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may direct the grand procession to be resumed, and to march three times round the hall, halting each time in the east. Whilst the procession is moving, the music continues, but ceases when the procession halls. After this, the members of the Grand Lodge take their places.
An oration, suited to the occasion, is delivered by the Grand Chaplain, or some other brother, appointed for that purpose by the Grand Master.
The Grand Lodge again forms in procession as at first, and returns to the room where it was opened ; the laws of the order are rehearsed, and then the Grand Lodge is closed in ample form.
CEREMONY OBSERVED AT FUNERALS; WITH THE
SERVICE TO BE USED ON THOSE OCCASIONS.
The practice of funeral rites has been general among mankind. It affords opportunity for the happy recollection of the virtues of the deceased, as well as for the public testimony of the duties which have existed between the dead and the living. It at once assists sympathy and virtue.
The ceremonies are different in different nations, and a conformity to them has been recommended among the brethren; they have also their usual forms, in which they express their common friendship in mourning for the dead.
No Mason can be interred with the formalities of the order, unless it be by his own special request whilst living, communicated to the Master of the lodge of which he died a member ; nor unless he has been advanced to the third degree of Masonry ; foreigners, sojourners, and particular officers excepted, and those at the direction of the Grand Master. From the above restriction, there can be no other exceptions.
The Master of a lodge having received notice of a Master Mason's death, and of his request to be interred with the ceremonies of the order, and duly notified of the time and place of interment, must summon his lodge, informing them of the funeral solemnities. Where the lodge is in the same city where the Grand Lodge is located, it is absolutely necessary to obtain the consent of the Grand Master.
If more lodges are expected to attend, he must make application, by the Grand Secretary to the Grand Master, for permission to preside over such brethren from other lodges as may assist in forming the procession, who are to be under his direction for the time, unless the Grand Master, his deputy, or the Grand Wardens, are present.
In case of a stranger, the Master of the senior lodge prea sent presides, if the proper grand officers are absent.
The dispensation being obtained, the Master may invite as many lodges as he thinks proper; and the members of these lodges may accompany their officers in form.
All the brethren must appear in decent mourning ; dressed in white stockings, gloves and aprons, the usual clothing of Master Masons.
The officers must appear with the badges of the lodge, and such as have been officers, rnay wear the badges of their former stations, provided that the brethren actually in office are distinguished by sashes and hat bands.
The brethren should first assemble, if it be possible, in their lodge room, and open in due form, and remain standing during the first part of the service, which may, in common cases, be performed in their hall, with the usual ceremonies.
A procession is then formed; the lodges move according to seniority, excepting that the lodge, of which the deceased was a member, moves nearest to the corpse.
In the graveyard, the brethren proceed to the grave, and then, entering at its foot, open, so that the master may stand at the head of the grave, and the mourners may halt at the foot, while the brethren encircle it. Whilst the prayers are reading at the grave, the brethren may slowly approach it, till they are as near as they can with comfort stand.
If no part of the service has been already performed in the lodge, or some public building, with proper ceremonies, it is here rehearsed ; or such as may be substituted by the direction of the master.
The service may be performed by responses, or by one voice; at discretion.
The Master speaks, or the Chaplain by his direction ;
We have not the ransom.—The place that knew him,
[Here the roll is unfolded.] The memory of a brother is precious. We will record
[Viewing the roll.]
[Here strew flowers, or evergreen.]
Was he worthy ?
He was indeed our brother.
But, who hath done this!
What is our life !—It is a shadow! a dream !
Who is poor! who is rich ! the king and the beggar lie down together!
Our brother haih forsaken us !
-Shall not some friend comfort us ?
[Here an oration may be delivered ; but if one has not
been prepared for the occasion, then may follow--]
Tuus our brother has reached the end of life !-How many offerings has he made upon the altar of charity ! How honourably has he sustained the cares of life !-How did he make the hearts of all around him happy !-He trode not on the worm that moved at his feet !-His heart was in the laws of his country. His religion to his God taught him to love and to extend happiness to man. But he has bidden us the last farewell. Farewell, our brother! We reply farewell !-Go, visit the Grand Lodge of brethren!–Go, meet thy God; and may he approve thee ! May we be as faithful !—may our eyes be closed in peace, like thine !-and our dying pillow be as easy !-Farewell till the grand summons !--Then, brother, we will rise and meet thee !--Glory be to God on high !
Response by the brethren.--As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.--Amen.
LIGHT of life! all things live before thee! the darkness and the light are both alike to thee !-- With thee there is no darkness !—Thou seest us at our birth, and at our death. Thou knowest us when in the womb, and in the
grave.Thou forgettest us not when we have been, or are to be. We are always present with thee, and our thoughts never perish from thy remembrance. May our brother live with us, as well as with thee. May good tidings be on our lips, and his works written upon our hearts. May memory and the virtues be the mourners! Let his death teach us to die; and with him let thy gift to us be immortality!
Then the brethren join hands, and renew, in silence, the tokens of their friendship. If they choose to have devotional music at the grave, it may now be performed.
The body is then let into the grave, or entombed.
After which the following declaration and prayer shall be made.
Brethren-With proper respect to the established customs of the country in which we reside; with due deference to our superiors in church and state ; and with unlimited good will to all mankind, we appear in the character of our profession. Invested with the badges of Masonry, publicly we declare our obedience and our submission to the laws and government of the country in which we live, and an ardent wish to promote the general good of society.
As it hath pleased the divine Creator to remove our brother from this transitory existence, and to weaken the chain by which we are linked one to another, may his death remind us of our own, and incline us, who survive him, to be more strong in the ties of union and friendship.
To the grave we resign our brother, in expectation of his immortal happiness; and we pray
ALMighty God, of infinite mercy and goodness, extend