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Brother Joseph W. Barclay, 32

Joseph W. Barclay, 32
Sedona, Arizona

Participating in Degree work, even if only from the sidelines, is central to sustaining Freemasonry.


Do you remember the night when you were initiated an Entered Apprentice Freemason? An awesome experience, wasn’t it?

It will always remain one of the highlights of my Masonic journey: the deeply moving lesson in humility; my first exposure to Masonic symbolism; the spirit of Brotherly love that permeated the room; and all of those officers and sideliners who dressed up and turned out--just for me. In young people’s language of today, it really blew my mind!

Joseph W. Barclay, 32

During the years which have passed, I have participated in many Degrees. Unfortunately, at some of them, there were almost no sideliners present. And it has always saddened me, for I have realized that, at times like these, our eager candidates may have been cheated out of something most precious, the larger community of their new Brothers.

And so, Brethren, the next time you see an announcement in your Trestleboard about Degrees coming up, take a moment, look back, and relive those three nights when you took your first momentous Masonic steps. Then ask yourself: How important is this candidate’s Masonic future to me? Can I spare him a few hours of my time? Or has the salt of my Masonic experience lost its savor?