The Ancient Rites of
A man must attune to the stirrings of his heart, on his quest for knowledge and understanding, and seek our the ancient order of the Masons on his own. It is said that he is then prepared in the search for light.
While the Masons are not a religious organization, our sacred ceremonies are nonetheless of a serious nature, dignified in their presentation, and impart teachings that, if properly understood, obligate a man to lead a better life.
In one sense the Fellowcraft Degree symbolizes the stage of adulthood and responsibility during a man's life on earth. In this stage, his task is to acquire knowledge and apply it to the building of his character and improving the society in which he lives.
It is a simple and straightforward view of human nature divided into three parts: body, mind and soul. Each Degree addresses and instructs one part.
The candidate has balanced his inner natures and has shaped them into the proper relationship with the higher, more spiritual parts of himself. His physical nature has been purified and developed to a high degree. He has developed stability and a sure footing. His mental faculties have sharpened and his horizons have been expanded.
The candidate is now ready to approach the portal of the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.
Being duly and truly prepared refers to the wearing of special garments furnished by the Lodge to emphasize our concern with man's internal qualifications, rather than his worldly wealth and honors. By wearing these garments, the candidate signifies the sincerity of his intentions.
The candidate is not to bring into the Lodge room his passions or prejudices, lest that harmony, which is one of the chief concerns of Masonry, be destroyed.
"Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it shall be given unto you. Knock and it shall be opened unto you."
As an Entered Apprentice takes his first step into the Lodge room, he enters into a New World: the world of Masonry. He leaves the darkness, destitution and helplessness of the world for the light and warmth of this new existence. It is not an idle formality, but a genuine experience, the beginning of a new career in which duties, rights and privileges are real.
Freemasonry offers no privileges or rewards except to those who earn them; it places working tools, not playthings, in the hands of its members. To become a Mason is a solemn and serious undertaking.
The candidate enters the Lodge of the Master Mason in darkness, for he has not witnessed the Light at this Degree before. But the difference of this entrance from that of the others is that he is now in a state of equilibrium and is prepared to walk on sacred ground. He becomes fully committed to the Fraternity and completely puts his faith on the Three Great Lights.
And as our legend is completely and absolutely consistent with some of the august Mystery Schools of antiquity, we are communing with the archetypal forces that are the foundation of our tradition.