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HEART OF HIRAM ABIF

There is a legend in some of the advanced Degrees and in Continental Freemasonry, that the heart of Hiram Abif was deposited in an urn and placed upon a monument near the Holy of Holies; and in some of the Tracing Boards it is represented as a symbol. The myth, for such it is, was probably derived from the very common custom in the Middle Ages of persons causing their bodies to be dismembered after death for the purpose of having parts of them buried in a church, or some place which had been dear to them in life. Thus Hardynge, in his Metrical Chronicle of England, tells us of Richard I that:

He queathed his corpse then to be buried
At Fount Everard, there at his father's feete;
His herte invyneyb!e to Rome he sent full mete
For their great truth and stedfast great Constance.

The medieval idea has descended to modern times; for our present instructions in the United States say that the ashes of Hiram were deposited in an urn.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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