Mastering Masonic Ritual
There are many guides to learning Masonic ritual, most of which look at it from the viewpoint of learning the words. This book takes a rather different view. Of course, we need to learn the words, we cannot deliver ritual without having done so. However just learning the words, leaves the candidate rather short. Just as important as the words, are the feeling and emotion that help to communicate the meaning of those words. It is the ability to bring these in that marks the difference between a good ritualist and a really great one. Who seems to be able to conjure up an electric atmosphere in the Lodge room, that holds the candidate and others listening, spellbound until the end.
The author has studied what it is that makes that difference. What it is that great ritualists do in communicating our ritual in a way that really helps the candidate develop a deeper understanding, that excites them and sparks a lifelong interest.
This book, aimed not just at the novice but at all who deliver ritual, analyses what great ritualists do and helps all emulate that, while at the same time developing their own personal style. Many of the things covered in this book are done subconsciously by great communicators and public speakers. In analysing and dissecting these the author helps us to learn the tricks of the trade used by these people.
This is not a book to be read and then left on the bookshelf, it is one to keep with your ritual book and dip into time and again as you learn your ritual, helping you to think about how you deliver your ritual and add the feeling and emotion that holds the interest of the candidate and others.
We all deserve good ritual. It helps the new candidate develop their interest and understanding; it helps the more experienced Mason to develop their skills; but above all it increases our enjoyment.
Have you ever wondered how a particular Mason can deliver such beautiful ritual? Seemingly with no effort, but with all the feeling and emotion that bring out what the ritual is saying to us. But have never been able to identify what it is that makes the difference. In this book you have all that information so that you will not only know what it is they are doing that is different but will yourself be able to emulate that.
Mastering Masonic Ritual by John E Burnapp - Metropolitan Grand Inspector Book Review by E Comp Tony Shepherd, MetDepGDC In my own personal experience, some of the most uplifting, memorable, and rewarding moments in my masonic journey have been the rare moments when a brother or companion has delivered a piece or passage of familiar ritual in a manner that makes you feel you are hearing not only the words, but the spirit and profound nature of their meaning, for the very first time. There have for many years been a plethora of goods books available to help brethren and companions learn masonic ritual. John E Burnapps book, Mastering Masonic Ritual (published by Lewis Masonic) sets itself apart from the pack by not only providing a multitude of tips and suggestions for the actual memorising of ritual, but more importantly, a step-by-step guidance on the mastery of delivering reflective, engaging, and entertaining ritual. With a foreword written by Metropolitan Deputy Grand Superintendent E Comp Christopher Clark, the book succeeds in highlighting the need to strive to personalise the ceremonies for the candidate, to enable him to develop a deeper understanding of the at times archaic language, and to excite and inspire him to wish to know more. The author reflects on how many of the great ritualists have drawn their inspiration and knowledge not just from other great ritualists, but from preachers, public speakers and actors who use words as their primary tool to communicate ideas and principles. Many of the techniques employed by these great communicators are covered in the book and in dissecting and analysing these techniques Burnapp helps the reader to learn their tricks of the trade. Evidenced by the contents of this book, Burnapp clearly believes that we all deserve excellent, meaningful ritual. He is very persuasive in his assertion that this excellence helps the new candidate develop their interest and understanding, helps the more experienced Mason to develop their skills; but above all it increases our enjoyment and that a great ritualist engages in a conversation with his audience, not merely lecturing to it. The author further provides many personal observations and experiences that have enhanced his own masonic journey and many of these musings are insightful and inspiring; including the benefit of correct pacing, the value of teamwork within the ritual team and the need for the presenter to understand the meaning of the words and phrases he is delivering. In conclusion, Mastering Masonic Ritual concerns itself with the notion of not merely learning ritual, but, with Mastering Ritual. Not just learning the words, but by creating interest and excitement within the listener. Not just reciting the lines within our ritual books, but by bringing those lines to life, injecting them with a purpose and a vitality. Mastering Masonic Ritual has clearly been designed not just to be read and then left to languish on a bookshelf. I am happy to report that I shall now keep my copy with my ritual books and shall dip into it time and again as I re-learn, rehearse, and polish my own performance for delivering the best ritual I possibly can in the future. Hard Back - 108 Pages http://www.arena.londonmasons.org/ Produced with the kind permission of Arena Magazine