From W:. Ron Seifried via FB;
The Long Island Past Masters Association has launched the LIPMA COVID Relief for Lodges grant program to assist struggling lodges in the District.
Read More here:
Rather then type out a whole long post I figured it would be just as easy to share the Grand Masters video posts on whats happening around the jurisdiction and latest news on the Lodge closings, etc.. So here it is…
If you cannot get to the Facebook watch page or would rather not, you can find the video posted on the Grand Lodge landing page here -> Grand Lodge of NY main webpage
The return of Music to the Lodge room
Wikipedia describes Masonic Lodge music thus:
Masonic music has been defined as “music used in connection with the ritual and social functions of freemasonry”.
An Essay about Masonic Music from “A Page about Freemasonry”
By ANDREW M BERGMAN, Lodge Mutual #53 GL South Africa
(Quoting sources from H.C.Robbins Landon)
IN THE 18th century Western Europe was swept with Freemasonry, membership of the Brotherhood being not only popular, but also highly fashionable. This was no less true in musical circles.
On 5 December 1784 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was proposed for membership in the Viennese Lodge “Zur Wohltatigkeit”.
On 14 December, he was accepted as an Entered Apprentice. Ten days later he visited the most noteworthy Austrian Lodge of all, “Zur wahren Eintracht”, of which the Grand Master was the famous humanitarian scientist Ignaz von Born.
Interestingly enough, Mozart probably persuaded his friend Haydn to become a Mason, and Haydn was supposed to be initiated in the fashionable Lodge “Zur wahren Eintracht” on 28 January 1785.
Mozart was there to receive Haydn, but the news had reached Eszterhaza Castle (where Haydn was Kapellmeister to Prince Esterhazy) too late, and Haydn’s reception was therefore postponed.
On 11 February, Haydn was initiated but Mozart could not attend since he playing the premiere of his D minor concerto K466 at the Mehlgrube in Vienna. At the end of March Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang’s father) also joined the Mason’s and was rapidly promoted to Master by special dispensation. To complete this distinguished society of 18th century musical Masons, one should perhaps add that Beethoven was also a Freemason.
In the turmoil of the was with France, the Austrians grew panicky about “secret societies” and in the mid 1790s Masonry was forbidden in Austria and remained so until the end of World War I. The hard world of Metternich’s “Realpolitik” could tolerate no society which was dedicated to the brotherhood of man and supposedly “to the abolition of political borders”.
Mozart has left us a considerable heritage of Masonic pieces, most of them intended for actual use in Viennese Lodges.
As Mozart was not officially affiliated to any of the big Viennese churches, Mozart wrote some of his most interesting music for the Great Architect. There are even those who say that in his opera “The Magic Flute”, Mozart fell foul of the Lodges as a result of some mystical imagery which could well be interpreted as “revealing secrets of Freemasonry”. The fact is that any Masonic imagery used by Mozart could only be seen by Masons. This is no more that Shakespeare did, often creating a little “laugh on the side” for his Brethren, that would not be picked up by non-Masons.
On the CD entitled “Freimaurermusik” (Masonic Music [Decca 425 722-2]), much of Mozart’s Lodge Music is preserved.
The cover depicts a reproduction of a painting by an anonymous artist from the “Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien” of a scene from a Viennese Lodge. South Africa Masons who are familiar with the differences between the rituals in various Constitutions will agree that the layout of this Temple is more similar to our South African/Netherlandic models than either English, Scottish or Irish.
Tracks include “O heiliges Band der Freundschaft treuer Bruder” (Oh, holy bond of the friendship of true Brothers) and the “Gesellenreise” (the Journey of the Fellowcraft) which sings “Die ihr einem neuen Grade der Erkenntnis nun euch naht…” (You who now approach a new Degree of understanding…).
Special “Maurerische Trauermusik” for a Lodge of Mourning underlines the specific use for which Mozart penned his notes.
“Lasst uns mit geschlungen Handen, Bruder, diese Arbeit enden…” (With clasped hands, brethren, let us end this work…) is the final track.
Tenor Werner Krenn, baritone Tom Krause and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus sing with the London Symphony Orchestra under the Baton of Istvan Kertasz – a memorable musical experience, even for non-Masons.
An indispensable asset to the collection of any Director of Music, the insert leaflet gives translations of the songs in English, French and Italian. The CD is available (probably on order only) from any good classical music store.
An Alternative to Live Musician is available
Music in Lodge so much improved the ritual that it should be present at all Lodge meetings. Sadly only a handful of Lodges have talented Organists or Musicians to play live music. Some Lodges have adapted to adding recorded music during Lodge ceremonies which is a viable substitute. Sometimes finding the right music to play is as difficult as finding a Musician.
My Lodge Organist website offers an easy and free way to add the Organs tones to any Masonic ritual or ceremony. Although a login is required to get to the music there is no charge for the service and it offers a playlist for almost all occasions and them some.
You can find the site here -> My Lodge Organist
Of course a PC or smartphone with internet access and some speakers to amplify the sound are all that is required. The site offers hints on where and how to play the tunes it contains plus some interesting articles on Masonic Music and some interesting recordings.
Stay at Home and Masonic Ritual Practice
It sounds like a contrite thing to say during this unusual time. However as one of the District AGLs it would seem almost a dereliction of duty not to say it. If you are at home, working from home, etc. why not open the Standard Work and Lectures (2007 or 2019) and get a jump on learning a part of the Ritual.
There are many things one can study up on.
- If you are and officer make sure you know your part of the open/close of the lodge and the Brother in the chair ahead of you.
- Also maybe hunker down and learn a lecture or a part of a lecture and be prepared to step up and offer yourself to give lecture or the Q & As.
- Pick up or download a book on Freemasonry, it’s history, philosophy or other aspect.
- Maybe you are a content sideliner, what better time to get the Middle Chamber lecture put to memory.
There are a mirriod of books, ideas and things to study when it comes to Freemasonry and it’s ritual, customs and philosophy. When we emerge from this stay at home and return to lodge it should be an awakening as we have all had the time to commit a few minutes a day to study.
Below are some links to sites geared toward helping with memorization and techniques one can use to do it with low stress.
You Tube video on successful memorization
The History of Long Island Freemasonry
The new book “Long Island Freemasons” has raised over $1100 for charity as of today. Copies are still on sale through the Jephtha Lodge No. 494 F. & A.M. website. Read below for details.
LONG ISLAND FREEMASONS
Arcadia Publishing has a catalog of over 12,000 regional titles since 1993. This new release by W:. Ronald Seifried, DSA, Past Master of Jephtha No. 494 F. & A.M. in Huntington, Long Island, includes 264 black & white pictures and 59 color pictures, chronicling the history of Freemasonry on Long Island. From the early years of Long Island Freemasonry in the 1790’s to contemporary photos of lost artifacts, this publication catalogs the bygone era prior to the formation of the Nassau and Suffolk Masonic Districts up to its mid-20th century renaissance.
The first Masonic lodge in what is today Nassau and Suffolk Counties was constituted in 1793. For over 200 years, more than 70 lodges were founded and flourished in various locations from Amagansett to Great Neck. For the first time, some of the secrets of the Masonic fraternity are revealed in this book. Recovered from dusty lodge attics and closets, this selection of long-forgotten photographs and artifacts gives the readers a brief glimpse of what was taking place behind the closed doors of their local lodge. Long Island was the Masonic home of Theodore Roosevelt of Oyster Bay and, 30 years later, was honored by a visit to the Huntington Masonic lodge by his fifth co usin and fellow Mason Franklin D. Roosevelt. Masons continue to support the community through charitable endeavors, including the Masonic Medical Research Institute, Masonic Safety Identification Programs, Shriners Hospitals, and many more.
Author Ronald J. Seifried was first introduced into Masonry by his mentor in 2003. Elected as master of his lodge, the author is a member of several Masonic concordant bodies, including the Royal Arch, Cryptic Council, and Scottish Rite. As historian and trustee of his home lodge, he is responsible for the conservation and maintenance of the historic lodge building and its artifacts.
Publication Date: April 2020 / $30 per copy, with proceeds going to Masonic charities.
Pay via PayPal with shipping ($30). Click the link for ordering
Groups won’t be allowed to place flags at Calverton National Cemetery
Calverton National Cemetery is suspending its tradition of allowing groups to place American flags at grave sites for Memorial Day because of the health risks
posed by the coronavirus, officials said Monday. The tradition began in 1995. The activity is a popular among community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and many veterans’ groups. Last year, flags were placed at the cemetery’s 225,000 graves, Newsday previously reported.
Officials with the National Cemetery Administration, or NCA, representing the Calverton cemetery, said in a statement:
“NCA will not host any public Memorial Day events or ceremonies — including group placement
of flags next to grave sites,” the statement read. “Traditionally these events are well attended and
supported by the community. Unfortunately, hosting gatherings of these sizes is not advisable
due to concerns about COVID-19.”
The cemetery has remained open for burials and visitations during the pandemic, but visitors are urged to follow social-distancing practices and recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cemetery will be open on Memorial Day weekend. Visitors will be allowed to place flowers
or small American flags at their loved one’s grave site, authorities said.
Cemetery officials said other activities will continue there on Memorial Day such as a wreath laying ceremony. The public is urged to tune in virtually via the Calverton National Cemetery’s livestream on its Facebook site, officials said. Visitors to the cemetery, on Memorial Day or otherwise, are urged to first use the online National
Gravesite locator at https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/ to encourage social distancing.
It was not clear Monday evening what the policy would be at Long Island National Cemetery, Pinelawn, for Memorial Day weekend.
A New Normal? Happening now and in the future
What have we learned over the past month or so during this crisis? As the M:.W:. William Sardone reminds us; “Freemasonry never stops”. There is always something to do or get involved in even while at home.
So initiatives we have seen from the District and Jurisdiction show how even though we are socially distancing and semi isolated we can still be active and helpful to our fellow members of the human race. Much information is on the Grand Lodge website about activities around the jurisdiction. If nothing else you can donate to the Brotherhood fund for COVID-19 assistance for our Brothers that may have been financially impacted here -> https://nymasonicbrotherhoodfund.org/component/jdonation/?view=donation&Itemid=455
There is also the COVID-19 mask initiative which you can learn more about in this video from GM Sardone -> https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1126629631024526
If you don’t have facebook or the video won’t launch you can check them out on the Grand Lodge website at http://nymasons.org . There is a good wealth of info there to go over if you have not been over to a have a look.
Things seem to be getting better as of this writing around NY so we hope we can all meet together soon in Lodge and start getting back to normal. In the interim many Lodges and Brothers have been organizing video chats online so members can interact and socialize online during this difficult time. If you have not been connecting to these online video chats you should. Check with your Master or Secretary to see if they are organizing something for your Lodge.
Help the less technologically advanced Brothers to connect and sit back and watch the hilarity. There has been talk of maybe doing and online degree. Word from the Grand Lecturer is pretty clear, that would be a big NO. Online socializing and gathering like a collation before or after a Lodge meeting is wonderful and should be encouraged, ritual in front of a camera on the internet or both is verboten!
Also check on Brothers and friends and let them know you are thinking about them and see if they may require any assistance. As long as it can be done s as not to compromise or put someone in harms way, let try and do what we can responsibly.
Lastly there are still some District Planned events that are still going on, albeit not until June or later but good to plan ahead. The fundraisers and events are on the district calendar and the DIstrict BAND. As Lodges start to gather and plan again don’t forget to add your events to the BAND or notify the District Webmasters at least so they can get it on the District Calendar for all. Please add or notify of events 3-6 weeks prior to the event so it can be displayed and added to the monthly newsletter.
There are many who have expressed that they never thought they’d miss going to lodge this much or planning to grab the Suffolk traveling gavel. In the meantime, read your standard work and lectures, order a book about Freemasonry online (Ron Seifried’s recently published Long Island Freemasons would be an excellent addition to oa Brothers bookshelf). Keep busy and we’ll be back on Lodge before you know it.