After 33 & Beyond: an Uncommon Mason’s Perspective

By February 5, 2018General News

Masonry is changing, without changing. Even if the post-war membership boom may never be repeated, younger men are coming to the light in greater numbers than in many years, changing the fabric of Masonic culture. Americans are beginning to awake from the digital trance that began with television, and to remember the power of human contact, direct relationships, initiation, ritual, and lifelong learning. All of which our Brotherhood provides.

A young Mason named Johnny Royal spent seven years crafting this documentary introduction to the Craft. In short, one could describe this movie as “just” a 90 minute video introduction to the Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, and York Rite. It contains nothing to surprise any experienced Mason. But, it is an introduction produced with contemporary visual techniques and production values, and marks a welcome updating from the more traditional aesthetic, which adorns much of our promotional material and organizational culture.

Each of these entities – the Blue Lodge, and the Scottish and York Rites – are introduced, in outline form, with extensive, yet circumspect, video footage. The personal journeys offered by each series of degrees involved are surveyed. Numerous men are interviewed about their own experience with Masonry. The men interviewed are mostly “younger,” representing a range from clean cut corporate worker, to long haired, tattooed seekers of the mysteries. Interspersed with these interviews are extensive talks with highly experienced Masons, including a Past Grand Master and Sovereign Grand Inspector General. The focus is very much on Masonry as a personal journey of growth and maturity, more so than as a social organization.

While not without some very minor visual flaws, overall the production values are very high. Clearly, a lot of care and attention went into the making of this film. If you are seeking a way to introduce the Craft to men under the age of 50 or so, buying them a copy of this film might well be a good way to do so. You can support this labor of love created by Worshipful Brother Johnny Royal directly, by purchasing a copy through the website for his film.

Members and visitors of Friendship Masonic Lodge are also invited to stop in and view a copy of the film on DVD in the Lodge library.

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