Thursday, November 30, 2023

‘A festive season festive board’


I need to get out more.

Last night was the occasion of the First Capitular District’s long-awaited Annual Festive Board, which doubled as a Bring-a-Brother introductory dinner to encourage Master Masons to delve into the next four chapters of the mysteries. I forgot how much fun these nights are, and it was great sitting among so many friendly faces I hadn’t seen in a long while: Christopher, Grant, Harold, James, and more. Ted would have been on my left, but he is still on the mend. The ALR was very well represented, with the Master, Wardens, Trustees, a Past Master, and others in attendance.

My place at the table was reserved, otherwise I would have gravitated to where Bro. Edward, the Junior Warden of my lodge, was sitting. I’m not used to the VIP treatment. A great meal, too. Roast beef, fish, different chicken dishes, pasta, and more, and in such abundance I think a lot had to be forcibly sent home.

The wine for the evening was Yellow Tail’s Pinot Noir, which I don’t remember having before, but that definitely felt right. With wine, I’m like a child, preferring juicy, fruity French reds (I was hoping any of the Beaujolais Nouveau releases would be on the table), but this semi dry from Down Under was fine with me.

RE and RW Rubin responds to Happy Birthday wishes.

For sweetness, there was cake! Bro. Steven Rubin, Deputy Grand Master of our Grand Lodge, elected to be with us to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. “You stole my youth!” he thundered in response to the Happy Birthday “singing,” eliciting clamorous laughter from the fifty or so well wishers who too might swear we were thirty years old just a minute ago.

The ritual was a new one on me. I guess because this was Royal Arch, the gesticulating gave shape to a triangle and then a circle, plus some pointing of a sort I’m not used to. But the toasts were those you would expect. And the Magpie Mason was called on to reply to the Toast to the Visitors.

RE Anthony Klimathianos accepts an award from RE Michael, president of the First Capitular District Association. Anthony is a Past Grand Lecturer, and he exhorted the Master Masons present to explore the whole York Rite.

It seems like I’m in the Jacobean Room ten times a month, so it felt unnatural pretending to be a visitor but, in truth, my Royal Arch chapter is more than fifty miles away, down in central New Jersey. I just never got around to affiliating here in the city.

Most Excellent, Right Excellent, Excellent Sirs; Companions, Brethren, Masons all:

It is an honor to tender a reply to this, the Toast to the Visitors. You know, in lodge we are brethren/brothers, and in chapter we are companions.

The word derives from Latin: “com,” meaning “together with;” and “pan” being bread. Thank you for your welcome; for the opportunity to break bread together with you; and for your attention.

My neighbors and others signaled their appreciation for the brevity.

A raffle prize I wouldn’t mind claiming! A copy of one of Angel’s books and a bottle of the Water of Life.

A great night that I hope encourages the Master Masons present to continue the Masonic journey into the Capitular Rite for all the obvious reasons.

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