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 at memorization are at least a bit fruitful.) Watching the initiation also cleared up a number of words that I have missed in studying. This will definitely help me in better learning my work for my second degree. I am now very interested in attending more first degree work in my area!
Of significant note was an amazing Masonic brother named Justin Parnell, who is the brother who gave the first degree lecture. (Sidebar: I don't know what it is about the name "Justin". I have met more guys named "Justin" through Freemasonry than anywhere else. I think I've met 5 or 6 in the two initiations alone, and that was out of about 50 or so people. Weird!) Anyway, My lodge was unable to schedule someone to do my first degree lecture, so I attended another first degree lodge to hear it there. Justin gave me my first degree lecture, and hearing him giving it to the three candidates and me was so helpful. With very little prompting, he gave it all from memory--and we're talking about a 20 minute or so lecture! Way to go Justin!
I look forward to getting together with some brothers to help coach me. I can get my second degree 28 days after my first degree, but I still feel that I have a long way to go in memorizing.
This is my eleventh article on my experience in Freemasonry.