Scottish Craft Ritual

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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Bookworm » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:46 am

Martin,
An answer to your question may be found in a paper entitled "Our Ritual, a study in its development" by J. Mason Allan. Originally published in the GLoS Yearbook for 1960, it was reprinted in a selection of yearbook articles published by Lewis Masonic in 1983, edited by George Draffen and called "Masons and Masonry". The paper deals with, amongst other things, the production of the reconciled ritual following the 1813 Union in England, which, according to Bro. Allan, only took its final form about 1835. As for that ritual's influence on the Scottish craft, he writes: "The ritual of 1835, whether Stability, Emulation, or other, is, in respect of scope, structure and Landmarks, essentially the same as our present-day rituals, notwithstanding the wide variety of workings that characterise Scottish freemasonry. In these respects of scope, structure and Landmarks, it may be taken that all our Scottish Rituals derive ultimately from the 1835 ritual, though in other respects many of them contain features that are indigenous to and characteristic of Scotland. Conversely there are features in the 1835 ritual that had their original sources in Scotland." He goes on to say that there was also much in the 1835 ritual which was entirely new, such as the definition of freemasonry as "a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols". Finally, he did mention one Scottish ritual which he described as "a notable exception in the West of Scotland" (I presume he means MacBride), but even it, he said, showed some influence from the 1835 ritual.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Richard George » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:56 am

What an odd statement in there though;
Conversely there are features in the 1835 ritual that had their original sources in Scotland
Given the rest of what it says, it's implying a chicken and egg situation!

The bottom line is; who cares (now) which ritual (or Grand Lodge) came first? It can be argued that UGLE has a multitude of rituals even if they all have their roots in one or other of the versions that existed x years ago .. most lodges tweak it to make themselves unique - that alone creates a multitude of flavours. Who really cares which lodge came first? Why is there so much moaning about celebrating God-knows how many years of Freemasonry? Lets just celebrate the fact that it exists and has done for so many years! The home Constitutions took it to the world; lets just accept that someone has got a date wrong and get on with being happy and communicating happiness, because it seems to me that there are some who are forgetting to do that.

Me? I just like visiting to see and watch the differences; I don't care if it's English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Timbukto or what.

Personally, I'm just getting a bit fed up with the seemingly one upmanship that's creeping in (including into this and a couple of other threads).

Minor rant over. Merry Christmas. I'm outta here for the duration.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby eckywan2 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:08 am

Well said Richard
enough
now Christmas break and a guid new year tae yin and 'a
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby wayne cowley » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:43 pm

As Mr Benn has posted on another thread

It is perhaps timely to highlight this section of the forum rules, and ask that members keep it in mind when posting

It's not a new addition, it has been in place since the forum originated, and every member has agreed to act in accordance with those rules

C/ Criticisms Of Specific Grand Lodges
While it may be reasonably argued that some Grand Lodges are losing site of the purpose of Freemasonry, it is unfair to point fingers at any one Grand Lodge. We have members of virtually every Grand Lodge on the forum. Thus an attack on any one grand lodge is an attack on our forum member from that Grand Lodge. We also have several Grand Lodge officers here who are trying to make a difference, both on the forum and in their Grand Body. If you have issues with a specific Grand Lodge, please take it up with that Grand Lodge via your lodge secretary.


Can we all remember that we are brethren and should treat each other with respect please

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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Lloyd Wiebe » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:51 pm

We really do need a thumbs up button on here.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby martgee » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:26 pm

OK. There isn't a UK ritual. But, having looked at many so-called different 'English' rituals, apart from the Revised ritual which is very different and Bristol and its derivatives (which have some differences), I am coming round to a very firm view, that apart from some quite minor differences, That the UGLE, which in theory recommended a ritual in 1814, would have 'policed' the delivery of the ritual ever since and would not allowed a ritual that was substantially different.
I have a paper on this called 'there is only one ritual'. If anyone wants a copy, send me a specific e-mail. I don't think it is appropriate to put it on the site.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Richard George » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:12 pm

The real problem is that you need to STOP referring to a UK ritual!! - Remember, there are THREE Grand Lodges in the UK; each has it's own ideas on ritual; there's ENGLISH ritual (various flavours), SCOTTISH ritual (a multitude I believe), and IRISH ritual (no idea on how many). Each can make their own rules as to what constitutes ritual as they're not holden to anyone else. You should therefore refer to ENGLISH ritual, or SCOTTISH ritual, or IRISH ritual - NOT, repeat NOT(!) UK ritual. It's like referring to US ritual .. of which there are many, as they are defined by the individual states' Grand Lodges - and they're not the same.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Trouillogan » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:36 pm

martgee wrote:OK. There isn't a UK ritual. But, having looked at many so-called different 'English' rituals, apart from the Revised ritual which is very different and Bristol and its derivatives (which have some differences), I am coming round to a very firm view, that apart from some quite minor differences, That the UGLE, which in theory recommended a ritual in 1814, would have 'policed' the delivery of the ritual ever since and would not allowed a ritual that was substantially different.
I have a paper on this called 'there is only one ritual'. If anyone wants a copy, send me a specific e-mail. I don't think it is appropriate to put it on the site.
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Exactly! As Richard George confims, there is no UK ritual. I'm not sure if you read it but what I said above at 20 Dec 2015 20:10 is how the situation panned out, leading to the varieties we have in England and Wales.

As to policing by UGLE - not a chance! There were a couple of of attempts in the nineteenth century by individuals in GL to do so but they failed for the quite obvious reason that there would have been riots in the streets! Particularly in northern areas. Again, in 1926 there was a debate in GL about the form of the Craft installation (long and short versions) and that failed also, for much the same reason, as well as the invocation and re-affirmation of rule 155. Further, on that occasion the imposition of particular forms of ritual by PGMs on Lodges in their Provinces was declared to be ultra vires, with the specific mention of Sussex.

I would give you the relevant references but, having recently moved house, it will take me about another month or so to reassemble my library and make it useable.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Ninth Arch » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:23 pm

martgee wrote: I want to look at Scottish ritual.
I believe there are Harvey, Standard, MacBride, Modern, Goudieleck etc.
Can anyone tell me how different these are from each other and from say
Stability or Emulation.
I can buy the ritual books, but before I do, it would be nice to know which are really different pip pip
Martin G


I was Initiated, Passed and Raised, and went through the Chair of an English Emulation Lodge, and English Mark, Chapter and KT's, moving to Scotland in 2000, I am now Masonically very active 'North of the Border'. I have visited Lodges from the Borders to Stranraer and up to Ayre and all points in between. Scottish rituals are indeed very different from those in England and as already stated, each Lodge can if they wish have their own ritual as long as certain elements are included. Each Lodge also has its own regalia. In practice what tends to happen is that a Lodge will work from an established pre-written ritual, "with bits of paper" and additions (which is the way it has always been done in this Lodge). Although there is a ritual entitled 'Standard Scottish', in reality there is no such thing.

In some English Lodges it seems to be a competition as to who can be most 'word perfect'. In Scotland the emphasis is more on the meaning and interpretation of the ritual. The principle that "all are equal on the S." is applied, not just something you say because it sounds good (while picking a bit of dust off one's Grand or Provincial apron). My experiences with Scottish Masonry has enriched my understanding and pleasure of the Craft and reminded me that "humility is an essential qualification in each".

Being situated where you are, contact with or attendance at, a Scottish Lodge is perhaps not likely unless you travel up regularly. So although you can buy rituals, unless you can witness their implementation and interpretation and experience its atmosphere, it may have limited meaning. I can read a book on brain surgery but that wouldn't make me a brain surgeon (many sighs of relief from those who have witnessed my first aid skills in action).

Rituals in common use in this area include 'Harveys' (which has an interesting prologue which explains why rituals in Scotland vary) and 'Standard Scottish', which is perhaps the most akin to English ritual. If you are into 'blood sports' visit the Lodge at Tarbolton. If you want something outstandingly different from English ritual however I would recommend 'MacBride's' (although you might need someone to translate for you) or 'Whitby' (which I think is now out of print). I am sure though, many Scottish members may suggest that their Lodge ritual is THE Scottish ritual.
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby Mike Martin » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:55 am

martgee wrote:OK. There isn't a UK ritual. But, having looked at many so-called different 'English' rituals, apart from the Revised ritual which is very different and Bristol and its derivatives (which have some differences), I am coming round to a very firm view, that apart from some quite minor differences, That the UGLE, which in theory recommended a ritual in 1814, would have 'policed' the delivery of the ritual ever since and would not allowed a ritual that was substantially different.

I think it would help your paper if you were to make contact with the Secretaries of those Lodges (both Antient and Modern) that were in operation prior to the Union of 1813. Grand Lodge's "Directory of Lodges and Chapters" will help you and they are the Lodges bearing Nos. 339 and lower (there's about 300 of them still going), the earliest being Nos. 2 and 4 which are 2 of the original 4 lodges that caused all the fuss above. They weren't compelled to change their Ceremonials to conform with the Lodge of Reconciliation's new combined version, although sadly some have done due to the expediency of having printed books available to their members. Only new Lodges were expected to do so and even then not all did (hence Bristol workings), my own Lodge (only 80 odd years old) uses a variation that seems like a combination of Emulation with Taylors and that's because our Founders were members of pretty old Lodges up North!
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Re: Scottish Craft Ritual

Postby eckywan2 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:22 pm

Martin,,, happy new year
You've had a good number of responses here, with great comments and suggestions
can I suggest an obvious extra / or alternative

Come and visit !.... Scotland expects every mason to just turn up, be tested if no one knows you
and enjoy our differences and hospitality (simple meal or just pie and pint, normally at no cost to visitors, just spend some cash on raffles/ swindle)
Our GL yearbook will tell you where and when lodges are meeting, or use various GL and PGL websites
and better still , just PM me , tell me where and when you can be and I will see you there
maybees with other lodgeroom regulars

Don't know how to get to Timbuctoo though

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