Review: Observing The Craft

Discussion in 'Recommended Reading' started by BroBill, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    I've completed another book in my quest for light:

    Observing the Craft

    By: Andrew Hammer

    A good book thatshould not be confused with another book titled "A Traditional ObservanceLodge" by Cliff Porter. While thisbook touches on the Traditional Observance Lodge (TOL), it is not the soul focusof the book. Rather, this book reminds the Master Mason that there are customs,courtesies, and rituals that set Freemasonry off from community serviceorganizations, traditional charitable organizations, and other socialorganizations. The point of the book is to point out areas where we haveperhaps strayed from those things that made our fraternity unique- some customsand courtesies, and some associated to the TOL.

    This is a good"primer" for "A Traditional Observance Lodge" because itdoes introduce terms and definitions from the TOL and helps the reader with thenecessary context to understand the difference between "today'slodge" and the TOL. It defines anddescribes Festive Boards/Table Lodges, Chambers of Reflection, and Chain ofUnion and members of the York and Scottish Rites will gain perspective in theorigin of some of those ritual customs.

    This book is forthose who hunger for more from masonry, more from the spiritual side but aren'tquite sure what that "more" might be. It is not for those who seekmore or better ways to do more fundraisers or community service activities;while those can be important to a lodge, this book addresses the traditions andcustoms of masonry that originally drew many of us to the West Gate.

    I recommend thisbook to Master Masons who have spent some time in the quarry and are familiarwith their lodge operations, Lodge-Grand Lodge relations, and Grand Lodge Lawand Constitutions. While not required,it will have more meaning for those who have advanced through York and ScottishRite degrees and it prompts the mason to consider the relationship between theBlue Lodge and those appendant bodies regarding not just degrees, but the formand function of the bodies themselves.

    This book isavailable on Amazon.

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    S&F
    BroBill
     
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I saw W Bro Hammer present on this topic at the annual meeting of Illinois Lodge of Research at the 2012 Illinois GL. He is an inspirational speaker and the book is so interesting I read it in a couple of settings.
     
  3. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    I just started the other one I referenced "A Traditional Observance Lodge"; I'm glad I read Observing the Craft first. Lots of potential!
     
  4. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I ordered this book the day it was released, a copy for myself and another for the lodge. I've read it several times and shared it with a number of Brothers. Highly recommended.
     
  5. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    This was a book chosen for our lodge reading group. There's a lot of food for thought in it. I wasn't a fan of his idea of requiring formal dress, but I understand why he argues for it. We're a historically rural lodge, and casual dress has been the norm for a long time as far as I can tell, and there's no way that's changing. When I was in the east, I wore a tux to every third degree, but didn't start a trend.
     
  6. marty15chris

    marty15chris Premium Member

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    I read it about 6 months ago. It's one of the reason I have decided not to take the "higher" degrees until I have sat in a few chairs in the blue lodge first. I also fallowed his advice and got a personalized apron to wear. Which I never wear now of course since I'm a junior steward this year.
     
  7. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I managed to wait until I was most of the way through the line before joining another body, so I managed that well before his book was published. As to a personalized apron I do suggest it be in the form of a personalized PM apron! I remember being asked about service to others and serving in the progressive line is one way to be of service.
     

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