I feel perhaps I should first give some idea about the journey of a Freemason in the lodge. All Freemasons have begun their journey at their initiation, where they were made an “Entered Apprentice.” Following this they will be made a “Fellow Craft Freemason”, before becoming a “Master Mason”, mirroring the path that stonemasons traditionally took, where first an apprentice is taught their trade over a period of years. Then they become accepted as a qualified stonemason, before further experience should lead to them being regarded as Master Masons.
Those are the three degrees in Craft Freemasonry; no more.
The Lodge meetings are structured like meetings, with an agenda, and various members hold offices within the lodge. Many lodges have their members progress through the various offices, before they have the opportunity to become Master of the Lodge. The only prerequisites for someone becoming Master of a Lodge (or Worshipful Master) are:
- they must be a member of the Lodge
- they must be a master mason
- they must have served for a year as a Warden.
I am approaching the end of my year as Senior Warden, having progressed through various offices.
In many ways, it is quite a leap. The Worshipful Master takes the lead during our meetings, and has the most work to do in the ceremonies. The other officers do have things to do, but none more than the Worshipful Master.
To prepare for my installation, it was recommended I learn the investiture of officers, which I will have to perform once I have been made Master. For each officer, I need to invest them with the collar of their office, explaining the significance of the jewels attached; hand them any tools relevant to their role; and explain their duties to the Lodge.
However, with a few days to go, Brother Secretary has given me a few notes regarding my being made Master Elect (basically means I will be made Master at the next meeting).
Although I said earlier that people transition through various offices, the Master Elect is expected to invite people to take their various offices during his year of Mastership. With a little more notice perhaps I could have had some nice little cards printed with a personal message to each of my officers, along the lines of
It would be my privilege and honour to have you serve as my <insert relevant role> during my year as Master. Please RSVP with your acceptance or otherwise.”
Yes, I could hand-write notes, giving it that personal touch. But with (at least) fourteen officers, my usually awful handwriting would become abominable before reaching halfway.
That leaves me with the less-than-ideal mode of email.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a technophobe. However, besides feeling that email is too informal a method of communication for this, some of our (usually older) members do not have ready access to email.
Or perhaps I shall rely upon the time-honoured method of entrusting Her Majesty’s Royal Mail with the responsibility of delivering my requests.