Should the Worshipful Master and both Wardens be able to open and close all four lodges correctly?
The Worshipful Master and Senior Warden should be able to open and close in all four lodges. The Senior Warden moves to the East if WM is Absent or cannot perform his duties. Even thouugh the Junior Warden does not move forward He should be in learning and know how to open all four Lodges.
Melvin Megason, 32˚
Secretary, Border 672
I would hope all three could open/close a MM, FC and EA with little trouble, the Lodge of Sorrow shouldn't but the double order seems to give a lot of people fits. But to be completely honest I would be pretty satisfied if the WM was proficient in all 4 because I have visited too many lodges where it seem to be a struggle just to get an EA opened and this is with the line officers in place and at mid year.
Sam B. Crawford #1418
New Caney, TX
IMO, these principal officers owe it to the Lodge to which they serve to know the estorical opening & closing of all 4 Lodges. The WM, SW, & JW are elected for a reason and these stations of authority should not simply be "given" out just because.
You want to lead my Lodge? Show me.
W∴M∴ Stewart M. Owings, 3°
- Thomas B. Hunter Lodge No. 1356 A.F. &. A.M.
- Mountain Creek Lodge No. 511 A.F. & A.M.
- O. K. Allen Lodge No. 33 F. & A.M.
- Lonnie L. Blake Chapter No. 1116 O.E.S.
- Grand Prairie York Rite Chapter No. 489
- Grand Prairie York Rite Council No. 404
- Arlington Commandery No. 107
- Trinity York Rite College No. 154
- Robert Bruce Brannon Council No. 270 A.M.D.
- Hella Shrine Temple A.A.N.O.M.S.
- The Masonic Society
Each Lodge to its own I say. If the culture of the lodge demands good open and close they will have it. If they demand good fish fries or fellowship then that is what they get. Each lodge has a culture to itself and sometime the ritual work is not on the same priority ranking as another lodge. I do not believe this makes them any less of a Mason just bad ritualist. Just because it works in one lodge does not mean it will work in another. No matter how bad they are you still see an open and a close and the effort is what counts.
This is not the best signature in the world just a tribute.
My EA Brother. Talk to your good brothers at your lodge in a one on one, some talk could have an EA or FC stopped by some brothers, and I for one would not won’t that to happen with you. You state a good point.
FAITH IS NOT BELIEVING THAT GOD CAN....
IT IS KNOWING THAT HE WILL
People usually do move up in the line of officers which is supposed to be based on them knowing the work and having good leadership qualities. Depending on the Lodge there may be a lack of active talent, which those Lodges should look to recycling some of their past officers. But WM, SW, JW, Sec, and Treasurer are all voted in by the Lodge. Usually, the WM this year will nominate his SW to become WM for the next year. He nominates the JW for SW, and the JW will nominate the SD. A lot of times Sec and Treas are hold overs, and the WM will appoint the other officers usually moving those up who have served well in their position and wish to continue.
While the WM runs the Lodge during his year, he usually works closely with his SW because he is at the same time training him to take over his chair for the next year. The JW at that time also gets to observe more closely how the Lodge is managed and gets exposed more to the business side of the Lodge and also GL Law. As JW, the GL Law Book becomes your friend, which reminds me that I need to put it on my phone.
Senior Warden - J.H. Gurley #337
Scottish Rite Valley of Waco, Orient of Texas
Brother Tom, me and you have discussed this before. I have a unique perspective on this probably. I'm currently Senior Steward and if it pleases the lodge and WM then I will progress further in the chairs. However if I do not feel like I'm ready to be a JW then I shall at that time withdrawl from progressing further..
To me a JW better be able to effectively open/close lodge. Chances are at some point in the year he may end up wearing the hat. I happen to think that he should be able to open and close EA, FC, and MM lodge. Don't really care if the JW and SW are able to do a Lodge of Sorrow. I also believe that the JW, SW, and WM should be proficent in the degree work. I use the term proficent and not the term perfect for a reason. Ritual is important to a degree but the best ritualist may be the worst leader. So sometimes there is a fine line. We need to make sure the JW, SW, and WM are truely worthly leaders with a good grasp of the work, and the different lodges.
Anyone who sits in the East needs to be fluent in the ceremonies required for the occasion for several reasons. We come from all walks of life...that's the nature of a lodge...but when the man in the East drops the gavel, whether he's a judge or a janitor, he becomes MASTER. The opening isn't just a formality; it sets the tone for the evening. It focuses our attention on what we're doing. The words we use establish the Master's authority and our duty to him.
These ceremonies are a two-edged sword. If the Master presides over the opening with confidence and skill, it makes the brethren confident of his right and competence to preside. If he blunders through it, he embarrasses the brethren and makes them question whether he has the commitment to their interests and the mental capacity the job requires. Those impressions, good or ill, are reinforced at every meeting.
This reasoning will cause a Master to demand similar competency from his officers. A well-performed opening is uplifting to us all, and that feeling is the main reason we come to lodge.
Finally, competence in the ritual shows that the officers have respect for the brethren and their time. It shows preparation and forethought. Conversely, when the brethren see that the officers are poorly prepared, it tells them that the officers don't value their time and attention as they should. Patience is often a non-renewable resource.
District Instructor 40-A
Last edited by tomasball; 09-22-10 at 10:17 AM.
Bro. Chris- we consider the MM Lodge of Sorrow to be separate from the usual MM Lodge, thus 4 Lodges.
WMPB- the problem is that the Lodges have not done a very good job of policing the ritual. Ask any Brother who has been around for 20 or 25 years or so- they'll tell you how badly the quality of the ritual has declined.
To add to what Bro. Ball posted, I feel that a Lodge officer should have enough pride in himself as an officer and enough consideration for his Brethren & Lodge to make himself as competent in the ritual as he can.
Cannot argue that the ritual is in the krapper within allot of lodges but why? It was spot on 30 years and back. My lodge had two sometimes 3 degree teams that where about as clean as they come from I read and am told, so what happen? Some of those men are even still alive and active? Did Grand Lodge police the ritual back then? My guess is it might be connected to the that generation not replacing themselves with the new generation so after years of churning out the same ritual they got tired of it and went on to something else. Most went to appendant bodies where fresh challenges await them and the blue lodge ritual was left behind because no new blood was there to marvel in its mysteries. That is just a theory. Seeing the results Tommy Griffin had trying to improve the ritual I am not sure legislation would help. That caused a ton of belly aching but maybe that is a good thing this is a tough issue as I am very partial to a good ritual but hate hearing the moaning some do over the issue.
This is not the best signature in the world just a tribute.