The words accompanying this sign in the night, or dark, when the sign cannot be seen, are, viz.: “O Lord my God! is there no help for the widow’s son?” This sign is given by the Master, at the grave of our “Grand Master Hiram Abiff.”1 (See Note B, Appendix.)

Master gives one rap with his gavel; Senior Warden, one;

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[paragraph continues] Junior Warden, one. Master one the second time, which is responded to by the wardens a second time, in the west and south, when the master makes the third gavel sound, which is responded to by the Wardens. These three raps are made, when opening the Lodge on the Third Degree; if opening on the Second, two raps only are used; First Degree, one rap each, first given by the Master, then Senior Warden, lastly Junior Warden. After which the Master takes off his hat, and repeats the following passage of Scripture:–

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more.” Amen!

Responded to by all the brethren present: “Amen! So mote it be!”

W. M.–I now declare this Lodge opened on the First (or, as the case may be) Degree of Masonry. Brother Junior Deacon, you will inform the Tyler. (Deacon opens the Lodge-door, and delivers his message to the Tyler.)

W. M.–Brother Senior Deacon, you will attend at the altar. (Here the Senior Deacon steps to the altar, places the square above the compasses, if opened


on the First Degree, viz.:)

W. M. (gives one sound of the gavel.)–All are seated and ready for business.

If the Lodge is opened on the Third Degree, and at a regular meeting of the Lodge, the following would be the order of business; but as the reader may be a little anxious, besides curious, about the way and manner of raising the Lodge from the First to the Third Degree, the author will suppose the Lodge open on the First Degree, and, it being a regular Lodge-night, and business to transact, the Lodge must be raised to the Third or Masters’ Degree, as no business except that of initiation can be done on the

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[paragraph continues] First Degree. The following manner is generally adopted among Masons at the present day, though there are two or three ways.

W. M. (gives one rap with his gavel.)–Brother Senior Warden, are you sure that all present are Master Masons? (or Fellow Crafts, as the case may be.)

S. W.–I am not sure that all present are Master Masons, but will ascertain through my proper officers, and report.

S. W.–Deacons will approach the west (Deacons, both Junior and Senior, repair to the Warden’s station in the west); first the Senior Deacon whispers the password of a Master Mason in the ear of the Junior Deacon (Tubal Cain), and the Senior Deacon whispers the same in the Senior Warden’s ear, when one Deacon passes up one side of the Lodge, and the other the other side, and, as they go, stop at each brother present for the pass-word, which each brother rises up and whispers in the ear of the Deacon (Tubal Cain); if there are any present that cannot give it, the Deacons pass them by, especially if they are lower degree members (Entered Apprentices or Fellow Crafts), and after the Deacons have gone through the entire Lodge, they meet before the Worshipful Master in the east; the Senior Deacon gets the pass again from the Junior Deacon, and passes it up to the Master, and then they return to the Senior Warden in the west, and pass the same up to him in the same way, and take their seats again, as in . The Warden then rises and says–All present are not Master Masons, Worshipful.

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