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The spirit of gratitude has from the earliest period led men to venerate the tombs in which have been deposited the remains of their bene. factors In all of the ancient religions there were sacred tombs to which worship was paid. The tombs of the prophets, preserved by the Israelites, gave testimony to their reverence for the memory of these holy personages. After the advent of Christianity the same sentiment of devotion led the pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, that they might kneel at what was believed to be the sepulcher of their Lord. In many of the churches of the Middle Ages there was a particular place near the altar called the Sepulcher which was used at Easter for the performance of solemn rites coromel1lorative of the Savior's resurrection. This custom still prevails in some of the churches on the Continent. In Templar Freemasonry, which is professedly a Christian system, the Sepulcher forms a part of the arrangements of a Commandery. In England, the sepulcher is within the Asylum, and in front of the Eminent Commander. In the United States of America it is placed without; and the scenic representation observed in every well-regulated and properly arranged Commandery furnishes a most impressive and pathetic ceremony.
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