“There is not an item contained within a Masonic Lodge … that does not have a symbolic meaning.”
You are now an Entered Apprentice Freemason – the first step in your journey through what is known as The Craft Degrees. The word ‘apprentice’ means ‘learner’ or ‘beginner’ – one who is taking his first steps
in mastering a trade or profession.
The builders of the Middle Ages we
call ‘Operative Masons’ because they were builders in the literal sense, hewing stone from the quarries, dressing to shape, and laying into walls and creating some of the most remarkable structures the world has ever seen.
As a modern Entered Apprentice Freemason you are a beginner in what we call ‘Speculative Masonry’. This means that we do not build in stone – we build in the hearts and minds of men ‘a system of morality’.
We do this with a series of interesting stories that contain symbols to help us illustrate and understand moral truth
Today you are an Entered Apprentice,
in a short while you will become a ‘Fellowcraft’ and, in due time a ‘Master Mason’ and the day will come when into your hands will be placed the responsibility of your Lodge as Master.
What Freemasonry is to be in the future depends upon what you are now, as an Entered Apprentice. You are a symbol,
a cornerstone on which Freemasonry of
the future will be built. It is hoped that you
will prove to be a solid foundation, true
and tried, set four-square, on which our great Fraternity may safely progress.
This world of Freemasonry into
which you have entered is dedicated to Brotherhood. Unless you, as an Apprentice, are willing and qualified to lead a brotherly life, you will never really learn the genuine secrets of our Order. It is therefore extremely important that the obligation into which you have entered will pledge you with heartfelt sincerity to live ‘a brotherly life’.
In this First Degree, an Apprentice takes his first step into this life. He passes through the portals of birth into this remarkable new sphere. He leaves the darkness of ignorance and helplessness of the ‘popular world’ for the light and warmth of this new experience.
This is the most important and great meaning of the First Degree. The ceremony is not an idle formality, like joining some social club or society, but a unique and genuine experience, the beginning of a
new career, in which duties, rights and privileges are real and long-lasting.