Tips for Learning Ritual

For some new Masons learning the ritual may be the first memorising they have done since leaving school. We all find different ways that work for us, but these are some ideas which can help. 

• Put the book away as soon as you can. Practise remembering the words not reading them. 

• If you have a tape recorder, tape yourself so you can constantly play it back.

• Transcribe the first letter of each word onto a sheet of paper and use that as an aide-memoire, rather than the ritual book, or cue cards. 

• When learning a sentence or paragraph, add to it the first two or three words of the next oneso you’ll always know the link to the next bit.

• Practise whilst washing up or performing some other household chore or even in the bathroom. Remember that in the Lodge you will not be sitting comfortably in a chair, there are things to do and plenty of distractions; get used to that.

• Practise wherever possible, walking to work, taking the dog for a walk, or mowing the lawn. Recite out loud and use different voices (even funny ones): this will help put expression and meaning into your delivery. 

• If the delivery is right, and it is said with meaning, others will be far more likely to listen towhat you are saying rather than listening for the odd wrong word or missed line. 

• Speak up clearly when saying the ritual; not only does it keep the attention of the Brethrenbut also prevents you speaking too quickly. 

• Attend the LOI whenever you can. There is no substitute. Apart from benefiting from the guidance of the more senior Brethren, LOI is essential for practising floor work, timing, and saying the ritual out loud in front of your peers in a relaxed forum. 

• When attending LOI try not to refer to your book.

• Where dialogue is involved have a working knowledge of that entire section of ritual, not just your part. When you know how the ritual goes, it’s much easier to understand where your part fits in and remember when it’s your turn to speak.

• And finally, adopt a positive mind-set and a can-do attitude.

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