R. W. M. (to candidate.)–Will you be off, or from?

Candidate (prompted.)–From.

R. W. M.–From what?

Candidate–From the pass-grip to the true grip of a Mark Master Mason.

R. W. M.–Pass on.

The grip is made by locking the little fingers of the right hands, turning the backs of them together, and placing the ends of the thumbs against each other; its name is SIROC, or MARK WELL, and, when properly made, forms the initials of those two words: Mark well.

The Right Worshipful Master, after admonishing the candidate never to give the words in any way but that in which he received them, resumes his seat, when the brethren shuffle about their feet.

R. W. M–What means this disturbance among the workmen, Brother Senior?

S. G. W. (rising.)–Right Worshipful, the workmen are at a stand for the want of a certain keystone to one of the principal arches, which no one has had orders to make.

R. W. M.–A keystone to one of the principal arches? I gave our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, strict orders to make that keystone, previous to his assassination. (Gives two raps with his gavel, which brings the three Overseers before him.) Brother Overseers, has there been a stone of this description brought up for inspection? (Exhibiting the figure of a keystone.)

Master Overseers–There was a stone of that description brought up for inspection, but it being neither oblong nor square, nor having the mark of any of the craft upon it, and we not knowing the mark that was upon it, supposed it unfit for the building, and it was thrown over among the rubbish.

R. W. M.–Let immediate search be made for it; the Temple cannot be finished without it; it is one of the most valuable stones in the whole building. (The brethren then shuffle about the Lodge again, and find the keystone, and bring it up to the east.)

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The Senior Warden takes the stone from the hands of the brethren, and then reports to the Right Worshipful Master as follows:–

Right Worshipful Master, the stone has been found; it was discovered buried in the rubbish of the Temple, and I herewith transmit it to you, by trusty brothers. (Two or three of the brethren carry it to the Right Worshipful Master in the east.

The Right Worshipful Master receives the keystone and places it in front of him, on the desk, upright and plumb, with the initials on it facing the whole Lodge, but more especially the candidate, who is seated in a chair in front of the Right Worshipful Master. 1

The Right Worshipful Master gives four raps with the gavel (• • • •), when all rise to their feet. (Some Lodges do not do so, but keep their seats.) When he reads the following passages of Scripture, at the end of each passage he strikes the keystone on the top with his gavel–first, one rap; second, two raps; and so on to the fourth passage, viz.:

Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone once. (•) “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”–Ps. cxviii. 22.

Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone twice. (• •) Did ye never read in the Scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Matt. xxi. 42.

Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone thrice. (• • •) And have you not read this Scripture, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Mark xii. 10.

Right Worshipful Master strikes the keystone four times. (• • • •)

What is this, then, that is written, “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”?–Luke xx. 17.

Master reads to candidate from text-book: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving him that receiveth it.” (Rev. xi. 17.) Come forward, and receive the new name.

Candidate steps forward.

Master–Brother, I will now invest you with the new name

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that none but a Mark Master can receive. It is a circle of letters which are the general mark of this Degree.

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