THE FOUNDATIONS OF REGULAR CRAFT RITUAL
In 1740 throughout Europe was circulating a Masonic oath written on a pamphlet invoking that the Freemason will protect and preserve the Traditions, Uses and Costumes of the Craft.
In order to preserve and avoid losing the original meaning and to prevent any further deviation and other foreign innovations from taking place, forced upon us by those not knowing the Traditions of the Craft, its uses and customs of Ancient Freemasonry, the Masonic High Council the Mother High Council issues the following Craft Document under the name and title of “The Foundations of Regular Craft Ritual”, to be used as the guidelines of Ancient and Regular Craft Masonry constituting the basic requirements for the perpetuation of Regular Craft Freemasonry.
1. All Craft Freemasonry Rituals had their origin in England.
2. That there be no debarment from membership because of nationality, of race, of colour, of sectarian or political belief; that a belief in the G.A.O.T.U. and His revealed will shall be an essential qualification for membership.
3. That all initiates shall take their Obligation on or in full view of the open Volume of Sacred Law, by which is meant the revelation from above which is binding on the conscience of the particular individual who is being initiated. At all times the book of Kings must be present as this is where the record of the building of Solomon’s Temple is first given and constitutes the base of the Craft legend.
4. That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over the Lodges under its control, i.e., that it shall be a responsible, independent, self-governing organisation with sole and undisputed authority over the Craft or Symbolic Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to, or divide such authority with, a Supreme Council or other Power claiming any control or supervision over those degrees.
4.1 That preserves, works and performs the complement ceremonies of the Mark Man, Mark Mason to the Fellow Craft Degree and Installed or Past Master Ceremonies to the Master Mason Degree, of which all this workings or ceremonies of Ancient Craft freemasonry must be used in complement to all Regular Craft Rituals of EA, FC and MM.
4.2 That no Master Mason shall be allowed to take the Chair of the WM of a Regular Craft Lodge if he has not been installed.
5. In accordance with earlier Craft English ritual the three Lesser or Movable Lights of the Lodge being the Sun, First Quarter Moon and the Worshipful Master shall always be on display when the Grand Lodge or its constituent Lodges are at work; to light man to, at, and from their work, the chief of these being the Worshipful Master.
6. That the three Great Lights of Freemasonry shall always be on display when the Grand Lodge or its constituent Lodges are at work: the Square, Compasses and the chief of these being the Volume of Sacred Law, these being the fixed lights of the Lodge.
7. As per the usage of the Grand Lodge of London (1717-1723) the two Wardens are situated in the West of the Lodge, and represent the two pillars at the entrance of King Solomon’s Temple, and the Brethren must always enter the Lodge between this two pillars, that the Masonic Delta with or without the all seeing eye must be placed above the altar or table of the Worshipful Master, (no other altar or extra altar exists in Craft Freemasonry).
Only wax candles are used on the altar or desk of the WM, SW, JW, Secretary, Orator, and around the Tracing Board of the Lodge.
The Sword a Masonic symbol its use must be preserved and maintained.
The Tracing Board must always be placed in its traditional place the centre of the Lodge.
8. That the principles of the Ancient Charges, Customs, and Usages of the Craft shall be accordingly observed.
8.1 That the Grand Officers and Officers of a Craft Lodge must be elected every year.
9. Master Masons Aprons can also be painted depicting the symbols of the Craft Freemasonry.
10. That a Grand Lodge must be multi-ritualistic.
10.1 That a Regular Craft Ritual has to have a Opening an Initiation and a Closing;
that it must make allusion to the G.A.O.T.U.;
that it must have at least the book of Kings must be present as this is where the record of the building of Solomon’s Temple is first given and constitutes the base of the Craft legend;
that the Legend is of the Craft Degrees is that of Hiram Abif or Adoniram and of no other.
11. That all Freemasons must believe in the Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man and the immortality of the Spirit.
11.1 That the Ancient custom of Masonic Songs in Lodge should be encouraged and be maintained has it serves to further strength the Spirit of the Fraternity and deepen the Bonds of Brotherly Love among all Masons.
12. That the discussion of religion and politics within the Lodge shall be prohibited.
These Masonic principles constitute the Foundations of Regular Craft Ritual.
Lastly, this our Regulations shall be Recorded in our Registry, to show posterity how much we desire to revive the Ancient Craft upon true Masonic principles.
If you have any questions or comments, we would be pleased to hear from you.
© Masonic High Council the Mother High Council 2005