Showcasing Our Gentle Craft

Installations are our best opportunity to include our family, friends, and communities.

By: Stephen Balke

Stephen Balke Editor

If everyone (or even 10% of the population) knew and understood our ritual, the world would be a MUCH better place. As it is, we are best known to be associated with world domination or stigmatic icons that can be easily sensationalized on websites. Our system of education gives a clear path for learning, and most of our ritual is only given when one has at least been exposed to the preceding degrees and has a support system in place with their Lodge. But we do have some things we can share!

  • Memorial Services
  • Cornerstone Laying
  • Installation of Officers

The Memorial leaves family and friends comforted in many cases and the Cornerstones are well received, and both are services to others and the community. Both, however, are not “schedulable” so they may be performed for circumstances and by invitation. The onus is upon us to reach out to our Brothers’ families and to the community to know that these need to or are desired to be done.

Our Installation of Officers ritual is our opportunity to shine! We schedule it, we have time to prepare, we are allowed to invite anyone to be present. We can make it a show to be seen.

Worshipful Brother Greg Stihel made his “debut” at the Estancia and Edgewood 2024 Installations working closely with “veteran Installer” Right Worshipful Brother Dan Lucero. He started in September committing it to memory, worked with Dan on the floorwork, and kept the audience interactive with the performance. It wasn’t a recitation, it was a show where the power and significance of the meanings came through.

If the goals are to garner respect within the community, impress our friends and family, attract those who may find a worthwhile journey through Masonry, and be proud of the work we do, this is one appropriate method. Everyone in both Lodges was proud and impressed with the experience. The next opportunity to show off is less than a year away…

Please consider sharing what you do with all of us – it may inspire greater and more activity in Masonry in NM!

We look forward to helping you to share all the things you’re doing to help Masonry and your Lodge or group grow!

Many thanks to MWB Jeff Johnson and Michele Balke. Both for review of the issue, and contribution of photography by Michele. Other photos provided by the contributors, with the exception of the photos of Brian Ragain and his books, which were provided by him.

Artwork and images are also often downloaded from Creative Commons, royalty free.

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