The Second Degree: Fellow Craft
For the Medieval stonemasons, this degree marked a craftsman’s progression from an apprentice to a journeyman. In Freemasonry, the second degree represents the symbolic growth from youth to manhood as a Brother accepts more responsibility within the fraternity and commits to studying its teachings. As he grows in knowledge, he becomes a “fellow of the craft.”
Many Freemasons consider the second degree among the most moving ceremonies in the craft. At this stage, a Brother is expected to use the wisdom he’s gained through life’s many experiences to face any challenge that may come. During this degree, he delves deeper into the philosophies and symbolism of the craft. He learns about:
- The working tools of a Mason which a Mason uses to build his moral character, guiding him in his conduct and interactions with others.
- The value of learning and education as necessary preparation for becoming the best version of yourself.
- The Twin Masonic Pillars: The symbolic entrance to a deeper and more complete understanding of Masonic enlightenment.
- A Mason’s wages of corn, wine, and oil; critical to the ancient stonemasons, these symbols teach a Mason that he is entitled to rewards for his honest labor as a responsible man.
The Fellow Craft degree teaches a man about the value of an informed mind, therefore preparing the candidate to take his place in the world as a good citizen, friend, and family man. This ceremony deepens the candidate’s connection to himself and, above all, teaches the Fellow Craft to be just with all mankind.
Privileges of Fellow Craft
Upon completion of the second degree, a Brother is now eligible to attend lodge meetings of the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft Masons. While not yet eligible to attend meetings in the Master Mason degree, he may begin his preparation for the third and final degree by putting into practice the lessons he has learned as an Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft. Once a Fellow Craft, a man stands as a living example of enlightenment and wisdom; a mature man prepared to honor the secrets of Freemasonry and face the responsibilities of adulthood.
Want to learn more about the other Masonic degrees? Click here to read about the Third Degree: Master Mason.