Masonic words in many of Freemasonry's old ritual books, have become somewhat archaic (seldom used in our modern language).
Since we do not use many of them in our everyday speech, we may be a bit unsure of their exact meaning. ..even if we dislike to admit it.
However, their meanings are very important for us to truly "feel" Freemasonry's power, its beauty and its truths.
Below are many of the archaic Masonic words used in Masonic ritual in the United States.
The following poem is by Walter K. Belt, from "A Masonic Thought For Each Day of the Year", Missouri Lodge of Research, Volume 28, by Alphonse Cerza, published in 1971, copyrighted in 1972.
It speaks to us of the necessity to not only speak and learn the Masonic words of the craft, but to learn the meaning of these Masonic words and phrases.
A to Z Poem
We should know every letter
In our Craft's alphabet;
And some of them are better
Than others are, and yet
Each one as an initial
Some phase of brotherhood
may show as beneficial,
And all of them are good.
If we would praise be earning,
We'll let our brothers see
We have sufficient learning
To go from A to Z.
Then let us all work harder,
Show how we really feel.
Yes, let us start with Ardor,
And let us end with Zeal.
Masonic Words in Everyday Language
Like most words in the English language, many of the Masonic words within the Craft, below, have multiple meanings, e.g.: "Manifold": Vehicle engines have manifolds, however Masonically, the word, "Manifold" denotes a whole entity which is composed of many and diverse elements.
The reason for this is because as our English language has changed over the years, many of these Masonic words have fallen into dis-use.
In the list below, if there are multiple meanings of Masonic words, they have been omitted, to provide you with a basic Fast Track, (easy-to-learn), Fat Free
(non-wordy) understanding of only their Masonic meanings to assist you in your quest for light.
|Ardor:||Fiery intensity of feeling.|
|Admonish:||To gently and constructively counsel another person.|
|Allegory||A literary style that uses symbols, characters or events to suggestively represent an abstract idea.|
|Allude||A hint. To make a somewhat disguised reference about a person, place or thing.|
|Archaic||Out of use. So extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period.|
|Aspersion||An unfavorable or damaging remark.|
Lacking refinement or culture. Coarse, very cruel, savage.
|Benediction||A ceremonial prayer requesting divine protection|
|Beneficent||A benefit. Doing or producing good.|
|Beseech||To earnestly ask or request.|
|Bourne||An archaic term for a goal or destination|
|Candor||Candid. The quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech.|
|Celestial||Relating to Heaven or the spirit.|
|Censure||Harsh criticism or disapproval.|
|Circumscribe||To draw a line or a boundary around.|
|Circumspection||Knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress by being prudent.|
|Conciliates||Compromise. The ability to come to terms in the interests of obtaining good will.|
|Conform||The ability to adapt oneself.|
|Consecrated||Solemnly dedicated to or set apart for a high purpose, usually a Holy purpose.|
|Contrive||To come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort.|
|Convex||Curving or bulging outward.|
|Countenance||Consent to or give permission.|
Profanes, pretenders, intruders, eavesdroppers. Those seeking to obtain the Masonic words and secrets of Masonry without having been admitted to the fraternity.
|Delineate||To accurately depict a shape. To draw or trace the outline of; sketch out.|
|Deluge||An overwhelming number or amount of an item;..as in a deluge of rain.|
|Demean||To reduce in worth or character.|
|Deportment||A manner of personal conduct or behavior.|
|Derogatory||Implies contempt or disapproval, ...such as a derogatory remark.|
|Diligent||Taking care, patience and perseverance in carrying out tasks.|
|Discerning||Having, revealing and exercising keen insight and good judgment.|
|Discordant||Conflicting. Not in agreement or harmony.|
|Discreet||Tactful. Good at keeping secrets, or subtle and unobtrusive.|
|Diurnal||Occurring in the daytime. Belonging to the period of daylight. (This is one of the Masonic words which few people understand its meaning.)|
|Divest||To deprive, remove or take away possessions from someone.|
|Eavesdropper||One who stands under the eaves, or near the window or door of a house, to listen; hence, a secret listener.|
|Ecliptic||Astronomic plane containing the Earth's orbit about the Sun. An imaginary line followed on the earth's surface by the direct ray of the Sun during the year. Solomon's temple, located in Jerusalem, is north of this line.|
|Edifice||A building. Especially a large or impressive one.|
|Emblematic||Serving as a visible symbol for something abstract; e.g.: as a crown is emblematic of royalty.|
|Emulation||To copy. An effort made to imitate another person's actions.|
|Endue||To endow. To provide with a quality or trait.|
|Esteem||To regard with respect and consideration.|
|Exalted||Noble. Elevated in rank, character, or status.|
|Exhort||To make an urgent appeal.|
|Expedient||Practical. Most appropriate to a purpose.|
|Fallacy||A false, erroneous or mistaken idea.|
|Fervency||Feelings of great warmth and intensity.|
|Firmament||The vault or expanse of the heavens; the sky.|
|Fruition||To bear fruit. To fulfill.|
|Grand Artificer||Deity. Creator of the Universe. Master Architect. God, Allah, YHWH, etc..|
|Homage||Expression of high regard. Showing respect or attesting to the worth or influence of another person.|
|Hypocrisy||Falsely assuming the appearance of virtue or religion.|
|Immemorial||Extending back or existing since beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition. Example: Time immemorial.|
|Implore||To earnestly call or pray for.|
|Inclemencies||Physical severity or harshness (commonly in respect to the elements or weather); roughness; storminess; rigor; severe cold, wind, rain, or snow.|
|Inculcated||To be taught. To implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly.|
|Incumbent||Obligatory. A duty to which one is obliged to perform.|
|Indissoluble||Firm. Stable. Incapable of being dissolved, decomposed or destroyed.|
|Ineffable||Not to be spoken because of its sacredness. Unutterable: such as the ineffable name of the Deity.|
|Insidious||Stealthily treacherous or deceitful.|
|Inundation||To overwhelm. To flood.|
|Invoking||To call on for aid or protection; to invite earnestly or solemnly; to summon; to address in prayer; to solicit or demand by invocation; to implore; as, to invoke the Supreme Being, or to invoke (appeal for) His blessing.|
|Laudable||Deserving commendation; praiseworthy.|
|Licentious||Illegal or Immoral. Disregard of rules.|
|Manifold||A whole entity which is composed of many and diverse elements. Ex: Manifold destiny.|
|Mercenary||Motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain.|
|Meridian||The position of the sun at noon.|
|Monitorial||Method of mutual instruction.|
|Nicety||Detail, exactness or precision.|
|Obdurate||Hard; firm; unbending; inflexible; unyielding; stubborn.|
|Oppress||To impose excessive burdens upon; to overload; hence, to treat with unjust rigor.|
|Palliate||To try to mitigate, lessen, cover for or conceal the gravity of (an offense) by excuses, apologies, etc.|
|Pervade||Permeate, diffuse. To spread through.|
|Pilasters||An ornamental and structural column that usually projects about a third of its width from the wall to which it is attached and contains a base and a capital (ornamental piece) on top. A pilaster is part of a wall, whereas a column is free-standing.|
|Pious||Reverence. Having or showing strong religious feelings and devotion toward the Creator.|
|Precepts||A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.|
|Prone||Lying flat. Prostrate.|
|Prudential||Wise. Exercising good judgment and common sense.|
|Recapitulate||Summary. To repeat in a concise form. Short form. Recap.|
|Rectitude||Rightness. Correctness of conduct and principle.|
|Reformation||Improvement. Betterment. Correction of an imperfect state. Reform.|
|Reign||Rule. To have control, or influence over.|
|Reverential||Honor. Esteem, Revere, Adore. A feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe.|
|Salutary||Wholesome. Promoting or conducive to some beneficial purpose. A purpose which deserves a salute.|
|Seraphic||A pure, angelic and burning love or ardor.
A Seraphim is one of a class of celestial beings with 6 wings...some
believe they are the first of the nine classes of angels.
They are mentioned in the Old Testament in Issaiah. 6:2, 3, 6, 7. Seraph means "fiery ones", an allusion, it is supposed, to their burning love. They are represented as "standing"..."hovering"?... above the King as he sat upon his throne, ready at once to minister unto him. Their form appears to have been human, with the addition of their 3 sets of wings.
|Shewbread||Showbread. 1 Sam. 21:1-6. This bread
consisted of twelve loaves made of the finest flour. They were flat and
thin, and were placed in two rows of six each on a table in the holy
place before the Lord.
They were renewed every Sabbath (Lev. 24:5-9), and those that were removed to give place to the new ones were to be eaten by the priests only in the holy place (see 1 Sam. 21:3-6; comp. Matt. 12:3, 4).
The number of the loaves represented the twelve tribes of Israel, and also the entire spiritual Israel, "the true Israel;" and the placing of them on the table symbolized the entire consecration of Israel to the Lord, and their acceptance of God as their God.
The table for the bread was made of acacia wood, 3 feet long, 18 inches broad, and 2 feet 3 inches high. It was plated with pure gold. Two staves, plated with gold, passed through golden rings, were used for carrying it.
|Shewed||Showed. An archaic word meaning to show, display or exhibit.|
|Solicit||Request. To petition for something which is desired.|
|Sublime||Ultimate. The greatest or most supreme and elevated degree. Awe-inspiring. Exalted.|
|Subservient||Useful. Serving or acting in a subordinate capacity through a sense of duty. Compliant and obedient to authority because of a deep understanding of the whole.|
|Subsisted||To Exist. To Be.|
|Sundry||Various and Diverse. Many.|
|Superficies||Superficial. Outward appearance. Shallow. Without depth. Residing on a single plane.|
|Superfluities||Excesses. That which is not needed.|
|Sustenance||Nourishment. That which is needed to sustain life.|
|Symmetry||Beauty as a result of balance and a harmonious arrangement. Excellence of proportion. Regularity of form or arrangement in terms of like, reciprocal, or corresponding parts.|
|Synonomous||Synonymous. Same. Like. Expressing or implying the same idea.|
|Tabernacle||A place of worship. Shelter. A temporary dwelling place.|
|Temperate||Moderate. Not extreme in behavior.|
|Tempest||Violent disturbance such as a storm or tornado.|
|Temporal||Temporary. For a limited time.|
|Tesselated||Checkered. Pertaining to or like mosaic tiling. The word "tessella" means small square.|
|Unbiased||Fair and impartial. Without bias.|
|Unfeigned||Real. Sincere. Unfaked.|
|Unsullied||Pure. Honorable. Clean. Untainted.|
|Venerable||Extremely old. Worthy of Respect. Revered.|
|Vertex||The highest point of something. The point of intersection of lines or the point opposite the base of a figure, as the top point of a triangle or a mountain.|
|Vicissitudes||Changes. Fluctuations. Variations.|
|Vouchsafe||To promise or agree, condescendingly, because it is in your power; to bestow a special favor. To vouch as safe.|
|Waft||Cause to move to and fro.|
|Wrought||Created. Made. Designed.|
|Zeal||With passion. Fervor. Eager and ardent interest in pursuit of something.|
Go Dark The Masonic words "go dark" have a two-fold meaning. Click on the link to read more about it.
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