Closing Charge
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Closing Charge

The information on this chart comes from various sources. If anyone has definite information for additions or changes on this chart, please send email to Paul M. Bessel so I can update this chart.

United States

State

Use Closing Charge at end of meetings?
(not referring to charge to candidates)

  Yes Middle Ground No
Alabama   Optional  
Alaska     No
Arizona     No
Arkansas      
California     No
Colorado     No
Connecticut     No, but ritual allows adding to ritual, so some lodges use a closing charge (taken from Maine or New York), but most do not
Delaware      
District of Columbia (F.A.A.M.) ("predominately white")     No
District of Columbia (Prince Hall) Yes    
Florida   Optional: Brethren, you are now to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employment's, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, and discreet. Remember that, at this Alter, you have promised to befriend and relieve every Brother who shall need your assistance. Remember also, that you have promised to remind him, in the most tender manner, of his failings, and aid his reformation; to vindicate his character when wrongfully traduced; and suggest in his behalf the most candid and favorable circumstances. Is he justly reprehended? Let the world observe hoe Masons love one another. These generous principles are to extend further. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all. Recommend it more especially to the household of the faithful. By diligence in the duties of your respective callings ; by liberal benevolence and diffusive charity; by constancy and fidelity in your friendships, discover the beneficial and happy effects of this ancient and honorable institution. Let it not be supposed that you have labored in vain, and spent your strength for naught; for your work is with the Lord and your recompense with your God. Finally, Brethren, be ye all of one mind; live in peace, and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you !  
Georgia   Some do, some don't  
Hawaii      
Idaho      
Illinois     No
Indiana     Indiana uses neither an opening or closing charge as part of its typical opening and closing rituals.
Iowa Yes    
Kansas      
Kentucky   It's optional in Kentucky. The Ritual says "Here, if the Master so desires, it is proper to give a "closing charge." The following is quite old."
...then it starts with the familiar, "Brethren, you are now to quit this sacred retreat..." etc.
 
Louisiana      
Maine      
Maryland      
Massachusetts     No
Michigan      
Minnesota     No
Mississippi Same as in NM    
Missouri Yes, mandatory
From message: It is used in Missouri. Of course, it is my understanding that many GLs west of the Mississippi descend from Missouri, so perhaps that isn't so surprising.  BTW, I have quoted it a few times to non-Masons to illustrate a bit about the Craft. It is printed in plain text in our code books, which I have been told means that it is not considered secret.
   
Montana   Optional:
Brethren:--- you are now to quit this sacred retreat to mix again with the  world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have so frequently heard inculcated and so forcibly recommended within the  Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and good unto all.
Remember that you are to befriend and relieve every worthy brother who shall need your assistance.
Finally, Brethren, be ye all of one mind, live in peace; and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.
 
Nebraska      
Nevada      
New Hampshire   Optional
Charge at Opening
The ways of Virtue are beautiful. Knowledge is attained by degrees. Wisdom dwells with contemplation. There we must seek her. Let us then, Brethren, apply ourselves with becoming zeal to the practice of the excellent principles inculcated by our Order. Let us ever remember that the great objects of our association are the restraint of improper desires and passions, the cultivation of an active benevolence, and the promotion of a correct knowledge of the duties we owe to God, our neighbor, and ourselves. Let us be united, and practice with assiduity the Sacred Tenets of our Order. Let all private animosities, if any unhappily exist, give place to affection and Brotherly Love. It is a useless parade to talk of the subjection of irregular passions within the walls of the Lodge, if we permit them to triumph in our intercourse with each other. Uniting in the grand design, let us be happy ourselves, and endeavor to promote the happiness of others. Let us cultivate the great moral virtues laid down on our Masonic Trestleboard, and improve on everything that is good, amiable and useful. May the benign Genius of the Mystic Art preside over our councils, and under her sway let us act with a dignity becoming the high moral character of our venerable Institution. 
Charge at Closing:
Brethren, you are now to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet. Remember that around this altar you have promised to befriend and relieve every Brother who shall need your assistance. Remember that you have promised to remind him, in the most tender manner, of his failings, and aid his reformation. Vindicate his character when wrongfully traduced. Suggest in his behalf the most candid and favorable circumstances. Is he justly reprehended? Let the world observe how Masons love one another. These generous principles are to extend further. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. "Do good unto all." Recommend it more "especially to the household of the faithful." By diligence in the duties of your respective callings; by liberal benevolence and diffusive charity; by constancy and fidelity in your friendships, discover the beneficial and happy effects of this ancient and honorable Institution. Let it not be supposed that you have here "labored in vain and spent your strength for nought; for your work is with the Lord, and your recompense with your God." Finally, Brethren, be ye all of one mind, live in peace, and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.
They are optional - not required parts of the opening and closing.
 
New Jersey Yes    
New Mexico Brethren: You are now to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet. Remember that around this altar you have promised to befriend and relieve every worthy Brother who shall need your assistance. Remember that you have promised to remind him, in the most tender manner, of his failings, and aid his reformation. These generous principles are to extend further. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all. Recommend it more especially to the household of the faithful. Finally, Brethren, be ye all of one mind; live in peace; and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.    
New York     No
North Carolina      
North Dakota      
Ohio      
Oklahoma   Optional  
Oregon   Optional  
Pennsylvania Brethren, you are now about to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and  virtue, to mix again with the world. Amid its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly  recommended within this lodge. Be therefore diligent, prudent, temperate,  discreet. And remember also that around this altar you have solemnly and sincerely promised to befriend and relieve, with utmost cordiality, so far as shall be within your power, every brother who shall need your assistance; that you have promised to remind him in the most tender manner of his failings and aid in his reformation; to vindicate his character when wrongfully traduced; and to suggest on his behalf the most candid, favorable and palliating circumstances, even when his conduct has been justly reprehensible. If you faithfully observe these duties, the world will observe how Freemasons love one another, in obedience to the will of God. Remember always, Brethren, that these solemn rites of which you have been partakers, and your parts in them, are as binding on your conscience outside the lodge as within it. They are links in that chain made in life for eternity. And these generous principles are to extend even further. Every human being has a claim upon your good offices. So that we enjoin it upon you, Do good unto all, while we recommend it more especially to those who are of the household of the faithful.    
Rhode Island      
South Carolina "Brethren: We are now about to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties which you have heard so frequently inculcated and so forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, descreet. Remember that, around this alter, you have promised to befriend and relieve every brother who shall need your assistance. You have promised, in the most friendly manner, to remind him of his errors, and aid a reformation. These generous principles are to extend further. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all. Recommend it more especially "to the household of the faithful." Finally, brethren, be ye all of one mind; live in peace; and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you."    
South Dakota      
Tennessee      
Texas   Optional  
Utah      
Vermont      
Virginia Yes    
Washington   Optional  
West Virginia   In West Virginia, we have the same closing charge as Virginia. We do not form a circle. It is optional and, frankly, rare. It is in the discretion of the master.  
Wisconsin     Email from a WI Mason: This Charge does not appear in our cipher. Neither could I find it in any of the past editions of the last 70 years that I have on hand. However, sometime between 15 & 20 years ago the GLoWI published the Wisconsin Masonic Handbook, a 3" ring-binder filled with just about everything a Lodge needs to function besides the ritual contained in the cipher and the Masonic Code contained in its own binder.
This 'Handbook" contains a chapter on "ceremonies." Among these are the forms for "Public and other non-ciphered ceremonies." These are used for dedications and installations among other things. 
One, listed as an "Alternate Public Closing Ceremony" begins: 
"Brethren, we are now to quit this retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently taught and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate and discreet. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all. Recommend it more especially to the household of the faithful. Finally, Brethren, be ye all of one mind; live in peace, and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you."
It then directs the Chaplain to pray.  It appears we have modified the usage of this charge to eliminate those items referring to ritual thereby rendering it useful for public consumption.
Wyoming      

Other than the United States

Country

Use Closing Charge at end of meetings?
(not referring to charge to candidates)

  Yes Middle Ground No
England     Rarely used
Scotland     No
Israel     No
Brazil     No
British Columbia, Canada     No
Ontario, Canada Yes - 
Brethren, as we are now about to quit this retreat of friendship and brotherly love, nothing remain but, according to ancient custom, to lock up our secrets. In the safe and sacred repository of our hearts, with F-F-F; and may God be with us. 
The Work -- Emulation Type Ritual
   
 

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