Worshipful Master

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Blake Bowden, Dec 2, 2008.

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Should Worshipful Masters hold a Certificate?

  1. Yes

    47 vote(s)
    56.0%
  2. No

    25 vote(s)
    29.8%
  3. Unsure

    12 vote(s)
    14.3%
  1. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    NO ONE brother has the wisdom to do what is right for every lodge, BUT that is why the Grand Lodge is made up of thousands of brothers, just like you and me. We are all supposed to take a look at our brothers in the rural areas and the lodges in the metropolitan areas, and the lodges in-between. After we take a look , we are supposed to deliberate and try and come up with a system that is good for all of us.
    I have traveled miles to install several brothers in the rural areas, and everyone I have installed could open and close all of the lodges.
    As for the Lodge of Sorrow, I have conducted well over 200 Masonic funerals in the last 30 years sadly enough, and it certainly is nice in the busy world I live and work in , to just show up at a grave site and conduct a funeral, without having to go to the lodge, open it, and then go back and close it once the service is concluded. The Lodge of Sorrow has been around since around 1981 or 82, and I for one love the system. What is wrong with making changes that are not derogatory to our fraternity and are in fact more conducive to making it possible for more brothers to be present.
    On the opening of EA and FC lodges without opening a Masters Lodge, when the proposal first went to the Grand Lodge floor, I was not a proponent, but except for a couple of cases where a lodge or two are getting rusty at calling from labor to refreshment and back, I have not seen any other adverse effects.
     
  2. jwardl

    jwardl Registered User

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    This will always be a split issue, as the lodge means different things to different people.

    Some brothers are attracted to the esoteric aspects, the introspective exams, the deeper meanings of the ancient mysteries -- while for others, it is primarily about the fraternity, the brotherhood... and for some, it's basically a boys' club -- a place to get away from work, the family, responsibilities... and kick back for awhile.

    IMHO, however, the esoteric aspects are what make us different from other fraternities, and we cannot afford to become too lax on this aspect. Without proficiency requirements, the work will, in time, fade away. How sad it is for lodges to exist in which no officers are proficient (advanced age is no excuse -- many seniors remain sharp), and the only way to properly hold lodge or even put on a degree is to seek outside help.

    To that end, every worshipful master should hold, at a bare minimum, a "C" certificate -- and preferably an "A." Yes, this alone doesn't make a brother a good choice for WM. As has been mentioned, talents, time, capabilities, etc. should be heavily considered... but the one who leads the lodge should, above all others, be one to whom others can depend on to be a source of knowledge about our ceremonies.

    As for those lodges currently comprised of older brothers who aren't proficient and aren't interested in learning (don't tell me they CAN'T), no... don't close them down. But rules could be enacted that require newly-initiated brothers, before being seated in the east, to hold a certificate. Unfair? Not at all.
     
  3. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I would think it would be a benefit to the WM to hold at least a C. He is already required to be certified in opening and closing all 4 lodges to be WM. Of course that qualification has loosened a bit. But he should be able to do the questions and answers too.

    Personally, I would love to see all the officers be required to do their parts in degrees. If your lodge places you in a chair, then that should be part of your duties in that chair IMO.
     
  4. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    If one can open and close all 4 lodges and answer questions from new members about the EA, FC & MMs trials, I don't think you need a certificate to be an officer. But if you know all of this why wouldn't you get a certificate.

    Remember that our newest members look up to the key officers as THE EXAMPLES of the perfect masons. When we cant open and close the lodge or answer their questions we destroy their image of masonry before the understand enough to travel independently.

    I believe we owe it to our newest brothers to be proficient. If you do not want to dedicate the time to become proficient, support the lodge with labors other than that of an officer.
     
  5. jwardl

    jwardl Registered User

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    Well said, brother.
     
  6. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree on the recommended
     
  7. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    What is tested in a certification process? How are the grades determined?
     
  8. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    In Texas the C certificate requires the questions and answers from all three degrees, the Tilers Oath, and opening and closing of all lodges. The B certificate adds all degree work except the lectures. The A certificate adds the 3 lectures.

    The exams are verbal and given by a member of the grand lodge committee on work. One must be reasonably proficient to pass.

    In Texas the WM is supposed to be proficient in opening and closing the lodges. All masons are supposed to know the questions and answers from the trial lectures and the tilers oath. I don't understand why officers are not required to have a C certificate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  9. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Ah, interesting. That is very much memo-work for an A, I believe. I don't know the US degrees, but if they are similar to the english Emulation work, it is very much text. I agree, that at least a C certificate sounds reasonable, maybe with special dispensation for lodges in dire situations.
     
  10. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Agreed.
     
  11. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    That's a very sound argument. The skills are mutual exclusive. Of course, it would be a nice package for any master.
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I have to disagree here. To begin with, any Brother who was able to learn the Q&A's should be capable of learning the opening & closing ritual- it's not nearly as extensive. Secondly, a Brother who will not learn to perform the duties of his office, such as opening & closing his Lodge in a proficient manner is not, IMHO, demonstrating leadership. Can a Brother handle the administrative functions of the office of WM without being competent in the ritual? Sure. Does that make him a "leader"? Absolutely not.
     
  13. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    I was a pretty good basketball player in high school. But my best footwork was serving a "place" under a master who never opened or closed the same way ... in 22 chances. It sure kept you on your toes. But I have also served under two masters who, for whatever reason, knew their work and put degrees on well but didn't possess certifications. One was a very good leader and the other so-so. I understand and agree with your premise. It would show more leadership to hold a certificate.
     
  14. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    My opinion is by the time a brother becomes Worshipful Master he should be proficient enough in the work to obtain a certificate anyhow. I don't think it should be required...but assuming a lodge is electing the most capable brother that's eligible I would hope that means the WM elect would be capable of getting a C certificate at least.

    Amen, there's far, far, more to it than just that...a fact with is often overlooked I think. Still, I'm not sure it matters how sharp your leadership skills are if you can't even open and close the lodge proficiently. I think if it's someones goal to become WM then they at least owe it to themselves and their lodge to become familiar with the ritual. I also think it's fair to say that you don't have to be perfect at it, we're only human, but I don't think they are looking for perfection when it's time to certify either.
     
  15. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Since when does being able to open and close a lodge make you a ritualist? Memorization is learning. If you can't learn, then there's something wrong with you.
     
  16. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    We just had an 80 year old learn the fellowcraft lecture and give it. You can do it at any age.
     
  17. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Still though. That's impressive Brother Beathard. Eighty years old, WOW!
     
  18. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    After the degree, on the way down the stairs, he said that should put an end to those 60 year olds saying they're too old to memorize the work. I just had to smile.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    We have a Brother who, at the age of 82, earned his first "A" certificate. He got his 65 Year pin last year.
     
  20. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    So mote it be!
     

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