Master Mason to Senior Steward in One WeekJune 2, 2007
One week after being raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, I found myself performing the duties of the Senior Steward during an Initiation Degree. Mind you, I didn’t say that I performed them well or with any confidence, since I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing.
I arrived late at the Lodge only a minute or two before the Lodge was to open. As I entered the Lodge, I was immediately accosted by our Master Of Ceremonies who informed me that our Senior Steward had not yet arrived, and that they needed me to to fill in for him until he did.
At this moment, I realized just how little I actually knew about the rituals that go on inside a Lodge. Of course I had some sort of idea what a Steward did, but I didn’t really know the details – and ritual work is all about the details.
It turned out that I managed to get through everything, with quick little instructions from the Junior Warden and the Junior Steward right before I was supposed to do something. I also managed not to hear the Worshipful Master every time he called the Senior Steward to do something, but thankfully a chorus of “that’s you!” always magically appeared from behind me.
Our Lodge Secretary is also the District Deputy Grand Master. His term is just coming to a close so this was to be the last time that he was going to be in our Lodge in that capacity. We did a ceremony for him which I could only describe as being a final salute to the work that he did over the last year. I played a part in his final grand entrance into the Lodge and managed to stumble along with him to the Altar. There were a few speeches and then the entire Lodge seemed to erupt in a bizarre pattern of clapping and stomping in perfect unison.
I seemed to be the only person in the room who had never seen this before. I was already feeling inadequate in my role as a Steward, but now I was also feeling like a Masonic Noob or Entered Apprentice again.
The one thing that I truly understood, was that even though I am now a Master Mason, but I really don’t seem to know anything yet. I went through the three degrees and have memorized my obligations and questions so far to “prove-up”, but I am still very, very green. I asked a Brother later that night how long it took him to feel comfortable in the Lodge and he replied that it took about 3 years before he really understood what was going on.
The Entered Apprentice Degree went over well and thankfully I only had a very small part. I sweated all night waiting to be relieved from the “real” Senior Steward, but he never came.
This is my 25th post on Freemasonry and my experiences as a Freemason. Here is the Table of Contents of my Masonic Journey.