As an Entered Apprentice Freemason (EA) the brother on the very first step of the ladder is the most valuable asset the fraternity possesses. The future of Freemasonry will depend entirely upon your happiness, satisfaction and dedication to the principles and practices of Freemasonry in general, and your devotion to your own Lodge in particular.
Every Freemason regardless of his rank or standing earnestly desires you to have a Masonic career filled with pleasure and satisfaction for yourself and usefulness to the organisation generally. Your apron will be of pure white lambskin with no markings. At the end of your First Degree ceremony, or Initiation, you will be handed three documents. The first one is the Book of Constitutions which are the rules governing all UGLE Freemasonry. There will be no subject you might have a question about that is not covered in the book.
Take time to become familiar with it for it will guide your Masonic career. The second document is the Byelaws of your Lodge. You should memorise them so that you do not let yourself or your Lodge down through ignorance of the way that your Lodge governs itself.
The third document is a little blue booklet entitled Information for the Guidance of Members of the Craft which gives a wealth of information in a simple form. As an Entered Apprentice, your principle objective will be to gain a basic understanding of the moral teachings of the First Degree of Freemasonry and the progressive nature and structure of the organisation itself. This is best achieved by regular attendance at your Lodge, and to any rehearsals which may be of benefit to your Masonic education. Your first task will be to learn the answers to the questions on the card handed to you after your First Degree Ceremony.
These are questions that you will be asked at your Second Degree ceremony. You owe it to your proposer, seconder and to your Lodge to do the best you can in learning these. There will be a rehearsal and before that your proposer or others will help you learn the dialogue.
On the night of your Second Degree the Deacon will be at your side ready to give you a prompt should you need it, so you should be quite relaxed and enjoy the challenge. Don’t be hesitant about asking questions on any aspect of Freemasonry. Your proposer, seconder, the Lodge Mentor and other brethren will delight in giving you a detailed explanation.
On those occasions when it is considered your education would best be served by waiting for the answer to be given at a later date, they will tell you so and you should respect their judgment. If there is an opportunity to visit a Lodge that is working a First Degree Ceremony this will be a most enlightening experience. You can expect an enthusiastic welcome in both the Lodge room and at the Festive Board. In some Lodges a new Brother is called upon to assist the Stewards at the Festive Board. This should never be considered a menial task; it is a useful preparation for your own future elevation to the Steward’s role and a constructive way of getting to know the members of your own Lodge and the visitors.
In the years ahead you will look back on your time as an Entered Apprentice with great affection. You will form a very special bond of friendship with those brethren who also took their first step in Freemasonry at about the same time as you. Often these friendships will endure and blossom throughout your Masonic career. It is not uncommon for such brethren to travel literally from the opposite sides of the country to share in a special Masonic occasion with a much loved friend and brother.
Finally, it is important to remember that as an Entered Apprentice you are as much a Freemason as any other brother and the non Masonic world will judge you as such. The respected name, high reputation and expectations of Freemasonry are as much in your hands as they are with our most senior Brethren. You are a Freemason inside the Lodge and out and should always conduct yourself as such.