Orientation for New Candidates
of Duck Creek Masonic Lodge # 1419
Anything that is written that you receive from the Lodge is not only not restricted... you are encouraged to share it with your family and friends! Masonry is not a secret organization... true, we do have secret rituals, but that secrecy serves only to lend fuller emphasis to the publicly stated high aims and goals of the Fraternity. You are understandably nervous about receiving the First (and subsequent) Masonic Degree(s). Please allow me to reassure you that there is no place for levity during our rituals. They are all of a profoundly solemn nature. You will be placed in a costume when you receive each degree. Every aspect of that costume has a deep and profound meaning, and...once you have completed your journey to the level of Master Mason, you will realize that this journey could not have been otherwise undertaken. You may receive a bit of good-natured kidding prior to the presentation of the degree from some of the [well meaning] Brothers, but be assured that once you enter the Lodge room itself, all levity is put aside. You should realize that each candidate is an individual. The "nominal" time projected for the Entered Apprentice Degree [EA°] proficiency is just that...a "nominal" time. Some candidates will travel faster and some will travel slower. The "nominal" time required to be able to demonstrate the EA° proficiency is approximately six weeks. The average candidate can achieve the EA° proficiency within a minimum time of 14 days by working with an experienced Brother twice a week for 2-3 hours consistently for the 14 days. The key word is consistency. If you skip a session, you will find that it will set you back two sessions! The best place to learn the work is at the Lodge! You can, of course, work elsewhere with another Brother, but the work is simply not as easily learned outside the Lodge environment. Duck Creek Lodge is typically "light" [that is...the Lodge unlocked & Brothers present, but no degree in progress] on Mondays and Thursdays of each week from about 7-9 P.M. for proficiency instruction and floor work. The second Monday of each month is reserved for Stated Meetings...at which all of the business work of the Lodge is conducted. As the Stated Meeting can only be held within a Master's Lodge, you should not come to Lodge on that night until you receive your Master's Degree. Degrees are usually presented on Monday nights and proficiencies are usually heard on Thursday nights...depending on the availability & timing of candidates. Due to the amount of time and effort required to properly present the degree work, only one candidate will normally receive their degree in a given session of the Lodge. More than one proficiency can be heard in a single night. Those for the same degree are lumped together when possible and several Brothers can give their proficiency simultaneously. Incidentally, in order to be considered a full, voting member of the Lodge,you must have achieved your Master's Degree. Also, you should wait until after you receive your Master's Degree to wear any Masonic jewelry. The proficiency work for the Fellowcraft's Degree [FC°] will take about 2-3 weeks to learn, while that for the Master's Degree [MM°] will take about 3-5 weeks...assuming that you are willing to work at it. In each degree, a minimum of 14 days, must elapse before you may receive the next degree. A maximum of one year may elapse before you receive the next degree without having to file a new petition for advancement. You may demonstrate any proficiency work after no minimum time following a degree. You are commencing an arduous journey which will require the expenditure of a great deal of effort over an extended period of time. The Brethren of the Lodge stand ready [and eager] to assist you in your journey, but the speed of your progress will depend solely upon the degree of your devotion to the task that you have set before yourself! Finally...as you travel upon your journey, remember that each and every Brother of the Lodge has stood in your shoes at the corresponding point in his journey. You are assured that, from the newest Entered Apprentice before you to the Worshipful Master in the East, each Brother present will be reliving his initiation as you receive yours... Welcome, Brother, to the Fraternity!
- Jim White
About the Author: Brother James N. White was Past Master of Duck Creek Lodge in 1990-1991.
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