To Await A Time With Patience
Explaining The Chamber of Reflection
As one observes the increasing interest among Masons in the history and meaning of the various ceremonies of the Craft, one notices that one of the most popular objects of that interest is the Chamber of Reflection, a room meant to be used for the placement of a candidate before the commencement of his initiation. The purpose of such a room is to give the candidate a period of time to meditate and reflect on what he is about to undertake.
As this idea has recently become more intriguing to brethren, it behooves us to seek some kind of clarification amongst ourselves as to what this procedure is, and why it might be considered important to the initiation of a man into Freemasonry.
This kind of ceremony—of preparation for initiation by means of a period of isolation— has been with us since the beginning of recorded history, in any number of basic initiatic rites. It is not anything strange or alien to the human experience. It is, however, incredibly transformative in the sense that it allows the candidate to put away the everyday world he left behind when he entered the temple, and focus his mind properly for what he is about to experience.
That is what we ask of the postulant in any case. We ask him to reflect on what he is about to do and why, so that he knows he does it of his own free will and accord, and therefore the Lodge can know that as well. Truly, in a world where so many people do things senselessly, without thinking, we need reflection and contemplation before our actions.
But the idea of such a contemplative space is rooted not only in the practices of most initiatic ceremonies; it is also rooted in the earliest days of the Craft.