Master Mason. The Apron of a Master Mason

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1 THE MASTER MASON Congratulations upon being raised to the 3 nd Degree. You are now a Master Mason The Apron of a Master Mason Although the 3 rd degree ceremony essentially follows the structure of the other two degrees it is so dramatic that most brethren find it difficult to understand immediately. Usually they have to see it several times before they can fully appreciate its significance. Indeed, the legend was only incorporated into the ceremony in the 18 th Century. The Working Tools of a Master Mason

2 Ritual Book You will now have been presented either with a copy of the complete ritual for all three degrees, or a volume in each degree, which some Lodges favour. Either way you will now have a complete picture of the three ceremonies you have undergone. These are the ceremonies which all Masons undergo, although most of their personal recollections tend to be somewhat hazy, or even a complete blur, due to the sense of occasion. However, once you have had an opportunity to observe others undergoing these ceremonies, you will appreciate more of their meaning and significance. In the interim, you will understand much more, simply by reading your Ritual Book and your Proposer, Seconder, or Lodge Mentor will always be on hand to help you. Lodges of Instruction There is much to learn about Freemasonry and in addition to the wealth of knowledge within your Lodge (Proposer, Seconder, Mentor and all of the Lodge Members) additional sources of help are Lodges of Instruction. If you are interested in learning more about the ritual and ceremonial aspects of Freemasonry, these lodges give you the opportunity to practice the work of the various offices in the Lodge. Progression on the Masonic Ladder within your Lodge Now that you are a Master Mason you are able to progress onto the Masonic Ladder If you wish! In its simplest form this means progressing to the position of Lodge Steward and when you have progressed further to senior Steward, the Master may invite you onto the floor of the Lodge and usually to the position of Inner Guard. It must be emphasised that your progression within your Lodge, which is normally on a chronological basis is within your control and will be determined by your personal, family and business commitments. Feel free to discuss your situation, as much or as little as you wish within the Lodge, before accepting or rejecting appointments. In terms of seniority, progression on the floor is as follows: Steward, Inner Guard, Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, Master, Immediate Past Master. There is also the office of Tyler which fits in between Steward and Inner Guard or after Immediate Past Master, depending on the philosophy of your particular Lodge.

3 Collar Jewels of the Officers of the Lodge You will notice that the Officers of your Lodge all wear Collars as well as their aprons from which are suspended Jewels which vary according to rank as follows: Worshipful Master Immediate Past Master Senior Warden Junior Warden Chaplain Treasurer Secretary Director of Ceremonies Almoner Charity Steward Mentor Senior & Junior Deacon Asst. Director of Ceremonies Asst. Secretary Inner Guard Steward Tyler Organist

4 Some Masonic Aprons Worshipful Master Provincial Grand Steward Provincial Officer Grand Officer Governance of the Province is by the Leaders (Pictured previously) supported by the Provincial Grand Secretary and his team who are further supported by a group system. Our Group is the Furness and South Lakeland Group. We are governed by an Assistant Provincial Grand Master responsible for several groups. Our Group Chairman is responsible to him. Furness and South Lakeland Group Structure Group Chairman Group Vice Chairman Group Secretary Your Lodge 5 Group Officers Responsible for Care Charity Communications Membership Mentoring

5 Other Masonic Degrees There are many side degrees in Freemasonry and it is neither compulsory nor necessary to join any of them. However you may at some time in the future when time and circumstances permit, be attracted to join some of them to enhance your knowledge, increase your enjoyment and maybe to extend your social circle. The exception to this statement however is membership of the Royal Arch. In freemasonry in general and in the Province of West Lancashire, membership of the Royal Arch Degree is considered important and Craft Masons are actively encouraged to join. By the solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December 1813, it was declared and pronounced that pure Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz., those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch. Whilst it is an integral part of Freemasonry, The Royal Arch is organised as a separate Order, distinct from the Craft degrees the teachings of which it completes. Membership will further enhance and develop your understanding of Freemasonry. Members of the Royal Arch meet in Chapters, four times a year on average. You are eligible to apply once you have been a Master Mason for four weeks or more. When you are familiar with the basics of Craft Masonry it is highly recommended that you consider joining. Lodge members who are also members of the Royal Arch will be able to explain more about this degree. Only join when you are ready! Charities Charity has always been an integral part of Freemasonry, but what do we mean by charity? The ritual states that it is that virtue, which may justly be denominated the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason s heart. Simply put, Freemasons are asked to support charity to whatever extent they are able and willing to do. After all, to bring relief to those who are suffering, in distress, or less fortunate than ourselves is one of the three Great Principles on which our order is founded. Substantial sums of money are given to non-masonic as well as Masonic causes. The main difference between Masonic and other charities is that Masons do not go to the public to raise funds for charity. The inclusion of families and friends at social events is the nearest Masons come to this. A number of charities have been established in Freemasonry: The Grand Charity is the central charity of all Freemasons.

6 The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, whose mission statement is to relieve poverty and provide an education and preparation for life for the children of the family of a Freemason and funds permitting, for any other children, as their fathers would have done had they been able to do so. The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution offers degrees of care, support and maintenance appropriate to individuals needs, in order to maintain their right to dignity, respect, choice and control over their lives. It strives for the highest standards of residential and nursing care, together with a comprehensive range of other services to meet the needs of older Freemasons and their dependants. The Masonic Samaritan Fund provides medical assistance to Freemasons, their families and dependants who are unable to obtain National Health Service treatment without undue delay and who cannot afford private treatment without suffering hardship. The West Lancashire Feemasons Charity is our own Provincial charity. Our charity helps Freemasons of the Province of West Lancashire and their dependants in financial difficulty. We can also provide support for non- Freemasons in certain cases and for a variety of charitable purposes. Unfortunately we can't help in all cases but every application whether from an individual or a group of people wanting financial help will always be carefully considered In conclusion Freemasonry is a fraternity par excellence and should be enjoyed by all of it s members. It s principles of brotherly love, relief and truth provide a model for everyday life, without encroaching upon personal, family and business responsibilities. In return, it expects you to live your life as a just, upright and honest family man and citizen of the world; to support its charitable work to the best of your ability and to play a part in your Lodge no matter how small. Your reward is friendship, enjoyment and support.

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