The 1820s looked as though they would be the best of times for the special relationship between the fraternal order of Freemasonry and the young American nation. It wasn’t just because so many prominent members of the founding generation–George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and indeed 13 of the 39 signers of the Constitution–had been members. It was also because the rapidly growing republic and the fraternal society still held so many ideals in common. American republican values looked like Masonic values writ large: honorable civic-mindedness, a high regard for learning and progress, and what might be called a broad and tolerant religiosity. Indeed, says Steven Bullock, a historian at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a leading scholar of the Masonic fraternity in America, Freemasons “helped to give the new nation a symbolic core.”
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called “geocaches,” using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. (from www.geocaching.com)
Dr. S. Brent Morris has stated that Masons were, arguably, the world’s first Geocachers. When Enoch and Methuselah buried the triangular golden plate etched with the eneffable name of God upon it deep below the foundation of the Temple, they created the first geocache. There’s even a Masonic Geocaching Society that participates on Facebook and through the Scottish Rite.
Every September we, as American Freemasons, take a moment to reflect and celebrate one of the greatest founding documents of our country: the United States Constitution. This year, September 17, 2011 was the observance of Constitution Day.
Time, in Freemasonry, moves at a pace sometimes best described as “glacial.” The ritual we practice was written in the 18th century – there’s not a whole lot of call for ‘wasteth’ or ‘convocation’ or ‘yea, verily’ or ‘fiat’ in the modern American version of the English Language. Unless, of course, you’re an Italian car company reintroducing your product into the American market.
And do not get me started on how the word ‘fiat’ is pronounced “fee-aht” not “fy-at.” I’ve an English and Latin literature background AND a Sicilian mother.
Two celebrations common in American Freemasonry are the Feast of St. John the Baptist and the Festival of St. John the Evangelist. The Feast of St. John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24th – Midsummer’s Day – which happens just after the Summer Solstice, while the Festival of St. John the Evangelist occurs on December 27th – a few days after the Winter Solstice.