Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Freemason's Christmas Wish

A Freemason's Christmas Wish  
-Bro. Andrew Bradley

It is the time of year when the Brethren rejoice,
and sing carols of praise in resounding voice.
Days of merriment and long nights of cheer,
as we all await the "Happy New Year!".
It is a time of family and life long friends,
a time of happiness and to make amends.
Roast turkey and baubles and the Nutcracker Suite,
we each have our own way to make Christmas complete.

As we stroll through this happy month of December
find time to pause and take time to remember
that distinguishing sign of a Freemason's heart -
those acts of Charity. How great they are.
As your family gathers 'round your Christmas tree,
and the children play with giggles of glee,
spare a thought for the poor, the man with no shoes,
whose money for food is less than your dues.

Remember also the Grand Lodge above,
and the Supreme Great Architect's act of love.
And practise those virtues we hold so true.
Have some fun! But let Temperance chasten you.
And during this season of peace and joy
look well to our future - the girl and boy.
Then wonder what lessons you may them teach,
and with your guidance what heights they may reach.

So, to all of my Brethren from far and wide,
whether your Christmas be snow, or hot and dry,
may the Architect grant his celestial boon
and keep your good health 'til we meet again soon.
Take care of yourself and those you find dear.
Keep this festive spirit throughout the next year.
Look toward your next date with our happy band.
'Til our next merry meeting. Apron, heart, and hand.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction by Stewart W. Miner, PGM, GLDC

A Presentation on Masonic Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) by RW Stewart W. Miner, PGM of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.  Mr Miner notes that far from being rooted in the Constitutions or landmarks or even customary practices of Freemasonry from the Grand Lodge of England, that the practice is instead one based on pragmatic policies and politics in the American Masonic landscape.  Here in America the speaker notes, ETJ has never been uniformly practiced historically nor is it in modern times, and that such practices have come both with and without the approval of various grand lodges.  Mr Minor also expresses in an amusing personal anecdote that (prior to his research) he too, as Grand Secretary of the District of Columbia was upset to find that his grand lodge's "territory had been invaded". 

For those interested in further information we recommend this piece by noted Masonic scholar Paul Bessel. You will also find the text to Mr Miner's speech above here.