Unfortunately many words in our English language have more than one meaning. It is necessary to appreciate such words in the context of the phrase, or the lecture within our ritual and ceremonies in which it the word is used to discern the instructive meaning for a Mason.
For example, Masons are instructed to “pay due respect to the laws”. While the common man might give thought to obey a law when it suits his purpose, or only some of the time, a Mason is given the proper context as the lecture is delivered. Just as ‘go due North’ means to travel exactly and precisely North, so too does ‘due respect’ mean conforming to the intent as well as the letter of the law.
Similarly Masons hear that their lodge meeting is where every Brother will receive his “just due”. A common man may give thought to retribution or come-uppance when hearing this. For a Mason such a thought is dismissed as the ceremony continues and makes clear that there is fair and equal opportunity for every Brother of the Lodge to contribute to the happiness of the Lodge; even to actively preserve the usages and customs of our gentle Craft.
With this one word – ‘due’ – a diligent Mason will recognize the value of further study of several of the liberal arts and sciences; specifically grammar, rhetoric, and logic.
Here is another word that is heard by Masons in our Ritual. But I’m pretty sure it isn’t used when a few guys get together for a coffee or other beverage.
Effaced rhymes with ‘defaced’ and doesn’t quite mean that. The Mason on his journey is reminded of an earlier lecture, with the hope that he hasn’t forgotten that lesson because Masonry is a progressive science. Something that is effaced has been removed, or obliterated, or erased, or worst of all: forgotten. Our lessons are portrayed with drama to make an impression not only on the mind of the initiate, but on the mind of every Mason, so each of us can learn to apply the lessons throughout our lives.
There are some words in Masonic ritual that are simply not common outside our tyled lodges. Or Masons learn the meaning of the word as it was used in an older time. Such it is with the word ‘ejaculation’.
A phrase in an early lecture is ‘the many pious prayers and ejaculations offered up by King David’. Some of the uninitiated who hear the word ejaculation’ will recall their sex education classes — and be confused. The educated man knows this use of the word ‘ejaculation’ properly means to speak a quick and short prayer or religious exclamation such as “The Holy Sts. John, pray for us”. An initiated and educated Mason will acknowledge an example of an ejaculation is “so mote it be”.
I offer this short message so you might make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. I serve my Brethren as the Sarnia District Librarian and Historian, so I work to make many resources available for Masonic Education. For information about Sarnia District, visit our website (and look for the page about our District Library).