Vol. LXXII No. 3 — March 1994
MSA has received numerous inquiries about the "Rusty Nail" night. We asked our readers in Emessay Notes to give us any available information. From those responses we have put together the following Short Talk.
Special thanks go to Dale C. Motter, G.M. Missouri and John Anagnostis, PGM and G.S. of Maine for permission to use programs approved by their respective Grand Lodges.
Important Note: This Short Talk is Informational only! Do not plan such a program without approval from your Grand Lodge! Missouri, for example, permits contacting prospective members. Many Grand Lodges do not until a prospective member inquires. However: Permission to adapt for use in your own jurisdiction is hereby given. The purpose of this Short Talk is merely to give information about the "Rusty Nail" degree and to illustrate how two Grand Lodges have "put together" such a program.
The Order of the Rusty Nail is a short program for use in a tiled lodge to refresh the memories of brethren holding a valid dues card who are not regular in their Lodge attendance.
The Order of the Rusty Nail refreshes the memory regarding the passwords and signs of the three Blue Lodge degrees. It touches on Lodge customs and reviews the mysteries and legends of Freemasonry as taught in the ritual.
The Order of the Rusty Nail can be effectively used as a tool to encourage increased regular attendance at Lodge meetings and for bringing a non-attending Brother into the Lodge and making him feel at ease with what may be forgotten ritual.
The Lodge may "Put On" the Order of the Rusty Nail on a regularly scheduled basis or only on special occasions. It is recommended the Lodge select candidates carefully and insure the success of the Order of the Rusty Nail by personal contact with the brethren receiving the Order both before and afterward.
Lodges should consider developing a packet of information for presentation to the candidate. This could include a copy of Lodge Customs and other appropriate Masonic publications. Be sure to include a blank petition and encourage the candidate to encourage a worthy friend to become a member. Consider a Rusty Nail lapel pin for inclusion in the packet.
The Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education is making this program available to interested Lodges and Brethren for use in promoting Lodge attendance in particular and Masonic education in general.
Committee on Masonic Education, Grand Lodge of Missouri:
- Thomas H. McCully
- Zelwin B. Eaton
- C. Scott Grantham
- Richard L. Smith
- Richard L. Nelms
- John W. Siscel, Chairman
The Order of the Rusty Nail
W.M. — Bro. S.W.
S.W. — W.M.
W.M. — Have you anything for the further action of this Lodge of M.M.?
S.W. — Bro.(s) ___ M.M.s are in waiting and desire to receive the Order of the Rusty Nail.
W.M. — Bro. S.D. you will retire with the stewards and see to the preparation of the candidate(s) and if duly qualified, admit him (them) in due form.
S.D. — (Introduces himself & stewards, sees current dues card, receives him in the name of the Lord.)
S.D. — (At the corner of the line of travel). Bro.(s) ___: Welcome to the Order of the Rusty Nail. Its purpose is to remind you of what you may have forgotten about the degrees of masonry and to make you feel at home in your lodge or in a lodge which you may visit. (Conducts Bro.(s) to altar).
W.M. — *** Brothers: Early in your Masonic career you were taught never to engage in any great or important undertaking without first invoking the aid and blessing of deity. I shall therefore call upon Bro. ___ to lead us in prayer.
(Prayer) Most holy and glorious Lord God, the great architect of the universe, we beseech thee to look down upon and bless the brethren here assembled. May the connections formed here be linked together with ever increasing ties of brotherly love and fellowship until time shall be no more. Amen.*
S.D. — (Conducts him to the J.W.).
S.D. — Bro. J.W.: It gives me pleasure to present Bro.(s) ___ M.M.s who desire(s) the Order of the Rusty Nail.
J.W. — Welcome Bro.(s) to ___ Lodge No. ___ and the Order of the Rusty Nail. On your first admission into a Lodge of Freemasons you were received upon the P.O.A.S.I. etc.
(At this point the ritual used at the candidates entrance into the Lodge is given. Then the steps, due guard and sign, working tools, grip and word are communicated)
J.W. (continues) You will now be conducted to the S.W. for instructions on the 2nd degree.
S.D. — Bro. S.W.: It gives me pleasure to present Bro.(s) ___ M.M.s who desire(s) the Order of the Rusty Nail.
S.W. — Welcome to ___ Lodge No. __ and the Order of the Rusty Nail.
On your first admission into a Lodge of Fellowcrafts you were received upon the A.O.A.S. etc.
(At this point the ritual used to receive the candidate on the 2nd degree is given. Then the steps, due guard and sign, the working tools, grip and word are communicated. Then the origin of the password, "it originated in consequence of a quarrel between, etc." is given).
S.W. — (continues) You will now be conducted to the W.M. for instructions on the 3rd degree.
S.D. — W.M., it gives me pleasure to present Bro.(s) ___ M.M.s who desire the Order of the Rusty Nail.
W.M. — Welcome Bro.(s) to ___ Lodge No. __ and the Order of the Rusty Nail. On your first admission into a Lodge of M.M.s you were received upon B. P. O. T. C. etc.
(at this point the ritual used to receive the candidate on the 3rd degree is given. Then the steps, due guard and sign, the working tools, grip and word are communicated. Also the ritual relating to the "Grand Hailing Sign" is given).
W.M. — Concludes with: Bro. S.D. you will provide the Brethren with Chairs.
The following "Charge" is now given:
Bro.(s)-In the 1st degree you were given a brief explanation of Masonry as follows: Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. Its tenets are brotherly love, relief and truth. Its cardinal virtues are temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice. Its religion, if religion it may be called, is an unfeigned belief in the one living and true God.
The 2nd section of the 3rd degree in which you, each one, were caused to represent our G.M.H.A., is a most solemn and impressive portion of our ritualistic work. In it we are taught the ultimate lesson of victory over death and the immortality of the soul.
The great moral lesson designed to be inculcated B. T. C. O. T. D. I. T. O. H. L. T. I. T. P. S. Y. M. A. A. W. T. A. T. T. A. D. F. B. D. A. T. G. A. T. B.  T. R. A. T. L. E. the Grand Lodge has changed the law on solicitation. Now it is legal to ask a friend or relative that you think would make a good Mason to join, so long as we do not use coercion.
In a packet of material, which you will receive shortly, will be a petition, so if you know of such a person or persons, please talk to them about masonry and give them a petition if they want it.
If you wish to visit a lodge and no one there can vouch for you, they will ask you to repeat the test oath and ask you a few questions.
Be sure you have a current dues card with you. Bro. S.D. you will conduct the Bro.(s) to the altar.
W.M. — Brethren, I congratulate you upon your successful completion of the Order of the Rusty Nail. I hope that the redefining of these principles will stimulate your renewed interest in Freemasonry and that you will once again attend lodge meetings and activities.
We have prepared a packet of information for you which contains a petition and other pamphlets which you may read at your leisure. Your worshipful master will now invest you with the lapel pin emblematic of the Order of the Rusty Nail. Wear it, prize it, and tell all who may ask about the Order of the Rusty Nail how they may receive it. You will now be seated among the brethren.
"Rusty Nail Night"
(Particularly for sojourners in Maine)
The purpose of this evening is to help you to review the lessons learned in each of the degrees as you progressed "seeking light, and to improve yourself in Masonry."
This review should enable you, wit h a current paid dues card from your home lodge, to gain admittance as a visitor in any Lodge in Maine, and probably anywhere in the country. There are some slight differences in Lodges of the English Constitution and Scottish Constitution, if one would travel in foreign countries. If you travel to Florida or other southern jurisdictions in winter, you will find them most hospitable.
- Whence came you?
- What came you here to do?
- How do I know you to be a Mason?
- What are Signs?
- What are tokens?
- Can you show the due guard and signs of EA, of FC, of MM?
- What is the significance of each due guard?
- Of each sign?
- When are they given?
- What are the "great lights"?
- How are they arranged for each degree?
- To what part of the Bible are they opened for each degree? (see Maine cipher, page 184)
- What are the "lesser lights" and to what do they pertain?
- Which colors, nearest the East? the West? The South?
- In arranging the "great lights" which way does the, Bible face? The S & C's?
- What is a grip? Can you show the grip of an EA? Its name?
- The PASS grip of a FC? Its name?
- The REAL grip of a FC? Its name?
- The PASS grip of a MM? Its name?
- The REAL grip of a MM? How given and what is its name?
- What are the 5 points of fellowship and how used?
- What is the Masonic sign of distress, how and when given?
- What is a common form of challenging a "presumed" brother?
- If you are challenged in this manner, what would be your reply?
- In Maine, what is the common salutation used with a known brother?
- If you are in anoth er jurisdiction, how can you identify your lodge as "regular"?
- If you wish to be examined, and no brother present can avouch for you, whom do you ask?
- Do you know the "Test Oath" and how given? (See Maine cipher, page 184)
- If you plan to travel in a foreign country, particularly Englsnd and Scotland, do you know the proper procedure to attend a lodge?