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Traditional Observance Masonry (Read 11532 times)
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Camp Liberty, Iraq
Gender: male
Traditional Observance Masonry
10/30/08 at 9:45am
Is anyone here involved in Traditional Observance Masonry? I am researching the topic, with hopes of joining/starting such a lodge in the future. I would be delighted to hear from anyone with experience with this tpe of lodge.
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Charles E. Martin
Camp Liberty, Iraq

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Guthrie, Oklahoma
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Re: Traditional Observance Masonry
Reply #1 - 11/03/08 at 12:22pm
Thank you for your inquiry. I was the Charter Master of a Traditional Observance lodge in Oklahoma. I prefer to call such lodges "traditional practices" lodges because the focus is on adopting successful practices from the overall historical and global experience of those lodges centered on the practice of Freemasonry as a transformative art.

Such lodges view Masonry as a mystery school revealing the nature of God; as a vehicle that instructs its initiates how to recognize the relationship between the human and divine and how man can achieve a kind of rebirth with his internal nature through the awakening consciousness of progressive initiation.

A traditional practices lodge is one where the lodge space itself is well defined as a sacred place that is so unique that it cannot be found anywhere else in a brother's experience. To aid in defining such a space, traditional lodges are generally characterized by darkened rooms illuminated by burning tapers rather than electric lights; where music is as important to the ritual as words spoken with meaning.

Such lodges also believe strongly that the membership should be small enough to insure that every member can personally know all other members, their wives and families, or significant others. In other words, where fraternal associations are close and intimate enough that brothers actually become friends and are vested in the welfare of each other's families. The social experience of membership therefore is equally important as the ritual experience. For this reason, an agape, or dinner, usually held offsite, occurs every time the lodge meets.

The experience of such Lodges becomes one where quality ritual, education, fraternalism and social bonding occurs at every meeting. Thus, the members of traditional practices lodges generally make an entire evening of their outings. For example, my lodge meets at 6 pm and ends when the post-lodge dinner is concluded. I often don't get home until well after 10pm. When a man spends an evening of such quality time with his lodge brothers month after month, the mystic tie becomes strong as cement. Thus, the work of the trowel of brotherly and affection is honestly felt.

One other characteristic of traditional practices lodges is that education is delivered every time it meets. A paper is presented in lodge at every meeting unless a degree is being peformed. And candidates are required to write and deliver a paper as part of their proficiency after each degree. Outside of ritual, education is always the focus.

These are just some of the general characteristics of traditional observance lodges. It is acknowledged that such practices are not appropriate for the entire fraternity. The traditional practices lodges are much too formal for many. They are only for men of a serious nature who seek a transformative experience through repeated ritual and instruction, where the tyled aspect of Masonry is clearly differentiated from the outside world.
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« Last Edit: 11/03/08 at 4:37pm by Bobg »  

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