By R. W. Bro. Rick Cadotte, FCF; Senior Warden
On September 21, 2017, in South Huron District, in the City of Stratford, Templum Lucis Lodge No. 747 received its warrant from the Grand Master, M. W. Bro. Paul E. Todd. Our Grand Master led an impressive group of Grand Lodge Officers to officiate at this wonderful ceremony. This was immediately followed by the Installation of the first Worshipful Master, R. W. Bro. Neil Dolson. The picture below shows most of the Installation team for the evening.
What makes this occasion special is that among the many lodge closings and amalgamations, this is the first new lodge in about nine years. The last new lodge was consecrated in 2008 in Frontenac District, called Templum Fidelis Lodge No. 746.
We are very fortunate to have the support of the other lodges in South Huron District during this uncertain time of change. Without their support, we would not have been able to begin this journey. We also owe many thanks to the members of Templum Fidelis for which we were the beneficiaries of their guidance and experience.
Templum Lucis Lodge is following the similar model as Templum Fidelis Lodge. That of being an “Observant Lodge”. This model uses the very same ritual as we all do in the English Ritual Lodges. We are just going back to our Masonic roots to revive what some of us believe we are missing from our Masonic experience.
Some of the things that are different are:
- A formal four-course Festive Board, containing all the required toasts, is held prior to the lodge meeting with a dinner guest speaker;
- A room of reflection for new candidates prior to them beginning their Masonic journey;
- Some pieces of music are played during the meeting, with a prelude explaining why those pieces were selected for the evening, following by a period of reflection about what we heard both orally and musically;
- In the case of a brother advancing through his degrees, he will be required to be mentored in the understanding of his current rank and follow that by presenting his written understanding in open lodge prior to his advancement;
- In the absence of a candidate’s or member’s paper, we will have a guest speaker who will be invited to answer any questions after lodge during dessert;
- After lodge has closed, we conclude the lodge room portion of the evening by participating in the Chain of Union; where all brethren with crossed arms experience close brotherhood before returning to the outside world;
- The complete lodge meeting is conducted under the illumination of candlelight – this enables us to experience what our earliest lodges experienced during their meetings;
- Lastly, while the lodge is open, there is absolutely no talking except those who need to conduct business or deliver ritual. This enables us not only to hear but to feel what is going on around us.
If any of these experiences make you curious, don’t be a stranger, you will be among brothers. We have four regular meetings, on the third Thursday of the month, close to the Solstice and Equinox (September, December, March, and June). Plan to visit us. You must email us to announce your attendance for dinner. We would love to have you as our guest. You’re always welcome to come alone or with a carload.
(Featured top photo by Bro. Steve Hudson)