Being exalted…

As some of you know, I am a Freemason. I was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason two weeks after my heart attack, in February (22nd, to be exact: Wor. Bro. George Washington’s birthday). After the three degrees in Craft Freemasonry, there are a lot of additional rites to which one can apply. One of these is York Rite Masonry. On Thursday night I became a Companion of the York Rite.

The Chapter (Masons meet in Lodges; York Rite Masons meet in Chapters) is smaller than a lodge, with different rituals. I can’t say much about the ritual, except to say that it was done excellently and was very impressive. The regalia is quite different (the apron is a different colour, and a sash that is identical to a deacon’s stole and worn the same way is used) but the ideas are the same and an amplification of what was taught in Craft Freemasonry.

The Masonic centre in which Goliath Chapter meets is in Southgate, almost at the Northeast end of the Piccadilly Line. It’s a bit dingy outside, but OK inside. The dinner afterwards, except for the appetiser (which was fish) was excellent.

Goliath Lodge’s website is here, webmaster one Bro. Chris Hansen. There’s not a lot there, but some of the links might pique the interest of non-Masons and be sources of information if anyone wants to go a bit further.

Yes, we have secrets in Masonry; however, we are not a secret society. We meet in known places, at known times, and the rituals are readily available in regalia shops and on the ‘net. We keep some modes of recognition secret, indeed. There is sometimes need to ensure that people who say they are brethren really are.

I have an office (the lowliest office of a Lodge: Inner Guard–basically, the door opener) but hope to continue up the offices. Ritual is always memorised, and this help a person to gain confidence and skill. I like Freemasonry; so much so that I’m also joining my brother’s lodge in Marblehead, although I’ll only be a sporadic attendee. The people I’ve met in Freemasonry have been excellent fellows: interesting to talk to and what used to be called “clubbable”.

9 Responses to “Being exalted…”

  1. hickbear says:

    My late paternal grandfather was a Mason in a Small Rural Town where, when The Time Came, THE mortician at THE funeral home handled his “services”. Since THE mortician was also a Fellow Mason from the same lodge, Lots-N-Lots of the funerary and burial cermonies, required manpower, etc., were Suddenly And (on the part of The Bereaved Family) Gratefully fulfilled.

    In fact, both of my late grandfathers – the one from whom I inherited my last name, as well as the one from whom I inherited my build and “hairline”, as it is – were Masons. Hmmmmm.

  2. legalmoose says:

    I’ve always found Masonry interesting. My father is a Mason (and I’ve had multiple semi-fights with Mom over whether he will be buried in the right regalia or not; I say yes, she says no), and I admire him quite a bit, so it’s not inconceivable that I’d join at some point.

    But anyway, congratulations on your elevation. 🙂

  3. pyrzqxgl says:


  4. chrishansenhome says:

    An interesting difference between British and American Freemasonry is that British Freemasons do not conduct funeral services for their departed brothers. I’m unsure of why this is, but believe it has something to do with the general whiff of unsavoury practice that attached itself to British Freemasonry due to a distrust of “secret” societies. There used to be public ceremonies of cornerstone laying featuring Masonic processions; this is no longer done. Police and criminal justice people (including judges) are obliged to disclose their membership in Freemasonry and some local authorities bar Freemasons from employment. Most unjust.

    I’ve never found Freemasonry or Freemasons to be anything but interesting, philanthropic (we collect a lot of money for charity, which is always gratefully received), and worthwhile. There is no secret preferment nor special treatment of brother Freemasons by other Freemasons. And, it’s said that no widow (or in my case, widower) of a Freemason will ever want, as Freemasons take care of their own. I am out to my Lodge and they are very supportive and have never treated me differently because of that. Might not be true everywhere, but it certainly is true for me.

  5. chrishansenhome says:

    I’ve never found Freemasonry to be anything but interesting and worthwhile, and I’d encourage anyone with an interest to explore it. As a “lewis” (that is, the son of a Freemason) you would be ushered straight to the head of the line waiting to be initiated.

  6. chrishansenhome says:


  7. skibbley says:

    I was offered introduction to a lodge at 21. I refused outright. I didn’t want to be part of a sexist society with accusations of undue social advancement through an old-boys network, I wasn’t interested in the quasi-religious ritual and mainly I didn’t want to accept it from the man who offered it.

    I see masonry now as more of a mostly harmless collection of older men who mainly look after one-another and raise money for charity. I still don’t want to be part of it and while the brotherhood might recognise and combat overt discimination I still expect a level of privilage holding and guarding and I wonder about freemasons’ contribution to sexism.

    This is still coloured strongly by my experiences of certain masons who were close to me when I was a child so I hope you don’t take my discomfort as too strong a dislike of you as a mason or at all as you as a person (who I’ve liked on the odd occasions we’ve met).

  8. chrishansenhome says:

    Well, to each his own, as the lady said when she kissed her cow. I have had nothing but positive interactions with Masons both in the United States and here. I’m not in it for advancement in a business sense, just taking what I can make use of in my personal life.

    As for sexism, I try to combat it wherever I am; there are a certain number of off-colour jokes about women (which you probably would get wherever predominantly straight men congregate) but I try to discourage it when it happens while I’m around. I also think that having me around helps some of the brothers to think again about issues around homophobia.

    So, YMMV, I suppose.

  9. skibbley says:

    I think you’d be a good person to have the integrity to make changes from within. Glad it works for you.