The Rule of Saint Benedict and Masonic Ritual


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During the 12th century, the Cistercian Order, which followed the Benedictine Rule, founded numerous abbeys in England, and many masons joined the order as lay brothers or "converts." Because of their participation in monastic life, masons incorporated elements from both the Benedictine Rule and the Cistercian Ritual into their own usages and ceremonies. Among the elements coming from the monastic customs and rituals we find expressions such as "free and of good report" and "just and perfect," as well as the Sign of Grief and Distress, the prayers, the examination of the candidates, the posture during the Obligation, the need to render the masonic oath into a Solemn Obligation by kissing the Volume of the Sacred Law, the participation of the Brethren in the reception of the neophyte, the Charity Test or the custom of taking the new brother to a seat near the Senior Deacon. The Festive Board also follows accurately the monastic customs, as it borrows from monastic usages the arrangement of the table, the blessings, the location of the Master and the Wardens, and the Toast List, particularly the Toast to Absent Brethren and the Tylers Toast. Rather than speaking of influence, the reality is that the Benedictine Rule and the Cistercian Ritual formed the crucible where the Masonic ritual was forged.




The Rule of Saint Benedict

The character of the Rule of Saint Benedict

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Saint Benedict of Aniane


The Cistercians 

The birth of the Cistercian Order

The converses

Medieval masons and monastic orders

The Cistercian Ritual 

The Old Charges and the Mason Word 

The ceremony of Initiation


Free and of good report

Neither naked nor clothed, barefoot nor shod

The entry of the candidate into the lodge

Jacob’s Ladder 

The examination of the candidate and the term «persevere» 

The prayers 

 In whom do you put your trust?

 The posture during the Obligation

The Obligation

A just and perfect Lodge

The “Brother” treatment

The sequence after the Obligation 

To render it a Solemn Obligation (promissio and petitio)

What is the predominant wish of your heart? Light

The participation by the Brethren

The investiture with the Apron

The Charity Test

The new Brother is taken to his seat 

The reading of the Lodge By-Laws

The Working Tools

All stand up

The Festive Board

The Festive Board table

The blessing of the table

The toast list

The toast to Absent Brethren

The Tyler’s Toast 

The Signs

The Cistercian signs

The Sign of Grief and Distress 

The Grand Mystery of Freemasons Discover’d (1724)

The Grand Mystery of Freemasons Discover’d (1724)


The tongue and the key 

The Regius manuscript

The protocol of the Grand Master

The Kiss of Peace

The 24-inch Gauge 


ISBN 9788418379727
Pages 248
Width 6 in
Height 9 in