(Past Master of Federal Lodge No. 1 & Deputy Director of Work for the Valley of Washington Scottish Rite)
Ritual is hard. Whether you’re a newly-made Mason or have been a member for years, Masonic ritual will always be a challenge. Like a scary beast hiding in a dark cave, only a handful are brave enough to enter and face the trials that await them. But, if Masonic ritual was easy, everybody would be doing it. Those that have mastered the art of ritual are held in high regard, and Lodges that put on beautiful degree work hold reputations like rock stars (wielding the gavel instead of a guitar).
A large part of why I joined Freemasonry was to be involved in ritual. I went to school for Theatre and received my Bachelors in Acting and Directing, and I’ve been a working professional actor in DC for over ten years now. Back in 2008, I jumped in head-first in Blue Lodge ritual and joined the DC Scottish Rite where I now serve as the Deputy Director of Work. But I’m here to tell you that even though I’ve studied acting for years, traveled the world performing for thousands, been a professional mascot in front of 71,000 screaming fans, and participated in countless degree conferrals… the cave still scares me.
That said, over the years of participating, I have learned some things along the way. So, I wanted to share my top ten tips and tricks to make Masonic ritual a little less scary in hopes that come the day of the degree, you are prepared to give the best performance you can give. Not all of these tips will make you the Meryl Streep of the Middle Chamber lecture, the De Niro of De Third Degree, or the Denzel of the Senior Deacon role, but hopefully you’ll be able to nail your part and leave a lasting impression on all those watching and listening.
Hit the "Read More" link below to see all 10 tips!
1. Understand what you are saying
2. Practice early and practice often
3. It’s okay to mess up, but keep going
4. Teamwork makes the dream work
5. You’re allowed to be nervous
6. Aim for perfection
8. Eat glazed donuts
9. Drama, drama, drama
10. You may not get an Oscar but you are still a star
So sharpen your sword, eat a glazed donut, grab your torch and charge into that cave screaming. I’ll meet you inside.