Is the Commandery too difficult for most Masons?

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by David Melear, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    531
    157
    43
    As others have echoed I don't think the ritual is to difficult if people have a desire to learn it. Instead of asking if the Commandery is to difficult, I'd almost pose the question if it is still relevant to the younger generation? I believe that very few younger men join Masonry to march, and I also believe that very few thinks that the uniform of a knight should look like a naval uniform and chapeau.
    Chris Hodapp had a good article a while ago about Making True Knights these days, and I believe he hit the nail on the head.

    If younger Masons would find the content, experience and lessons relevant and worth their time they would join the organization.
     
  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    4,206
    1,499
    183
    Yes, this was a good article.
     
  3. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    2,683
    1,678
    133
  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    1,042
    427
    83
    I'm both a KT and a Millenial. Commandry needs to go through some serious self-evaluation if they want to become relevant again:

    - Get rid of the Civil War naval outfits. I don't think most men are opposed to some type of outfit but these look silly. Cap and mantles please, or, better yet, tuxedos with black aprons.

    - KT suffers from the same problem that other YR bodies share, which is too many degrees and not enough people to help confer them. Make the only degree required to be a KT the OOTT. Yes, this means slimming down the required degrees. I'm sorry.

    - I used to be very active in YR and I struggled very hard to improve my Chapter and Council and encourage more participation until something happened, I don't remember what, that made me decide that YR bodies really don't serve a purpose. That is to say that they are founded on the same principals as Blue Lodges, which means that they are pretty redundant. It's easy to see why they were popular when we had much higher membership numbers and (I assume) larger lodges in the city (I'm rural) because it gives men opportunities to be in leadership positions when their Blue Lodge line is full.
    TL: DR version- YR bodies are redundant.

    I have no doubts that this will be an unpopular opinion but it's mine anyhow. :)
     
    goomba likes this.
  5. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    798
    522
    113
    Yep, and yep.
     
    daponte713 likes this.
  6. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    531
    157
    43
    Agree with your general statements, but wanted to hit on this one specifically. I think that one of the draws for the YR in the past has been all the invitational bodies. It has made people work hard to get an invite and feel part of something special. However I'm not sure the younger generation feels the same way. I believe they still have the draw of the exclusivity, but maybe not the patience to wait years to get the invite. So that'll make them reject the bodies rather than work to achieve them.

    I might be wrong and just reaching for things here, but when I talk to the younger guys there is few of them that immediately seem to be drawn to YR and all their associated honors.
     
  7. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    2,683
    1,678
    133
    I'm not a millennial, I respect knowledge and hard work. I respect achievement, above all I respect character, especially when combined with compassion and intelligence in their many forms. York Rite does not exist here, but we have similar orders, but my point is holding a title in them will not earn my respect, maneuvering for a title will earn my contempt, aspiring for a role to expand yourself will earn my respect, but again, trying to self improve will earn my strongest encouragement, respect and assistance. I think on one of the problems is millennials see through title hunters and degree chasers -who are often promoters of "higher orders" - if would want to engage them it must be on the basis of learning and growth.
     
    Matt L likes this.
  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    4,206
    1,499
    183
    These people have earned my contempt. I have met a few. They join an organization just so that they can list this along side their name and then you never seem them again at a meeting or anywhere else within the organization.
     
    Matt L and Bloke like this.
  9. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    531
    157
    43
    Definitely. And I didn't mean to come across as if I said that all invitational bodies were like this. There are certainly some like KYCH that requires significant work to be done to earn the invite. But looking at the grander scheme of bodies in the YR I do believe a majority comes from whom you know etc. And as I understand there's also quite a lot that doesn't really do that much. Don't think that will be a recipe for success in the long run.
     
    Bloke likes this.
  10. goomba

    goomba Neo-Antient Site Benefactor

    415
    307
    113
    This just got fun.

    I'm a millennial and agree a lot of the YR stuff is redundant. Apart from the degrees the meetings are equally as blah. But because of my nature of liking to help I was very active in YR in Alabama. Since I've moved to MD the YR meetings haven't matched my work schedule so I can't be.

    But I have been lucky to be invited to a few groups. Some I accepted and some I declined. I see the invitational bodies as a place that can focus your interest and the invitation as being a way to protect the body from people diluting it. However, I know that isn't always the case. My first invitation was to the Knight Masons. I took it because I got invited and was very new to the YR. However, I feel the KM are kind of glossed over but in actuality are really great degrees.

    I enjoy the Chapter and Council (no so much the Commandery) and wish those two were knitted closer to the Lodge. I am keeping my Commandery membership right know only because it is a requirement for a body I've been invited to. Which is kind of sad when you think about it. I don't think I'd wear the KT uniform if it was given to me. To me it is just ridiculous.
     
    daponte713 and chrmc like this.
  11. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    2,427
    1,227
    133
    There are invitational bodies that have no other requirement beyond MM, some that require Royal Arch, and some that require either KT or 32nd. Some are more active than others and it all varies by location.
    I'd like to see the Chivalric Orders as a separate body, done historically "correct." I'd like to see Mark and Chapter as separate Lodges.
    Brother JJones mentioned tuxedo and apron. As much as I like that apron I'd prefer the sash and badge I was presented. Ceremonial guard (the drill) would be in period garb.
    My 2p.


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry
     
  12. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    4,206
    1,499
    183
    No
    No problem, I didn't take it this way.
    I guess I'm in the minority here. I really like participating in the Commandery KT.
     
  13. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

    788
    751
    113
    Whatever it is, I'm never for changing something to lure members who don't want to join. Either you want to join, or you don't. Don't ask to be invited to a party then demand the party change to fit your needs. If you don't want to join, don't. I've said it in other threads, but I'm ambivalent about the Commandery. I participate because it meets in my the same building as my Blue Lodge and other YR bodies. I am a life member. If I wasn't treasurer, if they didn't need me, if it was a 30-minute drive, I most likely wouldn't go. All those things are, so I do my duty.

    Uniforms: I've been on both sides of the coin. I'd rather see something knightly looking. I have the uniform, so I am not going to buy something new. Young guys don't want to look like Capt. Crunch, and those of us with gray in our beards aren't going to shell out for something else.
     
    Warrior1256, Brother JC and Zack like this.
  14. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    1,042
    427
    83
    I want to clarify my stance I stated earlier because I'm not in favor of change for the sake of change. I'm also very much against removing things from the fraternity or 'dumbing things down' to make the craft appear more appealing to anyone. Nobody has said this directly but I feel it's worth mentioning.

    I look at it more as a matter of necessity, at least from my experience here in rural Texas. Maybe things are going swell in other parts of my state or the country and that's great, but, from what I've seen, YR bodies are hurting.
     
    Warrior1256, Brother JC and goomba like this.
  15. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    798
    522
    113
    Speaking only for myself, I'm not asking anyone to change anything. The question that started the thread had to do with why men aren't joining commandry, so some of us who aren't interested in wearing a mid-19th century Navy officer uniform with ostrich plumes on the hat, and doing close-order drill as part of our Masonry said so. Just answering a question, not asking for any changes. Commandry is completely off my radar.
     
    Warrior1256 and chrmc like this.
  16. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    4,206
    1,499
    183
    Agreed.
    True, plus I like the current uniform.
    Agreed.
    We are all different and look at things differently. That's what makes the world go around.
     

Share My Freemasonry