Masonic retention………….. Masonic retention……….
What is Masonic retention? Is Masonic retention ideal for every Mason? Find out more in this article.
Almost every Mason has heard of masonic retention. It is something that has been discussed in various lodges. Albert Mackey, the famous Masonic historian and Researcher, wrote about Masonic retention in his Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry over a decade ago.
Albert Mackey wrote this about Parrot Masons:
There are some that spend their time memorizing Masonic questions and answers by rote without taking time to understand ritual. They memorize rite formulas without attempting to understand the philosophies behind them and the history behind them. They are merely Parrot Masons who repeat what they learn without any understanding of them.
In the past, these Parrot Masons were held in high regard because of the ease with which they breezed through Masonic ceremonies. They were seen as brilliant Masons.
But today, Freemason rites are more of a science. They are more than mere words. A good Masonic scholar must have a good understanding of the rites and lectures. This does not come by memorization.
If you only memorize something, you might pass an exam or a test. But you won’t understand the principles behind what you memorized. This is just like memorizing an equation without understanding the terms of the equation, what they stand for and how you can substitute their values in the equation.
For example, the formula for the perimeter of a rectangle is 2(L + B). If you memorize this formula alone, you won’t know that L stands for length and B stands for Breadth. You will repeat the words from your mouth without knowing how to make good use of the equation. The equation will be useless for you.
It’s good to memorize Masonic ritual. But you must understand the principles, religious background and symbolism of this ritual. It is only then that you will grasp what it truly means to be a Freemason.
The best form of Masonic retention is when you understand both Masonic ritual and have a good knowledge of the ritual.It is only by Masonic education by which the Freemason Brotherhood can retain its members and get new members to continue the traditions of the noble Brotherhood. It is our responsibility to learn as much as we can about the Brotherhood and pass this knowledge on to fellow brothers.