Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Ideal of Brotherhood

by Bro. Goodfellow
circa 1928

Brethren, we shall be conferring the degree of a M.M. on one of our Brethren at our next meeting, let us therefore briefly run over the ceremony, and endeavour to realise more fully the teachings embodied in the ceremony. As you know, we who have been already raised to this degree, are expected to afford assistance and instruction to our Brothers, and maybe these few words will be acceptable to some, and open out visions as to what the ceremony is intended to represent.

The invocation to the M.H., is indeed of a most sublime nature, and carefully considered, indicates the impressive nature of the degree, and asks in a very definite manner for help and guidance, and is a most fitting prelude to the degree of M.M.. The presentation to the S. & J.W`s. though somewhat of a perfunctory nature, are intended to not only show that our Brother is eligible for this degree, but should also be to him, a retrospect of those degrees to which he has also attained, and by the time this portion of the ceremony has been completed, a brief survey of his Masonic Life has passed before him.

The method of advancing indicates a very definite phase and is amply illustrated as the ceremony proceeds. The Ob. opens in a somewhat similar manner to the former Ob`s., and proceeds with a definition of the F.P.O.F., whilst the closing sentences are indeed of a drastic manner.

The Exhortation commences with a retrospect of the grades through which our Brother has passed, which are so aptly described by W.Bro W.L. Wilmshurst:

"The ceremony of our first degree. then, is a swift and comprehensive portrayal of the entrance of all men into, first, physical life, and spiritual life. - After purification comes contemplation and enlightenment which are the special subjects of the second degree."

We then proceed to a most dramatic episode, which is a symbolic transition, and indicates that although in this life of ours we experience many trials and tribulations, such an experience is of a character forming nature, and if we we are strong, and persist in our endeavours to overcome those trials and tribulations we shall with the aid of our "Master," be raised to a truer and more noble aspect of life.

The F.P.O.F. when given and explained, seem of a simple nature, but in meditation, they will be found in most noble and exalted outline of true Brotherhood, and may we all have the power to recognise them as such, and to mould our life and actions in their precepts. We finish with the Traditional History, which although symbolic in its entirety, again gives us food for meditation, and the explanation of the W.T.`s of this degree bring to a close a most profound and never to be forgotten ceremony.

There is indeed food for thought in all our ceremonies, much that is on the surface, but far more beneath, and we close this short address by a further quotation from W.Bro. Wilmshurst`s "Masonic Initiation":

"Let all Brethren be assured that there is no detail of Masonic Ceremonial but is charged with very deep purpose and significance; this will appear to them more and more fully and luminously in proportion to their faithful endeavour to realise the intention of even simple and apparently unimportant points of ritual".

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