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 [Photo scan above is from October 8, 1956 issue of Life, "U.S. Masons: A Pictorial History
 In Color",  were the caption below the picture reads:   "THE PASCHAL LAMB is celebrated by
 Brooklyn's  Aurora  Grata  Rose Croix,  whose  members are  18th°  Scottish  Rite  Masons.  
 Ritual is each year on Maundy Thursday.  The  13  Masons wearing  dark robes and seated at 
 cross-shaped table represent participants at the Last Supper. The ceremony, combining Jew-
 ish Passover and Christian observance, lasts 1 1/2 hours,  includes music, prayer, recita-
 tion.  It ends with candles being put out one by one."]


  The  ritual pictured above uses symbols sacred to Christians
  and mimicks the Last Supper, commemorating the  death  of  a
  'Most   Wise   and   Perfect   Master',   which,  given  the
  cross-shaped table, clearly refers to Jesus Christ,  who  is
  stripped  of  His  divinity, however, as described by former
  33rd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason, Rev. Jim Shaw,  in  his
  book  entitled,  The  Deadly Deception, wherein the ceremony
  pictured above is described in less  misleading  terms  than
  the description given in Life magazine above, which fails to
  mention that the somber ritual is in  fact a  Masonic  black
  mass which symbolically extinquishes the light of the world,
  Jesus the  Christ,  and snuffs out the 7 candles to ritually
  blot out the  name that Christians believe to be  above  all
  names,  as a former Freemason, Shaw, describes in his book:

  "On Thursday evening we gathered  at  out  home  Temple  and
  dressed  for  the  ceremony.  It  was  always  a most solemn
  occasion and seemed a little awesome, even to those who  had
  done it many times.

  Dressed  in long, black, hooded robes we marched in,  single
  file, with only our faces partly showing and took our seats.

  There   was   something    very    tomb-like    about    the
  setting....After  the opening prayer (from which the name of
  Jesus Christ was conspicuously excluded), I stood and opened
  the service. As I had done so many times before, I said, 'We
  meet this day, to commemorate the death of  our  'Most  Wise
  and Perfect Master,' not as inspired or divine,  for this is
  not for us to decide, but as at least the  greatest  of  the
  apostles of Mankind...."

  Jim  Shaw then goes on to describe the ceremony as a sort of
  Black Mass or communion, a mockery of  the  Last  Supper  of
  Jesus   Christ.  The ritual closes  with  the  snuffing  out
  of the candles, the last one signifying  the  life of Jesus, 
  and it ends with the room in deep, silent, and somber palor,
  which is an ironic twist for a secret society  that purports
  to give light and life to its members.  Do the seven candles  
  represent  the  7  churches of Christianity mentioned in the
  book of Revelation?  Are they  snuffed out to  symbolize the
  destruction of Christendom.  That, after all, is the goal of
  Freemasonry,  according  to many  researchers, such as Ralph 
  Epperson, David Carrico, Texe Marrs, etc., not to mention no
  less than seven Popes, including the venerable Pope Leo XIII
  whose encyclical, "Humanum Genus", remains a classic.     

  In any case,  it seems misleading at best that Life magazine
  describes the ceremony as a combination of Christian observ-
  ance and Jewish Passover,  unless by chance "passover" means
  we should pass over any mention of Jesus Christ by name, and
  snuff out a candle that represents the light of the world.