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Freemasonic Burial Rite

From: (George Avera)
Subject: Masonic Burial Service
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2000 17:18:29 -0500

To the Brothers who wanted a copy of the Masonic Burial Service:

has several possible services and makes mention of others.
(Copyright 1982 by the Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F.&A.M.
; Published by Waco Printing Co., Inc.)

The Monitor a public document offered for general sale, so I am
not betraying any Masonic secrets.  Copies may be purchased from
the Grand Lodge of Texas.

I am selecting the shortest services because I won't have to type
as much.  Any omissions or spelling errors are mine.

Brother George Avera
Texas, USA

[There is an Ante-Burial Service on page 206 which is meant to be
conducted either in the Lodge Room or at the place of the public
service: after a Master Mason's Lodge, or Lodge of Sorrow, has
been opened; the public service when the Lodge has been called
from labor.  The Brethren conduct the service standing.]


MASTER: What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death:
Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?

RESPONSE: Man walketh in a vain shadow; he heapeth up riches, and
cannot tell who shall gather them.

MASTER:  When he dieth he shall carry nothing away; this glory
shall not descend after him.

RESPONSE:  Naked he came into the world, and naked must he

MASTER:  Let us live and die like the righteous, that our end may
be like His!

RESPONSE:  God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide
even unto death!

MASTER:  Almighty Father! in Thy hands we leave with humble
submission the soul of our deceased Brother.

[Public grand honors may be given three times with the following

The will of God is accomplished!  So mote it be.

[The Master or Chaplain will then offer prayer.]


Most glorious God!  author of all good and giver of all mercy! 
pour down Thy blessings upon us, and strengthen our solemn
engagements with the ties of sincere affection!  May the present
instance of mortality remind us of our approaching fate, and draw
our attention toward Thee, the only refuge in time of need!  that
when the awful moment shall arrive, that we are about to quit
this transitory scene, the enlivening prospect of Thy mercy may
dispel the gloom of death; and after our departure hence in
peace, and in Thy favor, may we be received into Thine
everlasting kingdom, to enjoy, in union, with the souls of our
departed friends, the just reward of a pious and virtuous life. 

RESPONSE: So mote it be!

[The Lodge is then called from labor, and the Brethren proceed to
the funeral home, place of worship, or place of internment, as


[page 215.  Suitable for delivery immediately after the religious
service at the graveside or place of worship.]

[To begin the service, the Master should take his place at the
head  of the casket, and, speaking to the family, friends and
Masons assembled:]

We are assembled as Masons on this solemn occasion to pay a final
tribute of love and esteem to a departed friend and Brother. 
Brother _____ was a beloved member of _____ Lodge Number _____,
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

It is an honor for Masonry to have the privilege of paying a
final tribute to the memory of a Brother whose life was
inseparably linked to ours by solemn and binding obligations,
entered into before the Holy Altar of Freemasonry.  Our Brother's
death does not release us, nor would we be absolved from the
duties imposed upon us by those obligations.

It is such moments as these, while under the spell of the tragic
touch of nature, that we pause for serious reflection, in which
there comes a realization of our own unworthiness, a desire for a
closer walk with our Brethren and all mankind as with upturned
faces we supplicate the Divine Throne: "So teach us to number our
days, that we may apply our hearts into wisdom."

This white apron which our Brother was privileged to wear is an
emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason, more ancient than
the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle; more honorable than the star
and garter, when worthily worn.  We leave this emblem as a
reminder of our unity in service.  [Master may place apron on
casket.]  We also leave this sprig of evergreen, not alone
because we remember that it once marked the temporary resting
place of one illustrious in the annals of Masonry, but because of
our belief that within us is an immortal spirit which shall
survive the grave and which, blooming in the garden of our Father
and our God, shall never, never, never die . . .  [Master may
place sprig of evergreen on casket.]  Thus we may hope that when
our earthly tabernacle is vacated and our bodies, clothed in the
habiliments of death, are deposited in the grave, our souls,
rising in majesty, like those of our departed Brethren, shall
blossom in Eternal Spring.

May these thoughts exert us to greater efforts in the doing of
kind and friendly acts and in our endeavor to promote the welfare
and the happiness of each other.  Thus will the lessons of the
departed be useful, as they have always been, as lectures to the

Let us pray . . . Heavenly Father, we come to Thee in this
sorrow, seeking that support which Thou alone can give. . . As we
mourn the departure of our Brother from the circle of our
Fraternity, we believe that he has entered into a higher
Brotherhood, to find rest from earthly labors and refreshment
from earthly cares.  As the balm of Gilead soothed and sustained
the wounded wayfarer, so we pray that Thy divine love may dwell
amongst the dear ones of our Brother's household to cheer, to
console and strengthen them in their hour of sorrow and despair. 
Let the light of Thy countenance shine upon them.  Teach us Thy
ways, O Lord.  Make us to know the measure of Thy wondrous love,
that we may seek Thee in truth, and forsaking our evil ways,
cleave in righteous and constant devotion to Thee, O God, who is
our Rock and or Redeemer both now and evermore.  Amen.

[The prayer may conclude the service, or at the option of the
Master and in keeping with the wishes of the family, the Master
says: "This service will be concluded at the cemetery."  At the
cemetery the Brethren assemble and (public grand honors may be
given) the Master Continues.]

MASTER: The dust shall return to the earth as it was and the
spirit shall return unto God who gave it.  [Senior Warden and
Junior Warden may repeat.  The Master continues:]  For as much as
it has pleased Almighty God in His wise providence to take out of
this world the soul of our deceased Brother, we, therefore,
commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes,
dust to dust, looking to the general resurrection at the last day
and the life of the world to come, when the earth and the sea
shall give up their dead.

[Brethren may repeat together the Lord's Prayer.]

MASTER:  May the blessings of Heaven rest upon us; may Brotherly
love prevail and every moral and social virtue cement us.  Amen.
The Minister will give the benediction.

[The Master in charge of the service shall have the right to make
such changes as may be appropriate to fit the particular occasion
and in keeping with the wishes of the family of the deceased.]

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