Today marks three weeks of of learning Masonic Ritual and following learning the Investing of the Officers and Closing the Lodge ahead of the Installation, we have now opened the Lodge in the First Degree and making headway into the First Degree.
Yesterday was the Declarations, and I must admit that it’s my first real sticking point with the Ritual over the last three weeks. I said I wasn’t too worried as at the moment we aren’t looking to be word perfect, but to make the first attempts at learning and get familiarity. Even so, I have spent time today going over them a little more (and still made little progress!)
This has meant that I haven’t put as much time in on today’s scheduled learning as I should have, which is…
Learning Masonic Ritual, Day 21 of 100: First Degree Pre-Obligation
This is another day of transitional Ritual in the First Degree and goes between the Declaration questions and the Obligation (in my book of Emulation Ritual it’s pages 78-80).
As mentioned previously I’ve been having problems with the Declaration questions from yesterday so today I’ve spent some of my Masonic Learning time today going back over yesterday’s work.
Unfortunately this additional work hasn’t paid off that much as I don’t seem to have made much progress with this part, and to make matters worse, it’s eaten into the time I had allocated to today’s work. I therefore need to be strict and allocate some more time this evening to ensure I don’t start falling behind!
Today we are bringing the candidate up to the pedestal and preparing them for the Obligation. Once you get over the funniest line in the Ritual (that apparently Freemasonry is free!!) it’s a matter of remembering your left from right. The candidate in this degree kneels on their left knee, it’s useful to remember this by recalling that when walking in the Lodge everyone starts with their left foot, and as the candidate is starting their Masonic journey they are starting ‘by the left’.
Compared to some previous days (and some future days!) this isn’t too intensive, but there is still quite a chunk of work needed to be done today. As you can probably guess we have the Obligation itself coming up very soon.
Because the Obligations are often regarded the centre-pieces of the Master’s work during the ceremonies you know the eyes of the Lodge, and visitors, will be on you; and so will the pressure. Therefore I consider it important to make sure you learn the work leading up to them very well, in effect giving you a run up enabling you compose yourself, relax and build your confidence.