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When the brethren have assembled in the Lodge-room, that is to say, at the place designated in their dispensation or charter for holding the Lodge, and the time or hour for meeting has arrived, the W. Master gives one rap with the gavel, and directs the brethren to be clothed, the officers to assume their Jewels, and repair to their respective stations and places, except the Tiler.

The Tiler's place, when the Lodge is at labor, is without the door. If it is a Stated meeting, the Lodge should be opened in the Master's degree, and all business transacted in the order and manner required by the By-Laws of the Lodge, and the Constitution and Edicts of the Grand Lodge.

A prayer or charge must always be read or offered at the opening or closing of a Lodge. The following prayers and charges are suitable for such occasions:

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Prayer at Opening

Most holy and glorious Lord God, the Great Architect of the Universe: the giver of all good gifts and graces: Thou hast promised that where two or three are gathered together in Thy name, Thou wilt be in the midst of them. In Thy name we assemble, most humbly beseeching Thee to bless us in all our undertakings, that we may know and serve Thee aright, and that all our actions may tend to Thy glory and to our advancement in knowledge and virtue; and we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to bless this our present assembling, and to illuminate our minds by the divine precepts of Thy Holy Word, and teach us to walk in the light of Thy countenance; and when the trials of our probationary state are over, be admitted into THE TEMPLE "not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens." Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

Another Prayer

Great Architect of the Universe: In Thy name we have assembled, and in Thy name we desire to proceed in all our doings. Grant that the sublime

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principles of Freemasonry may so subdue every discordant passion within us, so harmonize and enrich our hearts with Thine own love and goodness, that the Lodge, at this time, may humbly reflect that order and beauty which reign forever before Thy throne. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.


Supreme Grand Master of the Universe: We would reverently invoke Thy blessing at this time: Wilt Thou be pleased to grant that this meeting, thus begun in order, may be conducted in peace, and closed in harmony. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

At Opening in the First Degree

The W. M. says: Brethren, before I declare the Lodge opened, let us invoke the assistance of the Great Architect of the Universe in all our undertakings. May our labors, thus begun in order, be conducted in peace, and closed in harmony. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

The Master then, in the name of

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[paragraph continues] God and the Holy Saints John, declares the Lodge duly opened in the first degree in Masonry.

At Opening in the Second Degree

The W. M. says: Brethren, before I declare the Lodge opened, let us fervently supplicate the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, that the rays of heaven may shed their benign influence over us, to enlighten us in the paths of virtue and science. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

Charge at Opening

The ways of Virtue are beautiful. Knowledge is attained by degrees. Wisdom dwells with contemplation. There we must seek her. Let us then, my brethren, apply ourselves with becoming zeal to the practice of the excellent principles inculcated by our Order. Let us ever remember that the great objects of our association are the restraint of improper desires and passions, the cultivation of an active benevolence, and the promotion of a correct knowledge of the duties we owe to God, our neighbor, and ourselves. Let us be united, and practice with assiduity the sacred tenets of

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our Order; ever remembering that where brethren are, there should be peace and harmony, and each should wish for the good of the whole.

Prayer at Closing

Supreme Grand Master! Ruler of Heaven and Earth! Now, that we are about to separate and return to our respective places of abode, wilt Thou be pleased so to influence our hearts and minds, that we may, each one of us, practice out of the Lodge those great moral duties which are inculcated in it, and, with reverence, study and obey the laws which Thou hast given us in Thy Holy Word. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

At Closing in the First Degree

Master: Brethren--Before I declare the Lodge closed, let us, with all reverence and humility, express our gratitude to the Great Architect of the Universe, for the favor already received.

May He continue to preserve the Order, by cementing and adorning it with every social and moral virtue. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

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At Closing in the Second Degree

Master: Brethren--Before I declare the Lodge closed, let us humbly invoke the continued blessing of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe on our Fraternity. Let us remember that wherever we are, and whatever we do, He is with us, that His "All-Seeing Eye" observes us. While, then, we continue to act in conformity with the principles of the Craft, let us not fail to discharge our duties toward Him with fervency and zeal. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

At Closing in the Third Degree

Master: Brethren--Before I declare the Lodge closed, let us unite in humbly acknowledging our dependence on the Most High. May His right hand be as a shield and buckler to us against the assaults of our enemies; and, at the final day, may each and every one of us be raised, through the merits of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, to the celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Grand Master forever presides--forever reigns. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

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Charge at Closing

Brethren: You are now about to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet. Remember that around this altar you have promised to befriend and relieve every brother who shall need your assistance. Remember that you have promised to remind him, in the most tender manner, of his failings, and aid his reformation. Vindicate his character when wrongfully traduced. Suggest in his behalf the most candid and favorable circumstances. Is he justly reprehended? Let the world observe how Masons love one another.

These generous principles are to extend further; every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. "Do good unto all." Remember it more "especially to the household of the FAITHFUL."

Finally, brethren, be ye all of one mind; live in peace, and may the God

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of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you. Amen. Response: So mote it be.


May the blessings of heaven rest upon us and all regular Masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us. Amen.

Response: So mote it be.

Duties in the Lodge

While the Lodge is open for work, Masons must not hold private conversation or committees without leave from the Master; nor talk of anything foreign or impertinent; nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any' brother addressing himself to the chair; nor behave inattentively, while the Lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn; but every brother shall pay due reverence to the Master and the Wardens, and all his fellows.

Every brother guilty of a fault shall submit to the Lodge, unless he appeal to the Grand Lodge.

No private offenses, or disputes about nations, families, religion or politics, must be brought within the doors of the Lodge.

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