Masonic Ritual Words

Some Masonic ritual words that had previously been used in old Freemasonry are now archaic and seldom used. A lot of Freemasons do not know the meaning of these words and the real significance of them. But it is essential for us to learn them so we can truly appreciate them.

Here are some archaic Masonic words that are used in Masonic rituals in the United States and their meaning.

We’ll start with letter A and progress to letter Z. Some of these words have multiple meanings as they are also used in everyday life and the English language has undergone a lot of changes since the old times. We omitted the multiple meanings so you won’t be confused in any way. Here is a basic breakdown of the words and what they mean.

Ardor: Ardor means a fiery intensity of feeling.

Admonish: To admonish someone is to counsel the person constructively and gently.

Allegory: Allegory is a literary style that uses characters, symbols and events to represent an abstract idea.

Allude: To allude to something is to disguise something about a place, thing or person through a subtle hint.

Archaic: Something that is so old that it is out of use.

Aspersion: An aspersion is a damaging or unfavorable remark.

Barbarous: Something barbarous is cruel, savage and isn’t refined or cultured.

Benediction: A benediction is a ceremonial prayer for divine protection.

Beneficent: To do or produce something good.

Beseech: To beseech someone is to ask or request for something earnestly from the person.

Bourne: Bourne is an archaic word for a destination or a goal.

Candor: Candor refers to the quality of being straightforward or honest in speech and attitude.

Celestial: Celestial is something that relates to heaven or the spirit

Censure: Censure is disapproval or harsh criticism

Circumscribe: To circumscribe is to draw a boundary or line around something or someone

Circumspection: Circumspection refers to knowing how to avoid distress by being prudent or wise in your dealings

Conciliates: Conciliates is to compromise or the ability to come to terms of interests in obtaining goodwill.

Conform: To conform is to adapt yourself to something or a situation.

Consecrated: To consecrate oneself is to set yourself apart for a higher or holy purpose.

Contrive: To contrive is to come up with an idea, theory, explanation or plan after much thought or deliberation.

Convex: Something convex bulges or curves outwards

Countenance: Countenance is to consent or give permission

Cowans: Cowans are pretenders, eavesdroppers and intruders that want to learn the secrets of Freemasonry without getting admitted to the Brotherhood.

Delineate: To delineate is to sketch out or draw out an outline or a shape.

Deluge: Deluge is an overwhelming or excessive amount of something.

Demean: To demean is to reduce someone’s character or worth.

Deportment: Deportment is a manner of behavior or personal conduct.

Derogatory: Something derogatory shows disapproval or contempt.

Diligent: Someone diligent takes perseverance, care and shows a lot of patience in carrying out tasks.

Discerning: A discerning person has profound revelation and shows good judgment.

Discordant: Discordant is something that is conflicting and not in harmony or agreement.

Discreet: Someone discreet is tactful and good at keeping secrets.

Diurnal: Diurnal occurs during the daytime or daylight.

Divest: To divest is to take away someone’s possessions from him.

Eavesdropper: An eavesdropper is someone that stands near a door or window to listen to private conversations or proceedings.

Ecliptic: Ecliptic is an astronomic plane that contains the orbit of the earth about the sun. It is an imaginary line that the rays of the sun follow on the surface of the earth during the year.

Edifice: An edifice is an impressive building.

Emblematic: Something emblematic serves as a visible symbol or representation of another thing.

Emulation: An emulation is a copy of an original thing or an effort made by someone to copy another person.

Endue: To endue is to endow or provide with a trait or quality.

Esteem: To esteem is to regard with consideration or respect.

Exalted: An exalted person is someone of elevated rank and status.

Exhort: To exhort is to make an appeal that is urgent

Expedient: Something expedient is practical or appropriate.

Fallacy: A fallacy is an erroneous or false idea.

Fervency: Fervency refers to deep feelings of intensity

Firmament: Firmament refers to the expanse of the sky or heavens

Fruition: To bring something to fruition is to see it bring fruit or yield rewards.

Grand Artificer: The Grand Artificer is God, or Allah or The Master Architect of the Universe.

Homage: To pay homage to someone is to show respect to a person worthy of honor

Hypocrisy: Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to be a person of virtue or a religious person.

Immemorial: Something that extends far back in time or stretching to a time that can’t be remembered.

Implore: A call or plea for help.

Inclemencies: This refers to physical harshness or severity like harsh weather conditions

Inculcated: To be taught or implanted by repeated admonition.

Incumbent: An obligatory duty

Indissoluble: Something that is firm or incapable of being destroyed.

Ineffable: Something that can’t be spoken or said because of how sacred it is.

Insidious: Something that is deceitful in a stealthy manner.

Inundation: To overwhelm or flood.

Invoking: To call for aid or protection, to call on in prayer, to pray to earnestly or solemnly.

Laudable: Something that is praiseworthy or deserves commendation.

Licentious: Something that is illegal or immoral.

Manifold: Something manifold is something that is composed of several elements.

Mercenary: To be motivated only by material gain or money.

Meridian: The position of the sun at 12 o’clock or noon.

Monitorial: A method of instructing people mutually.

Nicety: Precision or exactly detailed.

Obdurate: Something that is hard or unyielding or stubborn.

Oppress: To overload or impose with burden

Palliate: To lessen or mitigate or the gravity of an offense.

Patronize: To attend regularly.

Pervade: To spread through, permeate and diffuse.

Pilasters: Pilasters are part of a wall; they are a structural column that projects about a third of the width from the attached wall.

Pious: A pious person is someone that shows intense devotion and religious feelings towards God.

Precepts: A precept is a rule or principle that prescribes a particular conduct of action.

Prone: To go prone is to prostrate or lie flat.

Prudent: To be wise in handling affairs and to exercise sound judgment and common sense.

Prudential: A wise person that exercises common sense and good judgment.

Recapitulate: To summarize or to repeat in a short form.

Rectitude: Rightness or correctness of conduct.

Reformation: Improvement, correction or betterment.  

Reign: To rule or have control and influence over.

Reprehend: To disapprove or reprimand.

Reverential: To hold in high esteem or hold in awe.

Salutary: Something beneficial that deserves a salute.

Seraphic: Something that is angelic or pure in nature; burning love or reverence.

Shewbread: 12 loaves of bread made of fine flour that represents all the twelve tribes of Israel, and arranged in an orderly manner to be eaten every Sabbath by the priest in the Holy Place.

Shewed: An archaic word for showed; to exhibit something.

Solicit: To request or petition for something.

Sublime: The ultimate or greatest degree.

Subservient: Someone that makes himself useful in a subordinate capacity with a deep understanding of duty.

Subsisted: To exist.

Sundry: Diverse and various.

Superficies: Something that is superficial or without depth.

Superfluities: Excesses or things that are not needed.

Sustenance: Nourishment that is needed to sustain life.

Symmetry: Beauty as a result of harmonious arrangement and balance.

Synonymous: Something that is the same or expresses or implies the same idea.

Tabernacle: A tabernacle is a place for worship.

Temperate: Something temperate is moderate.

Tempest: Something violent.

Temporal: Something that lasts for a limited time.

Tenets: Principles.

Tesselated: Something that is checkered, for example the mosaic tiling of the lodge.   

Unbiased: Something that is impartial and fair.

Unfeigned: Something that is sincere and real.

Unsullied: Something that is pure or untainted.

Venerable: Something or someone that is old and worthy of respect.

Vertex: A vertex is the highest point or peak of something.

Vicissitudes: Variations, fluctuations or changes.

Vouchsafe: To vouch or verify that something is safe because it is in your power.

Waft: To cause something to move to and fro.

Wrought: To create or something.

Zeal: Passion and enthusiasm.   


1 comment

  • P. G. Pete Normand

    I was curious about what these archaic seldom-used “ritual words” might be, so I took the bait and clicked on this part of your blog. I am surprised that you find these words archaic and seldom used. Words like ardor, aspersion, bourne, circumspection, convex, demean, discordant, ecliptic, esteem, fallacy, hypocrisy, incumbent, laudable, nicety, pervade, prudential, reprehend, solicit, sustenance, temporal, venerable, and zeal, are all part of modern English and are familiar to an educated and literate man. In my opinion, a man who is not familiar with 95 percent of the words on this list, is not good material for the fraternity.

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