Masonic Rituals for the Fellowcraft Degree

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The Fellowcraft degree is the second degree of Freemasonry. This degree is conferred to a candidate at a meeting of a lodge. The Worshipful Master announces that there are candidates seeking the fellowcraft degree. If there are no objections to this, it is announced that a candidate must be prepared for this degree “By being divested of all metallic substances, neither naked nor clothed, barefoot nor shod, right knee and breast bare, hood-winked, and with a cable-tow twice around his right arm, clothed as an Entered Apprentice.”

The candidate is placed in the preparation room and is attired as directed. He then requests and is given permission to enter the lodge again. The Worshipful Master asks for the password and asks a series of questions to ascertain that the candidate is prepared for the degree. The Senior Deacon or another officer usually responds on behalf of the candidate for many of these questions, effectively confirming that the candidate is ready. The Senior Deacon or other officer will also usually supply the necessary password – “Shibboleth” --on behalf of the candidate.

After it is established that the candidate is qualified, the candidate is asked to kneel at the altar to take his obligation or oath for the Fellowcraft degree. To do this, the candidate must kneel “on your naked right knee, your left forming the angle of a square, your right hand resting on the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, your left in a vertical position, your arm forming a square.” The candidate must then recite the oath: “I, ____ ____, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and this Worshipful Lodge of Fellow Crafts, erected to Him, and dedicated to the memory of the Holy Saints John, do hereby and hereon, solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will keep and conceal and never reveal any of the secrets belonging to the Degree of Fellow Craft, which I have received, am about to receive, or may be hereafter instructed in, to any person unless it shall be to a worthy Brother Fellow Craft, or within the body of a just and duly constituted Lodge of such; and not unto him or them until by due trial, strict examination, or lawful Masonic information, I shall have found him or them justly entitled to receive the same. Furthermore, I do promise and swear that I will answer and obey all due signs and regular summons, sent me from the body of a just and duly constituted Lodge of Fellow Crafts, or handed me by a worthy Brother of this degree, if within the length of my cable-tow, and the square and angle of my work. Furthermore, I do promise and swear that I will help, aid and assist all poor and distressed Fellow Crafts, they applying to me as such, I finding them worthy, and can do so without material injury to myself. Furthermore, I do promise and swear that I will not wrong, cheat, nor defraud a Fellow Crafts Lodge, or a worthy Brother of this degree, to the value of anything, knowingly, nor suffer it to be done by another if in my power to prevent. To all of which I do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind in me whatsoever, binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart and vitals taken thence, and with my body given as a prey to the vultures of the air, should I ever knowingly, or willfully, violate this, my solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft. So help me God and make me steadfast to keep and perform the same.”

Once the oath is given, the candidate kisses the Bible and is given the grip or the handshake of the Fellowcraft mason for the first time by The Worshipful Master. After this ritual, the candidate is a Fellowcraft mason and may use the Fellowcraft handshake with other masons of the same degree.

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