The Masonic Trowel

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The Mason as Architect

From The Grand Lodge Of Texas

Along the Winding Stairs, there are many lessons to be observed and learned, And within the second degree are found numerous references to architecture, its various forms and beauties. Detailed outlines of the five orders of architecture, namely the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite, are carefully explained in the Monitor, along with their histories. Architecture is the art or science of building and constructing edifices of any kind for human use and this process of building is central to the Craft.

To the Ancients, the architect was the master builder. It was his business to prepare the plans and exercise a general supervision over the course of their creation. His eye watched over the design, selection of materials, the arrangements of the various parts, the labor of the workers, and the overall plan to achieve a desired result. It is little wonder the “archi” in Greek and Latin means main, chief, or principal. The architect is central to construct of a building, or edifice, and the “chief” builder.

As the architect of Solomon’s Temple, Hiram was critical to its design and construction. His designs on the trestle-board not only laid out the work of the day, but were an integral part of the overall plan for the Temple. Directing the work of thousands of craftsmen in the molding of wood, brass, gold, and stone into a mighty edifice was under Hiram’s watchful eye, so when his words are lost to the Craft, the resulting tragedy is important lesson to each Mason. As with Hiram, his designs are equally fragile.

The Creator, who has arranged the elementary parts of our universe and created man, has set his comprehensive plan in motion. His watchful eye follows each workman in their daily efforts, sometime rewarding and sometime challenging, and slowly moves toward completion of His Grand Design. Each stone is carefully quarried, examined, discarded or smoothed, and placed to be a part of that final Temple, not made with hands and eternal. While the final design may be beyond his vision, the True Mason has faith in the final result and labors trustingly forward.

The Master of the Lodge is likewise the architect of his Lodge. Through him the designs are drawn for the Lodge. His attending to detail, managing his workmen, and bringing harmony and Brotherly love to his Lodge are his charges. His designs are to make the Lodge as a perfect stone in the Temple of the Great Architect, perfectly placed and perfectly suited to result in harmony and Brotherly Love.

Finally, each Mason is the architect of his own Temple. The charges in the Northeast corner, the lessons of the Working tools, and obligations point to a design for his life and its accomplishment. Ever attentive to each day, laboring to improve his craft, and working toward harmony with all, but more especially the Brethren, is his challenge, and ours.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014