Masonic ritual is the scripted words and actions that are spoken or performed during the degree work in a Masonic lodge. Masonic symbolism is that which is used to illustrate the principles which Freemasonry espouses. Masonic ritual has appeared in a number of contexts within literature including in “The Man Who Would Be King”, by Rudyard Kipling, and War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy.
Freemasonry is described in its own ritual as a “Beautiful and profound system of morality, veiled in allegories and illustrated by symbols”. The symbolism of Freemasonry is found throughout the Masonic lodge, and contains many of the working tools of a medieval or renaissance stonemason. The whole system is transmitted to initiates through the medium of Masonic ritual, which consists of lectures and allegorical plays.