[The following Installation Ceremony was prepared by Past Grand Master John Sayles, in 1879, was approved, and has been since then used by the M. W. Grand Lodge in installing its officers. By special permission of his widow, Mrs. Mary E. Sayles, and son, Henry Sayles, of Abilene, Texas, this form is incorporated in this edition, with the Official Titles as pre-scribed in the Constitution, and some necessary preliminary instructions by the compiler.]
The Grand Master-elect may be installed by a Present, or a Past Grand Master, and if by the latter, he does so by request of the retiring Grand Master.
It is the prerogative of the newly installed Grand Master to install the other Grand Officers; but this right is usually waived, and the officer who installed him, Proceeds to install the remaining Grand Officers.
The hour for installation having arrived, the Installing Officer takes the chair, calls the Grand Lodge to order, and states the order of business. He directs the Grand Marshal to have the jewels and other insignia of office collected and arranged in proper order, and instructs the Grand Secretary to call the roll of the Grand Officers elected and appointed. As the name of each is called, he should come forward and take his seat according to his rank.
The installation then proceeds as follows:
The Grand Marshal presents the Grand Master-elect, and says:
Most Worshipful Grand Master: I present you Bro. A. B., who has been duly and constitutionally elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas for the ensuing Masonic year. He has signified his willingness to accept the office. I therefore ask that he be duly and constitutionally installed therein.
The Grand Master-elect is then placed at the Altar, facing the East; the Grand Chaplain is conducted to the Altar, facing the West; the Grand Lodge is then called up, and the Grand Chaplain says:
Brethren, let us pray:
Eternal source of life and light, we ask Thy blessing upon Thy servant now before Thee, as he is to enter upon new and responsible duties, and assume new and important relations to his brethren. Invest him with Thy choicest gifts; may heavenly wisdom illuminate his mind; may heavenly power give strength to his exertions; may heavenly goodness fill and enlarge
his breast; may his feet rest upon the rock of justice, and from his hands may streams of beneficence continually flow; may his administration of the affairs of the Fraternity redound to Thy glory, to the good of the Craft, and to the welfare of mankind.
Add Thy blessing upon the officers associated with him. May they be faithful and zealous in upholding the hands of their chief in all good deeds, and with a just sense of their accountability to Thee, and to the Craft, may they labor for the advancement of the Institution.
Bless the Grand Lodge and its subordinates, and all the Brotherhood, wherever dispersed! Make them more helpful and beneficial to each other and to all Thy children; and inspire them with an ardent love to Thee, to their brethren, and to the whole human family. In Thee, we place our trust! Guide us, we pray Thee, through all the vicissitudes of life, and at last bring us to dwell in Thy presence forever! Amen.
Response: So mote it be.
The Grand Chaplain is conducted to his station, but the Grand Master-elect remains
kneeling at the Altar, and the Installing Officer, addressing him, says:
You will repeat after me your official obligation:
"I, A. B., do promise, upon the honor of a Mason, that I will serve as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas for the term for which I have been elected and until my successor is duly and constitutionally installed, and will perform all the duties of that office to the best of my ability."
The Brethren are seated.
Installing Officer: Brother Grand Marshal, you will conduct the Grand Master-elect from the Altar to the East.
Installing Officer: Brother A. B., you having been duly elected Grand Master of Masons, and having taken on obligation to discharge the duties of that office, it is with much pleasure that I now invest you with this Jewel as the badge of your office. It will silently admonish you always to do justice to the cause of Masonry; and to consult, as the exalted rank you now hold demands of you, the real interests of the Institution. It will instruct
you to infuse into the many Lodges of which you are now the head, the true spirit of our Order; to make wise decisions for the good of the Fraternity; to give due commendation to the worthy; and to rebuke those who act contrary to our laws.
By immemorial usage and the irrevocable landmarks of Masonry, you are invested, as Grand Master of Masons, with powers and prerogatives which are well-nigh absolute. The interests of the Craft, for weal or woe, are placed in your hands during your term of office. The good resolutions which, I doubt not, you have formed in your mind, that these powers shall not be abused or perverted by you, I would gladly strengthen by a word of admonition which it will not become me henceforth to utter. The very consciousness of the possession of a great power will ever make a generous mind cautious and gentle in its exercise.
To rule has been the lot of many, and it requires neither strength of intellect nor soundness of judgment. To rule WELL has been the fortune of but few, and may well be the object of an honorable ambition. It is not by the strong arm, or the iron will,
that obedience and order, the chief requisites of good government, are secured; but by holding the key to the hearts of men.
The office of Grand Master is of great antiquity and respect, and is one of the highest dignities to which we may aspire. Its incumbent, to rule well, should possess and practice several important requisites.
As a man, he should be of approved integrity and irreproachable morals, freed from the dominion of hasty temper and ill-governed passions; of good repute in the world, and practicing, as an example to the Craft, the cardinal virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice.
As a citizen, he should be loyal to his government; obedient to its laws; prompt in the duties he owes to society; and a pattern of fidelity in all social and domestic relations.
As a Mason, he should cling to the old landmarks and be sternly opposed to their infringement; be a proficient in the laws, language and literature of the Fraternity; be desirous to learn, and apt to teach; though not, for the time, a workman, yet the master of the work, and qualified to earn his
wages; be prompt to give aid, and slow to demand it; be ever mindful, that though elevated for a time above his fellows, yet he is elevated by them, and that he is still a Craftsman, more sacredly bound by a Craftsman's obligation; and that he should cultivate everywhere, and at all times, the golden tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
As an officer, he should remember, first of all, that he is an individual Mason, sharing in that respect, a common lot with his brethren, and therefore interested in the welfare of each and all. He should be devoid of undue ostentation and haughty overbearing; accessible to all; cultivating the closest friendship and the most unlimited confidence with his associate officers; eager to take counsel with his brethren and ready to give it; patient in investigation and hearing; deliberate in judgment; prompt in execution; forbearing long and much with evil-doers; ready to reward good; devoid of favoritism and wholly impartial; watchful over the treasury; having an eagle-eye upon every portion of his jurisdiction, and breasting ever the restless spirit of innovation.
Such are some of the most important qualifications which a Grand Master should possess, and the leading errors which he should avoid.
While the tools of operative Masonry (to us the most expressive symbols), the Book of Constitutions, and the Holy Writings, are all placed in your charge, I would call your attention specially to the latter. In this you find the principles upon which Masonry is founded; from this it derives its Wisdom, Strength and Beauty; this will confirm your faith, strengthen your hope, encourage your charity, and direct you to that Temple where all is harmony, love and peace.
I also deliver to you the emblem of that power with which you are now invested. In your hands it must never be sounded in vain. Use it only for the good of the Craft.
I now seat you, Most Worshipful, in the Grand East, at the head of an Order which is calculated to unite men by true friendship, to extend benevolence, and to promote virtue. And allow me to say that the honor with which you are invested is not unworthy of a man of the highest position or most distinguished abilities.
[paragraph continues] May you do honor to your exalted station, and late, very late, in life, may you be transmitted from the fading honors of an earthly Lodge, to the mansions prepared for the faithful in a better world!
The Grand Lodge is called up, and the Installing Officer says:
Brethren, salute your Grand Master!
The Grand Honors are given, after which the following Installation Ode should be sung:
Behold, O Master, glorious arts,
Were cradled in the East;
Behold, what sciences came forth
Man's waking mind to feast.
O Master, in thy symboll’d East
Seek wisdom from above,
And spread the light which heaven shall send
Within thy Lodge in love.
The Grand Marshal is directed to conduct the Grand Officers-elect to the East, where, standing with the right hand on the left breast, they take the official obligation as follows:
"I, A. B., do promise, upon the honor of a Mason, that I will serve the Grand Lodge of Texas in my office for the term for which I have been elected and until my successor is duly elected and installed, and that I will faithfully observe the laws and Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Texas, all ancient Masonic usages, and perform all the duties of my office to the best of my skill and ability."
The Installing Officer proceeds as follows:
If. W. Sir: You are invested with this Jewel as the badge of the office of R. W. Deputy Grand Master.
The office to which you have been elected by your brethren is one of great dignity and importance. In many cases your powers and prerogatives are co-extensive with those of your chief. At all times, if he be present, you are to assist him with your counsel and co-operation; and in his absence, death, incapacity or inability to act, the whole duties of his office devolve upon you. In case of the Grand Master's absence from the State, or his disability to act, you are
empowered by the Constitution of this Grand Lodge to preside, when present, in any Lodge under her jurisdiction; to grant dispensations for new Lodges; install and constitute Lodges to whom Charters are ordered to issue; to suspend Lodges for un-Masonic conduct, and to instruct in the Ritual of Masonry. But while your powers and privileges are thus extensive, remember that they will bring with them a heavy share of responsibility.
The honor thus conferred, and the trust reposed in you, demand a corresponding fidelity and attachment to the interests of those to whose kindness and confidence you are indebted for your official elevation. Let, therefore, no effort of yours be wanting in the faithful discharge of the duties of your office, so that you may have honor, and the Craft profit thereby.
The Deputy Grand Master is then conducted to his seat, to the left of the Grand Master.
R. W. Sir: You are invested with the Jewel of Grand Senior Warden. The position which you occupy in the
[paragraph continues] Grand Lodge and among the Fraternity is one of no little importance. In the Grand Lodge, to control, practically, under the direction of the Grand Master, the admission of all visitors; to announce specially those who are of rank or eminence; to aid in the preservation of order; and at all times to render counsel and ad-vice to the Grand Master, are high and responsible duties, requiring circumspection, vigilance and reflection; but when to these is super-added the more onerous labor, in conjunction with the Grand Junior Warden, of diligently preserving the ancient land-marks throughout the jurisdiction, it then becomes a trust of deep moment to the welfare of the Craft.
Your fitness for the discharge of such a trust undoubtedly led to your selection for the office by your brethren, and it will be your duty and pleasure to so act as to justify their confidence. Look well to the West.
The Grand Senior Warden is conducted to the West by the Grand Marshal, and the following words may be sung:
O Warden, where King Hiram stood,
Like him, seek strength above;
Sustain the East, pay all their dues,
Protect the weak in love.
P. W. Sir: As the duties of your office and the qualifications for it are almost identical with those of the Grand Senior Warden, except as it respects the introduction of visitors, I will only add to the charge given to that officer, that you be equally vigilant and circumspect, not only at your station in the Grand Lodge, but in the broader field of action without, dividing with him his labors, and taking due care that the great object of your united solicitude shall remain inviolate.
Accept the Jewel of your office, and repair to the South, being ever watchful, whether in labor, or at refreshment, that the high twelve of observation do not find you with your work,
and that of the Craft you superintend, unperformed.
The Grand Junior Warden is conducted to the South by the Grand Marshal, and the following words may be sung:
O Warden, where the Faithful One
Observed the glorious sun,
Like him, adorn with beauty still
The work by him begun.
R. W. Sir: You are invested with this Jewel as the badge of the office of Grand Treasurer.
It is your duty to receive all moneys due the Grand Lodge from the Grand Secretary or other officers, giving your receipt for the same; to enter all moneys in regular accounts, with the purposes for which they are intended; to keep regular accounts with all officers, charging them with all fees, dues or other moneys received by them and known to you; to make disbursements
only on legal orders from the Grand Lodge, or of the Grand Junior Warden on Grand Stewards' accounts, or to Lodges entitled to distribution from the grand charity fund; and to keep accurate accounts thereof; to make regular reports to the close of each Annual Communication, and whenever required by the Grand Lodge.
The keys forming the Jewel of your office have a two-fold significance; they are instruments to bind as well as to loose; to make fast as well as to open; they will never, I am confident, be used by you in any other manner than the Constitution, laws, rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge shall direct.
The Grand Treasurer is then conducted to his proper place in the Grand Lodge.
R. W. Sir: Usage as well as positive enactments from time to time have rendered the duties of Grand Secretary more onerous and varied than those of any other officer.
Brought by his official position more immediately into communication
with the whole body of the Fraternity, it is requisite that he should possess ability, skill and industry, to meet the various demands upon him. Placed in a position where he holds almost constant correspondence with our Masonic brethren of every State and country, upon him devolves, in a large degree, the good name and credit of the Masonic family of this State.
The Fraternity should enable him to maintain it; he should strive that it be maintained. Courtesy and patience are to be elements in his manners and character. Vigilance and fidelity must also be necessary qualities.
Our Constitutions, my brother, point out to you fully the duties of your office, and I will not recapitulate them. Your capability for their prompt and faithful execution has induced your brethren to confide this trust to you, and I feel assured that it is well placed.
In investing you with your official Jewel, the pens, I am persuaded that they will make an enduring record, not only to your praise, but to the welfare of a Craft so largely dependent
upon your experience and integrity.
He is then conducted to his seat at the Grand Secretary's desk.
R. W. Sirs: You have been appointed District Deputy Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
It is your duty to assist the Most Worshipful Grand Master in the discharge of his duties during the recess of the Grand Lodge; to visit all the Lodges in your respective districts; to examine their records and see that they are properly kept; to correct any errors you may observe, and to make a full report of all your acts and doings to the Grand Master before the next Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge.
In the discharge of your respective duties you will have many serious and important questions propounded to you, the solving of which will require each of you to be well skilled in Masonic jurisprudence. The office to which you have been appointed embraces an important trust, and the choice of you by the Grand Master is
an evidence of the high opinion he entertains of your fidelity and discretion. Labor, therefore, to discharge the duties of your respective offices in such a manner as not to bring censure or dishonor upon the head of your illustrious chief.
They are then seated, and the Grand Marshal presents the Grand Chaplain, and the Installing Officer proceeds as follows:
R. W. and Rev. Sir and Brother: The sacred position of Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Texas has been intrusted to your care by our Grand Master, and you are now invested with the Jewel of your office.
It will be your duty to conduct the devotional exercises of our Grand Communications, and to perform the sacred functions of your holy calling at our public ceremonies. In faithfully performing these duties, it may be the means of refining the souls, strengthening the virtues, and purifying the minds of our Masonic brethren and thereby preparing them for admission into the society of those above, whose happiness will be as endless as it is perfect. The profession which
you have chosen for your lot in life is the best guarantee that you will discharge the duties of your present appointment with steadfastness and perseverance in well-doing.
He is then conducted to the Grand Chaplain's desk, to the right of the Grand Master.
R. W. Sir and Brother: You have been appointed Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and you are now invested with the badge of your office.
It is your duty to attend the Annual Communications of this Grand Lodge, and at public installations, dedications, or other public occasions, to deliver a suitable address.
To do this, it is necessary that you should be familiar with the operations of Masonry, both at home and abroad, and well versed in Masonic lore. And from your known zeal and attachment to the Order, I have no doubt but that you will perform your duties with credit to yourself and pleasure to the Fraternity.
He is then seated.
R. W. Sir and Brother: You have been appointed Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of Texas. The office with which you are intrusted is one of great importance, and requires much skill and attention in the discharge of its duties.
You are to superintend all processions of the Grand Lodge, when moving as a distinct body, either in public or private; and as the world can only judge of our private discipline by our public deportment, you will be careful that the utmost order and decorum he observed on all such occasions.
You will ever be attentive to the commands of the Grand Master and always near at hand to see them duly executed. You are now invested with the badge of your office, and I presume that you will give to your duties all that study and attention which their importance demands. I now present you this sword as the appropriate implement of your office.
W. Sirs and Brothers: You have been appointed Grand Deacons of this
[paragraph continues] Grand Lodge. It is your province to attend upon the Grand Master and Grand Wardens, and to act as their proxies in the active duties of the Grand Lodge; to see to the introduction and accommodation of visitors, and such other duties as may be as-signed you by these officers.
The badges of your office are intrusted to your care, without doubt of your vigilance and attention.
W. Sirs and Brothers: You have been appointed Grand Stewards of this Grand Lodge. The duties of your office are to assist the Deacons and other officers in performing their respective duties, and to see that none are admitted into the refreshment rooms but such as are justly entitled to be there by the regulations of the Grand Lodge.
Your regular and early attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal and attachment to our Grand Lodge.
W. Sir and Brother: You have been appointed Grand Pursuivant of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and you are
now invested with the badge of your office.
It is your duty to announce all applicants for admission into the Grand Lodge by their names and Masonic titles; to take charge of the Jewels and regalia of the Grand Lodge; to attend all communications of the Grand Lodge, and to perform such other duties as may be required of you by the Grand Master or presiding officer. I presume that your respect and attachment to the Grand Lodge, and your earnest solicitude for the good of the Order, will prompt you to the faithful discharge of the duties of your office.
W. Sir and Brother: You have been appointed Grand Tiler of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and are now invested with the implement of your office. As the Sword is placed in the hands of the Grand Tiler to enable him to effectually guard against the approach of cowans and eaves-droppers, and permit none to pass except those who are duly qualified, so it should admonish us to set a guard over our thoughts, a watch at our lips, post a
sentinel over our actions, thereby preventing the approach of every unworthy thought or deed, and preserving consciences void of offense towards God and towards man.
The Installing Officer then calls up the members of the Grand Lodge (and only the members should rise, as the address is exclusively for them), and delivers the following:
Brethren, Members of the Grand Lodge of Texas: Behold the officers of this Grand Lodge for the ensuing Masonic year.
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 have been elected and appointed to govern this Grand Lodge are sufficiently conversant with the rules of propriety and the laws of this 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 to unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.
Finally, my brethren, as this Grand Annual Communication has been conducted thus far with so much unanimity and concord, in which we greatly rejoice, so may it continue to the end. 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. May your children's children celebrate, with joy and gratitude, the annual recurrence of this auspicious solemnity. And may the tenets of our profession be transmitted, through this Grand Lodge, pure and unimpaired, from generation to generation.
The Installing Officer then calls up the entire Grand Lodge, and the Grand Marshal, by his direction, makes the following:
Grand Marshal: I hereby proclaim that the Most Worshipful Grand Master and other Grand Officers, elected and appointed, of this Grand Lodge, have been regularly installed into their respective stations.
This proclamation is made from the East (one blow with gavel), from the West (one blow with gavel), from the South (one blow with gavel), once, twice, thrice. All interested will take due notice, and govern themselves accordingly.
The Installing Officer then surrenders the East and the gavel to the Grand Master. who seats the Grand Lodge.
[If the installation is public, a Program, with music and an address, may be readily arranged. If the time allows, the ceremonies should always be interspersed with appropriate music.]