Wednesday, July 30, 2008

From Son to Father, from Father to Son

I would like to tell a story about my family and Freemasonry, specifically my father, grandfather and I during my father’s raising. As I have mentioned in my first post, I initially learned about Freemasonry through my Grandpa. (It can be found here.) I discovered Freemasonry and found that I really enjoyed all the aspects of the Fraternity. During the course of my participation in different Lodge activities, my Dad grabbed one of the pamphlets at a booth that the Lodge was running during my first summer as a Master Mason. He told me that he might be interested in joining but he was not sure that he had the time. However, even with his concern for time, I gave him more information about the Lodge and Freemasonry in general.

I knew that he would really enjoy himself in the Lodge. After the summer ended, I asked what he thought about the Lodge. He really wanted to join and I handed him the petition. We began the degree work over the fall until we came to the third degree. I invited my Grandpa to come to the Lodge; my Grandparents live about an hour and a half from my parents’ house. I was asked by my brothers in the Lodge if I would like to raise my Dad. I knew that it would be more meaningful to my Dad if my Grandpa would raise him so I declined. It was really moving to see father and son together in the confines of the Lodge performing ritual that has been worked for centuries yet still as fresh as if it had been communicated in the quarries yesterday. And there we were, three generations of Masons together for the first time.

Later in the evening, my Dad received what my Lodge gives to every recently raised brother: the Bible, Apron and Chris Hodapp’s Freemasons for Dummies. My Dad really loves coming to Lodge and was even made the Co-Tyler of the Lodge when I took the Junior Warden’s chair. Also, with how expensive gasoline has gotten in the States, it is really nice to carpool to the Lodge and we can talk about what is going in our lives and can have a bonding experience to and from the meeting.

It was really different to bring my Dad into Freemasonry. The old trend was that a grandfather would bring in his son and the dad would bring in his son. My family bucked the trend and I really think that it is auspicious for our Fraternity. I have been told that this trend is becoming much more commonplace in Lodges today. During the Sixties, Seventies and even the Eighties, fathers were just not bringing in their sons or conversely, sons were not joining their father’s Lodge as they became of age. At least in my family, my Dad did not join the Lodge because he was in a different town than my Grandpa. When I joined, I became the connection for my Dad to join Freemasonry. I think it really creates a bond between all three generations that is different many men have.

If you have been a part of this new trend in Masonry, feel free to leave a comment. As a final question, what do I call my Dad and my Grandpa: brother? It seems kind of strange, but I guess that I will get used to it.


Cardo said...

We here have experienced a handful of sons bringing their father in after the craft seemed to skip a generation.
It was a great experience having my father raising me in the presence of one of my brothers and then shortly after raising my nephew. I see the same look in a sons eye that I saw in my father when I was brought to light.

As for calling your father and grandfather Brother, it takes a little getting used to but seems to make the whole experience that much more meaningful.

burntloafer said...

As someone who takes comfort and pride in seeing his own deceased relative's pictures on the walls in lodge buildings, I can only imagine the fun and camaraderie of sharing the experience with Brothers who are also fathers, grandfathers, or uncles.

Having witnessed both your Grandpa and Father in lodge, I feel grateful that you allowed me to share in that experience.

Plus, your Dad is a hoot!

Corinthian is lucky to have you as members, and I am lucky to have you both as Brothers.

Richard Vang said...

Your experience is the EXACT reason I wrote and published the children's book, "MY DAD IS A FREEMASON." Too often membership skipped a generation because of the traditions of secrecy. So many fathers took it too literally and never spoke about it even with their sons. My book is designed to be an introduction to letting your children know that you're proud of it, and gives them the basics of what we do. It's actually good for adults too !! Good blog, keep it up.

Unknown said...

I had the unique experience of coming into Lodge with my father; although through a timing glitch I was initiated 2 days before he was. So it was really cool to be there to see his initiation. Growing up, my dad traveled extensively for work so I didn't have some of the time with him that I might have; but to get the Degrees with him is an experience I will treasure forever!

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