Posts Tagged ‘freemason’

Yesterday was the annual AGM for the District of SA North under the banner of the Grand Lodge of England. A prestigious day in our district, where Masons are appointed and promoted in both active and past rank. I have been an active District Officer  for 3 years https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/my-journey-continues/ and this year’s appointment took me in a different direction.

This year I was honoured by being appointed as the District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies for the Royal Arch.

        

 

To explain a bit more, as this is entering a new avenue of Masonry I haven’t discussed before.

Pure Ancient Freemasonry consists of three degrees, Entered Apprentice (1st Degree) Fellowcraft (2nd Degree)  and Master Mason (3rd Degree).A Mason must have obtained his 3rd Degree to be eligible for the Royal Arch.

The Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem completes the learning as a Master Mason.Historically, it is the complete story of Jewish History during some of its darkest hours, when Jerusalem and the Holy Temple is destroyed and the people of Israel are being held captive as slaves in Babylon. Symbolically, the Royal Arch leads us from a practical to spiritual journey of self development and knowledge.

Just as the Square and Compass is the symbol of Craft Freemasonry, the Triple Tau is that of Royal Arch Masonry.

The tau is the nineteenth letter in the Greek Alphabet. The triple tau of Royal Arch Masonry consists of 3 T’s linked in the centre joined at their base.The name Hiram Abiff appear in the Phoenican language with the same letters “H” and “T” as they do in English. As such, the Triple Tau takes on the interpretation of the initial letters in Hiram Abiff’s name. (A very significant individual our learnings)

A triangle is a simple shape in geometry that has taken on great spiritual significance and symbolism. The triangle was revered by ancient nations as containing the greatest mysteries, and as a symbol of God, denoting a triad of intelligence or a triad of deity.  The triangle is also a symbol of divine union, representing the attributes of deity : omnipotence (all powerful), omnipresence (eternal) and omniscience (all knowing).

To explain more will ruin the experience of any potential RA candidates reading my blog. Suffice it to say, having journeyed through the Royal Arch, from candidate to the Principal Officer positions over the past 10 years has been an enlightening experience, and being appointed as an Active District Officer is an honour, and one I look forward to over the next year.

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On 24 June 1717 four London Lodges, which had existed for some time, came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard, declared themselves a Grand Lodge and elected Anthony Sayer as their Grand Master. This was the first Grand Lodge in the world.

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WHAT MAKES A MAN A MASON?

By George M. Free

What makes a man a Mason, O brother of mine?
It isn’t the due guard, nor is it the sign,
It isn’t the jewel which hangs on your breast
It isn’t the apron in which you are dressed

It isn’t the step, nor the token, nor the grip,
Nor lectures that fluently flow from the lip,
Nor yet the possession of that mystic word
On five points of fellowship duly conferred.

Though these are essential, desirable, fine,
They don’t make a Mason, O brother of mine.
That you to your sworn obligation are true’
Tis that, brother mine, makes a Mason of you.

Secure in your heart you must safeguard and trust,
With lodge and with brother be honest and just,
Assist the deserving who cry in their need,
Be chaste in your thought, in your word and your deed.

Support he who falters, with hope banish fear,
And whisper advice in an erring one’s ear.
Then will the Great Lights on your path brightly shine,
And you’ll be a Mason, O brother of mine.

Your use of life’s hours by the gauge you must try,
The gavel of vices with courage apply;
Your walk must be upright, as shown by the plumb,
On the level, to bourn whence no travelers come,

The Book of your faith be the rule and the guide,
The compass your passions shut safely inside;
The stone which the Architect placed in your care
Must pass the strict test of His unerring square.

And then you will meet with approval divine,
And you’ll be a Mason,O brother of mine.

Last night was a very prestigious evening for me. Every mason aspires to get to the highest position in the lodge. A position that takes years of patience and study, and for me, last night that honour was bestowed upon me.

I was installed into the chair of King Solomon, and made the Worshipful Master of Orphic Lodge (5949 E.C) http://www.orphic.co.za

And I have to say, it was an amazingly surreal experience. I was so nervous at the beginning of the evening, as there were very distinguished Brethren present, and I was hoping, nay, praying that all the work I had studied would come back at the right moment. You see, all our work is done by memory. And….yes..it did. In fact, the evening went better than I had hoped for.

The Jubilee jewel, honoured to the Worshipful Master, around my neck

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.

Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: it seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need. (http://www.ugle.org.uk)

Now, Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It’s essential qualification opens it to men of many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.

Once a mason decides to progress into side degrees, he may. Some of which follow Christian values.

The ‘Rose Croix’ Degree is the 18th degree of a Christian Order of Masonry

The complete Order comprises thirty-three degrees. The first three degrees of Craft Masonry are;

1st degree: Entered Apprentice

2nd degree:  Fellow Craft

3rd degree: Master Mason.

From this point, a Freemason may choose the route to be taken for his own growth in the Craft, for knowledge and self-fulfilment.

I initially chose the Royal Arch route, so my career in Masonry may grow to the Knights Templar. Now I am a Knight, I felt it was time to grow further…and so last night I became an 18th degree mason and became an Excellent and Perfect Prince.

Now, as explained when I became a Knight Templar, I cannot explain what the ceremony entailed, due to the Masonic obligation I have taken, so the info I have just given, is freely available to the public.

What I will say, however, is the ceremony of the 18th degree, seeks the Perfection of Christian virtues.

It is an immensely thought provoking, impressive and beautiful ceremony which instils a warmth of Brotherly love, on which the whole Masonic movement is founded.

A moment I truly enjoyed and am very glad I have done this, just prior to my installation. (This will be explained shortly)

the collar of an 18th degree Freemason

Masonic pride

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Masonic, Poem, poetry
Tags: , , , ,

A Freemason’s son is known as a Lewis, and its a Mason’s greatest wish that his son would follow his footsteps, and take the obligation. As yet, I do not have a son, but when I do, I only hope that when is is of age, that he choses to follow me in the Craft, a choice only he can make.

 

The Lamb Skin

Author unknown

It is not ornamental; the cost is not great,

There are other things far more useful, yet truly I state,

Though of all my possessions, there’s none can compare,

With the white leather apron, which all Masons wear.

 

As a young lad I wondered just what it all meant,

When dad hustled around, and so much time was spent,

On shaving and dressing and looking just right,

Until mother would say: “It’s the Masons tonight.”

And some winter nights she said: “What makes you go,

Way up there tonight through the sleet and the snow?

You see the same things every month of the year.”

 

Then dad would reply: “Yes, I know it my dear.

Forty years I have seen the same things, it is true,

And thought they are old, they always seem new,

For the hands that I clasp, and the friends that I greet,

Seem a little bit closer each time that we meet.”

 

Years later I stood at that very same door,

With good men and true, who had entered before,

I knelt at the altar, and there I was taught,

That virtue and honor can never be bought.

 

That spotless white lambskin all Masons revere,

If worthily worn grows more precious each year,

That service to others brings blessings untold,

That man may be poor though surrounded by gold.

 

I learned that true brotherhood flourishes there,

That enmities fade ‘neath the compass and square,

That wealth and position are all thrust aside,

As there on the level men meet and abide.

 

So honour the lambskin, may it always remain,

Forever unblemished, and free from all stain,

And when we are all called to the Great Father’s love,

May we all take our place in that Lodge up above.