Initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry is one of the most august experiences we can give a man. Like watching a star being born; we delight in making this man a Mason, and revel in memories of our own beginnings.
The stage was set, the crafsmen were prepared…
But even still there was a sense of anxiety, or rather of eager anticipation for the night which was about to unfold. Like kisses, cars, and homes; you only get one first initiation. Every Mason can recall the beauty and power of thiers, and seeks to give the same if not more to the Brothers and fellows who follow after.
Matt Goosen has been our friend for some time now. He’s participated in our various casual assemblies, attended our monthly public dinners and discussions where he’s been a welcome and active partner in our debates and philosophical dialogues; and impressed us all when he volunteered his time (and his truck) at our charity work party this year. We were happy to fulfil his request for a petition. The Brethren of Friendship Masonic Lodge were eager to give him our best work – and then we did.
Several Brothers stepped up to take on new roles
Our Senior Warden particularly enjoys conferring the Entered Apprentice degree and his enthusiasm is always obvious in his precise execution, but he exceeded all expectations. Brothers Reilly and Haase reprised thier roles as Stewards, though having tightened up their movements and coordination to the point they seemed old hands at this work. This was also Brother Jimmie Haime’s first time serving as Senior Deacon in an Oregon Entered Apprentice degree. With not a hint of California work (his mother jurisdiction) it was obvious his study with Brother Chase has been most effective.
Worshipful Brother Casey presented our new brother with his lambskin apron. And as usual our Worshipful Master performed the Degree Lecture, with the Entered Apprentice charge and closing charge expertly executed by Brother Bryan Tranel.
Our newly initiated brother shared his thoughts
After closing the Lodge, we took our customary refreshments in the dining hall. Giving a few minutes for the assembled Brothers to choose their seats and libations, the bell was rung and we came to attention to hear our now-Brother Goosen’s thoughts on what he’d experienced. However, I don’t know if Brother Goosen expected every man present to stand to give his words of wisdom, encouragement, and in some cases envy.
As is our custom, the Worshipful Master had the last word. Expressing great joy and gratitude for Brother Goosen; thanking him for helping us all relive our own initiations into the Masonic Fraternity, and earning some measure of accomplishment that tonight we have helped another man continue the great and good work of our gentle craft. Once all had had their say and the modest festive board was grazed bare, we retired to our favorite neighborhood pub for cigars and more casual refreshment.
I’m left pondering Bro. Aaron Vederman’s comment; that the experience of initiation is always powerful, but not always felt the same way by every man. Some are electrified, while others are subued, and others still are affected more subtly. But every man feels a change and remembers the moment he recognized it.
I remember how I felt – how I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know quite how Bro. Goosen managed, but I’d like to think he valued the experience as much as I did mine.