Monday, August 26, 2019

‘Do you Grotto?’

I do, at least as of five months ago, and come Saturday, you can too.

Living vicariously through Isaac’s entertaining Facebook updates for several years was satisfying to a certain extent, but I had to join Azim Grotto No. 7 in New York City in March to experience it firsthand. It’s my one frivolity in Freemasonry, and if you are able to get to Masonic Hall, then I recommend joining this hilarious band of…uh, Prophets.

The actual name is Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, so you know instinctively that it’s levity. The Grotto is yet another fraternity in the Masonic family tree that was founded in the State of New York—it’s hard to count them all—and Azim 7 is the place to be in New York City. The embryonic Grotto was hatched at Hamilton Lodge 120, where the first meeting was held September 10, 1889. The Supreme Council was formed only nine months later, and the lovable band of brothers attired in allegedly Persian garb (today a proper and dignified fez suffices) was on its way.

A hundred years ago, the Grand Lodge of North Dakota (wherever that is) made it an offense for a Master Mason to join the Grotto. The Grand Master of Indiana forbade Grottos to meet in Masonic lodge rooms. The Grand Master of Louisiana ruled the Grotto to be viewed in the same regard as the Knights of Columbus, the Druids, Odd Fellows, and other non-Masonic fraternities. Yeah, well who is laughing now?

On Friday, Grand Monarch Michael G. Hosler and his Lady Jan will pay a social call on us in Manhattan at a location only three minutes away from the Nat Sherman Townhouse—that’s a hint to the hosts—because…

The next day, Saturday the 31st, the Grand Monarch, accompanied by Deputy Grand Monarch Tali Atala, will pay a visit to Azim at Masonic Hall for our Ceremonial—that is the unforgettable induction of members—and a private tour of the majestic building.

Tour at 4 p.m. Social hour at five o’clock. Azim business meeting at six. The Ceremonial at 7 p.m. (which is not to say the business meeting will run an hour!). In the Jacobean Room on eight.

I’d say it is okay to arrive Saturday and complete a petition then and there, because that’s what I did in March on National Grotto Day. Things are pretty informal, as you might guess. Do it. When has this blog ever steered you wrong?

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