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 hope that next year, we have more earlier.) Of the 24 or so people who attended, about nine or ten of them were Past Masters, and they did an excellent job with the degree work.
Obviously, I cannot go into any detail, but suffice it to say, the Third Degree degree work was impressive and very, very memorable. Initially, I had read a lot of information online about the various degrees, but after being initiated to Entered Apprentice and then passed to Fellowcraft, I decided not to read any more about the Third Degree so as not to "spoil" things. Fortunately, nothing was spoiled, and I have to say that experiencing the degree work was exciting. I've had the opportunity over the past several months to see about six First Degrees, and I can't wait to see another Third Degree from the "other side" for a different perspective.
After I received my Third Degree, two key points were made to me by multiple people on different occasions:
"While this is the final degree in the Blue Lodge, this is really just the beginning of my journey in Freemasonry."
"You will get out of Freemasonry what you put into it."
So now, I am a Master Mason! I can attend regular business meetings, vote on new candidates, get more involved in the Lodge, join other Masonic organizations requiring a Third Degree prior to joining, wear a Masonic ring, and a host of other things. I look forward to continuing my journey in Freemasonry, and getting more involved!
This is my fifteenth article on my experience in Freemasonry.