art, in the use of technical terms, and employs, in practice an abundance of implements and materials which are peculiar to itself.  This operative art has been the foundation on which has been built the speculative science of Freemasonry.  1 Kings 6:1-38

Ophir 

What was the source of the supply of gold for the building of the temple?   And they came from Ophir (It was probably a seaport somewhere in India or Africa), and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon, and the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.  1 Kings 9:28 and 10:11  

Order

An Order may be defined to be a brotherhood, fellowship, or association of certain persons, united by laws and statutes peculiar to the society, engaged in a common object or design, and distinguished by particular habits, ensigns, badges or symbols.

Order, Rules of

In every Masonic Lodge there is a code of rules and order, well adapted to the work of the Lodge from long usage and universal adoption; they conform to the laws of parliamentary order and should be rigidly followed.

Ormolu

Literally, "ground gold."  Ground gold leaf used as a gilt pigment.  Also, brass made to look like gold.

Ornaments of a Lodge

The lectures describe the ornaments of a Lodge as consisting of the Mosiac Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the Blazing Star.  They are called ornaments because they are really the decorations with which a properly furnished Lodge is adorned.

Ornan

Mt. Moriah, on which the Temple of Solomon was built, is symbolically called the ground floor of the lodge, and hence it is said that "the lodge rests on holy ground."  This sacred spot was once the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and from him David purchased it for fifty shekels of silver.  2 Sam. 24:18-25  Recorded as Araunah.  1 Chron. 21:18-27  Recorded as having paid Ornan 600 shekels of Gold.

Oxidizing

Accented beauty of ornamentation by the application of an oxide which darkens metal wherever applied.  Shadows and highlights are created which give depth and character.

 

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