Volume LVIFebruary 2009Number 1

From the Northeast Corner
An occasional periodical on Masonic Knowledge published by the Pennsylvania Lodge of Research
Bro. Stephen Gardner, R.W. Grand Master • Bro. Joseph F. Acton, Worshipful Master, 2009

Many Masonic lodges, including our own Grand Lodge, have music played during the course of their meetings. This practice goes back a long way, and some may be aware that Brothers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jean Sibelius, Irving Berlin and Franz Joseph Haydn composed music for use within a Masonic lodge meeting.

In an article on "Views From The Past," in the February 2008 issue of "The Northern Light," the publication of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, there was an article from the Nov. 15, 1854 issue of "The American Freemason" of Louisville, KY by distinguished Brother Robert Morris, commenting on his observance of "the general practice in the [New York] city lodges of accompanying the ceremonial of each degree with appropriate music." Bro. Morris quoted an article from another Masonic publication, "The Masonic Signet and Journal," which commended this practice, stating, "We are convinced that it [music] would impart an interest to the work and solemnize the feelings of brethren, so that we should not so often hear complaints of want of proper solemnity during lodge work. It would have a beneficial influence in extending and improving the taste for this most delightful and refining science."

Bro. Morris quite agreed with this, stating that "it [music] does elevate and refine [the degree]. It fixes the ceremonial in the memory by the same means that the tender mother teaches her offspring the elements of religion; it sweetens the temper, prevents weariness, so apt to steal upon the senses, especially of the laboring man, in the hours of night. Its uses are well nigh innumerable."

In closing his article, Bro. Morris says, "Nothing is more appropriate, either, to the ceremonials of Freemasonry, for music is one of the seven liberal arts and sciences, necessarily alluded to by every brother who attempts to confer the Fellow Craft's Degree, but beautifully expanded and expounded by him who confers it right."

Music within a lodge meeting has a way of setting the mood, serving the moment and assisting the brethren in the enjoyment of the lodge meeting. How much better we sound, when singing the "National Anthem" or "Happy Birthday" than if there were no accompaniment. Many thanks to those skilled brethren who provide their musical abilities for the enjoyment and enlightenment of our Masonic fraternity.

We, as Masons, have each pledged to pursue Masonic knowledge. The Pennsylvania Lodge of Research stands as a fountain of Masonic knowledge to all who would attend. Any Pennsylvania Freemason, in good standing, may join the Pennsylvania Lodge of Research, and any Freemason, in good standing, may attend any of its meetings. For further information on how you can join or when and where the next meeting will be held, just go to the Grand Lodge Web site, www.pagrandlodge.org and click on the PA Lodge of Research link. You can also contact its Secretary, Bro. James F. Standish, 1 Pierce Court, Glen Mills, PA 19342-1787 or via e-mail.

Mark your Calendar!

The Academy of Masonic Knowledge will hold meetings on Saturday, March 14 and Saturday, October 24. The meetings will be held in the Deike Auditorium of the Masonic Cultural Center on the campus of Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 9:30 a.m. A free lunch will be served at noon and the program will be completed by 3 p.m.. All Masons are welcome to attend. Dress is coat and tie.

Twice a year, the Academy invites renowned scholars to discuss a Masonic subject in their field of expertise.

The great objective in Freemasonry is to gain useful knowledge, and the Academy provides a great opportunity for brethren to learn and to understand more about the significance of the Craft.

Plan to attend and bring a brother or two along with you.

Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, simply e-mail Brother James F. Standish or write him at 1 Pierce Court, Glenn Mills, PA 19342-1787. Include your name, address, lodge number, telephone number and e-mail address.

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