Sometimes used as a response to a Masonnic prayer, though in England, as well as in the United States, The formula is so mote it be. The word Amen signifies in Hebrew verily, truly, certainty. "Its proper place," says Gesenius, "is where one person confirms the words of another, and adds his wish for success to the other"s vows." It is evident, then, that it is the brethren of the Lodge, and not the Master or Chaplain, who should pronounce the word. Yet the custom in the United Sates is for the Master or Captain to say "Amen " and the brethren respond, "So mote it be"It is a response to the prayer.
We note with interest that line 793 of the Regius Manuscript, that the ancient Masonic poem of about 1390 says: Amen, Amen! so mot it be!"
The word in old English manuscripts is spelled mot or mote and in each case means may or must, from the Anglo Saxon motan, meaning to be obliged or compelled. The Talmudists have many superstitious notions in respect to this word. thus in one trease (Uber musar) it is said that whosoever pronounces the word with fixed attention and devotion, to him the gates of Paradise will be opened ; and, again, Whosoever enunciates the Word rapidly, his days shall pass rapidly away, and whosoever dwells upon it, pronouncing it distinctly and slowly, his life shall be prolonged.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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