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From the above restriction, there can be no other
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 present 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, may 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;
Where is now our brother?
We have not the ransom.—The place that knew him, shall know him no more!
Shall his name be lost?
[Here the roll is unfolded.]
The memory of a brother is precious. We will record
[Viewing the roll.]
Write it here!
We will write it in our hearts.
How will it then be known?
[Here strew flowers, or evergreen.]
It shall live in his virtues, which shall live in us and in every brother.
Was he worthy?
Like him we will be brethren, and our last end shall be
He was indeed our brother.
But, who hath done this!
The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away.
What is our life !—It is a shadow! a dream!
Whither are we going! what shall we become!
Who is poor! who is rich! the king and the beggar lie
Our brother hath forsaken us!
[Here an oration may be delivered; but if one has not been prepared for the occasion, then may follow
THUS 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
to us the riches of thine everlasting favour, and crown thy present benefits with honour and immortality. And to God be glory forever.—Amen.
Then the is dropped into the grave; and each brother near deposits a shovel full of earth on the coffin, if permitted.
The brethren return to the hall, or place where they formed, and the Masonic ornaments, if the deceased was an officer, are in due form returned to the lodge; the proper charges are delivered, and the lodge is closed with a blessing
May the Lord bless and keep us. May he give us light and truth, and unite our hearts forever.-So mote it be.
ANOTHER FUNERAL SERVICE.
The lodge being opened with the usual forms, at the hall, or some other convenient place, a procession is formed, and the brethren proceed to the house of the deceased. If singers are present, an anthem may be sung. The Master proceeds to the head of the corpse, and the service begins: the Master, or Chaplain, saying,
"What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death ?Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?"
Response." Man walketh in a vain shadow: he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them."
Master." When he dieth, he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him."
Response." Naked he came into the world, and naked he must return: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
The grand honours are then given, and certain forms used, which cannot be here explained. Solemn music is introduced, during which the Master strews herbs or flowers over the body, and taking the sacred roll in his hand, he says