How does California make ritual work?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by stanb, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. stanb

    stanb Registered User

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    California has the best plan available. EA and FC do not have to do anything but turn in the obligation and trial grip part of the lecture in the EA and FC degrees. The MM is required to turn in entire trial lecture for MM degree. There is no police running around in the lodges in California to make people turn in the MM trial lecture. The above is one of the options in California. A candidate is also given a cipher book for each degree after completion of the 1-3 degrees. There is another option for all the degrees. Turn in trial lectures for all 3 degrees. The qualifications for Senior Deacon is as follows. 3 trial lectures for 3 degrees. Senior Deacon has to be able to do his part in all 3 degrees. The senior deacon has to do the stairway lecture in 2nd degree, this is in the 2nd degree lecture in this state. The District Inspector is somewhat equivalent to the District Deputy Grand Master with much more power and responsibilities. The Senior Deacon must be certified by the District Inspector prior to installation. The Junior Warden has to confer the 1st degree and give lecture at end of 1st degree. The junior Warden has to be certified prior to installation by District Inspector. The Senior Warden must be able to confer 2nd degree and give lecture at the end of 2nd degree. Senior Warden must also be certified by the District Inspector. The Worshipful Master must be able to confer 3rd degree and give lecture at the end of 3rd degree. The Worshipful Master must also be certified by the District Inspector. By the time an officer makes it to WM in California they are very proficient. If any officer SD, JW, SW or WM does not certify and the lodge has no one to take one of these offices the District Inspector can pull their charter. The lodge in Healdsburg, California lost their charter for 6 months. This is by far the best program for proficient officers. There is the easy way out in California and learn a little or learn it all. This program works very well in California. California cheapened the work and still has better proficient officers than any place I have visited. This program works!!!
     
  2. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I'd support that in a heartbeat! Is it possible that we're focusing too much on Q&A's and not enough of Masonic education or leadership? Now before you fall out of your seat, remember this:

    "The examination of a candidate for proficiency in the previous degree was FIRST introduced in 1850 in Louisiana."

    Did George Washington sit around and memorize Q&A's? No. What about Sam Houston or Stephen F. Austin? No.

    Fantastic topic my Brother!
     
  3. mark!

    mark! Guest

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    I agree Brother Blake. I believe that the lodges get so bogged down with Q & A sessions for degrees that at times the actual work and reason is forgot. I'm not saying it cannot and does not need to be learned, it's essential to learning traditional masonry and for me, was very interesting. But, I do believe, as California has obviously discovered, there are much more easier and more efficient ways about doing things.
     
  4. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    huh?

    that system works well there, and i encourage them to keep using it. here, we have (like you said) around 150 years of doing it this way. there's nothing wrong with either system that I see right off.
     
  5. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Based on the amount of whining and griping that flows out of lodges over the requirement that a Master be proficient in opening and closing his lodge, I am uncertain that system could ever gain acceptance.

    Also, Tripzxx, I am curious to know where you get the 2.4 billion number.
     
  6. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I'm perfectly fine with our Q&A as it is personally. It imparts a lot of knowledge onto the candidate, and personally I really enjoyed the whole thing. Did it seem like it would never get done at points? Yeah, but that's what made it all the more satisfying when it was finished. And now I have an good foundational knowledge upon which to build my future moral and masonic edifice.

    I've learned this knowledge better than any other knowledge in my past, be it school or otherwise. If anything, having gone through it I'm all the more convinced now how important the memory work is.

    It seemed like a burden as an EA, but it is certainly a blessing as a MM.
     
  7. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    I don't think it would ever be accepted here in Texas in fact there are probably some strict ritualist here who think brothers from California aren't real masons since they did not have to learn all the Q&As (in honor of...!) LOL
     
  8. RichardRLJ

    RichardRLJ Premium Member

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    What? You mean George and Sam and Stephen might not have been real Masons? LOL!!
     
  9. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    excellent, excellent, excellent use of inside jokes.
     
  10. ShadyGrove821

    ShadyGrove821 Registered User

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    I don't believe that using a cipher book nor shortening the proficiency "cheapens" Masonry. Rote memorization of questions and answers is not Masonic education.
     
  11. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    I agree 100%
     
  12. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    what kills me about our q&a is %90 of masons cant awnser 10 questions. Most lodges have the same guys that have to teach all the q&a to their candidates(which can cause burn out). if this is all so important why cant more people help teach or even awnser one question from the trial and lecture. i think the way california is doing things is great. it is building leadership in their officers for one and holding the entire lineup accountable for something. what do you prefer to have? a lodge with proficient candidates or a lodge with proficient officers?
     
  13. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I don't think having both proficient is too much to ask, honestly. I know I for one enjoy learning and practicing Masonic work.
     
  14. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    One has to start somewhere in regards to Masonic Education, leadership training, ritual, etc and imo the catechisms are a excellent place to start.
     
  15. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    no doubt brother, i have had my a cert for 4 years now. but the fact is in many lodges it isnt happening. i dont know the awnser. i get frustrated(or jealous)when i go to the grand lodge of california website and see how vibrant they are. i feel like things are on the upswing here in texas but not like they can be. i think the thing im most tired of hearing is "this is this is how we have been doing it for 150 years". i attended a now demised church when i was a kid that had the same thought.
     
  16. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    My home church where I grew up has been unwilling to change anything for the last 20 years and is now dying for it. I totally understand.

    I think what's important is truly examining the problems we're having and making prudent choices. We have to avoid knee jerk reactions. What purpose would it serve to make a given change? Would it truly address the problems before us?

    In the case of shortening the catechisms, I don't know that I see the overall benefit. I do see, however, that had I not learned my memory work, there is much I would never have been introduced to in Masonry.

    If the EA work is truly enough to turn people off of Freemasonry, I question whether or not they should be in it, especially for us younger guys. Yeah, it takes time and hard work, but so does everything in life worth doing.

    No, catechisms aren't the soul of Masonic education, but they are the cornerstone upon which we build our future moral and Masonic edifice. :)
     
  17. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    With respect, WB, I would disagree. The mastery of the "work" of each degree is but one of the first few tasks set before us. Likewise, the instructors who work with the candidate/Brother as he develops his proficiency are developing and refining skills as well. The act of committing something to memory, as learned mouth to ear is a transformative experience. At least it should be. It is something that we overlook at peril to the Craft. Again, however, it is but a small part of what the Craft has to teach us, none of which deserves to be dismissed for reasons of "expedience".
     
  18. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    that last sentence is very good.
     
  19. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I certainly agree and I will add that many Masons know the words, while the meanings allude them. Almost every single time I hear a lecture, something pops out to my that I had never thought of before, even though the words were quite famililar. I think it would be great if we did something along the lines of CA, with an indepth set of lessons, or discussions (even better) over the work and memorization of a few elements.

    I hate getting into a conversation with a fellow (that would be an excellent brother among us, but because of his circumstances is quite busy) and having to tell them that they need make sure that they can dedicate a good amount of time to learning the work before petitioning. A perfect example is a friend of mine that was initiated a while back (over a year), who is an assistant principal, youth pastor at his Church and a parent. Additionally, he is working on his docorate in education. Because of his schedule he was unable to master the work in one year. Fortunately, he now has located a Brother at his school who is helping him on a daily basis.
     
  20. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Truthfully, it doesn't take an inordinate amount of time to learn the catechisms. If a man doesn't have the time it takes learn his catechisms he probably is too busy ever be active in the lodge anyway.
    Just my opinion.
     

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