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A grotto for burial; a sepulchral vault.
A subterranean place for the burial of the dead, consisting of galleries or passages with recesses excavated at their sides for tombs.
Later applied in the plural to all the subterranean cemeteries lying around Rome which, after having been long covered up and forgotten, were fortuitously discovered in 1578.
They are found elsewhere, as, at Naples, at Syracuse, in Egypt, at Paris, etc.
The term is chiefly applied to those lying about Rome, the principal ones lying along the Appian Way.
The accompanying engraving shows a small portion of the Northern section of the Catacomb of Saint Calixtus.
There seems to have been no plan for these excavations, for they shoot off in the most unexpected directions, forming such a labyrinth of connected pasages that persons often have been lost for several days at a time, giving the monk attendants much trouble.
They are several miles in extent.
Those about Rome are under the care of various monks of the church, and are a source of considerable revenue from tourists.
They are now entered by narrow passages and some, as in the case of Saint Calixtus, descend to considerable depth.
Along the passages are small chambers at the sides for tombs, one above another, each of which generally closed by a slab of stone on which was placed the letters D. M., the initials of Dea Maximo, or X. P., the Greek letters for Christ. Tombs of saints bore inscriptions of identification.
The passages are generally three or four feet wide and were at intervals along their course enlarged into chambers, usually square or rectangular, that were used for worship. One in Saint Calixtus was an irregu1ar semicircle and about thirty-two feet in diameter.
In these chambers is usually found a stone bench or chair for the bishop or teacher.
They were ventilated and partially fighted by shafts that extended to the surface of the ground. Some frescoes were found on the walls.
Many catacambs were destroyed and traces of them lost when the Goths, Lombards, and others besieged Rome at various times.
The foregoing would not justify a place in a work of this character, were it not for the influence it sheds on the beginning of Christian architecture, as for three centuries Pagan Rome would not permit Christians to meet above ground.
The Twenty-sixth Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Rite refers to catacombs (see also Labyrinth).
From an Italian word meaning scaffold. A temporary structure of wood, appropriately decorated with funereal symbols and representing a tomb or cenotaph. It forrns a part of the decorations of a Sorrow Lodge, and is also used in the ceremonies of the Master Mason's Degree in Lodges of the French Rite.
Questions not included in the Catechism, but adopted from an early period to try the pretensions of a stranger, such as this used by American Freemasons: "Where does the Master hang his hat?" and by the French, "Comment êtes vous entré dans le Temple de Salomon (how are -you adrnitted into the Temple of Solomon)?"
Such as these are of course unsanctioned by authority.
But Doctor Ofiver, in an essay on this subject preliminary to the fourth volume of his Golden Remains, gives a long list of these "additional tests," which had been reduced to a kind of system, and were practised by the English Freemasons of the eighteenth century. Among them were such as these : "What is the punishment of a cowan ?" "What does this stone smell of?" "If a brother were lost, where would you look for him?" "How blows a Mason's wind?" and many others of the same kind.
Of these tests or catch questions, Doctor Oliver says "that they were something like the conundrums of the present day-difficult of comprehension; admitting only of one answer, which appeared to have no direct correspondence with the question, and applicable only in consonance with the mysterious terms and symbols of the Institution."
Catch questions in the United States, at least, seem to be getting out of use, and some of the most learned Freemasons at the present day would find it difficult to answer them.
From the earliest times the oral instructions of Freemasonry have been communicated in a catechetical form.
Each degree has its peculiar catechism, the knowledge of which constitutes what is called a bright Freemason.
The catechism, indeed, should be known to every Freemason, for every aspirant should be thoroughly instructed in that of the degree to which he has attained before he is permitted to make further progress.
The rule, however, is not rigidly observed; and many Freemasons, unfortunately, are very ignorant of all but the rudimentary parts of their catechism, which they derive only from hearing portions of it communicated at the opening and closing of the Lodge, or from careless Brethren freely using Masonic expressions publicly.
One who had attained the Second Degree of the Essenian or early Christian Mysteries and assumed the name of Canstans.
There were three degrees in the ceremonies, which, to a limited extent, resembled the Pagan services.
Of the three classes, the first were Auditors, the second Catechumens, and the third the Faithful.
The Auditors were novices, prepared by ceremonies and instruction to receive the dogmas of Christianity.
A portion of these dogmas was made known to the Catechumens, who, after particular purifications, received baptism, or the initiation of the theogenesis Divine regeneration; but in the grand mysteries of that religion-the incarnation, nativity, passion, and resurrection of Christ-none were initiated but the Faithful.
The Mysteries were divided into two parts -the first, styled the Mass of the Catechumens; the second, the Mass af the Faithful.
Many beautiful ceremonies and much instruction touching these matters will be found in that most enticing Degree called Prince of Mercy, and known as the Twenty-sixth in the Scottish Rite services.
If a rope be suspended loosely by its two ends, the curve into which it falls is called a catenarian curve, and this inverted forms the catenarian arch, which is said to be the strongest of all arches. As the form of a symbolic Lodge is an oblong square, that of a Royal Arch Chapter, according to the English Ritual, is a catenarian arch.
Catharinc the Great, Empress of Russia, in 1762, prohibited by an edict all Masonic meetings in her dominions.
But subsequently better sentiments prevailed, and having learned the true character of the Institution, she not only revoked her order of prohibition, but invited the Freemasons to re-establish their Lodges and to constitute new ones, and went so far in 1763 as to proclaim herself the Protectress of the Order and Tutrice of the Lodge of Clio at Moscow (see Thory, Acta Latamorum, 1, 82),
During the remainder of her reign Freemasonry was in a flourishing condition in Russia, and many of the nobles organized Lodges in their palaces. But in 1794 her feelings changed and she became suspicious that the Lodges of Moscow were intriguing against the Court and the Ministers ; this idea, coupled with the horrors of the French Revolution and other crimes said to be due to secret societies, caused her to cease to protect the Order, and without any express prohibition emanating from her, the Lodges ceased to work (see Thory, Acta Latomorum, 1, 195). She died November 6, 1796, and in 1797 her successor, Paul I, forbade all secret societies in Russia.
"The use of the word Cathedral is improper as applied to Scottish Rite buildings. It is only in recent years that the word has come into use in this Jurisdiction, presumably from the purchase of some church building by Scottish Rite Bodies, and remodeling it to Scottish Rite uses.
Strictly speaking, the Cathedral is the Bishop's Church ; that is, there may be many Churches in the diocese of a Bishop, but the one he uses to preach in regularly is called the Cathedral."-John H. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander, Transactions of the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction (page 99) of 1923.
Some Masonic students have thought, although the opposition holds that there does not seem to be any specific documentary evidence to warrant such belief, that in the Middle Ages there was a separate class of Freemasons known as Cathedral, or Church, Builders who worked on ecclesiastical structures only and were distinct from the town guilds or companies.
These students are of the opinion that the so-called Old Charges were originally intended as rules for use among this churchbuilding class of Freemasons.
Leader Scott (the pen name of the author, Mrs. Baxter of Florence, Italy) has in her book, Cathedral Builders, unearthed from Muratori's collection of ancient manuscripts an edict signed by King Rotharis of November 22, 643, containing the following clauses:
If the Comacine Master with his colleagues shall have contracted to restore or build the house of any person whatsoever, the cantract far payment being made, and it chances that some one shall die by the fall of the said house, or any material or stones from it, the owner of the said house shall not be cited by the Magister Comacinus or his brethren to compensate them for homicide or injury ; because having for their own gain contracted for the payment of the building, they must sustain the risks and injuries thereof. If any person has engaged or hired one or more of the Comacine Masters to design a work (conduxerit ad operam dictandam), or to daily assist his workmen in building a palace or a house, and it should happen that by reason of the house some Comacine should be killed, the owner of the housc is not considered responsible; but if a pole or a stone shall kill or injure any extraneous person, the Master builder shall not bear the blame, but the person who hired him shall make compensation.
Mrs. Baxter says: "These laws prove that in the seventh century the Magistri Comacini were a compact and powerful guild, capable of asserting their rights, and that the guild was properly organized, having degrees of different ranks; that the higher orders were entitled Magistri, and could 'design' or 'undertake' a work;---i.e., act as architects; and that the colleagues worked under, or with them.
In fact, a powerful organization altogether; so powerful and so solid, that it speaks of a very ancient foundation" (see Cathedral Builders, the Story of a Great Masonic Guild, 1899, London, pages 5-7, 423--6; also the Comacines, their Predecessors and their Successors,
Brother W. Ravenscroft, 1910, London, pages 54--64, and the artide on Comacine Masters in this work).
It was forrnerly the custom to bestow upon an Entered Apprentice, on his initiation, a new name, which was Caution.
The custom is now very generally discontinued, although the principle which it inculcated should never be forgotten. Similar instruction is still given in the Bristol Working but without the foregoing name.
The Old Charges of 1723 impress upon a Freemason the necessity, when in the presence of strangers not Freemasons, to be "cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated''; as these Charges were particularly directed to Apprentices, who then constituted the great body of the Fraternity, it is possible that the "new name" gave rise to the Charge, or, more likely, that the Charge gave rise to the "new name."
In the Pagan mysteries of antiquity the initiations were often performed in caverns, of which a few, like the cave of Elephanta in India, still remain to indicate by their form and extent the character of the rites that were then performed.
The Cavern of Elephanta, which was the most gorgecus temple in the world, is one hundred and thirty feet square, and eighteen feet high. It is supported by four massive pillars, and its walls are covered with statues and carved symbolic decorations.
The sacellum, or sacred place, which contained the phallic symbol, was in the western extremity, and accessible only to the initiated.
The caves of Salsette greatly exceeded in magnitude that of Elephanta, being three hundred in number, all adorned with symbolic figures, among which the phallic emblems were predominant, which were placed in the most secret recesses, accessible only by private entrances.
In every cave was a basin to contain the consecrated water of ablution, on the surface of which floated the sacred lotus flower.
All these caves were places of initiation into the Hindu mysteries, and every arrangement was made for the performance of the most impressive ceremonies. .
Faber (Dissertatian an the Mysteries af the Cabiri, ii, 257) says that "wherever the Cabiric Mysteries were practised, they were always in some manner or other connected with caverns"; and he mentions, among other instances, the cave of Zirinthus, within whose dark recesses the most mysterious Rites of the Samothracian Cabiri were performed.
Maurice (Indian Antiquities, iii, 536), speaking of the subterranean passages of the Temple of Isis, in the island of Phile in the river Nile, says "it was in these gloomy caverns that the grand and mystic arcana of the goddess were unfolded to the adoring aspirant, while the solemn hymns of initiation resounded through the long extent of these stony recesses."
Many of the ancient orades, as, for instance, that of Trophonius in Boeotia, were delivered in caves.
Hence, the cave---subterranean, dark, and silent---was mingled in the ancient mind with the idea of mystery.
In the ceremonies of Freemasonry, we find the cavern or vault in what is called the Cryptic Freemasonry of the American Rite, and also in the advanced Degrees of the French and Scottish Rites, in which it is a symbol of the darkness of ignorance and crime impenetrable to the light of truth.
In reference to the practical purposes of the cavern, as recorded in the legend of these Degrees, it may be mentioned that caves, which abounded in Palestine in consequence of the geological structure of the country, are spoken of by Josephus as places of refuge for banditti; and Phillott says, in Smith's Bible Dictionary, that it was the caves which lie beneath and around so many of the Jewish cities that formed the last hiding-places of the Jewish leaders in the war with the Romans.
CAYENNE or FRENCH GUIANA.
A country in South Arnerica. Lodge No. 204, L'Anglaise, at Bordeaux, France, warranted a Lodge at Cayenne in 1755 and gave it its own name. Other Lodges were organized by French authority, both of the Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient, at different times throughout the years.
CEDARS OF LEBANON.
In Scriptural symbology, the cedar-tree, says Wemyss (Symbolic Language of Scripture), was the symbol of eternity, because its substance never decays nor rots.
Hence, the Ark of the Covenant was made of cedar; and those are said to utter things worthy of cedar who write that which no time ought to obliterate.
The Cedars af Lebanan are frequently referred to in the legends of Freemasonry, especially in the advanced Degrees; not, however, on account of any symbolical signification, but rather because of the use made of them by Solomon and Zerubbabel in the construction of their respective Temples.
Phillott (Smith's Bible Dictionary) thus describes the grove so Celebreted in Scripturial and Masonic history:
"The grove of trees known as the Cedars af Lebanon consists of about four hundred trees, standing quite alone in a depression of the mountain with no trees near, about six thousand four hundred feet above the sea, and three thousand below the summit.
About eleven or twelve are very large and old, twentyfive large, fifty of middle size, and more than three hundred younger and smaller ones.
The older trees have each several trunks and spread themselves widely round, but most of the others are of cone-like form, and do not send out wide lateral branches.
In 1550 there were twenty-eight old trees, in1739, Pococke counted fifteen, but the number of trunks makes the operation of counting uncertain.
They are regarded with much reverence by the native inhabitants as living records of Solomon's power, and the Maronite patriarch was formerly accustomed to celebrate there the festival of the Transfiguration at an altar of rough stones."
An island in the East Indies.
The Grand Lodge of Holland chartered a Lodge at Macassar in 1883 called Arbeid Adelt (Ennobled Labor).
The Third Degree of Fessler's Rite (see Fessler, Rite of).
See Alphabet, Angels'.
See Druidical Mysteries.
The early inhabitants of Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Britain.
They are supposed to have leit Asia during one of the Aryan emigrations, and, having traveled in a westerly direction, to have spread over these countries of Europe. The Celtic Mysteries or the Sacred Rites which they instituted are known as Druidical Mysteries, which see.
The cement which in Operative Freemasonry is used to unite the various parts of a building into one strong and durable mass, is borrowed by Speculative Freemasonry as a symbol to denote that brotherly love which binds the Freemasons of all countries in one common brotherhood. As this brotherhood is recognized as being perfected among Master Masons only, the symbol is very appropriately referred to the Third Degree.
The desire to select some suitable spot wherein to deposit the remains of our departed kindred and friends seems almost innate in the human breast.
The stranger's field was bought with the accursed bribe of betrayal and treason, and there is an abhorrence to depositing our loved ones in places whose archetype was so desecrated by its purchase-money.
The churchyard, to the man of sentiment, is as sacred as the church itself.
The cemetery bears a hallowed character, and we adorn its graves with vernal flowers or with evergreens to show that the dead, though away from our presence visibly, still live and bloom in our memories.
The oldest of all the histories that time has saved to us contains an aflecting story of this reverence of the living for the dead, when it tells us how Abraham, when Sarah, his beloved wife, had died in a strange land, reluctant to bury her arnong strangers, purchased from the sons of Heth the cave of Machpelah for a burial-place for his people. .
It is not, then, surprising that Freemasons, actuated by this spirit, should have been desirous to consecrate certain spots as resting-places for themselves and for the strange Brethren who should die among them
A writer in the Londen Freemason's Magazine for 1858 complained that there was not then in England a Masonic cemetery, nor portion of an established cemetery especially dedicated to the interment of the Brethren of the Craft. ,This neglect cannot be charged against the F'reemasons of America, for there is scarcely a city or town of considerable size in which the Freemasons have not purchased and appropriated a suitable spot as a cemetery to be exclusively devoted to the use of the Fraternity.
These cemeteries are often, and should always be, dedicated with impressive ceremonies; and it was long to be regretted that our rituals provided no sanctioned form of service for these occasions.
A small vessel of metal fitted to receive burning coals from the altar, and on which the incense for burning was sprinkled by the priest in the Temple. Among the furniture of a Royal Arch Chapter is to be found the censer, which is placed upon the altar of incense within the sanctuary, as a symbol of the pure thoughts and grateful feelings which, in so holy a place, should be offered up as a fitting sacrifice to the great I AM.
In a similar symbolic sense, the censer under the name of the pot of incense, is found among the emblems of the Third Degree (see Pot of Incense).
The censer also constitutes a part of the Lodge furniture in many of the advanced Degrees.
Gädicke says he is not an officer, but is now and then introduced into some of the Lodges of Germany.
He is commonly found where the Lodge has its own private house, in which, on certain days, mixed assemblies are held of Freemasons and their families and friends. Of those assemblies the Censor has the superintendence.
In Masonic Law, the mildest form of punishment that can be inflicted, and may be defined to be a formal expreasion of disapprobation, without other result than the effect produced upon the feelings of him who is censured. It is adopted by a reselution of the Lodge on a motion made at a regular communication; it requires only a bare majority of votes, for its passage does not affect the Masonic standing of the person censured, and may be revoked at any subsequent regular communication.
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