Three Steps to Learning - EA , FC , MM

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by jonesvilletexas, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

    Most of the Craft recognize that there are three degrees to being a Freemason, but the journey is much deeper than just standing proficiencies The progression from Entered Apprentice to Fellowcraft to Master should be understood as a lifetime effort, rather than rote renditions. Each level has obligations, lessons, and challenges to understand ourselves and our Fraternity.

    An apprentice is first, and foremost. a learner , bound by an agreement to serve in learning a craft, generally over a period of years (in the past). He is "entered" simply means that he is "registered" to serve and that others have gone this way before him. Likewise the teacher , or "Master", is bound by a commitment to instruct the apprentice, so there is a bond between the two, as there should be in our Fraternity. The Master is to prepare the apprentice for higher and fuller instruction, while increasing his skill and understanding. Such is the youthful period of a Mason.

    It should be noted that before 1725, only Grand Lodges could confer the Fellowcraft and Masters degrees and that the Entered Apprentices were the majority of Lodge membership. Only when local Lodges were granted permission to confer FC and MM degrees was there a shift in the make up of Lodge membership. Before that time, only the FC and MM were considered to the "Craft".

    The Fellowcraft or "fellow of the craft" is a workman whose has attained manhood. He is acquiring knowledge, developing his reasoning, and improving in his intellectual powers so that he can take a place in working and laboring to improve himself. His objective to build his Temple through his actions and effort. As a "fellow" he is a companion to his Brothers and an equal, and serves with them on the Level. It is here that he in his second phase of development and as the Senior Warden admonishes, always "on the Level." The Fellowcraft brings the full measure of skill in planning, power, and art to the construction his "Temple." Full of energy, he has reached manhood.

    Finally, he becomes a Master and is qualified to train others, notably the Apprentices and Fellowcraft, in the knowledge he has gained, but wisdom comes with age, trials, and spiritual challenge. The true Master recognizes that this is the most solemn and sacred time, for here lies his final reward, the final word from the Grand Architect, and the achievement of eternal bliss. Here is understood his search for immortality and the completion of his Temple. Here the learning of the Entered Apprentice, the work of the Fellowcraft, and the understanding of the Master is translated into what Freemasonry means and is: Three steps, three challenges, and three levels to being the Mason you should be.

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