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