No Due Guard! He Can't
be a Mason, Can He?
by Nelson King
The Philalethes - February 1998
I am a Master Mason. Try me and prove me.
No, I don't have a Due Guard. What's a Due Guard? I have a
I don't know what you mean by Blue Lodge. I belong to a
You say my signs in all the Degrees seem strange to you.
Your signs are just as confusing to me.
Landmarks? No, my Grand Lodge does not have any Landmarks
ancient or other wise. Working Tools? Yes we have Working
What are they? In the First Degree they are the 24 Inch
Gauge, the Common Gavel and the Chisel. In the Second Degree they are the
Square, the Level and the Plumb Rule. In the Third Degree they are the
Skirret, the Pencil and the Compasses.
What is a Skirret? Well a Skirret is an implement which
acts on a center pin from which a line is drawn out to mark the ground
much like a chalk line
No there is not a Trowel to be seen anywhere in my
Yes we have Volume of the Sacred Law.
What passage is it opened at? Well in the First Degree it
is opened at Ruth IV verse 7. Why? Because it tells of Boaz and being
slipshod. In the Second Degree the Volume of the Sacred Law is opened at
Judges XII verse 6, because it tells us of the password in the Second
Degree and of the forty and two thousand that were slain. In the Third
Degree the Volume of the Sacred Law is opened at Ecclesiastes XII, you
know the passage "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." No,
I have never heard of the Volume of the Sacred Law being opened at Psalms
Jewels? Yes we have Jewels. We have Moveable and
What are they? My Moveable Jewels are the Square, the
Level and the Plumb Rule, and my Immoveable Jewels are the Rough and
Perfect Ashlars and the Tracing Board. Yes! I am sure. The Moveable Jewels
are moveable because they are worn by the Master and his Wardens and are
transferrable to their successors at Installation. The Immoveable Jewels
are immoveable because they lie open in the Lodge in all Degrees for the
Brethren to moralize on. I understand they used be to your Moveable and
Immovable Jewels, that is until the Baltimore Convention of 1843. And we
also have a Tracing Board which is for the Worshipful Master to lay lines
on and draw designs on.
No, I have never heard of a Trestle Board.
Who wears the Hat in my Lodge? No one of course. The only
head coverings allowed are those worn for religious proposes, such as a
Yarmulka. Yes that is right my Master does not wear a hat. Why? Because
our Lodges have been consecrated with Wine, Corn, Oil and prayers to the
Almighty, consecrated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of
God, and you do not cover up your head or consecrated ground, unless it is
a part of your religion, it is like being in Church.
Yes, in my Lodge I can walk in front of the Master,
between him and the Altar which, by the way, is in the center of the room,
always moving from left to right, turning at right angles at each corner.
It is called Squaring the Lodge and dates back to the time when what we
now know as floor cloths were drawn on the floor with chalk. You Squared
the Lodge so that you would not erase the chalk marks.
Yes, we have pillars in my Lodge. No they do not have
celestial and terrestrial globes. They are adorned with chapiters, and
these chapiters or bowls are enriched with net-work, lily-work and
pomegranates. Network from the connection of its meshes, denotes unity,
lily-work from its whiteness denotes purity and pomegranates from the
exuberance of their seeds denote plenty.
Yes we have the Letter G. No it is not suspended in the
East. The letter G, denoting GOD, is suspended in the center of the Lodge
Room. Why? Because it says so in a part of the closing ceremony in the
Second Degree. You know, where the Worshipful Master says.
Worshipful Master:"Bro. Junior Warden, in this character
what have you discovered?"
Junior Warden:"A sacred symbol, Worshipful
Worshipful Master:"Bro. Senior Warden, where is it
Senior Warden:"In the center of the building, Worshipful
Worshipful Master:"Bro. Junior Warden, to whom does it
Junior Warden:"To God, The Grand Geometrician of The
Universe, Worshipful Sir."
No, we don't have Stated Meetings. Yes, we conduct Lodge
business. It is done during our Regular Meeting. No as I said we don't
have Stated Meetings, we only have Regular and Emergent Meetings. What's
an Emergent Meeting? An Emergent Meeting is any meeting called by the
Worshipful Master that is not a Regular Meeting. No, we don't do our Lodge
Business in the Third Degree. We do all the Lodge Work in the Entered
Apprentice Degree the only reason to go to the Fellowcraft or Master Mason
Degree is to confer those degrees. Lodge is always Opened in the First
Degree and is always closed in the First Degree. If you have just raised a
Candidate to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, you must close in the
Third Degree, then the Second Degree and finally in the First
Our Entered Apprentices are expected to take part in all
voting, serve on committees, learn and perform ritual work in the Degree
that they have, and are considered full Masons even entitled to Masonic
Funerals. And yes you also used to do all your Lodge work in the First
Degree. Again this change was due to the Baltimore Convention in
No. I have never heard of a Middle Chamber, but we have
one ceremony. It is not a Degree. It is only opened after the Third Degree
and only on Installation Night. It is called the Board of Installed
Masters, where only Installed Masters and Past Masters are permitted, with
the exception of the Master Elect. Here, the Master Elect takes a further
Obligation as regards the Secrets of the Master's chair. Here he receives
the Grip and Word of an Installed Master and the sign and salutation of a
Master of Arts and Sciences. He is then Installed in the Chair of King
Solomon. The Board is then closed. All Master Masons are invited back to
the Lodge Room. The new Master is then presented to the Master Masons, and
the Master is given an explanation of the Working Tools of the Third
Degree. The Lodge is then Closed in the Third Degree and all Fellowcraft
are invited back to the Lodge Room, where they are presented to the new
Master, and he is given an explanation of the Working tools of the Second
Degree. The Lodge is then closed in the Second Degree and all Masons are
invited back into the Lodge Room. Once again all are presented and the
working tools explained. Then all other Officers are invested as Officers
of the Lodge. The Worshipful Master is the only one who is
Can I give you the Master Mason's word? Yes I can, but it
is really two words and can be only given on The Five Points of Fellowship
and in a whisper. Yes in a whisper not a in low breathe and yes it is two
Am I a Master Mason? Try me and prove me.
I am a part of a world wide group of Masons whose ritual
is called Emulation Ritual. In The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province
of Ontario our Ritual is called "The Work" and it is an Emulation Type
Emulation is one of the oldest post Union workings. It may
well be the oldest, but in view of rival claims and in the absence of
complete proof, this question cannot be answered with certainty. There are
two points about Emulation that seem to put it into a class of its
(a) As a Lodge of Instruction, it goes back to 1823, with
continuous existence since then.
(b) It is today the best organized of all the "named"
rituals, having had a governing body to 'protect' it throughout its
history, and in that respect, I believe it far outstrips all other "named"
Bro. C. F. W. Dyer, in his, Emulation-- A Ritual To
Remember, which is the standard history of the Emulation Lodge of
Improvement, published in connection with its sesquicentennial in 1973,
shows that the founders experienced difficulties in its formation, because
Lodges of Instruction at that time had to be sponsored by a Lodge. The
Emulation founders had decided that their Lodge of Instruction was to be
for Master Masons only (as it is today), and the Lodges which were invited
to act as sponsors were not ready to accept that restriction. Eventually,
the Emulation Lodge of Instruction was sponsored, on 27 November 1823, by
the Lodge of Hope, then No. 7, whose Master Joseph Dennis, was one of
Emulation's original members.
Is Emulation the original or oldest form now worked in
England? It is certainly one of the oldest, but it would be impossible to
say whether it is the "original." As Bro. Dyer explains:
No official record has ever been found of the Lodge of
Reconciliation Ritual that was approved by the Grand Lodge.
Emulation is probably as near to the forms then prescribed
as any of the workings surviving from that period. Its principal virtue is
that it has enjoyed a proper continuity of control of its forms ever since
In England in 1813 the two rival Grand Lodges, the
Ancients and the Moderns amalgamated after sixty years of savage
hostility, and formed the United Grand Lodge of England. After the Union,
which is post-Union, the ritual was totally revised to make it acceptable
to both parties. That is when many of the distinctive portions of the
pre-Union ritual were jettisoned. That is when the two adopted substitute
words came into use; one belonged to the Ancients and one to the Moderns,
and they could not agree which was right, so they kept both. By the way
the Ancients were the modern group and the moderns were the oldest group,
but that is a different story. And that is why my ritual differs so much
from yours. That and the Baltimore Convention of 1843 when you decided to
do all your work in the Third Degree, and changed the Moveable Jewels to
the Immovable Jewels, in order that you could keep out all Cowans and
Eavesdroppers. This National Masonic Convention even changed the Due Guard
in the First and Third Degrees. Due Guards, that I don't have.
The work of well over half the Lodges under the English
Constitution and the standard work of several overseas Constitutions
including the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario is based on
the Emulation Ritual.
No, I don't have a Due Guard.
But I am a Master Mason. Try me and prove me.
By what instruments of architecture will I be tried? By
the Square and Compasses the well known symbols of Masonry, which convey
the abstract means and end of the Science in a most clear and
comprehensive manner, Worshipful Sir.
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