Transcription Notes: This Internet file is not an exact copy of the book. Certain liberties have been taken. It is presented here as a collection of poetry, rather than as songs to be sung. Some of the conventions helpful for singing, such as breaking words into syllables and heavy use of apostrophes for elided 'e's and 'v's, were felt unnecessary and distracting, so many of the 'v's and practically all of the vowels that were apostrophized out have been replaced. While choruses are noted, repeating line have otherwise been left out. A very few spellings have been modernized, and typographic errors corrected.
While we have retained the listing of suggested tunes, we have left out such other musical information as key signatures and composers or arrangers, if they didn't write the lyrics. (Most arrangements were by the compiler, C.W. Mabie; in a few cases, it was unclear if the names with the songs were for music or words, so we left those in). The original had scores for most songs, which we have left out. If you are in need of them, a photocopy of the book is available at Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=VKhBUSr7rY4C&pg=PA7, with the page number you want as the digits at the tail of the URL (page 7, in this sample).
There are 121 poems in this volume, but several are duplications, and several others are not Masonic, so only included within this file, but not in the external indexes.
Page numbers ran from 7, for the title page, to 112, for the final page of indexes, with the song numbers serving as page numbers. This caused some anomalies, because the songs were not presented in numerical order! We guess the numbers correspond to the 1st edition of 1866, but this file was created from the 11th edition, of 1897. Because of this, it was found useful to add a Table of Contents. Originally, there was no Table of Contents, but several indexes at the back, of music, first lines, and subjects. These have not proved to be accurate, so the first line index (which we use here at M.P.S.) has been corrected, but the other two, although not corrected, are left in, as they are still useful for music and subject lists, and some of the numbers are correct. We have also added an author index, though most songs were uncredited.
This book did not include any artwork.
Duplicated numbers have had a, b, or c added in this HTML version only.
Titles entered in ALL-CAPS included music scores.
A Collection Of
To Which Is Added A
CHOICE SELECTION OF MISCELLANEOUS MUSIC,
MASONIC PUBLISHING & SUPPLY CO.
84 Park Row, N. Y.
Entered According to act of Congress, in the year 1866. by
CHESTER W. MABIE,
In the Clerk's office of the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
We have carefully examined the MYSTIC CHORD, published by Bro. CHESTER W. MABIE, and take pleasure in recommending it to the favorable notice of the Craft, as a valuable addition to the various text books in use in Masonic bodies. We are pleased with the judgment, taste, and skill evinced in the arrangement of the various melodies contained in his book, and believe that it will supply a want that has long been felt, by members of the Fraternity, because the book has been prepared especially to accommodate mixed voices in large assemblies. The melodies are flowing and graceful, are written within the compass of any voice, and are easily learned.
Contemplating the general associations of man, it is remarkable how few of their gatherings are brought to a successful issue without the accompaniment of Music; on almost all the occasions that invite him from the busy world of Art, Commerce or Industry, or from the home of his family to join in other than the most ordinary of his pursuits. Music forms a part, at least, and in many instances a principal feature of his social enjoyments; there is nothing that arouses the passions, elevates the soul, and exalts man, stimulating him to greater moral attainments than this force Music the science of harmonious sounds appealing alike to the better nature of humanity whereever it be, the magnificent echoes of the thunder of the Great Architect rolling through space, or the plaintive air, for aid from those dependent, the power of Music over the mind for good has never been defined, for it is of itself immeasurable ; divested of it, a Nation or a Church, have nothing but the very nakedness of a people, or crude religion, without beauty or grace. Masoury whose ideal empire is founded on the good of man to his fellow, cannot hide the formality of its ritual but by bringing to its aid this poetic outpouring of the soul.
In presenting the MYSTIC CHORD to the fraternity, the Author feels that it is no novolty, no innovation, but a time honored custom in most if not all Lodges having facilities, and from a close observation of the wants, has taken pains to cull from many flowers those only having fragrance and adaptability to the special use intended. As a creative of that moral which all admit is so essential a feature in our rites and ceremonies the memory of which still rings in the ears of those devotees who proudly rejoice in the name of Mason, to the craft, this work is humbly dedicated, in the faith that it will meet the wants of many, and be received in a fraternal spirit by all who believe that the strength and support of the Masonic Institution is Peace and Harmony.
The favor with which the MYSTIC CHORD has been received, and the recognition by the Craft of its general adaptability to the use of Lodges has emboldened the author to issue the second edition; in presenting which it is confidently hoped that the same generous patronage awarded to the work, will be merited, and extended to the present carefully revised and enlarged edition.
The ceremonies which are observed on the occasion of funerals are highly appropriate; they're performed as a melancholy Masonic duty, and as a token of respect and affection to the memory of a departed brother. No mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless he has been advanced to the third degree. Fellow Crafts and Apprentices are not entitled to funeral obsequies. All the brethren who walk in procession, should observe, as much as possible, an uniformity in their dress; black clothes, with white gloves and aprons, are most suitable.
The brethren being assembled at the Lodge room, (or some other convenient place,) the presiding officer opens the lodge in the third degree; and having stated the purpose of the meeting, a procession is then formed, which moves to the house of the deceased, and from thance to the place of interment.
ORDER OF PROCESSION AT A FUNERAL
Tyler, with drawn Sword;
Stewards, with White Rods;
Musicians, (if they are Masons,) otherwise they follow the Tyler;
Senior and Junior Deacons;
Secretary and Treasurer;
Senior and Junior Wardens;
Royal Arch Masons;
The Holy Writings, on a cushion, covered with black cloth,
carried by the oldest (or some suitable) member of the Lodge;
The Body with the insignia placed thereon,
Note If a past or present Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, or Grand Warden, should join the procession of a private lodge, proper attention is to be paid to them. They take place after tho Master of the lodge. Two Deacons, with black rods, are appointed by the Master to attend a Grand Warden; and when the Grand Master or Deputy Grand Master is present, the Book of Constitutions is borne before him, a Sword Bearer follows him, and the Deacons, with black rods, on his right and left.
When the procession arrives at the place of interment, the members of the lodge form a circle round the grave; the officers take their position at the head of the grave and the mourners at the foot. The following exhortation is then given:
FUNERAL SERVICE AT THE GRAVE.
The solemn notes that betoken the dissolution of this earthly tabernacle, have again alarmed our outer door, and another spirit has been summoned to the land where our fathers have gone before us. Again we are called to assemble among the habitations of the dead, to behold the "narrow house appointed for all living." Here, around us, in that peace which the world cannot give, sleep the unnumbered dead. The gentle breeze fans their verdant covering, they heed it not; the sunshine and the storm pass over them, and they are not disturbed; stones and lettered monuments symbolize the affection of surviving friends, yet no sound proceeds from them, save that silent but thrilling admonition, "seek ye the narrow path and the straight gate that lead onto eternal life."
We are again called upon to consider the uncertainty of human life; the immutable certainty of death, and the vanity of all human pursuits. Decrepitude and decay are written upon every living thing. The cradle and the coffin stand in juxtaposition to each other; and it is a melancholy truth, that so soon as we begin to live, that moment also we begin to die. It is passing strange, that notwithstanding the daily mementoes of mortality that cross our path; notwithstanding the funeral bell so often tolls in our ears, and the "mournful procession" go about our streets, that we will not more seriously consider our approaching fate. We go on from design to design, add hope to hope, and lay out plans for the employment of many years, until we are suddenly alarmed at the approach of the Messenger of Death, at a moment when we least expect him, and which we probably conclude to be the meridian of our existence.
What, then, are all the externals of human dignity, the power of wealth, the dreams of ambition, the pride of intellect, or the charms of beauty, when Nature has paid her just debt? Fix your eyes on the last sad scene, and view life stript of its ornaments, and exposed in its natural meanness, and you must be persuaded of the utter emptiness of these delusions. In the grave all fallacies are detected, all ranks are leveled, and all distinctions are done away.
While we drop the sympathetic tear over the grave of our deceased brother, let us cast around his foibles, what ever they may have been, the broad mantle of masonic charity, nor withhold from his memory the commendation that his virtues claim at our hands. Perfection on earth has never yet been attained; the wisest, as well as the best of men, have gone astray. Suffer, then, the apologies of human nature to plead for him who can no longer extenuate for himself.
Our present meeting and proceedings will have been vain and useless, if they fail to excite our serious reflections, and strengthen our resolutions of amendment. Be then persuaded, my brethren, by the uncertainly of human life, and the unsubstantial nature of all its pursuits, and no longer postpone the all-important concern of preparing for eternity. Let us each embrace the present moment, and while time and opportunity offer, prepare for that great change, when the pleasures of the world shall be as poison to our lips, and happy reflections of a well spent life afford the only consolation. Thus shall our hopes be not frustrated, nor we hurried unprepared into the presence of that all wise and powerful Judge, to whom the secrets of every heart are known. Let us resolve to maintain with greater assiduity the dignified character of our profession. May our faith be evinced in a correct moral walk and deportment; may our hope be bright as the glorious mysteries that will be revealed hereafter; and our charity boundless as the wants of our fellow creatures. And having faithfully discharged the great duties which we owe to God, to our neighbor and ourselves; when at last it shall please the Grand Master of the universe to summon us into his eternal presence, may the trestle-board of our whole lives pass such inspection that it may be given unto each of us to "eat of the hidden manna," and to receive the "white stone with a new name written" that will ensure perpetual and unspeakable happiness at his right hand.
The Master then presenting the apron continues.
"The lamb-skin or white apron, is the emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason. It it more ancient than the golden fleece or Roman eagle; more honorable than the star and garter, when worthily worn."
The Master then deposits it in the grave.
This emblem I now deposit in the grave of our deceased brother. By it we are reminded of the universal dominion of Death. The arm of Friendship cannot interpose to prevent his coming; the wealth of the world cannot purchase our release; nor will the innocence of youth, or the charms of beauty propitiate his purpose. The mattock, the coffin, and the melancholy grave, admonish us of our mortality, and that, sooner or later, these frail bodies must moulder in their parent dust.
The Master, holding the evergreen, continues.
This evergreen, which once marked the temporary resting place of the illustrious dead, is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul. By this we are reminded that we have an immortal part within us, that shall survive the grave, and which shall never, never, never die. By it we are admonished, that, though like our brother, whose remains lie before us, we shall soon be clothed in the habiliments of Death and deposited in the silent tomb, yet, through the merits of a divine and ascended Saviour, we may confidently hope that our souls will bloom in eternal spring.
The brethren then move in procession round the place of interment, and severally drop the sprig of evergreen into the grave; after which, the public grand Honors are given. The Master then continues the ceremony at the grave, in the following words:
From time immemorial, it has been the custom among the fraternity of free and accepted Masons, at the request of a brother, to accompany his corpse to the place of interment, and there to deposit his remains with the usual formalities.
In conformity to this usage, and at the request of our deceased brother, whose memory we revere, and whose loss we now deplore, we have assembled in the character of Masons, to offer up to his memory, before the world, the last tribute of our affection; thereby demonstrating the sincerity of our past esteem for him, and our steady attachment to the principles of the order.
The Great Creator having been pleased, out of his infinite mercy, to remove our brother from the cares and troubles of this transitory existence, to a state of endless duration, thus severing another link from the fraternal chain that binds us together; may we, who survive him, be more strongly oemented in the ties of union and friendship; that, during the short space alloted us here, we may wisely and usefully employ our time; and, in the reciprocal intercourse of kind and friendly acts, mutually promote the welfare and happiness of each other. Unto the grave we have consigned the body of our deceased brother; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; there to remain till the trump shall sound on the resurrection morn. We can cheerfully leave him in the hands of a Being, who has done all things well; who is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders.
To those of his immediate relatives and friends, who are most heart stricken at the loss we have all sustained, we have but little of this world's consolation to offer. We can only sincerely, deeply and most affectionately sympathize with them in their afflictive bereavement. But in the beautiful spirit of the Christian's theology we dare to say, that He, who "tempers tho wind to the shorn lamb," looks down with infinite compassion upon the widow and the fatherless, in the hour of their desolation; and that the same benevolent Saviour, who wept while on earth, will fold the arms of his love and protection around those who put their trust in Him.
Then let us improve this solemn warning that at last, when the "sheeted dead" are stirring, when the "great white throne" is set, we shall receive from the Omniscient Judge, the thrilling invitation, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
The service is here concluded with the following, or some suitable prayer: Almighty and most merciful Father, we adore thee as the God of time and of eternity. As it has pleased thee to take from the light of our abode, one dear to our hearts, we beseech thee to bless and sanctify unto us this dispensation of thy Providence. Inspire our hearts with wisdom from on high, that we may glorify thee in all our ways. May we realize that thine All-seeing Eye is upon us, and be influenced by the spirit of truth and love to perfect obedience, that we may enjoy the divine approbation here below. And when our toils on earth shall have ceased, may we be raised to the enjoyment of fadeless light and immortal life in that kingdom where faitb and hope shall end and love and joy prevail through eternal ages.
And thine, O righteous Father, shall be the glory forever. Amen.
Thus the service ends, and the procession returns in form to the plnce whence it set out, when the necessary duties are oomplied with, and the business of Masonry is renewed. The insignia and ornaments of the deoeased, if an officer of a lodge, are returned to the Master, with the usual ceremonies.
Most songs were uncredited, this list only includes those with the writer listed.