I promise there will only be one to twelve more after this one, so bear with me. Your candidate/brother, whom you have walked this entire journey with so far, should be fired up! You should be seeing the fruition of the events up to now because you are doing it right. You have introduced him to places like this blog and podcasts like "Masonic Roundtable" and "Whence Came You". You have saturated his life with not only the reading material that he gains from the completion of each degree, but books that help him dive into simple understandings of the craft. If you don’t know any, Born in Blood comes to mind without getting up from my desk (I’m not showing off, I really am that lazy) and this is consuming his life. You are what you eat, remember that phrase. It is given to not govern the food you eat, though in most cases it seems to be appropriate, but to let you know that you will become what you saturate your life with. Now if you are watching the Daredevil seasons on Netflix, you're not alone there, they are really good. But you need to have a healthy balance of the everything else (50%) and Freemasonry (50%) in your entertainment.
You have now travelled to the door with your brother for the third time. He is ready and prepared because you have taken each step with him, as well as took the guidance from all these articles. You have parted upon him the simple yet mind blowing words, over all you've prepared to have him in the right mind for this prestigious event. So before all this, did you stop the giggling chuckles and jokes about live farm animals and any other non-serious venture other brothers brought to the brothers ears? Did you part upon him the solemn nature of this degree to which he is about to attain? Have you kept his anxiety down (trust me they are lying when they say they are fine, it is slightly nerve racking and that is a good thing) as well as reassure him that everyone, including yourself has taken this path? Again this is his night, all his, and more importantly this is THE night!!! He is about to become a Master Mason and finally erase all doubts about his equality in the lodge, if he still has any remaining.
A few personal bits here, kind of close to my heart. If your lodge wants to do multiple third degrees at the same time, fight them! How can this be his day if he is sharing it? How can he feel the impact of the degree if it is being done to others at the same time? How can it possibly effect his life if he does not take the journey in a solemn fashion as to which this degree was intended to be performed? Do not bow down to "the rush"or rather, the push of candidates to brothers to Master Masons as fast as possible, you will do him a disservice! Do not allow him, if he so chooses, to be pushed aside if he wishes to return his degree in open lodge (if your jurisdiction does this. If they don’t trust me, you are missing out on a lot of opportunity here). This should be his day and his alone. There is a lot to take in here, other meaningless distractions here should be tossed away. I have seen too many multiple third degrees to know that there is not any good to come of it for the brother, it only serves to the pocket books and per diem of the lodge/Grand Lodge. I don’t care about that or them, as a Mentor/Intender my job lay strictly with the brother and only the brother to whom was placed in my care. Then there is my biggest pet peeve and trust me I am close to taking them away and ripping them up in front of these people. DO NOT let that new Master Mason take a petition. I believe that this shouldn't even be allowed in lodge during this time, or before. It should be a Masonic Offense to allow "Petition Vultures" to circle a new brother, pushing their petitions into his face. Let the man take in the fact that he is a newly raised Master Mason and everything that it entails. If you're one of those brothers who waves a petition in a brand new Master Mason's face, just stop. This is a time of celebration of a man's travels to the degree of Master Mason! Opinions vary, but I would personally like to see a two year waiting list to be able to jump into an appendant body. I digress.
When he is done with this degree, his path is not traveled, it is only beginning. His journey is not done, it has truly just started. This is not the end all be all. The goal is neither chair nor title. The goal of Freemasonry is the betterment of oneself, and that is all it ever is.
Again, make yourself available, and know that there is still much to do. Yes he is a Brother Master Mason on the level, but he is still new. He will have questions that he doesn't even know yet, nor does he know to ask them. DO NOT leave him behind now, once a Mentor/Intender always one. No Mason Left Behind, ever!
Brother Daniel "Doc" Gentry is a Brother Master Mason under the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Mason's of the State of Illinois, in the 1st Northeast district. His sign is Leo, and has been known to enjoy long walks in blizzards. He is stubborn and has no plans of joining the York or Scottish Rite anytime soon. Also in his spare time, he is a great DM for D&D games. Sacred Geometery! You can reach him by email at email@example.com