01/03/2014 12:29 AM -0500














By Bro. Joe Burkel, PM

The word is "Oath"

It's a word we masons use, and use often, but sometimes it is used wrongly.

A candidate takes upon himself a solemn obligation to do certain things and refrain from certain actions.

The word obligation is from Latin (legare) meaning "to bind."

It is a bond, a pledge, an agreement, a responsibility, and acknowledgement of promises made.

The word "oath" is not found in definitions of an obligation, an oath is the concluding phrase of an obligation.

In court a witness swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  That is an assumed obligation.  He ends by saying "So Help Me God."  Which is the Oath.

The witness is required to raise his right hand attesting to the sincerity of the obligation.

A curious throwback to ancient days in which a man offered his right hand to be cut off if his oath was broken.

When you were a small boy did you ever make an exclamation "By Golly?"

Probably made without your knowledge that you were offering the ancient "Gol" your hand if you were not telling the truth.