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Question : We have a query which you could perhaps resolve. A new lodge bas
been formed in our area and the members have decided to use firing glasses at the Festive
Board. There is dissent on the correct use and at a recent meeting of out Lodge of
Instruction àmember asked as to the proper method of using them. 1 could not, locally,
obtain an answer and would thus be very grateful for any advice and guidance you may be
able to give.
Answer : I can well understand that the members of
your lodge are not agreed on the method of using firing glasses because quite frankly
there is no one correct way and 1 find that practices vary. What is quite a common method
is not to use them for drinking but solely for firing and to hold them by the rim for the
« Point, Left, Right ; Point, Left, Right ; Point, Left, Right ; One
Two » and then the glass is banged on the table and left there on « Three » and the
normal claps follow. Another method I have known is to have the glasses filled with wine
and on the command from the Worshipful Master ail the brethren stand, leaving their
glasses on the table. The following drill is then gone through, the commands being given
by the Master :
1 . « Hand to Arm ». The glass, remaining on the table is held in the right hand.
2. « Take Aim ». The glass is then raised and held with the right arm stretched
3. « Tire One ». A sip of wine is taken.
4. « Tire Two ». Another sip is taken.
5. « Tire All ». The glass is drained.
6. Without any word of command, the glasses are banged three times on the table, on each
occasion with a shout of « Vivat »...
The only suggestion I can make is that you discuss the procedure to be adopted on some
suitable lodge occasion and select that favoured by the majority of your brethren.
* * * * *
Additionnal note by Christian Guigue : The french usage and military terms are
differents. They come from military lodges and 18th century uses. The glass is not a
glass, its a cannon. The table is not a table, its a platform.
We take the cannon in hand at order : « Present ! ». The commands are : 1. "Aux
armes (to arms)" - 2. "Grand feu (great fire) ou Plein
feu" - 3. "Grand et parfait feu (great and perfect fire)".
Only the lodges working to the french or modern rite shout " Vivat " the
first and second time, and we find so " Vivat, vivat, semper vivat " the
third time. The french lodges of Rectified Scotish rite (french knight templar
system in 6 degrees), Ancient and accepted Scotish rite do not shout « Vivat ».