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. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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

    As with many changes occurring within Masonry, it doesn't have to be one or the other. The "drill team" and Victorian uniforms can continue for those that have them, and those that wish to continue the tradition, while a more realistic chivalric conferral team could also grow. Perhaps one day the cap and mantle will become the standard in a slow, organic manner.
    According to my last Grand Commander, the only item required to be worn was the Order of Malta medal.
     
  2. Jericho2013

    Jericho2013 Premium Member

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

    I have already petitioned CCC and am attending the festival in February. I don't plan on buying a uniform. After I'm retired many years from now I may get more involved at that level.
     
  3. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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

    Locally, it's not so hard to get people to join the Commandery... in my experience, it's hard to keep them active or keep them coming to meetings once they are knighted. When I first joined a year ago, I was excited to be a Knight Templar. I had read the John Robinson books, deeply enjoyed the orders... however, when I started coming to meetings shortly thereafter, it became a different story. Our local Council and Commandery meet on the same evening in adjacent rooms on the upper floor of the Grand Lodge building. The GL is located in the heart of downtown, with a high homeless/panhandler population in the neighborhood. So, the outer door is always locked, and if you're running a few minutes late after the brethren have gone upstairs to open the meetings, you can't get in. So, the first meeting, I was assigned as sentinel, and sat outside the asylum door for the most part of the meeting. I got little or no other info after my orders, so started working to put a uniform together, as it appeared the Commandery does require you to attend in uniform. I looked at what some of the other guys had, shopped around, and was informed the next time around that I had the wrong color buttons... silver instead of black. Replaced the buttons and tried again. I live 20 miles out of town, so brought the uniform with me to work, changed before meeting, and was promptly grouched at for wearing Commandery uniform to the Council meeting prior to the Commandery meeting. After that, I was being placed in the line at my blue lodge, which holds practice/study sessions on Thursday nights, the 3rd of which the Commandery meets on. Little seemed to be going on at the commandery save reading of the minutes, and after a few other frustrations, I decided my time was better spent at my lodge rather than chasing squirrels around the Commandery. I have tried a few meetings since then (two years ago), and things haven't changed much. So, while I keep up my dues card, I get more satisfaction and light from my lodge.

    Maybe some sort of mentoring or coaching program could help the situation... getting the new guys oriented and settled into some sort of responsibility. Instead, the focus is on the officers, and moving up the progressive line so's they can collect the KYCH badge.

    My two bits...
     
  4. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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

    I finally petitioned the Commandery, but I hear stories of how disorganized it can be. We'll see how much I like it. I'm hoping against all odds that my experience won't mirror yours @psyclepath but I fear it may be. Hopefully I can make a difference. Gosh, I can't imagine having to wear that dreadful uniform. I read through some Texas Grand Commandery documents and found that the caps and mantles are allowed (though we'll see if mine bothers to use them).
     
  5. Brennan

    Brennan Registered User

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

    I just joined the york rite and in ours we only use the uniform for the inspection and the reunions.


    Sent From My Freemasonry Mobile App
     
  6. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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

    I asked about it and in ours only the officers and guards and such wear them. when I mentioned the cap/mantle he said that the topic came up but everyone thought it looked funny and preferred the uniform. *sigh* the next stated here isn't until January so I won't receive the orders til February i'd guess.
     
  7. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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

    I joined the York Rite in September and have been most active in commandery so far. It's already been brought up, but the cost of getting involved is a tough one. Thankfully, the only thing I've had to purchase as of now is the jacket. All the other necessary equipment is being loaned, gifted, or I already had (pants and shoes).

    Also mentioned previously I believe, the degrees and orders are beautiful and contain many important lessons. But meetings are, well, meetings. So I'm trying to find the deeper purpose of York Rite by becoming involved. It's the old saying, "You get what you put into it." I hope that is true.
     
  8. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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

    I joined the York Rite in September and have been most active in commandery so far. It's already been brought up, but the cost of getting involved is a tough one. Thankfully, the only thing I've had to purchase as of now is the jacket. All the other necessary equipment is being loaned, gifted, or I already had (pants and shoes).

    Also mentioned previously I believe, the degrees and orders are beautiful and contain many important lessons. But meetings are, well, meetings. So I'm trying to find the deeper purpose of York Rite by becoming involved. It's the old saying, "You get what you put into it." I hope that is true.
     
  9. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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

    I've found quite a bit of meaning in both the chapter and council after actually pouring some time into researching the history and meaning behind the degrees. I suggest you look into the "Companion Adept of the Temple" program. I cannot get it yet until I join the commandery, but I've already read half of the books suggested for learning materials. The studying I've since done on the chapter and council have deepened my appreciation for them ten fold.
     
  10. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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

    Thank you brother. I have unfortunately been unable to get as actively involved in chapter and council, but I hope to. I will definitely check out the program you mentioned.
     
  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Ditto.
     
  12. Willaim Perkins

    Willaim Perkins Registered User

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    I know first hand the frustration many feel here. In the Scottish Rite you watch a handful of plays and poof- you're a 32nd. We are a participation organization and participation gets in your blood. We are 3 separate bodies, yet one Rite. (Many walks of life yet one Brotherhood.) Our problem is Commandery uniform cost. I will not wear that mantle, as many look closer to woman's lingerie and totally lacking in bearing and solemnity. The solution, I think, is my proposal that I hope to get before the next Triennial. It maintains military bearing, recalls historical integrity and saves the member $160.80 - $ 625.69 respectively.
    In addition, we have to get out there for people to see us, in Lodge and public. Question: How many Commanderies do an Arch of Steel for the incoming Master Councilor, Honored Queen or Worthy Advisor? uh-huh.
     
  13. kastonw

    kastonw Premium Member

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    I think what it comes down to is most Brothers just want to say there a 32nd degree Master Mason plus the Uniform cost don't help much ether lol
     
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  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I hear that the cost is prohibitive but here in Kentucky you do not have to have the uniform unless you want to be an officer.
     
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  15. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    I'm going to be Generalissimo next year and just dropped $400 on a new chapeau. I'm all about keeping them now. That doesn't mean I have to like 'em; it just means I'm not in favor of changing now :rolleyes: :D
     
  16. kastonw

    kastonw Premium Member

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    It's the same in Louisiana but my thing is why join if your not going to participate ??
     
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  17. RyanC

    RyanC Registered User

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    At some point the Dress change with the time, I think the time has come for it too change again.
     
  18. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    The basic Commandery uniform of black coat and chapeau is pretty much the same as it has been for more than 150 years. It isn't changing any time soon.
    As I've said in other threads (and maybe this one), it is a cycle. There are those of us who have our uniforms put together and those who do not. You do not have to have a uniform to attend meetings, but you do need one to be an officer. The only way you are going to become influential in your Commandery is to be an officer, meaning you need the current uniform. Those of us with uniforms don't want to buy something different any more than new guys want to buy the current kit, probably more so.

    I'm personally not a fan of the current uniform, but it is what it is. If you want to participate, you accept the uniform.
     
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  19. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    Do people need separate uniforms for each body, or just the commandery?
     
  20. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    There are no uniforms for the Chapter and Council. If you are a grand officer, you will need a red or purple blazer. Otherwise, you just wear what you would to a lodge meeting.
     
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