Fellowcraft is the designation of the Second Degree in Blue Lodge
Masonry. The term is derived from the union of Operative Masons, representing those who were especially skilled
in cutting and fitting stones for structural use, but less skilled and capable than Master Masons. In Speculative
Masonry, emphasis is laid on the
significance of the term Fellow. In its basic meaning, the word signifies "bound in mutual trust."
It also has in its deeper meaning the idea of "a follower, a
companion, an associate." Though of less skill, of less ability, than a Master
Mason, the Fellow in Freemasonry is not a servant, nor a subject, but an associate, a companion, a brother.
The work of this degree is, like that of the Entered
Apprentice, preparatory for advancement into the higher degree of Master Mason, but it differs essentially in the
importance of its symbolism.
The Entered Apprentice
Degree is devoted to a beginner; the Fellowcraft Degree to a more advanced search for Light. In the First
Degree the symbols and ceremonies are directed toward purification of the heart. In this Degree, this purification
is no less important, but the symbols and ceremonies are directed more chiefly to lessons for the cultivation of
the reasoning faculties and the improvement of the intellectual powers.
Among the ancients, all
religion was more or less a mystery, and hence religious, and especially the mystery of religions, were closely
associated with philosophy. Among pagans, the multitude of allegories and symbols in the religions became accepted
as realities, and the worship of celestial luminaries, imaginary deities with human passions, appetites and lusts,
and of idols in the forms of stones, animals and even reptiles was commonplace. Hence, in Freemasonry, the
emphasis is placed upon philosophy, upon intellectual enlightenment, and upon advancement of the reasoning faculties
in order that these tendencies to idolatry might counteracted to the glory of the One Living True God.
The vows and obligations
of the Fellowcraft Degree are, of course, more advanced and extensive than those of the Entered Apprentice Degree.
The pledge to secrecy with reference to the internal workings of the Fraternity is broadened and strongly re-enforced.
Regulations regarding Secret Words are similar to those of the preceding Degree. The endowments and investitures
of the Order given to this Degree are to be guarded with inviolate fidelity and obedience to the tenets and laws
of Freemasonry are exacted with great emphasis.
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