Page 49 - Education Programs
P. 49

                                                 By Mark Meyer

                                                  Grand Lodge of Texas: June 2002

The topic of Freemasonry offers a wide array of subjects for study to the Masonic scholar interested
in unlocking its mysteries. In pursuit of our quest for Masonic learning we should stop to examine
the three Degrees of Ancient Craft, or Blue Lodge Masonry and ask ourselves, “What lesson (or
lessons) should I be learning from each Degree?” The key to the subject matter is hidden within
a little understood yet vitally important part of the ritual of the first section of each Degree.

We tell ourselves and the new initiates that the manner of candidate preparation is intended to
present a condition where the “… mind might conceive before the eyes beheld the beauties of
Freemasonry.” As the candidate of each Degree undergoes the ritual of circumambulation he is
then presented with the theme of the Degree – contained in the Scriptural reading. The theme is
often lost however, or misunderstood, because of the mystic nature of the readings. An
examination of each of the Scriptural readings reveals the unique manner in which each theme is

Entered Apprentice Degree

         Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It
         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; as the dew of Hermon,
         and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord
         commanded the blessing, even life forevermore. Psalms 133

Imagine yourself as the candidate once again, hearing these words for the first time. The first
sentence might tend to calm your apprehensions and uncertainties about your forthcoming
experience by pronouncing in simple terms what a pleasure it is to “dwell together in unity” or to
be in the presence of a body of men united together in mind and spirit of purpose. This peaceful
unity is of utmost importance to Masons as it is the mortar or cement that binds us together as a
fraternity. “It 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;…” Aaron, the elder brother of Moses,
and his sons were appointed by God to be the High Priest and ministers of God for the children of
Israel (Exodus 28:1). God directed that an “oil of holy ointment” (Exodus 30:23-25) be made
consisting of measured amounts of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia and olive oil.
This “holy anointing oil” was to be poured upon Aaron and his sons as a blessing or consecration
prior to their entry as priests into the tabernacle, containing all the holy vessels and the Ark of the
Covenant, to minister and pray unto the Lord (Exodus 30:30). This reference therefore alludes to
the sacredness of such unity. Mount Sion or Mount Hermon (Deuteronomy 4:48) was known to
have copious amounts of humidity, even in the driest weather, which formed on the tents so
profusely that it appeared as though it had rained the whole night. This precious dew or water
provided continuous life giving growth to the plants and animals of the otherwise arid region;
hence the allusion to life forevermore.

The theme of the Entered Apprentice Degree then, as foretold to the candidate through this
reference to the Scripture passage, is that he is about to enter into a fraternal union with men of

   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54