The night of a new Mason’s Initiation into our Fraternity is one of the most important in his life. It is an occasion which he will never forget….. Hopefully for all the right reasons!
It is the shared nature of the event that makes it special, so it is important to stress to your charge the fact that everyone present in the room will have experienced the same feelings, fears and uncertainties that he might be feeling and that for that reason they are all very much on his side.
One of the ways you can help to reduce stress and help him to enjoy the occasion is to get him properly prepared, both mentally and physically for the big day. Spend some time explaining to him what he can expect to happen on the night, and what is expected of him. However do not spoil the Ceremony or lessen it’s impact by telling him too much about it in advance.
The following checklist will help you ensure that all goes smoothly:
Make him aware that the membership of the whole Lodge and it’s Visitors will be let down if he does not arrive in plenty of time. The Secretary, Treasurer and Junior deacon will all need to spend time with him before the meeting so aim to get him there at least 40 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to start. Giving him a lift to the Centre is a nice touch and serves the dual purpose of ensuring he arrives in good time .
Be sure to tell him well in advance of the meeting what he is expected to wear:
• A dark Lounge suit (Black / Dark grey / Dark Blue).
• A Long Sleeved White Shirt with no vest or T shirt underneath.
• A plain black tie. (He should not wear either the Craft Tie or the East Kent Provincial Tie until after he
has been initiated).
• Black Shoes and plain black socks with no holes in them!
• No Belt with a metal buckle.
• You should warn him that he will need to remove his watch and ALL jewellery including even his wedding
ring before entering the Lodge.
Whilst a wee dram for courage is understandable, moderation is essential on this very special evening. This also applies during festive board, where too much wine will badly effect the manner in which he responds to the toast to the Initiate.
Toast to the Initiate:
Remember, that as his Proposer, you are expected to propose the toast to the Initiate at the Festive Board. You can download a sample speech here which you can use as your template if you are unsure how to go about it.
Response to the Toast to the Initiate:
You must give the Candidate as much help and time as you can to prepare for his response to your toast. The shorter his response, the better received it is likely to be by the Brethren, but there are certain things it ought to contain, you can download a “sample” template here which you can use if you are unsure how to advise the Candidate.
Make certain that he knows exactly how much money he must part with on the night for his Initiation fees, and Annual Membership fees. He will also need cash to pay for table wine, drinks, and raffle. This first meal may be paid for by the Lodge, but he will usually buy his own wine, so you need to advise him how to go about ordering the wine and getting it to his table place before he parades in with the Worshipful Master.
The Lodge will usually lend him an Entered Apprentice apron, and later a Fellow Craft’s. When it is time for his Third Degree, he will need to purchase, in advance, a Master Mason’s apron and some white gloves. Often, the Proposer will purchase these items for his Candidate, but that is up to you.