Category: Masonic Education

A category for grouping all blogs that pertain to Masonic Education so it can be more easily referenced

Due Bounds toward ALL Mankind…Especially a Brother Mason.

Just what, exactly, are we charged with? Don’t argue, fuss, and fight? Don’t rob, insult, carry falsehoods, gossip, slander, tales, or criticism of one another? Allow all to have their own opinions, and respectfully agree or disagree? Park our Egos outside? Of Course. Why? Harmony is the strength of ALL Societies – especially OURS!

Where do these lofty precepts originate? Our Book of Law. God’s inestimable gift to Man, as the rule and guide in all our affairs. We are charged with these things, because our Spiritual Base demands them of us.

How is it that we forget the greatest of all Commandments often? Treat others as you would be treated, and Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

This great society of friends and brothers… co-equals in path, word, and deed, professing a deep and abiding faith in a God of our understanding, have sworn a moral oath to do such. It IS – that Strong Cord of a Moral Obligation.

We believe in, and practice Charity. It is written into our Masonic law. Is Charity only about financial alms? When we heard “You will contribute to his relief, as liberally as his necessities may require”… Is that only to help feed, clothe, or shelter him? 

What is an amenable, kind, and charitable attitude toward another, other than Charity?

Brethren, we are required, by our obligations, to circumscribe ourselves and our behaviors…not just in the Lodge – but in the world. Another passage from the Book of Law says, “We all fall short.” We must continually be on guard, and be reminded, by ourselves and each other – that we set the example in the world, as Masons. If we are to “Make Good men Better” we need to BE better. It is WE who present to the profane world a spirit of kindness, love and good order.

Masonic Etiquette – Part 9

Masonic Etiquette Concludes this evening: With ~ Rituals, Signs, Speeches.. and Visitors.

Rituals ~ The geniality and laughter we all love and share in Lodge…at our greeting time, at our dinner tables, and in our Stated Communications…

Are left behind the closed door when it comes to our rituals – especially our Degrees. According to Masonic Etiquette, Mirth has no place in Ritual work, as does applause during a ritual, for a well executed part. Applause afterward is perfectly acceptable, as it is part of paying the wages of the craft, if any be due, to acknowledge and recognize excellence or selfless service.

Why? You ask? 

Ritual is designed to be effective in the inner life of a candidate…a genuine moral and spiritual experience by which he enters a new kind of life — wherein he will stand obligated to perform duties, and make sacrifices of time and treasure; The Obligations he will take will be morally and Masonically binding upon him, and must be genuine, or he will be led into harmful hypocrisy, if ritual degenerates into play.

The Third Degree especially is of the highest possible seriousness, not a drama or a play but a genuine spiritual experience, for the moral and human lessons portrayed. Theatricality strikes a false note. Costumes must be in good taste and historically correct. There can be no discussion of this ritual in public, nor any pictures of it.

Signs ~ including the due-guard, belong to the inner essence and esoteric life of the craft. Accordingly they should always be given with careful accuracy, and with full decorum. They are honors and tokens of respect, as a salute. No brother should be seated while giving or receiving them, and each will always give them when entering or retiring from a Lodge while at Labor.

Speeches ~ An invited speaker will be accorded courtesy and hospitality as a guest of the Lodge, whether he is a Masonic Speaker or a member of the community. The Worshipful master will have sway as to the topic and length of the talk, as well as to when he will speak. All speeches of a Controversial, Political or Sectarian nature are to be prohibited, so as not to create disharmony or discord within the Brotherhood and the Lodge itself. A speaker who disregards this admonition, even after being made aware, is guilty of a serious breach of etiquette, and will be subject to severe criticism.

The propriety of mentioning to the speaker that off-color stories or verbiage is an affront to Masonic Etiquette is absolutely necessary, lest he offend the Fraternity, The Worshipful Master, the Brethren present, and Deity, who is ALWAYS an invited guest. Vulgarity is counter to Masonic Principles. He can be humorous, without being bawdy, and it will add to the enjoyment of his talk.

These apply not only in a tyled Lodge, but also on public occasions, where the Craft assemble as Masons, and especially if ladies are present.

Visitors ~ Finally tonight, we’ll discuss our visitors, as well as. when we are visitors at other lodges. A Lodge’s sense for that which is fitting – it’s – and our own instinct for hospitality and geniality toward visitors is revealed in the manner in which we receive our visitors. A Masonic visitor expects to be asked/challenged/examined, but in a kindly and considerate manner, and the one challenging need to remember that he represents and is speaking for, not only the Lodge but also the Worshipful Master. 

There is no place for trickery or to show off superior knowledge or any form of intentional humiliation. That is unkind, unMasonic in spirit…and a violation of Masonic Etiquette. The only duty one has, is to determine that the visitor is a Mason in good standing.

The Senior Deacon should be advised and informed of his presence, and then introduced if he is admitted. Delegations of Brethren visiting other Lodges is a fine custom, and encourages brotherly camaraderie between Lodges. The Worshipful Master should recognize them particularly if Worshipful Masters, Past Masters or Grand Lodge Officers are in the delegation.

Worshipful Master…This concludes Masonic Etiquette…

Thank you Worshipful Master and Brethren!

Masonic Etiquette – Part 8

Tonight we’ll cover Prayer, Preparation room and Punctuality!

Prayer ~ Belief in a Power greater than ourselves predates organized religion by Tens of Thousands of Years. Humankind has always offered prayer to that Power simply because they knew things that happened were beyond their own making – and beyond their own understanding, developing a Faith in the unseen. As Masons we are taught never to enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the Blessing of Deity. Prayer supports the Most elementary character of the Craft. Our belief is the Essence – NOT – an Accident – of Masonry.

It stands at the Heart of the Fraternity just as the Altar stands at the Center of the Lodge, as a symbol of our Faith and Practice. The Chaplain Performs Prayer with Deliberateness – Not with Haste – but with earnestness, sincerity and dignity, befitting the genuine character of the Craft.

The Worshipful Master and the Brethren will discontinue all work or memorandum, will rise, and keep absolute silence while Prayer is offered. Our Prayers are always universal in homage to our God, so as to not insult or disturb anyone’s personal religious practice. To do otherwise is Un-Masonic.

Preparation room ~ The wise Worshipful Master will use every available precaution to see that good taste, courtesy, and thoughtful kindness are displayed in the Preparation Room…because it is where all degrees begin. It is here that a Candidate receives his earliest first hand impressions of the Lodge – to it’s requirements and practices – and is often nervous, ill at ease and apprehensive fearing that he might disappoint.

If he finds a room littered, full of frivolity and loud laughter, he may develop an erroneous impression of Freemasonry that will last for years. By showing respect for him, he will see that the Lodge is worthy of respect. Clothing him in the ritualistic garb and preparing his mind for what is to follow, should be done with tact, by Brethren of considerate spirit (pleasant, gentle and reassuring)… who realize that this entrance into Masonry is NO mere formality. It is a serious and fateful experience.

When he is led through the Inner Door, he should find silence, and each Officer ready and alert to their specific function. The Stewards are to maintain decorum prior to entrance, as the Candidates are in their charge. The Senior Steward is asked “How should a Candidate be prepared?” And when answered, ordered that “when you have thus prepared them” – in the manner the Senior Steward described. By a proper atmosphere and attitude toward the Candidate, his respect for the Institution will be enhanced and inspired.

Punctuality ~ Is, as described in the Law, the essence of the contract wherein a Mason stands – to his Lodge. For a Lodge, its Officers AND its members not to be punctual is a discourtesy…to each. If the Officers aren’t punctual, then the Brethren expect that and may become consciously tardy themselves. The Worshipful Master is charged with the responsibility of breaking that cycle. Falling within his authority, he must insist that his Officers be on time, and notify him in advance if they expect to be tardy or absent, so that he may make provision to fill their stations.

If the Worshipful Master will open his Lodge at the proper time prescribed in the By-Laws, with the constitutionally required number of Officers and members present, and make a practice of doing so, he will find that the members will reciprocate in kind, by expectation, also developing the habit of being on time.

Our manual makes no mention of closing, however. So as to not contribute to delaying that…

I shall CLOSE!

Thank you Worshipful Master!

Phoenix Lodge 346

Established Under the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida

240 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

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