As Worshipful Master, and as a past officer in other chairs, I had, and still have, many events, practices, degrees and travel to other lodges during this Masonic year. Without an understanding wife, these commitments could not have been fulfilled since she has sacrificed her time to do the things I should have been doing – giving up time with family and friends so I could spend time with my Brothers, and not being able to take my daughter to her various events. To my wife, Miranda, THANK YOU! To my daughter, thank you for your understanding.
To the lovely partners in our lives, who without their love, understanding and support of us Masons being away enabling us to fulfill our Masonic duties several times a week, a grand THANK YOU! We Masons wish you a very happy and well deserved Valentine’s Day. It is an honor for us to call you our partners.
Brothers, please embrace this day with your significant other, kiss them as you kissed them for the first time. Mine was walking in the rain to Greenwich Village on an unusually warm February evening in 2001. Tell them how much you love them. I did a few months after our first kiss, in May, in front of my mother’s tree on Mother’s Day. Remind your significant others of these significant moments and embrace them.
I would also like to remind everyone we celebrate Presidents Day this month, and we can call 14 of them Brothers. George Washington was the first Masonic President followed by James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford. Although not a Master Mason, Lyndon Johnson was an Entered Apprentice, and it is rumored Abraham Lincoln was scheduled to be initiated as an Entered Apprentice the Monday after his assassination.
Without mentioning any of the words or penalties of the three obligations taken to become a Master Mason, I would like to discuss what obligation means to us. The foundation of Freemasonry is built after we take our Entered Apprentice obligation, changing our titles from Mister to Brother. A candidate now becomes a member of the oldest, caring and brotherly fraternal organization in existence. He now has a stronger tie to the Masonic Brotherhood. This is even more so when a Brother brings in a friend and he also becomes a Brother. Their relationship has changed for the better and they are bound by stronger ties than ever before.
Although the obligations are mandatory to become a Master Mason in all three degrees, it is taken under free will. These obligations insure we are held to a higher moral standard, where a Brother can form friendships with other Brothers without worrying about being defrauded, wronged or cheated. This bond means a Brother can be trusted to help you if you are in need, as you would help him in doing the same. He is also obligated to care for widows and orphans. This obligation is sworn in front of the assembled brothers of the Lodge and is a promise from us all that we will continue to hold and honor Masonry to the highest standards possible. This is an agreement we made not only to the Craft but also to the Lodge, with our hand on the Greatest Light ever, the Holy Bible, or whatever other Holy Book you believe in if you are a non-Christian. In this way, we respect all religions and beliefs. As you promised in each obligation, which is the goal of every Mason, our path is toward the light so it becomes stronger and brighter each day.
My Dear Brothers, remember the promises you made while taking your obligation and always live life as you promised. Remember, the darker it gets the brighter your light must shine.
We mourn the sudden passing of our dear Brother, Frederick James Meuser, who laid down his Working Tools suddenly on December 18th. At the request of his family, we honored his memory with a Masonic Funeral Service. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Cathy, his two daughters, Catlin and Christy, and his entire family.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
W:.M:. Michael S Crispino, Jr