Views on appendant bodies

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by anthonywilson, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

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    Hello Brethren,

    I wanting to know everyone's views of appendant bodies. My Lodge of a fine mix of Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine, Eastern Star members; but there is a small (very small) number of Brothers that are Blue Lodge only, and they won't shy away from telling you their views of the appendant bodies. When my Dad was raised he told to join the Commandary, but didn't when his teacher said "They only want you so they can keep their charter and fund their activities." With that in mind, Dad never join an appendant body. I was told a pretty much the same thing by a Brother, who shared his opinion on why he is Blue Lodge only. All I've heard is "time and money" when the subject o of appendant bodies come up. What are y'alls view of appendant bodies? If the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason is the highest degree, why join the other Orders? I myself want to join the local Chapter & Council, but still torn if I should or shouldn't.
     
  2. dreamer

    dreamer Registered User

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    I myself am a member of appendant bodies, but make Blue Lodge my priority even though I attend most of the meetings in the other bodies. Personally, I think these bodies take away from the Blue Lodges in attendance, work and finances. I would just like to complete the Royal Arch degree to make it complete for me. I am more in line with Observing the Craft.
     
  3. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    There are many good reasons for joining or continuing in appendant bodies. Chapter and Council are the continuation of your Blue Lodge degrees so you fill in some important blanks in "the story" begun in your first three degrees. York Rite, Scottish Rite, etc allow you to meet and mingle with brethren from several lodges and even different Masonic districts. You also find your masonic "circle" growing as you meet and socialize with more and more brothers.

    But the reasons for joining or continuing in the appendant bodies ultimately are personal decisions on the part of individual Master Masons. The reasons that are good for me may mean nothing to you. The choices you make and the path you choose becomes your unique masonic journey and it is ultimately you that needs to be satisfied that you have achieved the light you desire or found the path that takes you to further light.

    I joined Scottish Rite first and then went with the York Rite. Texas, as a Grand Lodge, practices York Masonry and the Blue Lodge degrees are the first three York degrees with Chapter being the next four, and Council the next two. I completed the York Rite, or York Masonry path by taking the Orders of the Commandery. To me, and again this is personal, having taken the Chapter and Council degrees helped me understand the Blue Lodge degrees and take them to heart. When I sit in on the 1st three degrees, they mean much, much more to me. Now, having followed my own path, it is up to me to balance Blue Lodge, Chapter, Council, Commandery, and a couple of the invitational bodies.

    I had to join the Scottish and York Rites to see what they were all about before I was able to make an informed decision. I then made my decision on how to balance according to the esoteric work of the bodies, where I can make a difference, and where I can provide the greatest service to my brethren. If I had to quantify my participation, I'd say I particiapte 1/4 of my time to Blue Lodge, and the remaining 3/4 divided among Chapter/Council, Commandery, and invitational bodies. Again, this is an extremely personal choice that gives me the opportunities for labor that expands my masonic light and my circle of masonic brethren.

    Probably didn't answer your question, but then again, you are the only one that can say what's right for your and your masonic journey.

    -BroBill
     
  4. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

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    The Jr. Past Master of my Lodge is very active in the Easter Star with his wife (both served as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron for two different Chapters) and he is very active in the Blue Lodge. The down side of my area is that we have the York Rite bodies, Easter Star chapter, a Scottish Rite and Shrine Club; but to be active in Scottish Rite or Shrine in my area one has to travel to Ft. Worth (only 45 miles), the clubs do great work, but not as much as the Temples. I myself want to do the Capitular and Cryptic degrees because there's a festival in September and they're conferring all of the York Rite degrees, along with that I'd like to recieve the O.E.S degree, and join the Grand College of Rites. I've also heard one Brother say "don't join anything for 7 years." Some Brothers at my Lodge have issues over the fact that a Mason can recieve the degrees of the appendant bodies over the course of a weekend. Which is something that I have issues with as well. I do agree that some activity in the Blue Lodge does drop off when people join the other groups, but there are some that the equal amount of energy in the Blue Lodge and other Orders.
     
  5. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

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    I completely agree with you. That's why I waited a while before jumping into the other Orders. I've heard that the York Rite has a massive influence over Texas Masonary and I spent a good while talking with a Brother about the York Rite. I think personally, some people are/were pressured into joining appendant bodies or were given bad imfomation about them. An officer at my lodge ws asked why the newly raised Master Masons aren't being pushed to the Shrine club, and let's say that was the wrong conversation with the wrong person (didn't end well). I'm lucky because I was asked to join the Scottish Rite twice and that's about it and only gotten only two letters asking for membership for the Shrine and Scottish Rite.
     
  6. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    I have a favorable opinion of appendant bodies being a member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Eastern Star. Although I belong to several groups I am still very active in the Blue Lodge.
     
  7. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I have only done the Scottish Rite so far. I don't think it has detracted from my Blue Lodge activities. I work on the degrees when we have the reunions in the Spring and Fall so I don't see the Scottish Rite interfering with anything. Many people have an opinion about something and try to make their feelings someone else's and I don't don't think that is fair. For me since I am not a part of anything with the SR other than on a degree team or two it only takes two weekends a year. I think what it boils down to is that in the end it is your choice and only yours. Decide what is best for you and what others have decided will have no bearing.
     
  8. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    Bro. Anthony, I can certainly provide some insight on this point. During the lunch break while I was doing my Scottish Rite degrees, I was approached not once, not twice, but three times by Shriners with petitions. After the Reunion was completed, I was approached again about joining the Shrine. That "gang rush" really turned me off and came across as desperate. I remember thinking that if they're this desperate- that they can't let me finish my Scottish Rite degrees before rushing me- then that means they're having membership problems and if I join, I'll be expected to commit a lot of time and labor. It may have been a correct or incorrect impression, but you know what they say about first impressions. I've had that impression in the back of my mind for at least the last 10 years and it forms my decision on a "Shrine path".

    I freely admit that I'm a strong advocate for the York Rite, but I try not to "rush" Master Masons. I will discuss it with them and explain to them why I think completing the York degrees is important, but I always tell them to think it over and we're always here if they decide to complete their degree work. I let them know that the additional degrees will mean more to them if they are approaching from a self-driven desire rather than an externally imposed (rushed) "obligation".

    And you're correct about the "influence" of the York Rite. Texas blue lodge masonry derives from York Masonry and the first three degrees (blue lodge) are the first three York Rite degrees. The next six degrees (Chapter and Council) complete the "story" begun in the first three degrees.

    I wish you well on your decision and recommend you form your decision on what feels right for you. The organizations will always be here when you are ready, no matter what your decision. You will gain far more when you approach an organization based on true internal desire and the work will take on a truly personal value.
     
  9. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I have been very much enriched by Scottish Rite Masonry and the SRICF. I am also a member of YR, but because of their meeting night I only get to attend on rare occasions. I like the lessons, ritual and symbol of the appendant bodies and think Masonry is richer for it.

    The caveat I have to this, and I speak as a member, the Shrine in some areas of our state draws members away from the blue lodges and keeps them so busy with units, parades, dinners, etc. that we see little of them in blue lodge sometimes.

    And groups like the Jesters need to be banned.
     
  10. Tx4ever

    Tx4ever Registered User

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    What are the Jesters?
     
  11. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Invite only group within the Shrine. Some of them got themselves into some hot water for behavior more in line with a college fraternity with a low graduation rate than a group of masons.

    Personally I'd join them if asked - I agree with their motto, Mirth is King. That and I am street smart enough that theyd have to work pretty hard to get jailed with me around ;)

    Edit - by the way, no matter what your personal philosophies are (and the appendant bodies in some ways cater to different....priorities), in my opinion the lodges of research are probably the single most worthwhile to both the man and the craft.

    I think the Shrine is great though. My home lodge is actually physically within my local Temple, so the ties are strong and real.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  12. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    Jesters is an invitational group within the Shrine. I'm personally no fan of the Jesters although I know many good men who are Jesters.

    Yeah, it is quite the scandal and many anti-Masons like to rub in our face as a kind of "AH HA! GOTCHA!"
     
  13. jrmysell

    jrmysell Registered User

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    I am in the SR, YR and the Shrine. I joined all of them because my grandpa and great-grandpa (he wasn't SR) were in them, so I knew a little bit about them all before I went into the blue lodge. Probably 90-95% of the work (meetings, activities, community service, fundraisers, etc...) is blue lodge though.
     
  14. Cigarzan

    Cigarzan Premium Member

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    I joined ASSR in 2000 and since then I've demitted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  15. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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    What's ASSR?
     
  16. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I believe that is a type-o in partial, I think AASR is what Cigarzan was saying.

    Translation: Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite
     
  17. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    As you can tell by my signature block here at MoT, I am active in several appendant bodies in Masonry as well involvement in several states. Most of these are in the York Rite branch of Masonry. I am also active in the Order of the Eastern Star with my wife. All of these organizations has helped improve my learning and overall experience in the Blue Lodge. The AASR will have to wait until my tenure in the East is completed in my home lodge.

    All of that being disclosed, my primary responsibility is to that of my home lodge and always will be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  18. Cigarzan

    Cigarzan Premium Member

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    Yep!
     
  19. Ed Nelson

    Ed Nelson Registered User

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    Jesters: Royal Order of Jesters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Freemasons For Dummies: The Trouble With Jesters
     

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