Oldcastle Lodge 4646 in Macclesfield in the Province of Cheshie
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The Old Castle Lodge, No 4646

You may be worried about having to commit ritual to memory. You should remember that all Freemasons started as you did, knowing nothing. They were not experts at memorising ritual, but by gradual and small steps, you will be able to succeed, and it is very good for the mind (as well as for our fraternity) for you to very gradually develop this skill.

There are countless examples of new Freemasons being completely tongue-tied and unable to memorise anything only to become great ritualists through gaining the confidence that the Lodge and your brethren can inspire.

masonic ritualMany Lodges encourage Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts to learn parts of the ritual relevant to their Degree. This enables them to start with small, easily-learnt passages and even take an active part in Lodge ceremonies. When you have passed the Third Degree you will be entitled to purchase a masonic Ritual book which includes our ritual and ceremonies. Some Proposers, Seconders and even Lodges of Instruction make a gift of a Ritual book to the newly-made Master Mason.

The Junior Brethren's Practice / Instruction night is very important to new Freemasons. We allow you to participate as soon as you are an Entered Apprentice although you will be restricted to practising ceremonies relevant to your Degree. Casual dress is the norm.

Normally two or three senior members of the Lodge dedicate their time to running these evenings and it is worth remembering that they are giving up their time to assist you. It should be a casual interactive atmosphere where they guide and teach, and you learn.

You are there as a student and so you are not expected to be word-perfect or know it all. However you will be surprised how soon you have parts of the ritual on the tip of your tongue because you have heard and practised them so regularly.

Take particular note of the layout of the Lodge, floorwork, position and movements of Officers and various signs etc. Learning is not restricted to ritual; it includes actions and movements at relevant times in ceremonies, somewhat like short plays.

Click for The Masonic Approach to Self Development

If you join and progress through our ranks you will undertake an Initiation Ceremony and two further ceremonies to become a Master Mason. At these ceremonies you will receive and promise to keep confidential the way members recognise each other when visiting another masonic Lodge.

These are often referred to as the ‘Masonic Secrets’ but Oldcastle Masonic Lodge 4646 is not a secret society, although in common with most organisations and businesses our internal affairs are our own private business.

Part of the enjoyment and drama of masonic ceremonies is to experience them without knowing what’s going to happen and that’s another reason to keep them “secret” so as not to spoil them for a new Candidate into Freemasonry.