Are long form degree lectures worth it?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by crono782, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    As someone who just finished learning letter-perfect my first "long form" lecture (the EA long form, that is, including the monitorial sections), I was told by a couple members of the lodge that it would be best to not do the long form lecture at all because of the chance of boring/losing the attention of the members and the candidate. I agreed that the members might get bored, but it is equally possible that the candidate wants more out of his degree than expediency. -_^

    I did actually ponder on this thought, however. ARE the long form lectures too much for the candidate to bear hearing after his floor work portion of his degree? I personally believe that the long form/monitorial parts contain excellent masonic information that is quite often glazed over or never heard again by a lot of these guys and is a disservice to not offer it especially given the trend that newer members seem to want MORE masonry from their masonry, but that is just my two cents.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. WBDavidSmith

    WBDavidSmith Registered User

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    There is no way that anyone can remember everything they have experienced or heard in one night. I believe that the lectures are definitely worth the time. Yes there is a lot of information to absorb. To a new candidate that is what the night is about.
    We always tell the candidates after each degree they need to come back and see if the more they will catch more information every time they hear it.


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  3. poweredbylight

    poweredbylight Registered User

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    By the time I was being given the lecture (for each degree), I was worn out. Only certain parts of each jumped out at me, and of course I did not retain much of that information on the first listen. With that being stated, I feel that it is important that we keep orally conducting it. The candidate/brother needs to hear it through, it is important. Further, brothers on the sidelines need to hear it - there are many masons who may not study regularly, and can learn something "new" from attending a degree. Finally, it shows the man going through the degree what we are willing to commit to, if orally given, to present the lecture. I feel that it is important that we do long-form everything, as long as it is possible.

    The only time I feel short form should be used is if you are doing multiple candidates in one night, as we all know long form for 3 brothers can be a doozy.
     
  4. Brother JC

    Brother JC Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I don't think NM even has a "short form" when it comes to the Degree Lectures. I've certainly never heard of one.
     
  5. jmiluso

    jmiluso Registered User

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    I was at my lodges officers meeting last week and it came up at least in California lodges, the for the 1st and 2nd degrees giving the long or short return is an option the candidate can make for them self. But on the 3rd degree return it must be long form.

    I for one believe the long form is better. I gave all long forms and I feel I would have not understood as much if I did the short form. Why go through the process of joining if you are going to do only half the work, at least that's how I feel.


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  6. Brother JC

    Brother JC Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I don't think the proficiency return is the subject, but the lecture during the Degree. Or did I get this wrong?
     
  7. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Basically in TX there are the parts of the lecture that are ritual and parts that are monitorial. Read in a linear fashion, the ritual and monitorial sections are interspersed in with each other. The "long form" would be the combination of both. The ritual parts are required and there is no long/short variation on them; it must all be given. The monitorial parts are optional and rarely given in my experience (this being what I would like to see done).

    Right, I am speaking of the long form degree LECTURE rather than the trial lecture/proficiency return. The concept you mention, I feel, is the same however.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  8. jmiluso

    jmiluso Registered User

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    My apologies I read it wrong.


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  9. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    The lecture and charge is the essence of what defines a Freemason.

    The whole point of the lecture, in my mind, was to inspire the new brother to expand their mind and learn.

    I can understand cutting corners but degree work is suffering enough. As an example, proficiency work was cut back to three pages from 7 on the EA exam in 2008. Ask a newly made NJ mason about the 4 points of entrance and they will /shrug and look at you funny.
     
  10. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    The EA lecture I sadly barley remember but I did catch allot more info from the FC lecture. I think they are very important and should remain the full version. You can always go back and discuss the lecture and study it more in depth at a later time.


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  11. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Right now, the norm is just the ritual parts without the monitorial sections. Most members never hear the monitorial parts given in the lecture. My plan is to give the full ritual + monitorial lecture for our upcoming EA hopefuls this month. I personally have never heard it given.
     
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    As a candidate, by the time we reached the lectures I was past the point I could retain anything more. I remember the brothers delivering my lectures but none of the content of the lectures from those 3 evenings. I remember the lectures from degrees since then so it doesn't seem to matter whether the candidates hear the long or short version.

    As an officer working to qualify for my chairs I learned the short form when there was one because it was hard enough to learn all of that material. When all you've learned in the short form that's what you deliver when you're standing there in the east delivering a lecture to a live candidate.

    As a sideliner I've heard the lectures often enough I like the long form better. This is why I like degree teams and designated lecturers for degrees.

    So is the long form worth it? My answer is different for different situations. Hearing a long form on occasion is certainly worth it to me. But it has not been worth it enough for me to learn the long forms myself. For myself I've read them.
     
  13. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    A Texas specific answer - The lectures and degrees in Texas are abbreviated compared to the other ritual versions I have learned. particularly in Texas the long form should be presented on occasion just so the brethren know there's more to it than the short form. As the difference is monitorial reading the additional parts should be okay.
     
  14. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I say go for it crono. The long form is certainly worth memorizing and given till committed to memory but in the long term not worth perpetually giving. IMHO The long form is beautiful though and certainly worth any masons time to memorize.
     
  15. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    So basically do it, but not so often that the sideline gets tired of it. -_-


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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Agreed. We claim that degrees are for the candidate but, by the time the lecture is given, most have reached the limit of what one can absorb in a single sitting. I feel that it would be much more beneficial to the candidate to wait a week or so after the degree and then present the lecture to him, preferably in a one-on-one manner, explaining the degree & the lessons contained therein. But that's just me.
     
  17. amhdive

    amhdive Registered User

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    I personally enjoyed the long form. What I recently purpose is an education session in lodge to help the candidate better connect with the degree. You are right you reach a saturation point but I wouldn't change a thing.


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  18. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    If you are doing multiple candidates in one night, Texas allows you to give the lecture to them all at once.
     
  19. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

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    I've given, and do give, the lectures in Texas. I've not bothered to learn the monitorial portions of the lectures, nor do I plan to. I've known only a few lectures who know those parts and give them. Once in awhile I think it is a good idea for someone to give the full form of the lecture (though I've NEVER known anyone who gives the full form of the FC lecture in Texas), but I don't think it should be regular occurrence. For myself, the night runs long enough when you start a degree at 7:30 (after dinner), and I need to be in bed by 10:30 so I can be up at 4:30 the next morning for work that the full form of the lecture can do more to breed ill-will from your lodge brothers by making the night go too long. Also, I tend to agree somewhat with the brother who taught me my work at Oak Forest Lodge 1398 in Houston who questioned whether one learns the long form for the good of the candidate (who won't remember it anyway), or for the ego of the one giving the lecturer. I want the experience to benefit the candidate the most and with what our lodge does after the degree, it would be way too much for the candidate.
     
  20. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Gotcha. I think I've decided not to give the long form lecture after all for our upcoming EAs and rather just be content that I know it and will continue to learn the long form FC and MM. It is true, the candidate likely wouldn't remember it (only hopefully be inspired by it). My main fear is probably what would come to pass, that is, giving the long form probably would do more to breed ill-will by members than would be enjoyable to hear... Definitely the sense I get from my lodge anyway.
     

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