Who confers your degrees?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by John Benefield, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. John Benefield

    John Benefield Registered User

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    We recently had discussion on who is responsible for conferring degrees. I have heard that in some lodges and Jurisdictions, the JW confers the EA, the SW confers the FC, and the WM confers the MM. During our discussion, it was stated that this is 'Masonic Myth'. I can can see where a system, as described above, would be useful in Brother's progression tot he East.

    I'm interested to know if any lodges confer degrees in this manner and if they do so out of tradition or Masonic Code.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    Here in PA the JW is responsible for setting the Trestle Board for extra meetings. There is no set way to determine who to have confer Degrees, except that they must have been "signed off" on that Degree by the District School of Instruction.

    What I did last year was first ask the WM if he wanted to do the Degree. Usually the answer was "I will do it if no one else wants to." As I enjoy Degree work, if it was an EA Degree I would put down myself. If it was a FC I would ask the SW first if he did not want to do it or for MM Degree I would see who the recommenders were and if one of them was signed off on that degree I would offer it to them. If they did not want to, I would send an email out to the several PMs and ask them. We have one PM who has conferred 105 degrees, and if no one else was interested he was always willing to do one more!

    So, no, we have no Masonic Code that dictates who confers what degree and the Tradition is, it is up to the JW and getting Officers in all the chairs for Degrees is part of his Duties and aids him in getting to know the Brethren.
     
  3. Scoops

    Scoops Registered User

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    Under UGLE rules, a lot of the degree ceremony is considered the work of an installed master, that is the incumbent WM or PM of or in the lodge. This includes the obligation and entrusting of secrets. Other parts, such as the working tools and various charges, can be given to any member of the lodge.

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  4. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    In CA the JW must be able to confer the First, the SW must be able to confer the 1st and 2nd, and the WM confers them all. The officers generally fill their usual stations and places for the degree.
    In NM the SD assembled the degree team for the 1st, JW for the 2nd, and SW for the 3rd. Whoever sat in the East for the degree had to be a sitting or Past Master.
     
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  5. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    My Cheshire lodge and Chapter break up the WM/Z work. It flows more nicely for everyone
     
  6. Scoops

    Scoops Registered User

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    Yup, we've started doing that as well. It eases the work of the master and certain pieces of ritual, especially in the third, can be really beautiful with voices coming from all round the lodge room.

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  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    In one of the three lodges that I belong to the SD puts on the EA, the JW puts on the FC and the SW puts on the MM. However, in my mother lodge different people put on the degrees. We are lucky enough to have various Brothers that can perform the rituals.
     
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  8. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    When you say "Must" what exactly do you mean? As in the officer has to be certified by the Committee on Work that they can do it, or they won't be installed / moved on? Or more of "we'd like for them to be able to do this" type of thing?
     
  9. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    It will be interesting to see what Bro. JC says.

    For reference here in PA it is MUST, as in you can not be elected to the Office if you have not been signed off by the Principal of the District School of Instruction that you are proficient in conferral of the applicable Degree. Additionally for the JW position you must also be signed off in Business of the Lodge.
     
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  10. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    It is also a MUST in CA. You must be certified by the Inspector or you don’t get Installed.
     
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  11. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    In Utah, you must be certified as proficient by the Grand Lecturer or you may not be installed as master .
     
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  12. Canadian Paul

    Canadian Paul Registered User

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    The usual practice in lodges here under both the GL of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Newfoundlandand Labrador is that the Master and his Officers (referred to in Scottish lodges as 'Office-bearers') do the parts of the Ritual specifically assigned to that Office, while other Charges are shared out among other brethren. Many Lodges will also hold a 'Past Master's Night' each year when a degree will be conferred with Past Masters of the filling all the Offices and delivering all the Charges.. Occasionally a 'team' from one Lodge may be invited to confer a degree in another Lodge. On very special occasions a degree may be preformed by a degree team consisting, at least for the Principal Offices, of Reigning Masters of nearby lodges. As even within the same jurisdiction the rituals used in each Lodge can vary in detail considerably, this latter procedure can be 'interesting'.
     
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  13. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    On Wednesday evening we had Ritual practice at my Lodge. I was thinking of this thread since we do not currently have an Elected/Installed Junior Warden, as last year's Senior Deacon failed his attempt at being signed off for the EA degree and thus was not eligible to stand for election. We have 3 FC Degrees coming up next month so, absent a JW we were working together to put together the Trestle Board. It worked out that I will confer one of the degrees, Be SW for the second and Guide for the third. 2 PMs will confer the other 2 Degrees. As last year was winding down I was hoping that I would be done putting together Trestle Boards, but alas...
     
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  14. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    Interesting to read. In Texas the only requirement for ritual is that the officers have to be found proficient by the members of the lodge, in opening and closing the four lodges. So to a large extent that's a formality that a lodge can take more or less seriously.
    We just had the Grand Lodge session over the weekend, and a vote suggesting that the three principals officers had to hold an esoteric certificate failed with an overwhelming majority.
     
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  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    In my lodge these and being proficient in conducting the EA, FC and MM degrees.
     
  16. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    The 4 Lodges?


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  17. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    EA, FC, MM, & the Lodge of Sorrow.
     
  18. Bro. Landry

    Bro. Landry Registered User

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    We do it stated in the question just out of tradition as a way of letting officers get a feel for the East


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  19. The Traveling Man

    The Traveling Man Registered User

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    There's no official rule in my Lodge, and I'm not sure what the norm was prior to 2016. I was told of the JW-EA, SW-FC, WM-MM tradition, and last year I conferred the FC Degree as SW. This year, as WM, I am gearing up for my 1st EA degree in 8 days. I decided to confer it myself, instead of passing it to my JW, because I haven't conferred an EA Degree yet. I will ask my SW (who was WM last year) to confer the FC Degree, since I've already conferred the degree. . After I have conferred all 3 degrees myself I plan to reestablish the tradition of the 3 Senior Officers conferring the degrees.

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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  20. Mark Stockdale

    Mark Stockdale Premium Member

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    yes, this is how we do it. Our RWM is the mainstay of all 3 degrees, with various set pieces being done by other brethren. Whilst I am new to the JD role, I am learning the EA degree, as it is my duty to conduct the candidate throughout the degree. I am also learning the working tools of the MM degree and will take this over once I feel comfortable with my EA work.
    Our SW has recently taken part in a degree where the entire team of office bearers were made up of the SW's from different lodges around the province, which is a very interesting thing to see, as our rituals can be very different, and I have seen a reigning masters degree team doing the same. My own Mother Lodge has been invited to carry out a degree of our choosing at another Lodge during the closed season, and I am looking forward to that experience as well.
     

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