Masonic rituals help their beliefs, desires, and commitments. For many, performing a weekly or monthly ritual is akin to a profound physical, psychological or emotional cleanse. Rituals help people connect to themselves, their chosen communities, and their Gods.
Given that all Masons profess beliefs in a monotheistic God, it makes sense that rituals are an essential part of the culture. There are initiation rituals and ceremonies to commemorate a member’s advancement to new Masonic levels.
Geometry and architecture are essential themes within Freemasonry, which is why Freemasons often refer to God as either The Supreme Being or The Grand Geometrician. These names help keep the concept of God as generic, and not tied to a specific religion, which removes any chance that a member will be offended.
Without the specificity and allegiance to one particular faith, the community can focus on enjoying, relating to, and helping each other, rather than judging each other or seeking to enroll each other into a specific tradition.
the ritual for the first three degrees of masonry what does it teach tonight you will find out mr. Jack Harris a former worshipful master from the state of Maryland will reenact small parts of the ritual from the first three degrees and explained what he taught in the line our guest tonight is mr. Jack Harris Jack I would like for you to explain to us what what we see here what is the big gene above this chair and what is that chair what are these other chairs John first of all the chair of the worst lemasters situated in the east it is the place of authority in a Masonic Blue Lodge over top of the chair is a letter G found in every Lodge within the United States okay what are these chairs down here okay on the Left we have the chair of the chaplain every lodge must be open and closed with prayer and in the great many of your lodges throughout the United States the chaplain is an ordained minister to the right of the master is the chair of the senior Deacon the senior Deacon is in charge of conducting all candidates through their initiation of the first three degrees of Freemasonry all right what are these candles here these candles represent the Sun the moon and the master of the lodge as we come down through the center of the lodge and this is significant because this altar is in exactly in center of every Masonic Lodge of the United States resting on top is the Holy Bible the square and the compasses all right you're gonna tell us more about why you have these things there and what they mean in masonry and we were gonna do that on a later ritual right all right why do we have the color blue here the color blue according to most Masonic authorities is used in the Blue Lodge 1st and 2nd and 3rd degree because it is a symbol of fidelity I Jack tell us what is the south wall all about in the Masonic Lodge room ok the south wall is the principal place where the Junior Warden of the live sits ok to his right and to his left are the chairs of the junior and seniors Stewart's all of the Masonic Lodge all right you're gonna tell us why you have then you call it the south wall and then you've got the west wall over here that's correlate as we go along and the people will see how these chairs are used yes that's correct I described what do we have over here on the west wall okay the small chair on the left is a chair of the junior Deacon who's in charge of a mission of all candidates and also the guest of the lodge all right was this what sister chair in the center is a chair of the senior would in a large who's second command to the wersal master of the lodge okay Jack what about this other door on the west wall what's this all about this door is for the candidate to come through it's called the auntie room door it's the door behind which the candidate is prepared for initiation behind this door we have a candidate which is prepared for initiation in the first degree of Freemasonry we will explain to you at a later time exactly why he is dressed the way he is okay hi so now what we're going to do is we're going to actually begin the first degree of masonry and take you through again some of the key parts in the actual ritual as it happens in the Blue Lodge tonight we're going to bring you into an actual Lodge room and show you the ritual of the first degree of Freemasonry as John has mentioned earlier we cannot show you all the aspects of the ritual but what we will show you will be an actual live representation of what happens in a Masonic Lodge previous to this there was about 20 minutes of ritual leading up to this part where I am at at the present time who comes here John Smith a poor blind candidate who desires to be brought from darkness to light who wishes to receive a part of the rights and benefits of this right worshiper Lodge erected to God and dedicated to the holy saints John as many brothers and fellows have done before him is it off his own free Warnock or he makes this request it is is he duly and truly prepared he is by what father right does he expect to gain admission by the Rite of being a man free born a good report and well recommended being all this he will wait a time with patience until the worshipful master is informed of his request and his answer returned before we continue with the ritual I would like to make some comment about the part of the ritual at the door that you have just seen Albert Mackey one of the world's leading authorities in Freemasonry and respected in his interpretation of the rituals of Freemasonry has made this comment regarding the scene that you have just said at the door the book is called the manual of the lodge page 20 and he makes this following statement there he stands without our portals on the threshold of his new Masonic life in darkness helplessness and ignorant having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollution of the outer and profane world he comes in quietly to our door seeking the new birth and asking a withdrawal of the veil which conceals divine truth from his uninitiated eyes continue with our ritual in the first degree of Freemasonry mr. Smith you are received into ministry upon the point of a sharp instrument piercing your naked left breast which is to teach you as this is an instrument of torture to your flesh so may the recollection thereof be to your conscience should you ever reveal any of the secrets of Freemasonry unlawfully Valve's safe thine aid almighty father of the universe to this our present convention and grant that this candidate for masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service and do him with a competency of thy divine wisdom that by the secrets of our art he may be bettered enabled to display the beauties of holiness of thy Holy Name Amen mr. Smith in times of eminent Perron danger and whom do you place your trust in God listen as a former worshipful master or Masonic Lodge it was my duty to instruct a candidate and many of the teachings of Freemasonry one of the most important was an explanation of the letter G which you find suspended above my chair in the east let me tell you exactly what that means to Freemasonry as explained to the candidate first of all it alludes to the fifth science geometry geometry according to Freemasonry delineates how God created the heavens and the earth and its various shapes and forms but the most important meaning is as I'm going to give it to you at this point the master removes his hat and tells the candidate it alludes to the sacred name of deity before whom all from the youngest entered apprentice in the northeast corner to the worshipful master who presides in the East should win reverence most humbly bow what I will give you now is actual ritual taught by every Masonic Lodge within the United States the three great lights of Maestri are the Holy Bible the square and the compasses the Holy Bible we take for the rule and God of our faith the square to square our actions and the compasses to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due balance the three lesser lights are the Sun the moon and the master the lodge as the Sun rules today and the moon governs night so should the Werfel master endeavor to rule and govern his Lodge with equal regularity many you are probably wondering what this Freemasonry really believe about the Bible I would like to quote to you Albert Mackey one of the world's greatest masonic interpreters of ritual says this and his book encyclopedia are free Maestri under the title of bible the bible is used among Mason's as assemble the will of God however it may be expressed and therefore whatever too many people expresses that will may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a Masonic Lodge thus in a large consisting of Jews the Old Testament Oh may be placed upon the altar and the Turkish Masons can make use of the Koran whether it be the gospel to the Christian the Old Testament to the Jew by the veena to the Brahmin it conveys the same idea the will of God to man okay we've talked about the letter G over the Masters chair the three great lights and the three lesser lights we live now like to continue with the ritual and explain what the meaning of the apron is another symbol of Freemasonry I'd like to present you brother Smith with this lambskin or white leather apron which is an emblem of innocence and a badge of a Mason more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle or any other order that could be furtive on you at this for any future date by king prince or potentate or any other person except to be a Mason and which I hope you will wear with pleasure to yourself and honor to the fraternity the lambskin has always been deemed amendment of innocence he therefore who whereas a lambskin as a badge of a Mason is continually reminded of that purity of life in conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining a mission into the celestial Lodge above also in a court of law the judge has a gavel symbolizing his position of authority as a versatile master I have total autocrat rule over my lodge the Hat and a gavel symbolized authority that I have in Masonic Lodge my apron is an apron as we just explained to you it is a badge of a Mason it is very important to all the sonic people that they wear aprons the apron represents a symbol of my purity and it tells me my purity of life in conduct I will gain admission into the Celestra Lodge above no Mason can be buried or have a Masonic memorial service without that apron being on his body no one can attend a Masonic church service without an apron on and no lodge member may it 10 his Lodge unless he first has his apron a symbol of purity of life and conduct birth to the end the same shall be saved remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth while the evil days come not nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them while the Sun right now in this portion of the ritual of the third degree of Freemasonry the candidate has symbolically become Kyurem a bill is walking around the altar symbolizes his journey through life and he is hearing scripture from the book of Ecclesiastes in a moment the candidate will encounter ruffians on his journey who will threaten and eventually kill him the meaning of which will be explained later by former worshipful master mr. Jack Harris and the almond tree shall flourish and the grasshopper shall be a burden and desire shall fail he caused man Gullah to his long home and the mourners go about the streets wherever the silver cord be loosed or the golden bowl be broken or the pitcher be broken at the fountain or the wheel broken at the cistern then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave it Grand Master Hiram Abiff I am glad to meet you thus alone you have long promised us the secrets of a Master Mason behold the temple is almost completed and we have not yet received them give me the secrets of a Master Mason this is an unusual way of manner of asking neither's at the time their place wait until the temple is finished and then if worthy you will receive the secrets give me the secrets of a Master Mason or I will take your life I cannot neither can they be given except in the presence of three Solomon king of Israel Hiram king of Tyre and myself give me the secrets of a Master Mason or I'll take your life upon this spot my life but not the secrets and I Grand Master Hiram IV give me the secrets of a Master Mason I cannot this neither is satisfactory give me the secrets of a Master Mason or I'll take your life I will not give me the secrets of a Master Mason around take your life on this back my life but not the secrets and I then that's the heart of this give me the secret of the nice tomato I cannot give me the secret of Master Mason or I'll take your life I will not give me the secret of Master Mason I'll take your life on this spot my life but not the secrets then die companions what hard crime we had committed we have murdered our Grand Master Hiram of II what shall we do with the body let us take it a westerly course and carry it up the brow of the hill some six feet move east and west and six feet perpendicularly at the head of which we will plant a sprig of acacia that's the place maybe here are known let us make our escape behind me to the left is where the worst full master sits I am the worst master of the lodge and every said is a simple the letter G and here we have the three lesser lights of free Meister before us we have an author and the author is a color blue because it represents fidelity to the Masonic Order to the right of me we have the candidate for free Main Street in the third degree he has a blue uniform one which also represents fidelity his hoodwink with a cable tow about his neck in case he decides he does not want to keep the secrets of her free masonry or continue with the obligation he can be led or dragged out by use of the cable tow he also is kneeling upon an altar with both knees naked a symbol of the third degree of Freemasonry both breasts and both knees naked to my left is an officer of the lodge who will administer the obligation of the third degree in the middle of the altar we have the Holy Bible the square and the compasses the three great lights of Freemasonry mr. Smith repeat your name and say after me I I you mean mr. Smith of my own free will and accord of my own free will and the court in presence of Almighty God and the presence of Almighty God and this right worshiper Lodge in this right worshipful lodge erected to him erected to town and dedicated to the holy saints yon and dedicated to the holy Saints John do hereby and here on nearby and here on solemnly and sincerely solemnly and sincerely promise and swear promise and swear I will always hell I will always hail forever concealed forever concealed and never reveal and never reveal any of the secret arts any of the secret arts parts or points hearts or points of the Master Mason Lodge of the Master Mason Lodge which have been and which has been may now may now or shall hereafter or shall hereafter we communicated to me they communicated to me and charged as such in charge this such to any person in the world to any person in the world except it be accepted they to a true and lawful true and lawful brother Master Mason brother master Mason we're in a legally constituted or an illegally constituted Master Mason Lodge Master Mason Lodge and not unto him and not unto Him nor them therein nor then barren until after due trial until after due trial strict examination strict examination there are lots of information or lawful information I may have found them I may have found them legally entitled legally entitled to receive the same to receive the same I furthermore promise and swear I furthermore promise and swear I will stand too and abide by I will stand too and abide by the rules and regulations of the Master Mason Lodge the rules and the regulations of the Master Mason Lodge of which I may be a member of which I may be a member as also the Constitution and also as the Constitution resolutions reservations rules ethics rules and edicts of the Grand Lodge of the Grand Lodge to which I may be in which I may be beholden beholding if within the length of my cable tow within the left of my cable tool that means my brother if I'm able to do so all right furthermore promise and swear I furthermore promise and swear I will aid and assist I will aid and assist all poor distressed brother Master Masons all poor and distressed poor Master Masons their widows and orphans their widows and orphans were so ever dispersed or so ever dispersed I knowing them to be such I know and them to be such I further promise and swear I further promise and swear I will answer in a vague I will answer and obey I'll do signs and summons at all do signs and summonses sent me from a regular Master Mason Lodge sent there from the regular Master Mason Mason Lodge or handed me or handed me by a brother Master Mason by a brother and Master Mason I furthermore promise and swear I furthermore promise and swear I will keep the secrets of a brother master Mason I will keep the secrets of the brother master Mason when communicated to when communicated to and received by me and received by me and charged as such and charged as such murder and treason murder and treason alone accepted alone accepted and these left to my election and these left to my exception election election I furthermore promises swear I furthermore policin swear I will not cheat I will not cheat do fraud defraud my brother master Mason a brother master Mason speak evil of his good name speak evil of his good name or that of his family or that of his family or allow the same to be done by others or allow the same to be done to others if in my power to prevent in my power to prevent I thought the more promise and swear I furthermore promise and swear I will not violate the chastity I will not violate the chastity of a brother master Mason's wife brother master Mason's wife mother mother sister or daughter sister or daughter nor suffer the same to be done or suffer the same or be done by others by others you've been my power to prevent it's in my power to prevent I furthermore promise and swear I furthermore promise and swear I will not be at the making I will not be at the making of elimination at a woman erasing an old man in his dotage old man any Sturridge a young man under age a young man under age a food eyeful a madmen madman where suffer the same to be done by others or suffer the same to be done by others within my power to prevent it in my power to prevent I furthermore promises where I furthermore promise and swear I will not sit I will not sit in a clandestine a clandestine Lodge of Masons Lodge of Mason's nor hold converse or nor hold converse upon the secrets of nation room upon the secrets of masonry with a clandestinely made Mason with a clandestine see Mason once suspended or expelled you know what that's expended or expelled from a regular Lodge from a regular life i knowing him to be such i know it him to be such a furthermore promise and swear i furthermore promise and swear i will not communicate i will not communicate the Grand Masonic word the Grand Masonic word except in the way and manner accepting their way or manner in which I received it in which I received it and then only in a low breath and then only in a low breath – all of which – all of which I solemnly and sincerely I solemnly and sincerely promise and swear promise and swear to keep and perform the same to keep and perform the same without any equivocation without any equivocation equivocation mental reservation mental reservation or secret evasion of mine or secret evasion or mine in me whatever in me whatever binding myself under the no less penalty finding myself under the no less penalty than that of heavy than that of having my body severed in Twain my body severed in Twain my bowels taken thence my bowels taken twins and with my body burned to ashes and with my body burned to ashes and those ashes scattered and those actually scattered to the four winds the four winds of heaven so that there might remain so that there might remain name name tres tres nor remembrance nor remembrance no more forever no more forever I'm so violent wretch – Valerie wretch as I would be as I would be should I ever willingly should I ever willingly or knowingly or knowingly violate this violate this my most solemn obligation by my solemn obligation as a Master Mason as a Master Mason so help me God so help me God and keep me steadfast and keep me steadfast in the do performance in the do performance of the same of the same mr. Smith has an evidence that you took this over freely and of your own dwelling accord please kiss the body they look they pulled with three times it is the Holy Bible what you have seen here is the obligation of a candidate in the third degree of Freemasonry the exact obligation given in every Lodge in the United States of America