Thursday, October 22, 2009


Not to be confused with concrete, cement is a binding agent that, when mixed with other aggregates, can create something that can last for ages.

Lately there has been a great feeling of bonding at my lodge. We meet and have fun doing the labor of Freemasonry. At our last meeting our Junior Warden, a man who was thrust into the South faster than I, stepped up to act as Worshipful Master for an Entered Apprentice degree for four men wishing to become brothers. The JW is a very reserved and quiet man and I freely admit I had my doubts about him stepping up to receive his proficiency by the Grand Lodge, but boy did he shine! In fact, the whole lodge shined that night for the men receiving Masonic light for the first time but just after the opening, as we were going into the degree, I felt an awesome sense of pride for my Brother who performed fantastically. The best thing is that I felt better for him doing well than I had ever felt for myself doing the same! That's Brotherhood. I have felt overwhelming pride for my children before but never for another Mason.
Before the degree I gathered the candidates and gave them a little speech about how that night was for them and how they were about to go through the same initiation that so many of the greatest men in history had gone through and that the whole thing was for them not the officers, not the dignitaries, not the guys on the sidelines, but them. I admonished them to be aware of everything and to soak it all in.....and they did. I watched closely as they went through the ritual and they were never out of place or disorientated and they payed close attention to everything. What a night.
Our District Grand Lecturer, or AGM as he is titled now, asked the WM if he could address the new Brethren after the degree to re-recite the obligation that all Masons take without pause and with emphasis so as to further enlighten them to that which they just went through. Can I say it was amazing! I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it because all of us there received light with that speech. It was one of the best EA degrees I have been to, or been a part of and I really think we sprinkled a little cement on the mix of men gathered.
Speaking of cement.
I have an idea for a lodge night that I want to give a try in my year in the East. I'll call it "Cement Mixing Night" a night to take the aggregate mix of the Brethren and make it concrete. Ideally this would occur during a Table Lodge or Festive Board (cause everything is better during a Table Lodge) but it could happen on a regular meeting night also.
Just like when making concrete, the first thing you have to do is dry mix the different aggregates. Take the Brothers and split up the usual friends and the different age groups and mix them up. The WM should know his lodge well enough to get the "right" mix.
If its a Table Lodge this is where you can add the "wet" ingredient of choice to stir up the mixture because we all know how certain liquids can loosen up a mixture of people. If not proceed to the next step.
Add cement.
Pair up the mixed Brothers and have them interview each other. It may help to have a standard set of questions to ask or they can just wing it, it's all good. Let them get a good idea of the man they see all the time but may know just cordially. Make sure you set an equal amount of time on each interview to further mix the ingredients.
Now wait. Some mortars take time to set so don't rush to the next step! After an acceptable period have each Brother get up and tell everyone about their Brother they interviewed and ENJOY.


You can't just throw a bunch of aggregates together sprinkle in a little cement and expect an aqueduct. Good Masonry requires a little know how, good materials, and patience. But with this process anything is possible!

What do you think?

Happy building!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Looming East

So there I was, fresh from practicing the FC obligation in my truck, on my way to my first FC degree in the East, walking down the stairs to our dining facilities when I saw a sight to make any officer stepping up in lodge for a night quiver.... the Right Worshipful Grand Senior Warden innocently chowing down some pizza with the Brothers!
Damn me and my extensive email list!
Calm down, I said to myself, pay no attention to the gleaming purple and gold and get to grabbing all of the other officers stepping up that night and kick em into high gear!
So I did.
And we did.
Other than the fact that my brain, that was two sentences ahead, sometimes overrode my mouth. We put on an excellent degree topped of by our 21 year old Senior Deacons quite beautiful and masterful middle chamber lecture and me delivering an almost perfect and from the heart "G" lecture from the oriental chair. If I do say so myself, that lecture belongs with the Worshipful Master and should not be farmed out like it so often is around the lodges I go to.
The R.W. G.S.W. did not want to be received so he just sat on the sideline with the other regulars enjoying the show but when it came down to the final word, just after me and my big mouth said how it was wonderful to be in the East to pass a dear old friend, he the R.W. one grabbed our newest Fellowcraft and proceeded to see if my friend was indeed proficient in the preceding degree AND what he learned that night from his dear old friend in the East!
Let me just say that my friend, who is one of the most reserved and quiet men who ever came out of Waterford, Ireland, did me and our lodge proud by knowing and doing all of the tokens, words, and signs, including the ones he just learned for the first time, quite well and with no help from the sidelines. He did look like a deer in the headlights standing up in front of everyone next to this towering man in purple and gold but he performed. I was proud.
After it was all over I offered to do another F.C. for our WM so I could improve my performance to which he said "You'll have enough time next year my boy, hold your horses, it's still my year." He's always so right!

A couple of days later I went to our Grand Lodges "Masters of 2010 Seminar" which was quite informative and enjoyable and saw a few of my old friends and former bloggers Traveling Man of the now nonexistent Movable Jewel and Charles Tirrell of the extremely out of date Masonic Renaissance. Its hard to believe that just a couple of years ago we were all VERY VERY involved in the burgeoning Masonic Blogosphere and how it is so different now. It is very sad to me. I really enjoyed our time back then.
Last but not in the least bit least I also saw my friend and Masonic Blog mentor Tom Accuosti of the Tao of Masonry hawking Masonic books, knick knacks and what not for the Grand Lodge and after I got over my initial guffaw and indignation we had a great but short conversation about what it's like to be the last of a dying breed of bloggers and caught up on what was going on in our regular and Masonic lives. If there was only one good thing that came from my blog (and there is allot more) it would be me coming into contact and becoming friends with one of the kindest most rock steady Masons I know....and also Tom Accuosti. Just kidding Tom! I am really the better for knowing you and counting you as a friend and Brother.
All right, all right enough of the sappiness.
My time as Master is coming and I will be devoting my blog to litmus testing ideas I want to shove down the throats of my unsuspecting lodge so be ready!