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Masonic_religiosity: Masonic religiosity - Part Two
Topic:Freemasonry
FreemasonryIt is common opinion that the devotion of Freemasonry produced an initiatory anomaly that still exists in it. Indeed, it is not clear how an Institution considered ‘generated’ by the old mysterial System (see Mediterranean Mysteries) could mix abstract spirituality with an obvious religious romanticism; or how it could confuse the representations of an exterior cult with the inner principles of spiritual illumination

Documento senza titolo

Masonic religiosity – the denied aspect of a plain reality

Part two

by Athos A. Altomonte
Graphics by Fabio Gasparri

© copyright by Esonet.it - Esonet.com


The image below is taken from the original book: “Unwritten Laws in Freemasonry" by "Hazlitt”, (P.M. London – The Masonic Record, Ltd – First Published 1922), It shows the “Jewel” of the Master Mason in the functions of Chaplain of the Lodge. 

The Chaplain Collar is a further confirmation of religious aspiration. We need to distinguish, though, between the function of Chaplain performed by a clergyman and the sacerdotal functions carried out by the Worshipful Master. The theory of heresy expressed by the Church, to which the Freemasons are so devoted, is based on this point as well.

It is well known that prelates, even high rank ones, attend regularly Masonic Lodges; I have seen them myself.

There are doubts, though, about their ultimate intentions. Indeed, once pronounced the Masonic oath, they were in obvious antinomy with the ecclesiastic rules that decreed the excommunication of Freemasonry (see Initiatory morale or apostasy - Part 2). It seems more likely that they were driven by the wish to evangelize the Masons, perpetuating the Roman’s Church policy of assimilating all pagan diversities with the purpose of annulling their identity. This happened with pagan festivals turned into religious festivities, such as the winter solstice that became Christmas.

It doesn’t surprise, then, that according to the rules of the power-gaining game, the prelate-Masons carried out functions of control or delation agreed with their hierarchies. What is surprising is that the Freemason accepted ecclesiastical power’s roles, despite being opposed by it, in order to give sacredness to his functions, originating a singular as well as initiatorily incomprehensible event, which even the biggest supporters of traditional orthodoxy seem to ignore.


Standard Masonic Monitor of the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason,
as exemplified under sanction of the Grand Lodges of The Unites States.

By George E. Simons

with useful additions by Robert Macoy, 1899

New York, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co.

Election and Ritual of appointment of the Lodge’s Chaplain

G.M. (or Inst. Off.)

«Brother ----, you have been appointed Chaplain of this Lodge, and will now be invested with the jewel of your office.

It will be your duty to perform those solemn services which we should constantly render to our infinite Creator, and which, when offered by one whose holy professions is “to point to heaven and lead the way”, may, by refining our souls, strengthening our virtues, and purifying our minds, prepare us for admission into the society of those above, whose happiness will be as endless as it is perfect.»

He is conducted to his station.


The Chaplain is a recognized officer in many Lodges, appointed annually by the Master to assist him in performing religious services. Notwithstanding the Master possesses all the sacerdotal rights necessary to be used in the ritualistic ceremonies of the order, yet it is often advisable to invite a clergyman who is a Mason to read the Scriptural lessons incident to the ceremonies, using none but the prescribed forms.

His station is in the east, in front and on the left of the Master ; his jewel is an open Bible, suspended over the breast from a white scarf...

PRAYER AT OPENING

«Most holy and glorious Lord God, the Great Architect of the Universe, the Giver of all good gifts and graces!

Thou hast promised that “where two or three are gathered together in Thy name, Thou wilt be in their midst and bless them”. In Thy name we have assembled, and in Thy name we desire to proceed in all our doings. […] Amen.»


Masonic Constitutions require for the associated to believe in God and to declare himself a believer and not an atheist. At the same time, for tolerance and respect for other people’s sensitivity, the Mason is invited to abstract his religious feelings, trying not to show any sympathy for a confession or another.


The psalms shown on the old rituals and on the Boards of the Lodge, though, ignore this caution. They show unmistakeably the feeling that must guide the "architectonic works". The initiate might consider this feeling exoterical, but it can’t be avoided. The researcher will face the dilemma of which version to choose, because there isn’t only one version of the psalms, but many different ones, sometimes even using different words and sequences.

This is due to the esegesis of the different churches of Christianity; they were so committed to self-celebration that they never reached a reciprocal recognition of their christian fundaments.

The concordant version of the holy scriptures might help overcoming this obstacle. This solution, though, is a political convention rather than a unanimity of faith based on the truth. Therefore, with an impartial equidistance free from sympathies, we quote the version "accepted" by the Lodges, in order to avoid the legitimation of a church’s principles above another’s.


ENTERED APPRENTICE


Before the opening of the proceedings of the degree of Apprentice, the following parts of the Scriptures are read, alternated with music:

( Psalm 133)

How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

[1] It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, it is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard.

[2] It is like oil that cometh down upon the collar of his garments.

[3] Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion; like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion.

[4] For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for ever.

FELLOW CRAFT


Before the opening of the proceedings for the degree of Fellow craft, the following parts of the Scriptures are read, alternated with music:

( Amos - Chapter 7, 7-8)

[7] Thus he showed me: and, behold, the LORD stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

[8] And the LORD said unto me, Amos what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the LORD, Behold, I wil set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more.

MASTER MASON


Before the re-start of the proceedings for the degree of Master, the following parts of the Scriptures are read, alternated with music:

(Ecclesiastes - Chapter 12, 1-7)

[1] Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near when you will say: «I have no pleasure in them»,

[2] before the sun, the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain;

[3] In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened;

[4] and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

[5] Yes, they shall be afraid of heights, and terrors will be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets;

[6] before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the spring, or the wheel broken at the cistern;

[7] And the dust returns to the earth as it was, ad the spirit returns to God who gave it.


(if the Chaplain is present, the W.M. will address him)


W.M.: Then, Brethren, let us remember that wherever we are, and whatever we do, HE is always with us, HIS all-seeing eye behold us, and while we continue to act according to the principles of the Craft, let us not fail to discharge our duty towards HIM with fervency and zeal.

 

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