What with a new candidate being initiated into Pendle Lodge this September, I was tempted to respond to a recently received e-mail from “the freemasons.com”
The thing that caught the attention was the title of the book, which has just been released. “Learning Ritual – The Easy Process”
One of the problems that most often plague Freemasonry is poor ritual. By this, I don’t just mean not getting the words right, but that the ritual is drab and uninspiring, which subsequently fails to actually “teach” a candidate or recipient. Learning ritual by rote (parrot fashion, regurgitation), more often than not, will produce that kind of ritual! Ritual can often be mediocre, but it doesn’t have to be; anyone can do ritual well, provided they are completely honest with themselves and are prepared to follow a process and work hard. I won’t shy away from the fact that you have to work hard to produce the kind of ritual that, deep down, you really want to do. “Nothing in – Nothing out.”
There is an element of “theatrical” about well-delivered ritual and if you are honest with yourself and recognise your limitations, you will, by following a simple process, discover the actor within. Don’t aim to be a
Laurence Olivier or Noel Coward, albeit we probably all know someone who has the ability to deliver ritual in a very theatrical way, be yourself, but please recognise that delivery of any speech, talk or ritual does require the actor’s confidence. We can all do it if we are shown how.
As a dear friend once said to me in his inimitably theatrical manner – and I quote . . . “It’s simply a case of teeth and tits dear boy . . . smile, stick your chest out and everyone will feel your confidence and competence.” Sadly, that friend of mine is no longer with us, but the value of his advice lives with me every day.
This book is intended to impart some guidelines on how to do “Good Ritual”. Initially it doesn’t really require any particular talent, just drive and self-belief to do well. With practice you should be able to use these techniques to good effect in your masonic career.
Written by Andrew Skidmore
If you do indeed purchase a copy of the book, please feel free to write a comment review or give your opinion of its contents. I’m sure many more of us would love to know if there really is an easy process.