Obligation Renewal Night


                    Obligation Renewal Night



                                
     The purpose of Obligation Renewal Night is to promote
Harmony throughout our Great Fraternity and to return our hearts
and thoughts to the most valuable tenets of Freemasonry, which
are Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love.

     By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard
the whole human race as one family- the high, the low, the rich,
the poor- who, being created by one Almighty Parent, and
inhabitants of the same planet, ought to aid, support, and
protect each other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of
every country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship
among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual
distance.

     "From the commencement of the world we may trace the
foundation of masonry. Ever since symmetry began, and harmony
displayed her charms, our Order has had a being. During many
ages, and in many different countries, it has flourished. no art,
no science preceded it. in the dark periods of antiquity, when
literature was in a low state, the rude manners of our
forefathers withheld from them that knowledge we now so amply
share, Masonry diffused its influence. Thus science unveiled,
arts arose, civilization took place, and the progress of
knowledge and philosophy gradually dispelled the gloom of
ignorance and barbarism. Government being settled, authority was
given to laws, and the assemblies of the Fraternity acquired the
patronage of the great and the good, while the tenets of the
profession disseminated unbounded philanthropy.

     Abstracted from the pure pleasures which arise from
friendship so wisely constituted as that which subsists among
Masons, and which it is scarcely possible that any circumstance
or occurrence can erase, Masonry is a science confined to no
particular country, but extends over the whole terrestrial globe.
Wherever the arts flourish, there it flourishes too. Add to this,
that by secret and inviolable signs, carefully preserved among
the Fraternity, it becomes a universal language. Hence many
advantages are gained; the distant Chinese, the wild Arab, and
the American savage will embrace a brother Briton, and know that,
besides the common ties of humanity, there is still a stronger
obligation to induce him to kind and friendly offices. The spirit
of the fulminating priest will be tamed, and a moral Brother,
tough of a different persuasion, engage his esteem; for mutual
toleration in religious opinions is one of the most
distinguishing and valuable characteristics of the Craft. As all
religions teach morality, if a Brother be found to act the part
of a truly honest man, his private speculative opinions are left
to God and himself. Thus, through the influence of Masonry, which
is reconcilable to the best policy, all those disputes which
embitter life and sour the tempers of men are avoided, while the
common good, the general object, is zealously pursued.

     From this view of our system, its utility must be
sufficiently obvious. The universal principles of the Art unite,
in one indissoluble bond of affection, men of the most opposite
tenets, of the most distant countries, and of the most
contradictory opinions; so that in every nation a Mason may find
a friend and in every climate a home.

     Such is the nature of our institution, that in the Lodge,
which is confined to no particular spot, union is cemented by
sincere attachment, and pleasure reciprocally communicated in the
cheerful observance of every obliging office. Virtue, the grand
object in view, luminous as the meridian sun, shines refulgent on
the mind, enlivens the heart and heightens cool approbation into
warm sympathy and cordial attention." (Preston)

(The Worshipful Master will call up the Craft by three raps of
his gavel.)

     Brother Chaplain, lead us in prayer.

(The Chaplain will recite the Prayer at Raising, pg. 109 of the
Florida Monitor.)

     Brother Senior Deacon, it would greatly honor me for you to
place yourself in due form at our Sacred Altar to renew your
obligation. (The Senior Deacon obliges.) Brethren, please form
semi-circles West of the Altar and extend your hands in front of
you.

     My Brethren, in order for us to revert back to the basic
teachings of Freemasonry and to  truly re obligate ourselves to
the most valuable tenets of the Fraternity, say "I," pronounce
your name in full, and repeat after me...

(The Worshipful Master will step down from his podium and recite
the Obligation from the Altar  as he would in the Master Mason
Degree Ritual.)

     My Brothers, as you know the working tools of a Master Mason
are all of the implements of Masonry, indiscriminately, more
especially the Trowel. The trowel is an instrument made use of by
operative masons to spread the cement which unites the building
into one common mass; but we as Free and Accepted Masons are
taught to use it for the more noble and glorious purpose of
spreading the cement of Brotherly Love and Affection; that cement
which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and
brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that
noble contention, or rather emulation, of whom best can work and
best agree.

(The Worshipful Master returns to his podium and then raps the
Craft down.)







A DEDICATION

My new-cut ashlar takes the light
     Where crimson-blank the windows flare;
By my own work, before the night,
     Great Overseer, I make my prayer

If there be good in that I wrought,
     Thy hand compell'd it, Master, Thine;
Where I have failed to meet Thy thought
     I know, through Thee, the blame is mine.

One instant's toil to Thee denied
     Stands all Eternity's offence;
Of that I did with Thee guide
     To Thee, through Thee, be excellence.

Who, lest all thought of Eden fade,
     Bring'st Eden to the craftsman's brain,
Godlike to muse o'er his own trade
     And manlike stand with God again.

The depth and dream of my desire,
     The bitter paths wherein I stray,
Thou knowest Who has made the Fire,
     Thou knowest Who hast made the Clay.

One stone the more swings to her place
     In that dread Temple of Thy worth --
It is enough that through Thy grace
     I saw naught common on Thy earth.

Take not that vision from my ken;
     O, whatsoe'er may spoil or speed,
Help me to need no aid from men,
     That I may help such men as need!
               Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936




          "You're a Mason"

My Brother, Masonry means much more
      than the wearing of a pin,
Or carrying a paid up dues receipt
      so the lodge will let you in.

You can wear an emblem on your coat,
      from your finger flash a ring;
But if you are not sincere at heart
      It doesn't mean a thing.

It is merely an outward sign
      To tell the world you belong
To that great fraternal brotherhood
      That teaches right from wrong

What really counts lies buried deep
      Within the human breast
Till Masonic teaching brings it out
      And puts it to the test

If you practice out of Lodge
      The things you learn within,
Be just and upright to yourself
      And to your fellow men

Console a brother when he's sick
      Assist him when in need;
Without a thought of personal reward
      For any act or deed.

Walk and act in such a way
      The world without will see
That only the best can meet the test
      Laid down by Masonry

Be always faithful to your trust
      And do the best you can
Then you can proudly tell the world
      You're a Mason  -  and a Man




            "Last Night I Knelt Where Hiram Knelt"


Last night I knelt where Hiram knelt
     And took an obligation.
Today I'm closer to my God
     And I'm a Master Mason.

Tho' heretofore my fellow men
     Seemed each one like the other,
Today I search each one apart;
     I'm looking for "My Brother".

And, as I feel this friendly grip,
     It fills my heart with pride;
I know that while I'm on the square
     That he is on my side.

His footsteps on my errand go
     If I should such require;
His prayers will plead in my behalf
     If I should so desire.

My words are safe within his breast
     As though within my own;
His hand forever at my back
     To help me safely Home...

Good counsel whispers in my ear
     And warns of any danger;
By Square and Compass, Brother now!
     Who once would call me stranger.

I might have lived a moral life
     And risen to distinction
Without my Brother's helping hand
     And fellowship of Masons.

But God, who knows how hard it is
     To resist life's temptations
Knows why I knelt where Hiram knelt
     And took that obligation

Thank you Brothers and remember Freemasonry is more than just a
fraternal organization...it's a way of life!