Bob Stika's Number Three Lecture
BOB STIKA’S NUMBER THREE LECTURE
In Masonry the number three has a special significance. The following lecture explains several of the allusions made by this number.
The lodge Brothers -- also known as 'the Craft' -- reserve the right to elect the lodge's 5 primary officers -- the secretary, the treasurer, the Junior Warden, the Senior Warden, and the Worshipful Master -- and to pay the bills of the lodge. All other activities within a lodge meeting are at the sole discretion of the Master.
The three principal officers of the lodge are the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden.
You will observe these three officers have upon their person a jewel, or badge of their office; the Worshipful Master has the Square, the Senior Warden the Level, and the Junior Warden the Plumb.
You will also notice that the Wardens have before them Columns which are used to indicate which of them has responsibility for the lodge; The Senior Warden is responsible when the lodge is at labor, therefore, when the lodge is at labor, his column is erect and the Junior Warden's is down; and during the hour of refreshment the Junior Warden is in charge of the craft, therefore, his column is erect and the Senior Warden's is down. As the lodge is now at labor, the Senior Warden is in charge. It should be noted that each of these officers are acting under the direction of the Worshipful Master.
You will observe the Worshipful Master has before him a gavel, which he uses to control his lodge; one rap of the gavel (Worshipful Master knocks 1) calls the craft to order, two raps (Worshipful Master knocks 2) calls up the officers, and three raps (Worshipful Master knocks 3), calls up the entire craft. You will note that only the Master is covered, while the rest of the craft remains uncovered. So you will be in lodge unless and until the day YOU are Master. When the Master uncovers it is a sign of utmost respect and you are to respond by placing your right hand over your heart forming the 'sign of fidelity' as you will now do. Let us pray.
Grand Architect of the Universe, grant that the teachings of this winding stair will furnish us with a more complete understanding of thy works and our place in them. This we ask in thy Name. Amen. So Mote It Be.
When the Worshipful Master replaces his hat (does so), you will drop your hand. One rap of the gavel (Worshipful Master knocks 1) also seats the lodge.
You will notice when I finished the prayer and said Amen, the brethren responded with the words "So Mote It Be". This is an ancient way of saying "So may it be" or "Amen". Henceforth, when the person giving the prayer says "Amen", you will respond with the words "So Mote It Be".
At our altar, the number three alludes to the three Great Lights in Masonry; the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, and to the three Lesser Lights; the sun, the moon and the Master of the Lodge, of which the three burning tapers are their representative.
The number three also alludes to the three jewels of a Fellowcraft; the attentive ear, the instructive tongue, and the faithful breast.
DARKENING THE ALTAR
The Master's view of the altar and the sacred volumes thereon should not be obstructed or 'darkened' except where called for by degree work. Unless absolutely required, you should not pass between the Master and the altar. Instead take the circuitous route West of the altar, and darken not the East.
When you have occasion to speak in lodge, you will address yourself to the Worshipful Master unless he specifically directs otherwise. When addressing the Master, you are to pay due respect by rising and saluting him with the due guard and sign before speaking.
You are not to discuss your political or religious beliefs when in lodge. These are matters of personal preference that can lead to disagreement and disharmony among the craft and are therefore to be avoided.
As the Worshipful Master governs his lodge, the Most Worshipful Grand Master governs the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, and the Right Worshipful District Deputy serves as the Grand Master's personal emissary to our region – or 'district'. When the Master has invited the craft to bring its matters before the lodge and discussion has ceased, he will invite visiting dignitaries, such as the District Deputy, to speak -- in order of their standing among the brotherhood. This concludes the meeting's remarks and, unless you are invited, you should not initiate or volunteer further discussion.
Doubtless there is more to impart and perhaps in your travels abroad you will discover new and unusual customs, nonetheless, if you follow the conventions herein outlined for your benefit you will be recognized as a Brother of good upbringing, and in your travels will be both accepted and accorded due respect.
(Turn to the Worshipful Master and say): With you permission, Worshipful Master.
Will all Most Worshipful Brothers please rise. (If any are present wait for them to rise).
The title Most Worshipful is reserved for the present and past Grand Masters of Masons in the State of Connecticut and most other states. Some states have different titles such as Right Worshipful Grand Master.
(If any Most Worshipful Brothers are present, seat them with thanks.)
Will all Right Worshipful Brothers please rise.
The title Right Worshipful Brother is reserved for present and past members of the Grand Lodge Officer's Line and other permanent members of the Grand Lodge; such as District Deputies, past and present. (Seat them)
Will all Very Worshipful Brothers please rise.
The title Very Worshipful Brother is reserved for the District Grand Lecturer, appointed by the current Grand Master. These Brothers retain their title for the duration of their term of office. (Seat them)
Will all Worshipful Brothers please rise.
The title Worshipful Brother is reserved for the present Worshipful Master of a lodge as well as any Brother who has served his lodge as Master. (Seat them)
Will all Brothers please rise.
You will notice that all the Brothers are standing. No matter what honors are bestowed upon you, no matter what office you may have held, we are all first last and always BROTHERS. But one thing you must remember, if you want me to be a Brother to you, you must also be a Brother to me.
Thank you my Brothers.