Fellowcraft Degree


Fellowcraft Degree
Unknown


 
Fellowcraft is the designation of the Second Degree in Blue Lodge Masonry.  The 
term is derived from the union of Operative Masons, representing those who were 
especially skilled in cutting and fitting stones for structural use, but less 
skilled and capable than Master Masons.  In Speculative Masonry, emphasis is 
laid on the significance of the term Fellow.  In its basic meaning, the word 
signifies "bound in mutual trust."  It also has in its deeper meaning the idea 
of  "a follower, a companion, an associate."  Though of less skill, of less 
ability, than a Master Mason, the Fellow in Freemasonry is not a servant, nor a 
subject, but an associate, a companion, a brother.  The work of this degree is, 
like that of the Entered Apprentice, preparatory for advancement into the higher 
degree of Master Mason, but it differs essentially in the importance of its 
symbolism.
 
The Entered Apprentice Degree is devoted to a beginner; the Fellowcraft Degree 
to a more advanced search for Light.  In the First  Degree the symbols and 
ceremonies are directed toward purification of the heart.  In this Degree, this 
purification is no less important, but the symbols and ceremonies are directed 
more chiefly to lessons for the cultivation of the reasoning faculties and the 
improvement of the intellectual powers.
 
Among the ancients, all religion was more or less a mystery, and hence 
religions, and especially the mystery of religions, were closely associated with 
philosophy.  Among pagans, the multitude of allegories and symbols in the 
religions became accepted as realities, and the worship of celestial luminaries, 
imaginary deities with human passions, appetites and lusts, and of idols in the 
forms of stones, animals and even reptiles was commonplace.  Hence, in 
Freemasonry, the emphasis is placed upon philosophy, upon intellectual 
enlightenment, and upon advancement of the reasoning faculties in order that 
these tendencies to idolatry might counteracted to the glory of the One Living 
True God.
 
Freemasonry, successor of the Mysteries of antiquity, follows ancient methods of 
instruction.  Nowhere in Freemasonry does this become more evident than in the 
Fellowcraft Degree.  Instruction is given by symbols, and there is marked out 
for the Fellowcraft a path of study, of meditation, of investigation, of 
intellectual progress - all of which means progress toward the Search for Truth.  
The fundamentals of Freemasonry which claim for man the threefold heritage of 
Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are symbolized and expounded in the Fellowcraft 
Degree.
 
The vows and obligations of the Fellowcraft Degree are, of course, more advanced 
and extensive than those of the Entered Apprentice Degree.  The pledge to 
secrecy with reference to the internal workings of the Fraternity is broadened 
and strongly re-enforced.  Regulations regarding Secret Words are similar to 
those of the preceding Degree.  The endowments and investitures of the Order 
given to this Degree are to be guarded with inviolate fidelity, and obedience to 
the tenets and laws of Freemasonry are exacted with great emphasis.