Page 4 - MFM August 2013
P. 4

Let There Be Light

Jeff Carlton, MWPGM, Arizona

                                   In each of the three            only a small portion, if any, of the Light which was
                                   degrees, after the              given to them during the actual conferral of their
                                   obligation, the Master          degree. Some are never even offered the benefit of
                                   queries the candidate           the required candidate education program.
                                   with the words, “being in
                                   a condition of darkness,           It doesn’t take long for new Master Masons today
                                   what do you most desire?”       to recognize that they have not gotten everything
                                   The candidate’s response        they were looking for, and they ask where is the
                                   is, “Light”. At this point the  “Light”? Our craft is full of disillusioned and
                                   candidate surely cannot         confused new Masons. Many of them will leave,
have the slightest idea exactly what this light is to be or        and have left, the fraternity because they never
what his answer alludes to; he can only hope for future            were given an opportunity to receive that which
enlightenment.                                                     they sought: Light.

In the First Degree following the Master’s query and his              Today men are knocking on the door of Masonry
requested desire for Light, the candidate is introduced to         for many reasons. We must be prepared to receive,
the three Great Lights of the Entered Apprentice as well           educate, guide them, and most importantly,
as the three Lesser Lights and an explanation is given for         satisfy their needs and expectations. Almost all
each of these lights.                                              have sought out, or had exposure to, some form
In the Second Degree after the candidate has again                 of media view of, or position on Freemasonry. Yet
responded “Light” to the Master’s query, he is shown               they are unaware that many of their preconceived
the Three Great Lights of the Fellow Craft, and told that          notions of the Fraternity have little basis, or that
“Freemasonry” is a progressive, moral science, taught by           most of the perspectives they have formed from
degrees only” and that he is still “one material point in          their exploration of social media sources are truly
the dark regarding its (Masonry’s) mysteries”.                     not relevant.
In the Third Degree after the candidate has again
responded “Light” to the Master’s query, he is shown the              While these men may indeed have been able
Three Great Lights of the Master Mason, and told that his          to establish a somewhat accurate sense of the
is “about to receive all the Light that can be conferred”          history surrounding the fraternity, and therefore
upon him.                                                          understand that is a fraternity of men that has
In addition the Light we imparted in each of the degrees           withstood the test of 300 years without materially
can be summarized as follows: The candidate is given an            changing, the man who knocks on the door of
obligation, the several signs, tokens, and words of the            Freemasonry needs to know that Freemasonry, in
degrees are demonstrated, he is shown how to wear his              all of history, has at its very roots a platform for
apron, how to enter and retire from a Lodge room, how to           individual conduct and improvement based upon
address the Master in each of the degrees, given a lecture         the principles, tenets and landmarks held within
regarding the degree he just received, and told what his           the ritual of our fraternity, from which they must
charge is for the degree. The sign and word of the degrees         build their own path.
is often reiterated so the candidate can function within           To the newly raised Master Mason, beginning his
the Lodge. Unfortunately that roughly sums up all the              Masonic life can be daunting. It is the responsibility
LPaiggeh4t that many brothers ever receive. Many remember          of his brothers to take him by the hand and show
                                                                   him that the Masonic Ritual that the officers of the
                                                                   Lodge propounded to him during his degrees, and
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