Monday, October 24, 2016

‘Garibaldi EA° next May’

I realize this comes a bit early, but save the date, mark your calendar, program your phone or whatever for Friday, May 5, 2017 when Garibaldi Lodge 542 in the Tenth Manhattan District will confer its famous and singular Entered Apprentice Degree.

This will take place at Masonic Hall (71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan) inside the Grand Lodge Room, which accommodates a maximum of, I think, around 1,200 people. I’ve been there when that huge room was full beyond capacity, and the Fire Department ordered hundreds to be removed for safety reasons—causing several bus loads from Pennsylvania to head home before even the first gavel was sounded.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Make group reservations with the lodge secretary by e-mailing him here. Tell RW Mascialino who you are, from where you will be coming, and how many will be in your party to ensure seating will be waiting for you. Bring your Masonic membership identification and your apron, and be ready to work your way into a tiled Masonic lodge. And you’ll need photo identification to enter the building. Make it easy on yourself and everyone else by arriving at Masonic Hall before 6 p.m. The degree will start at eight.

Magpie file photo
Garibaldi Lodge altar.

The allure of the Garibaldi EA° is almost entirely attributable to the ritual that will be worked. It is a French Rite ritual given to Garibaldi Lodge by its sister lodge in the Tenth Manhattan, l’Union Française Lodge 17. Garibaldi modified it by translating it into Italian, and that will be the language spoken during the degree. All other greetings, commentaries, commands, etc. from the East will be in English.

If you know about Scottish Rite lodge degree rituals, then you have an idea of what to expect on this night: highly symbolic and intense floor work with obvious alchemical meanings, as one finds in lodges in Europe and South America. Don’t worry about the language barrier; it only enhances the enthralling otherworldliness of the proceedings—and you’ll still get it, I assure you.

You’ve probably heard something of the Garibaldi EA, but maybe haven’t had the chance to experience it, so take advantage of this more-than-six-months advance notice and plan to get to Masonic Hall next May 5.

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