We’re onto Day 36 of 100, and finishing our second run through of learning the First Degree. This doesn’t mean to say that you’ve learnt it, but after working our way through it steadily you should have a good understanding of the Ritual and what the Master says in it. This will give a good grounding for future revision and rehearsal in the weeks that lead up to the ceremony once you’re in the Chair.
Yesterday we re-capped the importance of charity to Masons. We are assuming that the Working Tools will be performed by another member of the Lodge. If this isn’t the case in your Lodge please allow extra time for this!
Once the Working Tools have been done it’s back to the Master for…
Learning Masonic Ritual, Day 36 of 100: First Degree Charter and Closing the Lodge
The explanation of the Charter of the Lodge also includes giving the Candidate the Book of Constitutions and By-Laws of the Lodge; as well as letting the Candidate leave the Lodge and return (in my book of Emulation Ritual this is on pages 101-103).
Because the Charge After Initiation is usually given by a Past Master we are going straight to Closing the Lodge (pages 60-65). Like the Working Tools, if this is work you are expected to do as Master in your Lodge allocate additional time. A lot of it too, it’s a big piece – and good luck!!
Today we are going over what we first went through on Day 30. We start by explaining that the Candidate will need to pay his initiation fees, but before so we explain under what authority the Lodge acts. This leads to introducing the Charter of the Lodge.
To aid learning I would break this paragraph at this point, and start a new one when giving the Candidate the Book of Constitutions and By-Laws of the Lodge.
The final paragraph is short enough and written in quite a more modern style so shouldn’t be much trouble to learn, though the last couple of lines may need a couple of additional read throughs to make it flow naturally.
The Closing shouldn’t be too much of an issue because we first covered it when learning the Installation ceremony, but don’t ignore this and take the opportunity to run through it again. It’s amazing how something you are confident on knowing suddenly disappears from your mind when you least expect it.
Should you be able to rattle through it then you’ve only spent a minute or two on it.
We’ve had two read throughs of the First Degree ceremony and now you should be pretty much up to speed with the structure and no doubt have chunks of it already memorised, but we still have more sessions to revise it, and will of course cover it again in the weeks leading up to the actual ceremony – doing it now is preparation for that.