The Lincoln Degree

“The Last Full Measure”

Members of the Valley of Rockville Centre AASR NMJ performed “The Last Full Measure” aka the Lincoln Degree, Masonic Drama. For Springfield Gardens Lodge No 1057.
The title “The Last Full Measure” is an important line in the Gettysburg Address. It’s a terrific degree and has elements of Abraham Lincoln’s greatness and it celebrates the universal Brotherhood of Freemasonry. You might remember the letter at the opening of the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” The degree is another tool of the Scottish Rite to help lodges attract members or to educate the public about the beautiful time-honored principles of our gentle craft.

Pictured: Members of the Valley of Rockville Centre AASR NMJ

What was really meaningful to me was the stories presented were about how brother Freemasons cared for each other despite being on opposite ends of the American Civil War. I am not sure if we realize the depth of this. Of how this Brotherhood transcends not only political lines but firing lines as well. President Lincoln’s desire for unity in our country was so present in the behavior of masons he expressed that the petition he had been given by a lodge that he would submit as soon as he had the opportunity. Hearing his letter to the mother who lost five sons in battle was powerful. His words were so meaningful the letter is now timeless.
One of the themes in the Masonic Drama was the President was ashamed because when he gave the speech at Gettysburg no one applauded, the silence was so awkward he was sure it was a complete failure. Little did he know it would become one of the most famous speeches in American History. The hope is… If Freemasons can be a beacon of light during one of the most trying times in American History then we can be a beacon of light in our current times. We can and will rise above all obstacles if and when we stick together! Remember the most important tool of a Master Mason. None of us have it all together but together… we have it all!

Image: The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo credit: Bro. Michael Arce

Written by: VM Michael LaRocco Past Master of Lynbrook-Massapequa Lodge No 822 Assistant Grand Lecturer, Nassau District Meritorious Service Award (MSA), NY COD Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ
VW Michael LaRocco