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…It is yours to wear with courage, with patience and with dignity through all the turmoil, the heat and dust of the day; and when at last the evening shadows fall and wearied hands lay down the working tools of life, may you so have lived and labored that you may pass with serene, unwavering confidence through the sunset gates.
And, my Brother, if you have worn this emblem worthily through the stress of the years, when the hour shall come wherein that part of you which is of the earth is given back to the kindly bosom of the mother who nourished it, to be resolved once more to the earth whence it came-even then, in that hour, in the silence and mystery of the grave, this unstained emblem will be laid by loving hands upon your cold and pulseless breast, as a symbol and a sign for all to see, that here lies the earthly habitation of one who has kept the faith, who has fought the good fight and had no fear to die.
And after you have passed through the little change that men call death, and the Kindly Master of all good workmen shall call you from labor to refreshment and rest for a little while before setting you to labor anew in some happier world and wider field of endeavor, you will enter upon the great adventure with light and joyous spirit and meet the Master face to face-a workman who need not be ashamed-a laborer worthy of his hire-a gentleman, unafraid.
Fine men have walked this way before,
Whatever Lodge your Lodge may be;
Whoever stands before the door,
The sacred arch of Masonry,
Stands where the wise, the great, the good,
In their own time and place have stood.
You are not Brother just with these,
Your friends and neighbors; you are kin
With Masons down the centuries;
This room that now you enter in
Has felt the tread of many feet,
For here all Masonry you meet.
You walk the path the great have trod,
The great in heart, the great in mind,
Who looked through Masonry to God,
And looked through God to all mankind
Learned more than word or sign or grip,
Learned Man's and God's relationship.
To him who sees, who understands,
How mighty Masonry appears!
A Brotherhood of many lands,
A fellowship of many years,
A Brotherhood so great, so vast,
Of all the Craft of all the past.
And so I say a sacred trust
Is yours to share, is yours to keep;
I hear the voice of men of dust,
I hear the step of men asleep;
And down the endless future, too,
Your own shall echo after you.