[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: January 2000

From: RCW5@aol.com
Message-Id: <0.46271a01.25a3ee27@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 19:45:27 EST
Subject: degree work
To: masonry-ask@MIT.EDU

I have just turned in my petition to join a lodge. I should be in by Feb. and I was just wandering how long it took to do the degree work.

I see people talking about being 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite within a few months of joining and was wandering if this was really possible.

I am interested in becoming enlightened and enjoying the fellowship of my new found brothers but I am also interested in knowing the amount of time this takes, as it seems to vary from what little I can find to read on it.

I also had a question on the Masonic rings, I see some people wearing the Basic Master Mason ring and some wearing the 32nd degree ring. Is one more appropriate than the other. It would seem senseless to buy a Master Mason Ring just to need to replace it with a 32nd degree in a month or two. That is assuming I am able to complete the degree work.

I would appreciate any input you have on this inquiry as I am eager to let people know of my affiliation with this wonderful group.

Robert C. Williams, Sr.

To: RCW5@aol.com
Subject: Re: degree work 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Tue, 04 Jan 2000 19:45:27 EST."

dear Robert,

Don't rush. The 3 degrees of craft Masonry (Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason) are the complete foundation of all Masonic thought and practice.

Many people do pursue and enjoy the "side degrees" and affiliate bodies, like Scottish Rite, York Rite, the Shrine, Grotto, etc but many more do not, and have complete and exciting Masonic careers within the "blue lodge".

Many Masons who have joined these side bodies still choose to proudly wear the most recognizeable symbol in all of Masonry, the Square and Compasses of a Master Mason, rather than the emblems of any of their "advanced" degrees. For instance, I am a 32nd degree member of Scottish Rite, and also two York Rite bodies, and the only Masonic emblem I display on my car is the Past Master's square and compasses.

How long will it take you to do the degree work. If you are lucky, it won't happen too quickly, so that you'll have time to learn about your degrees after each one before you take the next. Ask your lodge what their plans are. They should be able to give you a rough idea of their schedule for the rest of the year.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
|                                 | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
|                                 | R.W. Grand Rep. GL Russia near GL Mass.
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|  whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|  or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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