From WBro Mark B, PM & Lodge Devotion’s Tyler
Having attended a Multi-Lodge meeting recently (Jan 2017), I again heard the comment from the podium that few Masons would be able to answer what it meant to be a Freemason, a thought seemingly echoed by many in the audience.
Making an honest appraisal, I would probably have trouble in giving a clear answer myself and I am sure that at that there were many more qualified masons there who would have also stumbled over that question, so it might be something that the Lodge itself attempt to address.
Many have in the past, noticed the speed with which many Freemasons had stepped up through the degrees, some without appearing to assimilate the information supplied to them by Grand Lodge. There has been an improvement in this area by the introduction of the MAP instruction programme which has given newer Masons a far better grounding in Freemasonry. It is to be hoped that Masonry will be a lifelong commitment and that in the ensuing years these Brothers will take further steps to understand what Masonry is and how it applies to them.
The two mainstays of Lodge meetings are the ritual, being the learning, demonstration and understanding of the same, and embracing the fellowship of the “South” and these are sometimes as far as some Mason’s involvement goes in the Craft. The “understanding” of the Ritual is the one point that is open to the individual Brother’s inspection and interpretation, but the extent of his involvement in his Lodge’s work and in the “South” can be just the steps he follows at his Lodge’s monthly meetings, a time to meet friends and discuss work and sport.
Each Lodge is to have a LEO, a Lodge Education Officer. Having just read the Freemasons Victoria LEO Duty Statement, there is an awful lot for him to do. One of his duties is this:
“4. To facilitate the introduction and on-going implementation of an approved education programme in the Lodge, so as to ensure that all Brethren (but more especially those recently Initiated, Passed or Raised) attain an acceptable level of understanding of Freemasonry, its objectives, its principles and its structure. To provide the District Education Officer with a copy of that programme and to assist the Master in its delivery.”
I note that most attention should rightly be placed on the newer members but I’m sure that all Brethren could do with an expansion of their Masonic Knowledge. There should be a balance between knowledge and ritual and a good first step might be by reinforcing the basics, by seeing that all brethren have completed their MAPS, passport and all. It is hoped that then the Lodge’s LEO can move forward with his implementation of the education programme to improve the Masonic Knowledge of all the Brethren.