The circle of friendship (variant)
(The Installed Master remains seated while the board is closed, the V.S.L. being left open at the closing. The brethren are requested to form a circle about the altar.)
Worshipful Brethren, this circle with all its individual segments, is emblematic of friendship, masonic friendship, and more especially and particularly, the friendship of Installed Masters.
We now receive another into our mystic circle in the person of our newly installed Master, Wor. Bro. ________ (Here take the W.M. by the arm and assists him to the circle.) And now let us close our ranks by taking one short step forward, standing shoulder to shoulder with arms crossed and hands warmly clasped, thus welding this circle into an unending chain of fraternal union.
The experience through which we have all passed should bind us together forever and make this circle stronger and more enduring than bands of steel.
If our work in Freemasonry has taught us but one thing, accomplished but one purpose, and that be the forming and cementing of true and lasting friendships, then our labours about this altar of Freemasonry have not been in vain.
May the friendships thus formed never be broken, and may we all live in peace, love and unity. May our faith continue to grow stronger and purer, strengthening and supporting us in all trials and emergencies, and may Fidelity be the mark of all our actions.
Thus by the principle of Faith, Friendship and Fidelity, we shall be enabled to sustain worthily, and with dignity, the honourable title of Installed Master.
And now as this circle with all its individual segments, is about to be dispersed, never again to be reformed in just the same way, may the G.A.O.T.U. bless and preserve each and every one and may we all meet again in the Grand Lodge above. (W. Bro. Chaplain you will close the V.S.L.)
As we close this Holy Book, let us remember all those Installed Masters whom we have known and loved as they laboured amongst us, whose book of life here is closed and who have gone to their great reward in the arms of the Father.
While we revere their memory, let us resolve that we too shall transmit this ancient truth to all who follow after, pure and unimpaired, as it was transmitted to us. So mote it be.
(Wor. Brethren the Board is closed, the Lodge is at refreshment, there will be a short intermission to enable you to offer your individual congratulations to Wor. Bro.______.)
Taken from the Super Excellent Master ritual of the Order of the Royal Arch, MW Bro. Laurence Healey, Grand Master for 1953-1954, introduced the Circle of Friendship into the Board of Installed Masters ceremony, without authority. From a stencil duplicated copy in the Archive of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. Usage common into the 1990s in Vancouver's Lower Mainland. The Board of Installed Masters ritual, available through the Grand Secretary's office, was taken from Franklin Thomas' Revised Working, London (1888).