Monday, November 15, 2010

‘Tonight at the First Manhattan District’

Tonight is the first of the three-part Masonic Development Course in the First Manhattan District. Topics will include the 24-inch gauge and Masonic etiquette. The brethren will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Wendell Walker Room, first floor of Masonic Hall. (71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.)

The remaining dates:

Session 2, Monday, Jan. 17, 2011
Session 3, Monday, Feb. 7, 2011

The cost per person is $30, which pays for the course book, and the framed certificate and pin for those who complete the work.

The purpose of the MDC is to educate new Masons in each of the three Craft degrees including ritual, tradition and history. It is recommended that this course be taken immediately after conferral of the Master Mason Degree.

The Masonic Development Course booklet is available through Lodge Services at Masonic Hall. It should be distributed in advance of Session 1 to allow sufficient time to complete the homework assignment.

In the Introduction to the MDC the instructors will define Freemasonry. The brethren will gain insight into:

  • Origins and Purposes of Freemasonry
  • Famous Freemasons
  • Transition from Operative to Speculative Masonry
  • Origin of First Grand Lodge
  • Is Freemasonry a Secret Society? Is it a Religion?
  • Qualifications of a Petitioner
  • Preparation of the Candidate
  • The Dignity and Decorum of Freemasonry

The first section also explains the Entered Apprentice Degree. The brethren will review and discuss questions pertaining to the ritual.

In the second section, the importance of the Middle Chamber Lecture is discussed and explained. In this section the brethren will discuss the symbolism of the Fellowcraft Degree. All quiz and discussion questions will be reviewed and discussed by all participants.

The last section explains the Hiramic Legend and the meaning of the Master Mason Degree.

Each section should consist of a 2-to-3 hour session. Instructors who are well versed in a particular topic should be used to present and discuss that topic. Homework assignments should be given prior to the first session and after Sessions 1 and 2.

MDC should be given on a non-meeting night, either in the collation room or in a facility where the brethren feel comfortable, knowing the lodge is taking an interest in the education. The new brethren and their mentors should attend together. If necessary the course can be given by a group of lodges or as a district.

Every brother taking the course should have a personal copy of the Standard Work and Lectures.

By the end of the third section every brother should have a working knowledge of each of the three degrees and should be able to explain the meanings and importance of each.

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