What not to say...

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by R4M1R0, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. R4M1R0

    R4M1R0 Registered User

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    I know the rituals are for members only but, can we talk about the symbols and their meanings; such as the pillars, the tools, the beehive, and such?

    I`m still fairly new to masonry and currently out of the country with the military, so I cannot ask my lodge brethren.

    Thank you my brethrens,

    Ramiro

    Freemason Connect HD
     
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

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    Here is the simplified "Rule of Thumb"...

    If it is written in plain English and publicly published by your respective Grand Lodge Jurisdiction, you are probably okay in publicly discussing it. This depends greatly on your own jurisdictional boundaries.

    ANYTHING taught or learned in the traditional Masonic manner (mouth to ear) is VERBOTEN to be publicly discussed!


    As far as the Masons of Texas site is concerned, there will be No Esoteric Discussion Period!! This includes everything taught by the traditional Masonic manner as well as that conducted inside the safety and security of a properly Tiled Lodge room.



    I hope this answers your questions.
     
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  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    This sets up an interesting condundrum. Many jurisdictions print out their entire ritual minus a few important words. In those jurisdictions those are the only secrets. In other jurisdictions the amount that's secret is far greater. It's hard to know and very easy to over-estimate how much is secret. This leads us to be very open about certain topics and then all of a sudden fall silent when certain innocent questions are asked. it's not just confusing to candidates it's also confusing to our own members. I suggest that in the end this type of confusion works as intended. We're a society with secrets and when those are approached we fall silent. That it's confusing is a part of the package.
     
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  4. Levelhead

    Levelhead Premium Member

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    No matter what. Tokens, Signs, Passwords, & Obligations are ALWAYS secret.
     
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  5. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Hmm. I've publicly described the obligations on any number of occasions. In many areas of the US, Masters and Grand Masters take their obligations in public. In England only PMs can be present at the enthronement of the WM.
     
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  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    My Brother, I think you may be confusing the charge given to WMs & GMs during their installation ceremonies with the obligation given to a candidate in each of the Degrees. Installations can be done in open meetings while Degrees can only be conferred in tiled Lodges.
     
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  7. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Nope, no confusion here. Issue was not the a discussion of a degree, but the statement "obligations are always secret, " which is clearly not the case. Further, I am aware of degrees not being conferred in a tyled lodge. Did one myself. It is usually perilous to state something always occurs across the universe of a Freemasonry.

    Yes, many jurisdictions have a charge (or address) to the master, but this references his obligation, i.e., "You will now take your official obligation." That is why in some jurisdictions the Master's obligation is not only taken in a tiled lodge, but only in front of those who have previously assumed the throne of Solomon. Somewhat obversely, I am unaware of GM obs. only being given with other GMs, even though in a tyled lodge.

    You are correct that the master's obligation is not a degree.
     
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  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Now I am the one who is confused. In our jurisdiction, the word "obligation" specifically refers only to that given to a candidate within a degree conferral. That which is given upon the installation of WMs & GMs is referred to as the "ancient charges & regulations" to which they must signify their assent. The WM and Wardens further receive what is referred to as "the charge" before being installed into their stations. Nowhere in our ritual is either of these referred to as an "obligation".

    I am further confused by your assertion that a degree may be and has been conferred without a tiled Lodge- could you please elaborate?
     
  9. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Yah I'm puzzled too. A degree conferral outside of a tyled lodge?


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  10. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    In two of my jurisdictions the installation of WM and GM include an oath of office that is referred to as an obligation within the wording of the installation ceremony. There is also a charge given to the officer being installed. Nonetheless no one ever seems to be confused that all usage of the word obligation outside of the two types of installation ceremony always refer to the obligations in the degrees. When I read it I figured it was discussion of variations jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
     
  11. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I direct your attention to app. page 80 of the monitor wherein the GM elect kneels for the benefit of prayer and to take his official obligation.

    Acacia Lodge 17, F&AM of Utah.2001. I do not recollect the hospital. The brother was terminally ill. In Utah only an MM may have a Masonic funeral (a whole other discussion). Dispensation was received to confer a degree in his hospital room.
     
  12. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Which jurisdiction does not?
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A. M.

    I'm still questioning your assertion that a degree may be and has been conferred without a tiled Lodge- please explain.
     
  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    1. See http://www.grandlodgeoftexas.org/texas_mason/2013/2013-winter.pdf. What is the GM doing while kneeling there?

    2. See my post two before yours.
     
  15. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    You will find that the room was tiled during the "making a Mason at sight" process. If there was a GM who authorized it otherwise that brother needs to go back to remedial Masonry zero point one class.

    GLofTX. During the installation the WM stands and nods in assent to the charges of a lodge master. It's not referred to by the word obligation on this jurisdiction as it is in many jurisdictions. I haven't been to GL here yet but the wording tends to be similar WM versus GM.
     
  16. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    Looks to me as the tools are NOT fully engaged which would indicate a refreshment, or public. Ergo, the "ancient charges & regulations", as indicated by Brother Lins, above. Regardless of how, where, or when, no degree is conferred or obligation administered within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas A. F. & A. M. unless that facility is duly tiled. That is to say, if said action has been attempted then GLoT needs to have a discussion.
     
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  17. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Well, confirmation that there are many variations and it is dangerous to say we always do one thing or the other as Masons
     
  18. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    No, I didn't tile the room when I conferred the degree and a GM in Utah does not have the power to make a GM at sight.
     
  19. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Err, that should "Mason at sight", though the statement made is accurate as well. :)
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    And such is legal in your jurisdiction?
     
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