(by Kristine Wilson-Slack 33o, Universal Freemasonry, September 5, 2019)
This is the first installment in a series exploring the effects of Masonic ritual. Here the author explores the nature of ritual, particularly in relation to Freemasonry.
A modern Masonic guide states that ritual is “a practice done in a set and precise manner so as to produce a result with a symbolic signification… It can be viewed as a formula that creates a hidden code to be discovered by those who are in search for the truth.” Masonic ritual, in its general form, has been used for hundreds of years to create an “idealized reality of a perfected Man” in each of the members of the Lodge. Bro… Wilmshurst, in The Meaning of Masonry, states:
Masonry is a sacramental system, possessing, like all sacraments, an outward and visible side consisting of its ceremonial, its doctrine, and its symbols which we can see and hear, and an inward, intellectual and spiritual side, which is concealed behind… and which is available only to the Mason who has learned to use his spiritual imagination and who can appreciate the reality that lies behind the veil of outward symbol.
In other words, there are two sides to Masonic ritual: the outward and the inward; these are likened to the great Mystery Schools of ancient Babylon and Greece, where…