The Table Lodge

A History

From time immemorial, Freemasons have enjoyed meeting about a "Festive Board" loaded with the fruits of their labor.  Special emphasis was placed on the Summer and Winter Solstice, late in June and and December, which were, and are, St. John the Baptist (June 24th) and St. John the Evangelist (December 27th).  The twentieth century has found Masonry ignoring, and often ignorant of, both the "Festive Board" and the Festivals.  Is this as it should be?  The answer may be partially revealed in the following recount of the history of the Table Lodge.

Man has been continually seeking some noble purpose to pursue even centuries ago, when life was perhaps more perilous and severe, feasting became a major diversion, as much for social desires as to satisfy the needs of the inner-man.

The feasts which are probably the oldest of all Fraternal repasts were those of the "Mysteries" of ancient Egypt, the so-called "Sons of Light."  The oldest of Masonic origin, of which we have any reliable record, were the feasts upon being "Entered" and "Passed" to a Fellow of the Craft.  These go back far beyond the records of organized Masonry.

The Masonic desirability of a social dinner is as old as the Freemasonry we know.  In 1717, when the mother Grand Lodge was formed to revitalize the Lodges in and around London, one of the reasons given was to revive the Quarterly Communication and to hold the Annual Feast.  Many historians claim this annual banquet was the most important move made by the new body.  A short time later, the Grand Master directed there be installed the old, regular and peculiar toasts and health's of Freemasons.

Lawrence Dermott, the author of the first "Ahiman Rezon" (Constitutions of Masonry), remarked about the Table Lodge:  "It was expedient to abolish the old custom of studying Geometry in the Lodge, and some younger Brethren made it appear that a good knife and fork, in the hands of a dexterous Brother, over proper Materials (food), would give great satisfaction and add more to the conviviality of the Lodge than the best Scale and Compasses in Europe."

From the idea of the feast, and the desire to promote a greater degree of fellowship and kinship in Masonry, was born the Table Lodge.  Both the affection of friends and the love for the Fraternity flourished within its walls.  Its Communications were more like a reunion than a Regular Lodge meeting, and it became a center of relaxation, celebration and inspiration of Freemasonry.

The Table Lodge had a most unusual pattern.  Its meeting was conducted around the table, and the helpings of food and beverage were served in such a way they did not interfere with the other concerns of the Lodge.  There were many toasts and the lusty voices of the Masons rang out with Masonic songs.  The Table Lodge was traditionally a tiled Entered Apprentice Lodge, followed by the peculiar ritual used only in a Table Lodge, so all Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts could participate in the fellowship of the Lodge.  As all business is usually conducted in the Master Mason Degree, then called to refreshment, at which time all Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts could be admitted and the Table Lodge opened, using the suggested ceremony provided by the Committee on Work.

In our colonial days, the Table Lodge was Freemasonry's greatest asset.  It buoyed up the spirit of the colonists who were members of the Craft when they were at their lowest ebb.  While the repast was undoubtedly limited and meager, the fervor and zeal were there.  Once the Table Lodge was opened, the objects in the room took on a military flavor.  Everything that was used changed its name:

Table... TrestleboardTable-cloth... Standard; Napkins... Flags; Plates... Tiles;  Dishes... Platforms; Spoons... Trowels;  Knives... Swords; Forks... Mattocks; Bottles... Barrels; Glasses... Cannons; To "Charge"... Fill-up; Lights... Stars; Chairs... Stalls; Food... Materials; Bread... Rough Ashlar; Red Drink... Strong Powder; Water... Weak Powder; Salt... Sand; Peper... Dust; Mustard... Paint; To Eat... Masticate; To Drink... "Fire" or Discharge Cannon

That the Table Lodge was an enjoyable experience, no one who has read the skimpy records can doubt.  Dr. George Oliver, an early Masonic historian, wrote of the Table Lodge in his memoirs:  "Their song appears to have more zest than in privated company, the toast thrilled more vividly upon recollection, and the small medium of punch with which it was honored, retained a higher flavor than the potation if produced at a private board."

Although alcoholic beverages did contribute to the festivities of the Table Lodge in days long gone, they were not a necessary adjunct.  Wine was the libation, but that was changed when the 18th Amendment was adopted, so Masons would not violate the law.  Although prohibition was subsequently repealed, Freemasonry did not follow suit.  It retained a substitution, mainly out of respect for Brethren who practiced abstinence.  Today, fruit juices and punches are used for the toasts.  Actually, it is not what the glass contains, but the concept it offers.

The Table Lodge is a heritage of our past, which deserves consideration of revival.  It has been stated that "The Table Lodge is the summary of Masonic Doctrine."  It prescribed reverence for Divinity and the Moral Law.  It strengthened the devotion that Masons held for the Lodge and Country.  It increased the unity and fellowship of the Craft.

Suggestions for a Successful Table Lodge

These suggestions are provided to assist in the planning and presentation of Table Lodges.  Consideration of the items presented will bring other ideas to mind and lead the planning toward a smooth and successful event for all.

The Dining Room

Tables - The tables should be preferably be set up in the form of a "U" with the Brethren seated only on the outside, leaving the inner space for the serving of food and beverage.  In the case of a restricted area other arrangements may be made but every effort should be made to stay with the basic "U" shape.

Altar - The Altar is to be set up with the Three Great Lights and Tapers as for the Entered Apprentice Degree.

Almoners Box - Some Lodges place an "Almoners box" in the center of the "U" in which the "fines for negligence or rule-breaking" are placed.  (Usually a quarter or so, for such things as improper addressing of WM or Wardens, for loss of gavel by Wardens or WM, etc.)  The proceeds go to Lodge's chosen charity.

Table Service Arrangements - Tables should be equipped as for any normal banquet with the addition of the following suggestions.  Provide colored crepe paper dividers running the length of the tables to be used to align the glasses (cannons) during the toast preparation (as instructed by the ritual) and to provide added color.  If both red and white wine is to be provided along with a suitable non-alcoholic beverage, three lines of red, blue, and one other color can be used upon which to set the toast glass, so indicating to the waiter the Brother's choice for toast material.  Other means of choice identification can be employed if only one crepe paper line is desired, such as a meal ticket, face up for wine, face down for non-alcoholic, or providing name tags that can be reversed, etc.

Wine and Alternatives - Care should be exercised in the choice of wine so that the majority of Brethren present enjoy the toasts.  Too dry a wine can be considered "sour" by many; yet, too sweet will offset a good meal.  If possible provide at least two selections for choice.  Non-alcoholic beverages should also be provided and again the same consideration should be given.  Many grape juice drinks (a common selection) are too sweet for seven toasts, so provide a "dryer" alternative or cut the grape juice with a club soda.  Attention to small points will go far in making for that extra fine event.

Waiters - There should be four to eight waiters depending on the number of seats arranged, but an adequate number of waiters is important to provide timely serving so that the ceremony may follow smoothly.

Programs and Instructions

Programs - Printed programs for the event are an advantage, unless cost precludes their use, and should contain an outline of general instructions for the attendees.  Remember you will always have Brethren at a Table Lodge for the first time and such instruction can be used by them for reference many times during the event.  (Cut and paste whatever pertinent information you need from this web-page, including the ritual below to make your own program.  Be sure your program introduces the Officers and Dignitaries who will be in attendance.) 

Instructions - Written instructions should be provided for the use of the Master and Wardens as to the agenda of the event and the timing of the toasts and responses.  Copies of such should be provided for the kitchen staff and waiters so they know exactly when to serve the courses and remove utensils, etc.

Menu Considerations

Menu Suggestions - The meal should be constructed about the central theme of Seven (7) Toasts and the following suggestions for course content is only intended to assist in providing an adequate number of courses without making the meal excessively large, difficult, or expensive.

1st Course - Toast #1  (a) Small juice drink, such as apple, cranberry, tomato  (b) Cheese and two or three crackers (c) Small meatballs or cocktail sausage

2nd Course - Toast #2  (a) Small fruit salad  (b) Small sherbet  (c) Three bean salad

3rd Course - Toast #3  (a) Soup

4th Course - Toast #4  (a) Fresh Salad  (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc.)

5th Course - Toast #5   Main Entree

6th Course - Toast #6   Dessert

It is usually the custom to ask the Speaker to present his remarks after the dessert, and in all cases before the seventh toast.  If a meal of six courses is prepared, the first toast can be held either before or after the 1st Course.  If only 5 courses, the first toast will start the affair.  In general the timing of the toasts is a matter for the Worshipful Master's decision, but always close the festivities with Toast #7.

Toasts and Responses

Toast Response - Confusion occurs at times because Brethren are not always sure of who should be included in a Toast Response and a wise Master will determine the policy prior to the meeting, and announce his desires prior to each Toast.

Toasts listed in the official ritual:

1.  President of the United States of America

2.  Most Worshipful Grand Master and the M.W. Grand Lodge

3.  The Worshipful Master (May include all Sitting Masters)

4.  The Wardens (May include all present Wardens

5.  Past Worshipful Masters

6.  Other Officers, new initiates, and visiting Brethren

7.  To all Masons where-so-ever spread over the face of the globe.

A toast response is always improved if more than one person is responding, giving commands to one's self and responding does not present an ideal situation and should be avoided if possible.

Toasts 

(a)  Those responding to the toast to the M. W. Grand Master and M. W. Grand Lodge should be those currently holding Grand Lodge Offices and the permanent Grand Lodge Members, but generally includes all past and present Grand Lodge Office holders.

(b)  Those responding to the toast to the Worshipful Master can be just the Worshipful Master or at his discretion, and preferably, all presiding Worshipful Masters.

(c)  Those responding to the toast to the Wardens can similarly be just the Wardens or include all current Wardens.

(d)  Those responding to the toast to "Other Officers, New Initiates, and Visitors" can include all in such a category, but if the Worshipful Master desires, those who has already responded in some other categories should not respond again.

Those of the Brethren who may be subjects of a Toast should be reseated upon the Toast announcement by the Wardens and remain seated until the response, and the Brethren should be instructed on this point.

General

General Advise - Prior to opening the Table Lodge, give a brief explanation of the planned course of events and how the ritual affects the Brethren.  General instructions of the following type should be given to all present so that Brethren unfamiliar with the Table Lodge Ceremonies may be informed of the general procedure.

(a)  The Table Lodge will be opened on the First Degree and the Ceremonies include Seven Toasts always undertaken by instruction.

(b) Drinking from the Toast Glass shall not occur except during the toasts and the correct time to consume courses will be indicated by the East.

(c)  A description of the Battery and Toast Ceremony should be given, and rehearsed once with the Brethren.

(d)  If desired inform the Brethren of the cannon alignment command with its intended unison of response and the friendly contest between the North and South Columns.

Control -  Worshipful Masters must keep control of the event and see that nothing gets out of hand, so that there is no necessity for the Grand Master's Representative to intervene.

General Guidelines for Brethren - A Table Lodge is a Tyled Lodge Meeting with the Three Great Lights and Tapers - always remember this.  The dress for a Table Lodge should be business suits or sport coats, but not too casual; again remember, it is an open Lodge meeting and attire should be respectful of that.  Officer's jewels and aprons are not to be worn.  Take careful note of the Charge at the end of the Ritualized Opening, and act by it.

Table Lodge Ritual

Opening

W.M.  (***)   (All Rise)  Brethren, you will give your attention to our Chaplain as he gives the invocation.

Chaplain    (Gives Invocation)

W.M.   Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, invite our Brethren on the columns of the North and South to assist us in opening a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and one of Table Instruction.

S.W.   Brethren on the column of the North, you are invited to assist us in opening a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and one of Table Instruction.

J.W.   Brethren on the column of the South, you are invited to assist us in opening a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and one of Table Instruction.

W.M.   Brother Senior Warden, are you a Mason?

S.W.   All my Brethren know me as such.

W.M.   What is the first care of a Mason?

S.W.   To see that the Lodge is duly tyled.

W.M.   Satisfy yourself.

S.W.   (Pause)  It is, Worshipful Master.

W.M.   What is the second?

S.W.   To see that the Brethren are in order.  (After Looking About)  They are, Worshipful Master.

W.M.   Why are we met together?

S.W.   To erect Temples to Virtue, and to dig dungeons for vices.

W.M.   How long must we work?

S.W.   From midday to midnight.

W.M.   How long a time is required to make an Entered Apprentice?

S.W.   Three Years.

W.M.   What is your age?

S.W.   Three Years.

W.M.   What is the hour?

S.W.   Almost midday.

W.M.   Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, in consideration of the hour and age, inform the Brethren that a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and one of Table Instruction is now open and that we are about to begin our works in the usual manner.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, in consideration of the hour and age, and at the will and pleasure of the Worshipful Master in the East, a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and one of Table Instruction is now open and we are about to begin our works in the usual manner.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, in consideration of the hour and age, and at the will and pleasure of the Worshipful Master in the East, a Lodge of Entered Apprentices and one of Table Instruction is now open and we are about to begin our works in the usual manner.

W.M.   Brother Senior Deacon, open the Lights.  (Opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree).  Brethren, give the Due Guard and Sign of an Entered Apprentice.  (Done).  Brethren, the Battery, three times three. (Three sharp clasps in unison with right hand on top, followed by three sharp claps in unison with left hand on top and finally three sharp claps in unison with right hand on top).

ALL    Vivat.  Vivat.  Vivat.   (Right arm thrust upward with each Vivat).

The Following Charge Shall Be Given

W.M.  Brethren, as we partake of the pleasure of this Festive Board, in the manner of our Brethern of ages past, let us be ever aware that we have opened the Holy Bible and set our Lights.  The Great Light reminds us of our obligations to the Supreme Architect and to our fellow man, this Lodge is open and our pleasures must be tempered.  Jollity and Good Humor shall rub shoulders with us as we break bread, one Brother with another.  Good Fellowship and relaxed Sociability shall be our Companions, but this Lodge door is ever closed to coarseness and rudeness.  Enjoy my Brethren - enjoy, but keep thy apron ever clean.

W.M.   (*)   Brethren, be seated.

The Ceremony of the Seven Toasts

(The following commands are to be given by the Worshipful Master for all toasts except the third toast when the Senior Warden will give them).

Right hand to arms.  (The right hand touches the glass).

Ready.  (The glass is raised breast high, aim extended forward).

Aim.  (The glass is brought to the lips).

Fire, Good Fire, Fire All.  (All drink).

Present Arms.  (The glass is brought to the second position in unison with the Worshipful Master, then the glass is brought to the left breast, then to the right breast, then again to the second position so that the movement makes a triangle.  This triangle is made three times: then the glass is brought to the table in three moves - it is first carried a little to the left, then to the right and finally forcibly in unison to the table).

The Battery, three times three.  (Done)

ALL    Vivat,  Vivat,  Vivat.  (Right arm thrust upward with each Vivat).

Advance swords.  (Knife is raised breast high, arms extended forward).

Poise swords.  (Knife blade is elevated slightly, about 45)

Salute with swords.  (Knife handle is brought to within a few inches of the chin with the blade elevated about 45)

Swords at rest.  (Knife handles are carried in unison forcibly to the table - preferably in a flat position to prevent table damage).

The Battery, three times three.  (Done)

ALL    Vivat,  Vivat,  Vivat.  (Right arm thrust upward with each Vivat).

First Toast

To the President of the United States

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, cause the arms to be charged and aligned for the first toast.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the North).

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the South).

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M. (***)  Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, announce to the Brethren that the toast I have the pleasure to propose is that to the President of the United States of America.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to the President of the United States of America.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to the President of the United States of America.

W.M.  Right hand to arms. - (Commands)

W.M.   (*)

Second Toast

To the Most Worshipful Grand Master and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, cause the arms to be charged and aligned for the second toast.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the North).

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the South).

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M. (***)  Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, announce to the Brethren that the toast I have the pleasure to propose is that to the Most Worshipful Grand Master and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to the Most Worshipful Grand Master and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to the Most Worshipful Grand Master and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.

W.M.  Right hand to arms. - (Commands)

W.M.   (*)

Third Toast

To the Worshipful Master

(By the Senior and Junior Wardens - May include all presiding Masters)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   (*)   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, what do you desire?

S.W.   Worshipful Master, the Junior Warden and I beg to allow the arms to be charged and aligned for a Toast that we wish to propose.

W.M.   Brethren in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for a toast that our Brothers, the Senior and Junior Wardens, wish to propose.

(All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all)

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M.   The East yields to your desires.  What is the Toast that you wish to propose?

S.W.   It is to you, Worshipful, (***)  Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast which the Junior Warden and I have the pleasure to propose is that to our Worshipful Master.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast which the Senior Warden and I have the pleasure to propose is that to our Worshipful Master.

(The Worshipful Master sits)

S.W.   Right hand to arms.  - (Commands)

S.W.   (*)  

(The Worshipful Master responds with the same ceremonies)

Fourth Toast

To the Wardens

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, cause the arms to be charged and aligned for the fourth toast.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the North).

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the South).

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M. (***)  Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, announce to the Brethren that the toast I have the pleasure to propose is that to the Wardens.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to the Wardens.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to the Wardens.

W.M.  Right hand to arms. - (Commands)

W.M.   (*)

(The Senior and Junior Wardens respond with the same ceremonies.  The Senior Warden gives the commands)

Fifth Toast

To all Past Worshipful Masters

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, cause the arms to be charged and aligned for the fourth toast.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the North).

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the South).

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M. (***)  Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, announce to the Brethren that the toast I have the pleasure to propose is that to all Past Worshipful Masters.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to all Past Worshipful Masters.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to all Past Worshipful Masters.

W.M.  Right hand to arms. - (Commands)

W.M.   (*)

(The Past Worshipful Masters respond with the same ceremonies.  The Worshipful Master will give the commands.)

Sixth Toast

To all other Officers, New Initiates, and Visiting Brethren  

(Our Armed Forces, Police and Firemen can also be toasted here.)

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, cause the arms to be charged and aligned for the fourth toast.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the North).

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the South).

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M. (***)  Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, announce to the Brethren that the toast I have the pleasure to propose is that to all other Officers, New Initiates, and Visiting Brethren.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to all other Officers, New Initiates, and Visiting Brethren.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to all other Officers, New Initiates, and Visiting Brethren.

W.M.  Right hand to arms. - (Commands)

W.M.   (*)

(The Officers, New Initiates, and Visiting Brethren respond with the same ceremonies.  The commands are given by whomever the Worshipful Master designates.)

Seventh Toast

To all Masons wheresoever spread over the face of the globe.

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, cause the arms to be charged and aligned for the fourth toast.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the North).

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South in all your grades and stations, charge and align your arms for the first toast of obligation which the Worshipful Master is about to propose.  (All cannons brought down on the table in unison by all on the South).

(The cannons are charged)

W.M.   Brothers Senior and Junior Wardens, are the cannons charged and aligned?

S. & J.W.  Yes, Worshipful Master  (In unison)

W.M. (***)  Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, announce to the Brethren that the toast I have the pleasure to propose is that to all Masons wheresoever spread over the face of the globe.

S.W.   Brethren on the Column of the North, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to all Masons wheresoever spread over the face of the globe.

J.W.   Brethren on the Column of the South, the Toast that the Worshipful Master has the pleasure to propose is that to all Masons wheresoever spread over the face of the globe.

W.M.  Right hand to arms. - (Commands)

W.M.   Brethren, cross your arms, right over left, and all join hands forming a chain, and join with me in singing "Auld Lang Syne" 

 (The serving Brethren should also join in the chain, and swinging arms back and forth in time with the song they all sing.)

Should Auld acquaintance be forgot,

An' never brought to mind?

Should Auld acquaintance be forgot,

An' days o' auld lang syne?

CHORUS;

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We'll take a cup o'kindness yet

For auld lang syne.

 

Closing

W.M.     Brother Senior and Junior Wardens, are the Brethren in order?

S. & J.W.   They are, Worshipful Master (In unison)

W.M.     Brother Senior Warden, what is the hour?

S.W.     Midnight.

W.M.     What is your age?

S.W.     Three years.

W.M.     In consideration of the hour and age, inform all the Brethren on the Columns of the North and South that we are about to close this Lodge, ending our work in the usual manner.

S.W.     Brethren on the Column of the North, in consideration of the hour and age, and on behalf of the Worshipful Master in the East, I inform you that we are about to close this Lodge, ending our work in the usual manner.

J.W.     Brethren on the Column of the South, in consideration of the hour and age, and on behalf of the Worshipful Master in the East, I inform you that we are about to close this Lodge, ending our work in the usual manner.

W.M.    Brethren, give the Due Guard and Sign of an Entered Apprentice.  (Done)  Brethren, the Battery, three times three.  (Done)

ALL    Vivat.  Vivat.  Vivat.   (Right arm thrust upward with each Vivat).

Chaplain   (Closing Prayer)

W.M.    Brother Senior Deacon, close the Lights.  (Done)

W.M.   (*)

S.W.   (*)

J.W.   (*)

W.M.     My Brothers, this Lodge is closed.

W.M.   (*)

 

 

 

         

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