by V. W. L. F. Walker, D.D.G.M.
MASONIC LIGHT -
When you were admitted to our Craft, you were told
that you were expected to make a daily advance in Masonic
Have you, in recent years, ever given a thought
to this admonition which was given you as part of the initiatory
ceremony through which you were admitted to
Possibly, like many of our Brethren, you
took this to apply to some subsequent ritualistic ceremony you
might have to undergo at some future time in order to become a
full-fledged Mason. If this be your case, I am sorry to tell
you you have cheated yourself of much of the valuable knowledge
that is to be derived from Masonry. At your initiation you
were given the key that opens many doors to rich treasures of
philosophy of life, but have NOT used it to the fullest advantage
. . . if you have used it at all.
There is a great deal
more to Masonry than the comradeship of the Lodge room.
Important as is the ritualistic work, it is far from all there
is in Masonry. The very word "Initiation" really means
"Introduction." That introduction you have received-but
what has it introduced you to?
Have you found, through
Masonry, a new approach to the problems of your daily life? .
. what lessons, practical lessons, have you derived from the
history of the Craft from its early years in the dimly
recollected far distant past, centuries ago? Have you fathomed
the symbolism of Masonry's ceremonies, its ornaments, its
In other words, what have you done to
advance your Masonic knowledge?
Recognizing that too many
of our fellow craftsmen have done little or nothing to further
the knowledge of true Masonry, the Grand Lodge of Quebec has, at
its last annual convocation, established an
Educational Committee whose duty it will be to devise ways and
means for the membership at large to study the history and
symbolism of Masonry.
Unfortunately, study to many of us
recalls the struggle we underwent to acquire the rudiments of
an education in our schools - it therefore implies an effort
which may be far from attractive to us. Yet, that school
and class work, was meant less to impart direct knowledge than
to teach us HOW to learn on our own. School room work is the
initiation to knowledge.
Having undergone your initiation
in Masonry you are now prepared to study Masonry - and if you
fear that this form of Study is too reminiscent of the hardships
of school days, let me undeceive you. The study of Masonry
is the most fascinating subject you could possibly undertake.
Its history goes so far in the past . . its symbolism is so rich
in practical lessons, its philosophy is so practical to help
make life more pleasant to live for others as well as
I foresee the time, in the not too
distant future, when the G.L. Committee of Education has begun
to function, when the duties of the D.D:G.M. will go beyond the
checking of records and the verifying of the proficiency of
Lodge officers in Ritualistic work-but will include the verifying
of the standard of Masonic knowledge in a Lodge - there is
so much more in Masonry than Ritualism. In fact, ritualism is
the introduction to much deeper studies of our Craft. Already
several Lodges in this Jurisdiction have added to their usual
committees an Educational Committee of their very own which meets
outside the regular and emergent meeting nights to
study various phases of Masonry.
Some proceed by means of
a Quiz - Someone asking definite questions to which
whoever can do so, answers. There are special Quiz text books
that can be obtained at little cost, which contain most questions
that are apt to come to the mind of the average Mason - and,
naturally the answers thereto. These are catalogued and
cross-indexed for easy reference.
Another means of
spreading knowledge is to have speakers on definite masonic
topics address your lodge, either in the Lodge room or at the
One Lodge in a semi-urban locality,
has placed a box in its anteroom in which members are invited
to place questions relative to Masonry. These are picked up by
the Secretary and turned over to a Committee of three
who prepare answers that are read in open lodge at the
following meeting. This system has been fully explained in the
February issue of "Masonic Light", Montreal, which will be
sent you free upon request.
There are many other methods
of acquiring as well as imparting Masonic knowledge-and all of
them will revive interest in Lodge work.
We must strive less
for large membership in our Lodges, than to have educated masons
on our roles -Masons who understand the why and the wherefore
of our Ritualistic ceremonies and to whom ritualism conveyed a
real message rather than an opportunity to display ability in
the performance of a notable feat of memory. Of course, ritualism
has, in itself, a marked importance - but it is not all
there is to Masonry . . any more than the repetition by rote
of the Lord's Prayer, though edifying, is not all there is
Therefore my message to you is never
to forget the admonition giver. you when you were first
received in the Masonic family, to make daily advancement in our
Arts and Sciences - and far from being a chore,
your acquirement of such knowledge will be pleasant, easy and
will reveal to YOU - the individual YOU - new and added value to
your Masonic connection by revealing to you new and
unsuspected aspects of our Order that will make you a better
person to know because life will be for you a more
pleasing adventure because you will understand
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