Georges Martin Ritual

What follows is work in progress. I have too contradicting information about this ritual.

The British federation of Le Droit Humain says on their website (9/11/2023) (the South African federation uses the same text):

The Georges Martin Ritual
The Georges Martin Ritual is crammed full of symbolism. Its origins are unknown but it has much in common with the earliest Scottish workings. There is no incense used but it is easy to see why Annie Besant thought so much of it that she introduced elements from it into the Lauderdale working. The Magic Flute, Mozart’s famous Masonic opera, gives a flavour of the approach of this working which has considerable appeal, whilst also offering much to those of humanitarian principles. This working is commonly used throughout most of our Order in other countries, notably in France, but also very similar versions are in use by other Grand Lodges.

“This working is commonly used throughout most of our Order in other countries, notably in France”. I doubt that. I have a UK version of the “Georges Martin Working” and it is nothing like the ritual of Georges Martin himself.

Elsewhere I quote the website of the British federation saying: “This working uses the earliest triangular layout of the lodge as seen in the first Scottish lodges.” This text is no longer there, so the website changed or I misquoted. In either case, it is inconsistent with the British version of the ritual that I have, as there the J.W. sits in the South such as in many British rituals. In a French ritual, both wardens would have been located in the West of the lodge. Interestingly the S.W. sits in the North-West in my British “Georges Martin Working” and the Tyler in the West in the middle. That is a lay-out I don’t believe I saw elsewhere.

Currently I only have the UK version from 2016. It claims to be a translation of a 2007 ritual which suggests that its origin is French. The plan of the lodge doesn’t look French at all though with -as mentioned- an officer in the South and with Deacons for example. There are a lot of instructions, which could mean that things are very different from what is customary in the UK (which they are). The “Battery” is indeed French: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. There is a “R.W.M.” which is actually a Scottish way of referring to the person in the East, but that could have become a custom within the British federation over the years. The checking if everybody present is a Freemason is French again. An odd variety is that the dialogue between the worshipful master and the officers take places before the lighting of the candles and an ‘unfrench’ element is that the grand architect of the universe is invoked. Very French is the “examination under blindfold”.

The wording, the proceedings, of course it is all familiar, but for the larger part not obviously similar to rituals that I know, so I can’t (yet) say would could have been the origins of this ritual. There seems to be a mix between British and continental elements, but if the foreword is true, the ritual must have been written outside of the UK and been translated in order to be used in that federation.

What is clear, is that this is not the ritual written by Georges Martin himself. The differences are simply too large. Is it, then, a very free translation? Or could it be that it is a translation of a ritual that was developed (for example) in France over the years and recently translated to English?

Its origins are unknown but it has much in common with the earliest Scottish workings.

Thus says the website of the British federation. I have some more homework to do! I have to find the oldest version of the text, preferably the original (if there is an original). Since the ritual (or one with the same name) is also used in South Africa and North America, is could be interesting to see if these rituals are similar to the British one I have.


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