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(Created page with "== CORNERSTONE LAYING, ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, LOWELL == ''From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XX, No. 7, May 1861, Page 199:'' The new Episcopal Church at Lowell, u...")
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CORNERSTONE LAYING, ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, LOWELL
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XX, No. 7, May 1861, Page 199:
The new Episcopal Church at Lowell, under the Rectorship of Rev. Charles W. Homer, having completed their arrangements for the erection of a new church edifice, the Grand Lodge, by invitation of the Wardens and Vestry, laid the Corner-Stone of the same, in due and ancient Masonic form, on Monday, the 15th of April last, in the presence of a numerous assemblage of citizens and Masons. A procession, consisting of the Grand Lodge, Pentucket and Ancient York Lodges, Mount Horeb Chapter, and Pilgrim Encampment (all of Lowell), was formed at the Masonic Hall, at 10 o'clock in the morning, and moved to the spot selected for the edifice,— the Encampment performing the duty of an escort. The ceremonies were commenced by a brief explanatory address by R. W. Bro. G. Washington Warren, D. G. M., officiating in the absence of the Grand Master. This was followed by an appropriate prayer by Rev. Br. Twist of Lowell. Then followed the ceremonies of placing the Stone, which were performed by the Grand Lodge in an impressive and acceptable manner, the consecrating prayer being made by tho venerable Brother Theo. Edson, Rector of St. Ann's Church, with which he has been connected for forty years, and was the first minister in Lowell.
These ceremonies having been completed, the Rev. Dr. George M. Randall, P. G. M., of this city, delivered one of those admirable and sensible extemporaneous addresses for which he is so eminently distinguished. He occupied about twenty minutes in a general and interesting review of the history of the Episcopal Church in Lowell, in which he paid a high and well merited compliment to the venerable Rector of St. Ann's Church. The address ought to be published.
The assembly was then dismissed by Dr. Edson; when the Masonic procession was again formed and marched through some of the principal streets of the city to the Lodge-room, where it was disbanded. The Grand Lodge then, by invitation of the Lodges in Lowell, repaired to the Merrimack House, and partook of a bountiful collation.
The occasion was one of more than ordinary interest. It is not often that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is called upon to lay the cornerstone of a church. An instance has not before occurred in the last quarter of a century, though such occasions are not uncommon in other countries, and in other parts of our own country. In the Episcopal Church, as in the Methodist, they are frequently laid by the Bishop of the Diocese, while in other denominations they are more commonly laid by the operative Mason, or by the building committee, and with but little or no ceremony. The new St. John's Church has set a better example, and we trust to see it followed by others, that the good old custom of signalizing the commencement of an undertaking of so much importance for good may be revived. The Grand Lodge is indebted to the Brethren at Lowell for a courteous and fraternal reception.