Interval between Degrees - Transparency

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Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby colineglos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:55 pm

How about a proper timescale for all Degrees

EA - on entrance
FC - 12months later
MM- 3-6 months later

And no less than 4 weeks (from a previous degree) Rule 172 BoC

Ive seen a number of EAs' (and a couple of FCs) leave Freemasonry altogether. One of their most common reasons for doing so is the lack of Transparency when it comes to the Interval between Degrees.

I spent two years as an EA! (Still feel the solitude on the bench). The reason, my mother lodge was dominated by the old-guard. When it was time to move brethren up a degree all hell and panic broke out. Officers were seconded from other lodges, and the WM was often replaced (with his blessing) as he could,nt handle the ritual. Having looked around this forum, you can still see those EA's and FC's "chomping at the bit" - desperate for that tiny spark of info, which would Im sure would make their journey through Freemasonry alot more happier and less stressful.

We should be alot more transparent with these "time frames". OK you could say "how longs a piece piece of string" and all that. But we owe it to prospective new members to given them an idea of their commitment, financial and otherwise.

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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Trouillogan » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:31 pm

colineglos wrote:How about a proper timescale for all Degrees

EA - on entrance
FC - 12months later
MM- 3-6 months later

And no less than 4 weeks (from a previous degree) Rule 172 BoC

Ive seen a number of EAs' (and a couple of FCs) leave Freemasonry altogether. One of their most common reasons for doing so is the lack of Transparency when it comes to the Interval between Degrees.

I spent two years as an EA! (Still feel the solitude on the bench). The reason, my mother lodge was dominated by the old-guard. When it was time to move brethren up a degree all hell and panic broke out. Officers were seconded from other lodges, and the WM was often replaced (with his blessing) as he could,nt handle the ritual. Having looked around this forum, you can still see those EA's and FC's "chomping at the bit" - desperate for that tiny spark of info, which would Im sure would make their journey through Freemasonry alot more happier and less stressful.

We should be alot more transparent with these "time frames". OK you could say "how longs a piece piece of string" and all that. But we owe it to prospective new members to given them an idea of their commitment, financial and otherwise.

S & F,
Colin

I couldn't agree more that we need to engage much more fully with all our members, and particularly our candidates. However, as to the time between degrees is concerned, it is 'a piece of string'. That said, full and continued engagement about this with each candidate is essential to ensure that his input as to his preparedness is fully accepted. I posit that it shows extraordinary hubris to expect a candidate to be subservient to a lodge's 'programme of work'. Remember, he hasn't the slightest inkling of what is to come. We could learn from the lady masons' lodges and some other constitutions where the candidate is asked to produce a short essay on what he(/she!) has grasped about his(/her) previous degree(s). The committee assesses from that whether or not the candidate is ready to progress. It's not a pass/fail for the candidate but it can show whether or not the lodge members have taken proper care. That is, to my mind, showing a correct regard for the candidate's situation.

It's all about the candidate, not about the lodge.
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby eckywan2 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:44 am

Absolutley correct Truly
or Truly correct Logan !
Ive been to a French lodge where they test the candidate inbetween degrees by having them read such an essay in open lodge
which is then voted on before they are allowed to move on.
At end of each year a booklet is produced with all the essays which provides good info regarding the health of the lodge or even R loge
My mother lodge has marine connections and one tradition we havent had to use recently ,
is to change whatever needs to facilitate a seafaring brother who's ship is home
or to postpone his next degree if ships away
A neighbouring lodge has new bro from HMS Q E the new aircraft carrier which was at Rosyth on the Forth Now its in Portsmouth so his third will be whenever it will be . Mind you he has been to a few UGLE lodges and expects to visit abroad.
( my lodge motto is "At Home And Abroad ")

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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby YHWH » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:17 pm

for what is my experience, it is not wrong to live every degree for at least a year: you have the opportunity to attend many Ceremonies, many lessons, and you can compare yourself with the Brothers for a long time. It is however right that there is transparency in the Lodge
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Lazza21 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:21 am

In the early days of Speculative Freemasonry it was not unusual for a candidate to proceed through all degrees at one meeting.
Both the two and later three degree systems. I did mine in one year but I have seen others wait several years to reach the third.
Surely this is a matter for individual private Lodges to determine but I must agree that candidates should be informed, a job for
their proposer and/or Lodge Mentor.
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Stevecoath » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:29 am

my own personal opinion is that it is up to the candidate when to proceed, but taking into account other work.
For instance, a candidate is initiated, the next meeting raised but the next meeting is the Installation, then the next it is the initiation of another candidate.

Now the possible options for meeting 4 would be a Raising, and then an Initiation but this is not always practicable.
or explain to the newly passed Brother the lodge programme and that he will be Raised at meeting 5.
If he is not happy and prepared to wait then that shows he is not really ready.

On the other hand I have also heard of circumstances where a Raising is prioritized over an Initiation so as to get a member for Chapter.
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby colineglos » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm

Stevecoath wrote:my own personal opinion is that it is up to the candidate when to proceed, but taking into account other work.
For instance, a candidate is initiated, the next meeting raised but the next meeting is the Installation, then the next it is the initiation of another candidate.

Now the possible options for meeting 4 would be a Raising, and then an Initiation but this is not always practicable.
or explain to the newly passed Brother the lodge programme and that he will be Raised at meeting 5.
If he is not happy and prepared to wait then that shows he is not really ready.

On the other hand I have also heard of circumstances where a Raising is prioritized over an Initiation so as to get a member for Chapter.


The "If he is not happy and prepared to wait then that shows he is not really ready." is fine in practice.
But how many lodges actual inform the candidate of why the need to wait.
As I said I spend two years on the EA bench. When I approach others concerning my advancement - it was heavily frowned upon.
"How dare you ask us?" type of attitude.

Same with other instances like the one below.

I know of a great guy, who was up for the WM chair, but no matter how hard he tried, his memory let him down. I suggested the use of an Aide-mémoire, but this was delcined, and in the end several officers shunned him. And they even removed him from office . Needless to say he stopped attending. A crying shame, and one which has not been forgetten by several of us in lodge, and hopefully deeply shames those responsible.

Its alright the UGLE producing leaflets like "the Members pathway", but without proper COMMUNICATION and TRANSPARENCY, Freemasonry will continue in decline.
And lets not bulls**t ourselves - we are in decline.

S & F
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Stevecoath » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:29 pm

Your point about memory is a very valid one.
I myself love ritual, I love studying it, dissecting it and committing it to memory.
However when I am called upon to deliver it in the lodge I make sure I spend the time to learn it again.
I have a copy of the ritual on my phone and I read it on my breaks.

What I do have an issue with is when there has been no effort at all to learn it.
The member who never turns up at LOI and then magically expects to progress towards the Chair.

If a member has memory problems but actually makes an effort then that should be applauded.
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Trouillogan » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:42 pm

Lazza21 wrote:In the early days of Speculative Freemasonry it was not unusual for a candidate to proceed through all degrees at one meeting.
Both the two and later three degree systems. I did mine in one year but I have seen others wait several years to reach the third.
Surely this is a matter for individual private Lodges to determine but I must agree that candidates should be informed, a job for
their proposer and/or Lodge Mentor.

That is indeed true - back in the days of one or two degrees, the conferral of which was done in a matter of just a few minutes, followed by the regular catechism interchanges around the table. There is almost no comparison with the way we do things nowadays in England, Scotland or Ireland.
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby MrBenn » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:11 pm

colineglos wrote:
Stevecoath wrote:my own personal opinion is that it is up to the candidate when to proceed, but taking into account other work.
For instance, a candidate is initiated, the next meeting raised but the next meeting is the Installation, then the next it is the initiation of another candidate.

Now the possible options for meeting 4 would be a Raising, and then an Initiation but this is not always practicable.
or explain to the newly passed Brother the lodge programme and that he will be Raised at meeting 5.
If he is not happy and prepared to wait then that shows he is not really ready.

On the other hand I have also heard of circumstances where a Raising is prioritized over an Initiation so as to get a member for Chapter.


The "If he is not happy and prepared to wait then that shows he is not really ready." is fine in practice.
But how many lodges actual inform the candidate of why the need to wait.
As I said I spend two years on the EA bench. When I approach others concerning my advancement - it was heavily frowned upon.
"How dare you ask us?" type of attitude.

Same with other instances like the one below.

I know of a great guy, who was up for the WM chair, but no matter how hard he tried, his memory let him down. I suggested the use of an Aide-mémoire, but this was delcined, and in the end several officers shunned him. And they even removed him from office . Needless to say he stopped attending. A crying shame, and one which has not been forgetten by several of us in lodge, and hopefully deeply shames those responsible.

Its alright the UGLE producing leaflets like "the Members pathway", but without proper COMMUNICATION and TRANSPARENCY, Freemasonry will continue in decline.
And lets not bulls**t ourselves - we are in decline.

S & F
Colin


The issue is one for your lodge to address - as it's the heart of the problem

I spent a while as an EA due to the work the lodge already had on - I was given a rough idea of when I would progress and my proposer and seconder took the time to talk things through with me and ensure that I was kept engaged, so it isn't something that the organisation as a whole needs to attend to, but it is something individual lodges need to make sure they take care of

As a whole UGLE is seeing membership decline halt and numbers hold steady - not that it's a numbers game
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby The Uninitiated » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:20 pm

colineglos wrote:How about a proper timescale for all Degrees

EA - on entrance
FC - 12months later
MM- 3-6 months later

And no less than 4 weeks (from a previous degree) Rule 172 BoC

Ive seen a number of EAs' (and a couple of FCs) leave Freemasonry altogether. One of their most common reasons for doing so is the lack of Transparency when it comes to the Interval between Degrees.


I spent 6 months as an EA (being Passed at my 5th meeting after Initiation), then six months as a FC (but Raised at my second meeting after Passing, with summer in the way).

From Day One I had a pretty good idea when the other ceremonies would be, with a fellow candidate a month ahead of me, and a Ladies Evening and an Installation, in the Calendar... for me the only frustrating part was spending the bulk of three of those seven meetings sat outside, while the Lodge was in a higher Degree than me - I wanted to be involved! I see no reason for holding someone back, if there is time on the calendar and Candidate is ready!

I have been fortunate that my Lodge is encouraging, and actively supports Brethren who want to take part... so for example I presented the 1st Degree Working Tools at the Installation (my third meeting, post Initiation) etc
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby colineglos » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:04 pm

The Uninitiated wrote:
I spent 6 months as an EA (being Passed at my 5th meeting after Initiation), then six months as a FC (but Raised at my second meeting after Passing, with summer in the way).

From Day One I had a pretty good idea when the other ceremonies would be, with a fellow candidate a month ahead of me, and a Ladies Evening and an Installation, in the Calendar... for me the only frustrating part was spending the bulk of three of those seven meetings sat outside, while the Lodge was in a higher Degree than me - I wanted to be involved! I see no reason for holding someone back, if there is time on the calendar and Candidate is ready!

I have been fortunate that my Lodge is encouraging, and actively supports Brethren who want to take part... so for example I presented the 1st Degree Working Tools at the Installation (my third meeting, post Initiation) etc


You have indeed been very fortunate.
But for some of our brethren they face an uncertain time ahead, made more difficult by those who love dominating those fellows they see as being somewhat subordinate to themselves. Hopefully things will change in time, but maybe a good start would be a kind of "individual contract" which all members of the lodge must adhere to. As someone stated previously - "its not a race". But lets clearly define the timeframe as to whats acceptable and what is not. If an EA/FC is not passed/raised in say two years - why not? (If its his own personal choice - then fair enough).

But I've seen EAs and FCs deliberately "non-Advanced" due to "pre-occupation" with either family or work related ties.
I was always taught, family comes first, then work, then lodge. Seems like some people just dont like it... hence the slowing down of some brethren throughout various lodges. Its a disgraceful practice which needs banishing asap.

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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Mike Martin » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:05 pm

I think your main driver is the right one in that there should be proper mentoring and support (in the way it happens in the operative trade) by the Proposer of an Initiate so that he understands as much as possible about what is happening and why.

Sometimes, not always mind, Proposers and Seconders let themselves and the Craft down by not properly assuming responsibility for the guidance of the men that they have introduced into membership of their Lodge.
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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby colineglos » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:40 pm

Mike Martin wrote:....

Sometimes, not always mind, Proposers and Seconders let themselves and the Craft down by not properly assuming responsibility for the guidance of the men that they have introduced into membership of their Lodge.


I think you may have just hit the nail on the head..
That scenario comes to mind in several instances I can remember. A great pity, as those that do survive this level of "Abandonment", probably do so by using the internet and its resources - only to find the Mystery gone as well as the actual enjoyment.

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Re: Interval between Degrees - Transparency

Postby Peter Taylor » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:10 pm

Mike Martin wrote:Sometimes, not always mind, Proposers and Seconders let themselves and the Craft down by not properly assuming responsibility for the guidance of the men that they have introduced into membership of their Lodge.


.... and therein lies the root of the problem. Proposers and Seconders, who themselves may well have had poor Proposers and Seconders, and so on. The Brother who has survived, having come form a line of poor Proposers and Seconders, will, generally, become a poor Proposer or Seconder himself.
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