Few Masonic Rites today still allude to the key of the Lodge. The Modern French Rite is among these. Certainly the allusion is discrete, but the fact remains that the key as a symbol is presented very clearly from the first grade, since it predetermines, in fact, the very opening of the work. The Key is placed as provided by Ritual on a table between the Wardens (particularly near the Senior Warden). The formal statement of this key part, in our days is one of the peculiarities of Modern Rite, thought it might be interesting to others to see what the presence of the Key to the Lodge means in our rituals.
What is a key?
It seems useful at the outset to define what usually characterizes a key in the well-understood material meaning of the word. It is an object, usually of modest size, which allows the use of a lock by actuating a bolt, having this function to prohibit or promote access to the space beyond the door in which it is installed.
Without the key, the lock is hopelessly immobile. By extension, the use of the key gives the power to open or close the door to the one who possesses it. Taken in a material sense, the key to a Lodge is therefore the instrument to open or close the door of the room in which the Rite should be performed.
What is the Key of a Lodge ?
It seems important to note that we understand the lodge to be an initiatory Community gathered by a common rituals and built around that ritual.
We know that the Rite, in itself, does not necessarily need a locale since it defines the space and time of its celebration, the only vehicle that we truly need! It is this close interaction between Rite and making ourselves the Lodge.
Starting from this, we are required to translate this notion of the Key as an object to a much more informal notion, as is any symbolic idea, the key of the Lodge becomes something more than a simple object, it is an essential ritual organ that allows us to open ourselves, and we at the other, through the intermediary of the Rite which may be understood as the door.
Similarly we speak of opening or closing a door, or opening or closing work: if the words are the same, we conceive that target on two different levels of understanding.
The lodge is ourselves, with and for others. The door of the lodge then is the Rite. The key allows the celebration of the Rite.
Joaquim Villalta, Vª Orden, Gr.·. 9
Miembro del Supremo Conselho do Rito Moderno - Brasil
Miembro del Sublime Consejo del Rito Moderno para el Ecuador
Miembro de la Academia Internacional de la Vª Orden - UMURM
Miembro de la Logia de Investigación "Los Modernos" - GLMAE