How do you get promoted in Masonic degrees?

by Olly
(London)

So how do you get to go up degrees? What do you have to do?? And how long does it take to get to the top degree?? How long has it taken you??



And I think your site is brilliant and has given me useful and interesting information, keep up with the good work :)

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Jan 20, 2011
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The Highest Degree of Freemasonry
by: Tim

Dear Olly,

Thank you very much. I am exceedingly gratified that you found Masonsmart to be useful and interesting. I do indeed intend to keep up the good works, as should we all.

Your question is not an easy one to answer, but I'll give it my best shot. The teachings and tenets of Freemasonry are essentially the same the world over. Through its teachings we are taught to strive to live our life in an honorable, grateful and generous manner. We are taught to regard the whole human species as one family. We are taught to temper our passions, to exercise fortitude in the face of adversity, to be prudent in our actions, and just to all mankind. We are taught to revere God and to implore his aid in all our laudable undertakings. The teachings literally do go on and on, and these are universal in Freemasonry. In practice, however, things are not all the same.

The requirements to progress through the degrees may differ depending on the Grand Lodge jurisdiction in which you live, and in some jurisdictions there may be different requirements depending on the Lodge that you join.

For example, and I'll use the U.S. because those are the practices I am most familiar with, some Grand Lodge jurisdictions require that a candidate exhibit a certain level of proficiency in his current degree before he may be advanced to the next. This proficiency may consist of memorizing a certain portion and part of Masonic ritual or it may only require that he demonstrate an understanding of his current status as a Mason. Some jurisdictions, though, allow that the demonstration of proficiency may be voluntary but is not required in order to advance. Within those same jurisdictions, though not all, there may be a type of Lodge that requires not only a demonstration of proficiency but a presentation of a scholarly work, as well.

It can be quite confusing, but in short the requirements to progress depend on where you live and where you join. Regardless of those requirements, though, there will always be good men there who want nothing more than to help you progress in your search for more Light.

As for me, I received the sublime degree of Master Mason, which is the 3rd Degree, in October of 1998. And, while I have explored many of the available avenues of Masonry and obtained many degrees of a higher number since that time, there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason.

As I said, this is not an easy question to answer but I hope I have helped a little. Thanks again and please do come back and visit often.

Fraternally yours,

Tim

Jun 02, 2016
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Degrees
by: Tom

That information was quite helpful, although I was wondering how many years it took you to achieve the degree of master mason and how hard you worked to achieve this.

This question is specifically for you and your experience.

Jun 04, 2016
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My Masonic journey...
by: Tim

Hello Tom,
and thank you for visiting Masonsmart. I'm glad you found the site helpful.

It took me about six-and-a-half months of earnest study to advance from candidate to Master Mason. During that time I met with a Masonic mentor about once per week who helped me to understand the lessons I was meant to learn and assisted me with the memory work. The path I took to becoming a Master Mason wasn't easy nor quick nor required, but I have always been glad I chose that path; not because I think it makes me a better Mason, but because that's the way my Grandpa did it.

My Grandpa, and my Grandma who was active in the Order of the Eastern Star, was my inspiration for becoming a Freemason. In the age when he became a Mason proving your proficiency in the preceding degree was a requirement to advancement. Masonry was very important to him and I wanted to know why, so I chose to follow as closely as I could in his footsteps. He passed-on several years before I became a Mason so I don't know if the things I came to love about Masonry are the same as those he did, but I hope someday we'll get to sit and discuss those things together.

As I mentioned, the path I took was an option. It was one of a few options offered within the particular Grand Lodge jurisdiction and my Lodge of origin. Each Grand Lodge determines the requirements for advancement within its jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions proving proficiency is still required, although there may be options as to the manner in which the candidate does so, such as a written essay, a verbal presentation or the memorization and performance of Masonic ritual. In other jurisdictions there is an option of a one day class during which several candidates are advanced through the degrees to Master Mason. In many jurisdictions there are options and requirements for advancement that lie somewhere in between that of proving proficiency and the one day class.

In my opinion the path one takes to obtaining the degree of Master Mason isn't nearly as important as the path he takes from that point onward. Speculative Masonry, which is what Freemasonry is, uses the tools and implements of operative stonemasonry to express and describe its lessons. Aside from the obvious differences of speculative and operative masonry there is one very big difference that is not so obvious.

When an operative stonemason has mastered the skills and tools of masonry he is considered to be a master of the craft. He may continue to hone his skills and may occasionally learn or discover something new, but as a master he has reached the pinnacle of the profession. In speculative Masonry becoming a Master Mason means that you are now entitled to all the teachings of Freemasonry. In other words, the degree of Master Mason is the beginning of a Masons journey of discovery, learning and enlightenment. And, whereas the object of an operative stonemasons work is cold, hard stone the object of a Freemasons work is himself. As his perspectives change over the years and as the world changes around him, his lessons and conclusions will necessarily require re-evaluation. It's a lifelong journey of learning. There is no pinnacle to reach. The ultimate goal is to live a life of honor, dignity and decency, and to leave this world, even the tiniest corner of it, a better place for our having been here.

You ask how hard I worked to achieve what I have in Masonry. The answer is relative. Every Mason decides what he wants from Masonry and that determines the amount and extent of his labors. For me, becoming a Master Mason was easy enough. Being a Mason has been a mixed bag of rewards and challenges. Striving to live my life according to the teachings of Masonry is a worthwhile endeavor. It's one area of my life about which I can honestly say, I wouldn't change a thing.

I hope this helps. Thank you for the question.

Fraternally yours,

Tim

Oct 20, 2016
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Are the degrees the same in OES?
by: Anonymous

I'm awaiting my induction date to my local OES chapter. I'm very keen on moving forward to a higher degree, so I may start a new OES chapter in my town. My father was a Freemason, Scottish Rite, and possibly a Shriner. I'm slowly uncovering how many lodges he has been associated with through the years. My reason in joining, solely has to do with my love and loyalty to my father. Life wasn't easy for him, but through his fraternal lodge, he said he developed virtues and self-cultivation. Every time I see a Freemason sign on a building or a car decal, my heart feels comforted. The symbol for Freemasons became a sign that I can feel secure in my travels. I was a Job's Daughter for a year and became too busy with my teenage adventures. I asked my son to be a Demolay and he is going to join as well, we really like our local lodge. But, for me, it feels like coming home. I look forward to meeting other OES members and becoming friends with my local lodge. I'm hoping to rise in degrees as an OES. I hope it doesn't take too long, due to the intention to reopen the OES chapter in my town. I was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana and would have a better success rate to draw interest in new inductees within my community. I love the possibilities to meet people and to "master myself" in my life. Good times ahead. Very good hearted folks I've met thus far. ♡

Nov 21, 2016
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OFFICER NEW
by: I'm ready to get started enjoying Mason can you help

I live in Dallas Texas I've been in Ministry for 30 something years I'm ready to start a local chapter but I need to join first can you help me and getting started in a Mason had a lot thank you very much

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