5th Masonic District

By: James D. Combs
District Deputy Grand Lecturer

Consisting of six lodges in Belen, Estancia, Edgewood, Fort Sumner, Santa Rosa, and Socorro.

Jim Combs

District 5 consists of all small-town lodges, some of which have been around for many years, and others, such as Edgewood Lodge #82 being the newest lodge in the state. Yet all of them have the same basic ethic, that of being good men who want to do a good job. This year, like last year, I am visiting each lodge and enjoying the company of good brethren, and my focus is on the importance of Ritual. Not just because it is what we say, but the importance of what the ritual words truly mean. It is our Ritual that makes us Masons. Without it, we are simply the Rotary club on steroids.

Each Degree contains words and phrases that have significant, powerful meaning that brings forth an emotional response from each new Mason who hears these words. And, when the Master of the Lodge imparts these words to each new Mason, from memory, with enthusiasm, that is when the true magic of Masonry begins. For it is our words and lectures that forms the heart of our initiation experience . When you take a man who wants to be a Mason, and give to him his Entered Apprentice degree, all from memory without faltering, with the passion of true believer, it becomes not an event, but a life changing moment.

Masonic Ritual has a long and interesting history. In 1640, when Elias Ashmole became a Free Mason, he recorded it in his diary. He was a leading scientist of his day, and well respected in the Science community, including the Royal Society.  Becoming a Mason was an important event for him, and it has been an important event for many leading members of our society since then. Scientists, Doctors, Kings and Presidents have all been proud of their Masonic membership. Masonry was so important it went to the moon. What makes it important, what makes it real, is our Ritual.

I encourage each Lodge to use our ritual to make your lodge meetings into interesting discussions, thus making each lodge meeting an interesting event. Discussions base around the lambskin lecture, the “G” lecture, all of the degree lectures, especially the fellowcraft lecture will give each member of the lodge an interesting event, rather that simply a meeting with minutes, a hasty dinner, and a hasty departure. Go out on the web and find interesting videos on masonry and spread the wealth within the lodge on who does the presentations.

Finally, I ask all of you to remember the words of Albert Mackey, who gave all of us the honorific of “Brethren of the Mystic Tie”, that powerful essence that allows men of vastly different backgrounds, religion and passions to gather as one band of brothers and sit in lodge together. It is our Ritual that forms that bond, that “Mystic Tie.”

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