We’re now a tenth of the way through the 100 Day Plan to learn Masonic ritual. It’s only a small fraction of the plan, but by taking small bite-sized chunks each day hopefully you can see the progress you have made. Remember, you aren’t going to be completely word perfect in all the ceremonies during this timescale, but you should be word perfect at your Installation, and a have solid grasp on the rest of the other rituals for the coming year, so only a smaller amount of revision is needed prior to each ceremony.
Over the previous days we’ve read through everything we (as newly installed Master) needs to know for the Installation ceremony, that is installing the Immediate Past Master, then investing the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, the Lodge Admin Team, investing the Senior, Junior Deacon, Inner Guard and the Tyler (Outer Guard). Then Closing the Lodge (before heading to the bar for a well earned drink!)
Unless you’re superhuman – or spent a few hours each day working at it – I’m guessing you’re at the stage where you’re getting comfortable with the Installation ceremony and what you need to say, but still have pauses and parts that require looking at the book. Don’t worry, that’s why it’s a 100 day plan, not a 10 day one!
Learn Masonic Ritual, Day 10 of 100: Investing IPM and Wardens
From a personal point of view I’ll admit I’m having problems, not enough to get worried about it (there’s still 91 days until the ceremony), but that’s why we are revising this. It’s unlikely you’ll read the book, learn the words and still be word perfect 3 months later.
So on Day 10 we are revising Investing the Immediate Past Master (page 214 in my book of Emulation Ritual), the Senior Warden (pages 223-224) and Junior Warden (pages 224-225).
As mentioned, I’ve discovered a few areas of weakness, a few lines that seem to have slipped out of my mind over the last week.
The first is Installing the IPM. The main text in the book I’m about 85-95% on – most of the time I’m word perfect, but there are still a few pauses and occasional glitches. I’m more than happy with this a at this stage of the learning process. My main issue is with two extra sentences that have been added. In Kennet Lodge the IPM’s collar has the names of the first 70 Masters on it, and so these sentences give some of the history behind this.
As soon as I see the first couple of words each sentence pops instantly into my head, but I just can’t seem to think of them without the prompt, even just minutes after I have “learnt” them. Very frustrating!
I’d say I’m also the 85-95% stage with the Senior Warden. No extra workings for the SW so I’m happy with this progress.
The biggest problem I’m having is with the Junior Warden, where I’m only about 70-75% with it. (I’d hope to be about 75%, with that increasing to 90% after revision, and 100% by a week prior). No need to panic, and time is definitely on my side. It’s good to know I’m having these issues now, and not in the week leading to my Installation.
The investing of the JW is the longest passage of all the offices to be invested. Much of it is based on the same format as the SW, and some of the extension is merely including the line “and your brother SW” in a couple of places. However, a couple of times I though I’d nailed it only to realise that I had missed out the entire part about examining visitors!
Like the additional sentences to the IPM, I can get them when I have a prompt, but find myself fumbling in the dark without it.
I’m therefore focusing my attention today on these problem areas, but not neglecting the rest of it. I’ve also printed out these pieces and stuck it to the wall in my office with the idea that I can have a rehearsal regularly until I have it nailed.