Raised to the "Sublime Degree of a Master Mason"
In the third ceremony in Craft masonry,
a brother is raised to the ‘Sublime Degree
of a Master Mason’. It is indeed a ‘Sublime’
Degree, which, as a full member of the
Craft, a Mason may study for years without
Any interpretation in this article must
necessarily be a hint only. Yet a hint may
stimulate a Mason to reflect upon it himself,
and to study it more thoroughly in the future.
In the First and Second Degrees, the
candidate was surrounded by the symbols
of architecture, nature and science. In the
Third Degree a different order of symbolism
is found, cast in the language of the soul –
it is life, tragedy and triumph. To recognise
this is the first step in interpretation.
The second step is to recognise that the
Third Degree has many meanings. It is not
intended to be a complete lesson in itself,
but rather a signpost pointing out paths to
follow, a new departure in the form of an
awakening of all the faculties. It is like the
unfolding of a drama, or a work of art or
symphony to which one may evermore
return to find new significance and
The Third Degree is indeed a drama.
It is the drama of the immortality of the
soul. It sets forth the truth that whilst man
withers away to crumble and decay, there
is deep within him that something that
will never perish.
So, what does this ‘Raising’ ceremony
of the Third Degree signify? To have the
answer to this question is to have found
the key to open up all the meanings of
The life of a man is organised into
a number of groups of experience.
Some of these experiences are incidental
to our passage through time, from
childhood, through manhood to old age.
The most difficult of all to deal with
is that made up of the evils of life, such as
hard experiences, sin, defeat, suffering,
disease, pain, loss of friends or fortune,
enmity, treachery, crime, wickedness,
sorrow and death.
Herein lie our greatest problems, our
most trying ordeals and severest tests.
If we can find the wisdom to deal with
these, if we can triumph over and solve
these problems, our characters will be
secure, our happiness assured.
Web site created by Mark Griffin