Observing the Craft is a manifesto of sorts for the observant Mason, who seeks quality over quantity in every aspect of Masonry. It is a stringent argument for the Symbolic (Blue) Lodge as the ne plus ultra of the Craft, asking that Masons put actions behind their statements that ‘nothing is higher than the third degree.’ It is a book that calls for nothing but the utmost personal effort and commitment to be put into the operation of a Masonic Lodge, and the experience of a Masonic meeting, in search of the transformational experience which Masons define as ‘making good men better’.
Praise for Observing the Craft:
‘In an engaging and balanced style, Andrew Hammer presents a compelling rationale for a more thorough observance of Masonry’s best traditions within today’s lodges. At a time when Freemasons are clamoring for education and quality events, Observing the Craft is an ideal sourcebook for lodge leaders who desire to realize positive and lasting change.’
-Shawn Eyer, Editor, Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Research & Letters
‘The greatest value of this book is that it stimulates thought along lines I have found nowhere else in writing, and reinforces much of my own thinking that has been stimulated by Masonic philosophy over [my] 50 years [in the Craft]. I encourage its reading especially by newly made Master Masons, so that their journey through the Craft is with a greater gained understanding of what it is and why, and not clouded by the extemporaneous. It is a defining explanation of what we are and why we are today.’
-R:.W:.Thomas W. Jackson, Executive Secretary, World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges
‘Without a doubt, Observing the Craft is the most important Masonic book of the last 100 years, and probably the next 100 years as well… Andrew Hammer will be mentioned in the same breath as Mackey, Wilmshurst and Macoy for generations.’
-M:.W:.Michael Halleran, Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Kansas; Editor, Journal of the Masonic Society
‘Andrew Hammer’s new book Observing The Craft – The Pursuit of Excellence In Masonic Labor and Observance is a celebration of the preeminence of Craft Masonry. This book describes the elements of an Observant Lodge and how implementing those elements yield a transformer experience for each of its members. Observant Masonry has its distractions and Brother Hammer points out that Freemasonry is diminished when emphasis is focused away from its mission of promoting self awareness and self improvement. Observing The Craft is a must read for those men who value Craft Masonry and are seeking a method to restore its greatness.’
-M:. W:. John ‘Bo’ Cline, Past Grand Master of Alaska; Past President, The Masonic Society
‘This treatise, written with passion and conviction, leads the reader back onto the true Masonic path, one from which he will never again be tempted to stray. Every Lodge should read it, and have a copy available for study. The results could lead to re-generation of the Craft, and to richer and more meaningful Masonic pursuits for all.’
-Julian Rees, Past Junior Grand Deacon, United Grand Lodge of England; Contributing Editor, Freemasonry Today; Author, So You Want To Be A Freemason?
‘If “blessed are the peacemakers”, there is surely also a blessing for those who nudge us out of our zone of comfort and encourage us to think and re-evaluate. Such an one is Worshipful Brother Hammer. This book is edgy in some ways, controversial in others; but no one can doubt the pure and bright sincerity which shines through its pages. It is well written, thoughtful, and even genteel in its tone. Above all, it fulfills the highest challenge of a book. It makes you ponder.’
–Jim Tresner 33º, Grand Cross; Book Review Editor, The Scottish Rite Journal