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Masonic News & Views - The Fellow Craft Mason
May 20, 2012
Greetings Brother,

"Being advanced to the Second Degree of Freemasonry, we congratulate you on your preferment. The internal, and not the external qualifications of a man are what Freemasonry regards."

So states the Charge to the newly made Fellow Craft Mason, but let's take a closer look at the degree of Fellow Craft.

Why are Freemasons of the Second Degree called Fellow Crafts?

Fellow means companion and the original phrase was “Fellow of the Craft” in the old operative system. It was adopted by Freemasonry as “Fellow Craft.”

Why is it said that a Fellow Craft is “passed”?

The Operative mason was required to present his work for inspection before proceeding; also it alludes to his having passed through the porch to the middle chamber of the Temple, the place in which Fellow Crafts received their wages.

What is the meaning of FELLOW?

This word is Middle English, derived from late Anglo-Saxon (laying down property for a joint undertaking), meaning comrade, companion, fellow worker. The word is a picture of how a number of men, when forming an association, contribute equal shares of property. This equality of membership is still the principal point of its meaning in the Masonic lodge.

In operative masonry an Apprentice became a Fellow of the Craft when he became a full member, on a par with all other members, and with the same rights and duties. Fellow Craft became the name of the second degree, and Master as the name of the third. In the historical and technical sense of the word, Freemasonry is a fellowship because all the members of a lodge have the same rights, duties, and privileges.

What is the meaning of CRAFT?

Craft is derived from the Anglo-Saxon craefte, meaning power and strength. It came into German as Kraft. In English, craft took on the meaning of skill, manual dexterity, and cleverness, (which is retained in the word crafty). In the Middle Ages all trained workmen were organized into guilds, societies, and fraternities; therefore craft came to be the name of the skilled trades or arts. The fraternity of Freemasons continues to be a craft because the members of its lodges are skilled in the Masonic arts.

What are the basic teachings of the second degree?

As the Entered Apprentice degree, with its moral instruction, is symbolic of YOUTH and the preparatory period of life, the Fellow Craft degree is symbolic of MANHOOD with its increased duties and obligations. Here the candidate is urged, literally and symbolically, to advance his education, particularly in the fields of history, science, and the liberal arts, that he may occupy with honor his place in the great structure of human society.

William Preston (1742-1818), the foremost author of modern Masonic Ritual, designed the Fellow Craft degree to be the beginning of a liberal education, which is an open door to further study.

A learned Past Grand Master of Iowa wrote: "The Fellow Craft degree symbolizes that period of life when a man prepares for life's work and strives to erect his spiritual Temple agreeably to the designs drawn on the Trestle Board. As a Fellow Craft, you receive more light in Masonry, you are invested with the working tools so necessary for the tasks of manhood; you are encouraged to continue in the acquisition of knowledge, in the cultivation of the mind, and the search for Truth.”

Until next we meet, may your path be smooth and your burden light.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Some source material from Handbook of Freemasonry - Missouri

Now, on with the news........................

Thursday, May 24, 2012: Forsyth Lodge No. 453 will host a School of Ritual Instruction to be conducted by RWB Tom Williams, 43rd District Deputy Grand Lecturer. Instruction will begin at 6:30 PM. All Master Masons are invited in.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012: The Region 'F' Ritual Round Robin Competition and School of Instruction will be held this evening at Henderson Lodge No. 477 in Rogersville, MO. Dinner will be ready at 6:00 and instruction will begin at 7:00 PM.
Henderson Lodge is located at 127 East Center in Rogersville, MO.

Friday & Saturday, June 1 & 2, 2012: The Spring Ceremonial of Abou Ben Adhem Shrine will take place this weekend. All Nobles are encouraged to attend. All Master Masons are eligible to join. For more information on being a Shriner visit For more information on Abou Ben Adhem Shrine in Springfield, MO visit

Saturday, June 9, 2012: The Brethren of O'Sullivan Lodge No. 7 proudly present the 9th Annual Pickin in the Park Bluegrass and Country Music Festival. This event will be held in the City Park in Walnut Grove, Missouri. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy fourteen Country and Bluegrass Bands playing from 11am to 10pm. Come out for a great day and night of music. Adults $6.00; Family $15.00. All proceeds go to charities in the area. For more information call WB Steve Gilkey or contact any member of O'Sullivan Lodge No. 7.

Saturday, June 9, 2012: It's time for the annual Good Times BBQ & Music event on the grounds of Sparta Lodge No. 296, 7702 State Hwy 14 East, Sparta, MO. Music will be provided by:

  • Uncle Fudd
  • Alta and Bob Courtney
  • The Lucky Boys
  • The music will begin at 2:30 PM so come early and bring lawn chairs.
The Good Times officially kick off at 3:00 PM and the menu will include Pork Tenderloin or Beef Brisket sandwich with fresh cut fries, baked beans, dessert, and tea or lemonade for a donation of $7.00 and kids under the age of 5 years eat for free. Things will wrap up around 6:00 PM.
There will be a small auction somewhere about the middle of the event. Several new hand tools and power tools along with various other items. Please plan on attending; don't forget mark this down on your calendar. Tickets can be purchased that day or you can call John Van Slyke to purchase in advance.

Friday, July 20, 2012: The Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill will be conferred upon worthy candidates by Ozark Order #109 at the Gate of the Temple Lodge building located at 1700 North Boonville in Springfield, MO.

  • Dinner will be served at 6pm. (Free for Candidates, Donation asked of Swordsmen) Conferral of the order will start at 7pm.
  • Petition and $25 initiation fee buys a lifetime membership into The Order and a night you will not soon forget!
  • For petition and more information, contact David Maggard at 417-234-6513 or [email protected]
  • This event is hosted by Queen City Chapter #226, O.E.S.

Saturday, September 8, 2012: Save the date! The 2012 KCCH Memorial RiteCare Golf Tournament will be held at Deer Lake Golf Course in Springfield, MO. Details are still being finalized and will be posted on the JoplinKCCH Facebook page as they become available. In the meantime check out the great course for this year's tournament by visiting the Deer Lake Golf Course Web site.

As you can see there's lots of Masonry going on in Missouri. See the links below to keep up with the latest or to submit information for your upcoming meeting or event.

For more news of upcoming events and special communications visit the Upcoming Masonic Events page on

For a calendar of Stated meetings for many of the Lodges and Masonic bodies visit the Masonic Calendar page on

For help locating a lodge building visit the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map page on

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