The Ritual – Meeting of the Deacons



Masonic Ritual – Where should the Deacons meet when approaching the West to communicate the word/password to the Senior Warden as part of purging the Lodge?

The Standard Work and Lectures does not detail this with any specificity, but rather allows each Lodge to decide how and where the Deacons meet. This is for a good reason: There is wide variability in size and configuration of Lodge rooms around the State of New York, and what works in one Lodge room may be not work very well in another Lodge room. That said, the primary purpose of the Ritual of Opening is to transition the Brethren from the quotidian concerns of the profane world into the serene, sacred space of Masonry, and the Deacons’ floorwork can make a meaningful contribution in this regard when it is done with rigor and organization. In this connection, our Lodges have adopted a variety of traditions in practices with respect to the Deacons’ approach to the West. The Junior Deacon may remain standing until the Senior Deacon reaches the west end of the Lodge room before both turn to come before the Senior Warden simultaneously. Or the Deacons may meet at the west side of the Altar before approaching the West together. These are the most common approaches, but there are a multitude of possible solutions. However it is done, the best visual presentation is obtained when the Deacons make their inward turns at the same time and arrive simultaneously at the steps of the West where both come to the Sign of Fidelity.

Response provided by RW Samuel Lloyd Kinsey
Chairman, Custodians of the Work, Grand Lodge of New York

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