The secret Masonic handshakes of the Blue Lodge, the first three degrees of Freemasonry.

First Degree: Entered Apprentice

Secret word: Boaz

W. M. (taking a step back from the altar.)–You next discover me as the Master of this Lodge, approaching you from the east, under the duegard, sign, and step of an Entered Apprentice Mason (Master making the duegard, sign, and step, as represented and explained in Figs. 1, 2, and 14, pp. 16, 17), and, in token of my brotherly love and favor, present you my right hand (takes the candidate by the right hand, who is yet kneeling at the altar), and with it the grip and word of an Entered Apprentice. (W. M. to candidate.) Grip me, brother, as I grip you. As you are yet uninformed, your conductor will answer for you. (Senior Deacon.)

W. M. (looking the Deacon in the eye, while holding candidate by the right hand.)–I hail.

S. D.–I conceal.

W. M.–What do you conceal?

S. D.–All the secrets of Masons, in Masons, to which this (here presses his thumb-nail on the joint) token alludes.

W. M.–What is that?

S. D.–A grip.

W. M.–Of what?

S. D.–Of an Entered Apprentice Mason.

W. M.–Has it a name?

S. D.–It has.

W. M.–Will you give it me?

S. D.–I did not so receive it; neither can I so impart it.

W. M.–How will you dispose of it?

S. D.–I will letter it, or halve it.

W. M.–Letter it, and begin.

S. D.–No, you begin.

W. M.–Begin you.

S. D.–A.

W. M.–B.

S. D.–O.

W. M.–Z.

S. D.–Bo.

W. M.–Az.

S. D. (pronouncing)–Boaz. (The old way of spelling this word, as represented by Morgan, Craft, Allyn, Richardson, and Barnard, was by syllabling it. See those books.)

W. M. (helping candidate to rise from the altar, by the right hand.)–Rise, my brother, and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens as an obligated Entered Apprentice.

~ Duncan’s Ritual and Monitor


Second Degree: Fellow Craft

Secret word: Jachin

W. M.–Brother, you discover me approaching you from the east, under the duegard (here he makes the duegard) and sign (here he makes the sign of a Fellow Craft, see Figs. 3, 4, p. 17); and In token of the continuance of brotherly love and favor, I present you with my right hand (takes candidate by the right hand), and with it the pass, token, token of the pass, grip, and word of a Fellow Craft. As you are yet uninformed, your conductor will answer for you.

The Worshipful Master now takes the candidate by the Entered Apprentice’s grip (see Entered Apprentice’s grip, Fig. 9, p. 36), and says to his conductor, the S. .D., while holding the candidate by this grip:

W. M.–Here I left you. and here I find you. Will you be off or from?

S. D. (for candidate.) From.

W. M.–From what, and to what?

S. D.–From the real grip of an Entered Apprentice to the pass grip of a Fellow Craft.

W. M.–Pass.

Here the candidate is requested to pass his thumb from the first joint to the space between the first and second joints, which is the pass grip of a Fellow Craft. (See Fig. 11.)

W. M.–What is that?

Conductor–The pass grip of a Fellow Craft?

W. M.–Has it a name?

Conductor–It has.

W. M.–Will you give it me?

Conductor–” Shibboleth.” (Some letter it, Shib-bo-leth.)

W. M.–Will you be off or from?

Conductor–From. W. M.–From what, and to what?

Conductor–From the pass grip of a Fellow Craft to the real grip of the same.

W. M. (moving his thumb to the second joint.)–Pass.

W. M.–What is that?

Conductor–The real grip of a Fellow Craft.

W. M.–Has it a name?

Conductor–It has.

W. M.–Will you give it me?

Conductor–I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it.

W. M.–How will you dispose of it?

Conductor–I will letter it or halve it.

W. M.–Halve it, and begin.

Conductor.–No, you begin.

W. M.–Begin you.

Conductor.–Ja. (Some say “Jachin,” without halving.)

W. M.–Chin.

Conductor.–Jachin.

Some say it this way, viz.:

S. D.–Chin.

W. M.–Ja.

S. D.–Jachin.

The first is considered to be the most correct.

W. M.–The pass is right. (At the words, “is right,” lifting candidate from his knees at the altar.) You will arise, and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens as a Fellow Craft.

~ Duncan’s Ritual and Monitor


Third Degree: Master Mason

Secret word: Mahabone

W. M.–Let him receive further light.

Conductor here takes off the hoodwink and removes the cable-tow, and all around the altar place their hands in the position of the duegard of a Master Mason. (See Fig. 5, p. 17.) The Worshipful Master gives one rap with his gavel, when all the brethren retire to their seats, leaving at the altar the Master, conductor, and candidate.

W. M.–Brother Gabe, on receiving further light, you perceive more than you have heretofore. Both points of the compasses are elevated above the square, which is to teach you never to lose sight of those truly Masonic virtues, which are friendship, morality, and brotherly love.

The Master now steps back about three paces from the altar, and says.

Brother Gabe, you discover me approaching you from the east, under the duegard (some say–step, duegard, and sign) of a Master Mason; and, in token of the further continuance of my brotherly love and favor, I present. you with my right hand, and with it the pass and token of the pass of a Master Mason.

Takes the candidate by the “real grip” of a Fellow Craft, and says.

Your conductor will answer for you.

W. M.–Will you be off or from?

Conductor–From.

W. M.–From what and to what?

Conductor–From the “real grip” of a Fellow Craft to the pass grip of a Master Mason.

W. M.–Pass.

Conductor here instructs candidate to pass his thumb from the second joint to space beyond, which is the second space.

W. M. (looking conductor in the eye.)–What is that?

Conductor–The pass grip of a Master Mason.

W. M.–Has it a name?

Conductor–It has.

W. M.–Will you give it me?

Conductor–I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it.

W. M.–How will you dispose of it?

Conductor–I will letter it or halve it.

W. M.–Halve it, and begin.

Conductor–No, you begin.

W. M.–Begin you.

Conductor–Tu.

W. M.–Bal.

Conductor–Cain. (Pronounced by the conductor–Tubal Cain.) 1

W. M. (lifting the candidate up.)–You will arise, and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens as an obligated Master Mason.

~ Duncan’s Ritual and Monitor