2014 Certifications

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by crono782, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Like the similar 2013 thread, what certification goals do you guys have for 2014?

    For myself, I will be trying for my first "B" Certificate at the next forum & exam in my area in February. *stressed*
    I hope to go for an "A" Certificate by at least the end of 2014.
     
  2. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We have lecture pins for each portion of the degree.

    I would like to learn either the EA lecture or IC lecture.

    The letter G is third on my list.
     
  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    That's pretty neat, we don't have pins for that stuff here. :( So the degree "certifications" there are broken down further in parts? Interesting.

    The breakdown for Texas for anyone's information is:
    "C" Certificate = Opening/closing all 4 lodge types, all degree proficiencies Q+A (long), Tyler's oath
    "B" Certificate = C Certificate work + confer all 3 degrees (all parts)
    "A" Certificate = C & B Certificate work + All 3 degree lectures
     
  4. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    In the not too distant past, we only had the "A" (all or nothing?) certificate.
     
  5. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    In Tennessee, we don't have such certificates (at least that I am aware).
    We have a Lecturer's Card which means you can give the questions and answers for all three lectures. You should have this at a minimum if you are going to teach someone.
    Our main "certification" is a Proficiency Card which means you can confer all three degrees and teach the lectures. It is assumed if you can do these, you can fill any other spot in degree work. Your lodge gets bonus points during inspection for the more card holders you have.
    There is a "Know it All" pin which means you can recite the monitor (Tennessee Craftsman) cover to cover. You have to do all the previously stated as well as all second and third sections, charges, funeral, officer installation, etc. I know one person who has this.
     
  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    In California the system is less formalized but the requirements for offices are theoretically harder. There is one elected Grand Lecturer instead of a committee. DDGMs (called Inspectors in CA) answer to the GM for administration plus to the GL for ritual. Instead of certified instructors every lodge has at least one appointed Officer's Coach who is the best ritualist in that lodge. To qualify for advancement a brother needs to learn all of the major parts including the lectures but not all of the small parts. Most sitting WMs ask PMs to deliver the lectures even though we all had to demonstrate proficiency in them all to advance - That's where theory and practice diverge the most. I delivered the first at a district meeting, both seconds to live candidates, the third to the officers coach. I did not retain most of the lectures once I left the east and usually asked a good ritualist to deliver them to live candidates. I learned 5 of the 8 small parts in the second section and all of the chair parts but chaplain.

    As in Tennessee there are levels of certificates in Illinois. A Certified Lodge Instructor is authorized to teach all of the floor work and all of the ritual but the lectures. Every CLI knows at least a couple of the lectures. A Grand Lecturer is also authorized to teach all of the lectures plus all of the monitorial work like installation and funeral. In Illinois the lectures are modular so there are 3 modules int eh third usually delivered by different brothers. A Grand Lodge Instructor is also current on all of the explanatory material that is used to support all phases of ritual instruction. The certificates are sort of like Texas "B", "C" and "and then some". Members of the Committee on Work are drawn from the Grand Lodge Instructors. All installed WMs must know all of the openings, closings. The better ritualist WMs know all of the conferrals. I delivered 5 of the 8 smaller parts in the second section (different set than in CA), two of the obligations and all of the chairs but chaplain so I'm not a good ritualist.

    Vary different jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Now I'm gradually practicing a third ritual.

    Four meeting types? 1 Stated for business, 2 called/special for degrees/proficiencies, 3 sorrow for funerals, 4 table lodge. As table lodge is banned this year I don't think I got the Texas list right. Maybe there's a difference between lodge of sorrow and conferring a funeral that I don't understand yet.
     
  7. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Man, it's so interesting to see how different jurisdictions do things.

    4 lodge types being, EA, FC, MM, and MM lodge of sorrow. MMLoS is its own type (though not difficult, it is not often performed) of opening/closing. Further complicating it, Texas allows it to be performed as needed per funeral or perpetual for an entire masonic year. It seems to me most lodges opt for perpetual.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  8. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    While the "B" seems a tad unnecessary, I like that there is a "C" one. I've heard of a few lodges that require in their by-laws that their senior officers to all hold C certs. Good idea IMO and further, I think it's a great idea to have the all officers from WM through JD (minus Trs and Sec) to hold C certs every year in order to progress should they wish to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  9. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    This brother from a lodge in my state has 7 pins. The most I believe you can get in New Jersey. They do have one that consolidates your achievements into one pin but some prefer to wear all 7.

    (his right lapel)

    I believe it is styled after the number of rungs on Jacob's Ladder.
     
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    We tried to put that into our bylaws but GL rejected it, saying that only they had the authority to prescribe the qualifications for Lodge officers. However, it is one of the requirements to attain the Vanguard Lodge award.
     
  11. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Interesting, specifically I heard Stock Show lodge in FW had done it. Maybe since it is kind of a special case though...
     
  12. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    What we do for Lodge of Sorrow is open it for the whole year. Immediately following officer installation in December, the newly installed master will open a MM lodge and say "this lodge has been called and opened for the purpose of opening a Lodge of Sorrow to remain open during my term of office." The following December, he will close the Lodge of Sorrow just prior to the installation of new officers. Once they are installed, rinse and repeat.
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    We do basically the same thing, except our wording is a bit different & we install officers after June 24th & before August 1st.
     
  14. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

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    How long ago was that? It had to be pre-1997 because that system was in place when I was raised. I got an "A" certificate in 1999 and 1999, but lapsed in 2000 due to lack of time because of family and work concerns.

    I was a man without a country from 2004-2012, but I'm active again and I'm going to shot for my "A" certificate this year!
     
  15. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    It was before my time also, but I'll see if I can find out.
     
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Texas was the first jurisdiction I've seen a Lodge of Sorrow in. Good to know it's practiced in more jurisdictions. My other jurisdictions list funeral ceremonies as events other than tiled meetings and treat each funeral separately.

    On a lodge requiring a certificate for their officers - Classic Traditional Observance approach. If GL forbids entering it in the bylaws it can be a tradition of the lodge.
     
  17. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    Sort of the same thing in New Jersey but before we leave the Lodge is officially put on refreshment.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    At one time (way before mine), GLoTX used to require that a Lodge of Sorrow be opened at the Lodge and the ante-burial service read before each Masonic funeral, and the LoS called from labor. The Brethren would then repair to the church or cemetery, perform the burial service, and then return to the Lodge, call the LoS back to labor, and close it. Needless to say, this took at least half a day for each funeral.

    Now we have the option, which is exercised by every Lodge with which I'm familiar, of opening a LoS after the new officers are installed and reading the ante-burial service, then calling the LoS from labor for the remainder of the Lodge year. Minutes are generated for each Masonic funeral occurring during the Lodge year. At the end of the year, the outgoing officers call the LoS to labor, the LoS minutes are read and our fallen Brethren remembered and honored, and the LoS of that year closed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  19. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    As for holding certain proficiencies to hold office as some jurisdictions require, I don't like that at all. One of the best masters, if not the best, we've had in my time as a Mason couldn't do any degree work with much proficiency. We still laugh and say he couldn't open the lodge if he was using a chainsaw! He certainly couldn't confer a degree. But, when he was master, attendance was outstanding, we did things for the lodge, and it was just an all around good year.

    If our state or lodge placed proficiency requirements on being WM, this man wouldn't have had the opportunity he deserved, and our lodge would have been the poorer for it.
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The "C" certificate under GLoTX does not require the ability to confer any part of any of the degrees. It only requires the catechism of each degree, of which every Master Mason had to demonstrate proficiency at one time in order to become such, and the ability to competently open & close the Lodges. I believe that any WM should be competent in opening Lodges- it is his job, he owes it to his Lodge to be able to do so, and he should have enough pride in himself and respect for his Lodge to learn the work- it is hardly an onerous requirement.
     

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