WHAT IS THE SOLITARY MASON?
The Solitary Mason is a member of the Craft, who is not practicing or participating in Blue Lodge. It could be for any number of reasons, such as distance, time, financials, or an old disagreement. Many brothers, even when living down the block from an active Lodge, remain Solitary, sometimes for years at a time.
Over time some of these brothers come to a point in their lives where the desire to engage themselves in the Craft rekindles. They feel the need to return to the path they once followed and continue their journey toward the light. But then each day passes and they delay their return. Perhaps they are unsure how to take that first step, or they are hesitant about what they will find when they get there. Whatever the reason, there is always a way to return to the path of enlightenment. So, this, my brothers, is for them.
“I DON’T KNOW THE BROTHERS ANYMORE, IT’S NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE”
Yes. That is correct. It is not like it used to be. A Blue Lodge is continually changing in the dynamics of who attends, who gets along better with whom, who the officers are, etc. In many ways, learning who does what and who the new members are who have joined since you last attended is similar to the experience you encountered when you were first raised.
Even though you may not know many of the current active members, you do know this, they are Freemasonry brothers. As a Solitary Mason you should embrace the knowledge that despite any harboring of negative feelings, they all vowed to love and help their brothers. The new members will welcome you back with open arms, and your old friends who wished you hadn’t left will do likewise.
As for the workings of the Lodge, it’s like riding a bicycle, you never truly forget how. It is simply a matter of recalling those old memories and adding to them anything new that may have come along while you were away.
“I DON’T REMEMBER THE CEREMONY OR THE PARTS”
I am going to let you in on a little secret. When I would have to leave for work or family reasons for an extended period of time, I forgot as well. Many brothers who attend regularly don’t know all the ceremonies or parts either, that is why a well-governed lodge will provide a means to learn again. Everyone wants the Solitary Mason to attend, exceed, and excel.
“THE LODGE DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING WORTH GOING FOR”
This has been the death for many a Lodge. Our lives are so full that our time is more precious now than it ever has been. Members get tired of sitting there paying bills and accomplishing very little of substance. So this is a great opportunity for you as a Solitary Mason to go back and suggest something different or even rekindle an old tradition that hasn’t been practiced in many years. Then follow through with taking an active part in ensuring the idea is implemented. Who knows, perhaps other brothers have been waiting for someone to, not only suggest that particular idea, but follow through in leading the project.
“I AM NEW TO THE AREA AND NOT SURE IF ANY BLUE LODGES ARE AROUND”
I had heard that many times when I was the Master of the Lodge in a rapidly growing Bakken area. Many brothers would drive around and look for the Lodge, but never take the time to use the Internet to find us. Those brothers who did search the net quickly found our Lodge and the new building we met in. We no longer have a physical building with identifying markers, and what many Solitary Masons seem to forget is that many Lodges do not anymore.
Another way Solitary Masons, as well as Masons new to an area, can find local Lodges is to wear your masonic hats, pins, buttons, stickers, and underwear, while you’re out shopping and doing other things in the community. When a local Mason recognizes the symbols they will approach you and introduce themselves. I, for one, always make it a point to approach and greet a brother in any place I am when I see the Square and Compass. Even old crotchety farmers and rough bikers smile when you greet them as a brother. They know they are still in good company no matter where one may be.
REMEMBER, WE ARE TRAVELERS WHO REPRESENT THE CRAFT
The brotherhood was formed with the idea of traveling and meeting new people. Even if “new” is someone from your home Lodge you, as a Solitary Mason, haven’t seen in 10 years. As a Solitary Mason, you must let go of the fear and anxiety of returning to Lodge, and embrace the positive possibilities of rejoining your brothers who meet on the Level.
If you are a Solitary Mason in North Dakota, please visit our Grand Lodge Website