By Right Worshipful Brother Christopher J. Busby, Grand Lecturer
“A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. … by participating in a ritual… you are being… put in accord with… wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.”
― Joseph Campbell
Our ritual is the heart and soul of the Fraternity. All our tenets, philosophies, and myths reside there. Without it, we would simply be another social or charitable club. Our ritual sets us apart. It binds us with each other and with every Mason throughout time.
Masonic ritual is not simply made up of the words. Indeed, any individual with access with the internet can obtain a wealth of information about the forms and ceremonies of the Craft.
Does one that simply reads the reads the ritual become a Mason? Of course, the answer is “no”.
Without the right men to join us, and without the right experience to act as a catalyst for transformation, the words are merely ideas.
One may look upon our ritual as a meditation. The opening and closing of the Lodge, the floorwork of a Degree, our charges are inculcated to center us to our labors. To teach as well as to remind. To unite us around a guiding set of principles and awaken our spirits.
Our ritual is performed in Consecrated Temples which are meant to be sacred and separate from the everyday world. There we navigate along our paths from the material to the spiritual. Our Temples are the vessels in which we individually and collectively channel communication to the Divine.
Every time we enact or experience one of our Degrees, we are living and moving together in sacred time and space. We are being initiated again and renewing our obligations.
Now think back to the day when you were initiated.
Did the experience match your expectations? What elements of that day have been permanently impressed upon your mind? Are there aspects of the Degree that fell short? Why?
Think about the ritual that you last performed or witnessed.
With what intention was the ritual given? Did it feel serious, solemn, important, transcendent? Did it invoke emotion? Did it illuminate the wisdom within you?
Was Masonic Light transmitted?
Brethren, I hope that in the coming year we can explore these concepts and questions further. Have an answer to one of these questions or a question of your own? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.