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Masonic News & Views -- The Language of Freemasonry
February 12, 2012
Freemasonry, like all groups or industries, has a language all its own. For someone with no knowledge of basketball the term, 'dribbling the ball' might be interpreted to mean slobbering all over a spherical object. For the uninitiated Freemasonry's use of certain terms and phrases can lead to misinterpretations which result in misunderstandings. So, let's take a look at some of the more common of these.
Offensive Titles: "Worshipful Master"
Without an understanding of the historic source of terms used in Freemasonry some of our titles can be misinterpreted as offensive. The leader of the lodge is called the Master of the Lodge for the same reason the leader of an orchestra is called the Concert Master, or the leader of a Scout troop is called Scoutmaster.
Masonic use of the term Master originated in the guilds of the Middle Ages when the person most skillful was called the Master. Much Masonic vocabulary dates from that period. For instance, Worshipful is a term still used in England and Canada to refer to such officials as mayors of cities. Worshipful John Doe means exactly the same thing as The Honorable John Doe.
Offensive Rituals: "Bloody Oaths"
The penalties associated with the Masonic obligations, "...binding myself under no less a penalty than...," actually have their origins in the legal system of medieval Europe and were actual punishments inflicted by the state on persons guilty of fighting for civil liberty and religious freedom. Included in the accused were many of the martyrs who died for the principle of religious toleration.
In Masonry, these penalties are entirely symbolic. They refer to the shame a good man should feel at the thought of having broken a promise, and they remind us of the price so many have paid for the liberties and freedoms Masons are pledged to protect.
The Bible as "Furniture"
Some confusion arises regarding the Holy Bible being referred to in Masonic ritual as the "furniture of the lodge." Again, it's a misunderstanding due to a comparison of the modern use of the word to that of ancient times. Masonic ritual uses "furniture" in its original meaning of "essential equipment." All lodges must have a Volume of Sacred Law open during every meeting as it is an essential part of Freemasonry and its ritual. In North America, this is almost always the Bible.
"Salvation by Works"
Some believe that Freemasonry teaches salvation may be attained by one's good works. Masonry does not teach any path to salvation. That is the job of a church, not a fraternity. The closest Masonry comes to this issue is to point to the open Bible and tell the Mason to search there for the path to eternal life.
Masonry believes in the importance of doing good works, but as a matter of gratitude to God for his many great gifts and as a matter of individual moral and social responsibility. The path to salvation is found in each Mason's house of worship, not in his lodge.
I hope this information proves useful, and I wish you well.
(some source information from Masonic Information Center)
Now, on with the news........................
Monday, February 13, 2012: I believe this is correct but please confirm before making the trip. Hazelwood Lodge No. 459 in Seymour, MO will meet in Special Communication for work in the 1st and 3rd Degrees of Freemasonry. Two duly elected candidates will be presented for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry, and one Brother will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason. 6:00 PM I think, but again, please confirm with someone from Hazelwood Lodge.
Saturday, February 18, 2012: Sampson Lodge No. 298 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry. Brother Clarence Doyle Roberts, grandson of the namesake of Sampson Lodge - Sampson David Roberts, will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
Saturday, February 18, 2012: Brethren of Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422 will again be participating in the annual Sertoma Chili Cookoff. Discounted tickets are available for $12 from Brother Monta Wiggin; call (417) 350-3976. Or, you can pay $15 at the door. The event runs from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM and is held at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 E Saint Louis St., Springfield, MO. For more information visit the Sertoma Chili Cookoff Web site.
Saturday, February 18, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host the 97th Annual Washington's Birthday Celebration with Masonic Degree work by three different States. The 1st Degree will be performed by Grove Lodge No. 187 of Oklahoma; the 2nd Degree by Pittsburg Lodge No. 187 of Kansas, and the 3rd Degree by Webb City Chapter No. 119 Royal Arch Masons of Missouri. The 3rd Degree will be done in full costume and promises to be most impressive.
Monday, February 20, 2012: United Lodge No. 5 will receive RWB Phil Kent during his offical visit to the Lodge. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012: The Buckeye Ritual Club will meet at Canopy Lodge No. 284, 107 North 3rd Street in Verona, MO, at 6:30 PM for fun, fellowship and education on our beautiful Missouri Masonic Ritual. This month's education will focus on Opening on the 3rd Degree, Receiving a Petition, Balloting on a Petition, and Closing a Lodge.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will celebrate the birthday of Brother George Washington beginning at 6:00 PM. This will be open to the public and will include a Masonic Information Event for any and all who may have an interest in the Masonic fraternity. 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO.
Saturday, February 25, 2012: Republic Lodge No. 570 will host a conferral of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill beginning with breakfast at the lodge hall at 8:00 and the conferral of the Order at 9:00 AM. This is a fun and patriotic Order that also serves as a fundraiser for the hosting lodge. It is open to all Master Masons. For more information on the Sword of Bunker Hill visit WWW.SwordOfBunkerHill.org.
Saturday, February 25, 2012: A MoCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) event hosted by Mt Olive Lodge No. 439 will be held today from 10:00 Am to 2:00 PM at the Fordland United Methodist Fellowship Hall located at 266 North Maple Street in Fordland, MO (North of Lazy Lees).
Tuesday, February 28, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will host a Region 'F' School of Ritual Instruction at the lodge hall in Sparta, Missouri: 7702 Missouri State Highway 14 East. Instruction will focus on the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry and will be conducted by RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer. There will be lite refreshments at 6:30 PM and instruction will commence at 7:00 PM.
Friday & Saturday, March 16 & 17, 2012: The Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin Spring Reunion to initiate and welcome new Scottish Rite Masons into the Order. Membership in the Valley is open to all Master Masons in good standing. For more information ask any member of the Valley of Joplin or contact the Valley office at (417) 623-3219 and visit the Valley of Joplin A.A.S.R online at JoplinAASR.com
On March 17, 2012, the Valley of Joplin Scottish Rite Masons will hold a drawing to award a new Chevy Camaro plus other prizes to holders of the winning tickets. Each entry is just $50 USD and there will only be 2,000 entries sold. For full details and to get your tax deductible entry for the drawing visit WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or find us on Facebook and "LIKE" the page at Facebook.com/WinANewCamaro.
Saturday, April 28, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will host a MoCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. At least 30 volunteers are needed to work this event.
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.
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