February

It was a lot of gold in the room for our humble chapter, but it was great to be in company of such wonderful companions and we hope to see them again soon! We send our special thanks to Most Excellent High Priest, David Dossette of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Michigan, and Most Illustrious Grand Master, Robert Troutman of the  Grand Council, Royal and Select Masons of Michigan for visiting us this evening.  Brandon Mullins Thrice Illustrious Master 

It was a lot of gold in the room for our humble chapter, but it was great to be in company of such wonderful companions and we hope to see them again soon! We send our special thanks to Most Excellent High Priest, David Dossette of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Michigan, and Most Illustrious Grand Master, Robert Troutman of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Masons of Michigan for visiting us this evening.

Brandon Mullins
Thrice Illustrious Master 

Companions,

It is a very sad day for Cryptic Masonry. Most Puissant Companion George C. Sellars, the Most Puissant General Grand Master passed away today February 10, 2013. He passed away at home with his family by his side.

His Funeral arrangements are as follows: A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe, MI 48236. Viewing on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Masonic Service at 8:00 PM. (Tentative Commandery Honor Guard 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM) Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Funeral Service at Noon at the Funeral Home.

Corey Curtiss
Junior Past Illustrious Master 

Mark Master Mason Degree | Feb 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

On February 20th at Calvary United Methodist Church with a meal starting at 6:30pm and us opening at 7:00pm we will be conferring the Mark Master Mason Degree on a brother from Olive Lodge No. 158. We will be catching him up with Brother Blackburn who has already received the Mark Master Degree and will be able to participate in the festivities. This should be a great evening and we invite all who can attend.

High Priest’s Address | Feb 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

This month, one year ago we packed up our regalia and headed out to Belleville to put on the Mark Master Mason Degree, the first in a set of degrees we would confer there. We had a lot of fun and made three new Mark Master Masons that day. Those Mark Masters have gone on in the York Rite and this year we’re conferring another Mark Master Mason degree in February here in Ann Arbor. On February 20th at Calvary United Methodist Church with a meal starting at 6:30pm and us opening at 7:00pm we will be conferring the Mark Master Mason Degree on a brother from Olive Lodge No. 158. We will be catching him up with Brother Blackburn who has already received the Mark Master Degree and will be able to participate in the festivities. This should be a great evening and I invite all who can attend. Also the day before the degree, Zion Lodge No. 1 is holding their annual wreath laying at DeLue’s “George Washington as Master Mason” at Mariner’s Church in Detroit. They will be meeting up at the Renaissance Center at 2pm. All Masons are invited so I’ll try to be there and I hope to see some of you there as well.

In addition to the usual announcements I’d like to take a little time to talk about an object not unfamiliar to the Royal Arch Mason, the Arc of the Covenant, and more specifically the Cherubim that adorn it. The prophet Ezekiel describes Cherubim as a tetrad of living creatures covered in eyes and resembling living fire, with each cherub having four faces: a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. They are said to have the stature and hands of a man, feet of a calf, and four wings each. Two of the wings extended upward, meeting above and sustaining the throne of God; while the other two stretched downward and covered the creatures themselves. Images of Cherubim were a common feature in the architecture of King Solomon’s time and Bazaleel and Aholiab no doubt made many for the First Temple. The significance of such creatures is widely debated with explanations ranging from the theological to the philosophical, but what I’d like to bring up today is a potential astronomical and perhaps astrological connection.

In depth research on the subject is slim, and I certainly haven’t made my mind up on the matter but housed at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem is an Ivory carving of a Cherub that has been described as a miniature map of the stars. 

This particular Cherub, dated to around 8th or 9th century BC, was thought to have once been part of a throne’s ivory inlay and represented some of the finest ivory carving of the era. Though beautiful to look at there is a belief that perhaps there is more to this Cherub than meets the eye. What may have spurred on the idea that this carving was not just a simple royal affectation comes from the concept of the wheel within a wheel  described in the Inaugural vision found in Ezekiel chapter one, and the various circular designs that can be easily found when looking at the Cherub. These circles if properly drawn are said to give us a map of the night sky from the time of Ezekiel and serve as an astronomical and astrological chart.

One such believer of this theory, Mr. H. Peter Aleff has done the compasswork and has overlaid these circles both over an image of the Cherub, and over the night sky as the northern night sky would have appeared from a rough idea Ezekiel’s location and time, and the way they sync not only is an indicator of the location of various stars but apparent magnitude as well. An interesting theory to say the least and not only explains the astrological significance of the animals that make up the Cherub but the Maimonidite theory that Angels such as the Cherub allegorically represent scientific truth which further backs up the belief that men like Ezekiel were not only prophets but students of the advanced arts and sciences. I could go into this subject more deeply but I just wanted to provide a little food for thought this February making sure that we’re ever mindful to deeply investigate and understand the symbols around us, and though like the Arc and adorning Cherubim we may have a symbol or tool resting on our shoulders a deeper meaning may await us if continue our search for light.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s article and hope if at all possible you will join us for our Mark Master Mason degree this month, and help our brothers at Zion Lodge honor our worth companion. 

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

Mark Master Mason Degree | Feb 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Join Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, Excelsior Chapter No. 25 and York Chapter No. 150 for the Mark Master Mason degree being performed at the Belleville Masonic Temple in cooperation with our host, Myrtle Lodge No. 89.

If you have ever considered joining Royal Arch Masonry, part of the York Rite this is a great opportunity to begin this spectacular journey in a city where this work hasn’t been performed for nearly a half century.

Chapter will open at 7:00pm followed by a small meal. Hope to see you there!

High Priest's Address | Feb 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

“The stone which the builders refused
is become the head stone of the corner
This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day which the LORD hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

- Psalm 118:22-24 KJV

As many of you may know we will be starting several brothers on the journey though Capitular Masonry in Belleville this month and of course that starts with the Mark Master Mason Degree. In our jurisdiction this ritual makes up first degree of Royal Arch Masonry, and in turn the York Rite but I always find it important to note that in other jurisdictions the Order of Mark Masters is its own appendant organization holding a special distinction within the body of Masonic work. The lessons of the Mark Master Mason degree like many other degrees are varied an open to interpretation but if I think I can share a few take aways that I would hope all can find. The degree teaches us to resist elitism showing the candidate that even the most experienced can be wrong and that even the weakest among us have the capacity for greatness. And as it follows the path of the stone it follows the path of a well lived life, being found, being recognized, and brought into perfection. Indeed the stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

I hope all who can make it join us at the Belleville Masonic Temple, on February 14th for the Mark Master Mason Degree, and of course the degrees to follow which will continue on the second Monday of each month. I would also like to remind everyone that we will continue having our business meeting on the third Monday of every month at our home in Ann Arbor. Last but not least I would like to thank the companions of Excelsior Chapter No. 25, York Chapter No. 150 and my own companions for making these degrees possible, and of course Myrtle Lodge No. 89 for welcoming us into their home.

The address for the temple is:  515 Main Street, Belleville, MI, 48111, and it’s on the corner of the first right past the bridge, you can’t miss it. I hope to see you there!

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP

From the Crypt | Feb 2011

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Greetings Companions and Friends,

Hope that the weather is doing better for you, your health and your families health than it is doing for those at the home of the Lucero family. Our Stated Assembly in January was rather poorly attended. Not only was George unable to be in attendance due to ill health, but also so were Rod Deyo, Walter Howarth, and Art Stoll. Corey Curtiss had to be out of town on business with the Scouts and several others were missing for various reasons, some to be just in warmer climates for a few months, some for going out of business sales and others because they had been too busy at work.

George sent out the following poem which is meant for all.

I said a prayer for you today

And know that God must have heard,

I felt the answer in my heart

Although He spoke not a word.

I didn’t ask for wealth or fame

(I knew you wouldn’t mind)

I asked Him to send treasures

Of a far more lasting kind.

I prayed that He’d be near you

At the start of each new day,

To grant you health and blessings

And friends to share your way.

I asked for happiness for you

In all things great and small

But it was for his loving care

I prayed the most of all.

The leaders of Ann Arbor’s three York Rite Masonic Groups are working and planning for the upcoming several months, actually for the next year and a half.

Each of them has agreed to serve their respective bodies for a two year term so that they can get programs planned and implemented. It now requires that each of us step forward and offer our assistance to them for serving us.

Paul C. Howell, PTIM

Commander's Comments | Feb 2011

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I trust that Blue Lodge and Council Installation season went well (and your Holidays and family time too). I look forward to your attendance at our upcoming Ann Arbor Joint York Rite (AAJYR) meeting on Monday, February 21. We are going to start practicing our 10 man opening and closing and thinking about Inspection season which is just around the corner. We will also have a discussion about our calendar for the next 12-15 months and I welcome suggestions for activities that our membership might enjoy or that could bring service to the community and visibility to our Valiant Order. If you perchance, cannot attend and would like to contribute an idea please email me at cfcurtiss@yahoo.com or call me at 734-660-0241.

I encourage you in the interim between AAJYR meetings to regularly attend communications of the Blue Lodge(s) in your area and through the means of common social intercourse strike up a conversation about the York Rite of Masonry and particularly our Knights Templar. Make your brothers aware of the high regard you hold for the Order and your zeal for our institution. Perhaps they might be interested in joining with us in our noble works. Always have ready petitions to join the York Rite Bodies for those who are interested. Avoid badgering those that might not be receptive right now but let yourself be an example of the good work and superior fellowship we enjoy in the York Rite and more especially the Knights Templar. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our Order. Please pray for our sick, dearly departed, those who are traveling, and men and women in uniform locally and overseas, both civil servants and those in the armed forces. If you’re on your way or already in a warmer place for the next few weeks I hope you enjoy the weather and your rest and recuperation; we look forward to welcoming you home in the Spring.

Corey Curtiss, EC