I will now introduce the reader to the second degree of Masonry. It is generally called passing, as will be seen in the lecture. I shall omit the ceremonies of opening and closing, as they are precisely the same as in the first degree, except two knocks are used in this degree, and the door is entered by the benefit of a pass-word. It is Shibboleth. It will be explained in the lecture.
The candidate, as before, is taken into the preparation room, and prepared in the manner following:
All his clothing taken off, except his shirt; furnished with a pair of drawers; his right breast bare; his left foot in a slipper, his right bare; a cable-tow twice around his neck; semi-hood-winked; in which situation he is conducted to the door of the lodge, where he gives two knocks, when the Senior Deacon rises and says: "Worshipful, while we are peaceably at work on the second degree of Masonry, under the influence of faith, hope, and charity, the door of the lodge is alarmed." Master to Senior Deacon, "Enquire the cause of that alarm." [In many lodges they come to the door, knock, are answered by the Senior Deacon, and come in without their being noticed by the Senior Warden or Master.] The Senior Deacon gives two raps on the inside of the door. The candidate gives one without; it is answered by the Senior Deacon with one, when the door is partly opened by the Senior Deacon, who enquires, "Who comes here? Who comes here?"
Note.—In modern lodges both eyes are covered, and the cable-tow is put around the naked right arm, instead of around the neck. See cut.
The Junior Deacon, who is or ought to be the conductor, answers, "A worthy brother who has heel regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, served a proper time as such, and now wishes for further light in Masonry by being passed to the degree of Fellow Craft."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Is it of his own free will and accord he makes this request?"
Ans. "It is."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon: "Is he duly and truly prepared?"
Ans. "He is."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Is he worthy and well qualified?"
Ans. "He is."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree?"
Ans. "He has."
[Very few know any more than they did the night they were initiated, have not heard their obligation repeated, nor one section of the lecture, and in fact a very small proportion of Masons ever learn either.]
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "By what further rights does he expect to obtain this benefit?"
Ans. "By the benefit of a pass-word."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Has he a pass-word?"
Ans. "He has not, but I have it for him."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Give it to me."
The Junior Deacon whispers in the Senior Deacon's ear, "Shibboleth."
The Senior Deacon says, "The pass is right; since this is the case, you will wait till the Worshipful Master in the east is made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned."
The Senior Deacon then repairs to the Master and gives two knocks, as at the door, which are answered by two by the Master, when the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door, after which the Master says, "Since he comes with all these necessary qualifications, let him enter this Worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord and take heed on what he enters." As he enters, the angle of the square is pressed hard against his naked right breast,
at which time the Senior Deacon says, "Brother, when you entered this lodge the first time, you entered on the point of the compass pressing your naked left breast, which was then explained to you. You now enter it on the angle of the square pressing your naked right breast, which is to teach you to act upon the square with all mankind, but more especially with the brethren." The candidate is then conducted twice regularly round the lodge, and halted at the Junior Warden in the south, where he gives two raps, and is answered by two, when the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door; from thence he is conducted to the Senior Warden, where the same questions are asked and answers returned as before; he is then conducted to the Master in the east, where the same questions are asked and answers returned as before; the Master likewise demands of him from whence he came and whither he is traveling.