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Monday, November 10, 2008

University of Freemasonry - November 12, 2008

The Reading of the Twenty-Third Degree
Chief of the Tabernacle
November 12, 2008

The University of Freemasonry will hold another Degree Reading and Discussion on November 12 at 7:00 PM in the Blue Lodge Room

This degree teaches us to be devoted to the service of God and to constantly endeavor to promote the welfare of man. It also teaches us to act with proper subordination to your superiors. Among its lessons are the ideas that a simple faith is wiser than vain philosophy, that a society’s concept of the Deity and the universe are consistent with its development.

We begin the symbolic initiations into the Mysteries practiced by the ancients from whom Masonry has obtained her great truths. The ritual describes in great detail the tabernacle and the surrounding court of Moses found in Chapters 26 to 36 of Exodus.

The Lodge of the Chief of the Tabernacle is styled a Court and represents an encampment of the twelve tribes of Israel in the wilderness. The apron of the degree is white lined with scarlet and bordered with red, blue and purple ribbons. In the middle is the golden candelabrum with seven lights.. The colors have deep meanings: white, the infinite beneficence of god; blue, his profound and perfect wisdom; red his glory; and purple His power. The jewel is a small silver censer with a long handle reminding us to offer up unceasingly to God the incense of good deeds and charitable actions dictated by a pure and upright heart.

Jim Tresner writes of this Degree: “This Degree begins the exploration of the ancient mysteries. The Candidate here represents a young Levite, presenting himself for initiation into the first mysteries of the Hebrew priesthood. The mysteries represented a series of increasing purifications of the body and spirit, and an increasing awareness of one's own spiritual identity. It was not a single event but a process, not an act but a journey. The goal was self-discovery. It still is.”

W. Charles Smithson, Junior Warden of the Lodge of Perfection is in charge of the degree.

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