Observing the Craft was written by WB Andrew Hammer, Past Master of Alexandria-Washington
Lodge No. 22 in Virginia.
This book is a riveting review of Freemasonry in the United States today. Hammer takes on the issues that the craft faces in a direct manner including; ritual, distractions - other Masonic bodies, dress, the festive board, the pursuit of excellence etc.
In all of the issues that he addresses, he advocates that Masons should work with a higher determination to make the Craft all that it is capable of being. Hammer doesn’t pretend that his pathway is the only way for Freemasonry, but rather one of the many that Freemasonry can be practiced with.
I seem to think he is challenging us to consider the origins and true purpose of the craft, to set our aspirations and goals at a much higher standard than many lodges practice today.
According to WB Hammer:
“There are some things in life that cannot be made of a lesser quality nor sold at a lesser price, even if the seller should become less prosperous as a result. A teaching in the Jewish tradition declares that even if there is not one person to worship the Almighty, the value and glory of the Almighty nonetheless remains intact and the Almighty continues to exist. Dear brethren, the value and glory of Freemasonry exists of whether or not we are ten or ten million. Let us not call out the Mystic Angel Freemasonry from the Holy of Holies so that it my abused by the unworthy.”
This book serves as a guide for a Masonic revitalization of your lodge. Be prepared to have your notions of what Freemasonry can be challenged and thus in turn, to challenge yourself to a commitment of self-improvement of the individual and Freemasonry as a whole.
I had the privilege to hear WB Hammer speak at the 2013 banquet of The Masonic Society during Masonic Week. Just as in his writings, as a speaker he does not disappoint.
More information on Observing the Craft may be obtained at WB Hammer’s website observingthecraft.com and his book can be ordered through Amazon.
WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He's a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He holds membership also in The Masonic Society, The Scottish Rite Research Society and the Philalethes Society. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts--an Eagle Scout himself, he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.