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A Lodge Is Born

Originally Published in Carl H. Claudy's Old Tiler Talks - 1925

"What did you think of it?" inquired the Old Tiler of the

New Brother as they came out of the lodge room in

which a lodge had just been consecrated, dedicated

and constituted. "It isn't often that we have a chance

to see that ceremony."

"I don't care if I never see it again." returned the New

Brother. It's hot in there, and it struck me as a lot of

blah, just words which mean nothing. Why do they

have to go to all that bother? Why the corn and wine

and oil? Why not just say, 'you are a lodge- go ahead

and work,' and have it over with?"

"Would you have the Master say, 'this lodge is open'

and 'this lodge is closed' for an opening and closing

ceremony?" asked the Old Tiler.

"I wouldn't go as far as that," answered the New

Brother. "But this ceremony leaves me cold. I can't

see any sense in having this new lodge anyhow!"

"Oh! So that's it!" The Old Tiler smiled wisely. "You

are objecting to the beautiful ceremony we have just

witnessed because you are not in sympathy with the

creation of a new lodge at this time and place!

"I wouldn't say that." The New Mason flushed.

"Did you, by any chance, happen to want election to

an office in the new lodge, and they chose someone

else?" The New Brother made no answer.

"There will be other new lodges!" comforted the Old

Tiler. "And you are a little too young in Masonry to

aspire to office in a new lodge. But I can't let you keep

this wrong attitude about one of the really beautiful

ceremonies of our beloved order. Have you ever

attended the graduation exercises of any grammar

school, high school, or college?"

"My little girl graduated from the eighth grade into high

school last week," answered the New Brother. "Why?"

"It's at least an even bet that you saw half of that

ceremony through wet eyes," answered the Old Tiler.

"As you watched all those fresh faces, boys and girls

leaving childhood for youth, taking the big step that is

between the grade schools and high school, facing

the unknown future so blithely, was not your heart

touched with a knowledge of all the disappointments

and heartaches these happy and carefree children

must undergo?

"Of course."

"You wouldn't be a human father otherwise! To me a

consecration, dedication and constitution of a lodge is

something like that. The new little lodge starts out so

bravely. It is composed of Masons who have had no

Masonic responsibilities. Sometimes one can find an

old Past Master who will go into the line, but generally

they are new and untried officers. They satisfy the

authorities that they are competent to confer the

degrees, but who knows their abilities to form a new

lodge into a coherent whole, their tact in keeping

harmony, their knowledge of the necessity for

practicing brotherhood in the lodge?

"They come here, these brave bright brethren, and

the Grand Lodge performs this beautiful ceremony.

The corn, the wine, the oil, are poured for them. They

are consecrated to God, dedicated to the Holy Saints

John, and constituted a member of the family of

lodges under this Grand Lodge. Masters of other

lodges are present to wish them well. Some come

bearing gifts- the jewels the officers wear, the working

tools, perhaps a modest check from the lodge which

sponsored them to help the new thin treasury get a


"They have no traditions to steady them. They have

no matters of common knowledge to bind them

together. They have no past of which to talk. All they

possess is their mutual Masonry and their mutual

responsibility- their hopes, their fears, their plans and

their determination. An unwritten page is theirs on

which to record their Masonic future. The Mystic Tie is

all they know of lodge life. The Grand Master

pronounces them a lodge, the charter or warrant is

presented and they are born. To me it is a simple,

beautiful, pathetic, and interesting site, and one I

never tire of seeing."

"I am a fool." The New Mason spoke with conviction.

"Old Tiler, why did the Senior Deacon gather up the

corn that was used and put it carefully away?"

"He couldn't gather the wine and oil, since they were

spilled for good," answered the Old Tiler. "But that

little horn of corn will be kept until this new lodge itself

sponsors another new lodge, then to be offered to

them, that they may be consecrated with the same

corn poured for the Mother Lodge."

"Oh, I am a fool, indeed," cried the New Mason.

"Please take me with you to the next such ceremony,

will you?"

The Old Tiler grunted. But it sounded like a promise.