Emulation Lodge of Improvement

Emulation Working takes its name from the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, which meets at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, weekly on Fridays from October to June. It first met 2nd October 1823 and was formed specifically for Master Masons to provide instruction for those who wished to make themselves ready for office and succession to the Chair. At least eight lodges were represented at the inaugural meeting including two members from the Lodge of Unions. The Emulation Lodge of Improvement was first sanctioned by the Lodge of Hope no. 7.  In March, 1830 it seemed likely that, following a message sent by the Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex, to the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge held at the beginning of the month, the Rules in the Book of Constitutions would be tightened to require the Master or a Past Master of the sanctioning Lodge in future to preside at every meeting of a Lodge of Instruction. At this time the Lodge of Hope was very small, and rather weak. The members of Emulation present at the meeting on 19th March decided to protect their position by submitting a Memorial to the Grand Master, reciting their special circumstances as a general Lodge of Instruction serving many Lodges and not just the sanctioning Lodge, and praying the Grand Master to grant them his special licence for the future. The Grand Master, through the Grand Secretary, declined to grant such a licence, and the members of Emulation therefore felt it prudent to seek sanction from a stronger Lodge. They chose the Lodge of Unions, to which several members of Emulation then belonged and which has remained the sponsoring Lodge to this day.

The ritual forms for use in the United Grand Lodge of England were produced by the Lodge of Reconciliation and were approved and confirmed by Grand Lodge in June 1816. These have formed the basis of Emulation Working since its inception in 1823. It has been the policy of the committee of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement to preserve the ritual as nearly as possible in the form in which it was approved by Grand Lodge, allowing only those changes approved by Grand Lodge to become established practice.

Due to the fact that Grand Lodge took the view that the ritual should not be committed to print, oral repetition formed the means of transmission. It was not until 1969 that the Emulation Lodge of Improvement sponsored publication of the first edition of the "Emulation Ritual".

An Emulation Silver Matchbox is awarded to a Brother who works a Masonic Ceremony according to Emulation Ritual without prompt or correction. For more information visit the Emulation Lodge of Improvement website

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