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Masonic News & Views -- Masonic Symbolism in the Entered Apprentice Degree
January 23, 2012
Greetings Brother,

The Entered Apprentice degree is our first glimpse of the beauties of Freemasonry, and through it we enter a world of symbolism and allegory. The ritual of this first degree is literally fraught with symbolism that may be difficult to grasp at the time, and is certainly worthy of a closer look.

What is the meaning of APPRENTICE?

In its earliest form Apprentice meant “to lay hold of, to seize,” (as in our word apprehend), but at a very early time its meaning was narrowed to mean the kind of laying hold of and seizing which a man must do when he is a learner. Early in the Middle Ages this word came into free use among the guilds to denote a boy who started in to learn a skilled trade or art under a master, and in obedience to many guild rules and regulations.

Why must an applicant for Masonry first be prepared in his heart?

The heart itself is a symbol and as such is the seat of the affections, passions, and desires. All the actions of a man’s life issue and proceed from the heart. As a man’s heart is, so will his life be. If his heart is clean and pure, his life cannot be wicked and vicious. When the heart is receptive, the mind can properly respond to the ceremony of initiation.

Why is the candidate duly and truly prepared?

The wearing of special garments furnished by the Lodge is symbolic. It emphasizes the concern of Freemasonry with a man’s internal worth, rather than with his external adornments of position, wealth, or environment. By wearing the garments the candidate also signifies the sincerity of his intentions. The hoodwink demonstrates that the sightless individual needs a guide, and it symbolizes our dependence upon moral teachings for guidance in our daily conduct. “We walk by faith and not by sight.”

What is the symbolism of the Masonic altar?

The altar is one of the most ancient symbols of mankind. In Freemasonry the altar, among other things, is a symbol of Faith. On it rest the Three Great Lights, and to it comes the candidate in search of Light and to offer himself symbolically to the service of his fellow man and to the Great Architect of the Universe. Here he takes his obligations, traditionally considered more solemn and binding when taken at an altar than under any other circumstance. It is the focal point for all the Brethren, in order that the light of truth may guide their every thought and action.

What is the significance of the candidate’s journey around the lodge room?

This journey has a two-fold purpose: (1) to enable all present to view the candidate and ascertain that he is duly and truly prepared; and (2) to represent by the circumambulation around an altar, the apparent movement of the sun during a 24 hour cycle. In his search for Light the candidate starts from darkness, the North, travels to the East (the source of Light), and then by way of the South to the West and back into darkness. He again comes out of the North and passes through the same course again and again in his progress, moving in the same direction as the sun, that is, according to natural laws and Truth as gathered by human wisdom through the ages.

The Entered Apprentice degree and the symbolism contained within it is beautiful and meaningful. When performed properly and received appropriately it is capable of altering the course of a man's life and setting him on the path toward enlightenment. So Mote It Be.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

(Source information drawn from compilations by the Committee on Masonic Education, 2010)

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

Monday January 23, 2012: Zabud Council No. 25 Cryptic Masons will have the honor of receiving Most Illustrious Companion George Merkle, Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the State of Missouri during his official visit. The meeting will be held at the Masonic York Rite Temple located at 1930 West Catalpa Stree in Springfield, MO. Dinner at 6:00 and the meeting will commence at 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012: RWB Wayne Beach, DDGL 34, will instruct on Masonic Ritual at the Masonic York Rite Temple located at 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO beginning at 6:00 PM. Instruction will focus on conferral of the Blue Lodge Degrees.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012: Happy Birthday to our Brothers Robert Burns, 1759, and Bruce Monroe, 19;-).

Friday, January 27, 2012: Springfield Chapter No. 15 Royal Arch Masons will host the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill. Get your candidates and plan on being at the York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO, that Friday evening for good food and fellowship. The conferral of the Order will begin at 6:00 PM and there will be refreshments after...

Monday, January 30, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host a Region 'F' School of Ritual Instruction. Dinner at 6:00 and instruction will begin at 6:30 PM. Instruction will focus on the second section of the 3rd Degree using twelve craftsmen. The Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway Street in Webb City, MO.

Saturday, February 4, 2012: RWB Robert C. Floyd, Grand Lecturer of Missouri Masons will conduct a School of Ritual Instruction and Regional Round Robin Ritual Competition at Monett Lodge No. 129. Lunch will be available at 11:30 AM and instruction will begin at 1:00 PM. All Missouri Master Masons are encouraged to attend.
The Monett Lodge building is located at 501 13th Street in Monett, MO.

Monday, February 6, 2012: United Lodge No. 5 will host a Regional School of Ritual Instruction at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. Instruction will be conducted by RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer and will begin at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, February 11, 2012: Monett Lodge No. 129 will host a MOCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the lodge hall located at 501 13th Street in Monett, MO.

Saturday, February 11, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will host a performance of "The Traitor" at 7:00 PM. This one act play is open to the public and is performed by members of the Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin. The drama takes place in a Masonic Lodge room in Virginia two years following the end of America's War of Independence from England. The characters include several of our founding fathers and, "...that foresworn and unhappy man whose name is nevermore uttered in a Masonic Lodge."
1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO.

Save the Date! 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.
Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway in Webb City, MO. and the event will start at Noon.

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.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is centered in the 44th Masonic District of Missouri, but of course all Master Masons are welcome. The club will meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and will travel to differing lodges within the 44th District. Click here to see the 2012 schedule. Mark your calendar and plan on coming out to have some fun with your Brethren.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is also on Facebook. Click here for the Buckeye Ritual Club Facebook page.

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

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
We're a long way from our goal so please help spread the word. We truly appreciate your assistance.
And yes, you're welcome to purchase as many tickets as you like until the last one is gone.

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.
For more information you may call the Lodge Secretary at (417) 425-0083. All volunteers must be signed up at least 12 days prior to the event.
For more information about MoCHIP please visit

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.

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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