A new Brother goes through the degree, takes his obligation, receives the lecture and charge, and is seated among the brethren. This was a powerful moment for me when I received my EA because now I was recognized as a Brother and had become a part of the Lodge. It was very exciting. I watched with wonder and anticipation as the Lodge conducted what little business needed to happen, then proceeded to close on the EA degree. How cool it was for me to witness the actual ritual of the lodge!
We as candidates hadn’t been a part of the opening ceremony of course, and the Lodge created the sacred space into which we were escorted by a friend, who we later came to know as a Brother. The lodge had prepared itself for us, and we were prepared, instructed, and escorted. As the evening progressed, we were included in the closing ritual. Included! This was a part of the Hero’s Journey in and of itself, but it didn’t end there.
The EA degree doesn’t actually end with seating the new Brother amongst his Brethren but actually ends with the closing of the lodge. That’s right, our initiatic experience isn’t over with the degree... Now we take an active part in the ritual in which we just received. The closing, in many jurisdictions, includes a closing charge, and the closing becomes a part of that initiation, of the circumambulation, the hoodwink, the lecture, and the EA charge. This closing of the lodge, of releasing the sacred space, of being challenged to go out into the world to be better men, all tie back into the degree we each received.
Brothers, this was another powerful reminder to me, a newly made Entered Apprentice, that I was a part of the Lodge. I could now be a part of the ritual, of the opening and closing, and it reminds me now that the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees extend beyond the ceremonial degrees themselves. My point is to ask us to remember our own Hero’s Journey through the degrees such that we continue to help new Brothers in their own journey. So may we ever meet, act, and part.