Masonic Code of the Reunited and Rectified Lodges (1778)
MASONIC CODE OF THE REUNITED & RECTIFIED LODGES OF FRANCE
As approved by the Deputies
of the Directorates of France
at the National Convent
of Lyon in 5778
No Order, no Society can exist without laws. The execution of these laws ensures the prosperity of Society; their oversight or infraction leads to decadence and ruin.
The wisdom of those who direct the Masonic Order, as respectable because of its age as its utility, has made it triumph over time and its adversaries, despite the attacks that some of its members have brought upon it, either through their personal vices, or by the multiple abuses they had tried to introduce into it.
If it has lost some of its former splendor in a few lands in Europe it is to these corrupt members that this must be attributed, the common people having unfairly changed their opinion of the entire Body due to what shocked them in the behavior of a few, who, despite the fine name by which they presented themselves, were however complete foreigners to the Masonic Order. But the same virtues which have been preserved can still return it to all its glory, and similarly it has never ceased to be enjoyed in those places where the practice of these virtues has been the foundation of all its work.
However, we cannot conceal the fact that those kinds of Masons who claim to have acquired this title through the Ceremony of their Reception, however irregular that may have been, proliferated dramatically in certain lands, where they found few or no regular establishments. Ignoring the true laws of the Order they created arbitrary ones which favored their ambition and greed; they brought to these new and numerous societies a taste for independence and for the noisy pleasures that the Order has always condemned; and to sustain the kind of respect which was necessary to their self-seeking designs, and in order to amaze people with a secretive exterior of false knowledge, they overloaded their Ceremonies with new productions which were ever more fanciful and more absurd than the last, and of which the greatest number of Masons have long been the dupes.
But while the errors multiplied as well as the proselytes, true Masons, more circumspect in their course and more laborious in their choice were making slow but sure progress. Less intent on captivating the multitude than to acquire worthy Brothers, they waited and moaned that its prestige had been given over, and recognizing the error into which it had been led, they showed a sincere desire to enter the true designs of the Order and to scrupulously follow its laws, by stripping away any personal interest and any desire for domination. But, scorning on principle the great powers which controlled their will, they could not wait for this important revolution which through time and disposition frees the mind.
However, a few Masons, more zealous than enlightened, but too sensible to nourish themselves on illusions for long, and tired of anarchy whose vice they felt, made an effort to avoid an equally demeaning yoke. In certain regions entire Lodges, sensing the need for a common central depository of legislative authority met and collaborated in the formation of various Grand Orients.
For their part this was already a great step towards the light, but in the absence of an understanding of the true central point and the deposit of primitive Laws, they supplemented the basic Regime with arbitrary individual or national Regimes, and with Laws they had been able to adapt to them. They did have the good sense to put a brake to the destructive license which dominated throughout, but by not coming back to the general chain, they broke the unity by varying the systems.
Masons in various regions of France, convinced that the prosperity and stability of the Masonic Order depended completely on the restoration of this primitive unity, finding nothing among those who had wanted to appropriate it but the signs which should characterize it, and emboldened in their research by what they learned about the antiquity of the Order of Freemasons based on the most enduring tradition, finally succeeded in discovering its cradle. With zeal and perseverance they overcame all obstacles, and participating in the benefits of a wise and enlightened administration, they had the good fortune to rediscover the precious traces of antiquity and the purpose of Masonry.
Another common and dangerous mistake arising in these times of turmoil and lawlessness which we deplore, and since practised through custom, consisted of regarding the funds of a Lodge, built up from the Receptions, as belonging to them without accountability to their Superiors.
From this arose the multitude of Lodges formed without legal Constitutions to promote the greed of a few so-called Masters and those with whom they wished to share the product of their trafficking. Out of this, too, came those huge expenditures paid out for overly lavish banquets, and for frivolous and magnificent decorations, which not being monitored, absorbed all the funds whose purpose was much more precious, and acted like so many petty thieves in light of the beneficence which should characterize the Order, and render it respectable in the eyes of the general public.
However, reflecting without self-interest but through principles of enlightened reason, it was easy to recognize that Lodges are but distinct companies, subordinate to general Society which gives them existence and the credentials necessary to represent her in this realm of authority that she entrusts to them; that this partial authority emanates from that which lies essentially in the common and general center of the Order, represented in those Bodies appointed to the general and particular administration of the different districts and to the maintenance and execution of its laws; that none of them can exist regularly except by the express consent of the rightful leaders of the Order, evidenced by the Patent of Constitution they give into their charge to comply with the Laws, Statutes and Regulations of the Order, without which all the activities of the Lodge would be invalid and clandestine, and the fees that it would require would be a true misappropriation of funds; that, under this Constitution, the Lodge truly acquires the ability and the power to receive Candidates legitimately on behalf of Order into the four Masonic Grades, and to collect the fees prescribed, but that the product of those fees properly belongs to the Order in general, given that the Lodges only act, and may only act, by virtue of the powers that they have received to do so.
It follows that the Order, faced with providing for the well-being of all of its establishments must yield to the Lodges on this subject everything necessary for their maintenance, and a surplus, which can put them in a state, through wise economics, to fulfill in a satisfactory and sound manner the beneficent views of the Institution; but it can and must reserve a portion in order to execute similar projects for the Order in general, and to meet the considerable costs of an Administration which is as extensive as it is important.
This wiser and truer way of seeing, by preventing depredation and wasteful and intemperate spending, would produce the most salutary effects in France, and would also make the Masonic Order as respectable in the eyes of the general public as it had previously been debased through abuse.
To convince them, one only needs to glance towards the countries of Northern Europe, where the spirit of the Institution is better preserved. One may see with as much pleasure as surprise the immense aid that the Directorates have provided in all calamitous circumstances, and the patriotic institutions that they have established for the relief of humanity. Therefore, why do French Masons, who are as compassionate and generous as any other people of Europe, not hasten to emulate such great examples, by uniting in such a useful and satisfying Regime, especially when they will have the certainty that the depositing of funds and their employment will be strictly monitored and administered with wisdom? This is how they will be instructed by the precision of the general and particular government of the Order.
Of the General Government of the Order of Freemasons, in accordance with the fundamental laws observed in the Reformed & Rectified Regime The General Government of the Order of Freemasons, according to the fundamental laws, observed in the Reformed and Rectified Regime.
The entire Order of Rectified Freemasonry is governed by a General Grand Master, by the National and Provincial Grand Masters and Provincial Administrators, and by Scottish Directorates and the Scottish Regencies (Grand Lodges), who have under their inspection either the entire Order as a whole, or a Nation, or of a Province or a District, or a particular Region. Each Scottish Regency is composed of a Chief or President, the Officers necessary to the running of his Region, and Deputy Masters, who are included in this, and who are responsible for inspecting each of the Lodges in his particular District, and to report to the Scottish Regency. (Each Scottish Regency is comprised of its President, Representatives of the Scottish Grand Lodges, and the Officers necessary for the administration of his District).
The Provincial Grand Directorates are composed of a General Administrator, a Visitor, a Chancellor, and Representatives of the Lodges and Scottish Regency. (The National Grand Directorate is ultimately presided over by the National Grand Master, as principal Chief of the Nation, the Provincial Administrators, the Presidents of the Directorates, and the Counselors and Officers needed for its governance and administration). By means of the Order thus established, the Lodges and inferior establishments are regularly represented in the Superior Body, and work together on all the actions which come from it.
The legislative authority resides in the entire Order assembled regularly in Convent General. The National and Provincial Convents may fix the specific legislation for a Nation or Province, so long as it is not contrary to the General Laws of the Order. Litigious Masonic cases are tried in the first instance by the Scottish Committee (Superior Committee) of each Lodge, chaired by the Worshipful Master. From there they may be brought by appeal to the Scottish Grand Lodge; from there to the Scottish Directorate, and finally as a last resort to the National Grand Directorate, but without suspensive effect. Financial matters concerning the Lodge are discussed in the Scottish Committee, and then communicated to the full Lodge, and the accounts are stamped by the Deputy Master and sent to the Scottish Grand Lodge, to be examined there.
Lodge funds cannot be disposed of without the consent of its members. The same thing is the case for the funds of superior establishments. It is according to these principles that the General Regulations for the use of the Reunited Lodges are drafted; Regulations which are all the more to the liking of all, because all obligations in any Class or establishment of the Order admit and authorize by right the reservations that are due to the Sovereign, to the government, to the religion that one may profess, and to the particular duties of the civic status that one has embraced. Any Brother received in a Rectified Lodge, or affiliated to its works, is required to sign this Masonic Code, and to promise to conform to them and to contribute the maintenance of its execution.
It is possible, however, for each Lodge to make specific Regulations which are required for its region, provided that they are not contrary to these General Rules and Regulations and are approved by the Scottish Grand Lodge, or by the Scottish Directorate to which they report.
They will be added to the original Rules, and signed by all the Brethren of the Lodge. One will find placed at the head of these General Regulations the qualities that are required of a Freemason, as a member of a Reunited Lodge; the moral duties imposed upon him; the care that Rectified Lodges take for his supervision and for the well-being of their members; and the spirit of fraternity and the intimate connection between the Brethren which characterize the Reunited and Rectified Lodges.
The Qualities & Duties of a True Freemason
The first obligation of the Freemason in entering the Order is faithfully to observe his duties toward God, his King, his homeland, his Brothers and himself.
He may not take it until all are assured of the respect he brings to Divinity, and the importance he attaches to the duties of the honest man. The Ceremony of his Reception, and everything he sees and hears, proves to him that all the Brothers are imbued with a love of good. All are committed by the most holy vows to love and practice virtue, to dedicate themselves to charity and beneficence, and to respect the bonds which unite them to the Order and to their Brothers. The time has passed when, ignoring the spirit of the true Freemason, the only judge of a Candidate’s merit was by an increase in funds; when the Obligation of a Mason was only a word game, and the Ceremonies of Reception but a puerile and often indecent entertainment. Those were times when one would blush in public over what had been approved in Lodge, or feared to meet a man in civic society who one would have to embrace as a Brother. These unfortunate times, the shame of Masonry, have passed, and we will draw a veil over that abuse to which wise reform has brought a solution. Faithful to the primitives Laws of the Order, Freemasonry of the Reformed and Rectified Regime requires in the Candidate a sincere desire to become better, and to belong to an Order which only shows itself externally through its good deeds, and which counts among its members the most respectable people in civic society. Precise search will have been made about his character, principles and morals; and one will have carefully inquired if his heart is open to the cries of the unfortunate, and if he loves and values the sweetness of friendship.
Let him not proscribe all financial perception, since one may note that by renouncing all matters of economics and finance, he would deprive himself of the principal resource for doing good. It is sufficient for one to be certain that the money one gives is administered with wisdom and employed usefully. It is worthy of recognition regarding a well- born man, that he uses the means that his status has given him to perform acts of beneficence.
Thus the Reunited and Rectified Lodges justifiably observe morality as an important matter and worthy of all of their attention. Above all it is with regard to young Masons that this attention is apparent. Once a man has been found worthy to be associated with Masonic works, he is sure to find in his Brothers both wise and prudent guides: all eyes are upon his conduct. He is gently brought back when he falls into any error; he is guided when he has the misfortune to stray; he is supported in his difficult affairs; both outside the Lodge and in his avocations he receives the respect owed to his merit, irrespective of what the barriers that fortune or separation of status have placed between them might be.
If secret fraternal exhortations are not enough to guide a young Mason who has strayed, one has recourse to more effective means: he is suspended from a number of Reunions, or totally excluded; because indulgence would be inappropriate and even criminal, when it might jeopardize the reputation of an Order which has the greatest interest in keeping it intact. In such cases, a judgment of exclusion or long suspension must be notified to all Reunited and Rectified Lodges, not only so that they may comply with it, but also to support the faltering virtue of the weak through this rigorous and striking act.
But we should only punish him in order to correct. Therefore, if such a Brother were to come to himself and change his conduct, the Lodge would rush to rehabilitate him with the same fanfare it had given to his misconduct. It is by watching over Masonic discipline religiously, and by practicing scrupulously the virtues that the Order teaches, that one will succeed in completely uprooting the prejudices of the common people against our Institution, and reassure all men on the manner and object of our works.
The enlightened father, the tender mother will yearn for the moment they previously feared, when the doors of our Temple open to their children. They will become accustomed to seeing our Lodges as schools of beneficence, and they will come to look upon the Reception of a man as proof of his merit. Travelers, separated from their friends, have more need than others of the attention and paternal care of Lodges. One should therefore not content oneself with just providing Certificates; one should especially commend them to the friendship and beneficence of the Lodges and the Brethren which compose them, and ask them to stand in for the Brothers that the travelers have just left, to aid them with their counsel and their funds, and to help them with their needs, assuring them of the most perfect reciprocity.
These beneficent acts, imposed as strict and indispensable duties, become for real Freemasons the necessary sentiments for their happiness; irrespective of public esteem, the practice of virtue procures true and lasting pleasure to those who fulfill it faithfully. It is by loving that one becomes loved, and it is only when one inspires this feeling that the example of virtue that one presents produces a salutary and enduring result.
MASONIC CODE OF REUNITED & RECTIFIED LODGES OF FRANCE
As approved by the Deputies of the Directorates of France
at the National Convent of Lyons in 5778 (1778)
FIRST CHAPTER The National Grand Directorate
The National Grand Directorate is chaired by the National Grand Master and composed of three Directors of the Provinces, the seven Presidents of the Directorates and eight National Officers.
The latter each have their own Region. The Grand Directorate, thus composed, forms the ultimate tribunal for all Masonic causes concerning the Reunited Lodges in the Nation.
The National Grand Chancellor is responsible for the general correspondence of the entire Nation, and signs all the mailings made by the National Chancellery. It is to him that all causes and complaints, which should be brought before the Supreme Tribunal, should be addressed.
Every year the Reunited Lodges also send him the Notice of their Installation, and the Registers which contain the names, ages, civic and Masonic status of all their Members, both Ordinary, Free Associate and Honorary, Brother Amateurs and Servants or Guards of the Lodge.
CHAPTER II Scottish Directorates
The Scottish Directorates have the exclusive right to establish all of the Lodges of its District. Their Officers are irremovable and cannot be changed, like those of the Scottish Grand Lodges, except by their voluntary resignation, or well-proven malfeasance.
The Patent of Constitution is sent at the request of the Scottish Grand Lodge of the Region, if one has already been established, bearing the name of the National Grand Master and the District Administrator, by the Scottish Directorate, stamped by the President of the Scottish Grand Lodge.
There are still Scottish Directorates which give the Lodges the Instructions, Grades, Laws and Regulations of the Order, as well as the emblems, symbols and devices for the Lodges and Chambers of Preparation. The principal Dignitaries and Officers of the Scottish Directorates, through which the Lodges may have relations with them, are, apart from the President:
The District Visitor, who, in addition to the visits he is obliged to make to the Scottish Grand Lodges, may also visit the Lodges of his District, and to take account of their work and their administration, as well as the status of their funds, and make his report to the Directorate.
The Chancellor, who is the chief of correspondence for the District, and who especially watches over the reuniting or founding of a new Lodge. He chairs the Chancellery executive, and as such signs all mailings, acts, letters, and patents.
CHAPTER III Scottish Grand Lodges
The Scottish Grand Lodges are established in each District for the immediate government of the Reunited Lodges who are answerable to them.
They must watch over the implementation of the prescribed Laws and Regulations, and the maintenance of good order and discipline. It is to them that the Reunited Lodges will address themselves for all requests to be founded; and they are also the first instance of appeal for all contentious or other matters which relate to the Lodges of their Region.
The Patent of Constitution is sent on request being made to the Scottish Grand Lodges; and they can also be charged by the Scottish Directorate to which they report to communicate to Lodges the Instructions, Grades, Laws and Regulations established by the Order, as well as the emblems, symbols and devices for the Lodges and Chambers of Preparation.
It is the Particular Visitor of the Scottish Grand Lodge who performs the Consecration Ceremony for the new Lodges in his Region, which action he records in the records of the Lodge, and a collated copy is sent to the Scottish Grand Lodge, the Scottish Directorate and the National Grand Directorate. He is also responsible for visiting or having visited the Lodges of District from time to time, inspecting their work, checking the records and accounts, and making his report to the Scottish Grand Lodge.
Extraordinary visits especially ordered by the Scottish Grand Lodge to obtain more information about any serious and important facts, or when requested by a Lodge in the Region, will be made at the expense of the Lodge or Lodges which required them.
The Chancellor is the chief of correspondence; he presides over the Chancellery and has a special responsibility for all that concerns its activities. In this capacity he signs all letters, dispatches, acts, letters patent, etc., which emanate from the Scottish Grand Lodge.
All Lodges have the power to confer the three Symbolic Grades upon all those who are judged worthy.
The fourth, which had been exclusively reserved to the Scottish Grand Lodge, was ceded by them to the Lodges in the last National Assembly; but they are required to seek the consent of the Scottish Grand Lodge for each Reception by means of the Deputy Master, sending it the name, age and civil status of the Candidate, his place of birth and his residence.
CHAPTER IV Reunited & Rectified Lodges
Under the title of Reunited Lodges are included all those Lodges which are founded or rectified by a Patent of Constitution, issued by the Directorate of the District to which they belong by virtue of the engagement which they have made with the Directorate, faithfully and invariably to observe the General Regulations approved and to be approved; and to comply with all the Laws, Statutes, and Usages of Rectified Masonry, which have been indicated to them.
By founded Lodges are meant those a Directorate has newly established, which previously had no legal existence.
By rectified Lodges is meant those which, constituted by some Grand Orient, and furnished with a regular Patent, wish to join the Rectified Lodges under the Directorates, and commit to follow exclusively the Regime they prescribe, and to participate in all these benefits. Lodges reunited by Constitution of a Directorate are authorized, by the spirit of fraternity which should animate all Masons, to maintain relations with non-Reunited Lodges, but constituted by some Grand Orient.
They may also visit them, and be admitted into the work of the three basic Grades of Freemasonry, being Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master, conforming reciprocally with the usages of the Lodge visited. But they can take no direct part in the Regime about non-Reunited Lodges, nor communicate anything in writing to them of what takes place in the Regime of Reunited Lodges.
They may not have any direct correspondence with a Grand Orient without the express permission, and in writing, of the Directorate to which they belong.
The Provincial Directorates of France, wishing the Reunited Lodges in their District to participate in the benefits which have been accorded to them by a Treaty of Union made between them and the Grand Orient of France, have pledged to ask, for each Lodge they found or rectify, Letters of Advancement from the Grand Orient of France, that the latter cannot refuse.
Accordingly it was agreed in the Treaty that each Lodge which did not already have Letters of Constitution from the Grand Orient of France, would pay once and for all for its Letters of Advancement the sum of 36 pounds.
To this effect, as soon as a Lodge has been reunited under one of the Directorates of France, it will create a certified Register of its Officers and Members, and a copy of its Warrant to the Directorate to be stamped and sent to the Grand Orient with a request for Letters of Advancement.
Lodges already established by the Grand Orient of France before their reuniting do not have need for Letters of Advancement, their former Patent from the Grand Orient taking their place.
Each Reunited Lodge is governed and regulated by the Worshipful Master or the ex-Master and his two Wardens. It also has an Orator; a Secretary, who is also the keeper of the Seals and Archives; a Treasurer; an Almoner; a Master of Ceremonies; and a Steward of the Lodge If there are several Reunited Lodges in the same city, which come together for the celebration of a Festival or for some other important business, the General Lodge will then be chaired by the Deputy Master, who represents in his place of residence the whole Scottish Regency of the Region.
The Brothers sit alternating with those of the other Lodges, each according to his Grade, commencing with the oldest Rectified Lodge.
In the extraordinary case where a Lodge would need to dissolve, or to change Regime, the Patent of Constitution, records and books of accounts, furniture and Masonic jewelry shall be handed over to the Deputy Master, or his Representative, for the disposition of the Scottish Regency of the Region.
The remainder of the funds will be paid into the Regional Funds; and if a few Brothers of said Lodge wish to come together to form a new one under the inspection of the Directorates, they would be required to request a new Letter of Constitution.
All members of a Reunited Lodge are therefore desirous to maintain the Rectified Regime, and to support its existence by maintaining the most perfect harmony among them.
CHAPTER V The Deputy Master
The Deputy Master is an irremovable Dignitary of the Order, appointed by the Scottish Regency, from which he receives his authority and his instructions. He represents the Scottish Regency of the Region.
He is the Perpetual and Particular Inspector of the Lodge, or the Lodges established in the city or District of which he is a member, and in this capacity he has right of entry to all the Lodges in his District, both in person and by means of his Representative.
He is also the noble Representative of all the Lodges of his District to the Scottish Regency, to which he will give account of his management. If he normally resides in the place of the seat of the Scottish Regency of the Region, he proposes to the latter a Brother to represent him in the city and District where he is Deputy Master. But if he resides in the latter place, he is represented in the Scottish Regency by a Brother, also approved by them.
In his capacity as Deputy Master, he has no right to preside over the first three Grades in any Lodge. But, in the event of a Reception to the Grade of Scottish Master, or of a General Reunion of several Lodges of his District, it is his duty to preside. Outside of these cases, in all Masonic Reunions he attends, he is accorded the place of honor at the right of the Worshipful Master, which he yields to a Superior if one is present.
He is the first counselor of the Lodges of his District, as well as the Worshipful Masters who govern them; and in this capacity, he has right of entry and suffrage at all the Committees of the Lodge.
He must be summoned to the elections of the Worshipful Master and the principal Officers of each Lodge in his District, which he chairs when he is present. He has the right to suspend this election if it was not in accordance with the General Regulations of the Order, whose execution he is specifically responsible for ensuring.
CHAPTER VI The Executive Committee of the Lodge
Experience has shown that a large number of debaters is more harmful than beneficial to deliberations which require a thoughtful review; that the diversity of opinions which arise from the different levels of knowledge which Masons acquire in the Grades increases the number of obstacles, tends to excite discontent among individuals, and often becomes a source of schisms and divisions.
One therefore cannot take too many precautions to prevent such disadvantages, through Laws which assure a quiet and thoughtful review of all proposals which are important to the Lodge; and permit each of its members who have voting rights, the right to vote in their Class, when the time comes to decide definitively on the proposals which may affect them. For this purpose, each Reunited Lodge will form a Committee, composed exclusively of all the Scottish Masters of the Lodge, presided over by the Worshipful Master.
The illumination that they have acquired through their Grades, and the proofs to which they have submitted to achieve this, should ensure that they have the confidence of the Lodge regarding the general administration of its affairs.
The Committee will maintain its own records of these meetings, in which it will only make notes when properly opened. The Officers of the Lodge will fulfill their normal functions, if they are of a Grade to be able to be admitted; and if not these will be appointed from within the Committee itself.
It will manage the correspondence of the Lodge, and will report on the communication which is given by the Brother Secretary to the Lodge. The Committee will receive and review all proposals concerning the Lodge and in particular those relating to internal policing, and the administration of the finances and regulation of the accounts.
Everything that is examined in Committee by the Scottish Masters is definitively ruled on; but the affairs of the Lodge in general are only decided provisionally, and the Lodge will always have the right to confirm or to change the decision of the Committee, when it is communicated to it. The Masters, Ordinary or Free Associate Members of the Lodge, are the sole deliberative voters, Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts having only an advisory voice if the Worshipful Master judges is appropriate to ask them their opinion.
At some time before the meeting convened for the annual or triennial appointment of Officers, the Scottish Committee, in the presence of the Deputy Master or his Representative, and by means of a ballot, will create a list of eligible Brothers and submit it to the Lodge, naming three members for the office of Worshipful Master. The choice of these Officers from among the eligible Brothers, is decided in open Lodge by the Masters and Scottish Masters by a majority of votes.
CHAPTER VII Accusations et Punishments, and the Committee of Conciliation
Reunited Lodges, being directed by the primitive Laws of an Order of peace and charity, must distinguish themselves by observing the greatest decency in their Reunions.
Therefore any accusation which is frivolous, equivocal or indecent, as well as all unguarded comments, maliciousness and biting pleasantries are proscribed; and the offenders to this law will be severely punished according to the gravity of the case.
Speaking in Lodge about religion and political matters is also strictly prohibited. If a Brother commits a fault which scandalizes someone, the Brother who was affected may, with permission, publicly acknowledge the offender; but if such an accusation could lead to fear of a still greater scandal, or is likely to wound some Brother personally, the accuser is required to confide this in secret to the Worshipful Master, who will then act with prudence.
If a serious fault is committed in Lodge, which requires thoughtful reflection, it will be discussed there, and the accused having been heard, he will be condemned, if he is guilty, to a punishment proportionate to the offense, which he can appeal to the Scottish Committee, unless the cause had been discussed in front of him in the first instance.
Submission to the Laws of the Order and obedience to his chiefs being especially recommended to Masons, each Brother must submit without hesitation to the punishment to which he was sentenced. It will be increased if he refuses to do so, or whether he accepts it with an air of levity. He may even be asked to withdraw, in order to judge him the more severely, and to prevent the continuation of a bad example of insubordination.
Minor offenses are punished by fines paid into the alms trunk; serious offenses are punished by suspension of the right to attend a certain number of Reunions, and even by a temporary or permanent total exclusion which will be communicated to all the Reunited Lodges in the entire Order.
All disputes that arise between Brothers, be they Masonic or civic, must be brought before the Committee of Conciliation before proceeding to the tribunal who will judge them. This Committee will consist of the Deputy Master or his Representative, the Worshipful Master and the Almoner. If their initial attempt is unsuccessful, the Brothers will each appoint an arbiter, who will appoint a referee of their choice. It is only after this Committee has been unable to succeed in its desire to restore peace and harmony among the Brethren, that its course is left open to the regular courts.
Disputes are brought by appeal from the Executive Committee to the Scottish Regency, however without suspensive effect; from there the appeal is brought to the Provincial Directorate. Disputes between Lodges are tried by the tribunal which is superior to them.
CHAPTER VIII The Worshipful Master
The Worshipful Master is the head and the representative of the Lodge, which he convenes and over whose Reunions he presides. He governs it for three years in conjunction with his Officers, who are elected every year.
This charge, being one of the most important in the Masonic Order, should be entrusted only to a Brother of recognized merit, well-proven zeal, and who brings to a constant and illuminated mind all the gentleness of character necessary for such essential functions.
On the foundation or rectification of a Lodge, three people will be presented from among its members to the Scottish Regency, who will select and appoint them to the stations of Worshipful Master and the two Wardens. Then they are installed by the Visitor from the Scottish Regency, or by the Deputy Master of the location.
In an established Rectified Lodge, the Worshipful Master is chosen every three years from among three Scottish Masters, put forward by the Executive Committee. This election will take place in the month preceding Saint John the Baptist, by a ballot of the majority of votes, in the presence of the Deputy Master or his Representative, and immediately communicated to the Scottish Regency of the Region.
The Installation of the new Worshipful Master will be performed by the Deputy Master. The predecessor will of right become the junior Ex-Master. The Worshipful Master is specifically responsible for enforcing the observance of the Laws of the Order, and to the implementation of the Regulations.
He must govern his Lodge with gentleness, prudence and firmness, maintain subordination, ensure respect for the Order and its chiefs, and above all ensure frugality and decency in the banquets, remembering that he is accountable to the Order for the misdemeanors or abuses he tolerates.
He should likewise ensure the accuracy of the financial collections, and for the rendering of accounts every three months. In deliberations the Worshipful Master can vote first or last as he chooses. In the case of equally split votes, he postpones the deliberation until the next Reunion, if the situation is of a nature which may be postponed. If the votes then are still equally split, the Worshipful Master enjoys the casting vote.
CHAPTER IX The Wardens and other Officers of the Lodge
The Wardens as well as the other Officers of the Lodge are elected by a majority of votes from among those that the Executive Committee presents as eligible. These elections are held each year in the month preceding Saint John the Baptist.
All Officers of the Lodge, with the exception of the Brother Almoner, should in preference be chosen from among the Brethren who are Scottish Masters, as being more suitable to assist the Worshipful Master in his functions.
After the Worshipful Master and the Past Master, the Wardens are the key Officers of the Lodge. They must help in all matters of its management, and ensure that all the other Officers fulfill their duties with zeal and exactitude.
In the absence of the Worshipful Master and of the Ex-Master, if there is one, they preside over the Lodge.
The Orator has the floor on all solemn occasions in the name of the Lodge; at the request of the Worshipful Master he must instruct the Brothers on their duties and about the subjects concerning the Order according to their aptitude. In Lodges of Reception, the Explanations and Instructions of the Grades may take the place of an oration. Prudence requires that all the speeches from the Orator should be previously communicated to the Worshipful Master, before being given in Lodge.
The Secretary is specifically responsible for the correspondence of the Lodge. By command of the Lodge he signs and mails letters, Registers and Certificates. He is responsible for the Agenda of the Lodge at Receptions, Advancements, Deliberations and Elections. All determinations are signed by the Worshipful Master, the two Wardens and the Secretary. Only the minutes and the draft Agenda will be read at the Reunion, which will be signed and initialed by he who presided over the Lodge. The Secretary will make a fair copy of them after the Reunion and will read them at the following Reunion, to be signed by the Worshipful Master, the two Wardens and the Secretary. Receptions, Advancements and Affiliations will be also signed by the Brothers who were Received, Advanced or Affiliated. In the margins of the Registers and Agendas shall be written the names of the Visitors and all the Brothers present.
The Secretary shall convene the Lodge on the agreed days and hours, indicating on the Notices the purpose of the work, remembering to summon only Brothers who have the right to vote to Business Meetings. He must be cautious to not send letters of invitation to any visitor if he does not have the consent of the Worshipful Master, or he who has been tasked with this duty. When there is a banquet, the day before he will send the Brother Almoner the list of Brothers who have promised to attend. The Secretary is also the Custodian of the Archives, for which he must take a special Obligation. As he may regularly find himself carrying Lodge papers with him, they should be held in a folder or box closed by a key, bearing the address of the Worshipful Master or the Deputy Master; and in case of accident or illness, the Almoner is specifically responsible for taking the necessary steps to retrieve it.
The Treasurer of the Lodge is responsible for collecting the annual dues from the Brothers, and all that is due for Receptions or Affiliations, or any other title whatever. On the Order of the Worshipful Master he will pay out ordinary expenses, and will provide the bills and receipts for these, which he will present every three months to the Executive Committee, along with the accounts of income and expenditure, to be approved and stamped by the Deputy Master, the Worshipful Master and the two Wardens, and later communicated to the whole Lodge. He is required to render an account three months later to the Treasurer of the Scottish Regency, and pay him a quarter of the Reception fees for the first three Grades, three-quarters of the Fourth and the capitation of the Order.
For this he will maintain a separate book of receipts for everything which is owed to the Scottish Regency. In addition to his books of specific accounts, he will have a book containing the General Account, in which the revenues and expenses of the Lodge are summarized, and which are produced and signed in open Lodge. The Almoner is responsible for receiving the voluntary offerings of new members, presenting the alms trunk to all the Brothers at every Reunion, as well as for extraordinary collections, and receiving from the Brother Steward everything he was able to hold back from each banquet.
The product of all these activities is reserved exclusively for alms, and the status of this fund will be presented every three months in Lodge, to be stamped and accounted for. The trunk will have two keys, both of which need to be present to open it. One will be in the hands of the Worshipful Master, and the other will remain with the Almoner, who may not withdraw anything without the consent of the Worshipful Master, and also the Wardens if the amount is significant. He is moreover the Nurse of the Lodge, and in this capacity it is his duty to know about sick Brothers and to visit them, to provide them with the relief they need, and in general to render them every service that friendship, fraternity and humanity may dictate.
If a particular case requires it, at his request another Brother of the Lodge can be enjoined to help him. The Almoner is also specifically responsible for supervising the conduct of the Brothers, and to furnish information on the life and morality of the Candidates who have been proposed for Reception, and report on this to the Scottish Committee and even to the Lodge if prudence allows.
The Master of Ceremonies must look after the ceremonial part of each Reunion, and to make sure that everything is ready for the ceremony of the day before the time specified for the work. He must examine the Brother Visitors, ask them their Certificates, and the words, signs and grips of the Regime to which they belong. In case of doubt, he must consult the Worshipful Master, either delaying the opening of the Lodge, or asking for orders before admitting them. He must take care to seat all the Brothers according to their Grades or Dignities in the Rectified Regime.
The Steward is in charge of the decorations and furnishings of the Lodge, and responsible for their maintenance and repair; to set up and break down the Lodge appropriately for the Ceremony indicated for each Reunion; to provide a supply of candles, and all other items used by the Lodge which are entrusted to his care.
All payments or advances which he makes, and approved by the Lodge, must be recorded in the accounts in accordance with the rules; and when stamped by the Worshipful Master, he shall be reimbursed by the Brother Treasurer, upon provision of his invoice.
He is responsible for ordering the banquets for the number of Brothers, whose names the Secretary will give him in a list, excepting any changes which may occur, which are left to his prudence. He must also create an account, as is customary, for absent Brothers, in which he lists those who have paid and denounces to the Lodge those who have not met this duty upon his first request. Regarding the banquet, he should observe the frugality prescribed by the Rites of the Order, and never exceed the price which has been fixed.
If a Lodge is large, so that its work is increased significantly, it may elect and appoint deputies to all offices, but they have no rank in the Lodge other than the Grades they possess. The deputy to the First Warden will not take the place of the First Warden if the Second Warden is present. If the Worshipful Master is replaced, in case of absence, by the First Warden if there is no Past Master, the First Warden will be replaced by the Second if he is present, and the deputies may take their seats only after those entitled to them.
CHAPTER X The Masonic Grades
Rectified Masonry recognizes only four Grades; namely: those of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason and Scottish Master. All other Grades, under whatever denomination they are recognized, principally all types of Elect, Knight Ks1 and Grades resembling them are expressly forbidden in all Reunited Lodges under the most severe penalties, as being dangerous and contrary to the purpose and spirit of Freemasonry.
The first three Grades will be conferred by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, in conformity with the Rituals which he will have been provided by the Provincial Directorate.
The Grade of Scottish Master is reserved to the Deputy Master, if he is present. In his absence, or if he wishes, it can be conferred, like the others, by the Worshipful Master. The intervals between the Grades are fixed:
- At five months of regular attendance at the works of the Grade of Entered Apprentice, to that of Fellowcraft;
- At seven months of regular attendance of the latter, to the Grade of Master;
- At a year of attendance in the Grade of Master, to that of Scottish Master.
The intervals between the first three Grades, in certain unusual cases and for important considerations, can be abbreviated by dispensation from the Scottish Committee.
For the fourth, it must apply, as well as for permission to confer it, to the Scottish Regency. Entered Apprentices have an apron of white skin, without lining or border, the flap raised; Fellowcrafts have the same apron, with blue ribbons; Master Masons have the apron lined and bordered with blue, the flap down; Scottish Masters have an apron as will be explained more later on in this Chapter.
No Profane may be received a Freemason if he does not profess the Christian religion; if he has not attained the age of 21, unless he is son of a Mason or provided with an exemption; and if he is not born of free parents. He may only be proposed directly by a member of the Lodge, who will answer for him, as well as pay the cost of his Reception. The Proposer will present his proposal in writing to the Lodge, after having done so to the Worshipful Master in private. After the required information has been received, a ballot is held, which may not in any event be done on the same day as the proposal. If it is unanimously favorable, the day of the Reception is set, the Proposer notifies the Candidate and presents him to the Worshipful Master, who urges him to make himself more and more worthy of the favor that the Lodge accords to him.
A Brother who wishes to advance in Grade begins by informing Worshipful Master, and if it is for the Fourth Grade, he will notify the Deputy Master; he will then propose in Lodge the Grade that he is requesting either himself, or on his part by some other Brother, who will present this with a proposal in writing, the Certificate of Attendance sent by the Secretary from the Minutes of the Lodge, and the receipt of the Brother Treasurer, regarding his payment of what is due the Lodge and the Scottish Regency.
In the first deliberation, if there was no objection to his admission, the day for his examination on the essential objects of the Grades that he has already received is fixed, and it is only after this examination that the final ballot for his admission to the new Grade he has requested may be held.
The members of a Reunited Lodge can receive no Grade other than that to which they belong, unless the Worshipful Master, jointly with the Committee, has granted them permission. If a Brother neglects to seek this permission, he will not be recognized in the new Grade, and depending on the case, he may even be dropped from the Register.
The Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts must be present during the works, and must guard the interior of the Lodge. During deliberations they only have an advisory voice, if the Worshipful Master asks for their opinion.
The Grade of Scottish Master is exclusively assigned to the Rectified Regime. It is for this reason that, when this is conferred, or when there is a Lodge of Instruction in this Grade, no one dare permit a visitor from another Regime to attend, whatever Grade he may have. This can only be given to a Brother who belongs to a Reunited Lodge, under any denomination, who is obliged to pay the annual capitation of the Order. When a Brother has regularly been received Scottish Master, the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, or such other Brother that he will assign to this, may communicate to him without any cost or ceremony all the Grades called ‘Higher’ in the other Regimes which are known to him, so that through this the Brother, to whom they are so communicated, may wear none of the attributes and colors of these Grades in Lodge.
The distinctive marks of Scottish Masters are:
- An apron of white skin, cut into long square across, as well as a flap, which is lined with green taffeta, the flap being edged with the color of fire.
- A green sash, of grosgrain moiré of a width of two-and-a-half inches, with a border of three lines, in the color of fire on the outside edge only, with a small rosette also in the color of fire at the bottom.
- The jewel of the grade in vermeil, which is suspended upon the chest by the sash passing over the neck in the form of a collar, and which is attached to it by a small fire-colored ribbon.
This jewel is a flamboyant star of six points, forming a double triangle with the letter H in the middle, between the square and compasses, on a fire-colored background. This star is surrounded by a circle surmounted by a crown.
The Brothers Servants, or Guards of the Lodge, will only be received into the Grades of Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft. However, in case of need, each Lodge will be able to receive one of the Brothers servants into the Grade of Master, if he is free domiciled and of an appropriate estate, after being long and rigorously tested. This Reception however shall consist only in the Obligation that he will be made to take, and during his admission to a Reception of this Grade. Thereafter this Brother Servant will become the leader of those of his Class.
CHAPTER XI Ballots and the manner of holding them
The ballot is the means by which the Lodge seeks to know the sentiment of its members, in all situation it needs to resolve. It must be held so as to leave to each the greatest freedom of suffrage, without which the common desire of the Lodge can be hindered by individual motives, interests or whims; the accomplishment of the common will being the prime objective of each of the Brothers.
It is therefore the rule that all major proposals are examined, and the various opinions to which they give rise are discussed and sufficiently clarified before holding the ballot, which ought to decide the matter definitively.
There are four different ways to hold the ballots, namely:
- The first and the most usual is with white and black balls. This is particularly used for all proposals for Receptions, Advancement, Affiliation, etc.
- The second is by written tickets, and is commonly used in all elections.
- The third is by a simple verbal affirmative or negative, when the Worshipful Master, after the consideration of a proposal, collects the votes or has them collected by the Wardens, each counting the votes on their column. This is the most convenient in everyday deliberations, when it is about a subject about which no issue would interfere with the public suffrage of the Brothers.
- The fourth, finally, is by acclamation. It should be the most rare, as it is the most vicious, for it leads to a quick vote and may hinder liberty. It should only be proposed in matters of little importance, or when the common desire of the Lodge is made sufficiently manifest during the discussion of the issue.
For elections and business matters it is the majority of votes which decides, and it is for everyone an invariable rule to submit to it; but for the proposals of a Candidate to be received, or for a Mason to advance, there must be a unanimous or at least general consent.
There must be an essentially unanimous vote in all cases of dispensation. In the case of Reception or Advancement where there is opposition in the ballot, the Worshipful Master or the Proposer may request a written ballot, well-founded if it can be done safely.
One or two secret oppositions cannot invalidate the effect of the ballot, but they may necessitate a second and even a third ballot, for which the Worshipful Master sets the time period. If the votes are such, admission is suspended until the reason for the objection given in Lodge, or in particular to the Worshipful Master, have been considered by the majority of the voters.
During the time period set for the new ballot, the opponent or the two opponents are obliged to confide their grounds to the Worshipful Master, or to at least two Scottish Masters of their choice, and if after this the number of opponents has not increased, the Proposed person will be admitted; but if there are but three oppositions, even if not well-founded, the vote will be postponed definitively for a time, or forever, depending upon the situation.
This method offers a way to increase the opposition when the reasons are valid, without becoming compromised, and allows each his freedom, without exposing the disadvantages about which one might complain elsewhere. The ballot will in no case be held the same day of the Proposal, but the ballot meeting may be fixed at that time.
CHAPTER XII The Members of a Lodge
One may belong to a Lodge as a Regular member, as a Free Associate, an Honorary member, and of Brother Servant or Guard of the Lodge.
Ordinary members of a Lodge are those who regularly participate in its works, attend its Reunions assiduously, and pay the entire annual amount agreed upon every three months or once a year. They are eligible for the dignities and offices of the Lodge, and enjoy a determining vote in all deliberations to which they may be summoned.
Free Associates are those, who because of the distance to their home, their civilian occupation, their situation, or for some other reason, cannot assume the strict and permanent duties that the Lodge requires of the Ordinary members. The latter will pay an annual percentage which is fixed and paid only during the months they are present; it is in particular for the Military and for travelers that this class is intended. They enjoy all the rights of Ordinary members, with the exception that they are not eligible for any office or dignity in the Lodge, other than that of Orator, Master of Ceremonies or Steward, unless they can prove that they possess one of the first dignities in the Inner Order, and that they did not enter this first class as soon as they accepted a position.
They have an advisory and deliberative vote in all the meetings of the Lodge, except in those dealing with the use of funds; because then they only have an advisory voice.
Honorary members are those to whom the Lodge wishes to grant this title after ten years of service as an ordinary member, or fifteen years if they have been only Free Associates, or in recognition of striking services rendered to the Lodge in a shorter space of time. They pay no other fees than the capitation of the Order, and only have an advisory voice in deliberations.
Brother Amateurs are chosen from among people with talent, capable of rendering services to the Lodge. They are received gratis, and cannot hold any office or dignity in the Lodge.
Finally, Brother Servants or Guards of the Lodge, whose number cannot be too small, are received gratis up to the Second Grade, which must be the last for them. They may not be elected to any Office, and only have an advisory voice when it concerns the Reception of a Servant or Guard into the Lodge.
All of these members must each be listed in their Class in the General Register, which will be sent every year after the election of Officers to the Scottish Regency and the Directorate of the Provincial District, with the name and qualities of the Deputy Master of the location at the top.
In it are inscribed the names, last names, civic and Masonic qualities, place of birth and residence, and the age of those who are below 25 years old. This Register will be certified by the Worshipful Master and his two Wardens, and stamped by the Deputy Master or his Representative.
Brothers wishing to affiliate with a Reunited Lodge, must have previously visited its Reunions. They will be voted on in the Reunion which follows that of their proposal, and the vote will proceed in the same manner as in the Reception of a Profane. They will pay their affiliation fee, as well as the capitation of the Order and the annual dues, which will be according to the type of membership they select. If the ballot is favorable, the regulations of the Lodge are communicated to the Candidate, which he signs the day of his affiliation.
A Brother member of a Reunited Lodge cannot belong to another without written permission from the one to which he belongs.
All the Brethren of the Lodge without distinction (except for the Servants) will receive in open Lodge, and never otherwise, the communication of the Word of the year, sent by the Regency or the Executive Board to all Lodges of the District; and it is forbidden ever to give it to anyone, unless by reason of a special order. Any Brother who may wish to withdraw from a Lodge will be required to announce it in writing. There is then a wait of three months. If during this entire period he persists in his desire, he will be dropped from the Register, and it is mentioned in the Agenda of the day; and from then he can only return after he has been proposed anew, passed the ballot, and paid the affiliation fee. He will only rank on the Register from the date of his return.
CHAPTER XIII The Lodge Budget
All the assembled members of the Lodge will agree between themselves annual dues sufficient to pay the costs of the Lodge, the servants and other annual expenses.
This will be paid by each of them to the Treasurer of the Lodge either quarterly or annually. They must pay it whether absent or present, as long as they are on the Register of the Lodge as Ordinary members.
Those who neglect to pay, and having been warned a year later have still not made payment, will be dropped from the Register and deprived of all the rights they enjoyed in the Lodge. Free Associate members will contribute to the annual expenses in the proportion that the Lodge will deem appropriate.
Each Reunited Lodge, at the time of its foundation or rectification, will propose to the Scottish Regency of the District an budgetary plan for the remuneration for the four Symbolic Grades, as well as for dues and affiliation fees in the amounts that it considers appropriate to its locale and specific circumstances.
This plan will be approved by the Scottish Regency as a fixed tariff for the Lodge, based on which the Reserves of the Scottish Regency will be collected.
All Masons belonging to the Lodge of whatever title, with the exception of the Brother Amateurs and Brother Servants, will pay the capitation of the Order each year at Saint John of Summer, valued at six pounds, and all those who fail to, or will not pay it, having been warned three times, will be dropped from the Register of the Lodge, unless it is recognized that they are unable to pay. Those Brothers of the Lodge who pay the Ducat of the Order into the account of the Scottish Regency are exempt from the capitation of the Order. The honorary members of a Lodge are exempted from this.
From the sum of the fees for first three Grades and the dues a quarter will be levied, which will be paid every three months into the account of the Scottish Regency. The surplus of funds remains with the Treasurer of the Lodge, to meet the expenses of regalia, candles, etc.
As for the Fourth Grade, the Directorates wish to leave the Lodges a quarter of the fee to pay for the costs of Reception and Regalia. The other three- quarters are paid every three months into the account of the Scottish Regency.
Extracts of the minutes, giving the number of Receptions held in each Grade every three months, will be sent by the Secretary, and signed together with the accounts by the Worshipful Master, and stamped by the Deputy Master of the location. The fees from the Patents and Certificates of the Lodge will be used to pay the costs of the Chancellery and for bonuses for the copyists. The latter will be at the discretion of the Worshipful Master and the Wardens. The Alms Fund entrusted to the Brother Almoner can never be confused in any situation with another fund. It will be provided to:
- Receive offerings made by the Recipients at each Reception or Advancement, and collections which are taken at all the Reunions of the Lodge.
- Receive fines.
- Receive what may have been held back by the Brother Steward from the receipts at each banquet.
The proceeds from this fund may in no instance be employed for the needs of the Lodge, and remains expressly reserved for alms, which will be fixed at that occasion by the Almoner, the Deputy Master and the Worshipful Master, as well as the Wardens, who will later give an account of this to the Lodge.
No poor Mason has a right to these alms, unless he is provided with a Certificate and Letters of Recommendation from a Reunited Lodge, or from a non-Reunited Lodge which is in harmony with it through correspondence and fraternity. Each year the Reunited Lodges are obliged to send to the Scottish Regency or the Provincial Directorate to which they belong, the exact status of their accounts, and an extract from their books of accounts for the receipts and expenditures of the year, all signed by the Worshipful Master, and stamped by the Deputy Master or his Representative.
They are handed over, together with the Register of the Lodge, to the Visitors of the District and the Region, who will bring them to the Directorate or the Scottish Regency. If the Scottish Regency judges it necessary to know the composition of the Lodge and the status of its funds in the intervening period, its request cannot be refused under any circumstances.
CHAPTER XIV Visiting Brethren
Brothers of a regular Regime, who are not members of the Lodge, are recognized as visitors.
Places are assigned to the Brothers according to their Grades and Masonic qualities, without regard to rank and civil status. Brother Visitors of a foreign regime shall not receive any distinction in the Reunited Lodges other than that of being seated at the head of the column of their Grade, after visitors of the Rectified Regime.
They are permitted to wear the sashes and aprons of their Grades, with the exception of anything that has any connection with the so-called Higher Degrees; but regardless of the Grade with which they are endowed, they may only be classed with the Master Masons, and the Scottish Masters.
The Brothers Visitors of the Rectified Regime are seated at the head of the column of their Grade.
Those endowed with Senior Rank and any Grand Dignitaries in the Order receive a place of honor in the Orient, at the side of the Worshipful Master, with whom they enter the Lodge, preceded by the Wardens and the Master of Ceremonies.
Any Brother Visitor must be proposed to the Worshipful Master, or to the one in charge of this function, in order to be invited to the Works by a Masonic Letter of Introduction. He will pay the amount fixed for the banquet, just like any other Brother; and those Brothers of the Lodge who proposed and brought him will be inscribed on the list as having paid for him.
A Brother Visitor shall be permitted in Lodge only after he has been carefully examined by the Master of Ceremonies on the Grades in which he wishes to be recognized; and after presenting his Certificate and having given the Word for that year, if he is from a Regime where one is given. If he wishes the Lodge to stamp his Certificate, it can only do so if it was issued by a Reunited Lodge.
CHAPTER XV Banquets and Festivals
While banquets which are overly lavish, noisy or frequent are contrary to the spirit of Masonry, those where the expense is modest and regulated, and where decency and fraternity reign are appropriate for preserving and strengthening the ties which unite Freemasons.
That is why the Worshipful Master will assemble the Brothers for a banquet as often as circumstances permit. Each Brother will pay the amount fixed for the banquet, whether present or absent, if he was counted. This quota will be invariably fixed for each Lodge according to the premises, to prevent it from overstepping the bounds of frugality prescribed for banquets.
The Festivals to be celebrated in Reunited and Rectified Lodges are the two Saints John of Summer and Winter, and the Festival of the Renewal of the Order on the sixth of November.
At this latter will be a reading of the Code of Masonic Regulations, and the Orator will deliver a solemn speech, in which he may speak of the German and French reform, and the acts of beneficence which Masonry has performed in various countries in Europe.
On this day one should try to bring all Lodges in the same town or in the same locality together in the same premises.
The day of the Festival of Saint John of Winter will be mainly devoted to acts of beneficence, which the rigor of the season and the lack of work make invaluable at this time. The same should be observed at the Festival of Saint John the Baptist, which is especially devoted to the Installation of the new Officers, and to the reading of the Bylaws of the Lodge; and on that day all the Brethren will solemnly renew their commitment to faithfully observe them, before the Worshipful Master. There will be a speech similar to the one given on Saint John of Winter, and the Seven Toasts of the Order will be given at the banquet.
CHAPTER XVI The Inner Management of the Lodge
The Treasurer, as well as the Almoner will have a book for income and expense, and another for the General Account, in which he will enter a summary of all the statements of the various funds, which will be done every three months, and which alone will be communicated to the general Lodge. The Treasurer will also maintain a separate book for the Reserves of the Scottish Regency. It is enjoined upon the Brethren to keep the most profound silence during the Ceremonies of Reception.
None of the Brothers, with the exception of those who hold places of honor, may speak without having asked permission of the Worshipful Master through the Brother Wardens. During deliberations each will state his opinion when he is requested to do so, according to his Grade, by the Worshipful Master, the Wardens or the Master of Ceremonies; and it is forbidden to interrupt the person speaking until he has announced that he has finished.
If after the appointed hour, the Worshipful Master has not arrived at the Reunion, he or one of those appointed to replace him will open the Lodge as soon as the Brethren are seven in number, either for a Reception or a Business Meeting.
To rekindle the zeal of the Brethren to attend Reunions, it is expressly forbidden to instruct an absent Brother about what took place in the Lodge, unless the Worshipful Master has given his express permission.
Any Brother who, without valid reason, has spent the year without attending the Lodge, will be assumed to have given it up, especially if he has not made the customary payments, and accordingly he will be dropped from the Register.
No Profane or Brother will be admitted or promoted to a Grade or an Office and position of responsibility, unless he has a receipt from the Brother Treasurer for the fee of that Grade, and for the capitation of the Order and the annual dues, according to the Class he holds in the Lodge.
A Brother who arrives after the meeting has begun will announce himself at the door of the Lodge by knocking as a Mason; but he will not knock again as soon as he has been warned by a knock on the door that he has been heard, and he will wait in silence until someone comes to open the door to him.
The Worshipful Master, Wardens and Master of Ceremonies are expected to study their ritual books and the phrases therein contained. Nevertheless, they may not neglect to have the book containing the Ritual for the Grade before them at every meeting, so that they may never make any changes to the Ceremony and to the phrases. After every Meeting they will be returned to the Secretary, to whom they are entrusted.
No Brother can have in his possession the Rituals of the Grades, nor the Instructions which accompany them.
The Secretary may entrust them to those who need to study their parts, but to nobody else without an express Order from the Worshipful Master; and no Lodge may communicate them to another Lodge without the permission of the Directorate. Brothers who intend to travel must inform the Worshipful Master and the Brother Secretary, and to furnish themselves with a Certificate and Letters of Recommendation for the Lodges they wish to visit. They will pay the established fee for the former.
At every Reunion, whether a Ceremony of Reception or Business Meeting, the President must have the alms trunk presented to all the Brothers, and especially to the newly-received or affiliated members. Any Brother who has only attended one or two meetings during an entire year will be expected to compensate the poor in the amount which would have been intended for them, had he attended the Reunions more frequently.
Every Reunited Lodge will have on its premises a Register of the Officers and members of the Order in the Provincial Directorate, in the Scottish Regency and in the Lodge, as indicated in the Chapter concerning the members of a Reunited Lodge.
In case of a Brother being taken ill, the care of visiting him does not rest with the Brother Almoner alone; all those who have the time should render him the duties of Masonic friendship, in these times when the common man no longer knows how to act. They will, however, inquire beforehand if the visits will disturb the patient, or cause some discomfort or disturbance in the care that his illness requires.
In the event of the death of a Brother of the Lodge, the Worshipful Master will summon a specific Reunion, in which he will give an account of the qualities of the deceased, focusing in particular on those which constitute a good Mason. He will not remain silent about his flaws, but will only speak of these in order to lament them, and with all necessary tact, and will seize this opportunity to stimulate the Brothers to the practice of virtue, which alone survives in the Mason.
All the Brethren of the Lodge will be invited to this Masonic Service, and will wear a crêpe around the left arm. The Lodge will be draped in black.
On every occasion that a Brother is delighted or distressed by some happy or unhappy event, the Lodge will send a few Brothers to him, in testimony of the interest it takes in him.
If a Brother is getting married, the Lodge will send him, through a deputation, a bouquet and a piece of blue ribbon, with a pair of white gloves for the new bride. He himself will receive a pair of white gloves the next time that he comes to Lodge. This is the only case, outside of Receptions, that the Lodge gives a pair of gloves to a Brother.
- Kadosch [↩]