The EA Degree and the Lodge Closing Ceremony

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Randy Sanders

The other evening, I was honored to be included in an interactive presentation by North Carolina’s Past Grand Master Shaun Bradshaw. In this presentation, Most Worshipful Shaun described the Hero’s Journey and how it fits into Masonic initiation. Several of us described the travels of the initiate, the 12 steps the candidate takes in each degree, and even how the whole of the three degrees itself becomes the journey.

MWB Shaun skillfully guided the group in comparing and contrasting the Hero’s Journey and the Masonic initiation by listening to the participants and adding perfectly timed insight to the conversation. I highly recommend any opportunity you may take in listening and learning from the Most Worshipful in this and his other presentations.

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.


Bro. Randy and his wife Elyana live in O'Fallon, MO just outside of St. Louis. Randy earned a Bachelors in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in telecom IT. He volunteers his time as a professional and personal mentor, is an NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer, and enjoys competitive tactical pistol. He has a 30+ year background teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy's Masonic bio includes lodge education officer of two blue lodges, running the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, active in York Rite AMD, Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis co-librarian, Clerk of the Academy Of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, a trained facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. As a pre-COVID-19 pioneer in Masonic virtual education, Randy is an administrator of Refracted Light and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy enjoys facilitating and presenting Masonic esoteric education, and he hosts an open, weekly Masonic virtual Friday Happy Hour. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.


  1. This is why it is better NOT to open on the third, call down, perform the degree, toss the newly made brothers out of the room, call back up and close. I'm glad to see more GLs doing business on the first, unlike Back hen I Was Initiated.

  2. A great reminder that the closing of a lodge is a continuation of the Masonic education that each ritual is designed to convey. I have seen so many times it done in haste or a grand lodge officer close it by a single rap of the gavel with the excuse given "so everyone can get home." Thanks for reminding us of its significance. As my lodge's education officer, I will be passing your thoughts on to my fellow officers.


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