Page 1

Issue 4

The Florida

York Rite Mason

Vol. 1



Official Electronic Publication of the Grand York Rite Bodies of Florida Vol. 1 Issue 4

In This Issue

From The Committee page 2

Words from the Grand High Priest page 4 Words from the Ill. Grand Master page 5

Words from the Grand Commander page 6 The Nativity Story page 9

Historical Facts of Christmas page 11

Christmas Traditions Around the World page 13 A Masonic Christmas Tale page 15

York Rite Leadership Education page 21 York Rite News page 24 Masonic Essay page 29

Calendar of Events page 33

From the Committee

Companions, Sir Knights and Brethren

We notice all around us the sounds of gift-giving, family gatherings, carols and that savory and delicious Christmas dinner. Salutations of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year surround us. Lights and festive home decorations are like a night at a theme park. Without equivocation, we must emphatically recognize that we are celebrating Christmas.

The first article on Christmas is the Nativity Story told by the combination of the related verses from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In the article, Historical Facts of Christmas, you will find some of the reasons why the early Church arbitrarily declared December 25th as the day our Lord’s birth. Further in the same article, you will see how we celebrate Christmas today developed. Faith, Hope and Charity find their maximum exposure during this season. In A Masonic Christmas Tale, we see that forgiveness is also another tenet that finds its way in the season.

Freemasonry is the study of moral symbols to build character. It opens our eyes to the fact that the road to happiness is found in the journey to the perfection of the spirit, intellect and soul, to strive to his fullest potential. Christmas symbolizes the rebirth of our commitment to that journey to ourselves, our family, our community and nation to be better Masons and men for the betterment of mankind.

The Grand York Rite Communication Committee wishes all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Prosperous 2008. May the Almighty and Supreme Architect of the Universe bestow upon us all and our families his blessings of health, love, happiness and prosperity for the ensuing year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A PROSPEROUS 2008 Deadline for our next Issue: March 15, 2008

The Florida York Rite Mason is electronically published quarterly by the Grand York Rite Communication Committee (Members: David A. Aponte, Charles “Chic”Cicero and Ron Blasidell) and delivered by e-mail. This newsletter can also be viewed at the Grand York Rite Bodies of Florida or the Ocala York Rite Bodies website. We thanked all the Companions that sent in their news articles and made this issue possible. If any Companion, Sir Knight, Brother Mason would like a copy delivered to his e-mail address, please send your request to David A. Aponte ( 2

The 2007 Elected and Appointed Officers of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Grand Council of Royal & Select Masters, and the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, wishes everyone

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY, HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR In Remembrance of all our Companions and Sir Knights that passed the Final Veil during 2007 and now continue their work in the Celestial Lodge above. Our prayers and thoughts are with their family members. 3

Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons

Wo rds From the Grand Hi gh Priest My Companions:

We are entering into that time of year that we have been taught from childhood to love our family, cherish our friends and forgive those who have trespassed against us. This is a major point in the various obligations we have taken within our fraternity. Yet, in my travels throughout Florida and the Southeast these past few months I realized just how many in our fraternity do not practice this. The desire to control is so strong in some that they will sell out their best friend if needed to gain the upper hand. In another state a Past Grand Officer did not like something the Presiding Grand Officer had done and pressured others to remove his appointment from the Grand Line. Here, we blackball candidates from our fraternity or from various organizations for personal reasons. We have forgotten that we are a volunteer organization and have been taught that God comes first, our family second, our vocation third and the fraternity fourth. Only God can judge and he will judge us that have forgotten how to forgive. DO NOT VALUE THE THINGS YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE, BUT VALUE WHO YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE !

Linda and I hope that you and your families have a great Holiday Season and that you safely return to your homes. May the Great Architect of the Universe bless us all.


M. E. Daniel E. Dale Grand High Priest

Ke e p th e M en a n d Wo m e n of our Armed Forces and their fami lies i n y ou r p ra y e r s d u r in g this Christmas a nd the Holidays. T he y a r e g i v i n g u s t he mo st precious Christmas gift of all, t he i r li fe , s o we can e njoy our fr eedo ms. 4

Grand Council of Royal & Select Masters

Words From the Grand Illustrious Master

Companions: Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus various secular customs, many of which have been influenced by earlier. The date as a birth date for Jesus is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth. The word "Christmas" is a contraction of two words "Christ's mass" and is derived from the Middle English Christemasse In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter Ă— (chi), is the first letter of Christ . Since the mid-16th century the similar Roman letter X, was used as an abbreviation for Christ. Thus, Xmas is an abbreviation for Christmas. The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned on Christmas Day in 800. The former traditions of the Romans were transferred to the Twelve Days of Christmas (26 December - 6 January). Christmas during the Middle Ages was a public festival, incorporating ivy, holly, and other evergreens, as well as gift-giving. Modern traditions have come to include the display of Nativity scenes, Holly and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill and peace. It is the season of giving. Lets put Christ back into our lives. For the Jewish brethren lets not forget Hanukkah, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem. It is a time for all of us to remember that it is that time of the year for giving thanks and putting God back into our lives for giving us all the great year we have had.

We should be thanking the troops for the peace we have the sacrifices they have done to keep this country the great country it is. We as Masons have to think of the families of the service personnel and their family needs, by supporting the servicemen on their return. We may then have a chance to get some to join the Masonic order. The greatest gift you can give to all is love and prayers for peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind and help those in need.

This coming year, the Sesquicentennial of Grand Council of Royal and Select Master is January 12, 2008. We will celebrate it at the Homecoming of the Illustrious Grand Masters Homecoming in Orlando at the Scottish Rite Center on March 8, 2008. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

George E. Malone Most Illustrious Grand Master.


Grand Commandery of Knights Templar

Sir Knights:

Words From the Grand Commander

I got a huge laugh out of a Christmas card that arrived some years ago from my younger sister, Judy. The card showed the Three Wise Men on the front cover. They were in their stereotypical robes, riding on camels, following the Eastern Star that, according to the Scriptures, would eventually lead them to the manger of Jesus. When you opened the card, it had the same wise men, who had a map in their hands, and they had stopped to ask directions of a couple of Middle Eastern looking ladies. The caption on the inside said “Three WISER Men.” The punch line, of course, is that it is always wiser to ask directions. I really don’t see a problem with that. Christmas is one of those seasons of the year where finding out how to get back to God is entirely appropriate. It is, after all, that time of the year when we observe the reality of Jesus’ birth, and the reason he came. It makes sense to stop and ask ourselves how well our life currently matches the expectations given us by God in his Word. When is the last time that any of us really challenged God, through his Spirit, to cast his purging light into every nook and cranny of our lives? It is a bright light, a searing light, and a pervasive light that is our God. We can only benefit by the scrutiny that this light can bring into our lives.

In Psalm 26:2, David asked God to examine him to affirm his innocence in the face of challenges by others who would destroy him. My innocence is not sealed in the approval of other men. It comes from God himself. With that in mind, let’s return to the Christmas story. One of the most dazzling aspects of this entire story, to me, has always been the extent to which God displayed supernatural sights and sounds around Bethlehem. From the lights that appeared to the shepherds, to the heavenly chorus, to the star itself, God was very much involved in the events of the birth of his son. He made the pathway to Bethlehem clear with the Eastern Star. He made the directions clear to the shepherds with the heavenly choir and the bright lights that appeared. He secured the path to the cross by guiding Joseph and Mary safely out of Bethlehem before the devastating cruelty of Herod’s murdering soldiers. He took them to Egypt, and then safely back to Galilee where Jesus grew into manhood. He gave us directions to heaven through his inspired Holy Word. He gave us directions to a righteous life by preserving for us the testimonies of countless Bible heroes who endured affliction, persecution, the failures of sin and many other challenges to secure a place in God’s honor roll in the Scriptures.

It is my hope that during this holiday season, each of us will add to the collection of implements necessary for a joyous holiday. In addition to the roasting pans, turkey fryers, forks, spoons and knives that we all think are so indispensable to festive holidays; I hope we all will pick up God’s road map, his Holy Bible. Read it as a family, read it as individuals. Men, read it as the religious leader of your families that God ordained you to be. Provide some measure of calculation for yourself and your family that gives you all some indication of where this holiday season finds you as it relates to your position along God’s highway to righteous living. I wish for all of you a joyous and Christ filled holiday season, and may the spirit of the Fraters guide our every thought, word and deed during this holy 6

season, and then beyond.

Grand Commandery of Knights Templar

In HIS Awesome Name.

Courteously and Fraternally,

S.K. Rev. Daniel Williams Eminent Grand Prelate


Christmas Greetings:

As we celebrate the birth of Our Savior, it is a humbling and joyful occasion for all Knights Templar. All cultures celebrate the cycles and changes of the seasons, but only Christians can encounter and embrace Christmas. Christmas reminds us that in the birth of Jesus, God became human, and that at his death humanity was rejoined to God. For Christians, Christmas is a reminder that our lives are not nearly as mundane, difficult, threatening, or competitive as they appear to be.

Christmas calls us to confront and question and overturn this appearance; it calls us to the reality of what our lives are all about: God with us at each moment, in each endeavor and trial, in each failure and success. Just as God prepared the birth of Christ, so he prepares us. And then continues his plan, to see it through to completion. The "true meaning of Christmas" is simply too deep and too broad to be summarized once a year in a single day. The heart of the Christmas message is something we must attend to all year long if our observance is to have any meaning. The story of Christmas is the story of how God breaks into history; how the spirit moves in and through nature; how the eternal lies hidden within time; how the divine and human are related to each other. The things that make for peace on earth are indeed complex.

And now that it is almost here, we realize that Christmas itself is but a first step in an even larger process, which reaches fulfillment in the glorification of the Lord's humanity: the resurrection. "The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable." Everything led up to it, and everything leads from it. To understand and appreciate what we celebrate at Christmas, we need to be aware of a number of things. We need to be aware of the spiritual environment in which we live. We need to be aware of the equilibrium of good and evil forces that provides our spiritual freedom of choice. We need to be aware of the threat to this equilibrium from centuries of the abuse of freedom; of the darkness in which people lived; and of their need for deliverance and salvation. And we need also to acknowledge the darkness within ourselves, and our own need for salvation.

It was from that experience—the experience of Divine Love and Wisdom confronting and conquering all that is unworthy in human nature—that a new channel of power was established for all people. We call this channel of power the Divine Humanity of the Lord. At Christmas, then, we have 7

Grand Commandery of Knights Templar but the first step in God's fulfillment of his promise to save us from our enemies, to forgive our sins, to free us from ignorance, fear, violence, and all that would make us less than human. During this Christmas Season, spend some time reflecting on the real reason we celebrate. As your Grand Commander, I sincerely pray that each and every one of you receives the blessing that our Heavenly Father has to bestow. Merry Christmas to you all! Faithfully Yours,

Leroy Fackler Right Eminent Grand Commander of Florida

To all Valiant and Magnanimous Knights of the Temple, wheresoever dispersed throughout Christendom Salutations and Knightly Greetings

As Knights Templar we celebrate the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ. For Christians in general and Knights Templar in particular, the Christmas Season marks the beginning of the Greatest Story ever told. While we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we are moved by the gleam of excitement in the eyes of the children, a twinkle that occurs most often at this season. That gleam reminds us of our own childhood, and our hopes for a better tomorrow. While faith in our Savior will lead us to peace and happiness, let us not forget, the hope for future generations rests with those who follow us. The future is vested in those children whose eyes shine brightly with hope and enthusiasm. Hope and enthusiasm for a better tomorrow. Let us pray we set an example worthy of their emulation.

The officers and membership of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America join me in expressing our best wishes to you and your family this Christmas Season. As we celebrate this holiday season, let us celebrate what’s right with Templary!

In HIS Service,

William H. Koon, II, GCT Grand Master


The Nativity Story as told by the Evangelists Matthew and Luke.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over 9

to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more."


Historical Faîƒżs î‹ť Christmas CeleîƒŹation The winter solstice has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

The Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year. During this time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.

In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun. Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra's birthday was the most sacred day of the year.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention a specific date for his birth. Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring, Pope Julius I chose December 25th. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the "lord of misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich 11

and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday. The pilgrims, that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. It wasn't until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city's first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving's mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warmhearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving's fictitious celebrants enjoyed "ancient customs," including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving's book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving's account actually "invented" tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season. Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story's message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to "spoil" them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward immigrants, Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built their own Christmas tradition that included pieces 12

of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving. Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

Christmas Traditions Around e World Sweden

'God Jul!'

Most people in Scandinavian countries honor St. Lucia (also known as St. Lucy) each year on December 13. The celebration of St. Lucia Day began in Sweden, but had spread to Denmark and Finland by the mid-19th century. In these countries, the holiday is considered the beginning of the Christmas season and, as such, is sometimes referred to as "little Yule." Traditionally, the oldest daughter in each family rises early and wakes each of her family members, dressed in a long, white gown with a red sash, and wearing a crown made of twigs with nine lighted candles. For the day, she is called "Lussi" or "Lussibruden (Lucy bride)." The family then eats breakfast in a room lighted with candles. Any shooting or fishing done on St. Lucia Day was done by torchlight, and people brightly illuminated their homes. At night, men, women, and children would carry torches in a parade. The night would end when everyone threw their torches onto a large pile of straw, creating a huge bonfire. In Finland today, one girl is chosen to serve as the national Lucia and she is honored in a parade in which she is surrounded by torchbearers.

Light is a main theme of St. Lucia Day, as her name, which is derived from the Latin word lux, means light. Her feast day is celebrated near the shortest day of the year, when the sun's light again begins to strengthen. Lucia lived in Syracuse during the fourth century when persecution of Christians was common. Unfortunately, most of her story has been lost over the years. According to one common legend, Lucia lost her eyes while being tortured by a Diocletian for her Christian beliefs. Others say she may have plucked her own eyes out to protest the poor treatment of Christians. Lucia is the patron saint of the blind.


'Hyvää Joulua!'

Many Finns visit the sauna on Christmas Eve. Families gather and listen to the national "Peace of Christmas" radio broadcast. It is customary to visit the gravesites of departed family members.

Jamestown, Virginia

According to reports by Captain John Smith, the first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in his 1607 Jamestown settlement. Nog comes from the word grog, which refers to any drink made with rum. 'Froehliche Weihnachten!' Decorating evergreen trees had always been a part of the German winter solstice tradition. The first "Christmas trees" explicitly decorated and named after the Christian holiday, appeared in Strasbourg,



in Alsace in the beginning of the 17th century. After 1750, Christmas trees began showing up in other parts of Germany, and even more so after 1771, when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Strasbourg and promptly included a Christmas tree is his novel, The Suffering of Young Werther. In the 1820s, the first German immigrants decorated Christmas trees in Pennsylvania. After Germany's Prince Albert married Queen Victoria, he introduced the Christmas tree tradition to England. In 1848, the first American newspaper carried a picture of a Christmas tree and the custom spread to nearly every home in just a few years. 'Feliz Navidad!' In 1828, the American minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, brought a red-and-green plant from Mexico to America. As its coloring seemed perfect for the new holiday, the plants, which were called poinsettias after Poinsett, began appearing in greenhouses as early as 1830. In 1870, New York stores began to sell them at Christmas. By 1900, they were a universal symbol of the holiday.


In Mexico, paper mache sculptures called pinatas are filled with candy and coins and hung from the ceiling. Children then take turns hitting the pinata until it breaks, sending a shower of treats to the floor. Children race to gather as much of of the loot as they can. Merry Christmas!' An Englishman named John Calcott Horsley helped to popularize the tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards when he began producing small cards featuring festive scenes and a pre-written holiday greeting in the late 1830s. Newly efficient post offices in England and the United States made the cards nearly overnight sensations. At about the same time, similar cards were being made by R.H. Pease, the first American card maker, in Albany, New York, and Louis Prang, a German who immigrated to America in 1850.


Celtic and Teutonic peoples had long considered mistletoe to have magic powers. It was said to have the ability to heal wounds and increase fertility. Celts hung mistletoe in their homes in order to bring themselves good luck and ward off evil spirits. During holidays in the Victorian era, the English would hang sprigs of mistletoe from ceilings and in doorways. If someone was found standing under the mistletoe, they would be kissed by someone else in the room, behavior not usually demonstrated in Victorian society.

Plum pudding is an English dish dating back to the Middle Ages. Suet, flour, sugar, raisins, nuts, and spices are tied loosely in cloth and boiled until the ingredients are "plum," meaning they have enlarged enough to fill the cloth. It is then unwrapped, sliced like cake, and topped with cream. Caroling also began in England. Wandering musicians would travel from town to town visiting castles and homes of the rich. In return for their performance, the musicians hoped to receive a hot meal or money. In the United States and England, children hang stockings on their bedpost or near a fireplace on Christmas Eve, hoping that it will be filled with treats while they sleep. In Scandinavia, similar-minded children leave their shoes on the hearth. This tradition can be traced to legends about Saint Nicholas. One legend tells of three poor sisters who could not marry because they had no money for a dowry. To save them from being sold by their father, St. Nick left each of the three sisters gifts of gold coins. One went down the chimney and landed in a pair of shoes that had been left on the hearth. Another went into a window and into a pair of stockings left hanging by the fire to dry. 14

'Joyeux NoĂŤl!' In France, Christmas is called Noel. This comes from the French phrase les bonnes nouvelles, which means "the good news" and refers to the gospel. In southern France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year's Day. This stems from an ancient tradition in which farmers would use part of the log to ensure good luck for the next year's harvest.


'Buone Natale!' Italians call Chrismas Il Natale, meaning "the birthday."



In Australia, the holiday comes in the middle of summer and it's not unusual for some parts of Australia to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas day. During the warm and sunny Australian Christmas season, beach time and outdoor barbecues are common. Traditional Christmas day celebrations include family gatherings, exchanging gifts and either a hot meal with ham, turkey, pork or seafood or barbeques. 'Srozhdestvom Kristovym!' Ukrainians prepare a traditional twelve-course meal. A family's youngest child watches through the window for the evening star to appear, a signal that the feast can begin.



Most Canadian Christmas traditions are very similar to those practiced in the United States. In the far north of the country, the Eskimos celebrate a winter festival called sinck tuck, which features parties with dancing and the exchanging of gifts. 'Kala Christouyenna!' In Greece, many people believe in kallikantzeri, goblins that appear to cause mischief during the 12 days of Christmas. Gifts are usually exchanged on January 1, St. Basil's Day.


Central America

A manger scene is the primary decoration in most southern European, Central American, and South American nations. St. Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity in 1224 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers.



Article reprinted with permission of the author and

"’Tis the season for a tale...and a lesson."

Past Master Vicar trudged through the snow on his way to Lodge. It was December now and Christmas was just around the corner. The first snow flurries had come early in 1950; trick or treaters were the first to taste snowflakes. November saw a few subsequent snow flurries, but it wasn't until the day after Thanksgiving that the first heavy snow fell. This was followed by two more weeks of snow which clogged the streets and made driving difficult. So much so, Vicar decided to walk to Lodge instead of risking a drive through the icy streets and snow. He lived but a mile from the Lodge and the cold night air invigorated him. As Secretary of the Lodge for the last 17 years, he always arrived early to review paperwork prior to the meeting. But because of the snow, he came a little earlier to make sure the furnace was heating the Lodge properly. After he arrived, he hung his hat and coat in the cloak room and removed his rubber boots. He turned on the lights in the recreation hall and went down to the basement and shoveled some coal into the furnace. Vicar then went up to the kitchen where he started to brew a pot of coffee.

Even though the Harmony Lodge building was now one of the oldest structures in this modest Midwest community, the Craft made several enhancements over the years to help keep it current with the times. But the trademark of the Lodge was an old cast iron potbellied stove in the corner of the recreational hall which originated from the Lodge's first building back in the 1880's. Although it looked like a historical piece, the Lodge had dutifully maintained it and the stove worked remarkably well, particularly on cold winter nights, such as tonight. Vicar opened the grate on the stove and put in some ash and cherry which produced a comforting aroma in the room.

The Secretary's office was quite small. Actually, it was nothing more than a renovated closet which housed a small desk and file cabinets. Vicar rarely sat in the office as he found it confining. Instead, he would spread out his folders and do his paperwork on a table in the adjoining Rec Hall. He didn't mind the cramp quarters as this was still a small Lodge which could accommodate a maximum of 75 Brothers in the Rec Hall and the Lodge Room. Actually, the Lodge seemed cozy to Vicar as he poured himself a cup of coffee and waded through his paperwork.

He began by looking over the agenda for the Stated Communications to be held that evening. Scheduled was a 50 year service award for an old adversary, Forrest Stempl, a cranky old Brother who Vicar frequently butted heads with over the years. Vicar thought back to his younger days when he first became a Mason in 1924. At the time, Stempl had already been a Master and was generally considered a pillar of the Lodge. Vicar joined the Masons as he saw it had a positive influence on his father and grandfather. As a young Mason, he enjoyed Lodge life and reveled in the camaraderie. His enthusiasm was contagious and he signed many petitions for new members to join the Lodge. This did not go unnoticed by the Lodge officers of the day who saw Vicar as ambitious and influential. Consequently, he was appointed Senior Steward, thus beginning his rotation through the chairs. By 1929, Vicar sat in the East as Master, which was a bit premature due to the Lodge's Senior Warden who befell an accident and died, thereby catapulting Vicar through the chairs. Nonetheless, Vicar was prepared for the office and fulfilled his duties admirably. 16

Vicar was the office manager in the local hardware store/lumber yard and had a good sense of organization and the technology of the day. He was also an educated man who was lucky to have earned a scholarship and graduate with a business degree from the state university. He and his family lived well, but not opulently. Many of the officers he preceded, including Stempl, were not educated and worked as factory workers. This had no ill-effect on Vicar, other than a few Brothers, such as Stempl, were somewhat intimidated by Vicar for his education and station in life.

The hallmark of Vicar's year in the East was his ability to put the younger members of the Lodge to work, who helped clean up and modernize the Lodge. In October of 1929, the stock market crashed, forcing a lot of people out of work, including several Brothers. This also greatly affected Vicar's business, but he somehow found the wherewithal to establish a fund to help distressed Brothers as well as other members of the community. This fund slowly grew and eventually helped dozens of people over the next several years. But while Vicar's programs endeared him to the Craft and the community, his success was viewed jealously by Stempl as he saw his own authority in the Lodge challenged. Because of this, he tried to undermine Vicar in every new change he tried to introduce. The two were at loggerheads on more than one occasion. If Vicar said "White," Stempl would say "Black." He went out of his way to complicate Vicar's life just out of spite. Nonetheless, Vicar persevered and eventually Stempl was discredited and his role in the Lodge diminished. Eventually, he began to visit other nearby Lodges and infrequently attended his mother Lodge.

By the time the United States entered World War II, Vicar was already established as Lodge Secretary. However, he was too old for military service as were a lot of the members of the Craft. The younger members though readily enlisted thereby causing attendance at Lodge meetings to plummet. Nonetheless, the Masons kept the Lodge lights burning. Even though he couldn't serve in the military, Vicar helped organize Lodge programs to sell War Bonds, collect rubber, provide special meals for troops passing through his community, and offered assistance to families who lost sons during the war. To this end, Vicar carefully kept track of the finances for these charity programs in a separate cash book. Although Stempl didn't actively participate in such programs, he didn't object to them either. However, he kept a watchful eye on Vicar who was coordinating the programs.

When Stempl learned Vicar was maintaining the charity project finances in a cash book separate from the Lodge's own cash book, he seized on the opportunity and accused Vicar of unMasonic conduct by misappropriating funds for his own personal use. This led to Masonic charges being brought against Vicar in Lodge in an attempt to besmirch Vicar's character. Even though Stempl had no actual proof of any wrongdoing, he suspected Vicar of taking money for his own personal gain. This became very controversial among the members of the Lodge. On the one hand, Vicar was well liked and respected, and on the other, Stempl was still respected as a Past Master. The Lodge was confused as to which side to believe. As for Vicar, he was angered by Stempl's accusations and visibly shaken by the charges. Word spread around the district and state of the infraction and Vicar's Masonic record became tarnished.

Subsequently, Lodge members were summoned to listen to the charges. It was the most attended meeting of the year which included Lodge members, visitors, and the District Deputy Grand Master who witnessed the proceedings. One by one, the charges were read of Vicar's alleged improprieties. Vicar sat quietly but seethed as he suffered through this embarrassment. Finally, Vicar was allowed to speak and refute the charges. He produced the cash book and carefully explained how money was taken in and disbursed. He had even gone so far as to produce bank statements, receipts, and be17

cause this was being managed separate from Lodge finances, produced an audit report from an independent CPA who found the finances in good form and order.

Following Vicar's refutation of the charges, the floor was open for discussion. After hearing both the charges and Vicar refute them, one Brother asked why the Lodge had not done an independent investigation prior to the charges being made. The Master pointed out that charges can be leveled by another Mason at any time. This did not sit well with the Craft who overwhelmingly exonerated Vicar of any wrongdoing. After the meeting closed, Stempl exited the Lodge quickly. He may have lost in terms of having Vicar found guilty, but he knew he had forever left a blemish on Vicar's Masonic record. Consequently, Vicar was never again asked to serve on any district or state Masonic committees. Stempl took great joy in knowing this would be the outcome. Vicar sat back at the table in the Rec Hall, lit his pipe, and put the agenda away. He didn't relish the thought of seeing Stempl again that evening after all of these years. After awhile, the Junior Warden and the Stewards arrived at the Lodge to prepare the meal for the evening. Vicar helped set the tables and then prepared the Lodge room for the meeting. Other Lodge Brothers slowly entered, put their hats and coats away, and sat down for the Lodge supper. Vicar enjoyed their company but kept an eye on the door anticipating Stempl's arrival. He hadn't seen Stempl for the last several years. Vicar had heard his health was declining and didn't attend Masonic functions anymore.

Dinner came and went and slowly the Craft filed into the Lodge room for the meeting. Just minutes before starting, the front door swung open and in came Stempl in a wheelchair pushed by his nephew who was also a Mason. The nephew dutifully wheeled his uncle into the Lodge room and set Stempl on the sidelines.

The Master and the officers marched in procession into the room and opened the Lodge. Following the normal reading of the minutes and treasurer's report, the Master ordered the Senior Deacon to present W:.Forrest Stempl east of the altar for the presentation of his 50 year pin and certificate. The Senior Deacon did as he was instructed and wheeled Stempl to the east. This was the first time Vicar could get a good look at Stempl, who was now a shadow of his old self. His clothes hung on his shrinking body and he appeared sullen.

Although the Worshipful Master was a young man, he was well aware of the friction between Vicar and Stempl from years ago and hoped there would be no disruption in the harmony of the meeting. He then went about making his presentation of the Masonic 50 year award, complete with Grand Honors. As the Master affixed the gold pin on Stempl's lapel, he noticed a tear forming in Stempl's eye. As is customary, he then asked Stempl if he had anything he wanted to say to the Craft to commemorate the moment. "Yes, there is," Stempl said, "but first could you have Bro. Vicar join us here?"

Surprised, the Worshipful Master looked over at Vicar who was also startled by the request. He didn't know what Stempl was up to this time and was reluctant to come forward. But Stempl looked over at Vicar and said, "Please." The Master then directed the Senior Deacon to present Vicar to the east. Vicar was still unsure where this was going. 18

Once joined in the east, Stempl began by saying to the Craft, "I'm a very proud and private man. I have always relished my years in the fraternity and have always considered myself a proponent of it. Many of you may have noticed that I have been away from Lodge for a long time, so much so, that none of you younger Masons will probably remember me, but at one time I was very active in this Lodge. Although my health has been in decline for the last few years, this was not the reason. I worked a long time and recently retired, but it was not my job that kept me away either. Nor was it my wife or family. I haven't forgotten the words either, they are as fresh in my mind now as they were 50 years ago. No, the problem was simply me; I was ashamed to show my face in Lodge again." Vicar and the Master glanced at each other surprised.

"There is an old saying my Brothers that 'we get too soon old and too late smart,'" Stempl continued, "As for me, it took me a little longer than other people. Years ago I committed a huge injustice against the Secretary here," as he pointed to Vicar. "I thought if I could discredit him I would be able to get the Lodge to listen to me instead of him. But even after I pressed Masonic charges against him, I found the Lodge Brothers respected and supported Bro. Vicar more than me. I had a hard time understanding this at first, as I was a much more senior member of the fraternity than he was. It was then that I realized it was I who was guilty of unMasonic conduct by allowing myself to fall prey to simple jealousy. My envy of Bro. Vicar was so great that I concocted a plot to assassinate his character. But as you can see, he is still here and I was not. I finally realized I had hurt a Brother, hurt my Lodge, and hurt the fraternity I love so much. Brothers, it was shame that kept me away. But then I received a letter from the Secretary here, and let me read it to you."

Stempl pulled a letter from inside his coat pocket and read it aloud, "Dear Bro. Stempl, On behalf of the officers and Brothers of Harmony Lodge I extend you fraternal greetings and am pleased to inform you that we have received your 50 year pin and certificate from the Grand Lodge and we would like to present it to you at our next Stated Communications. On a personal note, I know we have had our differences over the years but I would be pleased if you would attend Lodge to receive your award. Brother, I wish you well and hope to see you soon. Sincerely and Fraternally, W:.Samuel Vicar, PM, Secretary."

"This last line from Bro. Vicar was more than I could handle. After everything I had done to him, he still called me Brother."

Stempl then wheeled himself closer to Vicar, took his hand, and looked up at him, "My Brother, can you ever find it in your heart to forgive an old fool? I am truly sorry for all of the problems I caused you over the years, how can I have been so foolish?" and he buried his face in Vicar's hand and wept.

None was more surprised by the outburst of emotion than Vicar as he cradled Stempl's head. Vicar looked down and him and quietly said, "My Brother, I do not know why we were so different, but we were. Maybe its because we come from different backgrounds or perhaps we simply had two different interpretations of what Freemasonry is all about. Understand this, I never bore you any ill-will, not years ago, not now. Of course I forgive you, you are my Brother." Stempl regained his composure but didn't release his grip on Vicar's hand. Using his other hand, he reached over and took the 50 year pin from his lapel and put it in Vicar's hand. He then said, "My Brother, please do me the honor of accepting this pin as a sign of our new bond of friendship. And please wear it as a symbol that there should never be any contention in our Lodge, that we must always find ways to work together and that a rift such as ours should never again exist." 19

Although Vicar was at first reluctant to accept the pin, he saw the wisdom in Stempl's words and allowed Stempl to pin it on him. The Craft gave the two a standing ovation and there wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Stempl passed away two years later and Vicar was permitted to lead the Masonic service at his funeral. He proudly wore Stempl's 50 year pin to Lodge meetings for many years which reminded the Craft to respect each other. In 1974, Vicar finally received his own 50 year pin. He then had Stempl's pin framed and added a small bronze plaque underneath it which read, "From W:.Forrest Stempl, PM to W:.Samuel Vicar, PM - Brothers, let us never forget how to best work and best agree. Let us always seek Harmony. 1950."

Although Bro. Vicar past away in 1985, the plaque still hangs in the Lodge room as an important reminder to the Brethren. Since then, the story of the rift and reconciliation between the two Past Masters is retold each year at the Lodge's annual Christmas meeting so that every member be mindful of the cost of contention, as should we all.

Remember You Are the Mirror of York Rite Freemasonry... Teach by Example "The Old Masters Wages"

I meet a dear old man today Who wore a Masonic pin, It was old and faded like the man Its edges were worn quite thin. I approached the park bench where he sat To give the old brother his do I said, "I see you've traveled east He said, "I have, have you" I said, I have and in my day Before the all seeing sun I played in the rubble with Jubala Jubalo, and Jubalum.

He shouted, don't laugh at the work my son It's good and sweet and true And if you've traveled as you said You should give these things a due. The word, the sign, the token, The sweet Masonic prayer, The vow that all have taken Who have climbed the inner stair. The wages of a Mason are never paid in gold but the gain comes from contentment when you're weak and growing old. You see I've carried my obligations For almost fifty years It has helped me through the hardships and the failures full of tears. Now I'm losing my mind and my body Death is near but I don't despair I've lived my life upon the level And I'm dying upon the square.

Sometimes the greatest lessons are those that are learned anew. The old man in the park today has changed my point of view. To all Masonic brothers the only secret is to care. May you live upon the level. May you part upon the square. 20

York Rite Leadership Education

Powers of Persuasion Understanding the Dos and Don’ts of Persuasion (adapted from The Mind Tool Newsletter #87, author unknown)

How do you persuade someone to do something? Do you rely on your authority over them? Do you “sell, sell, sell,” with benefits statements? Do you cater to logic and set up rock solid arguments? Or do you show unwavering persistence in your position and stick with it until others agree that you are right? All of these approaches can be tempting, but they’re not always the most effective means of persuasion. In a defining 1998 article in the Harvard Business Review titled “The Necessary Art of Persuasion”, Jay Conger, an Organizational Behavior professor, presented a very different view of persuasion. He said that to be persuasive you must provide four critical elements: • • • •

Credibility Common Ground Vivid Evidence Emotional Connection

Persuasion isn’t all about trying to convince someone to agree with you. It’s about getting to shared understanding and agreement. From there you work together to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.

Masonic leaders need to be good persuaders. They need to accomplish objectives through people. They could choose to bully, dictate, or coerce people to get the work done, but how successful would that be in the long run? If they use persuasion effectively, they will lead the brethren to want to reach a shared solution.

Likewise, in any situation where you need to persuade someone to work with you or promote your idea, you'll only create resentment if you badger them. Establishing mutual understanding is what leads to an agreement; One that is negotiated, not force.

To develop effective powers of persuasion there are essentially four things you must do, and four things you must not do.

Do… Establish Credibility Not everyone can be persuasive in all contexts. A professor at a high-profile medical school has the potential to persuade people to participate in a clinical study, for example. That same professor will be much less persuasive when talking, for example, about bridge design. This type of credibility is based on expertise. When you are perceived as knowledgeable in, and experienced with, a particular subject, you are more persuasive. The other basis for building credibility is through relationships. When you have developed a reputation for taking a genuine interest in the well-being of your team and peers, your proposals and ideas are infused with that trust as well.

Do… Find Common Ground The next necessary element is making sure your position appeals to the audience. Even the most 21

York Rite Leadership Education

charismatic doctor will find it hard to recruit participants for a study testing the effects of long term radiation. Establishing common ground is the closest you will get to “selling” your idea. There has to be an upside to your position so you need to determine what the benefits are. One of the most effective ways to do this is to analyze what has appealed to your audience in the past.

• • • •

Figure out what members of your audience are interested in; Meet with them and open up a dialogue about the issue at hand; Listen to their ideas and concerns; and Run your ideas past people you trust first.

If you can’t offer a clear benefit then you need to modify your proposal so that there is one. By talking with your audience first you can set up your position correctly from the start. This saves time, and it saves you from the potential embarrassment of presenting a poorly matched pitch.

Do… Produce Vivid Evidence By now you are probably wondering where the proof part of the equation is. Of course you have to back up your position with evidence that what you are saying makes sense. A well-qualified physicist who wants to build a suit that will make people weightless has credentials and an appealing proposition. However, if his prototype is built on the premise that he can reverse gravity, he’s going to struggle to find any takers. Having evidence to support your position is critical. However, factual data and reams of spreadsheets and charts are not highly persuasive. What people respond to is “vivid” evidence that brings your concept or argument to life. • • •

Use metaphors to relate the concept to a shared reality; Supplement data with examples and direct experiences; and Think of analogies to make your ideas tangible.

This type of experiential proof is what causes shifts in people’s perspectives and allows them to “see” the situation through the eyes of others who support what you are doing.

Do… Create an Emotional Connection Finally, no persuasive argument is complete unless you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Some people think an emotional pitch has little credibility. When done correctly, however, it clearly establishes that you are plugged into your audience's needs and desires. So how do you appeal to emotions? • Use your own emotions – this may mean showing emotions (enthusiasm and passion) or it may mean suppressing them (anger and frustration). • Sense the emotions of the audience – adjust your tone and intensity to fit your audience. Emotions are primary factors in motivation and decision-making. As much as we’d like to be totally objective, this just doesn’t happen. Appealing to emotions is not manipulative at all: It is a basic premise of persuasive communication and it helps facilitate a shared understanding of the issue and what is at stake. And Now the Don’ts...

With the four Dos in hand, you must also be aware of the four classic Don’ts. Each is a common misconception about how to persuade, so it’s important you are able to avoid them and recognize them when they are being used on you. 22

York Rite Leadership Education

Don’t… Rely Only on a Great Argument An argument is one component of persuasion. One or two strong arguments can be used as evidence that your idea is good, but you need to connect those arguments to emotion, and make them real by creating powerful images of what things would be like if people adopted your viewpoint. A Strong argument: Polls show that 82% of our hair salon demographic also purchases therapeutic massage treatments on a regular basis. If we were to offer in-house massages as an up-sell to our hair styling services, we would tap into this business stream and create a niche market all at once. I believe this is an idea that deserves financial and strategic analysis. A Vivid and Emotional Argument: Our customers love to be pampered and they tell us this everyday. I was talking to Shirley Jones, who’s one of our biggest fans, just yesterday about how good the scalp massages are. She says they are heavenly and figures Barbara should be a masseuse. I got to thinking about this connection and realized that our customers treat their hair appointments as an indulgent, luxurious experience. Why not offer them more indulgence? So I did some research and analysis and found out that 82% of people who match our demographic profile also purchase massages on a regular basis. Can’t you just see our customers being treated to a massage before their appointment? Usually when you leave a massage you look like a bedraggled mess. Here they come in, get pampered and leave looking more fabulous than they have in weeks. Do you see the difference in the impact? The argument is based on the same data but the presentation is what gives the persuasion factor. Don’t… Make a Hard Sales Pitch Everyone knows the hard-sell game. We are faced with every time we go to make a major purchase like a car or home furnishings. What’s the first thing you do in those situations? You get your back up and you resist, argue, or discount everything the salesperson says. You become opponents even before you know what you are fighting about. Turn the situation around and make your presentation appealing by finding out what you audience thinks, values, and needs. Then compose a position that isn’t a target for attack, but one that has real merit and substance.

Don’t... Take an “All or Nothing” Stance Persuasion isn’t about forcing someone to surrender to your will. There are many points of compromise and collaboration between your position and a shared agreement. If you are inflexible, how do you expect to build trust? If you're not prepared to compromise, the other person has no reason to believe you have their interests in mind, and no reason to be convinced.

Don’t… Believe You Have Only One Chance Persuasion can take time to build. Many times you will not win people over with your first attempt. People need time to process and assimilate what you are saying with their current perspectives, beliefs, and circumstances. A good persuader uses that to his or her advantage and layers his presentation using more and more of the “Do” elements each time.

Key Points Persuasion is an art form. To be good at it takes a great deal of understanding and practice. At its core is the ability to relate to people and adopt their point of view. When you commit to listening to people, creating propositions that have value and appeal, and remaining flexible throughout the process, you are in a great position to use your powers of persuasion. Remember, being persuasive means motivating people to do something you want them to do, which in the end, they want to do too. Show them what’s in it for them, and do it in a way that is genuine and affective. 23

Attendance Is Not The Ultimate

York Rite Leadership Education

by Dwight L. Smith, P.G.M. of G. L. of Indiana

WHEN THE superintendent of a large Sunday School called a meeting of his officers and teachers on a Sunday afternoon to receive booklets for the new curriculum, he was dismayed and hurt that only two showed up. It had never occurred to him that no person in his right mind would waste a Sunday afternoon going back to church just for distribution of printed materials. That story is significant because it illustrates rather vividly the totally unrealistic attitude of our American society on the subject of attendance at endless meetings.

Freemasonry is in the throes of great anguish over lack of attendance at Lodge meetings. That is why The Indiana Freemason is publishing a series of articles and editorials on the subject. For some reason, attendance is looked upon as the ultimate of all good things that could happen to a Lodge, even though it might not know what to do with a large attendance if it had one. What, for example, would a Lodge do if all its resident members happened to come to a meeting at the same time? There are few Lodge rooms in Indiana that could accommodate even half their resident members - some not even one-third. And if a Lodge hall cannot seat comfortably its entire resident membership, it is not the hall that is too small; it is the Lodge that is too large. After all, is attendance the ultimate? If the Parable of the Sower (St. Matthew 13: 3-9) means anything in this mid-Twentieth Century, it certainly is not. No, I cannot accept the premise that attendance is the ultimate, nor can I cherish the fond hope that if somehow members would attend their Lodge meetings, all would be well. It isn't that simple. When men are interested in the work of an organization, they will be on hand to participate in its program. When there is nothing that interests them, they will not be there no matter how much we nag. Hence, if Master Masons are not attending meetings of their Lodges, one of two things may be wrong: First, there may be nothing of interest to them, and, Second, perhaps they should not have been elected to membership in the first place.

Make no mistake about it: Intelligent men are not going to spend their evenings hearing the minutes read and the bills allowed, or watching other men exemplify poorly the same ritualistic work they have seen a score of times. Ham sandwiches and pie on paper plates at 11 o'clock at night will not induce them to come more than once. Silly little quiz programs will not attract them, nor will "lecturettes" read by a man who doesn't know what he is talking about. Make no mistake about it: Unless Freemasonry presents what it has to offer in a challenging manner, intelligent men will not be on the sidelines to witness and participate. Nothing we can say will change that fact, and we might as well stop butting our individual and collective heads against the wall.

Old St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston did not have a very large membership on a memorable evening in 1773. No, the Lodge even met in rented quarters - a fact that would be looked upon with horror today. It did not have much in the way of numbers, but it had the men who counted. Attendance is not the ultimate. Size is not the ultimate. An imposing temple is not the ultimate. In Freemasonry, there is no substitute for quality. When a Lodge has membership of quality, good leadership will be in command. If good leadership is in command, the Lodge program will be challenging, and in the best of Masonic traditions. If the Lodge program is challenging and thoroughly Masonic, there will be interest among the members. And if there is interest among the members, they will be in attendance. It is time we are unhitching Old Dobbin from his place behind the cart and putting him between the shafts in front where he belongs. -(March, 1962.) 24

Second Temple Palace Uncovered

York Rite News

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS The Jerusalem Post

Israeli archeologists have uncovered a monumental Second Temple structure opposite the Temple Mount that was likely Queen Helena's palace, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday. The building was unearthed during a six-month excavation in the Givati parking lot just outside the Old City's Dung Gate, ahead of the planned expansion of the Western Wall parking lot.

The site also indicates that the ancient City of David was much larger than previously thought, said archeologist Doron Ben-Ami, who is directing the dig at the site. The palace, which was destroyed by the Romans when they demolished the Second Temple in 70 CE, was dated to the end of the Second Temple period by pottery and stone vessels, as well as an assortment of coins from that time, BenAmi said.

He said the elaborate edifice, which is an anomaly in the landscape of the lower city at the end of the Second Temple period - otherwise marked with only modest buildings - was probably a palace built by Queen Helena, a wealthy Babylonian aristocrat who converted to Judaism and moved to Jerusalem with her sons. Helena became known for her generosity in helping the city's poor during a famine. She was buried in Jerusalem. According to the prominent 1st century historian Josephus, Helena's family built lavish buildings in the City of David, which stood out at the time in a largely residential area that was noted for its almost complete absence of public or monumental buildings. The archeologists carrying out the dig have not yet found any inscription to identify the building they uncovered, but BenAmi said there was a "high probability" that the site was indeed Helena's palace. We need more evidence to decide, but almost everything fits," he said. The well-preserved structure being uncovered in the excavation is an impressive architectural complex that includes massive foundations; walls, some of which are more than five meters tall and are built of stones that weigh hundreds of kilograms; halls that are at least two stories tall; a basement level that was covered with vaults; and remains of polychrome frescoes, water installations and mikvaot. The narrow openings that were discovered in the basement level of the structure were likely used by its inhabitants to flee shortly before the Romans destroyed the palace, Ben-Ami said.

The building was destroyed by dismantling the walls of the large structure, causing the massive stone walls and ceilings from the upper stories to collapse onto the basement. The large edifice was covered with remains that date to later periods - Byzantine, Roman and early Islamic. Below it there are remains from the early Hellenistic period and artifacts from the time of the First Temple. "It is like an open history book of Jerusalem," Ben-Ami said.

Ke e p th e M en a n d Wo m e n of our Armed Forces and their fami lies i n y o u r p r ay e r s d u r ing Christmas and t he Holidays. Th e y a r e g iv i n g u s t h e m ost precious Christmas gift, their s o w e c a n enjoy our freed oms. 25



Grand York Rite Bodies of Florida York University

December 7, 2007

Companions and Sir Knights:

The dates for the 2008 Edition of York University have been set! This year’s weekend retreat will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Lake Mary on July 25, 26, and 27. Please put these dates on your calendar now, and try your best to keep that weekend free of conflicting Masonic activities of any kind.

The Retreat will provide a fast-paced and detailed course of instruction, which will include “breakout” sessions designed to facilitate team-building exercises. The programs are practical and will provide you with specific steps you can follow to achieve success in your local Bodies. A Workbook will be provided to you at the Retreat, and is included in the registration price, as is a hotel room for two nights and three meals: Saturday lunch and banquet, and Sunday breakfast. The sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and end at noon Sunday.

We encourage you to get the approval of your Bodies to attend this Retreat, so please take positive action at an early stated meeting to do so. It is important that you include your lady at the retreat, because there will be training for her as well. This is an approved Grand York Rite Program, and so it is appropriate that your Bodies help cover the expenses of both you and your lady to attend the Retreat if they can. Please spread this information to anyone who wishes to attend, including all Chapter, Council, and Commandery officers.

In order to enable the Grand Bodies to obtain excellent rates for everyone, it was necessary to reserve fifty rooms for the Retreat. Therefore, it is required that each person who registers also have a hotel room, no matter how close they may live to the Retreat facility. This ensures that each York Rite Body is treated equally and that everyone can share in the economies.

To those who say, “We’ve never done it this way before,” I ask you to share the vision and help keep York University flying! We have not completed negotiations with the hotel, so we cannot establish a firm tuition rate now. We estimate tuition of $325-$350 per couple, and about $300 per single. (All costs everywhere are up, you know.) If you feel that you cannot afford this, please do not discourage those who can and will. More information to follow. Fraternally,

Walter M. Hammond Dean, York University

Remember You Are the Mirror of York Rite Masonry... Teach by Example 26



The District 7 Meeting of the Grand Commandery K. T., and Grand Council R. & S. M. of Florida was held on September 15th at the York Rite Temple on McDuff Ave. in Jacksonville. A thee turnout of Companions, Sir Knights and ladies assembled for a fine Lunch, and the District Meeting followed.

A good meeting was held, after which some of the Companions/Sir Knights moved to the Riverside Lodge No. 266 building next door, to witness the DeMolay degrees following the DeMolay Leadership Training Conference. The young men and Companions/Sir Knights both enjoyed the courtesy and synergism of the visit. Pictured below, at the conclusion of the District Meeting were a number of the Grand Commandery and Grand Council officers, District Deputies and Instructors present for the day’s activities.

Shown on the left picture, left to right in the first row were: Ideal Baldom II, E. Grand Captain General; Billy Collier, E. Grand Sentinel; R. Gurney Atwell, DDGC, District 8; Leroy E. Fackler, R.E.Grand Commander, Grand Commandery K. T. of Florida; George E. Malone, M. I. Grand Master of the Grand Council R. & S. M. of Florida; Samuel D. Reasor, DDGM, District 7; and Dayle L. Schrock, I. Grand Sentinel of the Grand Council. Seen in the back rows, left to right, were: C. Robert Cooper, District Instructor for Grand Commandery District 7; David A. Aponte, E. Grand Junior Warden; Charles C. Cicero, E. Grand Senior Warden; Charles Perez, V.E. Deputy Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery; Howard H. Gardner, I. Grand Captain of the Guard; M. Daniel Fullwood, I. Grand Conductor of the Council; Carl E. Gilmore, R. I. Grand Principal Conductor of Work; and Larry Gillespie, I.Grand Steward of the Grand Council.

Present, but not pictured here, were: A. Eugene Yarborough, District Instructor, District 7 for the Grand Council; and Charles E. Middleton, DDGC, District 7 for the Grand Commandery of Florida. Dignitaries present from the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Florida were James P. Rudman, R. Ex. Grand King; and Past Grand High Priests of the Grand Chapter: Richard I. Lather (1975) and David C. Wilkinson (1999).




A contingent of Knights Templar from Damascus Commandery No. 2, K. T. of Jacksonville on October 13, 2007 assembled and marched to the landmark Castillo de San Marcos national monument in St. Augustine, Florida to observe the anniversary of the demise of the Knights Templar in the year 1307. The Templar leaders at that time, were imprisoned and tortured, and Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, was burned at the stake in 1314 along with his aides, for refusing to admit to any wrongdoing.

The Jacksonville Knights Templar held a brief memorial ceremony at the Castillo de San Marcos monument, in which they also remembered and pledged allegiance and support for our country’s military troops at home and abroad. Interestingly, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U. S., having been founded in 1565, when adventurer, Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed there. Also, the Castilo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental U. S., having been constructed between 1672 and 1695. The pictures on the next page are the Sir Knights of Damascus Commandery at the Old City Gate of St. Augustine, and by the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos with five bagpipers from the Jacksonville Pipes & Drums who piped for them as they marched to the fort.

Shown, from left to right at the Old City Gate, were Sir Knights: Corbin P. Elliott, KYCH;Walter M. Hammond, Recorder of Damascus Commandery No. 2; Billy Collier, PC, Grand Sentinel of the Grand Commandery K. T. of Florida; William Ellis, Right Eminent Past Grand Commander; Michael P. Trent, Generalissimo; Leland E. Stanford, III, Commander of Damascus Commandery No. 2; William H. McClean, PC; organizer of the event; Samuel D. Hope, Captain General; and Darryl A. D’Angina, KYCH, Grand Scribe of the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Florida. The third picture shows the Sir Knights and Pipers at the wall of the Castillo.





What is York Rite Masonry?

By Bro. Charles “Chic” Cicero

Many believe that the Sublime Degree of Master Mason is the ultimate degree of Freemasonry — and that all others are simply added on. However, most students of Freemasonry agree that the story of the Craft, as presented in the three degrees, is incomplete and that the degrees offered in York Rite Masonry complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly-made Master Mason. The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry. A Master Mason may proceed to supplement and magnify the Blue Lodge degrees by joining the York Rite — which provides additional historical background on the work and meaning of Freemasonry. The York Rite takes its name from the city of York in the north of England. York is one of England's oldest cities, and the site of Masonic legends which date back to the 10th century. According to Masonic legend, Prince Edwin held a great assembly of masons at York in the year 926. It has been suggested that this Grand Assembly had continued from that time down to the year 1717. In reality, Masonry cannot be traced back any earlier than the year 1717.

The York Rite, like Freemasonry, is not a religion. However, it does, develop themes based on the Medieval Crusades. In the York Rite, a Master Mason may become a member of three bodies — A Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, and a Commandery of Knights Templar. These three bodies are often referred to as The Chapter, The Council, and the Commandery. York Rite Masonry has been described as the oldest and purest of the Rites. In England the Royal Arch dates back to at least 1744, and , and in America to 1753.

The Importance of the Royal Arch

In the ceremony of the Royal Arch Degree, the candidate is informed that he “must not regard himself as having taken a fourth degree, the Royal Arch being described as the Master Mason’s degree completed. This is because in the early days of Masonry, from 1717 to around 1767, the Master Mason Degree contained the secrets of the Royal Arch. Since that time, these secrets have been transferred to the Royal Arch.

The Royal Arch Degree was considered very important in the early years of Freemasonry. The Mother Grand Lodge—from which all Speculative Masonry derives—was so dogmatic about the importance of this degree, that in 1813, when the two grand lodges in England united, a firm and solemn landmark was adopted and placed in the Articles of Union to guide Masons throughout the world forever on this matter. It read: "Ancient Craft Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely, those of the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason including the Holy Royal Arch." This landmark has never been changed and to this day no other degree has been officially recognized by the Mother Grand Lodge and every rite, system or additional degree in Freemasonry cannot confer its degree on a Master Mason until he has received the Royal Arch Degree. Naturally, this is as it should be, because a man is not a Master Mason until he receives the Master's Word and he can 30

only receive it in the Royal Arch.This is important, so, I’m going to repeat it: In the earliest years of Masonry, the Master Mason Degree used to contain the Secrets of the Royal Arch. Now, these secrets are only found in the Royal Arch Degree of York Rite Masonry. Therefore, the Royal Arch can be considered a completion of the Master Mason Degree.

In Royal Arch Masonry, one finds the essentials of symbolism and philosophy that a Master Mason needs in order to understand those teachings he has been only been given a part of. The symbolism of the Royal Arch picks up where the Blue Lodge leaves off. In Blue Lodge Masonry, the symbolism of the degrees revolves around the building of King Solomon’s Temple. Royal Arch Masonry continues this theme with symbols and allegories of the Second Temple, the Ark of the Covenant, further symbolism of Solomon’s temple, and the Lost Word. Although it is not a part of the original three degrees of Freemasonry, the allegorical subject of Royal Arch Masonry indicates what is thought by many to be a natural progression of the Craft’s primary theme. Royal Arch Masonry is sometimes refered to as the “Chapter.” It is also known as the Capitular Rite. This is because it is considered the capstone of the Craft. In architectural symbolism, the keystone, or the central wedge-shaped stone, is the primary locking stone of an arch. However, the capstone is the crowing stone of an entire structure or wall. Thus, Royal Arch Masonry, which some have called “the Capstone of Ancient Craft Masonry” is known as the Capitular Rite.

The Chapter Degrees

Royal Arch Masons confer four degrees or steps of advancement consisting of dramas that illustrate the great moral teachings of Masonry. Masonic legends about the building of King Solomon's Temple are the basis for portraying the high standards of moral thought and conduct promulgated by Freemasonry. Royal Arch Masonry confers the four degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and the Most Sublime Degree of the Holy Royal Arch.

The Degree of Mark Master teaches us to discharge our many duties promptly and accurately. The duty of assisting a distressed brother is strongly illustrated. Historically, this degree illustrates how the work undertaken on King Solomon’s Temple by each individual craftsman was identified. According to Masonic legend, the Mark Master Degree originated as a ceremony of registering a craftsman's mark in those years when operative craft masons and built temples and cathedrals. The Past Master Degree was created because, originally, the degree of Royal Arch was conferred by the Blue Lodge only on actual Past Masters. This restriction prevented many worthy brethren from receiving the full information of the degrees of Freemasonry. The degree of Past Master was created in order to conform to tradition, and to make it possible for worthy brethren to receive the Royal Arch degree. The conferring of this degree by a Chapter gives a brother no rights as a Past Master in a Blue Lodge—unless he has actually served as Master of his Lodge. The first record of the conferral of this degree is found in 1768, in England.

The Most Excellent Master Degree is a product of American innovation. It was conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter as early as 1783 in Connecticut. The Most Excellent Master Degree illustrates the historical completion and dedication of King Solomon’s Temple—the very idea upon which all Masonic symbolism has been based. This degree emphasizes the opportunity and obligation of Companions to spread light and knowledge to less informed brethren. 31

The Royal Arch Degree is the climax of Ancient Craft Masonry and Masonic Symbolism. It is described as "the root and marrow of Freemasonry." This degree portrays the complete story of Jewish History during some of its darkest hours. Jerusalem and the Holy temple are destroyed, the people are held captive as slaves in Babylon. In this degree the candidate will join with some slaves as they are set free to return home and engage in the noble and glorious work of rebuilding the city and the Temple of God. It is during this rebuilding that they make a discovery that brings to light the greatest treasure of a Mason — the long lost Master's Word. This degree is the completion of Ancient Craft Masonry—for here we find that which was lost—the word for which Master Masons are given a substitute word in the third degree Blue Lodge. The Lost Word — the Master’s Word — is imparted to the candidate in the solemn and impressive ceremony of the Royal Arch Degree..

The Council

The second set of rites in the York Rite Bodies is the Council of Royal and Select Master—often called simply “the Council.” The Council of Royal and Select Masters fills what would otherwise be a large vacuum within the York Rite. The Cryptic Rite originated in America. However, the degrees of Royal and Selct Master came into the Unitied States, from France, by way of the West Indies, as side degrees of the Rite of Perfection in the 18th century. (The Rite of Perfection was also called the Rite of Heredom, which held that every Mason was also a Knight Templar.) Councils were a relatively late addition to the York Rite, dating to the early 1800’s. In the U.S., the Coucil confers three degrees of Royal Master, Select Master, and Super Excellent Master. These are known as the Cryptic degrees because their symbolic foundation is the subterranean Vault constructed by King Solomon as a stockpile for certain secret knowledge and guarded by a select priesthood. Many brothers consider the degrees of the Cryptic Rite to be a ongoing link between the Blue Lodge and Royal Arch rites.

The Council Degrees

The degrees of the Council of Royal and Select Masters are necessary to fully complete your education in Ancient Craft Masonry. Many believe that the degrees of the Council contain the most beautiful and impressive ceremonies of all. In these degrees the candidate learns of additional events in the building of the first temple. During these degrees, the candidate represents the Master Builder, Hiram Abiff. He learns why the word was lost, and the secret of its preservation and recovery. The Super Excellent Master degree has no connection with Ancient Craft Masonry—but it is a vivid dramatization of truth and fidelity which never fails to impress those who witness it.

The three degrees of the Council enables Masons to more fully understand the third degree of Blue Lodge Masonry, and the degree of the Royal Arch. Cryptic Masonry instructs the candidate in the teachings necessary for a useful and rewarding life, with the charge, "Let uprightness and integrity attend your steps; let justice and mercy mark their conduct, let fervency and zeal stimulate you in the discharge of the various duties incumbent on you."

The Commandery

The third and final set of rites in the York Rite Bodies is the Commandery of Knights Templar—often called simply “the Commandery.” The Commandery degrees are also known as Chivalric Masonry. This is because they are based in spirit upon the traditions of the Chivalric Orders of knighthood that fought for Christian control of the Holy Land during the Middle Ages. However, the modern-day Ma32

sonic Knights Templar has no historical links to its medieval namesake.

Knights Templar are Freemasons who practice a belief in Christianity. In the 18th century when Masonry opened its ranks to members of all religions, commanderies of Knights Templar were formed specifically for Christian Masons. All Knights Templar must be long to the Christian faith, since the Commandery of Knights Templar is founded upon the legendary role of the Medieval Knights Templar to protect Christian pilgrims along the roads of Palestine. It is also based upon the practice of the Christian virtues as well as moral and spiritual lessons urging its members to live their lives as Christian Knights. Naturally, the Christian Cross, in many forms, is one of the most prominent emblems used to instruct “Sir Knights” in various lessons.

The Commandery Degrees

The degrees of the Commandery are called “Orders.” There are three orders: the Order of the Red Cross, the Order of the Knights of Malta, and the Order of the Temple. Each of these orders describes beautiful and impressive lessons and explains the Christian interpretation of Freemasonry.

The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross teaches the importance of Truth and Justice. It forms an important link between the teachings of the Old Testament with that of the New Testament. The ritual of the Order of the Knights of Malta is entirely Christian. When conferred in its full form, it is one of the most striking and impressive of the degrees in the York Rite system. The Order of the Temple is considered the single most impressive of all Masonic degrees in any system of Masonic teaching. In it, the teachings of Christ presented in the most solemn and extraordinary manner. The Moral and spiritual lessons of Christianity that are communicated in the work leave a lasting impression on the candidate. Knights Templar are admonished to imitate Christ in their daily lives. It is very important for every Master Mason to become a York Rite Mason. The York Rite is historically the oldest and purest of the appendant Rites. It is important to experience the Royal Arch degrees and complete the teachings that are mentioned as landmarks of the Master Mason. And every Christian Mason should become a Knights Templar and celebrate our Christian heritage.

I hope that every Master Mason is intrigued by the lessons and mysteries of Freemasonry that the Blue Lodge has provided. And I hope that, in due time, all Master Masons will investigate those lessons and mysteries available in the York Rite of Freemasonry— in order to complete their Masonic knowledge.

Ke e p th e M en a n d Wo m e n of our Armed Forces and their fami lies i n y o u r p r ay e r s d u r ing Christmas and t he Holidays. Th e y a r e g iv i n g u s t h e m ost precious Christmas gift, their s o w e c a n enjoy our freed oms. 33


2008 Grand Convention Souvenir Program Companions and Sir Knights: The members of your Grand York Rite Souvenir Program Committee are pleased to announce that we have begun our efforts early this year to sell ads for our 2008 Souvenir Program. We have 3 objectives to accomplish:

1) To increase the ads from previous years. 2) To publish a more enticing, professional and informative Souvenir Program. 3) To financially help offset a grand portion of the Grand Convention expenses.

In order for us to meet our objectives, we need the help and assistance of all our Companions and Sir Knights in Florida. How can you help? First: Have your York Rite Bodies purchase an ad. Second: Have the Companions become boosters and purchase a name line which will be included in the program. Third: go out and sell, sell, sell. Sell ads to your local Blue Lodges, Appendant Bodies, Masters & Wardens Associations, Masonic brethren that are business owners and local businesses in your area. Target business leaders with whom you may have some influence. We need to go beyond the box to make this a success.

We are including a copy of the Souvenir Program form. Make as many photocopies of the form as necessary. Once you get the ad, with the form filled out, the ad layouts, and payment, send it to the GRAND SECRETARY/RECORDER’S OFFICE ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 31, 2008. The success of this enterprise no longer lies with the Committee but with the Craft. This will be your success not ours. A word of caution, NO AD WILL BE PUBLISHED THAT IS NOT PAID FOR.

So before you send those ads back to the Grand Secretary / Recorder’s office, make sure the ad layout, form and payment are included. Donations / contributions are not tax deductible as Charitable Contributions as the Grand York Rite Bodies are not a “501(c)(3) Corporation”; however, the Donation / Contribution may be deductible as an ordinary business expense. Sponsors are urged to consult with their tax advisor. If you have any questions or need to contact someone in the Committee, please contact:

EGSW Charles Chic Cicero - 4124 Raccoon Loop, New Port Richey, FL 34653 Phone: 727-372-1320 E-mail:

R. Exc. Randy Spradling - Suite 318 PMB 212, 5100 S. Cleveland Ave, Fort Meyers, FL Phone: 239-634-3267 E-mail:

EGJW David A. Aponte - 6620 W. Constitution Lane, Homosassa, FL 34448 FL 33907 Phone: 352-503-3030 E-mail:

IGS Dayle L. Schrock - 490 Sail Lane #405, Merritt Island, FL 32953 Phone: 321-917-6523 E-mail: 34



The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons * The Grand Council of Royal & Select Masters * The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar





Place your ad, message or memorial in a variety of sizes


$5.00 per name (list names on page 2)

FULL PAGE (10 X 7 inches) 1/2 PAGE (5 X 7 inches) 1/4 PAGE (5 X 3.5 inches) 1/8 PAGE (2.25 X 3.5 inches) INSIDE / BACK COVER (10 X 7 inches)



$165.00 $ 90.00 $ 45.00 $ 25.00 $300.00

DEADLINE: JANUARY 31, 2008 COMPLETE: form below and attach ad information MAKE CHECK PAYABLE to: Grand York Rite Convention Fund MAIL TO: Grand York Rite Office PO Box 2740 Lake Placid, FL 33862-2740 NAME:


City, State, zip : Phone:


Check Selection: Platinum – Select Size

Full page


Platinum ½ Page

Amount Enclosed: $

( See pg 2) ( See Below )

¼ Page

1/8 Page

Check Number: 35

Inside/Back Cover



The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons * The Grand Council of Royal & Select Masters * The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar





Calendar of Events

APRIL 27 - 30, 2008 Lake Mary Marriott Hotel, Lake

Tentative Schedule: Sunday, April 27, 2008 Grand York Rite Banquet

Monday, April 28, 2008 Grand Convocation - Grand Chapter

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 Grand Commandery’s Divine Service Grand Conclave Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Grand Assembly - Grand Council

Make your hotel and Grand Convention reservations as soon as the Grand Secretary sends out the flyer and registration form out.

We need 1 or 2 Reporters per Grand York Rite District or York Rite Body. Experience not needed. All we ask is from the Companion or Sir Knight is to be energetic, creative and submit on or before the deadline an article on a local or district event or news with pictures, if possible. Be part of the team of The Florida York Rite Mason. Those interested please submit your name, local York Rite Body and a picture by e-mail to: or mail the same to S.K. David A. Aponte 6620 W. Constitution Lane Homosassa, FL 34448


If any local York Rite Body, and Council, KYCH Priory, Knight Masons Council, York Rite College, Order of the Red Cross of Constantine Conclave, HRAKTP Tabernacle or Blue Lodge wants to publish in The Florida York Rite Mason, any announcement or planned event that will happen within the published trimester, we will be happy to publish it in our Calendar of Events. Send your information to 37

Calendar of Events

bvtÄt lÉÜ~ e|àx UÉw|xá Jà{ TÇÇâtÄ eÉáx V{tÜ|àç UtÄÄ

Come and join us for a great evening of Fellowship and Charity. Net proceeds will go to Royal Arch Research Assistance, Cryptic Mason Medical Research Foundation and the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.

When: Where: What time: Donation: Menu:

Dress Code:


Saturday, January 26, 2008 Ocala Elks Club (702 NE 25th Ave. Ocala, FL) Starting at 6:30 P.M. $40.00 per person or $75.00 per couple Prime Rib dinner with its trimmings There will be dancing afterwards. Men - Black Tuxedo (White Dinner Jackets acceptable) Ladies - Long Dress On or before Friday, January 18, 2008

For more information and / or reservations, contact the Ocala York Rite Charity Ball Coordinator. R. Exc. C. Alan Walls

Phone: (352) 637-5177


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 912 Floral City, FL 34436

Ke e p th e M en a n d Wo m e n of our Armed Forces and their fami lies i n y o u r p ra y e r s d u r ing Christmas and the Holidays. The y a r e g i v i ng u s t h e m ost precious Christmas gift, their s o w e c a n enjoy our freed oms.



Calendar of Events

Date: Time:


Saturday, February 16th, 2008 Registration and Hors d’ouevres – 5:00 PM Dinner and Program – 6:00 PM Location: Sarasota Elks Lodge # 1519 3900 N. Lockwood Ridge Road Sarasota, Fl. 34232 Theme: Back to the 50’s Dress: Casual Cost: $30.00 per person

Reservations a must! Make checks payable to Manatee River Chapter #18 and mail to: Cal Bonnett P.O. Box 10192 Bradenton, Fl. 34282

Please indicate your choice of entrée with your check.

Menu: Choice of: (1) Stuffed steak. Tender sirloin stuffed with mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers, garlic and mushrooms. Topped with a cabernet shitake mushroom sauce. OR (2) Chicken Saltimbocca. Breast of Chicken stuffed with prosciutto, laced Swiss cheese and spinach. Topped with a white wine mushroom cream sauce.

Dinner includes: A salad of mixed greens, lettuce, tomato, onion, feta cheese, candies walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Accompanied by sides of garlic mashed potatoes and steamed carrots. For desert, join us for a classic adult Sundae Bar. Top a serving of vanilla ice cream with your choices from cookie crumbles, sprinkles, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, candies walnuts, toasted almonds, cherries and whipped cream.

We’re starting this event early so all can stay and enjoy live 50’s style music and dance the night away. After all, our honoree was a teenager in the early 50’s!


Americinn 5931 Fruitville Road Sarasota, Fl. 34232 800- 396-5007 or 941-342-8778 Ask for the Grand High Priest rate of $119. 39

Grand York Rite Bodies of Florida The Florida York Rite Mason P.O. Box 292 Lecanto, FL 34460-0292

The Florida York Rite Mason is electronically published quarterly by the Grand York Rite Communication Committee (Members: David A. Aponte, Chairman, Charles “Chic�Cicero and Ron Blaisdell) for all York Rite Masons and Free Masons requesting it. If any Companion, Sir Knight or Brother Mason would like a copy delivered to their e-mail address, please send your request to: David A. Aponte ( or Charles C. Cicero ( Copyright 2007 40

Florida Grand York Rite Magazine 4th Quarter 2007  

Publication of the Grand York Rite of Florida