I attended the installation of the officers of Kirkland #150 lodge. This was my first experience of the practices within a lodge. I believe seeing the installation has been a good step in preparing me for the next step: entrance to the first degree, Entering Apprentice.
The interior of the hall had been recently remodeled and showed subtle attention to detail and tasteful decor. On the lodge’s website I saw the before and after photos, which showed a real transformation, but observing the ceremony of the installation of officers in the context of the remodeled chamber added greatly to the experience. It seemed rich and complex, yet somewhat understated, but the overall impact was striking.
The charges to each officer, according to his function, showed the Masons take quite seriously the skills and practices that make a lodge function. If a marriage ceremony was this explicit and comprehensive, there would likely be a lot fewer weddings.
Obviously, this installation was open to the public, as I am still a lowly candidate. I understand that the tyled ceremony is different. Someday I will experience the ritual, symbolism and allegory of a meeting of Master Masons.
The solemnity of the ceremony emphasized the importance that of the historical practices and principles of Freemasonry. I was also impressed by the respect each new officer was shown by the outgoing Marshall, who was firm yet gentle in his guiding each officer to the Lodge Master for the individual charges for honor and following of the practices of Freemasonry. Body language, facial expressions and vocalizations spoke of respect and caring. I also was impressed by the oration of Bill Werner who not only knows the charges to the officers by heart, but embellishes the narrative with gesture, intonation and meaningful vocal expression.
I learned after the installation that the following Saturday I will be presented for the first degree of Entering Apprentice. I’m really looking forward to that! The events leading to a degree are still clouded in mystery.
More to come!