Thursday, August 17, 2006

Masonic Fellowship

Last night, I went over to one of my Masonic brother's homes with another Lodge member. We kicked back, shared stories, and had a good time. There was some beer involved on their part -- I don't drink, and I was pleased that they respected my choice and provided me with a nice vanilla soda. Being men with integrity and morals, I knew I could count on them to respect my own decisions, and don't think I would have even gone if it had been with anyone other than my lodge Brethren.

Anyway, we had a great time talking and it was just very relaxing after an evening of degree rehearsal.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Psalm 133 (A Song of degrees of David.)


Yitzchak Jakobi said...

Jeff - Are there many brothers in your lodge that are around the same age? I am not yet a Mason, but I have a Masonic heritage in my family (both my father and grandfather were masons). I have been researching Freemasonry for the past year, I have spoken to many Masons,and I have been in contact with the Worshipful Master of the local lodge.

I am ready to join, but I am concerned that I will not be able to find many other Masons my age (I'm 25). I was told that the average age in the lodge that I am joining is over 60. I would love to experience the type of camaraderie that you speak of, but I am not sure if I will be able to relate to the other members of my lodge.

Jeff said...

Jack, my Lodge also proclaims the average age to be over 60. I am not sure that this is mathematically precise, because I don't recall anyone bringing out the calculator or paper and pencil on this one. The fact is, in my Lodge at least, that MOST of the men are over 60. However, we have quite a few that are between 40 and 50 or so, and even a few younger than that. I'm 25. We have a brother who is 19, another who is about 30.

When I joined the Lodge, three years ago, this was not the case. I was certainly the youngest Mason in the Lodge at the time, and no one even came close to my age. However, if young people - like yourself - join the Lodge, it is far more likely that other young people will join it in the future. Also, you will find that it isn't so bad to socialize with the old folks, after all. I had a friend's son comment that he had no idea I was 25 because I was always doing "old man stuff" with his dad, he assumed I was much older than I am.

I'm excited right now because we have a bunch of new petitioners coming in as soon as we start meeting again next month. Two of them are around 50, another is 25 and went to school with me. Another friend my age asked me about the fraternity last week, but is doing more research before he takes the step of petitioning.

This should drop the (possibly fictitious) "average age" down to 55, at LEAST. That's young! Right? In Masonry, at least.

And now for a historical point. Thomas Smith Webb, who was largely responsible for the consistency and language of the ritual work performed in America today, published his Masonic "Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry" in 1797 when he was only 26 years old. Yes, our ritual is written by a 26 year old. At least, most Jurisdictions still use his ritual work today in nearly the same form it was originally composed. Masonry is for young men, and it is only because of the lack of interest by the preceding generation or two that we are today faced with a fraternity of old men. Some of the men I see performing ritual are so frail that I could never even imagine them as a stone worker in a quarry. When even metaphor shatters because of age, wow.

So, lets take back what we put together to begin with.

john-lance kelley said...

I would love to further myself as a man of god with a fraternity of friends and brothers but i think stilwell Oklahoma my hometown might not expect me of all people to want that in my life

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