Masonic Tips

Musical Chairs!

At our December business meeting, we elected and appointed the new officers for 2009, and I was elected into the Junior Warden seat. It is quite an honor, as in doing so, I unexpectedly skipped a couple seats. For 2008, I was appointed as a Steward. The natural progression is to move the Junior Deacon seat, however the current Junior Deacon who has held that position for quite a number of years didn’t want to move up, so next in line is the Senior Deacon seat. The current Senior Deacon decided to step out of the rotation due to personal scheduling issues, so that left his seat and the Junior Warden seat open. The brother who was passed and raised with me was appointed Senior Deacon, and I was nominated and elected to the Junior Warden seat. I think it’s going to be a great fit because I have had […]

Faster, faster, faster!?!

I had the opportunity to attend the Order of the Temple work at another local lodge, and I must say that I was very impressed. There were about 25 people with three candidates, and the work was done very well. One of the older men had been doing his part for many years, and he had everything memorized–very impressive. It was nice to see the work done again since I went through it. Every time I attend degree work, I learn and understand a lot more. One of the But one thing struck me as very disappointing. Prior to the work, the Chapter/Council/Commandery conducted their regular monthly business meeting. Wow! It was the fastest business meeting I have ever witnessed. After the work was finished, I was talking with the secretary, a very nice older man, and after some introductions and some chit-chat, he said, “Be sure to join us […]

York Rite Degree Work – Some ponderings

The local York Rite membership is a very dedicated group of Masons, but like so many Masonic groups, it tends to be somewhat “older-leaning” in its membership. The group that with which I went through the degree work is a bit younger than most of the membership (though I don’t know if my age of 42 constitutes being young or old!) Anyway, we all expressed a desire to join, the members were very excited that a new group of younger men were interested in getting involved. They enthusiastically told us that once we complete the Degrees that they would love for us to participate in future Degree work. I am very interested in getting involved. One thing that I really enjoyed about the Degree work was that we all had the opportunity to participate in the Degrees in some form. Like the Blue Lodge degrees, it wasn’t just a “sit […]

Seeking More Light – Part Two

After completing the Royal Arch and Cryptic Masonry degrees, the final steps on the path of the York Rite are the “Chivalric Orders”. These Degrees (called Orders in this group) include the the “Illustrious Order of the Red Cross” which is an Order that emphasizes the lesson of truth; the “Order of Malta” which emphasizes the lesson of faith; and the “Order of the Temple” (also called Order of the Knights Templar) which emphasizes the lessons of self-sacrifice and reverence. The final three Orders were conferred in November, 2008. The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross and the Order of Malta were conducted in short form, and the Order of the Temple was conducted in long form. (Some day, I’d love to see the first two done in long form.) The work took most of the morning, and it was impressive, interesting, and absolutely unforgettable. It is very refreshing for […]

Seeking More Light – Part One

Since my journey in Freemasonry began, I have always been interested in Freemasonry’s Appendant Bodies, specifically the York Rite. My father was a Master Mason, went through the Scottish Rite, and eventually became a Shriner. (In his day, it was a requirement that to become a Shriner, you had to go through either the Scottish Rite or the York Rite. This requirement has since been lifted.) After some reading and research about the Scottish and York Rites, I decided to pursue the York Rite as I felt that it aligned more closely with my Christian walk. I was raised to a Master Mason in November of 2007, and in October 2008, one of my Masonic brothers and I, along with others, went through the first six of nine Degrees that make up the York Rite. In the united States, the York Rite is divided into three organizations. Each is independent, […]

The York Rite Background

The York Rite, like the Scottish, is one of Freemasonry’s Appendant Bodies which is open to a Master Mason to join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. While Freemasonry officially culminates with the third degree of the Blue Lodge, the nine additional degrees of the the York Rite are considered to expand upon and complete the Blue Lodge degrees. The York Rite is broken down into three “bodies”, each governing and controlling the degree work related to that body. The bodies are Royal Arch Masonry, Cryptic Masonry, and Knights Templar (also called the Chivalric Orders.) The intent is to confer additional Degrees or Orders, each building upon the foundations laid by the Blue Lodge Degrees. The order in which they are received is not necessarily historically chronological. Here is a brief synopsis of the various Degrees or Orders conferred by each of the York Rite bodies: Royal Arch Masonry The […]

Brother, take a seat!

Less than three weeks after being raised to the degree of Master Mason, I was installed as one of the Stewards of our Lodge. The new Junior Warden-Elect appointed me and the other brother who was raised with me as the new Stewards for 2008. I’m honored that the opportunity to begin moving through the chairs has come so quickly! I look forward to being able to participate in the degree work, the business meetings, and to provide cheerful service to the Lodge officers where needed. The December business meeting was the first meeting I have been able to attend as a Mason, so it was exciting. Though the meeting was likely longer than usual because of the installation ceremony, I found it to be quite interesting. And it was impressive to watch representatives from the Grand Lodge performing the ceremony. So I look forward to attending the next year’s […]

Raised to Master Mason!

This past Saturday, another Masonic brother and I were raised to the degree of Master Mason, the Third Degree in the Blue Lodge. It was an interesting, informative, and certainly memorable degree. We had our Fellowcraft examination, followed by the Third Degree work. Our Fellowcraft examination went very smoothly despite not having spent any time together going over the questions and answers. I guess we were duly and truly prepared. After the examination, we began the Third Degree work. Interestingly, this was conducted solely by Past Masters. I’m not sure if it is global to Freemasonry, or something specific to the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, but the first time that any Third Degree work is done in a lodge during a year, the work is conducted by Past Masters. (Which means, sad to say, that our first Third Degree work this year was done all the way in November. […]

I Think I “Get It”

Obviously I still have a lot to learn about Freemasonry having only recently been passed to the second degree. So until I progress further, I can really only comment on my current knowledge and exposure to Freemasonry as a Fellow Craft. But of what I do understand now, I think I “get it” concerning just what Freemasonry is all about, and in many ways more importantly, what it is not. I was driving home the other evening from some first degree work at another lodge, and I was thinking about the work. It got me thinking about all of the anti-masonic stuff I’ve read on the ‘Net. It got me thinking about what it’s all about…just what are the basics…the simple explanation. As I see it, once you pare it all down to its core, it all just seems so simple: I see an organization comprised of men who have […]

The George Washington Masonic Memorial

My wife and are taking a trip to Washington, DC later this month for a long weekend to just “get away”. Our focus is intended to be on several of the Smithsonian museums, but we’ve added the George Washington Masonic Memorial to the itinerary. I’ll be writing an article recapping our adventure, and I’ll include some pictures. I’m hoping that this will give us an excellent chance to see some examples of Masonic history and memorabilia, and to learn more about Freemasonry’s role in the foundations of this country. Stay tuned…. This is my thirteenth article on my experience in Freemasonry.