ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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One of the most satisfying and enjoyable experiences for the active and enthusiastic Freemason is to have taken part, as Master of his Lodge, in the ritual to a standard that brings “satisfaction to yourself and advantage to your Lodge.”
    This would have only been possible as a result of hours of intensive learning, and committing to memory the lines of our beautiful ritual, combined with careful preparation in rehearsal and delivery.
    What is quite incomprehensible is the performance of a Master later at the Festive Board, who stumbles along with absolutely no idea how to rule and direct his Lodge.
    He then proceeds to deliver what is often a boring, incoherent, irrelevant and unimaginative response to his toast.
    Why does this happen? The reason is simple. The Brother involved does not understand that there is absolutely no difference between the control of the procedure at the Festive Board and Masonic speech-making, as there is in the technique for the governing of the proceedings, and the enactment of the ritual in Lodge.
    This can be summarised in three simple words: Preparation, Practice and Performance. To become a great ritualist requires training and dedication. This applies equally to becoming an accomplished Master of a Lodge.
    It is a sad reflection on the preparation of the Master-Elect, who in many Lodges is installed into the chair and immediately becomes under the control of the ‘permanent’ Lodge Secretary, Director of Ceremonies, or a host of the Lodge elders who seem to forget that their status in the Lodge is one of Past Master!
    It is the duty and responsibility of the Master to rule and direct his Lodge. If he is so weak that he needs the constant supervision and instruction from senior members of the Lodge, this is a reflection upon them, that they have not trained him properly in preparation for his high office.



"He's overdoing the ritual a bit, isn't he?"

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