Day 18 of the 100 Day plan to learn the Masonic Ritual. We’ve spent 17 days going over the Installation Ceremony and you should be pretty much on top of it now, just needing a few prompts, although with 83 days to go you shouldn’t need to panic.
Now we are going to leave the Installation Ceremony for a bit and start moving onto other ceremonies; not to be word perfect at them now, but to get a solid grounding. Therefore today it’s…
Learning Masonic Ritual, Day 18 of 100: Opening the Lodge and Admitting the Candidate
I was going to split this into two days, but decided that you should be quite up to speed with the Opening the Lodge (in my book of Emulation Ritual it’s pages 42-46) as you’ve witnessed it in every ceremony you’ve attended since your own Initiation.
Don’t be complacent. Just because you’ve seen it many times, and hopefully even been in the Chair during Lodge of Instruction, it still pays just to read through it and make sure you know it. Just imagine how embarrassing it would be to need prompting to open the Lodge!
Now let’s move onto the First Degree ceremony. We’ll work our way gently through this and today we’ll just look at admitting the candidate through to the Prayer (pages 69-72). In most Lodges this is done by the Chaplain so you don’t need to learn it, but if you do, do it today.
Most of this work on these pages is done by the Inner Guard and Tyler, although your input is needed, the main part in checking the candidate is suitable, then asking him to kneel.
Not massive parts by themselves but put the effort in on this for two reasons:
- It’s the start of the ceremony so you want to start off on confident footing. You can concentrate on pacing it and starting the ceremony feeling relaxed as you ease into it,
- Remember this is the candidate’s first steps into a Masonic Lodge, their brain is going in a million directions at a million miles an hour. If they here your voice sounding relaxed and confident they’ll relax and enjoy the ceremony. Give the candidate a ceremony to remember for the right reasons!
After the last few days we have eased the pressure off today, but we’ll pick it up again soon.
Oh, and back on point 2 from above. The Master who Installed me wasn’t very good at Ritual (or at least didn’t put in the necessary study to be good at it) and my over-riding memory of my Initiation was him nervously stammering through requiring so many prompts he ended up having to read parts. It’s that memory that is driving me to ensure the candidates I initiate don’t suffer the same experience!