Texas York Rite Monitor?

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by crono782, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Does Texas York Rite have an equivalent to a "monitor" for the Chapter/Council? I'm talking more of the esoteric side beyond the ritual, I mean. I've seen the old Mackey monitors, but they look pretty far off from what we practice here. I've also found a NY monitor that matches our own fairly well (Crypitic Council in this case) and looks exactly like what I'm looking for, just wrong state. Do either of our Grand bodies here print something like that?
     
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Not that I am aware of, other than the ritualistic books.
     
  3. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Bro. Crono, Are you referring to something down the lines of morals and dogma? If so I too am searching for something, if you come across anything could you let me know, I will do the same of I do as well.
     
  4. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Yah sorta like that. You can order POD versions of mackeys "book of the chapter" or "manual of the council" on amazon (you can also read them on google books, illustrated). Basically chapter/council monitors. But it seems that time has heavily influenced even the esoteric interpretations and symbols within. Like I said I found a more modern albeit still old "version" belonging to NY that is much closer to our modern versions. Its strange there is only ritual and no official monitor/commentary on it in most jurisdictions.


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  5. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Thanks bro. I'm going to check those out. I'd love to hear your own interpretations though. It always interests me to see things from another perspective. If you're interested PM me. Thanks again brother.
     
  6. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I will indeed bro. I'm wanting to write up some sorely needed education c/c pieces after personal study.

    For what it's worth, our Recorder informed me both grand bodies in texas print a monitor and can be ordered for about a buck each! Score.


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  7. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    This is interesting, I'll be looking into this. :)

    At a buck each I'm not expecting much content though.
     
  8. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Yah probably not. Hopefully it'll be something worth the trouble.


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  9. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/mom/mom06.htm

    I found this while searching google. I dig it.
     
  10. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    The Texas Chapter Monitor and Texas Council Monitor are useful in the sense that they provide illustrations (similar to the Grand Lodge of Texas Monitor) which are not present in the plain language ritual books. However, if you are looking for something similar to Lightfoot's Commentaries the Texas Chapter Monitor is not that, but more of an "aid to memory" with portions of some lectures included as "monitorial" portions of the ritual. The current Texas Chapter Monitor and Texas Council Monitorappear to have seen little change since the 1941 edition which was printed at a time when "mouth to ear" was the only way to learn our ritual (I lament that I did not have the opportunity to learn my York Rite work in the same manner as Blue Lodge).
    If you are looking for something similar to Lightfoot's writings for the Texas Blue Lodge ritual, I am not aware of such, but would be interested if you find something. As with anything in Masonry, each commentator and each brother or companion is free to come to his own conclusions after reviewing the various writers on a subject and his own thoughts. I do enjoy reading Jewel P. Lightfoot's Commentaries because he does just that, and his work is specific to Texas.
    I recommend buying a copy of the monitors as they contain some information that is absent from the ritual books. Just my two cents. - CMR
     
  11. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Here is what I've found:

    Texas Council Monitor: Old (1941) and useless in practical application although a good look at what there was prior to our current ritual book. A couple neat illustrations and a diagram or two showing lodge layout and a bit of floor work, but beyond that it's mostly memorabilia.

    Texas Chapter Monitor: A fair bit more useful that the Council Monitor. Still somewhat old though (1986 reprint). Mostly just a collector's piece like the chapter book. Many interesting illustrations and diagrams showing layouts and such. Also sheet music and lyrics for some old ceremonial stuff. A better buy (well, both are "good" buys at $1/ea) than the council monitor, but still not entirely useful for study when compared to the current ritual book (besides the drawings).

    Book of the Chapter or Monitorial Instructions in the degrees of...: Fairly old at 1858 (4th ed.), this is basically Mackey's monitor for the chapter. It contains a great deal of esoteric explanation, symbolism, sheet music, drawings, a few diagrams, etc. I've found this to be a great source of explanation on the symbolism of the chapter. A good resource.

    Cryptic Masonry, A Manual of the Council: This is another Mackey book that equates a council monitor of the day. Like the chapter monitor by mackey above, this one is pretty old (1897), but is chock full of symbolic explanation, drawings, and a diagram or two. A good study partner. It should be noted that along with the chapter monitor by mackey, it would seem that the basic ritual has evolved over the years as I've found some symbolic meanings that do not jive with our current (TX) ritual, but is an excellent book nonetheless.

    The Text Book of Cryptic Masonry: Another oldie (1870) from Jackson Case, this one is more like an extension of mackey's work and should be probably bought along side mackey's rather than stand alone. Like the others, we get some illustrations, a couple diagrams, but it is pretty light on esoteric and symblic explanation. Better as a collectible than a real resource.

    Duncan's Ritual: Everybody knows this one, but I actually found some of the notes in the appendix to be quite enlightening concerning specific history, evolution, and symbolic meanings of the chapter degrees, specifically the royal arch degree. It's worth a read for the chapter degrees for sure.

    All in all, what I was looking for was commentary/study on the esoteric and symbolism (as we don't need anything specifically ritualistic in TX) and both of the Mackey books provided this well enough in addition to the notes in Duncan's. I recommend those three books for any york rite mason for sure. It's amazing learning exactly why we are doing what we do and what we are doing is symbolizing and actually how deep that symbolism goes (especially in the royal arch, no joke). I'd personally only recommend getting the official monitors and Case's book as memoribilia and/or companions to the other three.

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  12. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the reviews companion! Were all of these purchased from the Grand Chapter/Council?
     
  13. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Only the Texas Chapter/Council Monitors were ordered from the grand bodies by the sec/rec.
    The other monitors were purchased on amazon as reprints (I've provided links). Note that several publishers reprint these, but I looked for publishers who used scanned image reprints rather than OCR reprints. In my experience, OCR (optical character recognition) reprints in general have a moderate probablility of character mis-recognition and you get some scrambled text errors.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1162568844
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1453854304
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934935263
    As for the Duncan's ritual book, I found a copy at a local half price books, but it's viewable online at a number of websites (though I'm not sure if the appendix is).
     
  14. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    Great book review. I would add Freemasons Book of the Royal Arch as a great resource. And if you are not aware of the Companion Adept of the Temple program, I would recommend you look into this study course. The course uses many of the resources mentioned, and lists a few others.

    http://www.yrscna.org/forms/YorkRiteenrollmentform.pdf
     
  15. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Thanks for sharing that! Kinda like the MCP for York Rite. Too bad it's only for KT. I won't take the commandery orders for a while yet.


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