Learning and Instruction
Formal Masonic meetings involve a certain amount of performance or ‘ritual’ as it is known. So how do new people get to learn these rituals? The answer is at a Lodge of Instruction.
A Lodge of Instruction (or LofI), also often called a Class of Instruction, is an informal meeting where parts of the ceremony are practiced so that everyone knows what to do at the next meeting.
Different Lodges run their LofI differently. At Oak Tree, we have two LofI meetings each month from September through to May. Our LofI are usually attended by the more junior ranks; such as myself, along with the Director of Ceremonies, the WM, and a couple of other senior members who stand in for anyone that can’t make the meeting.
The LofI is a good opportunity for a young Mason to ask questions about Freemasonry. It’s a good time to find out more about the history of the Lodge or the Craft in general. We share books and other publications between us and also get advice from the senior members. But the main aim of the LofI is to rehearse.
Practice Makes Perfect
Under the instruction of the DC, we run through various parts of the ceremonies that we feel need more practice. If someone has a new role to perform it gives them a chance to try out their part.
Learning lines is one thing, I’ll talk more about this in a later post, but delivering those lines in a lodge setting can feel quite different. This is why LofI are so useful.
This week we had our first rehearsal in the new positions that we will be taking up from October. If you want to know more about progression, see the FAQ about progressing in Freemasonry. So I took my new place as Senior Deacon and we went through the opening and closing the Lodge in the first and second degrees. We also practised parading out of the Lodge at the end of the meeting.
For my new position, I have one new line to learn (which I already know from when I stood in as SD at a previous meeting), but it was interesting that the workings of the lodge looked very different from my new seat near to the right of the Worshipful Master. The two previous positions of Inner Guard and Junior Deacon being either side of the Senior Warden.
Despite the imminent threat of Coronavirus the Brethren were all in good spirits and looking forward to our next meeting and an exciting year ahead at the new Centre.
S&F – Paul C.