As thou didst salute us and these times of ours, so we salute thee through the centuries that have gone. - This sums up the relationship between those who have emulated Jacques DeMolay’s heroic example and the members of DeMolay who have revered Dad Frank S. Land. It has been 96 years since he founded the Order of DeMolay and not a day goes by where everyone involved with this wonderful organization does not take a moment to personally thank Dad Land for his leadership and involvement in creating the most prolific youth organization in this world. I can personally say that I wake up every morning and consider the possibilities of which I could accomplish for DeMolay.
For many years I didn’t want anything to do with this organization and I rebelled against what my family wanted for me. It wasn’t until a peaceful silence from everyone that I picked up a Ritual and read through my obligations - the pledges I made to serve humanity through my daily actions. After finally taking the time to read and understand what I had vowed myself to, it all started to make a lot more sense - the Chapter meetings, State events, the Ritual, and membership. I wanted to have my friends involved with the Order but unfortunately, most of them already had responsibilities which kept them busy in life.
Imagine the opportunity that DeMolay affords to a young man - now imagine if you could reach out to hundreds, even thousands of eligible and moral young men who didn’t have any idea of what DeMolay was. We have done this in Missouri through the resources we have and we have been successful. March is DeMolay month and we will be sharing the opportunity of a lifetime - the opportunity of DeMolay with many new young men.
Out of all of the lessons our Order teaches, commitment is one that is especially demanding. No matter what the circumstances, your life will call for you to be committed to something, and that isn’t always easy to do. In fact it can be a hard lesson to learn because sometimes commitment means sacrifice. But DeMolay teaches it on a simple level, beginning at the Chapter level.
As DeMolays, we are all bound to our home Chapter - they count on us, the young men, to run our term plans, build our membership, plan events, fundraisers, and attend the meetings. These are the commitments we have made as DeMolays. They are so simple but so important because as we all know, a Chapter cannot be ran by one person, it takes a group of young men with a strong commitment and confidence to lead a successful Chapter. Even though these seem like easy tasks, they can actually be quite difficult ordeals for the young men of today.
With everything going on in their lives, this is where several skills come into play, like multi-tasking, and prioritizing, which I give credit to DeMolay for teaching those skills. But one thing you must understand is that ours is an Order which is worth all of the time and effort you have and will dedicate. Just knowing that you have the potential to change a person’s life is an incredible feeling and that is exactly what this organization does, each and every day.
So please, be true to your promises of commitment, not only in DeMolay, but in your daily lives.
Reciting vs. Understanding
A large part of Demolay is culminated in our Ritual. It is ever-present in our activities, purposes, and values. Whether it be during a meeting, installation, or initiation, we try to learn our lines and deliver them with confidence and emotion. It is an amazing sight to see when all those individual parts come together and coalesce into a memorable experience.
However, sometimes we focus too much on getting a part word-perfect or getting the correct diction, instead of reflecting on it’s deeper meaning and application to every-day life. The true purpose of the Ritual was to inspire young men to incorporate lessons, by granting them a greater understanding of the code of morality we all try to emulate. A candidate will not remember a simple word error, but they will be forever changed by the meanings of our ceremonies. I encourage each DeMolay to learn Ritual in a manner of understanding rather than a manner of recitation. Recitation is just plainly saying the part from memory. The difference between the two lies in that understanding a part is to internalize and externalize the words, by looking for it’s deeper meaning. Don’t just read it as it is - find out what it means to you and look for the ways you can use those lessons in your life.
By learning your Ritual through understanding, you will find that the recitation part is much easier. Instead of memorizing a sequence of words on a page, you are memorizing a passage that conveys a message that you believe in, a message you truly wish to share with others so that they will believe in that virtue too. You will be able to perform with conviction and with passion, making your audience feel the magnitude of the importance of the things you are saying.
I am in no way demeaning the value of memorization or the fundamentals of good performance, but instead, trying to provide a way of enhancing these already important aspects of Ritualism. By understanding and not just reciting the words you are speaking, you will not only find yourself becoming a better Ritualist, but a better Demolay, and most importantly, a better person.
The History of de Molay
It’s been just over 700 years since Jacques DeMolay was sent to the stake with his comrade. The reason for his cruel demise was because the king of France wanted the famous “Templar Treasure” that had been well protected by the Order and kept to preserve the welfare of the people who were kept safe by the Templars. The king did his plotting and planning in secret and made DeMolay look like the bad guy, saying he betrayed his country and God and sought out to ruin the Crusades.
DeMolay was not only a part of the Knight’s Templar, he was the last Grand Master. When he was put on trial, which happen to be for seven years, the inquisition asked him for the location of the “Templar Treasure” as well as the names of his brethren. The reason for such a lengthy trial was because he never told them, even though they tortured him without mercy. Finally the king got tired and had him burned at the stake, along with Geoffrey de Charney.
We honor Jacques DeMolay as our namesake because of his heroism in the face of inevitable pain and suffering, as well as his loyalty unto the end. We as DeMolays seek to be tolerant and emulate him through the lessons he has taught us through the centuries.
A Proud Member
I am so proud and honored to be counted among the members of Missouri Demolay. Every chapter I have seen recently is on the rise. George L Walters just had a wonderful installation and is in great shape. My own chapter, Kirkwood, is on the rise. I’m hearing good things about Missouri Demolay everywhere, but we still have plenty of work to do.
Despite all of the good work we have done, we can’t stop pushing yet. If we keep up the good work who knows how much we can get done. There is such a bright future we have to look forward to as Missouri Demolay and the best thing is that you get out just as much as you put in. If you put in the effort for your Chapter and really give your all to make Demolay better then it has the potential of becoming even more successful. You can make a difference. I know it can seem impossible - making a difference on something like this, I mean you’re just one person right? That’s what I thought for a long time but I have come to realize that putting in the effort, even if that means recruiting just one friend, makes all the difference.
Missouri Demolay, good job! I’m proud to call every single Demolay in this state my brother. This year is going to be the best one we have had in a long time and I am glad that I can be a part of it. So remember, put in the effort, give your all, work hard, and stay awesome Missouri Demolay!
The Purpose of a Squire Manor
Take a minute to consider your DeMolay Chapter and how many members have a younger brother that is not old enough for DeMolay and is eagerly looking forward to being a DeMolay. These younger brothers have the privilege of becoming Squires and begin to learn some great values. Your Chapter has the opportunity of helping them by establishing your own manor.
In establishing a Manor, you are opening the door for these younger men to get a sample of what it is like to be a DeMolay. They learn how to conduct meetings and have their own Ritual but most importantly they begin to build friendships that will follow them to DeMolay. Learning their Ritual helps develop their self confidence and begins to get them more comfortable speaking in front of others. As I have served as Sir Knight of Crestwood Manor, I see the joy of watching them grow and learn their Ritual parts. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to the see the smile when they finish their part and it was great. They may be young but they are mighty.
Missouri DeMolay started the Squires program in 2003. Since then, many Squires have followed their path to DeMolay. Those who have walked the path appreciate the opportunity given to them and became dedicated DeMolays.
The time is now for your Chapter to take the step and start a Manor and invest in your future growth. Create that steady flow of membership in those younger men eagerly waiting for the opportunity.
Success of a Lock-In
A lock-in with new members or even current members has a huge affect on them. The lock-in must be planned ahead and thought out. It can be expensive but well-worth it because everybody will have a good time. First, you have to make sure you know when you’re going to have it. It’s hard to get people to go to the lock-in if you schedule it last minute.
You need to make sure you have stuff to keep everyone busy. To have a lock-in, you need to make sure you have games, TVs, and food. You can have board games or video games but with technology becoming so large, video games are usually preferred. You’ve got to make sure you either have enough TVs or you have a schedule on how long people can play before switching. Food can be inexpensive if you have a good estimate of how many people will attend.
Always make sure that if you have new members or potential members that they have a definite involvement in the night’s activities. Make them feel welcomed and want to stay or join. Don’t be negative but help them in anyway and maybe invite them to take your position so that they can play a round in the games. Once you have everything planned out and ready to go there’s only one last thing for you to do and that’s have fun!
Honor the Recognition
As DeMolays, we strive to achieve awards and are sometimes fortunate enough to receive the honors which were developed by the founder of our great Order. I try to emulate the honor that has been bestowed on me as a Jurisdictional Officer each and every day. In my career through DeMolay, I have been the recipient of many Chapter awards as well as State recognition and each one is as meaningful as the last. No matter how many awards I may receive though, there is a time and place to be recognized and then it is my duty to continue t strive for greatness through helping others in DeMolay and my daily life.
Even though there are some awards that not everyone can receive, we all have come together and remain brothers to serve the same purposes which animate us all. As members progress through the ranks in their Chapters, they must always lay aside the petty distinction of official position and work loyally with each other to advance our Order.
Every young man in DeMolay has the highest honor, and that it being a part of the brotherhood which we all value. Our friends and family involvement is the true reward for the membership we can enjoy in DeMolay. It’s an honor to serve Missouri DeMolay and it is the best award I could have ever received when I joined.
Demolay has seven Obligatory days in each calendar year - they are always the same time each year. The next one coming up is on the closest Sunday to March 18th which is Devotional day, on this day we are to take reverence to religion and worship the God whom we believe in. There are many things you can do for this day, such as going to a church, synagogue, or other places of worship. There are also ways you can recognize a religious leader for all the service they do. There are even options of participating in the religious service itself.
Education day is a day for the respect and honor of teachers, the date for this is a day convenient to the Chapter, so it can be observed any day. Some things that Chapters can do is host a dinner honoring each DeMolays teacher they respect the most. Also a Chapter may have members present a certificate of appreciation to an outstanding teacher. One of the best things in my opinion to do is to have a Chapter research into what their future careers are and see what they can find out about it.
Between May 1st and June 21st the Obligatory day of parents is in season and should be very much honored as Filial Love is our first preceptor and as young men, we all need to know that our parents love us most of all. We are very important to them and they give us their all to make us the proper young men we should be. On this day there are many activities that can be done, such as having a special meeting just for parents, host a mother son dance, host a father son fishing day, and my personal favorite out of all is having the Flower Talk performed - this ceremony is beyond the most important in my life and has brought on even more respect into what my mother has done for me in everyday life.