Let us begin by defining the term "Apprentice." As an Apprentice Mason, the first step in your journey to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason has been taken.
We are sure that you found your initiation an experience you will never forget. A degree in masonry is not an isolated experience once had and then done with, but is an ever enduring privilege.
You can sit in an Apprentice Lodge to observe, to participate in, and to study its ceremonies.
Your possession of the degree is a life-long possession which you can continue to enjoy and to enter into as long as you live. As an Apprentice Mason you therefore are a learner, or beginner, in Speculative Masonry.
You have taken the first step in the mastery of our art. Certain things are expected of you.
First, you are expected to show a certain humility. As a learner, you must have guides and teachers, and you must be willing to have them lead you.
Second, you must learn the Lecture of the Degree, so as to prove your proficiency in open Lodge. The purpose of learning the lecture is for you to master it so thoroughly that its lesson will remain with you for life.
Third, you must study and improve yourself in Masonry in all other possible ways. Your Lodge will not be content merely to receive your dues; it requires that you become a real and active member.
Fourth, you will learn the rules and regulations that govern an Apprentice Mason.
As you stood in the northeast corner of the Lodge, you were taught a certain lesson concerning a cornerstone.
From that lesson, you should know that you are a cornerstone of the Craft.
It is our hope and prayer that you will prove to be a solid foundation as you proceed to the Fellow Craft Degree and then to the Master Mason Degree.
Our great Fraternity depends on new members like you to conduct its work in the years to come