Friday, June 27, 2008

A Master Mason Degree Then Dim The Lights

There seems to be a common thread right now in Masonic Blogs. They all have posted something in the way of "Well, I haven't posted in a while because I have been so busy with work, family and lodge commitments and the beginning of summer is upon us....."

Now I don't want to be one to be left out so let me start this post by saying:

Well, I haven't posted in a while because...

Between my last Masonic post and now, I traveled 800 miles each way with two children in the car to my sister in laws wedding in Kentucky. Again during a road trip pit stop in New Jersey I received warm fraternal greetings from a Prince Hall Brother who noticed the S&C on my T shirt and called to me "I see you are a Traveling Man" and gave me a brotherly handshake and hug and we exchanged lodge info and parted on the square. Even my wife, who at times seems just to tolerate my Masonic stuff loves it when I run into a Brother on the road. My four year old said "Daddy you have brothers everywhere!" to which I told her, "all over the world honey!" which she thought was so cool. But other than seeing where the local Masons lodge was in my Father in laws home town of Eminence, which is a very small rural town, I had no other masonic contact on the trip.

When we got home I had to kick it into high gear Masonicly. My lodge was about to host a Master Masons degree for the first time in a long time and I was responsible for getting two of the five Brothers to be raised proficient at the previous degree. We had a log jam of Brothers needing to be raised, and in Connecticut you can only raise five Brothers at one time (thankfully). Our district degree team was gathering to help us with the second half and was made up of more purple aprons than we had seen in our old building in forever so I wanted to get my guys up to snuff. I had two personal sessions with the Fellowcrafts and then started to plan for the dinner to precede the degree. Being Junior Warden is the penance to pay for leading the lodge someday. I cant wait to hand over the responsibility of the dinners to another Brother not only because it adds a huge responsibility to my job but we never collect enough donations to cover the cost of the dinners so I have been subsidising feeding the brethren for some time now.

The turnout for the degree was awesome. Although I could not chit chat as much as I wanted to with the visiting brethren because I was too busy setting up dinner and the lodge for the degree. I did however take the time to grab each of the five FC's and tell them to make sure to soak up as much as they could of the evening because it would be the best degree they ever went through and that it was the single biggest bind between brothers, going through the sublime degree. Afterwards one of the new Master Masons and one of the guys I coached, came up to me and thanked me for telling him to drink it all in which made me very happy.

Unfortunately because of the length of the degree and the lateness of the finish the gathered brethren left as quick as their cars could take them. Which left me cleaning up with only the Worshipful Master as company and he was itching to go, so there was not any fellowship after the degree. This was a big bummer to me because it was our last meeting before going "dim" for the summer. In CT we do not meet in July and August mostly because most buildings don't have air conditioning and summer is so filled with vacation and family obligations that barely filled lodge meetings would be even barer during these months. So I went home, hung up my tuxedo for a while, and went out in my back yard for a cigar and my whirling thoughts.

Although I welcome a break from the crazy schedule that my obligations have produced this year, I will miss lodge for a couple of months. I plan to do some serious esoteric delving this summer into our ritual and brotherhood so like my friend and fellow CT Masonic blogger says:

Stay Tuned.....


Anthony Williams said...

I'm quite surprised that you guys are allowed to raise as many as five at once! Over here in Ol' Blighty, we have to get dispensation if we want to include more than two candidates at once (and I know some traditionalists who are even against putting two candidates through a ceremony at once!)

Rough Ashlar

M.M.M. From the North Eastern Corner said...

I have only recently discovered how different we are here in CT. Although, as a purest, I would prefer to only raise one at a time, in the interest of time it is much easier to do 5 at once. I think the way we do it makes the best of the situation and no brother leaves wanting! I was raised with 3 other brothers (from different lodges) at another lodge because at the time my lodge could not do the degree, so I am thrilled to do one at home for 5 of our own brothers.