Over half way through our 100 Day Study Guide for Master Elects, and means it’s 50 days to go until you Installation Ceremony. If you’ve been following along for the last fifty days you should be relaxed in the knowledge that we’ll be learning more over the next fifty so you’ll be more than prepared for your year in the Chair.
Yesterday we finished the Second Degree Passing and Closed the Lodge, concluding our first run through of the Second Degree Ceremony. We will now go through it again, remember, at the moment we are still in the Learning stage. You don’t need to be worried about getting it word perfect or not needing any prompts, we are “forcing” it into your short term memory, and with future repetition and revision it will then cross into your long term memory where it can be finessed at a later date.
So, today we go back to the beginning but increase the pace of learning…
Learning Masonic Ritual, Day 51 of 100: Learning the Second Degree Ceremony
Let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start…) with Opening the Lodge in the First, and work through the the Second Degree Ceremony up to the Obligation. This admittedly covers quite a bit, but let’s break it down:
- Opening in the First Degree and Questions to Candidate (Day 44)
- Open in Second, Pledges and Entrusting with the pass grip and word (Day 45)
- Candidate re-enters, perambulates and goes to pedestal (Day 46)
In my edition of Emulation Ritual this is split between pages 42-49 for the Openings, and pages 112-128 for the first part of the Passing ceremony.
Remember, we are still in the “Learning” phase so don’t pressure yourself to test yourself at the moment.
Because we are starting with Opening in the First Degree the chances are you won’t need the book for this, or at least only for a little reminder if you get a mental block. Then the next part is the Questions to the Candidate. As we discussed on Day 44, you already learnt half of this when you were the Candidate yourself, then again when you were Senior Deacon so you could prompt the Candidate, so you can probably go through this without too much reliance.
If you get some momentum going try going through it in your mind first and using the book to prompt and check your accuracy, you may be surprised.
If you find this hard going don’t worry, work your way through. There will be pieces you are more confident with, and areas that need more work. Spend time on these parts, forcing in the words in if need by repetition – we’ll be going through again. Slowly you’ll work it into your short term memory, and then it will sink into your longer term memory.
This has been quite a long day, especially if you have been having problems with it, though if you are getting a hold on it (and learning the Ritual in general) then you should be seeing the results of your labours.
Fortunately I seem to get on ok with the Second Degree – though this may be because it is the shorter of the three. Another reason is because during my years in the Warden Chairs in Lodge, I had quite a few opportunities to sit in the Master’s Chair in Lodge of Instruction, and covered the Second Degree a few times.
I assume you have also been attending your Lodge of Instruction over the last few years and combining what you’ve learn from LoI with this Study Course you also are gaining in confidence.