We are sure that you found your initiation an experience you will never forget. A degree in masonry is not an isolated experience once had and then done with, but is an ever enduring privilege.You can sit in an Entered Apprentice Lodge to observe, to participate in, and to study its ceremonies
Your possession of the degree is a life-long possession which you can continue to enjoy and to enter into as long as you live. As an Entered Apprentice Mason you therefore are a learner, or beginner, in Speculative Masonry.You have taken the first step in the mastery of our art. Certain things are expected of you.
Second, you must learn the Lecture of the Degree, so as to prove your proficiency in open Lodge. The purpose of learning the lecture is for you to master it so thoroughly that its lesson will remain with you for life.
Third , you must study and improve yourself in Masonry in all other possible ways. Your Lodge will not be content merely to receive your dues; it requires that you become a real and active member.
Fourth, you will learn the rules and regulations that govern an Entered Apprentice Mason.
It is our hope and prayer that you will prove to be a solid foundation as you proceed to the Fellow Craft Degree and then to the Master Mason Degree. Our great Fraternity depends on new members like you to conduct its work in the years to come.
THE SYMBOLS OF AN ENTERED APPRENTICE
Our purpose here is to give you some of the information which will show that every detail of the ritual is filled with a definite significance which each Mason can learn if he applies himself.
Its removal makes us aware of goodness, truth, and beauty.
If a man does not keep the law of his own free will, he must be compelled to keep it by compulsion.
The removal of the Cable Tow means that when a man becomes the master of himself, he will keep the law as a matter of moral right.
The Sharp Instrument means, among other things, that which is the only real penalty for violating the Obligation.
The Rite of Circumambulation means that the Masonic life is a progressive journey, from station to station of attainment, and that a Mason will always be in search of more light.
Approaching the East is significant, because the East is the source of light.
The Obligations have in them many literal meanings and as such are the foundations of our disciplinary law.
But over and above this, they signify the nature and place of obligation in human life.
As a Great Light, the Holy Bible represents the will of God as man understands it; the Square is the physical life of man under his human conditions; the Compasses signify the moral and spiritual life.
If a man acts in obedience to the will of God, according to the dictates of his conscience, he will be living in the illumination of the Great Lights and cannot go astray.
The Rite of Salutation in which the candidate salutes each station in turn is, in addition to its function as a portion of the ceremonies, also a symbol of a Mason’s respect for and obedience to all duly constituted authorities.
The Old Charges state this is a single sentence: “A Mason is a peaceable subject to the Civil Powers wherever he resides or works.”
The same significance is had by the office of Worshipful Master, who is a symbol as well as the executive officers of the Lodge.
As the sun rules the day, he rules and governs his Lodge.
His title, “Worshipful”, means that he is worthy of reverence, respect, and obedience.
The Lesson of Charity is to impress upon the candidate the importance of showing compassion toward his fellow man.
The Working Tools represent those moral and spiritual virtues which should govern our conduct. The Northeast Corner is traditionally the place where the cornerstone of a building is laid. When the Apprentice is made to stand there, it is because he is the cornerstone of the future Craft. The Entered Apprentice is himself a symbol, one of the noblest in the whole emblematic system of the Craft. He represents youth, typified by the rising sun; but beyond that, he represents educated youth, youth willing to submit itself to discipline and to seek knowledge in order to learn the great Art of Life.