CEREMONY OF INSTALLATION
Thomas Smith Webb
The Grand Master *) asks his deputy, "Whether he has examined the
Master nominated in the warrant, and finds him well skilled in the noble
science and the royal art." The deputy, answering in the affirmative, +)
by the Grand Master's order, takes the candidate from among his fellows,
and presents him at the pedestal, saying,
MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER,
I present my worthy brother, A. B.,
to be installed Master of this (new) Lodge. I find him to be of good
morals, and of great skill, true and trusty; and as he is a lover of the
whole Fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth, I
doubt not that he will discharge his duty with
The Grand Master then addresses him:
Previous to your investiture, it is necessary that you
should signify your assent to those ancient charges and regulations which point out the duty of
a Master of a Lodge.
*) In this, and other similar instances, where the Grand Master is
specified in acting, may be understood any Master who performs the
+) A private examination is understood to precede the
installation of every officer.
The Grand Master then reads, or orders to be read, a summary of the
ancient charges to the Master elect, as follows, viz.:
You agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral
You agree to be a peaceable subject, and cheerfully to conform to the
laws of the country in which you reside.
You promise not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against
government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme
You agree to pay a proper respect to the civil magistrate, to work
diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men.
You agree to hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of
the Order of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and
subordinate, according to their stations; and to submit to the awards
and resolutions of your brethren when convened, in every case consistent
with the constitutions of the
- You agree to avoid private piques and quarrels, and to guard against
intemperance and excess.
You agree to be cautious in carriage and behavior, courteous to your
brethren, and faithful to your Lodge.
You promise to respect genuine brethren, and to discountenance
impostors, and all dissenters from the original plan of Masonry.
You agree to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the
social virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the art.
You promise to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and
to his officers when duly installed; and strictly to conform to every
edict of the Grand Lodge, or general assembly of Masons, that is not
subversive of the principles and ground-work of Masonry.
You admit that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to
make innovations in the body of Masonry.
You promise a regular attendance on the committees and communications
of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice, and to pay attention to all the duties of Masonry on convenient
- You admit that no new Lodge shall be formed without permission of the
Grand Lodge; and that no countenance be given to any irregular Lodge, or
to any person clandestinely initiated therein, being contrary to the
ancient charges of the Order.
- You admit that no person can be regularly made a Mason in, or
admitted a member of, any regular Lodge, without previous notice, and
due inquiry into his character.
- You agree that no visitors shall be received into your Lodge without
due examination, and producing proper vouchers of their having been
initiated in a regular Lodge,
These are the regulations of Free and Accepted Masons.
The Grand Master then addresses the Master elect in the following
Do you submit to these charges, and promise to support these
regulations, as Masters have done in all ages before
The new Master having signified his cordial
submission as before, the Grand Master thus addresses him:
Brother A. B., in consequence of your cheerful conformity to the
charges and regulations of the Order, you are now to be installed Master
of this (new) Lodge, in full confidence of your care, skill, and
capacity to govern the same.
The new Master is then regularly invested with the insignia of his
office, and the furniture and implements of his Lodge.
The various implements of the profession are emblematical of our
conduct in- life, and upon this occasion carefully enumerated.
The Holy Writings, that great light in Masonry, will guide you
to all truth; it will direct your paths to the temple of happiness, and
point out to you the whole duty of man.
The Square teaches to regulate our actions by rule and line,
and to harmonize our conduct by the principles of morality and
The Compass teaches to limit our desires in every station,
that, rising to eminence by merit, we may live respected and die
The Rule directs that we should
punctually observe our duty, press forward in the path of virtue, and,
neither inclining to the right nor to the left, in all our actions have
eternity in view.
The Line teaches the criterion of moral rectitude, to avoid
dissimulation in conversation and action, and to direct our steps to the
path which leads to immortality.
The Book of Constitutions you are to search at all times.
Cause it to be read in your Lodge, that none may pretend ignorance of
the excellent precepts it enjoins.
Lastly, you receive in charge the Bylaws of your Lodge, which
you are to see carefully and punctually executed.
The jewels of the officers of the (new) Lodge being then returned to
the Master, he delivers them, respectively, to the several officers of the
Grand Lodge, according to their rank.
The subordinate officers of the (new) Lodge are then invested with
their jewels by the grand officers of corresponding rank; and are by them,
severally in turn, conducted to the Grand Master, who delivers each of
them a short charge, as follows, viz.:
THE SENIOR WARDEN.
Brother C. D., you are appointed Senior Warden of this new Lodge, and
are now invested with the ensign of your
The Level demonstrates that we are descended from the same stock,
partake of the same nature, and share the same hope; and, though
distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet no
eminence of station should make us forget that we are brethren; for he
who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune's wheel may be entitled to
our regard; because, a time will come, and the wisest knows not how
soon, when all distinctions, but that of goodness, shall cease; and
death, the grand leveler of human greatness, reduce us to the same
Your regular attendance on our stated meetings is essentially
necessary: in the absence of the Master you are to govern this Lodge; in
his presence, you are to assist him in the government of it. I firmly
rely on your knowledge of Masonry, and attachment to the Lodge, for the
faithful discharge of the duties of this important trust. Look well
to the West!
THE JUNIOR WARDEN.
Brother E. F., you are appointed Junior Warden of this (new) Lodge,
and are now invested with the badge of your
The Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several
stations, to hold the scale of justice in equal poise, to observe the
just medium between intemperance and pleasure, and to make our passions
and prejudices coincide with the line of our duty.
To you, with such assistance as may be necessary, is intrusted the
examination of visitors, and the reception of candidates. To you is also
committed the superintendence of the Craft during the hours of
refreshment; it is, therefore, indispensably necessary, that you should
not only be temperate and discreet, in the indulgence of your own
inclinations, but carefully observe that none of the Craft be suffered
to convert tile purposes of refreshment into intemperance and
Your regular and punctual attendance is particularly requested; and I
have no doubt that you will faithfully execute the duty which you owe to
your present appointment. Look well to the South!
Brother G. H., you are appointed Treasurer of this (new) Lodge. It is
your duty to receive all moneys from the hands of the Secretary, keep just and
regular accounts of the same, and pay them out at the Worshipful
Master's will and pleasure, with the consent of the Lodge. I trust your
regard for the Fraternity will prompt you to the faithful discharge of
the duties of your office.
Brother I. K., you are appointed Secretary of this (new) Lodge. It is
your duty to observe the Worshipful Master's will and pleasure, to
record the proceedings of the Lodge, to receive all moneys, and pay them
into the hands of the Treasurer.
Your good inclination to Masonry and this Lodge, I hope, will induce
you to discharge your office with fidelity, and by so doing you will
merit the esteem and applause of your brethren.
THE SENIOR AND JUNIOR DEACONS.
Brothers L. M. and N. O., you are appointed Deacons of this (new)
Lodge. It is your province to attend on the Master and Wardens, and to
act as their proxies in the active duties of the Lodge; such as
in the reception of candidates into the different degrees of Masonry;
the introduction and accommodation of visitors, and in the immediate
practice of our rites. Those columns, as badges of your office, I trust
to your care, not doubting your vigilance and attention.
Brothers P. Q. and R. S., you are appointed Stewards of this (new)
Lodge. The duties of your office are, to assist in the collection of
dues and subscriptions, to keep an account of the Lodge expenses, to see
that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and that every
brother is suitably provided for; and generally to assist the Deacons
and other officers in performing their respective duties. Your regular
and early attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal and
attachment to the Lodge.
Brother T. U., you are elected Tyler of this Lodge, and I invest you
with the implement of your office. As the sword is placed in the hands
of the Tyler, to
enable him effectually to guard against the approach of cowans and
eavesdroppers, and suffer none to pass but such as are duly qualified;
so it should morally serve as a constant admonition to us, to set a
guard at the entrance of our thoughts, to place a watch at the door of
our lips, and to post a sentinel over our actions: thereby excluding
every unqualified and unworthy thought, word, and deed; and preserving
consciences void of offense toward God and toward man. Your early and
punctual attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal for the
The Grand Master then addresses the officers and members of the (new)
Lodge as follows:
Upon the Installation of the Officers of a Lodge.
WORSHIPFUL MASTER: The Grand Lodge having committed to your care the
superintendence and government of the brethren who are to compose this
(new) Lodge, you can not be insensible of the obligations which devolve
on you, as their head; nor of your responsibility for the faithful
discharge of the
important duties annexed to your appointment.
The honor, reputation, and usefulness of your Lodge will materially
depend on the skill and assiduity with which you manage its concerns;
while the happiness of its members will be generally promoted, in
proportion to the zeal and ability with which you propagate the genuine
principles of our institution.
For a pattern of imitation, consider the great luminary of nature,
which, rising in the East, regularly diffuses light and luster to
all within its circle. In like manner it is your province to spread and
communicate light and instruction to the brethren of your Lodge.
Forcibly impress upon them the dignity and high importance of Masonry;
and seriously admonish them never to disgrace it. Charge them to
practice, out of the Lodge, those duties which they have been
taught in it; and by amiable, discreet, and virtuous conduct, to
convince mankind of the goodness of the institution; so that, when any
one is said to be a member of it, the world may know that he is one to
whom the burdened heart may pour out its sorrows; to
whom distress may prefer its suit; whose hand is guided by justice, and
his heart expanded by benevolence. In short, by a diligent observance of
the by-laws of your Lodge, the constitutions of Masonry, and above all
the Holy Scriptures, which are given as a rule and guide to your faith,
you will be enabled to acquit yourself with honor and reputation, and
lay up a crown of rejoicing, which shall continue when time shall
be no more.
BROTHER SENIOR AND JUNIOR WARDENS:
You are too well acquainted with the principles of Masonry to warrant
any apprehension that you will be found wanting in the discharge of your
respective duties. Suffice it to mention, that what you have seen
praiseworthy in others you should carefully imitate; and what in them
may have appeared defective you should in yourselves amend. You should
be examples of good order and regularity; for it is only by a due regard
to the laws in your own conduct, that you can expect obedience to them
from others. You are assiduously to assist the Master in the discharge
of his trust, diffusing light and
imparting knowledge to all whom he shall place under your care. In the absence
of the Master, you will succeed to higher duties; your acquirements must
therefore be such, as that the Craft may never suffer for want of proper
instruction. From the spirit which you have hitherto evinced, I
entertain no doubt that your future conduct will be such as to merit the
applause of your brethren, and the testimony of a good conscience.
BRETHREN OF -- LODGE:
Such is the nature of our constitution, that
as some must of necessity rule and teach, so others must of course learn
to submit and obey. Humility in both is an essential duty. The officers
who are appointed to govern your Lodge are sufficiently conversant with
the rules of propriety and the laws of the institution, to avoid
exceeding the powers with which they are intrusted; and you are of too
generous dispositions to envy their preferment. I therefore trust that
you will have but one aim: to please each other, and unite in the grand
design of being happy and communicating
Finally, my brethren, as this association has been formed and
perfected in so much unanimity and concord, in which we greatly rejoice,
so may it long continue. May you long enjoy every satisfaction and
delight which disinterested friendship can afford. May kindness and
brotherly affection distinguish your conduct as men and as Masons.
Within your peaceful walls, may your children's children celebrate with
joy and gratitude the transactions of this auspicious solemnity. And may
the tenets of our profession be transmitted through your Lodge,
pure and unimpaired, from generation to generation.
The GRAND MARSHAL then proclaims the new Lodge in the following manner,
In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of --, I
proclaim this new Lodge, by the name of -- Lodge, duly constituted.
This proclamation is made thrice, and each time followed with a
flourish of drums or trumpets.
The Grand Chaplain then makes the concluding prayer, which ends the
The grand procession is then formed in'the same order as before, and
returns to the hall.
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