A Lodge cannot he legally opened in this State without the presence of the Charter or CharterCertificate as well as the Furniture. When the hour of meeting has arrived and the W. Master hasascertained that the charter is present and the lodge furnished, he gives one rap with the gavel,directs the Brethren to he clothed and the Officers to invest themselves with their jewels and repairto their respective stations, and proceeds to open the lodge. He must open it on the third degree,unless the business he the conferring of the first or second degree, as all other business must betransacted in a Master's lodge. To ballot on petitions, there must he at least seven memhers of thelodge present: for other purposes the ritual number is sufficient, unless the bylaws otherwiseprovide.A prayer must he made or read, or a charge given, at opening or closing a lodgePRAYER AT OPENING A LODGEMost merciful God! Supreme Architect of Heaven and Earth. We beseech Thee to guide andprotect these brethren here assembled, and fulfill at this time that divine promise Thou wertpleased to make to those who should be gathered together in Thy name. Teach us to know andserve Thee aright Bless us and prosper us in all our laudable undertakings, and grant that ourconduct may tend to Thy glory, to the advancement of Freemasonry, and finally to our ownsalvation in that blessed kingdom where Thy children shall find rest. AMENResponse.So mote it be.ANOTHERO Lord, our Heavenly Father, the High and Mighty Ruler of the Universe, who dost from Thythrone behold all the dwellers upon earth, direct us, we beseech Thee, in all our doings, with Thymost gracious favor, and further us with Thy continual help, that in all our works begun, continuedand ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy name and as Thou hast taught us, in Thy Holy Word,that all our doings, withoutcharity, are nothing worth; send Thy Holy Spirit, and pour into ourhearts the most excellent gift of Charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without whichwhosoever liveth is counted dead before Thee.Bless and prosper, we pray Thee, every branch and member of this our Fraternity, throughout thehabitable earth. May Thy kingdom of peace, love and harmony come. May Thy will be done onearth as it is in heaven, and the whole world be filled with Thy glory. Amen.Response. So mote it be.CHARGE AT OPENING A LODGEBehold! how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard,that went down to the skirts of his garments.As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there theLord commanded a blessing, even life forevermore.
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