The mot de semestre, or semi-annual word, is used only in France. Every six months a secret word is communicated by the Grand Orient to all the Lodges under its jurisdiction. This custom was introduced October 28, 1773, during the Grand Mastership of the Duke of Chartres, to enable him the better to control the Lodges, and to afford the members a means whereby they could recognize the members who were not constant in their attendance, and also those Freemasons who either belonged to an unrecognized Rite, or who were not affiliated with any Lodge. The Chapters of the advanced Degrees receive a word annually from the Grand Orient for the same purpose. This, with the password, is given to the Tiler on entering the Temple.
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