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The Emulation Ritual - Historical Informations


Emulation Working is a form of working taught by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement in London, whose committee is the custodian of this particular ritual. The Emulation Lodge of Improvement meets every Friday at 18.15 from October to June, at the Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London. It offers effectively demonstrations of the ceremonies, readings or lectures according to the Emulation Working.

The Emulation Lodge of Improvement first met on 2 October 1823. It restricts admission to Master Masons and provides instructions for those who wished to prepare themselves for Lodge office and succession to the Chair. The founders came principally from the Burlington and Perseverance Lodges of Instruction, the first formed in 1810 and the other one in 1817. Both Lodges had taught the new ritual approved by the Grand Lodge in June 1816, but they tended to focus on the work of the First Degree and to instruct candidates. Originally, teaching the ritual developed through the so-called "Masonic lectures", according to the system of the Grand Stewards' Lodge, whose lectures describe in detail the ceremonies.

Since 1830, according to the general practice of that time, they were introduced the rehearsal of the ceremonies. The Emulation Lodge of Improvement has always met, without interruption, since its formation and has always had a reputation for withstanding any change in the ceremonies, whether intentionally or not, however unauthorized. The ritual forms to be used in the United Grand Lodge of England were produced by the Lodge of Reconciliation and were approved and confirmed by Grand Lodge in June 1816.

Since 1816 there have been occasional adjustments of the ritual, approved by the Grand Lodge. The most important are the changes in the formula used in the Obligations, allowed by a resolution of the Grand Lodge in December 1964 and, more recently, the largest change in the process introduced by a resolution of the Grand Lodge in June 1986 concerning the formula used in the Obligations.

The Committee of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement has always tried to preserve the ritual as closely as possible to the form in which it was approved by the Grand Lodge and do not accept any unauthorized modification from the same source. So, while sometimes there have been minor adjustments authorized by the Grand Lodge, random error was never allowed to pass unnoticed, to prevent to make it an established practice.