Masonic Funeral Service


Masonic Funeral Service

This service is from the ritual of Holland Lodge No. 8, F&AM, 
New York City, United States of America.

******

(All Brethren participating wear dark suits with plain white 
aprons and white gloves, with a sprig of acacia pinned to their 
lapel)

(When the clergyman gives the sign, the WM moves to the head of 
the coffin and faces the congregation, with his back to the 
altar.  The SW and SD sand on the right of the WM, beside and 
facing the coffin; the JW and JD on the left of the WM also 
facing the coffin.  Any other Officers present follow suit 
until the coffin is lined on both sides.  Brethren line up two 
by two in the aisle facing the coffin)

(WM carries a white apron in his hands)

WM My Brothers, we are gathered here this (morning, 
afternoon, etc) to perform the last Masonic rites for our 
departed Brother (Full Name), who was raised in Holland Lodge 
on (Date) Anno Lucis and dies on (Date) Anno Domini.

(WM advances one pace toward coffin holding apron towards 
coffin, addressing the deceased Brother)

My Brother, this lambskin or white leathern apron was presented 
to you upon your being made a Mason, as an emblem of innocence 
and the badge of a Mason, yours to keep, and to cherish as an 
everpresent reminder of a purity of life, and a never ending 
incentive to nobler deeds, to higher thoughts and to greater 
achievements.  Once more I place it with you...,

(WM places apron on coffin)

...to go with you to your final resting place.  And as you 
stand before the Great White Throne above, there to receive 
judgement for deeds done here below, may it be your joyous 
portion to hear from Him, who sitteth as Judge Supreme, those 
welcome words: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord!"

(WM removes sprig of acacia from his lapel and holds it towards 
the coffin)

WM This sprig of acacia is an emblem of our abiding faith 
in the immortality of the soul.  By it we are reminded that we 
have an immortal part within us which will survive the grave 
and which will never, never, never die.  This emblem I also 
place with you, my Brother.

(WM places sprig on the coffin.  SW and Officers place their 
sprigs on the coffin, each saying as they do so, "My Brother."  
The remainder of the Brethren then file around the coffin 
counter-clockwise, depositing their sprigs and each saying "My 
Brother," then returning to their original places)

WM To the grave we consign his body.  We cherish his 
memory in our hearts, and his spirit we commend unto God who 
gave it.  For inasmuch as Almighty God, in his infinite wisdom, 
has seen fit to take out of this world the spirit of our 
departed Brother (first name only) we therefore commit his body 
to the grave...

WM Earth to Earth.
SW  Ashes to Ashes.
JW  Dust to Dust.

(Each extends his right hand over the coffin as he speaks, then 
all withdraw hands with the WM)

WM ...In the sure and certain knowledge that he has been 
summoned by the Supreme Architect of the Universe to that 
spiritual temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in 
the Heavens.

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Recessional procedure should be discussed in advance with 
officiating clergy.  There are two common procedures.  The 
first is used when the religious service is to continue for 
some time after the conclusion of the Masonic portion, and the 
second when the Masonic Service essentially concludes the 
entire program:

(a)    At the end of the Masonic Rite, the Masons return to 
their seats in the reverse order in which they left them 
earlier.  Thus the second pew of Masons returns first, and the 
first pew of Masons second, leaving the WM and other Officers 
once again on the aisle.  After the glergyman and coffin have 
passed up the aisle, at the conclusion of the service, the 
Masons follow the coffin as honorary pallbearers, WM and the 
first pew of Masons in the lead, forming pairs as they leave 
the pew.  The Masons may or may not form a line in the narthex 
or church vestibule, after the family, according to the wishes 
of the family.  The WM should safeguard the apron of the 
deceased before the coffin is taken from the church.

(b)    WM leads out, followed by Officers and then by the 
remainder of the Brethren.  If there is room in the aisle they 
line each side; if not, they arrange themselves in the 
vestibule until the coffin passes.

*******

This service can and often is slightly modified according to 
the wishes of the family and the clergy officiating.  An 
alternative procedure has this service beginning the program 
before the entrance of the clergy and the beginning of the 
regular religious service, but this has not yet been tested.

Uploaded by William D. Paine
	Marshal (1993-94)
	Holland Lodge No. 8, F&AM
	New York City, USA