All Lodges should try to include an Oration in their annual programme. It provides an opportunity to consider
aspects of our ritual in more detail and to reflect on its meaning and significance to us as individual masons. Orations are not simply a means of completing the annual programme when there is no Candidate's ceremony
but more a complement to the work of the Lodge and an extension to a Mason's knowledge, be he senior or junior.
A Word from Provincial Orator Frank Clarke
Over the past couple of years, we have enjoyed delivering several individual Lodge Orations,
developing a fluency to the presentation which makes the evening especially interesting for each Lodge. This has
proved successful and popular, as many Lodges are able to confirm.
We have been concentrating on the ideas and meaning of “Free” and “Freedom” as
they apply to Masonry. There are many ideas about where the term “Freemason”
comes from, and it’s interesting that the term was first used as early as 1376 –
well before speculative Masonry was born. Did it come from the term “Freestone
Mason”? Well maybe! Certainly, during the year (in Glastonbury) we learned that
this term is still used today, with reference to Masons working the highest
quality stone used for carving figures. We also learned (in Weston-super-Mare)
that the prefix “free” is linked to terms used today by the London Livery
Companies. (The original Grand Lodge in 1717 adopted the coat-of-arms of the
Masons Livery Company when it was founded).
We were also reminded that one can be both an operative Mason as well as a
Freemason – there are a number in Somerset. There are, of course, many other
serious contending ideas for the origin of the term, but you really need to hear
It’s clear that there is an enormous amount of knowledge and wisdom in the
Province and the Orations seem to help it surface so that we all can benefit.
This is just what Orations are intended to do – to allow us all to contribute to
a better understanding and knowledge of the Craft.
Please remember Brethren that an Oration is normally a very enjoyable evening as
well as an informative one; but we can only have an Oration at your Lodge by
invitation, so the initiative is with you whenever you have those meetings
without a candidate.
Please click here for the 2010
Provincial Orator's Report in full
For further information or if you would like to arrange for
an Oration at your Lodge, please email