Friday, May 24, 2013

Winston Churchill

Today in Masonic History:
May 24th, 1901
Sir Winston Churchill 
received his 1st degree 
in Studholme Lodge #1591, London. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wages of a Mason

"Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy that begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason." 

- Brother Benjamin Franklin

Monday, May 20, 2013

Which title will you hold?

"I hope I shall always possess 
firmness and virtue enough 
to maintain what I consider 
the most enviable of all titles, 
the character of an honest man."

 — George Washington 
U.S. President & Freemason

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Masonic Sunday Funnies # 4

Q: How many Masons does it take to screw in a light bulb? 

A: Three. One to screw it in, one to read the minutes of the previous light bulb replacement, and one to sit on the sidelines and complain that this wasn't the way they USED to screw in light bulbs.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stone Quarry Degree

“We can only know the fullest joys of Masonry 
when we truly walk the paths of service 
and of hard work in the quarries.”

— Brother George E. Burow

If a Brother asks for your help, 
remember the oaths you took.

Editors Note:  
The picture above was taken just before 
a 3rd Degree was performed 
in a real stone quarry
by torch light 
in Connecticut.
I attended with a dozen 
Master Masons from Massachusetts.
What a treat to experience!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Know when to fold them..

"To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, 
but that an equally great one is to know 
the right moment to stop."

Brother Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bonds of a Freemason

"That sacred and invisible bond that unites men of the most discordant opinions into one band of brothers, which gives one language to men of all nations and one altar to men of all religions, is properly, from the mysterious influence it exerts, denominated the mystic tie; and Freemasons because they alone are under its influence, or enjoy its benefits, are called brethren of the mystic tie."

Brother Albert Mackey 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Masonic Sunday Funnies # 3

Don & Jeff had been Lodge Brothers for many years. They had promised each other that the first to go to the Grand Lodge above would return to tell the other whether there really were Lodges in Heaven and what they were like. By and by, it came to pass that Don went first.

One day shortly after, Jeff was working in his garden when he heard a whispered voice, 
"Pssst Jeff!"  He looked around but saw nothing.
A few moments later he heard, now quite clearly " Jeff! Its me, Don!"
"Don" Jeff exclaimed, " are you in Heaven?"
"Indeed I am" said Don.

Jeff paused for a while to get over the shock and then said "Well, Don, are there Lodges up there in Heaven?"
"There certainly are, Jeff. There are Lodges all over and they are quite magnificent, equal or better to the House of The Temple in Washington D.C. The meetings are well attended, the ritual is word perfect, the festive board fantastic and the spirit of Masonic Fellowship is all pervasive."

"My goodness, Don," said Jeff, "It certainly sounds very impressive but for all that you seem rather sad. Tell me old friend, what is the matter."

"Well, Jeff, you are right. I have some good news and some bad."
"OK, so what's the good news?"
"The good news is that we are doing a 3rd this coming Monday"
"Great" said Jeff. "What′s the bad news then?"
"You′re the Senior Deacon!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Call me Brother

"My Brother, for by that sacred appellation I now address you." 

If the language of Masonic ritual is one of the most important elements which help initiates to become impressed with the meaning and philosophy of the Fraternity, that salutation needs to be made significant and impressive. That sacred appellation is a key for revealing the fundamental spiritual quality of the institution. Merely to slip in the words, "My Brother," as a variation in a form of address, is to risk the initiate's failure to discern the mystic quality of Masonic brotherhood. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

What does that mean?

DUE GUARD is two words, forming one, which scholars fight over and Masons accept as a matter of course. Every Mason knows what it is. None apparently, really knows where it came from. Masonic author Albert Mackey says that it is a contraction of "duly guard". He asserts it is an Americanism and not used abroad now to mean what we mean, even though two hundred years ago it was the name given to a sign. 

Lots of opinions on these two little words. Research it yourself and at the next Lodge dinner share what you find with a Brother.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How do you demonstrate Freemasonry?

You might have an emblem on your car or a pin on your lapel, or maybe even a ring on your finger, but is that how you demonstrate what Freemasonry is? 

I began to wonder just how many people know what being a Mason is really all about.  Anyone can Google these days to learn more about Freemasonry.  Fact and fiction links about Freemasonry is returned by the millions on any given day.  

Since that is so easy, do we really need to tell or better yet show anyone?    

In searching for an answer, maybe we should ask ourselves:

"When is the last time I visited a sick brother or checked in on a widow?"

"When was the last time I supported a Lodge public service event?"

"When is the last time I talked to someone about Masonry and what it means to me, particularly with someone not in the Fraternity? "

It’s easy to purchase Masonic emblems, rings, pins, hats or other merchandise and display them for all to see. It’s much harder, and much more rewarding and challenging, to actually perform some physical action that supports the beliefs we profess by displaying Masonic icons.

Maybe work and family commitments keep you busy on Lodge night for real. Maybe watching or doing the ritual is not your cup of tea. I would argue that you're missing the point, drop the excuses and support the education of our candidates, but that is for another post.  

Almost every Freemason on their investigation says: "I want to become a better person" or "I want to give back to the community."  Activities of your Lodge and other Lodges around the district during the year provides those opportunities.

I've had the pleasure in my 15 years of Freemasonry to meet and join with other quality men of action.  Men who step up to lead or support the many avenues of service in our fraternity.

To those men I say thank you for doing what you do!

To the others that know they can do more than what they have so far, I ask you to step out of the shadows and into the light, get out of your comfort zone and DEMONSTRATE what Freemasonry is all about. Satisfy what your heart tells you that you can do.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Upon the book, an oath I took...

"No man ever took the oaths and subscribed to the obligations with greater watchfulness and care than I exercised in receiving the various rites of Masonry, and I say with due deliberation and without fear of breaking the faith. I have never encountered a lesson, never witnessed an example, never heard an obligation uttered which could not be openly proclaimed to the world." 

The words of a Freemason who was also 
a President of the United States
 Warren G. Harding

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Real Lessons of Brotherhood

On April 13-16, 2013 Boy Scout Troop 151 of West Boylston MA, newly chartered by the West Boylston Masonic Charity and Education Association (Boylston Lodge), travelled to the Gettysburg National Military Park for a long weekend of hiking, education, and fun.  In attendance were 10 scouts and 6 adults, including 2 brothers from Boylston Lodge.  A great time was had by all.  

Pictured is Union General Winfield Scott Hancock and Confederate General Lewis Addison Armistead who were personal friends and members of the Masonic Fraternity.  The Gettysburg Masonic Memorial erected by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to honor Masons of both the North and South who, despite their political differences, never forgot their obligations to each other.