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The Three Great Pillars

WISDOM, STRENGTH AND BEAUTY Three, a number that has, from time immemorial, represented divinity and creation. One father and one mother joined to create a third, creation at its most fundamental form. It also represents Body, Soul, and Spirit, which closely relates to the three essential emanations of creation; the thought, the word, and the act. Even before the Christian trinity, the early mono-theists like the Zoroastrians and Mithras's as well as the pantheons of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and even the Hindus had their essential three. So, it's not surprising that our craft, though not a religion but a faith based fraternity, would find the number three in much of its work. Three is also the first number that stands on its own. It has a beginning, and middle and an end. A stool will not stand without at least three legs; it also represents the superfice of geometry with dimensions of length, breadth and thickness. Tonight, I'm going to speak for a few moments about one of the threes in our work. When a candidate is first initiated he is released from the cable tow and then he is brought from Darkness to see the light by which Masons work. The first objects presented to his view are the three Great Lights of Masonry visible by aid of three lessor lights representing the Sun, Moon, and Master of the lodge. He will also likely notice that all of the brethren of the lodge are standing in two columns on either side of the altar. The initiate is told that there are Three Great Pillars that support every lodge, denominated Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty because we are taught that there should be Wisdom to Contrive, Strength to Support, and Beauty to Adorn every great and important undertaking and from the perspective of Freemasonry there is no greater or more important undertaking than that of making a new mason.

We also learn that these three pillars are represented by the three principle officers of the lodge the Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens. What he may not notice is that surrounding him at the altar is a physical representation of those columns. The row of men to his right representing the Pilar of Beauty, those to his left representing the Pillar of Strength, but also the Master of the Lodge, the Senior Warden and himself representing the Pillar of Wisdom, as he kneels at the alter receiving his first taste of Masonic wisdom from the Worshipful Master. In the opening of every lodge we hear that our three principle officers of the lodge, as with any great and important undertaking, represent these pillars. The Junior Warden being the Beauty and Glory of t