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Rituals Used by Ancient Greeks

The Ancient Mysteries of Greece, the Greater and the Lesser Mysteries of the Eleusinia in particular, have received attention from Masonic historians, because rituals of initiation were employed in them, and many symbols and emblems. But the Greek use of ritual w as not confined to the Mysteries; on the contrary the Mysteries employed but a fraction of the rituals, for the Greek people were fond of them, employed them for a hundred purposes, and as was their way, made of them a work of art; nothing in any of their classics, not even in Homer, is more beautiful than, to give but one instance, the lovely and haunting ritual of the Garden of Adonis. From them a modern Freemason can learn more than facts about the backgrounds of the Masonic Ritual, the masterpiece of existing rituals; he can learn that ritualism is an art; is, in its own right, comparable with music and the drama.

(The literature is of overflowing abundance. See Ancient Art and Ritual, Primitive Athens, Religion of Ancient Greece, and Prole S Jomena to the Study of Greek Religion, each by Jane Ellen Harrison. Six Stages of Greek Religion, a great and brilliant book, by Gilbert Murray, famous for his translation of Euripides. The Golden Bough [the complete editions by J. G. Frazer.)

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