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
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