Suggested Talk to the Newly Raised Mason

                                        ARTICLE NO. 12


          As a Master Mason who has signed the by-laws, you are now
a full-fledged member, not only of this Lodge but of Freemasonry as
a whole.  You have received the highest degree you can ever receive
in Masonry, the Third Degree, and you are eligible for the highest
of all Masonic offices, that of Grand Master.  You are a member in
good standing of the greatest fraternal order the world has ever

          As a Master Mason, you have arrived.  Have you anything
more to do, anything further to learn?  Of course you have.  As a
Master Mason, you are in the position of a man who has just been
graduated from college.  You have received your diploma.  Your
classes are over.  But you are not fully educated.  In fact, you
are just beginning.  The last act in the ceremony of graduation is
called Commencement.  This is your Masonic commencement.  You are
now ready to begin to live and improve yourself as a Mason.  Your
Brothers are still here to help you, on proper occasions, but not
to lead you as they have in your progress through the Degrees.  As
a Master Mason, you are on your own.

          It will be useful to you, at this commencement of your
career as a Master Mason, to become acquainted with a few of the
privileges which are now yours, and a few unfamiliar matters of
Masonic procedure and etiquette.  We want you, before anything
else, to feel at home in your Lodge, and we know that the many
ceremonies and instructions which you have so recently received may
have left you with the impression that a Masonic lodge is a strange
place, with strange customs difficult to follow.  The purpose of
these remarks is to help you feel at home among your Brothers.

          First of all, as you know, the presiding officer is
called the MASTER, and by ancient custom he has a title, which is
WORSHIPFUL.  He has wider responsibilities, and therefore greater
power, than the presiding officers of most other organizations. 
His principal assistants are the two WARDENS, Senior and Junior.
Lodge meetings may be either Stated or Special or Emergent
Meetings.  Stated meetings are those meetings fixed by the by-laws
for a definite time and place.  Emergent Meetings for particular
purposes may be called by the Master at any time, provided
reasonable notice is given.  When a Lodge is officially in session
it is said to be OPEN, and none but members or authorized Masonic
visitors may enter; when it is not officially in session it is

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          Another thing you may have noticed is our use of gavels. 
The GAVEL is an emblem of authority.  One stroke of the Master's
GAVEL calls the Lodge to order; one stroke also indicates the
conclusion of a particular item of business or discussion, or
emphasizes an order; an, if members of the Lodge are standing, one
stroke of the GAVEL directs them to take their seats.  Two strokes
of the GAVEL are a signal to the officers to rise to their feet;
three strokes mean that everyone in the Lodge room should rise.

          You have learned and practised the various signs, grips
and words of the three degrees.  You should practise them again
before you leave this meeting, to be sure you understand and
remember them, because in every Lodge Meeting you will be expected
to give some of them, and you will need to know them if you visit
another Lodge when there is no one to vouch for your identity as a
Master Mason.

          Another sign is the SIGN OF FIDELITY, which is made by
placing the right hand over the heart.  It is given only when
standing, and only when clothed as a Mason, that is, when wearing
an apron.  This sign is used by the members when addressed by the
Master or one of the Wardens; it is also given during obligations
and prayers; whenever the Senior Deacon attends at the Altar; and
when the National Colors are presented.  The SIGN OF FIDELITY is
also given when the Grand Master enters the Lodge, and at some
ceremonies outside the Lodge room when the apron is worn.

          A kind of ceremonial sign, called GRAND HONORS, is given
only when specifically called for, as follows:  (demonstrate.)

          During the course of a Stated Meeting the Lodge may
ballot on candidates for membership by initiation or affiliation. 
These men will have been investigated in the same manner that you
were, and will then be ready for the process of election.  This is
done by secret ballot, for which purpose the Ballot Box is used. 
Our Masonic law requires that every member present must ballot.  A
white ball elects to membership; a black ball or cube rejects.  You
should never reject a man for personal reasons, but only if you are
sincerely convinced that his character or record is such that his
election would bring discredit to Masonry.

          The space between the Master's station and the Altar
should never be crossed while the Lodge is in session. If you find
it necessary to cross the room at any time after the Lodge has been
opened, you should cross on the West side of the Altar.


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          With these few remarks of explanation we welcome you
among us.  Not only those present at this meeting but also millions
in other Lodges throughout the world are now your Masonic brothers. 
Attend your own Lodge as frequently as you can, and visit other
Lodges when you have the opportunity.  Continue your Masonic
education by such attendance and such visits, and continue it
further by reading Masonic books.

          This is your Masonic commencement.  May your Masonic life
be long and satisfying.

FEBRUARY 10, 1990.