Remove the first section, or Stewards lectures, from the degree night and do them instead on the next meeting immediately following the degree. They may be called something else in your jurisdiction but these lectures are a question and answer session between two brothers that rehash the entire degree that just happened and are required to be memorized to be passed on to the next degree. By moving this lecture to the next meeting night it does a few things.
1. From my own experience, after going through the degree it seemed so repetitive to sit and watch an entire play by play of the thing I just went through immediately after I went through it. When I study the candidates/Brothers faces when they watch it, no matter how well it is done, they too seemed confused or bored during the lecture.
2. By moving it to the next meeting it gets the new brothers immediately involved. Usually the meeting after a degree is held on a higher degree and the newly initiated Brothers feel a bit left out when they are told they cannot attend the next meeting of the Brotherhood they just joined because they are only E.A's or F.C.'s. This gets them right back in.
3. It gives the new Brothers time to mull over the Degree they went through without the pressure of memorization. If we tell them after the degree to just take some time to really think about what happened during the degree they can take their first step into really delving into the meaning of the ritual without having to recite it from rote.
4. It slows down the "Get them to the next degree as fast as possible" mentality that hurts the overall meaning of our craft. If we slow down the railroading of candidates quickly through the degrees we build better Brothers and consequently a better fraternity.
And last of all it removes a tangible amount of time from a degree night that can be better spent building upon the actual degree and the ties it forms between the Brethren. Maybe if it wasn't creeping on midnight after a degree more brothers would hang out and spend a little informal quality time with their new Brothers in a way that cant happen during a dinner before hand.
What do you think?
Do you do it differently?