It. must be 50 years ago that the idea for this kind of book first came into my mind. I had moved once more with my professional occupation to my home city of Manchester and had been introduced to a new lodge there by one of my churchwardens, the local doctor. In Wolseley Lodge No.1993 I soon discovered that having to wait to get on the ladder of promotion provided no sinecure. Master Masons without a job in office were given the task of learning the Emulation catechetical lectures and then reciting the answers in open lodge with another non-officer Past Master in the Chair asking the questions. One was by no means left hanging around wondering what to do and what Freemasonry was all about.
I began to see the point of so much that I heard in the degree ceremonies. What I also realised, however, was that there were more things in the ceremonies that the lectures did not explain. Surely, I thought, there is a need for that too to be done. Of course, I was far too junior to attempt such a thing and in those days there was still a great deal of resistance to the notion of producing information about the Craft that was not included in the approved rituals, including the explanatory lectures. A commitment to progressing through many degrees, and then serving as a Grand Officer and ruler, meant that. these early ideas had to be put on hold.
Happily those days of undue 'secrecy' and lack of real instruction are now over. Journeying throughout our land and speaking to countless groups of modern Masons has convinced me that there is in many quarters a real thirst for Masonic knowledge that is not being, or even able to be, met. Questions following talks, letters through my door and even requests on the phone all convince me that there is a market for commentary on the regular ceremonies that a Mason will go through or watch continually.
Revd Neville Barker Cryer
This educational new volume has been designed to fulfil the great demand for a straightforward and informative book to guide prospective candidates through the various aspects of the Masonic Ritual.
It includes helpful explanations of the meaning and origins of the ritual, and unique insights into the ceremonies themselves.
The author gives the reader clear, concise commentaries on the First, Second and Third Degrees, as well as explaining more complex rituals such as the Royal Arch.
This will help to illuminate what can often be quite an obscure ceremony, by putting it into a pratical, easily understandable context.
Written in the author's inimitable style, this volume is certain to prove extremely popular, and will entertain, inform and encourage readers for years to come.
Bruno Virgilio Gazzo
editor, PS Review of FM