George Washington Bible
REQUESTING THE USE OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON OBLIGATION BIBLE
Thank you for your interest in learning more about the process of requesting the George Washington Obligation Bible. George Washington was initiated into Freemasonry in the Lodge at Fredericksburg on November 4, 1752. He was passed to the second degree on March 3, 1753; and raised to the third degree on August 4, 1753. He was only twenty years of age when he was initiated. The Bible he used in those ceremonies was printed in 1668 remains to this day in the possession of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4. In addition to the Bible, several surviving relics of Washington, includes the Gilbert Stuart portrait; the Minute books recording his initiation, passing and raising; and a lock of his hair.
Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 is pleased to make this Masonic treasure available to the general public throughout the year for both Masonic and non-Masonic functions. There are several important steps that must be taken, however, when requesting that the Bible is present at an event you may be hosting.
First, there is a fee associated with having the Bible at your event and it is important that you are aware of the cost. The current fee is Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00). Additionally, every time the Bible travels, it goes with an Escort Committee of at least 3 but not to exceed 5 members of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4. The Escort Committee shall have sole charge of all arrangements incidental to the occasion, including transport and display. The Escort Committee is not to suffer any unreasonable deviation from the time(s), location(s), purpose(s) and occasion(s) for display approved by the Lodge. All travel, and lodging costs should be absorbed by the host of the event.
The George Washington Obligation Bible is not to be videotaped, photographed or touched by any person or object without the permission of the Escort Committee. If photography is approved in advance, NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY is to be used. No one, without exception, is permitted to take any form of oath or obligation upon the Bible, although it may be present on the same table or altar as a bible or other document being used for that purpose, at the sole discretion of the Escort Committee.
Subject to approval of the Lodge, an event will constitute a pre-determined amount of time, both to take into account the preservation of the Bible and the personal comforts of the Escort Committee members. No action shall be taken on any request for outside display. The George Washington Obligation Bible shall not be used in any type of parade.
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN REQUESTING THE BIBLE
If you do not represent a Masonic organization or are affiliated in any way with Freemasonry, please proceed to Step 2. If you represent a Masonic organization domiciled in Virginia, you may write directly to the Master and Secretary.
After reading this document, please send an e-mail to Secretary at and also please cc Worshipful Master at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regardless of whether or not you submit an e-mail, you must follow that up with a written and signed request on proper letterhead. An e-mail will begin the process of having the request read in lodge, however, only a signed document as a contract of understanding on behalf of the requestor will be proceeded with.
Please include the day(s), time(s), location(s), and purpose(s) of your event. Please also include as much detail of the event as you think relevant to the Lodge taking a decision on your request. Please include the fact that you acknowledge the amount and payment date of the fee, the fact that the requester will cover all costs of travel, accommodation, food and drink, and any necessary and itemized incidental costs of the Escort Committee, and that the Obligation Bible cannot be used for the taking of an oath or obligation.
The Secretary or a Bible Committee member will respond to your e-mail in a timely manner and correspond with you directly about next steps or request more information. The request is read in Lodge and referred to the Bible Committee, who then gather detailed information about the trip and make sure that the Bible is available to travel on the requested days. Once a vote has been taken, the Secretary communicates the results to the requestor.
Written correspondence stating that you will not hold the lodge liable, its members and affiliated organizations against any liability, damages or recourse arising from the request for, and/or display of, the George Washington Obligation Bible must then be received by our Secretary. The written confirmation shall be signed by an authorized representative of the requesting party in the presence of a Notary Public.
On notification that your request has been approved, a Bible Donation from or on behalf of the requesting party in the minimum amount of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) must then be received by the Secretary. Such sum shall be payable by bank or certified check.
Prior to the George Washington Obligation Bible being displayed, the Bible Donation must have been verified as deposited and cleared. Such Bible Donation shall not be refunded unless the Lodge, due to unforeseen circumstances, is unable to provide the display of the George Washington Inaugural Bible at the requested time(s) and location(s).
Prior to the George Washington Obligation Bible being displayed, all expenses incidental to such display request must be paid for by or on behalf of the requesting party including but not limited to travel, lodging and meal expenses for the Escort Committee. There may be additional expenses accrued for things like taxi use or extra airline luggage fees, which will not be known until after the trip is completed.
Thank you for your interest in the Bible and we look forward to adding to its rich history by having it at your event