Freemasonry: Second Degree Passed (finally)

2nd Degree of Fellow CraftWe finally got passed to the Masonic degree of Fellow Craft. I Say finally since it’s taken us six months when most of the Brothers in the lodge completed all three degrees in three to four months.

The degree ceremony itself went well. It was very similar to the Entered Apprentice ceremony but was overall much shorter.

Having gotten to take a look at the proficiency work we’ll need in order to pass to the third degree of Master Mason, It is also very similar to the Entered Apprentice work. Probably about 40% of it is almost identical wording, so memorizing it should go much faster, especially now that I know how to read the cipher on my own.

Ultimately, there was no proficiency testing – open or otherwise and everyone was passed without question. There seems to have developed an ego contest between the Worshipful Master and my Masonic mentor, to the point that the W.M. has declared that we will no longer be holding study groups outside of the lodge.

From this point forward, we are to study on our own and if we need help or want to do anything as a group, we can get together at a table in the coalation room after the meetings twice per month.

I have concerns that this won’t work out well considering that most of the other Fellow Craft that just got passed with me, rarely come to meetings in the first place and several of them can barely read the cipher book.

At this point, I’ve decided to stop worrying about the quality of the men that they are passing next to me as there isn’t anything I can do about it anyway. Once I am passed to the degree of Master Mason and have an equal voice in the lodge, I will do all I can to work with new brothers and make them as proficient as possible so that they fully understand and appreciate what the degrees are trying to teach.

I am fortunate in that I have two “older brothers” that I am close with, that have helped me along the way. I very much enjoy seeing them at lodge meetings and as a result, I try harder to get to meetings even when presented with some adversity. These brothers have also helped me with my proficiency and have made it much more interesting than just memorizing words. They have given me some bits of history and explained why some things are done the way that they are.

I understand that people are only going to participate as much as they want to, but I feel that if new brothers are given a good start and are immersed in the work, they will stay stronger members. An example that comes to mind is when a newer brother misses a meeting, someone should make sure they get a call from someone in the lodge to ask if everything is alright and let them know they were missed.

An act as simple as a phone call let’s the new brother know that he is a part of a fraternity, it is noticed when he is not present and that he is cared for. You may also find out that his reason for missing the meeting is something that can be addressed. Maybe his car broke down and it will take a while to be repaired. Well, if it isn’t too much trouble, someone can pick that brother up on the way to to the meeting. This sets the precedent in the newer member’s mind that we help and take care of one another.

If I join a group where I don’t know many people at all, I will naturally be uneasy for the first several meetings until I become comfortable with everyone there and build my own rapport with them. During this time, it is very easy for a new brother to miss meetings and not participate. If that man has an “older brother” looking after him and encouraging him, he is in a much better position to thrive.

Of course, there will always be the men that join Freemasonry and for whatever reason, drop off and don’t attend meetings. There isn’t much that can be done about them, but I believe that the majority of brothers that stray could be encouraged to come back with some simple friendly contact.

Starting a brother’s Masonic journey with a strong and enriching experience will also likely keep some of those brothers from straying in the first place.

This is my sixth post on Freemasonry.

Click here for the full index of my Freemasonry posts

Technorati Tags:

0 Responses to “Freemasonry: Second Degree Passed (finally)”

  • No Comments

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply