lodge floor work
by V.W.Bro. D.G. Simmonds
I will try and give you the correct methods in which the
Deacons-Stewards are to perambulate the Lodge rooms in both rites. The ways to
carry the wands etc.
FIRSTLY - Lets deal with the carrying of the wands. Both Deacons and Stewards do
I will call one position "ATTENTION" and the other "MARCH" "ATTENTION:" -
Demonstrate: (Stand at attention position, heels together, body upright, with
the wand in the right hand, close to the body, so the wand is also in an upright
position) when to use:
After you have returned to your chair and you are waiting for instructions to be
seated. When stopped at the Altar or when stopped anywhere on the floor.
"MARCH:" - Demonstrate: (Usually step off with the left foot, bring the wand up
in the right hand, close to the body and carry the wand at a 45 degree angle to
the body) - When to use:
When walking around the Lodge, with or without candidates. Exception to the rule
for Deacons. When escorting Official Guests into the Lodge room, you will then
cross your wands above the head of the official guest.
"SALUTING:" - When carrying the wand around the Lodge Room, you never salute.
When Stewards or Deacons are called up from their Chair by the Worshipful
Master, they may salute before they pick up their wand but never afterwards.
"CARRYING:" - Always carry the wand in your right hand, however there is always
an exception. If the Junior Deacon is assisting the Senior Deacon in escorting
the Candidate around the Lodge, he may be on the right side and would therefore
have to carry his wand in the left.
OPENING AND CLOSING OF THE LODGE: "YORK RITE" - Senior Deacon upon instruction
from the Worshipful Master,. normally does not take his wand, but leaves his
chair, walks West along the North side of the Lodge to a point just North of the
Altar, South to the Altar, prepares the volume of Sacred Law or Holy Bible,
lights the three lesser lights, salutes the Worshipful Master and returns the
same route. Closing of the Lodge is the same, unless a distinguished visitor is
requested to close the Holy Bible.
"CANADIAN RITE:" Senior Deacon upon instruction from the Worshipful Master,
picks up his wand at March position, walks to the Worshipful Masters pedestal
lights the first lesser light, then with the Immediate Past master who is on the
inside, walks along the South side, then North along the West side to the Senior
Warden's Pedestal, turns on second lesser light, then on the right of the I.P.M.
to the Altar, then South to the Junior Warden's Pedestal, turn on third lesser
light, then back to the Altar and stand just behind the I.P.M. and to his
When Volume of the Sacred Law is opened, turn to the North and walk to the North
side of the Lodge room, turn right and return to your chair with the I.P.M.
still walking on the inside. On arrival at your chair, drop wand to attention
position and await the knock, then return your wand to the holder. The closing
of the Lodge in the Canadian rite is a little different as it is a two part
Closing in the third Degree, after the Senior Warden is invited to give the
words to the Worshipful Master, the Junior Deacon picks up his Wand and with the
Senior Warden on his Left walks up the North side of the Lodge to a point just
in front of the Senior Deacon, who then follows in line with the Junior Deacon
and the Senior Warden.
On arrival at the W.M., chair, all turn left towards the W.M., both Deacons
taking one step forward, making an about turn, lift their wands and cross them
over the top of the W.M. head. After the W.M. receives the salute from the S.W.
and leaves for his chair, bring your wands back to the attention position, turn
towards the South and walk in line to the South East corner, all, turn right and
walk three abreast along the South side to the South West corners all turn right
again and walk in line to the S.W. chairs where the S.W. drops off at his chair.
Deacons then turn right and walk straight to the Altar, stop for a second, both
turn outwards, Junior Deacon, walking to the South side, turns right along the
south side and back to his chair. Senior Deacon walks to the North side, turns right and
along the North side to his chair. Returns wands to Your Stands.
The closing in the first degree, only involves the Senior Deacon and he will
proceed upon instruction of the Worshipful Master, to the W.M. Pedestal, turn
off the first lesser light and pick up the I.P.M. or Distinguished Visitor, to
the S.E. corner, along the South side to the S.W. corner and then to the S. W.
Pedestal, turn off the second lesser light, forward to the Altar, the back to
the South side to the Junior Wardens Pedestals turn off the third lesser light
and return to a point just behind and to the right of the person closing the
volume of the sacred law. Stand at the attention position and do not stand at
the sign of fidelity during the later part of the closing.
DISTINGUISHED VISITORS: - Both Rites:
STEWARDS: - Upon instruction of the
Worshipful Master that distinguished visitors are to be received, stand up, pick
up your wands (both rites) turn left and walk to the West, turn right and in
front of the S.W. turn right and come direct to the Altar. Wands should be at
the March position.
At the altar stand at the attention position and wait for instructions. Upon
receipt of instructions, turn right to the South side, along the South and
depart from the Lodge room. Stewards will then wait for the Tyler to open the
door and make the announcement. As soon as this is done, walk into the Lodge
wands at the March position, Senior Steward on the right and Junior on the left,
enter the lodge room, turn left to a point in front of the Senior Warden, turn
right, to the Altar, then turn outwards so the Junior Steward is on the North
side and the Senior on the South.
After the Distinguished visitor has been received in the East, he will instruct
the Stewards to return to their respective offices, now here is the only change.
(Canadian rite) Junior Steward, walks forward along the North side, crosses in
front of the Worshipful master to the South side and then along the South to his
Chair, Senior Steward just goes to his chair.
(York Rite) Junior Steward, walks West to to North West corner, crosses over in
front of the Senior Warden, along the South side to his chair, Senior Steward
goes direct to his chair. In both rites, Stewards should stand at the attention
position in front of their chairs until the introductions are over and return
their wands to the holder only after the knock has been given.
DEACONS: (York rite) Upon instructions from the Worshipful Master to take up your
position, the Senior Deacon, picks up his wand and at the March position, turns
right, walks along the North side of the Lodge room to the N.W. corner, cross in
front of the Senior Warden and take up your position on the right side.
Junior Deacon moves to his position on the left side, both standing at the
attention position, until the official visitor enters the Lodge room, then cross
your wands and go with the official visitor whichever way he decides to travel
towards the Altar. At the Altar hold the cross. When the official visitor is
called to the East, go with him, holding the cross, and when the official
visitors begins his ascent to the East, drop the cross and stand at the
Upon receiving instructions to resume your stations, Deacons, cross over each
other, Senior going directly North to his chair, and the Junior going to the
South side, along the South to his chair. (Canadian rite) Upon instruction,
Senior Deacon picks up wand at the March position, crosses over in front of the
Worshipful Master, to the south East corner, along the South to his position on
the right side. Junior Deacon stands on the left. Both stand at the attention
position, until the arrival of the Official Visitor.
As in the York rite until you are told to resume your stations. Both Deacons
turn left and cross over in front of the Worshipful Master, to the South, along
the South to the South West corner, where the Junior Deacon drops off the
Senior Deacon, continuing on across the West and along the North side back to
his chair. Wands return to the attention position until the knock is received,
then return to the holders.
BALLOTING: (CANADIAN RITE) Upon instructions from the Worshipful Master to
prepare the Ballot. Senior Deacon will pick up his wand and the ballot box. At
the March position, cross in front of the Worshipful Master, along the South
side to the Junior Warden. Still facing West, stop in front of the Junior Warden
and allow him to examine the ballot box.
Then continue along the South to the South west corner, turn right or North and
stop in front of the Senior Warden still facing North and allow him to examine
the ballot box. Then along the North side to the N.E. corner and to the
Worshipful Master stopping in front of his pedestal, still facing South and
allow him to examine. Step back a few paces and wait for the Worshipful Master
to declare the ballot open.
Present the ballot box to the Worshipful Master, then to the Senior Warden,
back to the Altar, across to the Junior Warden, then back to the Altar, via the
South to the Senior Warden and directly to the Altar. Place the Ballot box on
the Altar but not on the Volume of the Sacred Law. Place the ballot if possible
just to the West of the sacred law.
Some Lodges may have a small shelf to place the ballot box on. Once the ballot
box is in place step to the left and front of the Altar, face the west, so that
you can see every brother approaching the ballot box, but cannot see the white
balls or black cubes. When all have balloted, return to the Altar cast your
ballot, and when instructed to present the ballot to the Wardens, proceed to the
J.W., allow the examination, then to the S. W. allow the examination and then to
the W.M. and allow the examination. Await instructions from the Worshipful
Master to destroy the ballot.
Destroy the ballot in view of everyone present and return to chair. Some Lodges
may have other small innovations, such as having the Junior Deacon, calling out
each members name. Destroying the ballot in front of the Altar, etc.
(YORK RITE) After instructions received to prepare the ballot, Senior Deacon,
picks up wand and ballot box, walks along the North side to the Worshipful
Master and allows that examination.
Steps back for further instruction and when the Worshipful Master declares the
ballot open, he presents it to the Worshipful Master, then proceeds along the
North side to the Senior Warden, then to the Junior Warden and then directly
North to the Altar. Places the ballot box on the Altar to the West of the Holy
Bible, takes up his position to the left and front of the Altar as in the
Canadian rite. Last to ballot. Takes ballot to the Junior Warden for
examination, then to the Senior Warden and finally to the Worshipful Master for
final examination. Upon instructions to destroy the ballot, do so and return to
MAIN DIFFERENCES: The main differences in the two rites.
(YORK RITE) move both ways along the North and South sides, cross over the Lodge
between the Senior Warden and the Altar. Only exception to the rule is during
perambulation when Degree are being conducted.
(CANADIAN RITE) moves around the Lodge in clockwise fashion, passing between the
Worshipful Master and the Altar and the Senior Warden and the Altar.
APPROACHING THE ALTAR: (YORK RITE) If from sides usually directly along either
side to the West and approach Altar from in front of the Senior Warden. Leave
the Altar to either side and return to your chairs.
(CANADIAN RITE) Approach from in front of the Senior Warden. Members sitting on
the North West side, must proceed along the North side to the East, cross the
East, along the South to the South West and then in front of the Senior Warden,
direct to the Altar.
Leaving go to the North, along the North to the East, cross over in front of the
East, along the South side to the West, cross over the West to the North side
and back to your chair. Must be kept in a clockwise order. I hope that I have
been able to give you some tips or instruction on how the Deacons and the
Stewards are to carry their wands and perform their duties while doing the floor
work in their particular Lodges. I thank you.
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