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more light #309

Why does the Middle Chamber Lecture of the FellowCraft Degree contain such elementary subjects?

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

Dear Masonic Student, the following information should be interesting for you to read. It comes from the Intender Handbook of the Grand Lodge of Michigan – the 1984 edition. What follows answers the question: “Why does the Middle Chamber Lecture of the Fellow-Craft Degree contain such elementary subjects?” If you can get a copy of any edition of the Intender program from the Grand Lodge of Michigan you’re bound to be the better for it. – Ed

“No matter how well-grounded a candidate may be in the subject covered by the Middle Chamber lecture, he is not or ever will be so “learned” that he may conscientiously cease his studies and “rest on his laurels.”  We say that “Masonry is a progressive science.” So must the acquisition of useful knowledge be continuously pro­gressive in the life of a man, an ever onward march that never ceases, else he becomes static or stagnant and his position in so­ciety becomes less secure and less valuable to his fellow man. Freemasonry expects it votaries to seek, seek, seek — to learn, learn, learn — and thus by precept and example to teach, teach, teach!  Thus, and only thus, can our Craft carry its beneficent influence into every avenue of human activity — and accomplish its mission.

“All useful knowledge rests upon elementary fundamentals to keep it in proper perspective — and to remind the candidate forcibly that the process of education never ceases.  The Fellow-craft degree accomplishes this in an admirable manner, for it not only reviews the basic elements of education but in so doing it automatically reminds the candidate how far we have progressed in the acquisi­tion of useful knowledge in our modern day.  Thus by contrast it sets before him a progressive pattern for the future.

“Look about you.’  Consider the elements that “disturb” our daily lives — all of them!  Quickly the realization will come that most of the burdens borne by mankind result from the departure by the world ‘ s people from the simple verities, the fundamentals  which  must guide the; human  race if it ultimately is to find real happiness — which lies only on the path to Truth!

“Thus the Middle Chamber lecture, with its elementary funda­mentals, presents a logical approach to Truth and permits the candi­date to view in true perspective the Grand Architect and His works.

“The detailed discussion on the Five Orders of Architecture, which is a prominent part of the Middle Chamber lecture has several objectives.  While it fixes the candidate’s attention on the growth and the importance of architecture in general — and by inference displays the magnitude of its influence on the progress of man — it emphasizes, too, that architecture is a symbol of the very foundation of Freemasonry, which is a speculative science derived from an operative art.”

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Last modified: March 22, 2014