Friday, February 10, 2006

Catechism or Blue Lightning

Here is the question. What are your feelings about it? I do not know much about Blue Lightning because I went through the degree work in lodge. I have had many discussions with a friend of mine that is a D.D.G.M. and he is bound by the Grand Lodge of Illinois to support blue lightning. I though am allowed to speak freely on the topic. I think that Blue Lightning is a easy out for many lodges due to the time and effort the degree work takes. I also believe that the candidate is a lot less likely to truly receive the importance of the lessons within the degrees. Whether its a Entered Apprentice, a Fellow Craft or Master Mason. I believe that this option should be fully left in the hands of the candidates. They should be told the advantages and disadvantages of both. They claim that speed is one of the benefits of Lighting. But I got through all three degrees in lodge in three months. Your comments or opinions please.


Bob said...

I am currently a Fellowcraft and in the process of proving up through the degrees; our lodge has begun to open in the first degree so that a few of us can attend lodge before we are raised.

The lodge I belong to is a small one and most of the Brothers that are not of retirement age are Blue Lightning Masons; I was entered in January of this year and probably know more about the History of Freemasonry than any of the younger MMs.

The underlying problem is that none of the Blue Lighting Masons know any of the Work and can't hold chairs; most of the older Brothers are tired of the work and want the younger Brothers to take the reigns... but no one is able, or there isn’t enough interest to attend Standards Club. On one of our lodge nights there wasn’t enough MMs in attendance to hold a regular lodge, of the 40 members I have only met about 9.

I don't want to say that I am against Blue Lightning, but I do feel that the Allegorical lessons that you learn by proving up are lost through the Blue Lightning method... one of the Blue Lightning Brothers told me he slept through the Fellowcraft ritual.
The Blue Lightning Masons just don’t seem to want to do the work, if a candidate puts forth the effort to prove up at least there is an indication that he may be truly interested in the Craft and not just want to wear the ring.

mriccio3 said...


Here in Florida, our GM has decreed that no "fast-tracks" will happen during his tenure. My feelings are that a candidate needs to spend as much time in each degree as is necessary for hime to come to a full understanding of the lessons he's learning and the obligations he is binding himself to.

Br. Mike Riccio
Sarasota Lodge #147
Sarasota, Florida

Gilbert said...

Unfortunately many Lodges are adopting these kinds of methods. They feel it does good for membership numbers. I feel it just creates Brothers who a: Don't really understand what they have signed up for, and b: don't often come back to lodge because they have no vested interest. It just seems to crank out members who get to wear a pretty ring but have no understanding of the moral fiber required of sincere Brothers. It seems to me that Lodges feel that younger brothers respond better when they don't have to work for the degrees, but speaking as a 23 year old MM I feel that that cheats young masons of the experience and of the sense of accomplishment. Our generation doesn't want to be spoon fed we want to feel as though we've done something special. But thats just what I've gathered from long discussions with fellow college-aged masons.


Gilbert said...

P.S. I am rather enjoying your observations. It seems sad to me that it has become an advertisement fest in the comments. Where is that coming from? Is it possible to delete in blogger or no?

TravelingEast said...

I am about to take my Fellowcraft on Tuesday. In Florida we don't have blue lightning and i wouldn't trade my time with the brothers studying for anything.Nice to see someone else on the same journey.

Fellow said...

I agree with the opinion that you should take your time learning the catechism as it was meant to be learned. Much of what drew me to masons was a sense of tradition, history and brotherhood. None of our earlier brothers had an easy way out, in fact we now have cheat sheets in code where most of the brothers in my lodge and my father had to learn it the old way, sound from the instructive tongue. You feel pride in yourself after winning the approval of your brothers on your catechism, which you would not feel if you cheated. The pride gives you a feeling of having earned your position in the brotherhood as a true member,going through the rites of passage, not just paying your dues and following instructions for a few hours then forgetting the valueable lessons taught. By learning the degree almost verbatum, you have earned your right to sit in lodge and benefit from the further instruction. To be involved and get the most out of what is offered, you will want to participate in degree teams or hold a chair in lodge, you will need to know your catechism anyway because the real light in Masonry comes from the applied use of the symbols and allogories first described to you in the degree ceremony. Before you can enjoy a good book, you must learn to read. In short, if you plan to be gain anything from being a Mason, you want to learn this very well, if not don't bother. The Masons are not for everybody and should be offered or obtained without due trial and strict examination, again, if you don't really want to learn, there's no reason to approach the East. My 2cents.

Usa1791 said...

I have completed my EA exam last week and am going through the fellow craft this week, i feel so proud of myself for memorizing the degree work and i could not imagine going through a fast track program just to make it to MM quicker. If it takes me 6 months to reach MM then i want to earn every minute if those 6 months.

Cristen Rhinehart said...

Good evening, Brethren. Bro. Cristen Rhinehart, Crete Lodge #763. I am currently in my Fellowcraft Degree and this Saturday I will be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason through Blue Lightning. Don't mistake the catechism's were definitely a challenge. But I must say that I cannot complain due to the fact I am the one who has taken on this obligation. And yes, there is so much to learn and it will almost take a life time to learn its true meaning.