(by Midnight Freemason Contributor Bro. Michael Arce, 28.02.2019) The picture: Pearl Harbor Lodge
The case for providing the best experience for candidates and members
Stop me if you’ve experienced this… your lodge is hosting a degree and the only thing secured is the candidate’s name. Your scrambling to fill the chairs. One Brother with an important role only knows half of his part, really, he just started learning it after having weeks to prepare. It’s degree night and another Brother, the who only seems to show up on degree night (we all know that guy), is asking out loud, “What’s for dinner? Who is doing the prompting?” Forget about practice or rehearsals, you can barely get a team assembled for degree night. Does this sound familiar?
Many years ago, my district floated the idea of creating a database of Brothers who can perform parts of our ritual. While there are lodges who have members who can fill every degree role, some feature a bench so deep with alternates and backups – just in case. For many lodges that need help filling open parts and positions, the thought was, if we compiled a list of “specialists” who could be contacted in advance, this resource would help the lodge coordinating the degree. Bringing in help is one way of pulling a degree together. However, the other idea also provides the best experience for the candidates and members of the lodge. A joint degree showcases the Masonic principle of how the best work is done together, in harmony.
A Joint Degree
I had the pleasure and honor of attending and participating in a Joint Degree featuring SIX candidates from THREE Lodges in TWO districts: Van Rensselaer #87, Clinton Lodge #140, and On Da Wa #820. Clinton Lodge hosted the degree. When I spoke with their…