REFORMED MASONIC ORDER OF MEMPHIS
RITE OF THE
GRAND LODGE OF THE PHILADELPHES
2nd, Edition, London, Printed by Bro. Taferi, Islington Green
Declaration of Principles
Art.1- Freemasonry is an institution essentially philanthropical, philosophical and progressive. It has for its objects the amelioration of mankind without any distinction of class, colour, or opinion either philosophical, political or religious, for its unchangeable motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
2.- Freemasonry is composed of free and equal men who submitting themselves to the laws conforming to their conscience, work by instruction for the reform of those who offend it and are united in a society constituted under the statutes which they adopt.
3. - The work of the Lodge are exclusively consecrated to the development of human progress by the study of arts and sciences, and the practice of concord and tolerance.
4. - No one can be a Mason and have the rights attached to that title: 1st.Who is not at least 18 years or age and of irreproachable morality; 2nd. Who can not read and write; 3rd. Who is not admitted in the form determined by the Masonic rules and statutes.
5. – The Masonic rights are lost: 1st . Upon proof of a dishonourable action against the conscience; 2nd. By the violation of the oaths of fidelity to the Masonic Order, after judgment rendered in Masonic form.
6. – The Reformed Masonic Rite of Memphis fraternizes with all other Rites. It grants to its members the right to affiliate themselves to other Masonic Rites; but they cannot at the same time belong to several Lodges of the same Rite. All Masons who are presented in its Lodges will find the most fraternal welcome; but honours are only given to the deputations of Lodges.
7. – No one can be received as visitor or be affiliated to a Lodge of the Reformed Rite of Memphis if he has not been initiated in a Masonic Lodge regularly constituted.
Constitution of the Order
8. – The Reformed Masonic Order of Memphis recognizes only three degrees, those of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, and Master.
9.- The Masonic sovereignty is in general body of Masters of the different Lodges, who form the Grand Lodge of Philadelphes.
The Grand Lodge sits at London. It is charged:
1st. To govern and administer the Order;
2nd. To direct the scientific part of the works;
3rd. To unite all the Lodges of the Rite;
4th. To deliver to the Lodges their constitutions and diploma and to affix the seal of the Order;
5th. To centralise the works of the Lodges and collate all archives by means of the duplicate which are gathered by them from the different Lodges of the Rite.
10. – The works of the Grand Lodge are directed by Officers elected in general assembly by an absolute majority of the members present. These Officers are chosen from among the active members of the different symbolical Lodges and as much as possible among those who have been already charged with an Office.
They are eleven in number: The Worshipful Master, (President) Senior and Junior Warden, Orator, Secretary-Archiviste-Guard of seals and stamp, Treasurer, Grand Expert, Master of Ceremonies, Tyler, Senior and Junior Levite.
11. – The President of the Grand Lodge, The General Secretary and the General Treasurer having to sign the diploma or any other official acts must be residing at the Orient of London.
Their functions are incompatible with those of the seven first Dignitaries of any Symbolical Lodge.
12. – The President of the Grand Lodge is selected for one year, he cannot be re-elected to the same functions until after the lapse of the three years.
13. – Concerning the attributes of its Officers, and the order and discipline of its meetings, the Grand Lodge shall conform itself to the rules of the Symbolical Lodge, which will be annexed to the present statutes. These two Lodges hold their meetings at the same place.
14. – The Grand Lodge shall meet at least four times in each year, at the Equinoxes and Solstices; all its members resident at the Orient of London, shall be informed of each meeting by special convocation sent as much as possible 15 days in advance; this convocation will indicate the business at the order of the day.
The Lodge under its authority sitting at the other Orients will also if the distance permit it, receive timely communication of the order of the day, that their Master may examine in advance the questions submitted to their appreciation and make their written reports to the Grand Lodge.
15. – No one can exercise his rights in the Grand Lodge without he has his diploma, his decorations, and the Treasurer’s certificate of payment of the fees of his Lodge.
16. – The Officers of the Grand Lodge constitute its Administrative Council. This Council shall meet at least once every month; it will dispose the measure to be taken in the interest of the Order in general and of the Lodge in particular; will hear and determine the subject of complaints and irregularities as much on the part of the Lodges as the Masons individually; will cause the Statutes and Regulations to be executed; will look after the current business and mange the finances of the Grand Lodge. All the questions which regard the Council could, after a general convocation, be resolved by five members present; however the number seven shall be eligible to deliberate upon any complaint. It is the duty of the Council to read minutes of its business at the ensuing meeting of the Grand Lodge.
17. – The finances of the Grand Lodges are composed: 1st. Of the price of the constitutions which are fixed at £2; 2nd. Of the right of 5s. upon each diploma delivered by the Lodges; 3rd. Of the right of 1s. per annum for each active member of the Lodge which right can be augmented by the decision of the Grand Lodge if circumstances render it necessary.
18. – The Reformed Masonic Order of Memphis counts its Masonic Era from the Equinox of Autumn, epoch in which the sun enters the sign of the balance. It invariably begins its year the 22nd of September, and adopts the nomenclature and division of the Egyptian Calendar.
19. – The Masons of the Reformed Rite of Memphis will celebrate two fetes of the Order, the first by the Symbolical Lodges at the Equinox of Spring, under the name of “Revival of Nature”; the second by the Grand Lodge, at the Equinox of Autumn under the name of “Reposal of Nature”; this last in commemoration of the proclamation of the General Statutes of the Order.
20. – These fetes will be celebrated, 1st by an account that Bro. Orator will make of the Masonic works of the last period; 2nd. By lectures delivered either by the Orator or by the Brothers on Masonic subjects.
21. – In the banquets and fetes of the Orator there are seven obligatory toasts:
1st. That of the Oppressed of all nations;
2nd. That of the Grand Lodge;
3rd. That of the Worshipful Master (President);
4th. That of two Wardens;
5th. That of the Visitors;
6th. That of the Officers of the Lodge;
7th. That of all the Masons of both hemispheres.
22. – Every Lodge under its authority shall send to the Grand Lodge, twice a year, a month before the fetes of the Order at the Equinoxes, the list of its active members, the report of its works during the last six months with the duplicate of the documents produced, and at the same time the balance of the sums it may owe to the Grand Lodge. The Worshipful Master is responsible of this obligation.
23. – Every year at the Autumnal Equinox it will proceed to the general elections by the active members of whom the list will have been definitely closed the 22nd of August. All Masters inscribed after that epoch shall have no right to take part in the aforesaid elections.
24. – Regarding the foundation and installation of Lodges, the reformed Rite of Memphis conforms itself to Masonic traditions.
25. – The Grand Lodge has always the right to send delegates to the Lodges of the obedience instructed to inspect their works, to examine their books and audit their accounts, &c. When the delegates assist at a meeting one of them has the right to direct the works.
26. – Any Lodge may frame its bye-laws and regulations provided that the dispositions will not be inconsistent with the present Statutes. These bye-laws must be approved by the Grand Lodge and a copy deposited at the archives. In case of alterations they will be valid only after having so been submitted and approved.
27. – When a Lodge shall be subject to an accusation so serious as to render it necessary to suspend its works, it must deposit its constitutions in the hands of the President of the Grand Lodge before it can be allowed to answer the accusation.
28. – In case of breach of the general statutes by a Lodge held under the Reformed Masonic Order of Memphis, the Grand Lodge may declare it Suspended. If so, the Masters of the suspended Lodge cease to belong to the Grand Lodge.
MASONIC CLOTHING AND INSIGNIA
29. – The clothing and insignia are the emblems of order and dignity; they remind the wearer to be circumspect.
The Grand Lodge adopts those of its symbolical Lodges, which are blue watered riband with red rose and jewel; the gloves of white cotton. No other colour or ornament is admitted; only the President will wear his riband with the point at the left side and its Officers may have the emblems of their office in gold or in colour on the centre of their aprons.
That no new article shall be added or alteration of these statutes made unless with the consent of the majority of the members present at a general meeting of the Lodge specially called for that purpose at least three weeks before the time appointed for the said meeting.
All propositions or demands for alteration made by a brother must be signed by seven Masters. The brother who makes a demand must do so in writing, indicate the part he wishes to alter and the dispositions which he proposes to substitute; a copy of these propositions will be sent by the Secretary to every one of the brethren, and the discussion will take place three weeks after.
Being those Statutes printed in conformity of the alterations made by the Grand Lodge, we have undersigned and apposed our seals on the copies deposed to the Archives of the Order.
The General Secretary
Orient of London, the 27th day of the 9th month of the true light, 000,0000,000. (15th June 1861, A.D.)
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