Day 41 of the 100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual, and that means it’s just 60 days until your Installation into the Chair. I realise that 41 + 60 = 101, but the plan is you finish the course the day before your Installation, not finish it on the day itself!
As this is our third running through of the First Degree ceremony we have moved from the Learning stages to Revision (more revision and rehearsal will be done in the month prior to the actually ceremony, so don’t panic!)
Yesterday we re-capped the importance of charity to Masons with the Charge in the North East. 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…
Revising Masonic Ritual, Day 41 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!!
We explain to the the Candidate he needs to pay initiation fees, but before so we explain under what authority the Lodge acts. This leads to introducing the Charter of the Lodge.
Remember we broke this large paragraph down into smaller chunks to aid learning. I found today that I needed to read through this paragraph comletely to refresh it in my mind as the odd cheeky prompt wasn’t enough.
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.
Remeber to include the Closing of the Lodge. I was going to skip it but thought I’d best quickly run through it, and promptly hit a mental block, which just demonstrates that you should never assume that you know the Ritual!
This concludes our learning of the First Degree Ceremony as part of this 100 Day Study Plan. We’ve been through the ceremony twice for learning, and another as a revision. The aim of this plan isn’t to get you word perfect in the First (or other) Degree, but to give you a solid foundation that means that when you do have a First Degree coming up you can spend the weeks leading up to it revising and rehearsing your delivery, not frantically trying to learn and cram it at the last minute.
However, by the end of these 100 Days you should be word perfect in the Ritual you need to say at the Installation ceremony.