June 2023 Trestle Board
Faithful Brethren of Kilwinning Crosse 2-237
We find ourselves marching along in the year…while I usually comment on the local flora, my yard is parched with all the dry weather we have had as of late! Hopefully we will get some rain soon to resuscitate all our yards.
We have been busy these last weeks bringing our new MM candidates up to speed with the knowledge required to pass the proficiency examination and be declared MM with all rights and benefits. I can say they are progressing well; please greet them during this June stated meeting.
Additionally, I spoke with one other candidate that, due to a recent knee surgery, was unable to attend the One Day Conferral. He is healing well, and states he is ready to be scheduled for initiation. Consequently, we will be adding another candidate on the path to MM as well. Our roles are expanding nicely, and I and I pray you as well, are pleased with our collective work for bringing new members into Kilwinning Crosse. Please take the opportunity to have a conversation with prospective new members, and invite them to a stated dinner, or we can schedule an ad hoc meeting in the evening to discuss the masonic path.
Speaking of ritual and all it entails, RW Richard Weaver will be conducting the monthly District Ritual School on June 27, and is working to prepare a group to exemplify the Master Mason degree at the Kinsale Masonic Lodge in the next coming months. Apart from volunteering for the many roles required to exemplify the degree, the school is a great opportunity to sharpen our ritual skills and build relationships across the many lodges in District 8. Please plan on attending if within the length of your cable tow.
Finally Brethren, please join us for the evening meal prior to Stated. Dinner meal will consist of a broiled turkey along with a selection of side dishes. Come out early for a great evening; dinner starts at 6:30 pm.
June 27, 2023, 7:00 PM – District Ritual School; Fredericksburg Lodge #4; 7pm
May Masonic Birthdays
Brother Ashton Durrett June 13, 1949
Brother Bernard Mahon June 24, 1955
Brother Willie Payne June 29, 1959
Brother Leslie Finch June 5, 1961
Brother Robley Pitts June 25, 1962
Brother George Broaddus June 8, 1964
Brother Bobby Jewell June 20, 1977
Worshipful Thomas Blatt June 19, 1978
Worshipful William Southworth June 20, 1983
Brother Jerry Hancock June 13, 1991
Right Worshipful Joseph Schiebel June 21, 2004
Finally, brethren, I have added a short summary of history and responsibilities of an Entered Apprentice degree, as an aide for our new brethren, as well a reminder for us all, the great light we receive in Masonry.
May the God of peace and love delight to dwell with, and bless you.
WM, Kilwinning Crosse 2-237
THE ENTERED APPRENTICE DEGREE
– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
The First Degree of Freemasonry, in all the rites, is that of Entered Apprentice. In French it is called apprenti; in Spanish, aprendiz; in Italian, apprendente; and in German, lehrling; in all of which the radical or root meaning of the word is a learner.
Like the lesser Mysteries of the ancient initiations, it is in Freemasonry a preliminary degree, intended to prepare the candidate for the higher and fuller instructions of the succeeding degrees. It is, therefore, although supplying no valuable historical information, replete, in its lecture, with instructions on the internal structure of the Order.
Until late in the seventeenth century, Apprentices do not seem to have been considered as forming any part of the confraternity of Free and Accepted Masons.
Although Apprentices are incidentally mentioned in the 01d Constitutions of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, these records refer only to Masters and Fellows as constituting the Craft, and this distinction seems to have been one rather of position than of degree. The Sloane Manuscript, No. 3,329, which Findel supposes to have been written at the end of the seventeenth century, describes a just and perfect Lodge as consisting of “two Entered apprentices, two Fellow Crafts, and two Masters,” which shows that by that time the Apprentices had been elevated to a recognized rank in the Fraternity.
In the Manuscript signed “Mark Kipling,” which Hughan entitles the York Manuscript, No. 4, the date of which is 1693, there is a still further recognition in what is there called “the Apprentice Charge,” one item of which is, that “he shall keep council in all things spoken in Lodge or chamber by any Masons, Fellows, or Freemasons.” This indicates they had close communion with members of the Craft. But notwithstanding these recognitions, all the manuscripts up to 1704 show that only “Masters and Fellows” were summoned to the Assembly.
During all this time, when Freemasonry was in fact an operative art, there was but one Degree in the modern sense of the word. Early in the eighteenth century, if not earlier, Apprentices must have been admitted to the possession of this Degree ; for after what is called the revival of 1717, Entered Apprentices constituted the bulk of the Craft, and they only were initiated in the Lodges, the Degrees of Fellow Craft and Master Mason being conferred by the Grand Lodge.
This is not left to conjecture. The thirteenth of the General Regulations, approved in 1721, says that “Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow Crafts only in the Grand Lodge, unless by a Dispensation.”
But this in practice, having been found very inconvenient, on the 22d of November 1725, the Grand Lodge repealed the article, and decreed that the Master of a Lodge, with his Wardens and a competent number of the Lodge assembled in due form, can make Masters and Fellows at discretion.
The mass of the Fraternity being at that time composed of Apprentices, they exercised a great deal of influence in the legislation of the Order; for although they could not represent their Lodge in the Quarterly Communications of the Grand Lodge—a duty which could only be discharged by a Master or Fellow-yet they were always permitted to be present at the grand feast, and no General Regulation could be altered or repealed Without their consent; and, of course, in all the business of their particular Lodges, they took the most prominent part, for there were but few Masters or Fellows in a Lodge, in consequence of the difficulty and inconvenience of obtaining the Degree, which could only be done at a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge.
But as soon as the subordinate Lodges were invested with the power of conferring all the Degrees, the Masters began rapidly to increase in numbers and in corresponding influence. And now, the bulk of the Fraternity consisting of Master Masons, the legislation of the Order is done exclusively by them, and the Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts have sunk into comparative obscurity, their Degrees being considered only as preparatory to the greater initiation of the Master’s Degree.