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.

Passed to the Second Degree!

Tonight, I had the honor of being passed to the second degree of Fellow Craft. It was a bit unnerving at first because my coaches have had very, busy work schedules, so I didn’t have as much time to work with them as I would have liked. But in the end, I actually did quite well. Originally, we had three candidates scheduled, but unfortunately, one had a work commitment that he could not get out of, so it was two of us receiving our second degree. Hopefully, he will be able to have his second degree in the next week or so. The examination part actually went quite smoothly with only a couple minor glitches. Though we had not practiced together, it probably was hard to tell as we each knew our stuff. The second degree lecture, like the first, was impressive, but went much deeper, and it was given […]

Some More First Degree Work

Last night, I had the honor of attending another local lodge in Belton, SC to watch their first degree work for three candidates. Two brothers from my lodge attended, and two of the brothers from the Belton lodge who helped with my first degree work were also there. It was very welcoming, and nice to see some familiar faces in an otherwise unfamiliar setting. As I get more and more involved in Freemasonry, I see that I am going to be meeting lots and lots of people! The degree work was basically the same as at my initiation with very few exceptions. It was so nice to be able to see things from a different vantage point. I enjoyed being able to really focus on what was being said, and the order in which things were said. I actually found myself mouthing much of the work. (I guess my attempts […]

Initiated as an Entered Apprentice!

On Tuesday evening, June 12, I was initiated as an Entered Apprentice into the Divver lodge #349 in Anderson, South Carolina. As I reflect back over the evening of my initiation, the one word that keeps popping into my mind is “impressive”. I was so impressed by the many events of the evening: From the friendliness of the members, to their devotion to the craft; from the seriousness and solemness of the ceremonies, to the memorization displayed by the team conducting the ceremony. It was certainly an impressive evening–one I’ll not forget. As you have probably read in my earlier posts, as I waited on the process from petitioning to initiation, things seemed to be moving along at a slow pace. This, of course, was only a reflection of my impatience. But then, “Bam!” things started happening quickly. My initiation was scheduled for just two days after I spoke with […]

The Date Is Set!

Today, I received a call from the Master of the lodge, and he said that my Entered Apprentice initiation is scheduled for 7:00PM on Tuesday, June 12. Last week, the investigating committee contacted me. We had a very nice talk that was informal and low-key, and was far from my original impression of the investigation process. It was more like a job interview than anything else, but job interviews really impose more pressure. We discussed some of my beliefs, who I am, what I do for a living, how I learned about Freemasonry, etc. And the fact that they were so nice, polite, and far from intimidating, made our discussion so much easier. Yet at the same time, they spoke with an authority and a knowledge that echoed and confirmed with great precision those things I have been reading over the past two months. I was impressed. They told me […]

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

I’ve been a bit concerned lately because I have not yet had any contact with the investigating committee. The next lodge meeting is Tuesday, June 5th, and I’ve been afraid that if I don’t get contacted, I’ll have to wait another month. I’m taking it all in stride, understanding that the summer is a very busy time, so we’ll see how this plays out. But I am now greatly encouraged, because I found out a couple things appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel…. Yesterday, I spoke with a Past Master of the lodge and friend from church, and he said that someone from the investigating committee would be contacting me on Monday the 4th, and if that goes OK, then the lodge would vote on me at the meeting on the 5th. I also spoke with my Masonic friend from church, and he explained a […]

But it’s more than that….

When I started looking into Freemasonry, I was overwhelmed by all of the information and varied views about just what it is all about. So I read and read, I talked with Masons, and I thought about just what Freemasonry is. And this is what I came up with: It’s a club. You join it. You attend meetings. Business is conducted at the meetings. You gather socially. You do fundraisers. But it’s more than that… It’s a fraternity. You join in brotherhood. You pledge your loyalty to it. You help your fellow brothers, and you receive help from them. But it’s more than that… It’s philanthropic. It uses your money and time to help others. It helps the poor. It helps the needy. But it’s more than that… It’s a mystery. You seek it, it doesn’t seek you. Its secrets are held in high regard. It imparts timeless wisdom. It […]