Q: Now that I have passed my Entered Apprentice degree, can I wear an Entered Apprentice Ring?
A: Historically, members of the fraternity wait until they pass their Master Mason's degree and then purchase a Master Mason's ring.
A: Update: When this page was originally written, there was no such thing as an Entered Apprentice ring, however, a few industrious craftsmen now offer Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft rings which are available for sale on various websites.
Traditionally, however, only Master Mason rings are viewed by Freemasons as authentic.
In the United States, most members who attain their Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees have only a relatively short period of time before they become a Master Mason, making rings for the first 2 degrees quickly unnecessary and therefore, never worn again.
However, in some other countries, such as Australia, becoming a Master Mason is a much longer journey which is performed in the time-honored method, which includes proficiency and in which it takes 7 years to go from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason.
Q: So, why did you write a page about it?
A: There are 3 reasons.
- To help you understand that, while available, rings for the first 2 degrees are not viewed as significant, and thus, help you end your time spent looking for one.
- To save you any small embarrassment to yourself which might be caused by asking one of your lodge members.
- To help you learn more about how each degree displays the Square and Compasses, so you may better understand what your Master Mason's ring symbolizes...which you will read more about a little farther down this page.
Q: I see other brethren wearing rings. What kind of rings are they?
A: They are Master Mason rings, (also called Masonic rings), which
may only be worn after the brother has passed his 3rd degree,
…and become a Master Mason.
Q: I’m very proud to have passed my Entered Apprentice degree
(and sad that an Entered Apprentice ring is not considered as credible).
So, can I purchase a Master Mason’s ring, now?
A: The Master Mason’s ring signifies and honors your achievement of
having passed the 3rd degree.
The raising of a brother to the “Sublime degree of Master Mason” is
a high honor, indeed. However, while you may purchase your Master
Mason’s ring before you pass your degree; it is best to wait until you
have a full understanding of what the ring symbolizes before you begin
to wear it.
Q: I want everyone to know how proud I am to be an Entered Apprentice.
What would happen if I purchased and began wearing a Master Mason ring?
A: In the United States, it is possible to pass all 3 degrees in 3-6 months. In other countries, becoming a Master Mason typically takes approximately 7 years.
Therefore, while you may purchase your Master Mason ring, it would be advisable not to wear it until you have, indeed, received your 3rd degree.
If you begin wearing it before you have been raised, your lodge
brothers may perceive you to be one who takes what is not rightfully
theirs, without having earned the right and privilege to do so... and in
all probability, one of them will gently call you aside to admonish you
as to the impropriety of such.
Freemasonry Degree Symbols
Within Freemasonry, there are 3 levels, (or 3 degrees)...Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Each degree is symbolized by how the square and compass is displayed.
Entered Apprentice Degree Symbol:
Both points (legs) of the compass lie under the square.
The Entered Apprentice degree symbolizes Youth.
Symbolically, this means that the Entered Apprentice has not yet learned to circumscribe his passions upon the square of virtue
Fellow Craft Degree Symbol:
The left point (leg) of the compass lies on top of the square and the right point (leg) of the compass lies under the square.
Simon-Sez: An easy way to remember this is "Up north, down south" (symbolic of the plumb.)
The Fellowcraft degree symbolizes Manhood.
Symbolically, the Fellowcraft has advanced to the halfway point toward mastering control over himself, his passions and his desires.
Master Mason Degree Symbol:
The Master Mason degree symbolizes Age.
A Master Mason ring has both points of the compass overlaid on top of the square
The compasses overlaid upon the square is symbolic of maturity and with maturity comes the ability of the Mason to exert control over his life; his ability to square his actions by the square of virtue; to circumscribe his passions and desires with a symbolic compass, and to remember that just as geometry was central to an operative Mason’s trade, so too, should God be in the center of his life.”
EA: The Entered Apprentice degree is a pledge of your word.
FC: The Fellow Craft degree is an obligation of your spirit.
MM: The Master Mason degree is your seal of authenticity as both
a man of your word with the dedication of your spirit toward
both the fraternity of Freemasonry and the brotherhood of man.
For more information about this ancient seal of authenticity,...you may wish to read a little about the history of the Masonic Signet Ring.
To learn more about the Masonic symbols of the 3 degrees, as well as the meanings of the Masonic verses within each of them, please read Masonic Degree Verses.
To read more about Entered Apprentice Mason Training, click on this link.
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