Incoming GM will not grant dispensation for more than 5

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Brother_Steve, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We have 13 entered apprentices. It looks like we're doing a lot of degrees to wrap up the year!
     
  2. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    In 1946, my lodge had 50 stated and special communications to keep up with the degree work.
     
  3. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    We had 33 or 34 lodge openings last year for stated meetings and degree work and conferred more than 30 degrees (I can't remember the exact number).
     
  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    More than 5 what?
     
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  5. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I would imagine candidates at a time for a degree.

    Which I don't think is a bad idea.
     
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  6. masson

    masson Registered User

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    We've had an emergent meeting atleast once a month since we started this year. With as many as 3 candidates... I little excessive in my opinion. (Takes away from the ceremony)
     
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  7. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for clarifying for me.

    At a time when ODCs are a thing in some parts of the country, I'm glad to see GL's moving in the opposite direction.

    So it would be better to rush them through?
     
  8. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I agree that i dont like the multiple candidate thing. I've never seen it nor do i personally know anyone that had gone through a degree that way i just know from my SR experience that i took more away from the ones i was the candidate
     
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  9. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Different jurisdictions have different rules. The rules aren't always sensible because they've evolved over a very long time.

    In Illinois a lodge has to open on a specific degree in any one day without dispensation. Up to 3 candidates can be at the altar at a time - My favorite position is spare deacon escorting the 2nd or 3rd candidate around whispering meaning to him. Up to 7 candidates in one evening. Though the obligation section of the 3rd can be done in parallel the 2nd section is individual. In effect Illinois lodges do 3rds individually. For about a decade no GM has granted dispensation to do all 3 degrees in the same meeting but all recent GMs have encouraged combined 2nd and 3rd classes at the district level to clear out the pipeline. The parts of the whole don't match. It was a long time ago the last time many lodges had the problem of more candidates than weeks so the rules are mixed from different generations.

    Running a small number of candidates through in parallel at the same time gets a sense of participation and team among the parallel candidates. In Illinois often candidates who got their 1st in parallel ask for their 2nd in parallel together.

    Parallel candidates are not a class. Parallel candidates work according to the candidates. The degrees are about the candidates - Hard to internalize.

    So not the same as a class system. Classes work also but face more opposition. Most of us who have been around a long time are gratified that new guys usually want single or parallel candidate degrees not classes. But I've seen guys fail to show up for their individual 2nds then show up at their class. Then end up active in lodge. I don't have to understand it. I just have internalize that the degrees are about the candidates not about me and different new guys want it different ways.
     
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  10. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We have 13 EA's. Of which some cannot make the degree so in reality we would have had two FC degrees and one would need dispensation for 6 instead of the max of 5.

    I am not the master of the lodge. I am a steward way down on the totem poll. My post was just to highlight what the GM did and how lodges in the state of NJ will have to adjust. Not to say I'm upset that we cannot ram everyone through all at once.

    In fact, our incoming GM and those in the line under him are stressing education and possibly returning to the examinations as they existed before they were gutted in the mid 2000's. Something I'm glad to see as I've been studying them to commit them to memory since being raised in 2013.
     
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  11. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    What is the difference between parallel candidates and classes?
     
  12. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    Parallel candidates all go through the degree together. Classes have one exemplar candidate and all the others just watch.
     
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  13. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    In Tennessee, only one candidate is permitted at a time for first sections. If you have more than one on a given night, you do all the first sections individually, then bring them in as a group for the second sections in the EA and FC. For MM, if you have more than one on a given night, you do the first section individually followed by a short form of the second section until you get to the last candidate, then he gets the full second section.
     
  14. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    one day class is where you watch the degrees from a sideline.

    parallel (I never heard it spoken of that way here) I'm assuming means you circumambulate as a group.

    I was initiated with two others. Being nervous and blindfolded I never knew they were there until it came to the obligation. By that time you are overwhelmed.

    As it has been my personal experience, you get more out of watching the degree than being in it. Being in it is an experience in and of itself but watching it is a different animal. It's hard for me to put the emotions into words. I'm not trying to belittle any one way of doing it versus another.
     
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  15. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    In Arkansas, only one candidate at a time may go through the first section (conferral) of any degree, or the 2nd section of the Masters degree. You may present the second & third section of the EA, the second section of the FC, and the third section of the Masters to a group or class en mass.
     
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  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    parallel (I never heard it spoken of that way here) I'm assuming means you circumambulate as a group.[/QUOTE]

    And obligate at the altar at the same time.

    You weren't all together in the preparation room before entering? It's a significant bonding moment among the parallel candidates and the several deacons who will walk them around.

    More of the content watching later times, but one of the last pieces of advice I was given was to pay close attention to the words because I would later have to remember most of them. By the next day I was surprised at how much I still knew and at how much I had no idea what exactly had happened.
     
  17. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Thirteen candidates. A maximum of 5 at a meeting in your jurisdiction. That's 3 meetings of degrees and room for some expansion in case as many as 2 of them miss their first attempts. If your lodge doesn't do degrees at stated meetings* that fills up your calendar for a month. Or spread over 2 months. It's not a bad plan to spread them out like that. They will need to be spread out even further for their later degrees.

    *Because of the time involved I have seen very few lodges conduct any degree after a stated meeting, and only first degrees. At least one of my lodges has not done so in living memory.
     
  18. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    Yes we're in the prep room together.
     
  19. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

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    I have mixed feelings about this issue. A Lodge that has 5 or 13 candidates is very fortunate and doing something right. I'll agree that individual initiation is best. But reality is, if you have several extra meetings a month many members may not be able to attend. My lodge has members who come from 50 to 60 miles away. (I'm about 40) The burden on family, time and even gas cost is a limiting factor. I favor some type of group initiation and feel we can teach good Masonry after the fact.
     
  20. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I just noticed you're from Mountain Home AR? My grandparents used to live there in the 90's. Very nice countryside.

    You and I have two very different perspectives on this matter! I couldn't imagine keeping the West gate closely tiled and still having so many candidates at the same time.
     

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