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Papers Presented During Lodge Meetings
This is the presentation of work carried out by a member who wishes to share it with the other members of the Lodge. It is sometimes called a Piece of Architecture.
This practice is common in Continental Europe, less in the English-speaking world. Usually the presentations are in written form, but sometimes they are in different media. It would be possible to prepare a presentation in musical form, for example, or some other artistic form. Certain Rites demand that the presentation be memorised and not read.
The Masonic presentation of a member’s work is the only truly “operative” tool of the Lodge, when it is common practice. All the other tools you see (Ruler, Square, Compass, Plumb-Rule, for example), are there only as symbols. They are never used for construction work in a concrete way; they are only used for speculative purposes. The only “tool” that is really used is the presentation of a member’s work. In England and America, this operative tool is usually replaced by participation in charity projects, and the symbolic aspects of the Mason’s work are dealt with in special “Instruction” sessions.To return to more practical considerations, a Masonic presentation is not equivalent to the paper you had to produce in class to get a good grade. The purpose of the Masonic communication is to open up a dialogue and to exchange ideas on the subject treated with the Brothers and Sisters of the Lodge. It is a means of encouraging the other Freemasons so that each one works on himself or herself by meditating and exchanging on the given subject. A communication which lasts an hour and is a great speech, given by a recognized expert in the field, would be considered more like a conference than a Masonic presentation.