The Essence of Freemasonry

A Lodge having taken a candidate through his Initiation, the process of making ‘the good man better’ begins.

The three tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth will eventually become clear to him but only if he continues on his masonic journey with the support and engagement of the members of his lodge and in due course the wider masonic fraternity.

Regular attendance at Lodge meetings and taking part in the ritual are fundamental to this journey.

The lodge becomes a sacred space when open, and the quality of the ritual and the manner in which it is delivered are crucial in creating a unique ‘Place’ for the newer members to ‘Be’ whilst experiencing the uniqueness of our fraternity.

By properly clothing ourselves we enter the lodge prepared to be engaged in the work. The Opening of the lodge further emphasises the need for preparedness for what is about to come. The ritual therefore must be delivered in a manner that imparts the value of the ceremony as well as the uniqueness of the experience to all who participate, including those attending as spectators. Proper behaviour by all within the lodge is essential.

Our degrees are designed to teach us lessons and to assist in opening our minds to those concepts that the frenetic pace of our daily lives give us little time to contemplate. For the candidate in particular, as well as those progressive officers taking part in the ritual, the correct protocols and behaviours in the lodge allow their minds to become totally engaged with their part in the ceremony and thereby more aware of what they are experiencing.

In this way during the ritual our minds are enabled to operate in a different way or plane. This introduces the newer mason to the esoteric nature of freemasonry. If the experience is disrupted, insincere or without meaning then those who took part have lost a significant part of the purpose of being there.

Once the lodge is closed we return back to our normal state but hopefully enlightened by the experience.

Having put away our regalia we should be in a relaxed, open and fraternal frame of mind, ready to enjoy the conviviality of the Festive Board and its less formal, but still structured, format that further emphasises the uniqueness of the fraternal bond of freemasonry.

Provincial Grand Master in Waiting, Neil Connolly