Let us begin by defining
the term "Entered Apprentice." As an Entered Apprentice Mason,
the first step in your journey to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason has been
taken. We are sure
that you found your initiation an experience you will never forget. A
degree in Masonry is not an isolated experience once had and then done with,
but is an ever enduring privilege. You
can sit in an Entered Apprentice Lodge to observe, to participate in, and to
study its ceremonies.
Your possession of the
degree is a life-long possession which you can continue to enjoy and to enter
into as long as you live. As
an Entered Apprentice Mason you therefore are a learner, or beginner, in
Speculative Masonry. You
have taken the first step in the mastery of our art. Certain things are
expected of you.
, you are expected to show a certain humility. As a learner, you must
have guides and teachers, and you must be willing to have them lead you.
you must learn the catechism of the Degree, so as to prove your proficiency in
open Lodge. The purpose of learning the lecture is for you to master it
so thoroughly that its lesson will remain with you for life.
, you must study and improve yourself in Masonry in all other possible
ways. Your Lodge will not be content merely to receive your dues; it
requires that you become a real and active member.
you will learn the rules and regulations that govern an Entered Apprentice
As you stood in the
northeast corner of the Lodge, you were taught a certain lesson concerning a
that lesson, you should know that you are a cornerstone of the Craft.
It is our hope and prayer that you will
prove to be a solid foundation as you proceed to the Fellow Craft Degree and
then to the Master Mason Degree. Our
great Fraternity depends on new members like you to conduct its work in the
years to come.
Symbols in the Entered Apprentice Degree
The symbols, emblems and
allegorical ceremonies of the First Degree each have a meaning; taken
together, these meanings comprise the teaching of the Degree.
Our purpose here is to
give you some of the information which will show that every detail of the
ritual is filled with a definite significance which each Mason can learn if he
represents the darkness in which an uninitiated man stands as regards
his Masonic life; for this reason it is removed at the moment of
removal makes us aware of goodness, truth, and beauty.
Tow is a symbol of all those external restraints by which a man is
controlled by others, or by forces outside himself. If
a man does not keep the law of his own free will, he must be compelled to keep
it by compulsion. The
removal of the Cable Tow means that when a man becomes the master of himself,
he will keep the law as a matter of moral right.
is a symbol of the world, initiation means birth, and the Great Pillars
signify entrance into a new kind of life. The
Sharp Instrument means, among other things, that which is the only real
penalty for violating the Obligation.
of Circumambulation means that the Masonic life is a progressive journey,
from station to station of attainment, and that a Mason will always be in
search of more light. Approaching
the East is significant, because the East is the source of light.
is the most important article of furniture in a Lodge room and a symbol
of that place which the worship of God holds in Masonry - a place at the
center, around which all else revolves. The
Obligations have in them many literal meanings and as such are the foundations
of our disciplinary law. But
over and above this, they signify the nature and place of obligation in human
Great Lights are the Holy Bible, Square, and
a Great Light, the Holy Bible represents the will of God as man understands
it; the Square is the physical life of man under his human conditions; the
Compasses signify the moral and spiritual life. If
a man acts in obedience to the will of God, according to the dictates of his
conscience, he will be living in the illumination of the Great Lights and
cannot go astray.
of Salutation in which the candidate salutes each station in turn
is, in addition to its function as a portion of the ceremonies, also a symbol
of a Mason's respect for and obedience to all duly constituted authorities.
The Old Charges state this is a single
sentence: "A Mason is a peaceable subject to the Civil Powers wherever he
resides or works." The
same significance is had by the office of Worshipful Master, who is a symbol
as well as the executive officers of the Lodge. As
the sun rules the day, he rules and governs his Lodge. His
title, "Worshipful", means that he is worthy of reverence, respect,
is at once the emblem of purity and innocence and the distinguished
badge of a Mason. The
Lesson of Charity is
to impress upon the candidate the importance of showing compassion toward his
Tools represent those moral and spiritual virtues which should
govern our conduct. The
Northeast Corner is traditionally the place where the cornerstone of a
building is laid. When
the Apprentice is made to stand there, it is because he is the cornerstone of
the future Craft. The
Entered Apprentice is himself a symbol, one of the noblest in the whole
emblematic system of the Craft.
He represents youth, typified by the rising sun; but beyond that, he
represents educated youth, youth willing to submit itself to discipline and to
seek knowledge in order to learn the great Art of Life.
Apprentice Degree Scriptures
133, quoted in its entirety, is the opening scripture for Freemasonry. The
Psalm is taken from the "Wisdom Psalms" and was one of the Psalms,
or songs, that the worshippers sang as they walked up the mountain to
Jerusalem and the Temple. It was engraved upon the memory of every loyal Jew,
for its meaning was to bind all the people tightly in the bonds of love and
Psalm begins with the characteristic word of introduction, "Behold!"
In other words, "Listen, take heed, this is greatly important." The
word "Behold!" had the same power as that other very familiar
phrase, "Thus saith the Lord!".
How good and pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity."
Psalm was written after the Jews had returned from their Babylonian captivity
and they had returned with foreign wives, foreign ideas, and a very loose hold
upon God. They all needed to draw close together for national strength, for
closer religious ties, for strict observance of the laws of God. Family life
had deteriorated under their captivity and many of the Jews who returned to
Palestine had been born in Babylon and had no familiar ties to their real
olden days brethren dwelt in close proximity; they lived as close to their
birthplace as possible; they lived under the influence of the larger family,
or clan, or tribe. They had a closeness; they felt a closeness; they had a
very high and very deep sense of loyalty to all the brethren. These attributes
had been broken down in captivity, and the call was to remember "How good
and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
Therefore, it was necessary to bring a reminder of the glory of the past and
the advantage of the future if men would live and act as brothers.
writer of this Psalm then brought up a reminder of a past custom. A host would
anoint his guest with the perfumed oil of anointing that would fill the house
with its scent. Turning to the historical Aaron, the writer reminds his
readers of the beard of Aaron and his beautiful priestly robes. Aaron typified
the "Called of God man," .."The man separated of God" for
a special task. Aaron was anointed for his priestly office in a beautiful
ceremony before the massed people. If brothers will dwell together in unity it
is like this:
is like the precious ointment upon the head,
That ran down upon the beard,
Even Aaron's beard,
That went down to the skirts of his garments."
of perfume, this oil of anointing, gave forth a scent that all could be
conscious of and all would be impressed. "Brethren in unity" brings
a consciousness of the perfume of peace and strength. But there was something
was a harsh land of little rainfall, many rocks, hot sun, little fertile soil,
and many droughts. The mountains were upon every hand, dry, barren, and all
but hospitable. But there was something about the mountains that appealed.
When brothers dwell in unity, it is as the freshness of the dew upon those
the dew of Hermon.
And as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even
in unity refresh each other for there is strength in unity and the brotherly
spirit is beautiful, refreshing, and restoring. And when unity is established
then there is the blessing of the Lord God. Only in unity, implies the writer
of the Psalm, where the spirit of brotherhood prevails, may the Lord give His
following abbreviations are used throughout these degrees.
- designated by WM
* *; or * * *, normally signifies the number of raps
a staff or gavel. In the case of the Senior Deacon, it
his staff, pounding on the floor. When done
either the outer or inner door, it signifies a knock
When done by the three principal officers
the Lodge with their gavels it is called a battery. When
Worshipful Master raps once, everyone comes to
and sits down, two raps Officers only stand, three
signifies the due-guard and sign being given as a
to the Worshipful Master.)
Apprentice Degree - Opening the Lodge