It was a bit of a stumble, actually. I had, as mentioned previously, been given a trestleboard and decided on a meeting of The Duke of York. When I arrived they had unfortunately cancelled, and as my visit had gone through Grand Lodge, rather than the lodge Secretary, I hadn’t been informed. I was in luck though, as I was early and so, able to catch another lodge meeting in the building, Minerva. Got dressed in a hurry, tails and regalia, and went in.
Minerva is a typically sized Dublin lodge, with usually 12-25 in attendance, but on this occasion only six showed up. Grand Lodge had a Tyler in the building, so that made seven. And I was “press-ganged” into taking the office of Senior Deacon! I had my lines (just one, really) whispered in my ear, and I think I handled it pretty well on such short notice, and considering that I had never held an office before.
The lodge was opened and business was done, no degree. Afterwards we had a fine dinner, and a chance to talk about some of the differences between our systems.
But other than the ritual differences, I think what struck me the most was the emphasis on ordering the lodge almost as a business affair; spending time on minutes, discussing absent members, financial matters etc. See, back home the affairs of the lodge are all handled by the Master of the Chair (the WM) and his officers; what could jestingly be called an enlightened ditactorship. But I like that it frees the lodge to concentrate on doing degrees, delivering lectures and working in the temple.
I will make it a priority that the next visit has a degree on so that I can get a bit more into the ritual experience.