Toast to the Initiate – This is one of the most important Masonic toasts, welcoming and celebrating the entrance of a new member into Masonry and is often given by a senior Lodge member. Some Lodges have a tradition that the initiate’s proposer delivers it. It is sometimes followed by the ‘Entered Apprentice’s Song’ which will be remembered by the Initiate for the rest of his life.
This is one of the earliest known Masonic songs; it appeared in Anderson’s Book of Constitutions, 1723. The author was an actor/comedian, Matthew Birkhead, who was given a Masonic funeral on the 12th of January 1723. There is an engraved sheet of 1730 with the words and music printed thereon . This would be sung in the old days around the table with great gusto and plenty of liquid refreshment. In fact, the whole ceremony would have been held around the table prior to the union in 1813. An old custom, which seems to have almost died out, is that immediately after the newly initiated Brother’s health has been proposed – i.e.. by singing the Entered Apprentice’s Song – the Loving Cup was circulated.