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Failing the test….?
Posted: 13 March 2010 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Brings to mind one of my favorite statements from another part of my life….

“Progress…not perfection.”

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“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”
——Benjamin Franklin

Initiated EA: 06/28/2010

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Washington Lodge #61
Manchester, NH

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Posted: 13 March 2010 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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I wish to agree with the above comments. The key word here is “proficient”, not “perfection”.  When you make the committment to pursue Masonry, you take on certain obligations and responsibilities.  Just like when you take on a career, you take on responsibilities. I have seen men get nervous and frustrated, trying to learn the material, but I have never seen a man fail. Masonry is (in many ways) a self-improvement program.

When you are a Mason, you will be among friends and brothers. You will cherish the experience.

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Charles E. Martin
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Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green, KY (Grand Lodge of KY, F.&A.M.;)
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Alexandria, VA Scottish Rite Bodies, A.A.S.R. (Southern Jurisdiction, USA)

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Posted: 13 March 2010 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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What an excellent thread this is turning into. Not only for its treatment of the proficiency, but because it gives a little more insight into the nature of this great franternity. Bob H thanks for that most considerate post. The assurance that once you receive the first degree you are a Mason and so you are presenting the proficiency in front of your brothers who want only for you to succeed is very reassuring indeed. I sometimes forget that you are a Mason as soon as you receive the first degree and not when you are raised. You become a brother after the EA and that places a different perpective on all that follows form that point. Thank you for the reminder.

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Cuyahoga Falls, O.H.I.O
EA : 3/17/2010
FC : 3/24/2010
MM : 4/28/2010
Cuyahoga Falls Chapter 225
Cuyahoga Falls Council 144
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Lamh Laidir an Uchtair

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Posted: 13 March 2010 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Very very true. When one is new to the Craft, and you are going over and over the questions and answers, it can sometimes be easy to think that there is no earthly point to this. But then once you have them memorized so that you recognize the questions and remember the answers in open Lodge during a degree or opening or closing, you realize that was was really happening was that while you were demonstrating some rudimentary knowledge, you were also being taught ritual and you’ll be surprised during a degree or the opening of your Lodge that when the officers are throwing questions and answers around hte Lodge to each other, you realize you know the answers and youll find yourself mouthing things as they are being said. At that point, in my opinion, you should start to go to yoru Lodges regular officers or saturday schools where you can get up on your feet, or even take a chair of one of hte officers and thought you may stumble a little, you will get through quite a bit of ritual with little prompting.

I think an important thing to remember when we tell new Brothers that they have to memorize these things and recite them in open Lodge is what I was told: If its within our power to do so, we are not allowed to see a brother stumble and not make every effort to catch him. Its the same with teh memorization. Your proposer/mentor will prompt you as you need it and you will get through just fine. Ive yet to see anyone “fail.” THe important thing is to remember to practice practice practice. Learn the questions and the answers. That whey when you stand before the altar for your examination, if your examiner falters, and they do, you will know what he meant to say or where you are in the questions and you can pick right up and move forward.

Its really quite an exhilirating process on the night you get up there to do it and the Brethren are all pulling for you. Dont worry about looking like you dont know what you are doing. Rmember, even the Worshipful Master loses his place from time to time.

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“Freemasonry—-Making the World a Better Place, One Man at a Time.”

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Posted: 13 March 2010 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Checkered Pavement…You are instilling confidence, which is good!  Thanks!  I wish you would have added a little more detail to your profile like a name and where in the wide world of sports you hail from!  Always neat to see where people are.  Thanks again. JC

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“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”
——Benjamin Franklin

Initiated EA: 06/28/2010

FC:????


Washington Lodge #61
Manchester, NH

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Posted: 14 March 2010 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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REYoung - 10 March 2010 12:33 PM

If you have not yet received the EA degree and are worried that you have to know some part of it, don’t give it a thought. A candidate for any of the three degrees is presumed to know nothing of it. Most of the questions which may be asked will be answered for you by your escort/guide.

Exactly right…  In Virginia, you are not required to recite the catechism for EA, FC, and MM.  You are only supposed to know the dueguard, the sign, and the grip (which they teach you).  At a later date, you WILL have to learn the catchism and recite it in front of the lodge.

I am learning the EA catechism with my mentor and have almost have it 3/4 of the way through.  There’s still more to go, but I will get it.  They don’t expect me to be letter perfect and nail it 100%, because (if I remember right) all totalled the whole thing is about 1600 words!

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EA: 01/14/10
FC: 02/18/10
MM: 03/25/10

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Posted: 14 March 2010 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Wow. We have to learn, recite and give an attempt at understanding for all three. Word for word. A “the” is a “the” and a “this” is a “this”, et cetera. I was told before I ever started that “You WILL return your Masters catechism”. I didn’t realize different jurisdictions were so different. I wonder why the differentiating rules and regulations? Does it come down to just preference, or is it due to a demographic issue? (Such as an average length of travel to, and hours worked while out.)

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Posted: 14 March 2010 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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I think a good point that was brought up in this thread is that the memorization helps you to understand the ritual you experienced, as well as the form and structure of the degrees, as well as prepare you for an officer’s station.

This is something for prospective members to keep in mind:  while it might seem intimidating, challenging, or to some even pointless, it does help you to become a more knowledgable mason and an effective officer in the future.  What fun would it be to sit through a ceremony that you don’t understand any better as a member than you did as an initiate?  Do you really want to be the member that can’t answer a question when the new guy calls you?

As someone else posted, no lodge wants to see someone “fail”.  They don’t personally wish failure on anyone who wants to be a member, and don’t care to sit through a bad recitation anymore than you want to give one!

Really, your mentor should be the one responsible to make sure you are ready to meet the lodge’s standards.  This person will know whether the members will accept a recitation even if you need a few promptings, or if they expect every “the” and “furthermore” in its place.  If they are a good mentor (and no one sets out to be a bad one), they will not put you in front of the lodge until you are truly ready.

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Posted: 14 March 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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All very fasinating.  Particularly to someone in waiting, such as myself.  The beauty is this:  all that is spoken here, all that is passed as helpful hints, has in no way enlightened me to such a degree as to what I should truly expect if voted in the affirmative by my prospective lodge for membership.  I appreciate the mild suggestions and the fact the experience has not been exposed or ruined for “the new guy” in any way.  Now for me, I should listen to the lyrics of a favorite Tom Petty song…“The waaaaaaaaaiting is the harrrrrrrrdest part!”

Good day and good luck as you set out to do your bidding for the week!

JC

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“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”
——Benjamin Franklin

Initiated EA: 06/28/2010

FC:????


Washington Lodge #61
Manchester, NH

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Posted: 14 March 2010 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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NH FireFighter - 14 March 2010 02:06 PM

All very fasinating.  Particularly to someone in waiting, such as myself.  The beauty is this:  all that is spoken here, all that is passed as helpful hints, has in no way enlightened me to such a degree as to what I should truly expect if voted in the affirmative by my prospective lodge for membership.  I appreciate the mild suggestions and the fact the experience has not been exposed or ruined for “the new guy” in any way.  Now for me, I should listen to the lyrics of a favorite Tom Petty song…“The waaaaaaaaaiting is the harrrrrrrrdest part!”

Good day and good luck as you set out to do your bidding for the week!

JC

The wheels of Masonry turn slowly.

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Bro. Christopher Bigner DD ThD

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Posted: 14 March 2010 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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I recall saying to a friend during the time that I was waiting for my petitioning process to grid slowly along that Freemasonry was already teaching me her lessons and that in this case that lesson was patience. I would say also to remember that so many things can be a month or more between the time you submit your petition or complete some step in the process because the results of the steps, ie the investigation, background check, etc are given in open Lodge so that all Brethren who have never set eyes on the candidate for initiation before can get something of a sense of who they are dealing with, why he wants to become a Freemason, etc. As an example, I recall having a moment of pause about one proposed candidate when the only reason he gave for wanting to become a Mason was to increase his network of business contacts. So it can take a while. Ive heard of instances where there may be a Brother in the Lodge wants more information about a certain aspect of the petitioner’s life and so the investigation committee held off on putting the matter to a vote until they could gain that information.

One thing that I really kept in mind as the process, in my case took some time, was that if I am approved, it will really be because they know that I am “Masonic” material, if you will. On the other hand, if one is not accepted, one should not take it as a statement that the petitioner is a bad person or is unworthy. It could be so simple as the belief that the candidate just wouldnt mesh well with the rest of the Brethren. I have to say though that I have voted on numerous candidates so far and have never “black balled” anyone because I tend to break it down to the main components and requirements of becoming a Mason. If those are met as they are described to us in Masonic ritual, then I generally can say I have no reason to drop the black ball.

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Posted: 14 March 2010 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Dr. Christopher Bigner - 14 March 2010 01:13 PM

Wow. We have to learn, recite and give an attempt at understanding for all three. Word for word. A “the” is a “the” and a “this” is a “this”, et cetera. I was told before I ever started that “You WILL return your Masters catechism”. I didn’t realize different jurisdictions were so different. I wonder why the differentiating rules and regulations? Does it come down to just preference, or is it due to a demographic issue? (Such as an average length of travel to, and hours worked while out.)

I found an interesting article regarding memorization, education, and the catechism:

http://www.bessel.org/handout2004.pdf

There are even some cities and states where they hold a “One Day Mason” class!  Wow…  Can you imagine how badly your head would be spinning?  EA, FC, and MM all in one day!!!!

http://www.bessel.org/oneday.htm

I have been told that, even though Virginia has both the regular method for advancement and the new alternative method, there are still a lot of “old school” members of lodges who look down upon the new alternative method.

EA - 1st month (no recitation of catechism)
FC - 2nd month (no recitation of catechism)
MM - 3rd month (no recitation of catechism)

Once you’re a MM, THEN you will learn, memorize, and recite the catechism.

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EA: 01/14/10
FC: 02/18/10
MM: 03/25/10

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Posted: 29 May 2010 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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cemab4y - 13 March 2010 08:27 AM

The procedure varies from state to state. A man will first take the degree instruction in the Entered Apprentice degree. Then, he will be required to memorize a portion of the degree work, and be examined in lodge. When the lodge is satisfied that he is “proficient” in the first degree, then he will be scheduled for the Fellow Craft degree.

He will then attend the Fellow Craft degree ceremony.  Later, he will be required to memorize a portion of the degree work, and be examined again by the lodge. When the lodge is satisfied with his proficiency, he will be scheduled for the Master Mason degree.

Once the Master Mason degree is completed, he is a Master Mason. There are no more degree ceremonies in Craft Masonry. Some states require the new Master Mason, to memorize a portion of the degree work, and be examined in lodge. In some states, the memorization and examination is optional. When I was made a Master Mason in Kentucky, the examination was optional. But- If you wanted to serve as an officer, you had to complete the instruction and be examined for proficiency in the Master Mason degree. The lodge also presented you with a nice diploma. I decided to attend the instruction, and take the examination.

I suggest that you ask the secretary of your lodge, what the procedure is in your state.

I made it through the E A but really having problems with memorizing want to move on to Fellow Craft but really getting worried was really a good experience just wish I could move on.

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Posted: 30 May 2010 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Do not be concerned. Memorization is a skill, like bowling or touch typing. Not everyone can pick up on the degree work and memorize it quickly. The important thing, is to relax, and discuss your difficulty with your coach. The lodge wants you to learn the material, and be familiar with what you have learned, but not necessarily, to be an expert.

The depth and intensity of the memorization, varies from state to state. Remember always, that you are among friends and brothers.

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Charles E. Martin
Alexandria, Virginia

My blog about Masonry in Afghanistan and Iraq:
(Send me a PM)

Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green, KY (Grand Lodge of KY, F.&A.M.;)
Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Mass. (Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, F.&A.M.;)
Alexandria, VA Scottish Rite Bodies, A.A.S.R. (Southern Jurisdiction, USA)

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Posted: 16 February 2018 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Bob, and All here
Thank you very much for your information. I have submitted my petition and am waiting to here back form the Lodge

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