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Freemason 32nd Degree Ritual

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posted on May, 20 2004 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
On the other hand, from what I understand, you have a lot of communicated degrees down there, whereas we try our best to communicate as few degrees as possible up here.


It differs from Valley to Valley. Each year, we have a statewide one day class in the summer, which confers only the 4°, 14°, 18°, 30°, and 32°, with the rest being communicated. My Valley then has Reunions in the fall and spring that span two weekends, where we confer the above along with the 7°, 9°, 10°, 11°, 15°, 17°, 22°, 27°, 29°, and 31°. I’m in the process of organizing a team to confer the 28°, which we can hopefully stage by fall.

Fiat Lvx.




posted on May, 20 2004 @ 11:28 AM
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Ah, the 28th is one which I've never seen. Our valley, quite a few years ago, was the only one in Canada which exemplified every single degree, but sadly things have sunk from there. We now communicate the 10th, 11th, 24th, 25th, and 28th. But even considering that, many of the degrees we exemplify are in short form, not in extensio. One of my goals is to get the 28th exemplified, just as you are doing... but sadly I have too many other things to do to get it off the ground at the moment


P.S. I just noticed you don't give the 16th! That's a real shame... I was incredibly moved by that degree when I went through. It's nice to give the 15th however... up here, we make a big party of it, as it's the only degree where the officers get to eat on stage, tell jokes, etc. How about down there?

P.P.S., I thought I'd give you the web address for our Supreme Council, and you can see the handsome mug of my friend Orlan on the front page there (he's a member of my Craft Lodge, so of course I brag
).

[Edited on 20-5-2004 by AlexKennedy]



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 01:37 PM
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: you guys do things so differently over there.


In the UK you're advised once you advance, that it's best to wait a year or so before even thinking about going onto another degree.
The normal course is then Mark or Chapter and you're talking about at least 6 months from when you put your name forward until you go in. Then you're expected to wait and learn the degree before you go on again. It takes years for us to go into the side degrees!!!
At 33, I'm the youngest in any of the side degrees of which I'm a member and I'm probably talking 5 years before I get to go any further (I'm RAM too), yet it seems to me that you guys in North America can get to 32nd in no time.

How do you learn your degrees in such a seemingly short time?



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 01:47 PM
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L, I shudder to think if you knew how things are done here. All the way in one days, waiving of proficiency, this is not my father's lodge.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 02:15 PM
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Well, I hate to say it, but the mass one day raisings are highly frowned upon by most masons here in the UK. I know a lot of you guys feel the same way.

Just to further the point on how long things take in comparison: The Chapter is the doorway to a lot of the side degrees over here. But you can't get into the chair of the Chapter unless you've been through the chair of the Craft first. This puts a lot of masons off from joining as there's a lot of work in the Chapter and it's seen as disconcerting that you could be stuck in the same position for 10 years waiting for things in your Craft Lodge to move along.

Thankfully, in Mark we can get a special dispensation from GL to go through that chair before Craft, so a lot of masons choose that route for taking on more degrees.

The only guys I know who are up in the 30s are all in their 60's and older.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller
The normal course is then Mark or Chapter and you're talking about at least 6 months from when you put your name forward until you go in. Then you're expected to wait and learn the degree before you go on again. It takes years for us to go into the side degrees!!!


In the US, Chapters of Royal Arch Masons control the degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason. Once you’ve received the Royal Arch Degree, you can be admitted into the Council of Cryptic Masons, which controls the degrees of Royal and Select Master, and a side degree called Super Excellent Master. Then the Chivalric Orders (Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, Order of Malta, and Order of the Temple) are conferred in a Commandery of Knights Templar.


At 33, I'm the youngest in any of the side degrees of which I'm a member and I'm probably talking 5 years before I get to go any further (I'm RAM too), yet it seems to me that you guys in North America can get to 32nd in no time.


Pike had intended that each degree be conferred in full form in a standard Blue Lodge setting, and that the Catechism be memorized for each degree before advancing. All this has changed since Pike’s lifetime.
Today in the US, the Scottish Rite Degrees are rarely conferred in Lodges anymore. Most cities have large Scottish Rite Temples that accomodate hundreds of members in an auditorium hall. The degrees are performed on stage with music, stage props, backdrops, costumes, lighting effects, etc., as in theatre productions, and are much more elaborate and intricate than the standard Blue Lodge Degrees.
In the late 1800’s, a group of 32° and 33° Scottish Rite Masons formed the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, commonly known as Shriners. The original prerequisite was that all Shriners must have at least the 32°, although this could be waived if one was a Knight Templar in the York Rite. From that time forward, both the York and Scottish Rites in the US dropped its Catechism memorization requirements, and began advancing Candidates quickly because they could become Shriners.
This has produced both good and ill effects. On the good side, it has provided a huge membership base for the support of Masonic charities. Shriners Childrens Hospitals and Scottish Rite 32° Childhood Speech and Learning Clinics are in operation all over the US, Canada, and Mexico because of this, all treating kids for free. This would not have been possible without advancing candidates quickly, so they could participate.
On the down side, we’ve got thousands of 32° Masons who don’t really know anything about Masonry. Many have not taken the time to study the subject, and become inactive, although hey still support the charities by paying their annual dues.
Some states have even started “going all the way” in one day. Last year, Ohio staged a controversial program where over a thousand candidates received the first three degrees in the morning. In the afternoon, they were made 32° Masons by the Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction. That evening, they received the degrees of Mark through Royal Arch, and Knight Templar, and were later that night inducted into the Shrine.
I have no doubt that these guys were bewildered when they left. They came in that morning as non-Masons, and left with practically all the standard degrees that exist, including that of the Shrine. I am personally opposed to such a practice, but Masonry in the US has become more and more fixated on membership numbers in order to keep its charities running. This of course isn’t a bad thing, but I question how much we can actually teach a Brother by giving him 50 degrees in one day.


How do you learn your degrees in such a seemingly short time?


Memory work is no longer required for degrees above the third, unless one signs up as a member of a degree team. The Grand Master of Ohio waived the memory work requirements for the abovementioned one day fiasco for the Blue Lodge Degrees.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
Memory work is no longer required for degrees above the third, unless one signs up as a member of a degree team. The Grand Master of Ohio waived the memory work requirements for the abovementioned one day fiasco for the Blue Lodge Degrees.




You misunderstand me there ML. What I meant by learn the degree was referring to learning it's meaning - not the actual words of the ritual.
Over here, we rarely use a ritual book in any degree as far as I'm aware. We certainly don't use them in my degrees and it's even frowned upon if you take your book into the Temple.

So do you mean by that, you do the working straight from the ritual book?

As for the mass raisings? Do you think that they are going to be something that American masonry will continue practicing? I've heard rumblings over here that something might be said, but that could be just a rumour.

I guess British masonry can be a bit snobby where our overseas brethren are concerned. We have the cry go up about "quality over quantity", but we've also been through a seemingly lean time in gaining new members over the last few years - things seem to be picking up now though - one major difference is that we can now invite someone to join.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:50 PM
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It's amazing to me how, as in so many other things, Canadian Masonry is a kind of compromise between the American and Canadian systems.

In my Lodge (and typically in my jurisdiction) it is considered absolutely unmasonic to have a book of the Work open during Lodge, except the one posessed by the D of C. Having such a book visible is enough for you to get a VERY stern talking to by the DDGM during his official visit.

On the other hand, my Grand Lodge will be voting this weekend on field days (three degrees in one day). I'm very very upset about the possibility this could happen, as I don't see how I could in good conscience accept a MM from such a field day as a regularly made Mason. As usual, I will be loyal to Grand Lodge, but this one sorely tempts me.

Here we also have the fear of falling membership... I think it's a silly fear. The same thing happened at the beginning of the 20th century... membership fell, and everyone was afraid that the whole jurisdiction would go dark. But then, suddenly, in the 40s, new membership was so high that I have heard stories of one Lodge initiating nine new brethren, twice a month (ten months a year up here). Of course, this is no longer constitutional here (five at a time, max), but still.

Similarly, in the SR up here, you still see a lot of scripts out during the degrees. We don't have whole auditoriums, though... I think that most classes are around 20-30 a year. But I've never met someone in the SR who thinks scripts are a good thing... it's generally considered that they are, for the moment, a necessary evil, and when we get enough gung-ho young guys who are willing to do the Work properly, we'll be back on our feet again.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller
So do you mean by that, you do the working straight from the ritual book?


No, at the Blue Lodge level, Officers are required to learn their parts, and in my Jurisdiction, each Candidate is required to learn the Catechism before advancing. The only time a book can be open is when a Brother is a following the Lecturer, in order to prompt him if he needs it.
In the Scottish and York Rites, the Officers also memorize their parts, but it is not required that Candidates memorize anything except the modes of recognition.



As for the mass raisings? Do you think that they are going to be something that American masonry will continue practicing? I've heard rumblings over here that something might be said, but that could be just a rumour.


I do not think they will last long. A few US Grand Lodges are experimenting with this, but most of us remain opposed to it. They’ve gotten a lot of negative attention, but they are in the minority, and most American Masons frown upon it.


I guess British masonry can be a bit snobby where our overseas brethren are concerned. We have the cry go up about "quality over quantity", but we've also been through a seemingly lean time in gaining new members over the last few years - things seem to be picking up now though - one major difference is that we can now invite someone to join.


I consider myself a Masonic traditionalist, and I too support quality over quantity. However, even though I don’t agree with their methods, the Grand Lodges who ran the one day classes required Subordinate Lodges to receive petitions in the regular manner, investigate, etc. Many of the new Masons raised in these classes said they’d wanted to join the Fraternity for a long time, but did not have the time.
This is understandable, I suppose, but if that’s the case, I don’t see how they will have the time to become active and contribute anything except money, which they could have easily done as non-Masons.
For the record, my Grand Lodge requires that each Candidate be regularly initiated, passed, and raised in due and ancient form, and continues the time honored traditions of the Craft.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
I have no doubt that these guys were bewildered when they left. They came in that morning as non-Masons, and left with practically all the standard degrees that exist, including that of the Shrine. I am personally opposed to such a practice, but Masonry in the US has become more and more fixated on membership numbers in order to keep its charities running. This of course isn’t a bad thing, but I question how much we can actually teach a Brother by giving him 50 degrees in one day.

As a layperson, I have a question.
Do you think this pushing through of degrees will have a lasting and increasing negative effect? Do you think eventually people will lose the mystique and knowledge that would go with learning the degrees "properly"? Could it ruin Masonry in the US?
Thanks for your answer.

[Edited on 20-5-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 06:39 PM
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My personal opinion is this: no, field days will not ruin Masonry within the US, it will simply ruin Masonry for all the people who go through the field day. The fact of the matter is, since Masonry is a volountary organisation, it is always the keeners (or "Stonefaces" as I've heard us referred to) who actually do all the work in the Lodge, and who consequently hold positions of authority. So the Lodges themselves will not be destroyed by even this foolishness.
But if an individual is brought through all those degrees at once, he'll never experience having to work out the meaning of symbols for himself, he'll never be inclined to do any research, or learn the joy of self-improvement. So what's the point? I mean, I could tell everyone right now what happens in the third degree, but I don't, not only because my personal honour prevents it but because you'd gain nothing by hearing it told as a story from me.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Do you think this pushing through of degrees will have a lasting and increasing negative effect? Do you think eventually people will lose the mystique and knowledge that would go with learning the degrees "properly"? Could it ruin Masonry in the US?


A British publication called “The Freemason” published a scathing attack on these one day classes a few months ago, and asked the same questions. Personally, I don’t think it will cause the fraternity any long-term harm, but I find the whole thing highly questionable.
I realize that in order to sustain Masonic charities, we have to have a large number of members; that much is a no-brainer. My personal critique is that in many cases there are people who are completely ignorant of Freemasonry that have somehow secured the highest offices in Masonry, and are using their positions to try to transform Masonry into something it is not: a charitable civic club.
Freemasonry is primarily a personal, spiritual journey. The philanthropic aspect of the fraternity is a side effect of its enlightened teachings, instead of being its actual basis. The sad fact is, in the US, there are a lot of Masons in the USA of the highest degrees and offices that do not take Masonry seriously. They look at the fraternity as the aformentioned social club, without investigating its sublime philosophy and morality. And it is likely that men who are rushed through the degrees will not develop the necessary respect for them, or even understand them.
I have nothing against Masonic charities; on the contrary, I’ve devoted a lot of my personal time to work on the Hospital Guide Unit of my Shrine Temple, and am constantly working for our Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinics. This latter charity means a lot to me personally; I too was afflicted with severe stuttering as a young child, and I know first hand what it means to live behind a barrier, not being able to communicate with parents and loved ones. Many celebrities who are Scottish Rite Masons had the same problems in their childhood, including Mel Tillis, 33° and Michael Richards, 33°, both of which dedicate a lot of time to fundraising, and thousands of kids today are leading much better lives because of Freemasonry.
But we should not neglect to actually teach men Masonry. If anything, when one truly understands Masonry, he becomes even more charitable, and is willing to do even more than he would otherwise, if the fraternity were just another club.
I believe that if the fraternity were to get back to basics, it would do much more good in the world than by watering itself down, which is happening in many parts of this country. Thankfully, many of the younger Masons, who are sick of the materialism of modern culture and joined Masonry because of its spiritual aspects, feel the same way, and they are the future of our Craft.

Fiat Lvx,



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 08:42 AM
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We're doing one of the one-day classes here in Pennsylvania this fall. Blue Lodge, Consistory, and Shrine all in one day. Personally, I think it is horrible. I am very much in favor of the European model. In the IMO, in the U.S. masonry has become a social club, no different from the Elks, Eagles, etc. Very few people understand the rituals, symbolism, etc, they just go through the motions. It really angers me to know that such a wonderful institution has deteriorated so horribly. We barely have enough people to open a meeting within the York Rite bodies here, and I cannot remember the last time all of the chairs were filled. Our SR Valley is one of the largest in the state, yet last fall we had 17 candidates, total. We cancelled our spring reunion because we had even less. I've got a year and a half until I'm in the east in blue lodge, but then I'll more than likely be bailing for one of the 'clandestine' bodies were at least some knowledge accompanies the degrees.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

I believe that if the fraternity were to get back to basics, it would do much more good in the world than by watering itself down, which is happening in many parts of this country. Thankfully, many of the younger Masons, who are sick of the materialism of modern culture and joined Masonry because of its spiritual aspects, feel the same way, and they are the future of our Craft.



I couldn't agree more. A member of my Lodge and I have, well, not perhaps "created," but are using the concept of "Masonic Fundamentalism." What this means is that the foundation of Masonry is the ritual, and the foundation of the ritual for the Mason is the obligation. Thus a Masonic Lodge can never be successful until i) the members seriously understand and live by the principles of their obligation, and ii) the Work is done with dedication, precision, discipline, and passion. Once those things are achieved, the other aspects of Lodge success (good attendance, an enjoyable social programme, chartiable works, etc.) will naturally occur.

Another tenant of the philosophy of "Masonic Fundamentalism" is that the only way for a Mason to improve the external is by improving the internal. Hence, a Mason who wants to improve his Lodge must do his aspect of the Lodge Work to his utmost, memorise his Work impeccably, deliver it with feeling and understanding, willingly volounteer as much time to the Lodge as is reasonable, and, importantly, must be humble within Lodge and care more about his Lodge's success than personal ambition.

I even once thought about writing a pseudo-degree on this based on the actions of Marcus Scaevola, but someone quite wisely told me that the Masonic system is clogged with degrees already



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 10:42 PM
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None of the rubish you have collectively posted accounts for why the tracing board for this rite is the same as the one on a 32nd degree apron.

The work is clearly printed on the 3rd page as having been accepted by congress in 1867 (it was printed in 1884, converting a text to a lithograph block print did not occur overnight in those days and the sort of sudden upheavals in the rites you are trying to pursuade yourself happened were physically not possible.)

Grand Commander Albert Pike worked hand-in-hand with this guy to unify the rituals between North & South, it wasn't a case of just chucking one out and taking a completely different set from down south, in fact if anything it appears to be the other way around - read the History section to educate yourself a little - it is only 11 pages, Brother Charles was a much more susinct writer than Masonic Lite, he can say a lot in very few words.



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by MrNECROS
Grand Commander Albert Pike worked hand-in-hand with this guy to unify the rituals between North & South, it wasn't a case of just chucking one out and taking a completely different set from down south, in fact if anything it appears to be the other way around - read the History section to educate yourself a little - it is only 11 pages, Brother Charles was a much more susinct writer than Masonic Lite, he can say a lot in very few words.


There is not now, nor ever has been, a unity in Ritual Work between the Northern and Southern Jurisdiction. Pike was Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction, not the Northern, and the Northern never adopted his work.
To be honest, I’m tired of having to correct you. If you don’t believe us, who actually the posses the degrees, so be it. I could recommend you once again to read the many books on the subject I've listed, or email the Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction with your questions, who would tell you the exact same thing that we have, but then you’d probably say it was a conspiracy, and we had informed them beforehand to give you “false” information.
Have fun with your “research”.




[Edited on 22-5-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 11:10 PM
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You are still avoiding the rather embaressing observation, which was the origin of this thread - the Motif (and tracing board) on the 32nd degree apron which is fully described in the rite I posted - is exactly the same as the one you agree is on the 32nd degree apron in all jurisidictions of the USA.
You really can't wriggle away from this one, but I know you will try because you are incapable of comprehending reality - a side effect of being mind-controlled.

I really should be doing something more productive...like finishing the website off.

Feel free to keep posting - the more you post, the longer this thread stays up and the first link is the only one peole really follow, if its not resolved in the first page then its all a bit of a carry on.



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by MrNECROS
You are still avoiding the rather embaressing observation, which was the origin of this thread - the Motif (and tracing board) on the 32nd degree apron which is fully described in the rite I posted - is exactly the same as the one you agree is on the 32nd degree apron in all jurisidictions of the USA.


As you seem unaware of it, there are only two Scottish Rite Jurisdictions in the U.S.: the Northern Jurisdiction, whose Obedience lies in several northeastern states, and the Southern Jurisdiction, whose Obedience lies in the rest of the nation, as well as several foreign countries.
Early on in this thread, I described the Apron of the 32°, and even provided a link to a photo of it. Your accusation that I have “avoided it” is emphatically disproven.



You really can't wriggle away from this one, but I know you will try because you are incapable of comprehending reality - a side effect of being mind-controlled.


Coming from a man of your caliber, that is high praise indeed.




I really should be doing something more productive...


Now I think that’s something that everyone here can agree on.

Fiat Lvx.



[Edited on 22-5-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 03:39 AM
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Yet again you avoid the question - by now you must realise you aren't fooling anyone other than yourself - to repeat the question again (I feel a Jeremy Paxman coming on here...)
If the ritual as I have posted it is not the REAL thing, then why is its regalia and tracing board ("The Camp") EXACTLY the same as the one on a REAL apron?



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 05:39 AM
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Why do you refer to a UK media figure and claim to be from the UK, when all your knowledge solely seems to concern US freemasonry?

You seem to be totally in the dark as regards UK freemasonry, yet if you were British and you believe in your own theories, this would be the so called dark forces that would affect you directly the most.

I'm going to "do a Paxman" and call you a liar.





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