The Entered Apprentice ritual, is one of the most deep and impressive ceremonies I have experienced. Last week, we welcomed our familiy two more good and bright gentlemen that we now call “brother” so to them, my newest brothers, I bid them welcome to our numbers and pray to TGAOTU that their Masonic carreer is full, long and plentiful; that they shalll find within the craft and by our side what they seek, be that what it may.
My favorite parts of the E:.A:. degree, is “The Writing Ceremony”. Without going into details of it, the power of this ceremony is immense and it inculcates in the mind of the initiate the seriousness and extreme importance of our Masonic obligation, which we swore upon our Sacred Altar, before god, our brethren and ourselves.
As a young Entered Apprentice’s Masonic carreer develops unto higher degrees, a necessary time passes which allows the neofite to realize that he has vested not only his energy and time to the craft, but one of the most secretive mysteries of our order is woven into the very fabric of the spirit and that is “the mystic tie”, an invisible, insoluble chain that is built upon our relationships with other brothers. True friendship is one of its main important links of that chain and it is –amongst other things- one of the most important gifts our ancient order has to offer.
With time, as bonds continue to grow and strengthen, as we make friends we will keep forever, you will also see that sometimes our understanding of the solemnity of our obligation gets clouded. We see as well that some might go astrey in their work, loyalty or devotion to our true principles. Do not become disappointed when this happens. My own “Masonic Godfather” warned me, about this the day of my initiation: unfortunately Masons and Masonry are not the same thing. Masons are men propense to err and fail; Freemasonry is a doctrine perfect and uncorruptable in nature –he said-. With this my brothers, worry not that about the faults of others, but focus on sanding down your own imperfections. Do not worry about those taking advantage of their status as “brother” to gain special favors from hearts with pure intentions. Worry about not incurring in this yourselves and about not being cought in the confusion of those that do it. Freemasonry, as a perfect system, will weed itself from such characters but it is most important that a Mason doesn’t weed himself with less than pure intentions in his words and actions. The craft is not a business or a networking venue; those who think it is will find themselves more than disappointed and eventually fall into oblivion. Therefore, examin your hearts and realize that we are all here to live the most sublime of our natures and friendships, and not give in to the mundane of those that seek less than what we take Freemasonry to be.
W∴ M∴ Constantine L. Costopoulos