What’s In A Charge


Why did any of us choose to take the steps necessary to become Master Masons? Most of us would say that we had no idea what Masonry was about when we began this journey. We started only with the idea that it would make us better men, but none of us realized to what degree.

The symbolism and allegory that resides in our Ritual touches on morality. Masonry, as we all know, is not a religion in itself. However, the moral teachings in our Ritual demonstrate how Masonry makes good men better.

There are so many unwritten moral teachings throughout our Ritual that we tend to overlook the ones that are written. One prime example summarizes our moral obligations to each other and mankind as a whole. In this, please refer to the charge which is recited at the closing of the Master Masons Lodge. Only those who to become Worshipful Masters are required to learn this charge. However, every Master Mason should take time to digest what is being said in that charge. So often we hear what is said with- out fully listening or attempting to understand the meaning. When each and every one of us began the journey through Masonry, we listened to our coaches as we learned the work. Eventually, we stopped listening and stopped acting as we should.

If we break this charge down, we can derive its root. It is the summary of the journey through Masonry. We are all aware of the obligations we took and what we are charged to do in those obligations.

This charge is telling us that we are bound to be virtuous, moral and upstanding in our day-to-day lives. That is stated in the following excerpt: Every human being has a claim to your kind offices… and so on.

We as Masons control the destiny of our Ancient Craft. In our actions, we can demonstrate the best example of why an individual may desire a petition for initiation. At the same time, we may also demonstrate in our behavior the reason an individual would decide against taking that step.

In closing, we get out what we put in. If we follow the written and unwritten teachings and set ourselves apart but demonstrating the charges we are given, Masonry will surely see a new growth emerge. It should be our goal to leave a positive impression on every person we encounter every day.

After all, is that now what this charge is telling us?

W. Mike Jones. Past Master
Hermon No. 6, Clarksburg, WV