Your opinion please!

Lay out any Complaints and suggestions so we can get to grips with them

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby TWells » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:30 pm

Lodge Preceptor is my goal. Once I have been through the chair and IPM there is little else, in all practicality, I can do, so I want to be a certificated Preceptor.
My Lodge know of my aspirations, though I hadn't realised you could be a 'certificated'. Hence I now want to be a certificated Lodge Preceptor.
The problem with attending ELoI is it clashes with my own LOI. Bit of a bugger, though I do intend to make the effort a couple of time's this season.
Are there provisions for a private Emulation LOI visiting ELoI? I could suggest this. I feel sure a few of our members would come.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Bernie » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:34 pm

The problem with being an ELOI recognised preceptor is that you need a lodge willing to practice Emulation 'by the book'. Many lodges profess that they work true Emulation, but few actually do. Usually, there are one or two local 'isms' which creep in. Getting the old boys to give those up will be the challenge.

I'd love to have a recognised LOI near to me; I'd attend it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I just can't make the nearest one, which is a few hours round trip.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Huw » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Hi Alun.

AlunElderBrown wrote:My Lodge know of my aspirations, though I hadn't realised you could be a 'certificated'. Hence I now want to be a certificated Lodge Preceptor.

"Certificated" was a figure of speech which I used because it involves passing a test, but we don't actually hand out a physical certificate. The official term is Recognised Preceptor.

If you want to try for it, I'm delighted and wish you the best of luck. Be warned that most Preceptors don't pass the first time, so don't get discouraged if it takes more than one attempt. Obviously there could be some difficulties presented by being partially-sighted, which we probably need to discuss in person next time you turn up.

AlunElderBrown wrote:The problem with attending ELoI is it clashes with my own LOI. Bit of a bugger, though I do intend to make the effort a couple of time's this season.

I'll look forward to seeing you there. I think I remember you mentioning that you attended on a previous occasion, but I wasn't there that day. Let me know when you're next coming along.

AlunElderBrown wrote:Are there provisions for a private Emulation LOI visiting ELoI? I could suggest this. I feel sure a few of our members would come.

If you mean simply all turning up to attend at the same time, then of course you can. The more the merrier (except remember that it's MMs only). If some of your guys want to have a go at taking part in the demonstration, that can probably be arranged ... but if so, warn them that they'll be expected to know the work very well.

Occasionally, it is even arranged for an LoI to turn up and occupy all the Offices for the evening's demonstration. However, that's only done with the Recognised LoIs, and only when they've prepared for it thoroughly. It hasn't happened for a while.

T & F,

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Huw » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:37 am

Hi Bernie.

Bernie wrote:The problem with being an ELOI recognised preceptor is that you need a lodge willing to practice Emulation 'by the book'. Many lodges profess that they work true Emulation, but few actually do. Usually, there are one or two local 'isms' which creep in. Getting the old boys to give those up will be the challenge.

Well, perhaps not quite entirely. Even where there's a Recognised LoI, there are often a few localisms in the sponsoring Lodge. In such cases, the LoI should (in theory) be teaching the strict Working, but it'd be fair to explain what the local variation is as well. Bear in mind, though, that Recognised LoIs often end up simultaneously serving multiple Lodges (which will each have different localisms), because being known for excellent work often attracts neighbouring Brethren who use the same Working. So if that happens, then it's simpler just to teach by the book, and let each Brother work out for himself what localisms might be expected in his own Lodge.

Bernie wrote:I'd love to have a recognised LOI near to me; I'd attend it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I just can't make the nearest one, which is a few hours round trip.

Ah yes, I remember sending you some contact details a year or two ago. Sorry it's not close enough to be useful. Obviously I wish there were more Recognised LoIs around, but all I can do is encourage applications. Maybe one day you can fix this lack by getting Recognition yourself!

Keep the Light shining, Brethren!

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Richard George » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:45 pm

Hi Huw.

I can think of a number of LoIs that work to a high standard - but they obviously use minor local deviations from the book.

There is one LoI that may, however, fit bill precisely; the Ely United Lodge of Instruction; it acts as the LoI for all the Ely lodges (4), with the individual lodges (not all) holding practices that cover their own specifics. They also present all new Ely MMs with a copy of the blue book after their 3rd. I'll speak to their Preceptors (there's 2; elected annually by the members) to see if they are interested.

BTW - as a former DC/Preceptor, I wish I'd known about this when I was DC. I've been told on a number of occasions (by one Richard Lewin who, I've a suspicion, is a member of ELoI) that I aught to have gone for 'the matchbox' (1) . Never thought I was good enough tho'.

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Huw » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:46 pm

Hi Richard.

Richard George wrote:There is one LoI that may, however, fit bill precisely; the Ely United Lodge of Instruction; it acts as the LoI for all the Ely lodges (4), with the individual lodges (not all) holding practices that cover their own specifics. They also present all new Ely MMs with a copy of the blue book after their 3rd. I'll speak to their Preceptors (there's 2; elected annually by the members) to see if they are interested.

AHA! Of course I'll be delighted if they're interested. In fact, if you like, I'll come up there for a meeting with them.

Richard George wrote:BTW - as a former DC/Preceptor, I wish I'd known about this when I was DC.

Sorry. Obviously we ought to be making sure that those Brethren who would like to be aware of these things are indeed aware, but it looks like we've fallen down on communications. We'll have to think about how to fix this ... perhaps some input from Provincial secretariats might be a good starting point, so if you'd care to don your ProvAGSec hat and recommend how we should proceed, then I'd be grateful.

Richard George wrote:I've been told on a number of occasions (by one Richard Lewin who, I've a suspicion, is a member of ELoI) ...

Off the top of my head, I can't remember - there are hundreds of members. Name sounds familiar from somewhere, though.

Richard George wrote:... that I aught to have gone for 'the matchbox' (1) . Never thought I was good enough tho'.

Ah, well, the Silver Matchbox is a different thing from Preceptor Recognition. The Matchbox requires perfect performance, but in only one Ceremony. Recognition doesn't require such perfection, but covers all the Ceremonies and tests precepting-skill as well as performing-skill.

As to whether you're precise enough to win yourself a Matchbox, there's really only one way to find out for sure! If you fancy having a go, then of course I'm always delighted to hear that too. But be warned, it's tough, and succeeding at first attempt is very rare.

An additional thought for you: since you're an experienced Preceptor, perhaps you could have a go for Recognition yourself? Where an LoI has multiple Preceptors (as indeed ELoI itself does, we have a panel of seven), it only takes one of them to be Recognised for the LoI to obtain Recognition. But perhaps you don't have time to go back into precepting.

I'm willing to put some personal effort into expanding our Recognition scheme to Cambridgeshire. If you're keen too, then I think you and I perhaps ought to meet in person. I'm not ridiculously busy during the summer recess, so I'll come up if you like; just name a day.

T & F,

Huw
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby markpatrick » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:25 am

Hello all,

Good to see you again Huw, it's been a while (at least on here). Getting back to the question at hand, I couldn't recommend memorisation enough. For example I've set myself the target to learn the 1st degree charge over this summer, as we've got a couple of chaps coming in at our next meeting. I'm about two thirds of the way though is and admittedly, it's not the easiest task I've ever set myself, but I'm enjoying the challenge and I'm sure when I've got it'll worth all the effort. Then again I've got a problem solving brain, and enjoy challenges.

I've always thought that the best ceremonies I've sat through (or indeed been a part of) are those where nobody was reading and, even if they weren't word perfect (and that doesn't really come into it) the effort that everyone was putting in, and the sincerity with which they were fulfilling their roles spoke more volumes than if the words were read.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby KTea » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Its possible to be passionate about the ritual but
still struggle with memory, although intelligent
we are not all neurotypical, and as a result
some of us have other talents, that society today lacks.
Its possible to not have a great memory yet still be
a fantastic Freemason.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby gord_vokes » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:39 pm

Huw wrote:Hi Alun.

AlunElderBrown wrote:My Lodge know of my aspirations, though I hadn't realised you could be a 'certificated'. Hence I now want to be a certificated Lodge Preceptor.

"Certificated" was a figure of speech which I used because it involves passing a test, but we don't actually hand out a physical certificate. The official term is Recognised Preceptor.

If you want to try for it, I'm delighted and wish you the best of luck. Be warned that most Preceptors don't pass the first time, so don't get discouraged if it takes more than one attempt. Obviously there could be some difficulties presented by being partially-sighted, which we probably need to discuss in person next time you turn up.

AlunElderBrown wrote:The problem with attending ELoI is it clashes with my own LOI. Bit of a bugger, though I do intend to make the effort a couple of time's this season.

I'll look forward to seeing you there. I think I remember you mentioning that you attended on a previous occasion, but I wasn't there that day. Let me know when you're next coming along.

AlunElderBrown wrote:Are there provisions for a private Emulation LOI visiting ELoI? I could suggest this. I feel sure a few of our members would come.

If you mean simply all turning up to attend at the same time, then of course you can. The more the merrier (except remember that it's MMs only). If some of your guys want to have a go at taking part in the demonstration, that can probably be arranged ... but if so, warn them that they'll be expected to know the work very well.

Occasionally, it is even arranged for an LoI to turn up and occupy all the Offices for the evening's demonstration. However, that's only done with the Recognised LoIs, and only when they've prepared for it thoroughly. It hasn't happened for a while.

T & F,

Huw



Dear Huw,

Greetings and hope to find you well.
I must appoligize for the attitude of one of my dearest freinds, mentors and fellow on another forum for his treatmment of your honest question concerning the change of name when we tried to re-erect a forum. The forum we are speaking about has never regained it's former interest amongst our membership, which goes along with the old chestnut that you can never swim in the same stream twice.

Why I write this question, bears upon on present Master-Elect, who suggested last year of visiting the ELOI in whatever size of group we could gather. I'm afraid that we only have 14 regular attenders (stalwarts), but a larger role and monthly visitors. In our last regular meeting in May, we had the honour of the DGM, or properly the GM-Elect as a special visitor and overnite visitors from Victoria No. 1 (Emulation) and Kamloops No. 10 (Emulation) to witness how Emulation as per ELOI is done.

Our sources are are the Emulation Ritual supplied by ELOI, The Lectures of the Three Degrees in Craft Masonry, and Emulation Working Today by Graham Redham. These plus out-of-date Books by Herbert Inman, and Colin Dyer; plus communication between yourself, other members of ELOI and myself.

Our purpose for visiting would be to witnessing Emulation, not just by rote memorization as mentioned in the thread, or the ruberics included in the Ritual book, rather the level and style of rhetoric required.

It is my hope that this visit could be arranged; however, a Master-Elect finds many demands on his time and planning.

We do have a couple of Preceptor potentials, the major one, a true mason and one of the reasons that a single by the book ELOI lodge has survived in our Jurisdiction is now finding himself taking on multiple roles and responsiblities in side units.

S&F,
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Dundee Brother » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:31 pm

I agree with the commitee also, i think it's a great feeling once you have put in the work of learning Ritual and doing it word perfect in open lodge, and i for one felt that once you learn one piece it becomes easier as time goes on, as long as you give it time to soak in and not try too much, i've found myself mixing ritual up and going from one piece to another, thankfully not in the Lodge "Yet".
But i don't have an issue with an official prompter normally it's our secretary!
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby bboy » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:46 am

As we get older it does get more difficult to. Learn new ritual. But anyone, he they put effort in, can learn the ritual. Too many people say they can't learn large bits of ritual - I think anyone can learn remember any piece of ritual if they want to.

This may mean sitting studying the ritual for hours at a time, every night of the week.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby David H » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:08 am

Paul.w wrote:I think it should be acceptable to have you book open in a creamery and prompt your self if you need to. When I put this to the committee of witch I am a member, the comments were we have never done it that way and never will. What are you thoughts?

Paul


I agree 100% but you will NEVER get those that have done it (at whatever cost) to agree to this. I have heard all of the arguments most of which are seriously flawed. Compare the masonic insistence on working from memory to the numerous occasions you will have been present at or seen on the TV where erudite intelligent people have the good sense to speak in a meaningful way from a script or crib notes.

On the other hand I have seen ritual gabbled and parroted by people whilst receiving prompts (correct and otherwise) from every corner.

Does the ability to do ritual from memory guarantee good post holders - in my experience absolutely not. Whilst it is a good thing to see if done well with humanity insistence on memorization precludes many otherwise excellent potential Masters and others from taking office. On the other hand I have seen "performers" take the chair with little or no real interest other than achieving the chair, success in their business or private lives has eluded them.

To be a competent RWM to SERVE with humanity is a wonderful aspiration - too often it is shamefully abused.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Gavin » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:33 pm

I've read all this with interest. As a FC who attends our LOI each week I find that time at home learning small chunks of ritual is helped greatly by then performing various roles during LOI and that certainly beds in the memorisation.

It didn't really dawn on me until my second and then experiencing opening the lodge in that degree at LOI just how much of the first degree opening and closing I had absorbed without either realising it or trying.

I know I have until May 2019 to learn the ritual and in fact find that now I am working at it that taking WM, SW and JW chairs during LOI is invaluable. Yes, a bit nerve wracking, but we have a good Preceptor/DC and ADC who are really supportive and that plus practicing the perambulation is really helpful.

If my Lodge held a vote at the next meeting on whether all ritual could be read (not that there's a chance of that happening!) I would definitely vote against. For me the impression gained from the charge after my initiation was incredibly impressive and after the second, although I knew how much work had gone into learning it, hardly less so.

What our Lodge does do is encourage newer brethren who are not in office, if they want to, to undertake a small part such as presenting the working tools which also helps to learn and gain confidence.

However, if a brother does not wish to progress then that's fine as well.

From my personal perspective it has cemented the thought that I shall not join Chapter or any other progressive order until I have either taken the chair in my lodge or am extremely confident in knowing all the craft ritual in preparation for taking the chair.

From the little I now know that I know it seems to me that learning the ritual is only the first part, the second and even more important part is understanding what it's about and I believe that can only be assisted by learning the ritual until it becomes second nature, allowing the mind time to concentrate on the understanding.

Thanks for reading

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Huw » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:49 pm

Gavin: I agree, and what a heartening response to hear from a newish Brother. If some of the more senior members would actually listen to younger members (instead of making ill-informed guesses about what attracts younger members), then I think some of them would be quite surprised to find that many of the younger members entirely agree with you! I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you know what the ritual says, then you might understand what it means, but if you don't know what the ritual says, then you can't understand what it means.

Gord: I hadn't been on here for a while, so I didn't see your July post until now, sorry. Certainly your visit would be very welcome, and I'm happy to discuss arrangements, but let's do that offline. I'll PM you an email address. Regarding your comment about someone abusing me on another forum, I can't now recall which incident (of many) you mean, and it's probably better to leave it that way - most of the allegedly-masonic forums in the world, with the conspicuous exception of this one, seem to be over-run with weirdo nutcases or unmasonic jerks or both.

T & F,

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby LTH » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:38 pm

Paul.w wrote:Having just about finished with my Deacons work I am fully aware of all the nights I had to study my book getting the perambulation correct in my head and at the same time learning all the words for all three ceremonies, especially as my Lodge insists on them all being done from memory and that included the charge as well.
I now look at the new brethren who are about to start on the ladder and the blank look on there faces as i complete my work, they often comment, and say they will never learn all of it and how did I manage to do it all from memory? I think it should be acceptable to have you book open in a creamery and prompt your self if you need to. When I put this to the committee of witch I am a member, the comments were we have never done it that way and never will. What are you thoughts?

Paul


I agree with the committee and I believe that whilst learning the ritual off by heart by reciting it over and over again that the moral lessons which Freemasonry imparts get ingrained into ones subconscious. Thus instead of reading and forgetting the ritual and Freemasonry's moral teachings come to life in one's daily deportment.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Trouillogan » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:11 pm

Further, delivering ritual from memory, even if not word perfect but flowing properly, has a remarkable effect upon the candidate and, remember, it is for his benefit and for no one else's that it is done.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Huw » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:24 pm

Hi Trouillogan.

Trouillogan wrote:... it is for his benefit and for no one else's that it is done.

I'll agree that the delivery of ritual is primarily for the benefit of the Candidate, although perhaps not exclusively - reminding the rest of us why we're there can't be doing us any harm. However, I'd argue that the process of learning the ritual is mainly for the benefit of the man who's doing the learning, because that process is the method by which masonry drives home (or at least tries to drive home) its lessons.

T & F,

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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Trouillogan » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:42 pm

Huw, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was attempting to keep my comment brief and failed miserably by too much brevity!
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Peter Taylor » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:17 pm

I came across this quote from Joseph Campbell. Even though Campbell was speaking generally, it hits the foundation of Freemasonry:

"The way to find your path is to find these mythological symbols that speak to you, to use them as a basis for meditation, let them work on you. A ritual is nothing but the dramatic, visual, active representation of a myth. By participating in the rite, you are engaged in the myth, and the myth works on you, provided you are caught by the image. But if you just go through it in routine expecting it to work magically and get you to heaven ... this is not the proper use of these things."
-Joseph Campbell

While the main beneficiary is the Candidate, the Ritual works on everyone who witnesses it and who participates.
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Re: Your opinion please!

Postby Richard George » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:35 am

To me, the point of learning the ritual as opposed to reading it, is one of understanding. Too often I see lodges reading the ceremony - and invariably the meaning gets lost. If you take the trouble to learn it, you have a chance of thinking about what it's saying and therefore a better chance of conveying that meaning to the candidate and to the membership as a whole. Many a time I've had people come up to me and say "...I've heard that so many times I've lost count, but I've never been made to think about it before..."; and that's the point.

Gavin wrote:From my personal perspective it has cemented the thought that I shall not join Chapter or any other progressive order until I have either taken the chair in my lodge or am extremely confident in knowing all the craft ritual in preparation for taking the chair.


Gavin - whilst I respect your position, I'd say "reconsider". There's nothing wrong with waiting to join Chapter (or any other progressive order) until you've been through the Chair, but I'd personally recommend you join and then watch and perhaps work through the junior offices at the same time. You'll find that some things in Craft become clearer - and, in the case of Mark, you'll understand something about what happens during the Craft installation (in the inner working) that you cannot possibly understand unless you're a member of Mark. In my case it was like a light suddenly going off and I understood immediately without it having to be explained; something that would never have happened if I hadn't been a member of Mark.
In general, experiencing some of the other orders can definitely help with understanding Craft.
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