Sounds of Harmony

Music is an important tool to bring us together

California Masonic Grand Master Jeffery Wilkins poses inside the Grand Lodge temple, the California Masonic Memorial Temple, in San Francisco.

Music, one of the seven liberal arts and sciences referenced in the three degrees of Masonry, is a fundamental part of our lodges, if one that’s all too often lacking. By adding atmosphere to the ritual experience, music makes our ceremonies that much more memorable and special for everyone, particularly our candidates. It enlivens lodge meetings, provides entertainment for social events and dinners, and helps members deepen friendships.

As Masonry brings men from all walks of life together, so too does music. It’s no surprise that many of the most celebrated musicians in history have been Freemasons. Composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Johann Christian Bach were all Masons, as were Irving Berlin, John Philip Sousa, and Duke Ellington. As varied as their styles may be, the common connection between them is Freemasonry.

I encourage all our lodges to find ways to include music in their ceremonies and rituals. As we return to lodge life, let’s use music as a way to learn more about each other and build common ground. I know that my music preferences run the gamut, from classical to punk, with many stops in between. I’m always open to new music, and that keeps me open to new life experiences.

My theme for the year is crafting leadership. I want our members to practice leadership within themselves, their lodges, and their communities. That takes showing up and working hard at everything we do. Maybe music can help us get up and move! Let’s find opportunities to reach out to the local leaders in our communities and invite them to our events. Let’s impress them not only with our ceremony, but with the music that accompanies it.

I wish you good health and all the best this holiday season. May the Supreme Architect of the Universe watch over you, your families, and our beloved craft.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Jeffery Wilkins, Grand Master

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