The Ritual


“the mode of opening and closing a lodge, of conferring the degrees, of installation, another duties, constitute a system of ceremonies which are called the ritual. much of this ritual is esoteric, and, not being permitted to be committed to writing is communicated only by oral instruction. and each Masonic jurisdiction it is required by the superintendent authority, that the ritual shall be the same; but it more or less differs in the different rights and jurisdictions. but this does not affect the universality of masonry. The ritual is only the external and extrinsic form. The doctrine of Freemasonry is everywhere the same. It is the body which is unchangeable remaining always and everywhere the same. the ritual is but the outer garment which covers this body, which is subject to continual variation. it is right and desirable that the ritual should be made perfect, and everywhere alike. But if this be impossible as it is, this at least will console us, that while the ceremonies, or ritual, have varied at different periods, is still very indifferent countries, the science and philosophy, the symbolism and the religion, of Freemasonry continue, and will continue, to be the same wherever true masonry is practiced.”


Albert Mackie encyclopedia Freemasonry 1916

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