On Being Tried

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Darren Raleigh, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Darren Raleigh

    Darren Raleigh Registered User

    Worshipful Brothers,

    I am hoping to do quite a bit of travelling in 2019 and visiting many Lodges, among all the other things I plan to do when I go walkabout.

    As such, I am hoping/expecting to be tried. Upon my return to Masonry, and to a different Lodge than the one in which I was raised, after a hiatus, the WM asked me "Are you a Mason?" and I rattled off the answering phrase from the EA exam which we all know. He asked me one or two more things, each no more difficult than that, and said that he was satisfied I am a Master Mason.

    But when I go travelling I really expect to be required to do more than that. I rather hope so, anyway. And so I'm asking you: what would I expect a proper trial to be? Just running through the Master Mason Proficiency Examination? Or the exams of all three degrees of the Symbolic Lodge?

  2. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    In Texas you have something that is called the Tyler's Oath, which is supposed to be the "answer" you give to show that you're a Mason. But to be honest I very rarely see it used.

    In the Nordic countries it's all about your paperwork and traveling certificates. Think in most cases if you have the paperwork in order, there isn't as much trying as there used to be.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  3. Darren Raleigh

    Darren Raleigh Registered User

    Aw, really? That's disappointing. Paperwork? I've got plenty of that in the rest of my life. I was hoping for the magic of discovering that someone else knows the secret that proves him my brother, and proves me to him.

    Would it have been as cool if Brother Kipling and Brother Carnehan had just showed dues cards to each other?
  4. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

    I think the reason is that the passwords etc. might differ to much.
    I know the details of examining brother from one GL that dont use the rite we do as well as how to visit and its kind of diffrent...
  5. jgil1970

    jgil1970 Registered User

    When I was Senior Deacon in my Lodge, I used the Tyler’s Oath whenever a visitor could not be vouched for by someone else in the Lodge. Sadly, most didn’t even know that it existed.
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  6. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    I agree. I think the examination probably disappeared because many brethren weren't good at the ritual and it ended up being an embarrassing session rather than a cool one. I know 3-4 years ago the GM in Texas made a point of making sure that every lodge knew that as long as a man had a dues card and an ID he was able to visit your lodge.
    Darren Raleigh likes this.
  7. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    In many US jurisdictions, you will not gain admission without paperwork.

    I’ve been tried by a small FL lodge in all three degrees. Often, a dues card (a demit in your case), and the Tyler’s oath will suffice.
  8. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    When I have to test an unknown brother I look at his documentation, then, taking him to a quiet place, I start: you will advance to me as an Entered Apprentice. He should be able to do that without the slightest hesitation. Then I test him for the sign, grip and word of an EA, and if he has a MM certificate, I accept him as a true brother.

    If I had any doubts I would test him as a MM with the FPoF.
  9. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    The most I've ever been examined is a part of the Master Mason proficiency centered around the moment of raising. Since details differ by jurisdiction that can't always work across jurisdictions.

    I have rarely been asked to give the tiler's oath. When I am I rush to ask if I can give the version I memorized as most tilers expect to feed it to visitors "repeat after me" style.

    I haven't even always been asked for my dues card. Once after asking if they has a Stated meeting that night I pulled out my PM apron and asked if they would like me to deliver one of my Masonic education talks. Into the lodge room I went.
  10. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

    In PA it starts with a valid dues card, or documentation from your GL.

    Then you are taken to the examining room and must answer some questions and show that you know how to deliver the adopted word of a Master Mason, and you also swear an Oath and Obligation.

    The Oath is read by the Chairman of the Examining Committee and repeated by the brother seeking admission. As a matter of course PA Master Masons are not taught nor do they memorize the Oath of Examination, only those who wish to be able to Chair and Examining Committee.
  11. Darren Raleigh

    Darren Raleigh Registered User

    Thank you, Brothers.
    Of course I will never show up without the paperwork and without calling ahead to any Lodge I'd like to visit.
    So, it seems in descending order I should have the Tyler's Oath - I already have my state's version of it memorized; it's in our state Monitor - then the Master Mason Proficiency, then the other two, then everything else. I obviously once had all three Proficiencies memorized, so I can do it again.
    While rescue flying is what pays the mortgage, I have in the past been a Shakespearean actor and a professional storyteller; and now my goal is to eventually memorize the entire King Solomon and His Followers. People have done far tougher things.
    Thanks again.
  12. goomba

    goomba Neo-Antient Site Benefactor

    Some grand lodges don't have the Tyler's Oath.
  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Same here in Kentucky.
    A current dues card is essential here.
  14. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

    The first thing you would be asked for here is a current dues card.
    After that, what you are likely to be asked varies from lodge to lodge, person to person. I generally ask details about the visitor's Masonic experience instead of ritual. Not everyone is a ritualist.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Excellent point. There are two things that you would be asked in almost all lodges in Kentucky. Any other questions would simply be at the whim of the Brother asking the questions.
    Companion Joe likes this.
  16. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    My version or at least the version I was told about the reason for the tyler's oath...

    It is something to be said from memory or read AFTER the examination has been completed. It's one thing to pass an examination, it's another thing to lie your way into lodge. The Tyler's Oath is a way of stating, "everything I just told you is true so help me G*d."

    - We ask visitors for their dues card. That gets compared to the book of lodges.
    - We have the visitor arrange the S&C for each degree as well as the grip and word.
    - We ask the visitor for the True Word and how they give it.

    After that, we may or may not use the Tyler's Oath. If they are from NJ, we will ask them to do it because we use it in our ritual work for MM proficiency.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Sounds like a good examination.
  18. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    You mean the substitute?
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  19. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

    What you will encounter depends on the practice of different jurisdictions and lodges. Technically, one must only satisfy the examiners that you are an MM. But, at others the examiners get carried away and demand the visitor be proficient in the oaths and much more, to the point of silliness.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  20. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    But couldn't the true word be merely a substitute for the substitute? :D
    MarkR likes this.

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