Learning The Ritual & Mentoring
The Class of Instruction plays a very important part in the success of any Lodge and has a number of functions.
The first is to allow the Lodge Officers to practice the Three Craft rituals of Initiation, Passing and Raising in an informal atmosphere with the guidance and support of the Director of Ceremonies and his Assistant. Both of these officers are Past Masters and have many years of experience in supporting and mentoring new and established Brethren as they progress through the various degrees and offices.
The rituals or two part allegorical plays are delivered at the Lodge meeting entirely from memory and for a new member or for someone thinking about joining Masonry, the thought of this may seem very daunting or even overwhelming and a major disincentive. This should not be the case as there is absolutely nothing to fear.
Progression through the Lodge, from new member or ‘Entered Apprentice’ to the greatest gift the Lodge can bestow – that of being elected Worshipful Master of the Lodge, typically takes 7-10 years.
In that time, a new member will progress through the Three Degrees of the Craft, those of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason and will occupy many or all of the Assistant and Principal Officers ‘chairs’.
Priory Gate is a progressive Lodge and we strongly encourage our junior Brethren to become involved with the ‘Work’ (as the rituals are termed) as soon as possible within the limits that their rank in the lodge permits.
This early involvement has two important purposes, the first is to encourage and maintain interest in the Craft and the second is to help establish the fraternal bond and companionship that is the core of the Lodge.
It never goes unnoticed when a Brother delivers part of a ceremony for the first time, the whole Lodge will be there in support, frequently remembering their own first venture onto ‘the floor’.
Freemasonry is a great leveler and it does not matter what your wealth, position or rank is in the outside world, there are no short cuts. Even Royal Princes who have eventually gone on to be Grand Master have been Initiated, Passed and Raised in exactly the same way as every other Brother.