Sacred Band of Friends and Brothers

Our experiences and obligations are our strength.

By: Chuck Bass
Junior Grand Decon

Chuck Bass, District Deputy Grand Master, District 7

Time seems to be flying by nowadays, it has been 14 years in March since I was raised as a Master Mason. As I think about it, it seems like it was not that long ago. Reflecting on that night I wonder why it went so fast. I realized it is because I truly enjoy being a Mason, but why? What is it that makes this fraternal organization unique? I think that a large part of it for me is that each and every one of us has had the exact same experience which makes for a strong bond between us.

I also love the fact that we all live by certain obligations, it is these obligations that have been occupying my thoughts lately. Starting this new part of my Masonic journey and some of the things that have happened in our fraternity has caused me to reflect on the obligations. I know that when I took the obligations on bended knee at the altar in the presence of my Lodge and my Deity, I was not really thinking about the words I was saying, I was just trying to remember what I was told to say. Since then I have conferred a few degrees and during that time I still did not think about the words, I was just trying to make sure all the words were correct. Even in the degrees I have been just there to support my brothers, I still did not reflect on the words, I just followed along in case someone might need prompting.

This revelation has caused me to really look at the obligations that I took on bended knees. Most Worshipful Brother Bill Beckett does a Bible presentation that asks the Mason on bended knees, “that oath I took will I break it, Never.” These obligations that we all took have been around a very long time. As I have reflected on these I understand that this is what makes us Masons. In the Charges of our Degrees, we tell the new Mason that if you violate these obligations you are worthy of the penalties of the obligations and that these penalties are to be inflicted by God and not by man. We also tell them that the obligations are completely binding on them and if they ever violate their obligations they may be brought to trial by their Lodge.

This is what in my opinion bonds Masons together from all over the world. I challenge every Mason to take another look at the obligations you have taken and ask yourself “that oath I took will I break it, NEVER. “ I want to thank you for reading this if you did, and for allowing me to jump on my soapbox. The last thought I want to leave you with, is to tell your partner thanks. Without my wife Lauri’s support and sacrifice I could not follow my dreams in Masonry.

May 2024

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