Very Worshipful Sirs, Worshipful Sirs, Brethren, Sisters & Our Children, Friends,
In keeping with the customs & traditions of Free & Accepted Masons, we are assembled here today to celebrate our Masonic Lodge of Remembrance.
The Masonic Lodge of Remembrance is both to remember our dear brethren who have dropped their working tools & to remind ourselves that our cable-tows extend not only to our brothers but also to their widows & orphans.
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One of the founding principles of Freemasonry is that all who enters its doors are equal. This is why we call ourselves brothers. This is why there is the term “on the level.”
Being equal is given so much importance that it forms part of the installation of officers in the beginning of the year; to remind them that although there are officers & there are members, at the end of the day, no brother is below or above another brother. The lecture reads:
“The level demonstrates that we are descended from the same stock, that we partake in the same nature, & share the same hope; & that, although distinction among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet no eminence of station should make us forget that we are brethren; for he who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune’s wheel may be entitled to our regard; because a time will come, & the wisest know not how soon, when all distinction save that of goodness shall cease; & that death, the mighty leveler of human greatness reduces us to the same state.”
My Brothers, Death is the great equalizer of men. It is the great leveler of success, titles, wealth & talents. And so, as we enjoy our brother’s fraternal fellowship in life, so too we cherish his memory in death. As there are several annual Masonic customs & traditions, the remembrance of departed brethren is 1 of the more important ones.
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The Masonic Lodge of Remembrance is also 1 of the best examples of the Masonic Virtue of Charity.
One of the most common passages in the Volume of Sacred Law that Freemasons recite comes from the 1st book of Corinthians, Chapter 13. It reads:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men & of angels, & have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, & understand all mysteries & all knowledge; & though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, & have not charity, I am nothing.”
Such is the power of this book & its verses that it puts charity on top of the 3 virtues; which Freemasons have adopted:
“And now abideth faith, hope & charity, these 3; but the greatest of these is charity.”
My brothers, Charity should not be mistaken as exclusively our outreach programs to the poor & needy of the community. Charity is that nobler principle that regards all men as brothers. It is first & foremost the care & concern we give to our brethren. Charity writes the mistakes of our brothers in water & etches their success & triumphs in stone. And at this time, here at our Lodge of Remembrance, Charity helps us remember that our cable-tow, or assistance, extends to a brother’s family, his widows & orphans. Charity is our constant communication with our widows & orphans; that although our brothers have gone before us, they still have us, the brethren, the lodge, as a source of relief & comfort.
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To our widows & orphans, this is to say that we are here for you. We have not forgotten you. Call us & we will be there.
To our brothers who are now in that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns, we hope to see you again. Not today, not soon, but in the certain future.
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