When you join Freemasonry in Maryland, you are immediately thrust into catechism classes to memorize a number of questions and answers pertaining to the degree you received. There are three; Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. At the time I learned the catechism’s for those three degrees, the content was not written down or provided in a cypher book like they are today. I had to learn them by mouth to ear. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.
Any line officer at a Blue Lodge in the United States of America can appreciate this photo. Those colored tabs come in handy! I became interested in becoming a line officer of the lodge shortly after completing my Master Mason degree in 2008. I volunteered to teach catechism to other Masons for the majority of 2008. Eventually, the opportunity to join the line officers presented itself and I immediately committed to it. I started as the Tyler in 2009, Senior Steward in 2010, Junior Deacon in 2011, and I am currently the Senior Deacon for 2012. All of these officer stations carry with it a number of responsibilities inside and outside the lodge room, the most challenging of which is learning the ritual work for the first 3 degrees of Freemasonry. I have completely memorized the ritual work for all of the officer stations I have had the privilege to serve in. I have already memorized all of the ritual work for the Junior Warden. For the 2013 line of officers, I have been informed that I will be nominated to be elected to Senior Warden, provided my fellow brethren are confident in my abilities to carry out the duties of that station.
For the last two months, I have been working on the lectures of the Worshipful Master, which to anyone who has taken on this task knows, is quite possibly the largest chunk of ritual you will ever work on as an officer. They’re long and unforgiving. While sitting here taking a break from memorizing, it dawned on me that I’ve accomplished so much in such a short time and I owe a great deal of that to the many Past Masters of my lodge who aided and assisted me along the way. I am quite proud of my accomplishments at my Blue Lodge and I certainly don’t mean to gloat about it. No one can learn these ancient rituals single-handedly. It requires many good instructors, self-confidence, team work, drive, determination, and a genuine love of the Craft.
I have a long road ahead of me between today and the election in December 2013. I hope I have what it takes to earn the privilege of leading my lodge in 2014.