GLA Presentation of MM Certificate
Grand Lodge of Alberta A. F. & A. M.
My Brother, this evening I have the honour of presenting to you your Master Mason's Certificate, which is tangible proof of the fact that you are a member of this Lodge and that you are registered on the books of the Grand Lodge as such. This is not just a decorative piece of parchment but rather a descriptive set of lessons; each symbol has a meaning.
Firstly you will observe that it is printed on pure white paper. Does this remind you of the moment when you were invested with the pure white Lambskin — the emblem of Purity — during the Entered Apprentice Degree?
This Certificate will be universally recognized by Freemasons. The details of your reception as an Entered Apprentice and your raising as a Master Mason are recorded, with the date and present year — Anno Domini — and also the year of Light — Anno Lucis. This latter date is based on the calculation that the world was created in the year 4000 B.C.
Starting at the top of this certificate we see the Coat of Arms of the Province of Alberta, with the Red Cross of St. George, the beautiful Canadian Rockies, the rolling foothills and the waving field of grain. Surrounding this Coat of Arms we see the wreath of Maple Leaves, Oak Leaves and stalks of Wheat. Maple leaves are a symbol to all of our country — Canada, the land of the Maple. The Oak leaves have been regarded as a sign of strength and endurance and have been taken as a symbol that we are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The stalks of wheat illustrate our agricultural heritage and also symbolize the 'staff of life'.
Below the name of our Grand Lodge we find the name of the Grand Master in office during the time this Certificate was issued. He is the Chief Head and Ruler of the Craft and we operate under his discretion and guidance.
In the main body you see three columns — pillars of Grecian Architecture. The Centre pillar — The Ionic — with concave moulding and a more decorative capitol, a symbol of Wisdom, is the Pillar of the Worshipful Master. On the left, the Doric — this you will note is of plain and sincere construction denoting Strength — the Pillar of the Senior Warden. To the right — the Corinthian — more ornate and decorative than the other two, the Pillar of Beauty — it is that of the Junior Warden.
At the base of the Pillar of Wisdom we see the Volume of the Sacred Law, the guide to a richer, fuller life, which is the desire of all true Freemasons. Resting against the Book you see the Square, the symbol of the Worshipful Master — which is to remind him to deal fairly and honestly with all men, as he has obligated himself to do.
At the base of the Pillar of Strength we see the Level, the symbol of the Senior Warden. This teaches us that before we can erect a perfect structure we must have a base that is level.
The two Globes — the Terrestrial and the Celestial Spheres — direct us to keep in mind that even as we are judged here on earth by our fellow men so also are we being judged on high by our Supreme Master, who knows our every deed and action.
In the right foreground we see the Rough Ashlar, with the Heavy Setting Maul and Chisel resting thereon. May this teach us that in our rough state we may mould our lives and characters closer to the perfection by using the tools which have been described to you in our ceremonies.
The Perfect Ashlar of the left, with the Compasses thereon, represents that state of perfection aspired to by all good and true men, especially Freemasons.
In front of the Volume of the Sacred Law we see the Twenty-four inch gauge, which represents our twenty-four hour day, which we are admonished to use for Prayer, for Labour, and for Refreshment and Sleep.
All these symbols, you will note, rest on a Tessellated Floor of white and dark symbols. This reminds us that Darkness and Light go side by side, as do good and evil. So do we suffer pain and sorrow in contrast to joy and gladness. May we so live that our light shall shine before all men.
The details of the certificate are certified by the signature of the Grand Secretary and Seal of the Grand Lodge. You will see too that you have been allotted a registration number. There is a block for your signature on the right side. You should check the details and finding them correct you should sign this immediately as without your signature it is of no value.
You will note that the certificate states that it does not entitle you to admission to a Lodge without examination. This is the only document that is proof of your being a Master Mason and you should carry it with you when visiting other lands, you will be called on to produce it for identification.