ISSUE 14, July 2005

The King and the Craft
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principle and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge dues: Message from the President of the Board of General Purposes
    Masonic Housing: Major changes Finance: Choosing an investment manager Travel: Tantalising Tunisia Goose and Gridiron: Historic Masonic unveiling Extravaganza: Hollywood comes to Grand Lodge Masonic Events: Day of Fun and Medical, University and Legal Lodges' Festival Education: Sheffield Masonic Library and Forthcoming events and The Entered Apprentice Specialist Lodges: Revving up to success and where eagles dare International: The horror of Phuket and Grand Charity team visit disaster area Library and Museum: Fraternal societies Masonic Charities: NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB and Grand Charity
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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“There is not an item contained within a Masonic Lodge … that does not have a symbolic meaning.”

The Entered Apprentice

You are now an Entered Apprentice Freemason – the first step in your journey through what is known as The Craft Degrees. The word ‘apprentice’ means ‘learner’ or ‘beginner’ – one who is taking his first steps in mastering a trade or profession.
    The builders of the Middle Ages we call ‘Operative Masons’ because they were builders in the literal sense, hewing stone from the quarries, dressing to shape, and laying into walls and creating some of the most remarkable structures the world has ever seen.
    As a modern Entered Apprentice Freemason you are a beginner in what we call ‘Speculative Masonry’. This means that we do not build in stone – we build in the hearts and minds of men ‘a system of morality’.
    We do this with a series of interesting stories that contain symbols to help us illustrate and understand moral truth and justice.
    Today you are an Entered Apprentice, in a short while you will become a ‘Fellowcraft’ and, in due time a ‘Master Mason’ and the day will come when into your hands will be placed the responsibility of your Lodge as Master.
    What Freemasonry is to be in the future depends upon what you are now, as an Entered Apprentice. You are a symbol, a cornerstone on which Freemasonry of the future will be built. It is hoped that you will prove to be a solid foundation, true and tried, set four-square, on which our great Fraternity may safely progress.
    This world of Freemasonry into which you have entered is dedicated to Brotherhood. Unless you, as an Apprentice, are willing and qualified to lead a brotherly life, you will never really learn the genuine secrets of our Order. It is therefore extremely important that the obligation into which you have entered will pledge you with heartfelt sincerity to live ‘a brotherly life’.
    In this First Degree, an Apprentice takes his first step into this life. He passes through the portals of birth into this remarkable new sphere. He leaves the darkness of ignorance and helplessness of the ‘popular world’ for the light and warmth of this new experience.
    This is the most important and great meaning of the First Degree. The ceremony is not an idle formality, like joining some social club or society, but a unique and genuine experience, the beginning of a new career, in which duties, rights and privileges are real and long-lasting.

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