[Square & Compasses]

An Adobe PDF version of this funeral service, suitable for printing and use by lodges.


A Masonic Funeral Service

Courtesy of
Mount Scopus Lodge A.F.& A.M., Malden, Massachusetts

A Masonic Funeral Service

Chaplain

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me?
Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Master

My Brethren, the roll of the workmen has been called, and one Master Mason has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of the Craft and with them he has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors here below have taught him to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting his mind as a living stone for that spiritual building -- that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Strengthened in his labors here by faith in God, and confident of expectation of immortality, he has sought admission to the Celestial Lodge above.

(Here the Master reads the Sacred Roll. The Sacred Roll should be in the following form:)

A.................... B.................... C....................
Born: (date) in: (city, state)
Entered: (date)
Passed: (date)
Raised: (date) in: (name of Lodge)
Departed: (date)

(Use full name of Lodge, ``Ancient Free and Accepted Masons,'' and full name of State.)

Chaplain

Almighty Father, into thy hands we commend the soul of our departed Brother.

(The Brethren will solemnly bow once.)

Master

Let our hearts be lifted up by the words of those who from ancient times have trusted in the love and power of God.

Chaplain

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

(The Brethren should all join in the repetition of the the Lord's Prayer.
NOTE: This prayer may be omitted at the discretion of the Master.)

Chaplain

Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Master

My Brethren, the thoughts of this hour are and should be solemn thoughts. But they should not be heavy with a weight of woe nor clouded with the darkness of hopeless grief. They should rather be solemn with the moving of the great ideas and deep emotions which stir to life in the hours when we are brought face to face with the great realities which underlie our existence. Human companionships are temporary in this world of change. It is not possible that the associations of a lifetime should be broken without a pang of pain and a wrench of parting which seem to rend our very souls. Finding one day that one we have loved is no longer with us, we are as those on a new earth and under new heavens -- all things are changed.

At such a time the teachings of our Fraternity come back to us with renewed force. God, Immortality, Friendship: these are what we strive to keep before the eyes and in the minds of the Brethren. These are the thoughts which have power to comfort and uplift us now.

  • In God we live and move and have our being. The thought of him is the great stay and support of our minds in every hour of trouble. The bitterest drop in the cup of grief is the thought of aimlessness, of futility, of absence of purpose. If life has no plan or purpose, if the builders labor with no directing design upon the trestle-board, if there is no Master Architect to plan and supervise the work, if there is no building, only a heap, then indeed are we of all men most miserable.

    But we have learned of the Great Architect of the Universe. If we have indeed made that thought our own, then we know that in that Universe all is order; there is a plan; the designs are on the tracing board; The All-Seeing Eye is ever on the work.

    Too huge the design for any mortal eye to comprehend; too vast in its sweep and proportions for any mortal mind to grasp. But if the Great Architect be there, what need that the journeyman see more than his piece of the work? He knows the great building is clear in the Master's mind and is growing toward completion. The apparent confusion is only the gathering of the material out of which the structure shall rise complete in its beauty and perfection. We can do our work and bear our burden and even endure the pain of disappointment and of loss if we have learned to trust in him. That trust turns the bitter drop to sweetness.

  • There is no death. What seems so is transition. All that is beautiful and good and true in human life is no more affected by the shadow of death than by the darkness that divides today from tomorrow.

    Our paths lead not to the grave but through it. Immortal we are and ever shall be. We look not to another life, but to the perfecting of this one. In God's good time we shall be raised by His right hand to that higher, fairer phase of life for which this is only the preparation.

  • Friendship is refreshment and sweetness as we pass this way. It is much to feel that, wherever we are, we have friends, and that their friends are ours as well. Our Brother's friends are lonely in this hour, but the friendship we felt for him extends to them. We, too, loved him.

    We, too, feel the pain of parting. Our sympathy, our love, are theirs as they were his. Our entire fraternity surrounds his loved ones with the assurance of its affection. We offer the support of our sympathy, the comfort of our faith, the inspiration of our hope, that they, with us, may look beyond this hour through the opening portals of the infinite. So then, let us be unceasingly grateful for every God-given virtue which the life of our Brother expressed, and let us be comforted and sustained by the assurance that life goes on unbroken and uncorrupted and that God alone is the life and light of men.

    (At the close of his address, the Master will deposit the lambskin in or on the casket.)

  • This Lambskin, or white leather apron, is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason. It reminds us of that purity of life and conduct so essentially necessary to gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

    (The Master then deposits the evergreen in or on the casket.)

  • This Evergreen is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul. By this we are reminded that we have an immortal part within us which shall survive the chilling blast of death and, springing into newness of life in realms beyond the grave, shall never, never die.

Chaplain

O God, our heavenly Father, grant that we sorrow not as those who know not the promises contained in thy Holy Word; but may we look forward to the great gathering of thy faithful servants and children into their everlasting home. O thou in whom we trust, keep us by thy grace that we may live as the heirs of this blessed and glorious hope which thou hast so graciously set before us.

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Amen.


An Adobe PDF version of this funeral service, suitable for printing and use by lodges.

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