Page 11 - MFM Nov 2014
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Montana Freemason  November 2014                                  Volume 90 Number 3

                   Required Observance - The Feast of Sts. John

                                     Compiled by: Jack R. Levitt

Traditionally the Feast of St. John, the Baptist, is     Both St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist
celebrated on June 24th and the Feast of St. John,       have been called the patrons of the fraternity down
the Evangelist, on December 2th. The two dates fall     through the ages because they are said to have
at the time of the summer and winter when the sun        exemplified the principles of Freemasonry in their
attains its greatest north or south declination when it  daily lives by their deeds and their words.
apparently stands still for a short time before turning  It is because Masonry regards the character and
in its course. These are known as the summer and         internal qualifications of a man - not the exterior
winter solstices.                                        appearances - that these two men are called the
Within the Grand Lodge of Montana we conduct the         patrons of this great fraternity. They exemplified
Holy Saints (Sts.) John observance or Feast of Sts.      those internal qualifications that made the TRUE
John, during the month of January. Our Constitution      MAN. Masonry honors them because they were the
and Code identifies this as one of the required
observances and that annually,                                                examples of the Golden Rule, the
every lodge shall hold the following                                          practice of virtue, love for their
observance: Holy Saints John Day,                                             fellow-men and love for their God.
“during the month of January,
excluding Sunday, which shall
consist of a tyled table lodge and a
luncheon or dinner.”
Particular care should be taken
to see that the observance is
conducted in the proper spirit of the
occasion, with the utmost dignity
and decorum, should be small
and intimate, thereby providing
opportunity for Masonic fellowship
at its best.
The early Greeks and Romans dedicated their temples
and sacred things to some god. To the ancients the
sun was the source of power. They observed the
course of the sun through the year and knew that
at one period the sun brought them warmth, new
vegetation, bountiful crops and with it all, a new
source of energy and hope. Then the sun, after a
fruitful season, left them and they felt the cold, the
grains in the field failed to flourish, and all nature
seemed to sleep. The ancients knew that, after due
time, the friendly sun in its cycle would come back
to them bringing again light, warmth, food and hope.
It is significant to note that the two festival days of
the Saints John fall at these two seasons - first when
the sun is nearest, and second, when the sun has
reached its northern-most summit and again turns
toward the south.

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