Apprentice Training Masonic

Masonic Entered Apprentice Training
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Masonic Education Officer

Masonic Education Officer

This Apprentice Training Masonic initiates page is to assist lodge Education Officers in their duties.

If you are a newly Entered Apprentice, please begin your studies by reading the Entered Apprentice Mason page.


 

Apprentice training Masonic initiates is one of the most talked about and seldom well-accomplished duties within many Lodges. 

The most dutiful of Worshipful Masters and Education Officers make valiant attempts to provide meaningful, in-depth material to our new members, but there are so many facets to Masonry that it can truly be difficult, if not nearly impossible, to relay all this information in a step-by-step, single-file manner to a new brother who is in Apprentice Training. 

Masonic ritual work is almost easy, in comparison, because the member hears and watches it performed repetitively, and after several months, sometimes without even realizing it, the words begin springing forth from their subconscious.  

Many Master Masons who have attended lodge for a few months, listened to ritual and spent 20-30 hours studying their cipher book, amaze even themselves when the fateful evening arrives when an officer is absent and they are asked to perform that officer's ritual duties.

That said, 1, 2, 3 or even 10 years later, they still may not know what the Masonic Sheaf of Corn hanging from the ceiling, (which they have passed under for years), represents to Freemasons or why.)

Apprentice training Masonic initiates should be performed in a step-by-step, organized, building block manner.  In our busy world, and with so many time commitments on everyone's part, Masonic Education Officers have a particularly difficult job of Apprentice training Masonic new brethren.

The issue of Apprentice Training Masonic Initiates was probably best said by Carl H. Claudy, more than 50 years ago.

(Carl H. Claudy (1879-1957)  Grand Master of Masons in the District of Columbia, 1943 ) in his excellent 64 page book, "Introduction to Freemasonry - Entered Apprentice", originally copyrighted in 1931.

"Many lodges attempt to intrigue the new brother with books.  Some books are forbiddingly large; others are too learned; others assume that the reader has a knowledge which he does not possess. 

Some books are dull with many facts and no vision, while others are too specialized or confined to one viewpoint."

Each new brother learns at his own speed. 

Much like the building of King Solomon's Temple, it is imperative that Masonic education be imparted in slow, even and measured doses, wherein a strong foundation is laid...upon which the perfect ashlars are expertly placed  using the Master's Mason's trowel of brotherly love.

Masonic education builds Masonic retention.  One of the initiates you train, today, may become the Worshipful Master or possibly the Grand Master of tomorrow.  He may even become the Education Officer who will train your son or grandson.  

Apprentice training Masonic new brothers in slow and measured doses, at a rate which each new brother can learn is best performed in the following manner:

1 Hour class on the same night but on the off-week between your regular Masonic lodge meetings.

Why 1 hour?
 

1.  As Lodge Education Officer, this begins the slow and measured dosage
     of knowledge.
2.  This is a short do-able length of time...and a Get-Miles-Get Home approach
     that benefits everyone involved.
3.  Longer meetings may not be as well attended. 

Why hold Apprentice Training Masonic Education on the same night but on the off-week between regular meetings?

If your regular meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, hold your Apprentice training Masonic education meeting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month:

Why?  While you may hold your meetings any time you like, (and these are only guidelines), by holding your education meetings on the same night of the off-week:

1.  It makes it easier for the member to remember which day of the week
     the education meeting will always be held.

2.  It makes it easier for the member's family to remember that
     the member is at lodge each and every Tuesday evening, so they
     can adjust their schedules, accordingly, beforehand.

3.  It gives the Education Officer 2 weeks to prepare material between
     each meeting.

4.  The lodge Education Officer doesn't have to prepare as many materials,
     making his job easier.

5.  The Apprentice training Masonic member doesn't have to attempt to
     learn as much all in one sitting.

By simply holding (2)  - 1 hour Apprentice training Masonic education meetings a month, it keeps everyone's time constraints to a minimum and encourages a higher number of participants.

 

What is the best time to hold Apprentice training Masonic education meetings?

This depends on your audience.

If many of them work at jobs where they get dirty or sweaty, or do not get off work until after 5:00, they would probably prefer to get off work, go home, clean up, eat some dinner and then come to the Apprentice training Masonic education meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

If the majority of them work at jobs where they do not get dirty, sweaty and get off promptly at 5:00, they would probably prefer to have something to eat, and then attend the Apprentice training Masonic education meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you have several members who must get up very early, an 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. meeting may not be very well attended.

You are the one who bests knows your audience.  Determine which time is best by asking them. 

If you, arbitrarily set a time without asking them if they are able to attend, your participation may be greatly diminished.

 

Apprentice Training Masonic Initiates

1.  Punctuality:

     It is important to begin your Apprentice training at exactly the time
     you have previously set and it is even more important to end your
     Apprentice training Masonic initiate education at exactly the time
     you previously determined. 

Always begin each meeting by telling
     the initiates that the meeting ends promptly at  _______O'clock. 

2.  Newsletter Notification:

     Place the ongoing dates and times of your Apprentice Training in
     your newsletter.  You may spark the interest of members who have
     not attended lodge in a long time.

3.  Invite members from other lodges. 

    This increases everyone's social network of knowledgeable
     Freemason brothers, as well as may boost your Masonic
     education meeting attendance rolls.


As Education Officer, where should I begin?

The list below is an excellent beginning.  If you perform your Apprentice training Masonic education on each off-week, as required, you may wish to choose from some of the items below,

First, ask each of them to bring an empty 1" or 1-1/2" (3-ring) notebook to each Apprentice training Masonic education meeting.  Explain to them that they will need it to place their papers into and to use as their ongoing study and reference guide.



Apprentice Training Masonic Education Meeting #
1

Masonic Blue Lodge Etiquette. 


Print as many copies of the Masonic Etiquette page, as you will have attendees, plus one for yourself.  Read each of its items to your audience and then ask for questions after each item. 

Note:  Do not give them their copy of the Masonic Blue Lodge Etiquette until after the meeting is over, because if they begin reading it on their own, they will not be listening to you and may miss the Q & A discussion, completely. 

The Q & A (Question and Answer)  discussion will help break the ice so everyone relaxes and learns at their own pace.  After each item has been discussed and Q & A is over, then hand them their copy and ask them to place it into their Blue Lodge notebook.


Apprentice Training Masonic Education Meeting # 2

Lodge-Walk: 

Ask everyone to meet in front of the entrance door to the Lodge Room.  Begin by explaining:

A.  The Tiler's Duties  For the answers, click on the Lodge Officer Duties link at the bottom of this page.
    

     Why does he stand at the door?
     Why is it his duty to carry the Tiler's Sword?

Enter the Lodge Room.
 Begin discussing each and every Masonic Lodge
furnishing, its use, its meaning and the history behind it.  (If you, the Education
Officer, are uncomfortable or do not know a lot about each lodge furnishing, ask
a knowledgeable brother to attend and assist you with your presentation during
this part of the Apprentice training Masonic education Lodge-Walk)

B.  Discuss the 4 Officer chairs

      Who sits in the East?  (the Worshipful Master)

      Why? 

      How many steps are in front of his chair?  (3)

      Why?

      Who sits in the West?  (Senior Warden)
  
      Why?
   
      How many steps are in front of his chair?  (2)
 
      Why?

      Who sits in the South?  (Junior Warden)

      Why?

      How many steps are in front of his chair?  (1)

      Why?
     
      Who sits in the North?  (symbolically, the Supreme Architect
                                              of the Universe)

      Why in the North?


C.  Officer Duties
     
What are each officer's duties? 
     
(See Lodge Officer Duties )

D.  The Letter "G"
     
Why is the Letter "G" hanging on the ceiling?  What is its two-fold
      meaning? 

E.  Boaz and Jachin
     
What do they represent?  (the pillars on each side of the door to
      King Solomon's Temple.)

F.  Sheaf of Corn
      Why is there a Sheaf of Corn (or grain) hanging from the ceiling?

     What does it represent?  (the plenty)
 

G.  3 Great Lights
     
What are they?  Why are they important to Freemasonry?

H.  Altar and the Holy Book(s)
     
Why is there an Altar in the center of the lodge room?  Is it any different
      than other altars?  Why is there one or more Holy Scriptures upon the
      Altar?  When are they opened?
      By whom?  When are they closed?  By whom? 
      Explain why Masonry is non-sectarian and therefore, while in the United States,
      the Holy Bible is the most utilized, Holy Books of other faiths may
      be placed side-by-side upon the altar such as the Torah, the
      Koran, the Veda, (the sacred scripture of Hinduism), etc.

I.    3 Lesser Lights
      What are they?  Where are they placed?  What do they represent?

J.  Master's Gavel
      What does the Master's gavel represent?  Explain the number of raps and
       what each of them mean.

K.  Funeral Aprons
      Show them the funeral aprons and discuss briefly what a Masonic
      funeral entails and why once they become a Master Mason, it is their right
      to request one.

L.  Lodge Charter
     Show them the Lodge Charter.  Explain its significance.  When is it
     draped?  Why is it draped? 

M.  Lodge Library
     
Show them the Lodge Library (if you have one) and encourage him
      to check out its books for further Masonic study.

If your Lodge Room has pictures of Past Masters, Masonic Presidents or others, point them out and explain why they hang in your Lodge Room. 

If your Lodge Room has Masonic Aprons displayed under glass on the wall, explain who the brother was who wore the apron and why it hangs in a place of honor.

If your Lodge Room has other Masonic paraphernalia (awards, plaques, trophies, etc.) explain the meaning behind them.
 

Apprentice Training Masonic Education Meeting # 3:

History of Freemasonry

Tell your students about:

A.  King Solomon's Temple in the Holy Scriptures and why Freemasons
      use this biblical symbolism, today.

B.  Why Freemason symbols were used during the Middle Ages
     (because most people of the day were illiterate).

C.
 When was the first Grand Lodge in England formed?  On June
      24, 1717, which is St. John the Baptist's Day, 4 London lodges came
      together at the Goose and Gridiron Ale House in St. Paul's churchyard
      and formed what they called The Grand Lodge of England.

D.  When did Freemasonry come to the United States?  In 1733,
      Henry Price, the Provincial Grand Master over all of North America
      for the London Grand Lodge, granted a charter to a group of Boston
      Freemasons. This lodge was later named St. John's Lodge and was
      the first duly constituted lodge in America.

E.  The difference between operative Freemasonry and speculative
      Freemasonry

F.  Freemason Symbols:  Begin explaining each of the various Masonic
     symbols and their Masonic significance. 




If explained properly, Masonic Symbols, alone, could carry you through an entire year of Masonic Education, however in the United States, the Entered Apprentice may very well have received his Fellow Craft degree by the time these 3 Apprentice Training Masonic education meetings are completed!
 












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