Saturday, December 21, 2019

‘National Grotto Day 2020’

I know what some of you are thinking: “The Grotto?!

Yeah, that’s right, the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm.

There should be local places where the purely convivial and even frivolous impulses in Freemasonry can be exhibited, and a Grotto offers the best venue.

After 22 years in Freemasonry, I have come to see that the Masonic family tree needs a robust pruning. There are too many groups—and most of them are relics from the 19th century—that serve little, if any, purpose today, other than to strain the capabilities of the guys who keep all these groups afloat. I don’t want to offend, so I won’t name names, but when I’m grand master of the world, there will be:

  • the Craft lodge, for philosophical Freemasonry;
  • the Royal Arch Chapter, for spiritual Freemasonry;
  • the research lodge* or similar venue, for additional intellectual work; and
  • the Grotto for the social, charitable, and funny stuff.

Courtesy Duluth Masonic Center
The Grotto for raucous dinners, cigar nights, beer/wine/liquor tastings, ladies nights, trips to see concerts/plays, etc. Let’s free the lodge from the off-topic and extracurricular, like the softball games against the Elks, and the all kinds of parties, and that stuff. As the social media meme says (I paraphrase): “George Washington didn’t join for that crap!” Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Anyway, the Empire State Grotto Association announces that National Grotto Day 2020 will be observed Saturday, March 21! I don’t know what that will entail yet, but it’s on my calendar. If you want to join the most laid back fraternity in Freemasonry, that would be a great day for it, so I’ll keep you posted when the details are made available. You’ll look good in a fez! (Well, maybe not you, but you guys generally.)

*I am mentally drafting a future edition of The Magpie Mason that will explain why there is a superior alternative to the Masonic lodge of research and education.

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