Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Commandery?

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by David Melear, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Bill Hosler

    Bill Hosler Registered User

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    Wow. The petition in Indiana I signed didn't say that I'm shocked.


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  2. promethean

    promethean Registered User

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    You said it, Brother. Also, Christianity in its various forms and guises does not seem to grow much in 2013. Lacking growth, the exclusive jurisdictions limit their potential for increasing membership.

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  3. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    I must admit, as an aspiring member (I should receive the orders soon), I am surprised that a national organization has such a key difference in policy at the jurisdictional level. The following quote is from the KT section of the York Rite's summary page of the various degrees:

    Its requirement that its members be professed Christians has led to calls of condemnation from other Masonic bodies and organizations both inside and outside the United States, claiming that the body is more of a Christian organization rather than a Masonic body. These have had little effect on the body, however, as many of the organizations criticizing the body have similar degrees among themselves.

    http://www.yorkrite.com/degrees/

    (Please note I am not saying it should or should not be exclusively Christian. I'm just fostering this discussion, as I find it interesting that the requirement does not appear to be uniform.)
     
  4. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    Check the Grand Encampment of the United States web site, FAQ's. They make it clear that you must profess a belief in the Christian religion. Any state that is allowing people to get in with "willingess to defend" is fudging to increase membership, and they know it.
     
  5. Ecossais

    Ecossais Registered User

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    I DID join the Commandery. But, for me, the practice of "marching" around the lodge room is one of the silliest things I've ever encountered in Masonry. I just cannot do it, or even attend a KT meeting, and keep a straight face. It's childish. It's a throwback to the late 1800s, when these kind of pseudo-military organizations were popular, at the end of the Victorian Era. And the hats and costumes.... I'm sorry. I just can't deal with it.
     
  6. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    It's kinda sad. Everyone tells me how great the Commandery degrees are, but I, like you, have no interest in military marching drills or the uniforms. Perhaps that is why the talk of the cap/mantle look is more appealing that the military dress. The commandery has indeed piqued my interest, but I'm not sure I'd want to join anything that I would not be active/interested in.
     
  7. Ol Kev

    Ol Kev Registered User

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  8. QPZIL

    QPZIL Premium Member

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    My local Commandery confers the order of the Temple is a real castle that's about 30 minutes away :) When you're wandering through the wilderness, you're actually wandering the grounds of the castle, and then main juicy parts of the order take place in the great hall inside. It's pretty mind-blowing.

    Also, our local petition says something to the effect of "the candidate swears to defend the Christian faith," which has a different connotation than "a firm belief". I feel like that wording would attract more members without diluting the core feel of the body.
     
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  9. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    That is awesome! I will have to come visit to see this.
     
  10. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

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    Aren't the York rite degrees similar to the Scottish rite?


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  11. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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  12. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Very awesome. I loved that explanation of the RA degree being in both the YR and SR. It's true!

    EDIT: Holy crap, there so many articles on that site. I'd read a few before, but never perused all the different ones to see how many there are. Lot of reading material to be had there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  13. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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  14. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    A lot of the information in that article seems to be counter to other "known" histories. The Scottish Rite hasn't been changed since 1801? Tell that to Pike...
     
  15. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    Or the current revisions that have been pushed down.

    The York Rite ritual has stayed relatively intact since 1797 when Thomas Smith-Webb published his monitor (not including the Cryptic degrees that came later).
     
  16. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    That essay should actually be titled "Why I think the Scottish Rite is so very much better than the York Rite, but please don't check any other sources for my claims."
     
  17. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    I've been doing a lot of research on where/if I will pursue Masonic Light beyond the Blue Lodge. My father-in-law has done both the Scottish and York Rites, in addition to the Shriners and High Twelve. He was also in Commadery. At least in my area, there are more avenues to pursue with the York Rite without having to drive so far. Admittedly, I am particularly drawn to the Knights Templar...or at least I was.

    The more I learn about it, the more disinterested I become. The uniforms, expense, and drilling have zero appeal to me. If there were period costumes like Levant Preceptory, I would be all over it. I like the educational aspects of Commandery, but the regalia is a huge turn-off.
     
  18. onthesquare

    onthesquare Registered User

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    Browncoat, The real value in the York as well as the Scottish Rites is not in the trappings but in the lessons learned. If dressing up in costume or marching is not to your taste than I am sure you won't be forced to participate. At all our gatherings it is more important to show up ,the sidelines are always a good place to observe and learn,than to dress up in "costume". In most if not all of the York Rite bodies you don't wear anything out of the ordinary unless you decide to become an officer.
    Commandery being a military order does have a proscribed uniform but I doubt they would throw you out if you wear a dark suit and sit on the sidelines. In my opinion ,whatever bodies you decide to join in the York Rite,you will learn profound lessons that will make a difference in your life as a man and a mason.
    In brotherhood from Michigan, onthesquare


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  19. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    OK, here come some random thoughts of a new member just reading a long and dated thread:

    1. All of our York Rite bodies are very strong because Blue Lodge to Commandery meets in the same building. The closest SR temple is more than an hour away.

    2. I am personally not overly active in the Commandery simply because with my other responsibilities in the YR, I just can't do everything.

    3. Some have mentioned not liking the military aspect of the Commandery, but that's what makes ours strong. I'd say more than 90% of us are veterans, and we are veterans who thoroughly enjoyed our time in service. It's a way to relive that.

    4. Uniforms, where to begin? I am not a fan of the chapeau. They are expensive, look silly, are uncomfortable, and unwieldy to wear. For a young man starting out, the uniform could be very cost prohibitive. I've been there. The uniform and sword aren't that bad. It's the chapeau and sword belt that are killer. Then, once you've become EC, you have to do it over again going from silver to gold. I really like the looks of the cap and mantle and would vote for that in a heartbeat. It looks like what a "Knight Templar" should look like. I would even vote to ditch the chapeau for a typical service cover with the uniform already in use. Some have mentioned the older guard not thinking of the younger generation by clinging to the chapeau, etc. Well, put the shoe on the other foot. You are asking people who have already paid the price for their gear to dump it and purchase new stuff. It's a two-way street that I don't have the proper answer for.
     
  20. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Re: Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Co

    There's no need for that.

    The Levant Preceptory is merely an informal club attached to their Commandery. No additional charter, no need to purchase the required garb, no additional membership fees, no business meetings. What they've done can be repeated anywhere there is a desire to do so. Just get together with like-minded guys and form your own club. If some of the older guys don't like it or don't want to do it, they don't have to.
     

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