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1st Degree Catechism

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  • 8/12/2019 1st Degree Catechism


    New York Standard Works

    Catechisms Expounded

    By. Brother Daniel J. Di Natale

    Harmonie Lodge No. 699

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    Basic History Most of what we know about early Ritual is

    from exposures or accidents.

    Edinburgh Registry House Manuscript(ERHM) of 1696

    Earliest extant ritual.

    Uses words as methods of recognition explicitly.

    Signs and Signals.

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    Basic History Samuel Prichards Masonry Dissected (1730)

    First time Degrees are clearly organized (1-3). Organized catechismal forms.

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    The Men Who Formed The Ritual William Preston(1742-1818)

    Illustrations ofMasonryof 1772 First major work on

    Masonic ritual.

    It gives no specifics inform or execution.

    The PrestonianLectures were adaptedinto the Modern ritualpretty much worldwide.

    It makes only passingremarks of a 3rd degree,while the 2nd degree is

    substantially longer in itslecture.

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    The Men Who Formed The Ritual Thomas Smith Webb (1771-


    Freemasons Monitor orIllustrations of Masonry of 1797

    Significantly impacted the formationof Continental (American) Masonry.

    So proud of the Masonic Order hepublished his book to the world.

    Barrowed heavily from Preston.

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    The Men Who Formed The Ritual Jeremy L. Cross (1783-1891)

    The True Masonic Chart or

    Hieroglyphic Monitor of 1819 Barrowed heavily from Webb,

    whom he was a student.

    Popularized Webbs ritual system,thus forming it as the core ofAmerican ritual systems.

    First to use pictorial aids formemory with the work.

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    Crosss Chart

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    Different Types of Ritual Standardized Works and Lectures

    A phenomena of Continental Masonry. Rarely found outside the US.

    A standardized frame on which all ritual is

    used, without deviation.

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    Different Types of Ritual Non-standardized or Proprietary Works

    Found the world over.

    Work follows basic landmarks.

    Written by the Lodge the performs the work.

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    Who Controls The Ritual Anyway?

    The Grand Master is the end all be all.

    The Master of a Lodge.

    The Custodians of the Work. ( 334)

    A committee of 5 appointed by the GrandMaster for 3 year terms.

    Only body able to recommend changes to the

    Standard Work.

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    Who Controls The Ritual Anyway?

    The Grand Lecturer

    Appointed by the Grand Master for a 1 yearterm. (138)

    Must show mastery of the whole Works before

    the Custodians allow appointment. (295)

    Responsible for checking the skill of a Lodgeunder dispensation. (299)

    Assistant Grand Lecturers help with needs acrossthe districts as apposed the whole jurisdiction.

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    Secrets The Work in a cipher is an aid to memory.

    mnemonic device. (Cross used method of loci)

    The majority of Standardized Ritual ,when first

    printed, was not put into complicated codes.

    Often Ritual ciphers were sold with another book(s),the key to the code.

    The only true secrets is that which is not written.

    Modes of recognition.

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    The Catechisms of the Standard Worksand Lectures of the Grand Lodge of the

    State of New York

    Details of the forms and meaningsup to the Obligation

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    The Lodge of the Holy Saint John

    of Jerusalem WE ARE NOT TEMPLARS!!!!

    Added in the 18th Century to create a non-historical connection to

    the Knights Hospitallers & Templars. (Mackey) It is meant to bring a Crusader attachment to the Temple of

    Solomon or The Lodging of the Poor Knights of St. John. (Mackey)

    Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem

    What you are really saying is: From that of King Solomon's Temple where the first Lodge wasformed. (symbolically)

    Also eludes to the change in dedication from Solomon tothe Saints John. (First found in 1598, Roberts) Also to the astrological constant of the solstices dates in which

    the Saint Johns (the Baptist & the Evangelist) have their feastdays and a deep relation to the monad as expressedMasonically.

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    The Tropics and Path of the Sun

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    The Ground Floor Esoterically, it references scared geometry

    found on the floor of the Temple. (Bromwell) Elusion to the materiality of the Degree.


    Masonic Law- Dispensation allows a Lodge to function but must

    meet requirements before being granted a full Charter

    that recognize its sovereignty as a Masonic Lodge. Lodges been known to use the Gothic

    Constitutions as their Charter.

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    The Ground Floor or Mosaic


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    Modes of Recognition These forms have roots in the deepest

    history of Masonic Ritual. Due-Guard- a word adopted into English,

    theorized to be of French origin.

    To be on guard Found in the older Ritual of 1750s but as it

    what is now called the sign.

    The passwords of the 1st and 2nd are theoldest in the Craft. (See ERHM)

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    In My Heart The deep esoteric mysteries of the Craft

    will expound upon this statement. Your membership is no accident.

    You already hold all the secrets toMasonry.

    You were born with them.

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    Perpetration You were not prepped in the Lodge but

    outside of it, you entered ready. The removal of metal is used in many

    ancient traditions, as metal is seen as acontaminating force

    It is also represents equality, submission and

    blind trust.

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    Trial and Knocking At the door you are questioned.

    Knocking (gavel or otherwise) is also a commonfeature in all ritual. The use of 3 follows this tradition closely.

    Of my own free will Seems easy enough but is not contextual simple. Free will implies freedom, the old charges make distinctions

    that no slave or serf could be a Mason.

    It also becomes contextual blurry after the completion of thethree degrees.

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    Deity Without Name or Limit According to our oldest documents a belief

    in deity was needed to become a Mason. Early Masonry (operative) undoubtedly

    needed that belief to be Catholic.

    A common feature in any trade guild of the 1300sand onward.

    Masonic Guild were nothing special having thisbelief.

    Speculative adapted and changed that toencompass all faiths. Thus the religioustolerance and acceptance we know today.

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    The Rite of Circumambulation

    The name given by archeologist to theprocession of of ancient initiations arounda sacred alter. (Mackey)

    Freemasonry practice the same tradition withall context intact.

    Ties tightly with the secession of the sun

    and the monad.

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    Duncan's Diagram of

    Circumambulation 1866

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    Traveling East The East has been seen in many Western

    esoteric traditions as the place of enlightenmentand always sacred. Tied again with the rising of the sun.

    The Greeks were said to be from the schools ofthe East. Supported with Hermes and traditions tied to Osiris.

    The Prestonian System asks:

    Q- What induces you to leave the West and travel East? A- In search of a Master, and from him to gain instruction.

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    Due From; Due and Ancient Form The use of the step and signs finds mention in

    our earliest rituals. (see ERHM) The term Due Form finds its origin in the

    French language.

    Du or Devoir- To owe or Ought What is being said is The candidate is the proper

    form that which owed and must be done.

    Thus or Lodges are acting in the prescribed way from timeimmortal.

    It also has a deeper esoteric message. (look to J.S.M WardEA Book)

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    The Obligation

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    The History The Obligation is one of oldest section of

    the ritual. Some early ritual documents have a very

    short opening and an obligation.

    The ERHM is mostly short forms with a long

    obligation and explanations of signs.

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    The Form Preamble

    Obligation Charges


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    Preamble Agreement of nondisclosure.

    Very operative in its design, nothing having todo with morality in a sense but trade secrets.

    Only time used hidden Mysteries of

    Ancient Freemasonry. Mystery

    Derived from Greek.

    Not m

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