Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Extra Meeting: Take Two

I’m not usually at the lodge on the weekend but there have been a few changes in the schedule this month which had me walking through those doors yesterday for the second Saturday in a row. After a successful, albeit small, blood drive, many of us returned to confer a couple of degrees. That’s right, the second extra meeting of the week… it has been that kind of year and while I am not a morning person I am definitely not complaining about being so busy.

There is usually a pretty light turnout for extra meetings and having one on a Saturday was definitely no exception. While we didn’t start the meeting until mid-morning, we all had the look as though we had just completely a rather long week. Thankfully there was plenty of coffee ready for consumption prior to walking up the stairs to the lodge room.

The degrees conferred demonstrated a beginning and an end to this stage of the masonic journey as we started the morning with a third degree and ended with welcoming a new brother who had just received his first. The third degree is always an interesting thing to watch as it is something that the new mason has never experienced before and watching that person go through it does say a lot about what they are feeling at the moment. Some are visibly uncomfortable while others go along with what is happening trusting the brethren around them. Our newly raised brother was one of the latter.

The first degree which immediately followed is also interesting to witness as a man is guided into the room completely blind of what is about to happen. He must trust those in the room and be confident in his decision if he is going to move forward. Those that choose to proceed are soon welcomed as brothers and the smiles that I have seen when they are given that appellation are something I will always remember (and I remember what I was thinking when I was first called brother).

It just goes to show that these degrees are not just moments to be remembered by those going through the process but also by those who take the time and look forward to seeing our brothers advance in knowledge. It really is a feeling of pride in seeing a brother succeed… it is as close as one can get to familial bond without actually being family. While some may prefer to do nothing during a weekend (I know that is my preference now and again), putting in the work to welcome and advance new brothers adds more value to those days off than almost anything else they we could do as men and masons.