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BIBLE OPENINGS IN THE  LODGE
 

According to the late Harry Carr in his book The Freemason at work there is some variation in different parts of the country with regard to which pages the Bible should be opened at in a Lodge.

The first ever recorded in this country dates from the English exposure Three Distinct Knocks of 1760 for the three degrees as follows.

1st Degree The second epistle of Peter (with reference to brotherly kindness and charity)
2nd Degree The story of Judges 12 of the test of the Ephraimites
3rd Degree 1 Kings 7, the final details of Solomon's pillars


In the 1920's Dr. Cartwright reported that in old Yorkshire Lodges it was customary to open the Bible at:

1st Degree Psalm 133: Behold how good it is for brethren to dwell together in unity
2nd Degree Amos 7:7:  The Lord stood upon a wall made by plumb-line, with plumb line in His hand.
3rd Degree Ecclesiastes 7: Then the dust shall return to earth as it was; and the spiritshall return to God who gave it.


In Bristol  -  where the workings are very old  -  the following.

1st Degree Ruth 2:119: The story of Ruth and Boaz.
2nd Degree Judges 7;5-6 The test of the Ephraimites.
3rd Degree Genesis 4:22: The birth of Jabal and Jabul, who are mentioned in the Old Charges from c. 1400 onwards.

In Germany, many lodges use:

1st Degree John 1: 1:  In the beginning the Word...
2nd Degree Matthew22:39: thought shall love thy neighbour as theyself...
3rd Degree II Chronicles 7: Solomon's dedication of the temple

Also in many old English workings it was common for the Bible to be opened at John I especially when seven degrees were worked: Those of the 1st, 2nd  and 3rd, Mark, Excellent Master (Veils) Royal Arch and Knights Templar. It is important to remember that in many very old Lodges there were two installations a year, when the Master only served six months: on St John the Baptist Day 24th of June and St John the Evangelist Day on the 27th of December; hence the name used by some lodges for installations as the festival of St. John.

There is no Official Grand Lodge ruling and a few of the named rituals such as The Perfect Ceremonies actually specify which openings should be used, where the opening for all degrees is IIChronicles chapter 7 as a standard opening which is also prescribed in the English Ritual. That particular passage deals with the preliminariies to the building of the Temple and of Solomon's first request Hiram, King of Tyre for timber, etc. and a 'man cunning to work in gold, and in silver and in brass' ETC.

Take a look at which openings your VSL has the page markers in, the next time you go into your lodge.
 

reference Fred's Five Minute Talks

 

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