is a map from which any contact can be made with the Scottish Rite
Juristictions thoughout the world to make an arrangement for this
Masonic funeral service if a Scottish Rite Brother would so desire to
plan for it.
Rose Croix Funeral Service - Scottish Rite Funeral Service
NOTE: The ritual written below in straight type (blocked or
otherwise), is to be followed when performing the ROSE CROIX SERVICE
(for the Christian Faith).
For the SCOTTISH RITE SERVICE (for other religious faiths), the
same ritual is to be used with the following exceptions: Words,
sentences, etc. that are blocked are to be omitted, and
substituted with those written in ITALIC TYPE. When no
substitution is indicated, just omit the type which is blocked.
W.M. Friends and Brethren: As Knights ROSE CROIX of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, we have assembled because death
and the dead are with us again, teaching us the brevity and uncertainty
of human life and the instability of human fortune, and demanding of us
the last sad offices of Charity and Brotherhood. Again we lament the
loss of a brother who sleeps the sleep that knows no waking. Knights
and Brethren, submitting to the will of God, adoring Him as our Creator
and Preserver, and trusting in His Mercy as our Father, let us proceed
to do what duty demands. The body of our beloved brother,
......(Full Name)........, lies before us, overtaken by that
relentless Fate, which is sooner or later to overtake us all;
and which no worth or virtue, no wealth or honor, no tears of
friends, or agony of loving ones can avert or delay, teaching us
the impressive lesson, continually repeated, yet always soon
forgotten, that every one of us must era long dwell in a house
of darkness, and our soul must be what we have chosen to make
it, even as man makes it here, by living well or ill. The
minutes of our time strike on, and are counted by Angels, until
the period comes that must cause the passing-bell to give
warning to all the neighbors that we are dead, and that they
must sometime be so; and this nothing can excuse or retard.
S.W. We, following our ancient Masonic custom, and obeying the
commands of duty, do now pay these last honors to his memory. Him they
cannot benefit. He lies beyond each of honors and censure alike. To us
they may and should be profitable. They ratify those whom he loved;
they show our appreciation of his virtues: they encourage others to
labor and endeavor or deserve like honors; and they demonstrate to the
world that the ties, sympathies and obligations of Masonry cannot be
snapped asunder by the hand of Death; for that man is esteemed to die
miserable, for whom none, save those of his immediate household, pay a
solemn sigh, or shed a tear.
J.W. It is a great act of piety, and honorable, to inter our friends
and brethren according to the traditions of our Fraternity, and so to
give evidence that we appreciate and desire to imitate their virtues.
Solemn and appointed mourning are expressions of our affection for our
departed brother, and of his worth, and our value of him; and they have
their praise in nature, and in manners, and in public customs.
Something is to be given to custom, something to fame, to nature and
OR. My brethren, it is an act of grace and wondrous mercy that we are
admitted to speak to the Eternal God; to make plaint to Him as to a
Father; to beg of Him remedy and ease, support and counsel, health and
safety, deliverance and salvation. Wherefore, since this calamity has
fallen upon us, and He hath commanded us in such cases to pray unto Him,
let us ask of Him power and assistance to do our duty, and His favor for
those who are afflicted in even greater measure than ourselves.
Let us pray.
(ORGANIST begins appropriate background music for prayer).
(any appropriate hymn) --- (ELEGY or MEDITATION --
(W.M., S.W., and J.W. give Sign of Good Shepherd, --- (W.M.,
S.W., and J.W. Merely Bow)
OR. (Prayer) Our Father who art in Heaven, who bestows Thy
graces and Thy favors by the measures of Thine own mercies and in
proportion to our necessities. It hath pleased Thee to call the soul of
our brother from the prison of the body, and our hearts are sorrowful
therefore, and very heavy. Look upon those whom this death has bereaved
and distressed, in mercy and pity. Support them by the strength of
Faith in all colomities, and refresh then with the comforts of a holy
hope in all sorrows. Unto those who were of the household of our
brother and are not yet comforted, make good Thy promise that those who
saw in tears shall reap in joy. Strengthen them to bear this
misfortune, and let Time, Thy great comforter, soon heal the
heart-wounds that now seem unto them to be incurable. All help cometh
of Thee, for Thou preservest them that are true of heart. From Thee
flow all comfort and consolation. Be Thou our strength and guide. It
is not for us, O Our Father, to intercede with Thee for our brother whom
Thou has taken from us. He also is one of Thy children, and Thou wilt
judge him tenderly and mercifully. Prosper our works to Thy glory;
preserve us from sin; keep us in peace and holiness; help us to serve
Thee in thankfulness and obedience all the days of our pilgrimage, and
after death dispose of us according to Thy good Pleasure. Amen.
(ALL) So mote it be. (ORATOR) Amen. (MUSIC
WM.. Brother Senior Warden, what is our first duty in this sorrow
that has fallen upon us?
S.W. Wise Master, to submit without murmuring to the dispensations of
our Father who is in Heaven; to pay Him the profoundest homage, knowing
full well that all He wills is infinitely wise and just, and to trust
implicitly in His inexhaustible mercy, for we are assured that the dead
shall live again. Our brother is not here. This body over which we
mourn, is not he, but only that which was his human and material part,
until God laid His finger upon him and he slept. He was mortal, but God
has now placed about him the clock of immortality. In what state, and
where he is, we do not know, but we do know that he has not ceased to
be, and that he is in the hands of his Father, who loves and pities him,
as He does all of His children.
W.M. Brother Junior Warden, what is the second duty which this
misfortune imposes upon us?
J.M. Wise Master, to inter the body of our brother after the manner
of Masonry, knowing that when we do this for our departed brethren, it
is not done to persons undiscerning as a fallen tree, but to those whose
souls yet live. Death is that Harbor which God has designed where
everyone may find rest from the troubles of the world. And when God
sends His Angel to us with the scroll of Death, let us look on it as an
act of mercy, to prevent many sins and many calamities of a longer life;
and lay our heads down softly and go to sleep. For this, at least, man
gets by death - - that his calamities are not immortal.
OR. Very eloquent, my brethren, are the pale still lips of the
departed. With a pathos and impressiveness that no living lips can
equal or even approach. These lips preach to us sermons that cannot be
translated into words. Most eloquently they tell us how vain and empty
are all the ambitions, hatreds, jealousies, disputes and rivalries, the
struggles for wealth and place and power, for rank and reputation of
human life. How indifferent now to praise or censure, to undeserved
eulogy, or equally undeserved blame; to all the prizes of human
ambitions, to all the glories of human greatness. For him, the sunshine
and flowers, the green leaves and azure arch of Heaven, the stars that
mysteriously glitter there in the wondrous beauty of their eternal calm
and silence, and all else that everywhere makes nature beautiful and
sublime, have no charm and are naught.
Prince and the Beggar that crawled to his Palace gates; the
warlike and the peaceful; the fortunate and the miserable; the
beloves and the hated; the honored and the despised. There they
mingle their dust, while God and His Angels only can distinguish
their soul. heavy are the grieves o four personal, mortal life.
Health decays into sickness, Hope into Disappointment, and Death
draws nearer and nearer to our little bond of Pilgrims, and when
we pitch our tent at night He comes and takes away some beloves
J.W. Our life is but a span long, and yet very tedious, because of
the calamities that encircle us on every side. The days of our
pilgrimage are few and evil, and he that liveth longest becometh most
familiar with disappointments and sorrows. We live but to lose those we
love and to see our friends go away out of our sight. Everywhere around
us, as we look out into the night, we can see the faces of those we have
loves, and who have fallen asleep before us, shining upon us like stars.
S.W. While we think a thought, we die, and the clock strikes and
tells our portion of Eternity. Those things that survive us, - our
works, our words, our immortal thoughts, our influences and the effects
of our good deeds, are more to the world that survives than are we
ourselves. We live and die and pass away, and are forgotten, while these
continue and live. - Let selfishness, and especially the selfishness of
vice, learn this lesson, and changing, endeavor to leave something to
live beyond its funeral.
OR. We dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust.
Our days upon the earth are a shadow. Soon we go whence we shall not
return; - let the proud and the vain consider how soon the gaps are
filled that are made in society by those who leave them, and how quickly
Time heals the wounds that Death inflicts; and from this let them learn
humility, and that they are but atoms in the great mass, and drops in
the immense ocean of humanity.
(Senior Warden takes Cross of Roses from casket and gives it to Junior
Warden. Junior Warden Takes one small step forward and says:)
(JUNIOR WARDEN TAKES ONE SMALL STEP FORWARD, RAISES HIS RIGHT ARM,
PALM OF HAND OUTWARD, AND SAYS:)
J.W. All animosities and unreconciled differences among Masons cease
at the dark river of Death over which our brother has gone. If any
brother here hath suffered wrong at the hands of him whose lips can no
longer utter words of regret, or make atonement; if any brother hath
felt toward him dislike, ill-will or jealousy, (WITH RAISED RIGHT HAND,
PALM OUTWARD) (Holds up Cross in Left Hand----------)
I do, by this ---SIGN OF ADMONITION,--- Holy Symbol of the Rose Croix,
adjure him, and these pale, still lips do eloquently entreat him, to
forgive the wrong, and cast away the animosity forever, that our Father
who is in Heaven may forgive him his debts and trespasses as he forgives
those of our departed brother. (Steps back).
(Hands the Cross to Senior Warden. Senior Warden takes Cross in his
hand, and says:)
(SENIOR WARDEN RAISES HIS RIGHT ARM, PALM OUTWARD, AND SAYS:)
S.W. The memories and examples of the good and true knights who leave
us these as legacies, are the precious treasures of Masonry. Our praise
of them ought to be preserved like laurels and coronets to reward and
encourage the noblest deeds; and it is an office and charge of humanity
to speak no evil of the dead. Promises made to them are inviolable
(RAISES RIGHT HAND, PALM OUTWARD) -- BY THIS SIGN OF
ADMONITION, (Holds up Cross in left hand......)
By this Holy symbol of the Rose Croix, all the knights and brethren here
present, do by my lips solemnly promise to speak hereafter only of the
virtues and excellencies of him whose body we are about to commit to the
earth, and to be silent as to his errors, his failings and his faults,
lest we ourselves should be spoken ill of by men after we are dead, and
thus be unentitled to the charitable mercies of God.
S.W. (S.W. gives Cross to Orator) -- (OMIT)
OR. (Holds Cross in Both Hands) -- (OMIT)
Once our brother lives and labored, but now his star is set in this
world, and he has passes into the light that lies beyond the darkness of
the Valley of Death. We shall no more hear his voice until we also have
awakened in another world. Let us, then, pay the last offices of pious
duty to the departed, since he, took one who sails slowly away from the
shore of a dear land, a little while ago familiar to him, and hears in
he stillness of the night, the murmur of the waves, may still hear the
murmur of our voices, and see, as the Angels do, these obsequies, and
the evidence of our affection or neglect.
(Orator passes Rose Croix to Wise Master, who holds it upraised in his
right hand, and says:)
(WISE MASTER RAISES RIGHT ARM< WITH PALM OUTWARD, AND SAYS:)
-------------------------SIGN OF ADMONITION,-------------------------
W.M. Brethren, I adjure you, by this Holy Symbol of the Rose Croix,
the emblem of faith, hope, loving kindness and immortality, not to
permit your duties to the departed to cease with these sad ceremonies.
I adjure you to right his cause, to do justice to his memory, to defend
his reputation. Thus let us all prove ourselves loyal friends, faithful
knights, and true masons.
W.M. (Goes to center of casket) Brother _____(Full
Name)_____, May the peace of the Master abide with you always.
Note: If no minister is present or no other service is to follow the
Rose Croix Service, the following benediction may be used. It can also
be used at the cemetery when there is no service at the grave and the
family request that a benediction be given at the grave.
W.M. May the blessing of our Father in Heaven rest upon us, and may
His comforting arm support us in this hour of sorrow. May the practice
of friendship and brotherly affection increase among is, and may the
remembrance of dear ones who have gone away from is, make more precious
unto us those who remain. And now, may the peace of God that passes all
understanding be with you and abide in your hearts forever.
W.M. (FACING AUDIENCE) The departed whom we now remember has
entered into the peace of life eternal. He still lives on Earth in the
acts of goodness he performed and in the hearts of those who cherish his
memory. May the beauty of his life abide among us a loving benediction.
may the Father of Peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort all the
bereaved among us, here and wherever they may be. Amen.
Suggested Procedure and General Information
Rose Croix and Scottish Rite Funeral Services
Most of the brethren who work in the Rose Croix Chapter Funeral
Service are thoroughly familiar with the details to be followed
in the conduction of the Rose Croix and Scottish Rite funeral
rituals. Their endeavors in this good work over the years have
brought them - and the Scottish Rite - much commendation and
praise. That their time and efforts, so freely and unstintingly
given, have not gone without recognition, is attested by the
steadily increasing number of requests for their services.
Primarily for this reason, but also for the benefit of the new
workers who have recently joined the group, and for those who
may join us in the future, it has seemed advisable that a
“Write-up” be developed, outlining in detail the many
facets that are involved in the presentation and conduction of
the Rose Croix and Scottish Rite funeral rituals, which would
not only bring about a better understanding of the services to
all the members (and ultimately - thru them - to the hearing
public), but would also result in the attainment of a higher
degree of uniformity of performance and ritualistic perfection,
it is hoped that the following will serve as a guideline for all
our faithful workers.
ROSE CROIX SERVICE (For those of Christian Faith)
SCOTTISH RITE SERVICE (For Other Religious Faiths)
In opening the ROSE CROIX service, the members participating
enter the chapel on the playing of the hymn “Holy, Holy,
Holy”. (All members should walk with the same cadence - all
should be in unison - in step with each other and with the
music0. The procession into the chapel is in the formation of a
cross, with the JUNIOR WARDEN leading and representing the head
of the cross. He is followed some 3 small paces behind by the
ORATOR (on left) and the SENIOR WARDEN (on he right), proceeding
side by side, in unison, down the aisle (representing the
crossbar of the cross. Following some 6 small paces behind is
the WISE MASTER, who, at this point, represents the foot of the
The JUNIOR WARDEN proceeds sown the aisle going directly to the
casket, then turns to his right and stops (facing audience) when
reaching his station, which is approximately 3 small steps beyond the
foot of the casket and 2 small steps in front of it.
The ORATOR and SENIOR WARDEN, in he meantime, stop when reaching the
first pew of the chapel. When the Junior Warden has reached his
station, they turn simultaneously facing each other, stepping back
slightly to allow the WISE MASTER to pass between them. When the Wise
Master has passed, they immediately turn, facing the casket again, and
remain in that position until the Wise Master has reached his station.
The WISE MASTER continues forward to the casket, places the cross in
its “proper position” upon it, then turns left and stops when
reaching his station, which is approximately 3 small steps beyond the
head of the casket and 2 small steps in front of it. (He should be more
or less on a line with the Junior Warden when he takes his position).
When the Wise Master has stopped at this station, the ORATOR and
SENIOR WARDEN proceed forward, in unison, to the casket. The ORATOR
turns and proceeds to his left, and stops at his station, which is a
step beyond the head of the casket and a step in front of it. The
SENIOR WARDEN turns and proceeds to his right, stopping at his station,
which is a step beyond the foot of the casket and a step in front of it.
(Orator and Senior Warden should be more or less in line with each
When all have reached their stations, the MUSIC ceases, and the WISE
MASTER begins speaking. (Voice should be clear, well-modulated,
moderate in tone, sympathetic, and in a manner of delivery and speech
that is proper and fitting for such a solemn occasion. The Orator,
Senior Warden and Junior Warden should emulate their Wise Master in the
During the PRAYER, soft background music should be played. (Cue for
Organist is: “In even greater measure than ourselves, Let us
pray”). ORATOR keeps his head up (eyes preferably
closed), bringing his arms and hands in prayer position. The Wise
Master, Senior and Junior Wardens give the Sign of the Shepherd and bow
their heads. They should be in uniform in this. In giving the Sign of
the Shepherd, the crossed arms should not extend above the shoulders nor
rest too low upon the chest. It should be somewhere in between, and
held in a relaxed manner, with the fingers kept together. In saying
“So Mote It Be” at the end of the prayer, it should be given
together and clearly spoken.
At the conclusion of the service, the Organist again plays “Holy,
Holy, Holy”. The JUNIOR WARDEN begins the exit by taking one step
forward with his left foot, pivoting to his right, then proceeding
forward to that area in front of the casket approximating the aisle
center. He then turns to his left and proceeds slowly up the aisle.
The Junior Warden now represents the foot of the cross.
As the Junior Warden makes his last turn, both ORATOR and SENIOR
WARDEN simultaneously take one step forward with the left foot; they
then turn, facing - then advancing toward each other, turn again when
reaching the approximate aisle center, and then, starting with he left
foot, proceed in unison up the aisle. They should be some 6 small paces
behind the Junior Warden.
The WISE MASTER, being directly in front of the casket, proceeds
straight forward up the aisle. He should time his exit so that he will
be approximately 3 paces behind the Orator and Senior Warden (as he now
represents the head of the cross).
MUSIC continues until all members have exited from the chapel.
Members participating in the SCOTTISH RITE Service should keep the
following points uppermost in mind:
1. The cross should never be used.
2. The chasuble (with cross on front and back) should never be worn.
3. No word, sign, symbol or reference to the cross, or to any person,
character or thing related to, or associated with the Christian Faith
(or that may be construed as such), should be made.
4. Follow the Scottish Rite ritual to the letter, bearing especially
in mind the variations contained therein.
Members participating in the SCOTTISH RITE Service begin their
entrance into the chapel upon the playing of “Holy, Holy, Holy”.
The procession can be of SINGLE or DOUBLE file formation, depending upon
the conditions prevailing, or at the discretion of the Wise Master.
If the SINGLE file formation is decided upon, the WISE MASTER will
lead the procession, followed in order by the JUNIOR WARDEN, the ORATOR;
and lastly by the SENIOR WARDEN. They should be spaced approximately 3
With the exception of the Wise Master, each member should pause at
the first pew until the member preceding him has reached his station.
(Station positions are the same as set forth in the Rose Croix Service).
When all members have reached their stations, MUSIC ceases, and the
WISE MASTER begins speaking.
During the prayer by the Orator it is preferred that the background
music be either “Elegy” or Meditation” by Massenet. (Cue for
Organist is: “ in even greater measure than ourselves. Let us
During the benediction, the WISE MASTER may give it in front of the
casket, or remain at his regular station, whichever he prefers.
If the DOUBLE file formation is used, the WISE MASTER (on the left)
and the JUNIOR WARDEN ( on the right) will lead the procession, and will
proceed side by side, in unison, down the center aisle, followed some 3
paces behind by the ORATOR (on the left) and the SENIOR WARDEN (on the
right), side by side, and in unison.
The WISE MASTER and JUNIOR WARDEN will continue directly to the
casket, where they will make their respective turns, (Wise Master to his
left, and Junior Warden to his right), stopping when they have reached
their respective stations.
In the meantime, the ORATOR and SENIOR WARDEN will pause at the first
pew until the Wise Master and the Junior Warden have reached their
stations, when they will then continue forward to the casket, make their
respective turns, and stop at their stations. (Station positions are
the same as outlines in the Rose Croix Service ritual).
At the conclusion of the service, if the SINGLE file formation is
followed, the SENIOR WARDEN will begin the exit, followed by the ORATOR,
then by the JUNIOR WARDEN, and lastly by the WISE MASTER. Each should
proceed to that area in front of the casket approximating the aisle
center, make their respective turns (either to the right or to the left)
and continue forward directly up the aisle. It should be performed in
the following manner:
When the Senior Warden begins the exit he will proceed to the center
of the casket; the Junior Warden will start also, but will stop in the
position vacated by the Senior Warden. When the Senior Warden makes his
(left) turn to proceed up the aisle, the ORATOR will begin his exit by
proceeding to the center of the casket, and the Wise Master will take
the place vacated by the Orator. When the Orator makes his (right) turn
to proceed up the aisle, the Junior Warden will then proceed to the
center of the casket; and lastly when the Junior Warden makes his (left)
turn, the Wise Master will proceed toward the casket center, then turn
right and continue up the aisle. In this manner the spacing will be
approximately the same between each member.
If the DOUBLE file formation is used, the ORATOR and SENIOR WARDEN
will begin their exit simultaneously, following the same routine
outlines in the Rose Croix Service ritual. The JUNIOR WARDEN and the
WISE MASTER will begin their exit at the same time as the Orator and the
Senior Warden. They will proceed toward each other, however meeting at
that area approximating the casket canter, then turn and continue up the
aisle following the Orator and the Senior Warden. They should be side
by side and in unison.
MUSIC continues playing until all members have exited from the
Notes and Suggestions
Duties and Responsibilities of Workers Comprising the “Team”
The Brother delegated to act as Wise Master is in charge of
the other Brethren making up the team. It is also his responsibility to
handle all preliminary arrangements necessary for the proper conduction
of the service.
His duties are:
(a) Upon arrival at the funeral home (or church) to contact the
person in charge, introduce himself and explain the purpose of his
visit. Acknowledge any assistance and courtesy that might be offered,
such as the use of a dressing room, the obtaining of two natural roses,
permission to speak to the organist (If music is available), etc., Thank
him for his assistance and courtesy whether or not the above items are
(b) Locate suitcase with paraphernalia. Remove apparel and hang up
robes and chasubles to straighten out the creases. Check other apparel
to see if all workers are properly provided.
(c) Study chapel (or church) arrangements with other members of the
team, particularly with regard to aisle conditions, to determine method
of entrance. Check casket for “Cross position”, and id necessary
move flag, apron, spray, etc., for space required.
(d) Check members of the team to see if they are properly attired.
(e) Place natural roses (if available) or artificial ones in
Cross. (red roses only - no other color).
(f) Look over the “memento” of services. Check name of
deceased Brother, and learn its proper pronunciation, if necessary.
Remember his full name for use in the service. Present memento later to
widow of deceased.
(g) Contact W.M. of Blue Lodge (if B.L. service is to be given), and
give B.L. preference as to whether their service should precede or
follow Scottish Rite Service. Arrange for attendance of Blue Lodge
members to attend Scottish Rite Service, and vice-versa. Thank Blue
Lodge later for attending.
(h) Don’t forget the Cross! Make certain you have it with you
before entering the chapel. Its importance is obvious - for without it
is the purpose and essence of the entire Rose Croix services is last.
(i) Request all team members to sign the Record Booklet for family of
(j) Check with proper persons on possible arrangements which have, or
have not, been made for return of the suitcase to Cathedral.
(k) Express appreciation to proper persons (those connected with
funeral home or church), for their courtesies and helpfulness to
the Scottish Rite team in conduction the services.
Other Members of the Team
Other workers on the team should report at the funeral home no
later than one-half hour before the services are to begin. They
should cooperate and assist the Wise Master in whatever duties
he may request of them. They should be polite and courteous to
all concerned, and maintain a behavior that is fitting and
proper for the occasion.
Notes on Apparel
(a) The robe. Each worker, of course, has a robe (numbered or
lettered), of a particular size assigned to him. The robe (and
hat size) assigned to each worker is indicated on he mote to the
Wise Master. The robe can be worn over the underclothing (if
worker so desires), or it can be donned over the shirt and
trousers. The tie should be removed as it allows for a more
comfortable feeling. Make certain that the robe is zippered up
in front, and that the collar is clasped. Robe should cover all
clothing. (See Paragraph (f) below).
(b) The chasuble. The chasuble with the Cross on front and back
is used for Rose Croix services. The front of the chasuble has
the Cross on the upper left side, over the heart. The Cross on
the back is located top center. When donning the chasuble over
the robe, check to see if the ‘apron-shaped’ bottoms are
level with each other. Most chasubles and robes have
snap-fasteners on the shoulders to accomplish this purpose.
(c) The four-cornered hat. The four-cornered hat should be worn
low upon the forehead - not more than an inch above the
brows. It should lay straight upon the head with the
‘front’ corner in line with the nose. The tassel should
be placed behind the second (left) corner so that its rests
behind the left ear.
(d) Gloves. White gloves are provided for each member of the
team. It will be left to the discretion of the Wise Master as
to whether or not gloves are used. If they are used, they
should be donned so that they fit snugly upon the fingers and
hands. Make certain that no bare area appears between the
gloves and the sleeves of the robe.
(e) Shoes and Socks. Black shoes and black socks should always
(f) Check. if robe covers all light-colored clothing worn
beneath, particularly trousers.
(g) Check entire ensemble before making entrance into chapel.
The cross, its appearance, position and handling during the Rose
Croix Service is of utmost importance. It should always be in clear
view of the audience, whether it is resting upon the casket; when it is
being passed from member to member during the service, or when it is
being reised during the adjurations. It should be placed upon the front
center of the casket (immediately below the opened portion), and set at
an angle approximating 30* to the left. It should never be placed upon
the American Flag, Masonic Apron, floral spray, or any other object. If
it is necessary to do so, move the object slightly to provice the small
space needed. It should be readily accessible to the Senior Warden who
must pick it up. Always hold and pass the cross face forward keeping
the felt-lined back away from view of the audience. Never wrap the
fingers around the cross, but hold it at the sides with the fingers kept
together. With a little practice, holding and passing of the cross can
be accomplished smoothly and expertly.
In passing the cross from member to member - first from the Senior
Warden to the Junior Warden, thence back to the Senior Warden; then from
the Senior Warden to the Orator; and lastly from the Orator to the Wise
Master, the member more or less carries the cross to the member
receiving it. The receiving member should remain in place and not move,
with the exception of the Senior Warden and the Orator who should meet
each other half way.
Picture or Position of Cross on Casket
(If you wish, you may also express your own personal condolences).
The “memento” of the service contains a beautiful expression of
sympathy from the Scottish Rite to the family of the deceased brother.
It shows the name of the deceased brother, and the names of the members
participating in the service. The memento, together with the two (live)
roses used in the cross, is a means of providing comfort to the
bereaved, and should be presented to the widow (or other member of the
family) by the Wise Master at the conclusion of the service. Each Wise
Master, of course, has his own individual way of expressing condolences
to the family, but it is a thoughtful gesture, and in good taste, to
mention the Scottish Rite and the Rose Croix Chapter when extending
sympathy. The Wise Master, after introducing himself to the widow of
the deceased brother, may express himself along the following lines:
“Mrs. ___________, (it is the wish of) or (may I, in behalf of)
the members of the Scottish Rite and the Rose Croix Chapter, convey our
deep sorrow in the loss of our beloved brother, and our sympathy in your
The Wise Master should then introduce the other members of the
team to the widow, allowing them to offer their expressions of
In giving the benediction in the Rose Croix Service, the Wise
Master goes to the center of the casket, facing the deceased and
says “May the peace of the Master abide with you always”.
He then turns to the audience and continues with the
benediction. He does not raise his arm until just prior to the
last sentence, “and now, may the peace of God that passes all
understanding be with you, and abide in your hearts forever.”
Blue Lodge Services
If Blue Lodge Services are to follow the Rose Croix or Scottish Rite
service, the Wise Master, after giving the benediction, will conclude by
saying.” This concludes the services of the Rose Croix Chapter of the
Scottish Rite (or the Scottish Rite Services). The services of (Name
and Lodge No.) A.F. & A.M., conducted by its officers, will follow
As stated on Page *****, paragraph (g) under duties of the Wise
Master, the Worshipful Master of the Blue Lodge should be contacted
prior to the services foe the purpose of arranging for the attendance of
the Blue Lodge members and the Scottish Rite members to their respective
services. Scottish Rite members should make every effort to attend (and
even participate in) the Blue Lodge services if at all possible.
Sign of the Good Shepherd
The Sign of the Good Shepherd is made by crossing the arms and
placing the hands where the arms meet the shoulders, crossing the right
arm first and then crossing the left arm over the right. The crossed
arms should not be rigid, but held in a relaxed manner, keeping the
fingers together. The head should be slightly bowed.
The roses used in the cross, and which with the memento, are
presented to the widow (or family) of the deceased brother at the
conclusion of the services, should be natural (live) ones and red in
color. No other color, such as white or yellow, are permissible, nor
are any other flowers to be used, such as chrysanthemums, etc.,. If
red-colored roses are unavailable, the artificial ones are to be used.
In the event an unforeseen problem not covered in this
“Write-up”, occurs, such as peculiarities encountered in the
set-up of the chapel (or room in which the body of the deceased rests);
question as to what type of service to conduct; insufficient or wrong
apparel or accessories received; failure of a member of the team to show
up; etc., etc. the responsibility of making a decision will be up to the
Wise Master. He should discuss the problem with the other members,
carefully weighing their advice and counsel, but the final decision will
In the actual performance of the ritual, the worker should, as
previously suggested, follow the tone and tempo established by the Wise
Master. The ritual itself (written, re-written, revised and improved
over the years), as you all will agree, is a very profound document. It
should be memorized and presented as written, adhering as closely to the
script as is humanly possible. Each worker should take pride in knowing
and doing his part well. We are all human and mistakes are unavoidable,
as everyone who has worked in a service well knows. But with
cooperation and team-work they can be overcome without serious
embarrassment. If a memory lapse occurs, for example, a nod of the head
to the next speaker will indicate to him to proceed with his portion of
the ritual. It is well, for this reason, for the members not speaking
to turn their attention to the member who is speaking. By so doing,
they will quickly sense that the speaker is in difficulty, and can
remedy the situation without undue pause in continuity of the ritual.
Watching the speaker also has a psychological effect upon the audience
in that they will also turn their attention to the speaker.
Uniformity of performance, both in speech and in motion, has great
appeal and creates a profound and lasting impression upon an audience.
Attention to detail, however minor it may seem, may be the spark that
creates the pleasant and long-remembered impression. A small thing,
like the moving of the hands, can be a useful attraction or it can be a
disconcerting distraction. Folding of the hands, for example, is
relaxing to the speaker, and it can serve the purpose of bringing the
attention of the audience to him; but folding of the hands by another
member while one is speaking, will inadvertently distract the
audience’s attention away from the speaker. A good policy to follow
(and here again uniformity of performance is obtained), is to
have only the speaker fold his hands at the beginning of his speech,
while the other members hold their arms to their sides; then when the
speaker concludes, drops his arms to his sides, allowing the next
speaker to fold his hands, an so on.
Any alien movement, however, not prescribed in the ritual, should be
avoided, as a general rule. By this we mean any obvious or exaggerated
movement not compatible with the occasion. It is understood, of course,
that gestures and speech go hand in hand, and are part and parcel of a
person’s mode of expression. This is to be expected. It is also
true that certain gestures and movements, applied in a subtle and smooth
manner, can greatly enhance the meaning of the words expressed, but this
should be left to those who are experienced and proficient in their use.
It is well, as a general rule, to import an attitude of quiet dignity,
and this can be accomplished by the avoidance of unnecessary movement.
It is a good idea for new members who have just learned a part of the
service ritual, to be more or less examined before actually taking part
in a service. They should also witness several services and visit with
the members on the team prior to the service, - not only to see the
actual service being performed, but also to understand the preliminary
preparations that must be made before the service can be conducted.
We sincerely hope that the aforementioned “Notes and
Suggestions” will prove useful and serve as a guide to you in the
conduction of the funeral service. We do not expect you to remember
everything that is written herein. All that is expected is to be
earnest in your efforts, sincere in your purpose, and do the job as best
A blue lodge funeral service
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