I recall thinking the night I completed the third degree, that I didn’t have a full comprehension of what I had just experienced. There was so much information and activities that were coming my way that night, it was hard to take them all in. Numerous brothers congratulated me for finishing my degree work, yet somehow, I felt that I didn’t know everything that I should.
The Masonic Service Association Short Talk Bulletin from May 1926 spoke about what a Mason should know after being raised:
“Having received the Degrees of Masonry, an initiate needs to know something of the regulations of the Craft, its constitution, its Landmarks; and the nature and authority of the Grand Lodge under whose obedience he lives. It is only fair to tell him the relation of the Blue Lodge to other Masonic Bodies, both York Rite and Scottish Rite; and in a way to emphasize the supremacy of Craft Masonry. It will be useful for him to know that the Shrine, the Grotto and other such organizations, while made up of Masons, are not Masonic any more than any club made up of Masons is Masonic. More important still is the etiquette of the Craft, in the Lodge and outside, and the discretion necessary in making himself known as a Mason, or in responding to the advances of others.”While this is good advice, it seems to barely scratch the surface of what a Master Mason needs to know to proceed and succeed on the journey ahead. So, what should a Mason due to ensure they are duly and truly prepared?
Here is some advice as to what I have found has worked for me:
- Study the ritual and gain an understanding of what the degrees are teaching you.
- Begin committing a passage or two that interests you to memory so that it gives you something to focus on.
- Research what this passage means, the internet makes it easy to do research.
- Talk with other brothers about what they might know or understand about the passage.
- If you have an opportunity, put together a small lodge education presentation and share what you have learned with others.
- Work towards applying what you have learned in your daily life, perhaps at work or with your family.
Greg Knott is the Worshipful Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.