Tonight our lodge will be conferring the Fellowcraft degree on some lucky candidate. I will be playing the part of Senior Warden, which is a change from my usual recent big parts in the EA and MM degrees. In honor of this candidate's degree, I am dedicating today's journal entry to this excellent degree!
Interestingly, in the old days, the Fellowcraft was the highest Craft lodge degree. It is not until the early part of the 18th century that we start to see mention of three degrees, and things blossomed rapidly after that. As that article states,
One thing is reasonably certain - prior to the early eighteenth century, two degrees were worked, the Entered Apprentice Degree and the Fellowcraft Degree. To confirm the issue, one of the ancient manuscripts, the Edinburgh Register House Ms. of 1696 and the Sloan Ms. of 1659 refer to two degrees, whilst the Trinity College Dublin Ms. of 1711 and the Graham Ms. of 1726 refer to three degrees.The second degree is notably different from the first. While the Entered Apprentice is treated at first as an outsider, the Fellowcraft is welcomed and bolstered by brotherhood. He is led on a fantastic symbolic voyage and introduced to a rich range of symbols on the winding staircase. I think it is fair to say that the Fellowcraft degree is my favorite of the Blue Lodge degrees.
This degree is an important one in our lodge for another reason, too. One of our old members is returning to give the "G" lecture, and one of our newest members is giving the staircase lecture for the first time! It will be a great event, and I can't wait to be there and help out!