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What Do We Do During A Lodge Meeting?
Sorry to disappoint you, but we are not going to explain in full the details of a Lodge meeting to satisfy your curiosity. It will be all the more of a surprise for you when you are allowed to experience it. We can, however, explain what the purpose of a meeting is and some of the methods used.
To open a Lodge meeting, first of all you need a venue. It must be set up with all the visible symbols of Freemasonry, such as the Sun and the Moon that we have already spoken about. There is also a Mosaic Pavement, sometimes a Tracing Board, and seats in a very precise place for each officer. There are also symbolic tools, such as, "Square, Ruler, Gavel, Chisel, Compass, Trowel, Sword..." These objects are of no practical use. Their presence is solely symbolic.
And then we need to add the Lodge Officers. These are Masters who are elected for one year, renewable in some cases for up to three years. This means that all Masters in a Lodge may at one time or another occupy the position of Officer in the Lodge. The main aim of taking on all these positions is to experience the Lodge from every side and fully immerse oneself in the work of the Lodge.
Next, we need to bring in all the members of the Lodge, as well as visitors from other Lodges. All that is missing now is the Worshipful Master, who is also elected for one year, with a maximum mandate of three years. As president of the Lodge, this officer is the “big boss” and sovereign in all decisions, without necessarily putting them to the vote of the Masters of the Lodge.
The Lodge will be complete once we add the Ritual, which enables us to communicate symbolically. A Ritual consists essentially of the opening of the work session and the closing of it. In between, the Workshop deals with ongoing tasks, or raising Apprentices to Fellow Craft or Fellow Craft to Master Mason. In some Grand Lodges, mainly in Continental Europe, it is also usual for a member of the Lodge to present a paper on a symbolic subject or a social problem on which everyone then comments or asks questions. The aim of this exercise is not to give a lecture, but to open up the debate by inciting the participants to enrich themselves through the ensuing exchange of points of view.