The members of Ann Arbor Commandery were proud to take part in this year’s Easter Observance at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Though it appears this wasn’t exactly the first time we’ve has had the opportunity to do so.
Please join Washtenaw Chapter No.6 in conferring the Past Master Degree on brother Thane Domrase and Worshipful Brother Robert Blackburn. This will be a busy night, as there is a Council school of instruction preceding the degree at 6:30 but there will be no business meeting, and the degree is scheduled to open at 7:30pm. We hope to see as many of you there as can make it.
Greetings Friends & Companions,
On Monday, February 24th The Mark Master Mason Degree was conferred on Brother Thane Domrase, of Olive Lodge No. 158 catching him up with Worshipful Brother Robert Blackburn who also now awaits the Past Master Degree. We plan to confer the Past Master Degree with Allegory on March 19th at our home, Calvary United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor at the usual time of 7:00pm but we’re going to skip the pre degree dinner to make time for a Council school of instruction starting at 6:30pm. For the upcoming Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Degrees we may mix things up. The scale of the Most Excellent Master Degree has us looking for other possible locations to host it and for the Royal Arch Degree I’m working on something really special, an outdoor degree. But nothing is set in stone yet but I just wanted to give you a little taste of some of the exciting things we’re planning for Washtenaw Chapter.
The subject I wanted to talk about in this article is one that has affected me directly and given the vast variety of duties I’ve taken on in life will certainly continue to. With the various activities in life that vie for our time, and the poor state many of our Lodges are in, how can one justify their involvement in an appendant body? I suppose the obvious and most common answer is to receive and confer additional light in Masonry. While this is a noble pursuit indeed if we truly believe the Lodges are the core of our institution it seems to reason that with so many in such a poor state if a brother is strapped for time he should focus his efforts on them, rather than appendant bodies to make sure the foundation of our fraternity doesn’t crumble. Some men may have the time for both and that is certainly fine, but in the 21st century where wages are low, and both parents in the household must work to pay the bills a family man rarely finds himself in that position. I struggled with this for a long time. In my lodge I tried to stay active, and began my journey down the officer line but my busy schedule insured that I missed far more than my fair share of meetings, and while I know I was doing my best to serve the fraternity I constantly felt like I was failing, and felt as much shame as I did pride in my involvement. In the Royal Arch on the other hand I where the meetings where monthly rather than weekly, though time was still an issue I felt like I could greatly concentrate my efforts into providing a good program for candidates, and though in that capacity I have certainly run into problems, the ability to make it to every meeting and give each one my all gave me greater confidence and greater passion for Masonry. After years of trying to stay involved in Lodge, my work schedule finally changed this January making further attendance impossible, and I had to drop out of line. And though I’m sad I’ll no longer be able to take part in their meetings and degrees I think I can be comfortable in saying that perhaps it has been for the best. Right now I know I have enough time for the York Rite. I can attend our monthly meetings and not feel over extended or overwhelmed. This is a good niche for me today. Tomorrow may change and I’ll once again have more time for Masonic activities, but for now a part time job in the quarries fits me quite well, and I think others may be able to benefit in the same way. So many brothers get the feeling that because they cannot attend every meeting, four to eight times a month that Masonic involvement is beyond their reach, but I say send them our way, let them know that there are institutions in Masonry where they can still be involved, still take part. And in all honesty that’s how I justify my involvement in the York Rite, despite the limits on my time. I like it, and I can dedicate the time I need to be active in it.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and I hope to see you at our next meeting that in spite of several challenges in organizing it will be our first Past Master Degree with Allegory in a very long time.
Brandon Mullins, HP
Oh how the Cryptic year moves quickly.We are busy in the Royal Arch chapter preparing future Candidates for the Royal and Select Degrees.As I discussed at our annual installation of Officers in December, the Council focuses on Preservation and we as a Council and York Rite collective are working to Preserve not only our great body but our entire organization.It begins with you! You companions, are our boots on the ground. Please spread the word about the great work in the Council and its meaningful degree structure.It is not a body to be missed and those that petition and follow though to discover where the secrets of our Craft are preserved will not regret their decision.
Your Master is busy helping the Royal Arch body with degree work so we can have candidates for our degrees. In addition, I will be traveling to the East Central conference the second weekend of March in Indiana for a leadership forum to help write new plans on our Trestle Board with the hope that we continue to engage and provide an added value organization for Companions to call home and preserve our unique mysteries.
In addition, at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of March (19 March 2012) we will have our School of Instruction from our new Arch Deputy, the representative from Grand Council.Please be there in properly clothed to practice the Opening and Closing in the Select Master degree and the reception of Grand Officers.We look forward to seeing you for that and the Washtenaw Chapter’s Past Master degree with Allegory!
Corey Curtiss, TIM
I hope this communication finds you and your family well.Please send along prayer requests or any other updates to firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-506-8272 or to our Recorder or Prelate.
This Chivalric year almost draws to a close as does my two year reign as Commander.I am looking forward to turning the saddle over to Sir Knight Brandon Mullins who has exceptional passion for Templar Masonry and will do many great things in his tenure as Commander of our Commandery.
To keep you up to speed, in the past months I have had the pleasure of representing our Commandary at a number of Battalion events and was even able to take a few parts in a number of the ceremonies down in Samaria a few weeks ago.We are also deep into planning our upcoming Commandery Inspection which has been proposed for August 18 before the State Commandary Conclave this year. The outgoing and incoming Commanders of our sister Commandery in Ypsilanti are even now hard at working planning this spectacular event so we hope to see you there.Would you like to take a part?Please let us know soon, before your favorite part is taken!
Our new members Ken Landstrom and Jim Piper, have been quite active and even have been visiting other Commanderies.
In addition, we will be sending a contingent to the Detroit Masonic Temple and Detroit Commandery #1 to watch the portrayal of the Order of the Temple in full chain mail and period regalia by a visiting Preceptory. Please mark your calendars for March 24th and get your reservations in as this is sure to be a spectacular event. You can find more information in the Michigan insert of the current edition of the Knight Templar magazine which should be hitting your mailboxes now.
We also have handsome certificates commemorating your Knighting if you might not have received them in previous years.We have limited quantities of both an old edition and the larger and colorful new edition for $15.Please contact Excellent Prelate, Brandon Mullins at email@example.com to order them and his lovely lady Puja will write your name and information in a beautiful fashion.
Our next regular conclave and dinner will take place 19 March 2012 at Calvary Methodist Church.We hope to see you there! Please let us know if you need a ride!
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam,
Corey F. Curtiss, PEC
We’re in touch with companions in Japan working on a collaborative charitable effort. Stay tuned for details…
We have contacted the Grand York Rite Bodies of Japan and they have put us in contact with brothers who are organizing the relief fund. The details on the event we plan to use to raise money for said fund is still in the planning stages. Once again keep an eye on this page for details.
Greetings Friends & Companions,
Monday, March 14th we’ll be doing TWO degrees at the Belleville Masonic Temple, both the Past Master, and Most Excellent Master degrees. As you may suspect we could use your support, so I’d like to invite all companions down to the Belleville Masonic Temple, which is at 515 Main Street, Belleville, MI 48111 on Monday, March 14th at 7:00pm for the Past Master and Most Excellent Master Degrees. A small meal will be served after the degrees and if you’re lucky we might even put you to work during them.
So please come support our newest members, Adam Smith, Jim Piper, Kenneth Landstrom at their Past Master & Most Excellent Master Degrees!
Greetings Friends & Companions,
I would first like congratulate the new Mark Master Masons of Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, Adam Smith, Jim Piper, and Kenneth Landstrom. They received the Mark Master Mason degree on Monday, February 14th during the first of our degrees to be set at the Belleville Masonic Temple. I would then like to thank the companions hailing from FIVE different chapters who came out in support on St. Valentine’s Day of all days in order to make this degree possible.
But our work is not done yet and in truth it’s just begun. Monday, March 14th we’ll be doing TWO degrees at the Belleville Masonic Temple, both the Past Master, and Most Excellent Master degrees. As you may suspect we could use your support, so I’d like to invite all companions down to the Belleville Masonic Temple, which is at 515 Main Street, Belleville, MI 48111 on Monday, March 14th at 7:00pm for the Past Master and Most Excellent Master Degrees. A small meal will be served after the degrees and if you’re lucky we might even put you to work during them.
So why do we have this Past Master degree? The most obvious answer is a traditional requirement that all Royal Arch Masons must first be Master of a Lodge, and to bring the Royal Arch Degree to a greater number of brothers the Past Master degree was created in order to satisfy that requirement. That is I suppose the textbook explanation, but why then didn’t we merely change the rules and eliminate the requirement, and why do we proceed to confer this degree upon Worshipful Brother Jim Piper who is a two time Past Master, and sat in the East only a few months ago? It’s because the lesson is important. From George Washington to King Solomon never has a mortal man been a perfect leader and the virtues required for good leadership can never be inculcated too often, or practiced too zealously. In addition the Past Master degree teaches us to be prepared to be thrust into leadership unexpectedly, a lesson that as High Priest of this Chapter is very near and dear to my heart. So if there becomes a question of who will lead the craftsmen the Past Master degree teaches the brother what it takes to step forward.
The Most Excellent Master degree is one that celebrates the joy of a labors well performed but reminds us that even as our work draws to a close there is never truly an end to our duty, because with every step we take towards completion that is another lesson we are tasked to take to our brothers who may not be so far along. A man becomes an Entered Apprentice, an Entered Apprentice becomes a Fellowcraft, and finally at long last a Fellowcraft becomes a Master. So does becoming a Master mean your labors have ceased? No! It’s the duty of an Entered Apprentice to learn, a Fellowcraft to practice, and a Master to… teach. The Most Excellent Master degree teaches the valuable lesson that amongst the rewards you’ve earned through your labors in becoming a Master Mason is the right and duty to spread the lessons you’ve learned selflessly working for the benefit of your fellow Brothers.
Companions, I hope to see as many of you ask can make it for our Past Master, and Most Excellent Master degrees, and if you helped with the Mark Master Degree or expressed interest in helping with the coming two, you should expect a call from me very soon.
The Joint York Rite Meeting is still being held at the Calvary United Methodist Church. It is an excellent setting for our Stated Convocations. Looking forward to you joining us for excellent conversation and light refreshments prior to the meeting. Refreshments begin at about 6:15 and the meeting is called to order at 7 pm. Hoping for one and all the best of health and happiness. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Brandon Mullins, HP
Greetings Companions and Friends,
This is the first of the Council degrees. It is conferred in a place known as the council chamber, which represents the private apartment of King Solomon’s Temple, where he and his two associates met for consultation and deliberation during the construction of the Temple, and the drama portrayed in it sheds additional light on both the Master Mason and Royal Arch degrees. It and the following degree are essential to a clear understanding of the events of one section of the Royal Arch.
In the Select Master’s degree which is the second of the Council, the place of meeting represents a “Secret Vault” or crypt beneath the Temple. The historical object of the degree is to commemorate the deposits of an important secretor treasure which, after the preliminary preparations, is said to have been made by our three Grand Masters.
Super Excellent Master
This degree was not originally a part of the Cryptic system, and is not in all jurisdictions as yet. It has one of the best written rituals in Masonry. It deals with incidents in the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar when Zedekiah, the last King of Judah, was conquered and carried captive to Babylon. It enlarges upon the section of the Royal Arch having to do with the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King, and teaches in most dramatic fashion the lesson of fidelity.
Order of the Red Cross
As the first step in a Commandery of Knights Templar, The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross continues the story of the Royal Arch and deals with a period in Jewish history at the time of the reurn of the Jews from capitivity and the efforts to rebuild the Temple of their God in Jerusalem. The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, peculiar to America, teaches the lessons of the triumph of TRUTH.
Order of Knight of Malta
The second Order in the Commandery is the Knight of Malta with its pass degree of Knight of St. Paul or the Mediterranean Pass. This Order is the first Christian Order encountered by the candidate. The ritual is based historically upon one of the old Order of the Crusades. In this order you are taught to be zealous and vigilant for the Order of Knighthood.
Order of the Temple
This is the third and most impressive Order of the Commandery and is wholly Christian. The Templar tradition derives from the Society of the same name which played so important a part in the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Beautiful lessons of the death and ascension of our Saviour are inculcated and the candidate is received into full fellowship, in the most solemn manner. This order will strengthen you in your quest for your growth in the Christian Religion and in your work and support for furthering the tenets of Brotherly Love and Friendship.
The K.Y.C.H., Knight York Cross of Honour is an honor that can be bestowed upon a York Rite Mason for service in and to the Fraternity. He must have served as the leader of his Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery and been nominated by his peers and elected to receive this distinction.