Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Light!

It's high summer here in Alaska, and even though the days are supposedly getting shorter, it seems the sun never really goes down. This abundance of actual light has led me to ponder more upon the metaphorical Light we as Masons are seeking.
One of the main places where we are set upon the path to this Light is through the Masonic ritual. The ritual, which binds us together as Brethren, inspires us and gives us direction in our quest. Indeed, each time we move up a Degree, we state that we are seeking "more Light in Masonry". But here in the United States, it seems that our Brethren from the past have bequeathed us a system that limits this ability.
Throughout the mainstream American jurisdictions of our Craft, the ritual has been standardized, and with a few exceptions, is more or less the same everywhere. There are differences, to be sure, but by and large, a Brother experiencing the Degrees in California will experience much the same ritual as a Brother in Georgia. Things are decidedly different in other parts of the world, however.
In many jurisdictions overseas, within the same Grand body a seeker can find any of a number of different variations on the Masonic ritual. Each one, while teaching the same basic lessons, offers a unique path towards Masonic Light. Thus, a Brother is given the opportunity to choose the path that best suits his temperament, rather than being subjected to the "one size fits all" approach that prevails here.
With today's advanced communications, Brothers are being exposed to Masonic ideas from every corner of the globe. Now more than ever, inquisitive Brothers are finding that the Masonic experience is not limited to the narrow vision of mainstream American Grand Lodges. Perhaps it is time that American jurisdictions relinquish the stranglehold they have upon the Masonic ritual, and allow the practice of different Rites. By so doing, they will only be increasing the ability of the Brethren to seek that Masonic Light, of which we are all in search. So mote it be!


Blogger San Diego Freemason said...

Brother Prexy,

I completely agree. Even within the UGLE there is more than one version of the ritual available.

Much of the problem stems from the Baltimore Convention in 1842, when the American Grand Lodges met and enacted a number of changes that included opening the lodge in the third degree instead of the first.

It would be a good thing if the Grand Lodges in the U.S. were to return to some of the traditional practices of European Freemasonry.

Some variation in the types of rituals would be a good start.

There are a few "red" lodges, the practice the Scottish Rite craft degrees in New Orleans. The Grand Lodge of Louisiana has allowed them to do so since they were practicing them prior to the formation of the Grand Lodge.

Unfortunately, the GL of L will not allow any new Scottish Rite lodges to form.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Magus Masonica said...

All the Rites anyone is interested in can be found. If the desire is strong enough then they will work those Rites.

Simple enough.

1613 Nation
Grand Orient Egyptian- MEAPRMM

12:17 PM  

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