(The following prayers were written by Richard H. Ryder between 2010 and 2017 for use during Masonic lodge monthly communications. All rights reserved)
First Degree – Opening
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Our journey in Freemasonry also begins with a step forward on a path to the perfect ashlar. Be with our candidates this evening, illuminating their way with the light of your holy wisdom, and be with all of us as we travel our individual paths to perfection, Amen.
First Degree – Closing
The first degree teaches us prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, just four of the many lessons of our Craft. Help us to discern their meaning, to judge wisely, moderate self-interest, practice self-control, and confront uncertainty with strength and courage. Instill within us these lessons that we may walk uprightly in all our roles as your faithful servants, Amen
Installation – Opening
We gather this evening to install a new Master and his suite of line officers to lead our lodge into a new year of Masonry. At this alter they will obligate themselves before you to carry out duties on behalf of the lodge brethren. We humbly ask that you illuminate their way and guide them in their journey. And lastly, we ask that you provide the installing officers clarity of thought and word, that their work will be worthy of your praise., Amen
We place this single white rose upon your alter as a symbol of the purity within the heart of our departed brother. The lesson of the hourglass whispers in our ears, and though our minds understand, the heart is never prepared. There is comfort in knowing that the temporal dreams of youth and reflective wisdom of age are transformed into the peace of eternal life. Watch over our friend and brother. Help us the keep his memory safely lodged within our hearts and minds until we meet again in the celestial lodge above, Amen.
End of Masonic Year – Closing
The end of our Masonic year is upon us and soon we will part for a summer of Masonic rest and refreshment. We gather one last time to do your work and to celebrate our fraternity together as brothers. Guide us in such a way that we may glorify you in word and deed, and travel closer to that elusive state of perfection, Amen.
Father and Son Night – Closing
What a joy to celebrate this evening in the company of so many proud fathers and sons, and even grandfathers and grandsons. This is one of the gifts of our Fraternity, where relationships are strengthened because of the common experience of taking that first step along our Masonic journey. To see a son raised is to experience love and joy in all its glory. Thank you for the opportunity to witness your paternal love in this splendid way, and keep us safe until we gather again, Amen.
Peace – Closing
As we safely sit in this quiet room, surrounded by those who value peace and the sanctity of human life, our hearts grieve for those who perished and were injured in the Paris massacre; and also for those who daily face violence throughout the world. Help us, individually, to commit ourselves to peaceful ways so that collectively the tenants of Freemasonry will prevail for all mankind, Amen.
Closing (non-denominational recognition of December holidays celebrating light)
The Festivals of Light are upon us and each of us will celebrate in our own unique way. Amid the darkness of this season help us to use your light to illuminate not the differences among us, but those common characteristics within that make us equal. As Masons we are taught to meet on the level, not just once a year but always; not just within these walls, but everywhere we travel; not just with each other, but with all mankind. As we depart, help us to use this period of celebration to silently renew our obligations as Masons to be ever mindful of the needs of others, promoting harmony and brotherly love in all we do.