[Square & Compasses]

From a Maryland Mason

From: vfkennedy@att.net
To: dryfoo@mit.edu
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2003 00:40:34 +0000
Message-Id: <120620030040.8378.2840@att.net>

Good evening!

Earlier today I read your opinion concerning the subject of the "One Day Mason."

My two-fold comment on that opinion is that (1) I am in complete agreement, and (2) I wish that I had written that piece, because it so succinctly mirrors my own thoughts in every respect.

"Making One Day Masons almost seems to denigrate the work that predecessors have done to learn something about the institution..."

I received my degrees in Maryland, being raised in 1972, where every candidate enjoyed the personal privilege of each degree being put on for him alone, being assigned an instructor who taught the degree work mouth-to-ear because there were no booklets, and the candidate was required to demonstrate his proficiency in the preceding degree prior to advancing, by examination at the altar during open Lodge meetings. Following his examination, the candidate was removed from the Lodge and the members present voted on his proficiency by the secret ballot method. As in other matters of utmost importance, a unanimously affirmative ballot was an essential ingredient.

I no longer live in Maryland, but it is my information from mailings that I have received from my Lodge that there have been One Day Masons made in that state. I am uncertain as to how often that opportunity is made available, or whether some Lodges have opted out by requiring every candidate to follow the ancient custom, or whether it was an experimental thing which has perhaps even been discontinued (I hope!).

I truly believe that a candidate is dealt a true disservice by being afforded opportunity to bypass the progressive manner of receiving the degrees and attaining proficiency in the degree work before moving forward. To me that smacks of promoting a Junior Deacon to Worshipful Master because he was unable or unwilling to expend the time, effort and energy to learn and work in the several successively senior stations on his way to the East.

Making One Day Masons almost seems to denigrate the work that predecessors have done to advance and to LEARN something about the institution. Life doesn't offer many true shortcuts to success, and I believe that Masonry shouldn't either.

Sincerely and fraternally,
Victor Kennedy
Centreville, MD Lodge #180 A.F. & A.M.

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