Friday, April 18, 2008

May Day! May Day!

If you keep sticking your head out its bound to get cut off sooner or later.
Well, last night, for the first time in my Masonic life I sat in the Oriental Chair. It was only a rehersal for an upcoming Step-Up night where I will be acting Worshipful Master but I can honestly say that I had no idea how hard it actually is untill all eyes were on me to set the craft to labor.
My very good friend, after a long waiting period between petitioning my lodge, then getting an interview and a few other matters that forced us to put off the degree untill now, will be receiving Masonic light on Thursday May 1st. I thought the greatest gift I could give him, was asking to sit in the East for his degree. It was a tradition at our lodge for the Junior Warden to do an E.A. degree during his year in the South and I was glad to revive the tradition for my good friend. Little did I know what I was getting myself into!
I have been going over the ritual for the WM since finishing my play. I have it on my I-Pod and have had my voice ringing in my head for weeks now in preparation for this event. Like P.T. Barnum I have been telling everyone about it because I want to pack the lodge with Brothers for my friend. I even invited (I think) a Past Grand Master to come and see my first time in the East. After actually sitting in that chair and realizing it is not as easy as it looks from the side lines I finally realized, what the h-e-double hockey sticks was I thinking?
Here I was inviting every Brother I have ever met and a bunch I just met to my first time doing something I have never done before! I am truely crazy.
The thing about being WM is that you are the quarterback and everyone is looking to you for direction. Add in the long speaches and the obligation of the E.A. degree and you have alot on your plate. Not to make too things easy on myself, I went ahead and invited a bunch of guys in purple to come along for the ride forgetting all of the pomp and circumstance that follows guys who wear those aprons. Somewhere in the middle of the rehersal when the old guys started whispering to each other it hit me that if the Brothers I have invited actually show up for this degree, I will look like Patrick Ewing on the foul line in the forth quarter of a game against the Bulls (for those of you cant relate to late 1980's basketball references, think flop sweat!). We'll see!
I want to give my friend the degree he deserves. He just survived cancer and is coming into the fraternity of his grandfather. I want to give him the kind of E.A. that I imagined when I knocked upon the door of Freemasonry not so long ago. I certainly hope I can live up to the challenge!
And it had to fall on May Day! May Day!
There is much work to be done!

7 comments:

Traveling Man said...

Having done my first EA this year, I can relate.

First time in the East, well respected immediate Past Master to my left, and I also hasd to receive the district Grand Line Officer.

Seriously, once you get going - it just rolls.

Traveling Man

Câmera Digital said...
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Justa Mason said...

MMM, as long as you know all the protocol and think several steps ahead of what you're doing, you'll be fine.

Incidentally, in my jurisdiction, only an Installed Master may take the chair, and at each installation ceremony, the new Master is told he cannot surrender the chair to anyone who is not an Installed Master. If a SW who is not a PM has to preside, he is given another chair to sit in on the dias.

Justa Mason

Tom Accuosti said...

Incidentally, in my jurisdiction, only an Installed Master may take the chair

Well, your jurisdiction uses ferrets as a working tool in some way that I have yet to understand...

In Connecticut, only elected officers may preside over a lodge; that means the SW or JW if the WM ain't around. Barring that, a DD (DDGM to you) can open. Should one not be available, a phone call to the GM to ask him permission, typically given to a PM.

I don't know why, but here, a PM has no authority - not that some of them don't try, but it's unofficial authority. I understand why a PM should be allowed to preside, rather than a Warden, and the reasoning makes sense to me. However, the way we do it - I think - might be more conducive to dispelling power cliques within a lodge.

Note that in Conn, PMs have no vote/voice at GL sessions, either. Past DDs have a voice, having been GL representatives, but that's as far as it goes. Oh, and we all have one (1) vote. Some US states assign fractional votes to certain positions.

Paul Chapin said...

You will do fine...it truly is an eye opener when you sit there for the first time. Next year when you head west your perspective will change also. There is a reason why it should take several years to make it to east, we all need the time to properly season.

The good news is once you do an EA the FC is much, much easier to do.

Justa Mason said...

Tom wrote:
In Connecticut, only elected officers may preside over a lodge; that means the SW or JW if the WM ain't around. Barring that, a DD (DDGM to you) can open. Should one not be available, a phone call to the GM to ask him permission, typically given to a PM.

Again, it's quite different here. For one thing, in one of my Lodges, all the officers are elected except the Organist and Stewards. For another, if the Master and Wardens aren't present, the Lodge cannot open. This happened once during my year as DDGM. It can be done only with a signed dispensation from the Grand Master; a phone call doesn't cut it.

In the days when Lodges had more work than they could handle, there were non-officer nights when a M.M. from the side would be asked to confer a degree. He just simply couldn't sit in the WM's chair.

Justa Mason

Traveling Man said...

Bro:. Accousti is correct as far as he has written.

In Connecticut, ANY Master Mason may assume the East at the will and pleasure of the Worshipful Master.

It is no common thing, but permissable under the rules and regulations