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There are few solemn ceremonies that are not made more impactful owing to the involvement of music. The spirit soars while the lesson is embedded more deeply in the soul. Music is the means by which angels sing in our heads.
In Masonic lodges, where all appendant bodies of Masonry meet, there is usually a musical instrument of some sort, typically a piano, sometimes an organ. What is often not available is someone who can play them, either at all or to the degree of proficiency some of the more challenging pieces require.
Now through the technology of our age, comes a surprisingly inexpensive device that can bring music to every phase of the Masonic experience. All that is required is a smart phone with blue tooth capability, an iTunes account and the willingness to be responsible to put it all together.
Google "ION Rock Blocker." This devise, 18 inches cubed, features a 50 watt dynamic speaker, ports to charge smart phones, AM/FM radio with telescoping mast, wheels and retracting luggage handle to drag it around. It reads blue tooth instruction to 100 feet and operates with an on-board battery up to 75 hours and includes a plug-in microphone and multiple volume controls.
The cost of this device is $150 at Costco. ION is the manufacturer and if your Costco does not carry it or is sold out, obtain it on-line.
ITunes can provide sacred music, holiday music, patriotic music, popular tunes and even the Masonic dirges written specifically for Masonry by Mozart.
Recently, the Warren Chapter #5 in Warrenton conferred the Mark master degree. Near the end of the degree, the newly minted companions were gathered around the alter. All lights were turned off save the one shining down over the alter. One touch on the iPhone and the "Rock Blocker" played The Lord's Prayer, featuring Andre Bocelli accompanied by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra. All there felt it was one of the most moving moments in their Masonic experience. It was just that easy.
Our challenge as Royal Arch Masons from our Grand High Priest is to reverse the decline in our membership by bringing new Masons forward as companions. We are more than Masons in red sport coats who eat well and spend time together. Making our tiled meetings more dynamic with music is one way to help push this mission along. As was taught in the movie "Field of Dreams" ...if we build it... they WILL come.
Master Mason Irving Berlin could not read music nor play any instrument, yet he conceived "God Bless America" ... you CAN have music in chapter.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Rt. Ex. Jeff Hedges