November Temple Topics

Greetings, Brethren. This will be a short article – my plans for a longer one were derailed in order to visit a sick brother in the hospital, a decision for which I make no apologies. Congratulations go out to our three newest Master Masons: Fred Acosta, Juan Morado, and Felipe Valdez, as well as to the eight(!) new 32nd degree Scottish Rite brethren who were made Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret in Nashville. For myself, I’m planning to begin doing the AASR Southern Jurisdictions “Master Craftsman” correspondence course, and I’ll see who I can interest in doing it with me!


Upcoming events can always been seen on the lodge website, In addition to the regular stated meetings, we’ll hold a special Round table discussion for fellowship and masonic education on November 30 and Past Master’s Night on December 14, 2010, so whether you’ve sat in the Oriental Chair or not, come out and let’s celebrate (PM night to be rescheduled).

Masonic symbols

We are quickly approaching two religious holidays that share symbols with our beloved Craft. In early December (this year – it changes), Jewish brethren will celebrate Chanukkah, a (relatively minor) holiday that commemorates the rededication of the (Second) Temple in 165 B.C.E. after occupation by the Seleucid Empire. Although the Bible itself (1 and 2 Maccabees) mentions only an 8-day celebration of rededication (possibly to make up for the inability to previously celebrate Sukkot, a more important 8-day festival), the Talmud (Shabbat 21) retells a legend about a small quantity of sanctified lamp oil that miraculously continued burning for 8 days, until new oil could be brought to the Temple. These stories are rich in common symbolism, including the use of the Temple and the metaphor of Light.

Christian brethren, of course, will celebrate a major holiday, Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus. Among its many rich symbols, Christmas also emphasizes the importance of Light. Here it is dually represented by a blazing star (an image with Masonic resonance from the lectures of the degrees) and the Child to whom the star points, who later names himself the “light of the world” (John 8:12).

The Islamic new year begins on December 7 this year, and is closely followed by the secular new year on January 1. As the earth’s motion around the sun brings us into shorter days and darker nights, it is no wonder that we take comfort and joy in the return of the sun following the Winter solstice, and particularly seek out family and fellowship to warm us until the Spring. I hope your holidays, my brethren, will be full of these joys without measure.

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