Category: Masonic Education

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

Masonic Etiquette – Part 4

Masonic Etiquette Continues this evening with 3 Ds:

  • Discussion in the Lodge
  • District Deputy Grand Master…and
  • Dress

So Let’s Dig…in! (Sorry…Couldn’t resist!)

Discussion ~ [in the Lodge]. Last stated communication, I mentioned the Worshipful Master’s privilege to quiet sidebar discussions in lodge which may get a little loud, politely and simply by a single rap of the gavel. But, Tonight we’ll talk about uses of discussion in our regular affairs. 

There are some Don’ts which we’ll cover first. 

  • We all know that sectarian discussion as well as political discussion are not to be discussed in open Lodge. This is to prevent differences of opinion or prejudices from causing strife or argument. 
  • Anything pertaining to OUTSIDE, NON-MASONIC subjects, by which  Masons might be divided into classes, feuds, schisms, or opposed schools of thought is strictly forbidden.
  • It is also forbidden in Lodge to discuss a petitioner, or to reveal to another Brother how he has voted, or to try to persuade another Brother to vote a certain way. Everyone must be free to vote his own conscience.
  • All uses of personalities, expressions of ill will, acrimony or bitterness have NO place in discussions. Slurs upon the Lodge or its Officers, The Grand Lodge or its Officers, the Fraternity Itself or flippant and discourteous remarks are condemned by common courtesy and Masonic Etiquette.

The Do’s? We can…and do love to…have brotherly fun toward ourselves and others, as an expression of camaraderie and affection for our fellows. 

And again…a Brother wishing to speak, must rise, wait until recognized by the Worshipful master, and use the 5 Bs! ( If you don’t remember them from the first lesson…they are – Be Brief Brother Be Brief! Don’t use your time to deliver a speech!

District Deputy Grand Master ~ He is the Personal representative of the Grand Master. When he is visiting our Lodge, formally or not, HE should be accorded all respect, and addressed as such. If an official visit, he should be received in accordance with provisions in our Masonic law. He comes to us charged with performing duties ordered by the Grand Lodge, all of which having been voted on and approved by the Order – including US. 

He is to be accorded Grand Honors. His duties and remarks are of supreme importance to the Craft, and as such, any other Lodge affairs are subordinate, and may be added, only with his permission.

The master of the Lodge must, according to the Constitution, submit to the District Deputy, all Lodge Records for his Inspection PRIOR to his visit.

There is a manual for the District Deputy Grand master’s visit, so I will move on…

Dress ~ Remember our heading – Masonic Etiquette…Proper dress in Lodge is an honor to the Lodge – AND a mark of respect to the Craft. Proper etiquette demands that we dress “In Good Taste” when attending Lodge. Wearing proper attire shows respect to the Brotherhood, and expresses the Dignity of Masonry to others. It is also proper that we enter the Lodge Room with Apron properly aligned, and any other regalia or jewels in due order. 

Sometimes, improper dress cannot be helped, due to work or other such conflicts, but remember to bring suitable clothing to change into prior to the opening when possible.

Formal wear by Officers is a mark of distinction. The prerogative of doing so falls to the Worshipful master. All Officers will wear it, if requested by the Worshipful master, and the Hat worn by the Master of the Lodge will reflect the formality of dress – no soft hat, straw hat or ball cap.

So there you have it…Discussion, District Deputy and Dress…3 Ds 

and a final “D” FOR ME…………..

 I am…Dismissed!

Thank You Worshipful Master!

Masonic Etiquette – Part 3

Our 5 Minute Masonic Etiquette Continues this evening – again -Alphabetically ~

We’ve covered many things so far. Important Things, Little things, and some forgotten things. But Our recap list is getting long now, so let’s move on.

Tonight we’ll cover 2 “Bs” and 2 “Cs”

First ~ The:

Bible ~ As we know, The Holy Bible is the inestimable gift from God to Man – and the rule and guide to his faith and practice. Masonic Regulations prescribe that the Bible in the Lodge Room be “Unadorned”. 

That doesn’t preclude presentation bibles having Masonic emblems on the Back cover or pages inside. It must be presented to each new member if the Lodge authorizes its presentation, and when presented, a short and dignified message as to its place and significance in Masonry should be given, reminding us all of it’s binding effect upon every Mason.

Next is:

Brother ~ The term Brother, in Freemasonry, is Neither Sentimental NOR Familiar! It is a TITLE as much as is Worshipful, Right Worshipful, or  Most Worshipful…and must always be used as such. It is honor, and respect. We address the Craft as the “Brethren”, do we not?

A man does not attend a Lodge Communication as a private individual. He is not just another Juan, Dick or Harry…but is here in his capacity as a Mason.

In Open Lodge 2 things: 

  1. We must always remember to address each other by Brother. Sometimes we misplace the name in our minds. It can be Brother David, or Brother Finkelstein, or Brother Kyle if Brother Derl can’t remember Konstantin or Chelnakov! and…
  2. Always refer to officers in the Lodge as such, Like Brother Senior Warden…with the exception of Worshipful Master…and Grand Lodge officers by their correct title – no matter how long or tongue twisting .

Next is:

Chaplain ~ Our BROTHER, the Chaplain…is an Officer in the Lodge, and is seated to the Left and in front of the Worshipful Master. The opening and closing prayers for our Lodge ceremony may be offered by Brother Chaplain while kneeling at the Altar or standing in his station – at the OPTION of the Worshipful Master. He may add appropriate words of his own in non-sectarian language, if he desires.

The Scriptures assigned to Circumambulations ( another “C” for another time ) should be recited as found in the Monitor by the Chaplain while standing at his station.

And  last for tonight:

Correspondence ~ When addressing a letter to a Brother Mason, do NOT put his title on the Envelope. It should be addressed as HON: (for Honorable) Al Dahlberg for example. Then in the Salutation of the Letter it should read:  R: W: Al Dahlberg, address, and then Dear BROTHER Dahlberg.

That, My Brethren,  is 2 Bs and 2 Cs ~ and YOU will “C” me no more.

Thank You Worshipful Master.

Masonic Etiquette – Part 2

Tonight, our 5 Minute Masonic Etiquette continues alphabetically with 2 As and 1 B. But first let’s review from Last Communication. Last time we covered ~ 

Addressing the Chair – rising to be recognized before speaking

Aged and Infirm –  showing love and assistance to our elder brothers

Altar – its sacred position in the Lodge

Tonight we’ll look at :

Etiquette in the… 

Ante-Room. The moment a Brother comes into a Masonic hall to attend a Communication, he comes under the sway of Masonic Etiquette. If a Brother is late, he should be quiet in his conversation, so as not to be heard inside the Lodge Room, and his demeanor to anyone there be courteous and respectful.

This is all the more true if there are candidates present, waiting their call to the Preparation Room, lest we give them the impression that levity, frivolity, vulgar joking or other forms of disrespect to the order are countenanced by the Craft. This would be a misrepresentation of the Lodge, and a discourtesy to the Worshipful Master, who stands to all candidates as host in the name of his lodge.

The Tyler has it especially in charge to see that the Ante-room is his own particular quarters, and observes the same decorum as all other precincts of the Temple. His proper implement, the sword represents his authority to maintain order at the doors, and to see that the portals are not profaned by disrespect. He will understand his own art, to see that the ante-room is clean, in order, not littered, and a fitting place through which to make and entrance into the lodge.

No person is to be admitted into a Masonic Lodge unless by permission of the Worshipful Master. When a visitor appears, it is the duty of the Tyler to notify the Worshipful Master. The Worshipful Master may appoint a committee to examine the visitor, and then report to the Worshipful Master, his qualifications. If he has convinced the committee that he is a Mason, The Worshipful Master will most probably grant him permission to enter.

If Lodge has begun, a Brother does not enter the lodge until permission is obtained from the Worshipful Master, through first the Tyler, then the Junior Deacon. The Tyler must see that he is properly clothed – that his apron and other regalia are in order. He must then enter through the outer door, quietly, as to not attract attention, salute the Worshipful Master and be seated.

When the Lodge is open, The Inner Door from the Ante-room must be kept locked, except when the preparation room is being used to prepare candidates, to keep brethren from entering or retiring through it. This applies to Past Masters and Grand Lodge Officers, as much as it does to does to any other brother. The Inner Door is for Candidate Use, and to use it in any other manner is a disturbance to ritual. It is the Tyler’s job to see this is strictly enforced.

The next is The : 

Apron – The Apron as we know, is an emblem of Innocence. It should be clean, and white in color.  It is the badge of a Mason, and is to be worn with pride and honor to the Fraternity.

Officers should wear the apron assigned to the office they were installed into for that year.

Past Masters should wear their Past Masters apron, which may be of any design except for Gold fringe or accents, which are reserved for the Grand Lodge.

The apron should be worn UNDER the coat, unless you are wearing a button up double breasted or Overcoat.

And Last for this evening, The :

Ballot – The Ballot is both Secret…And Inviolable. When it is taken, it is fateful for the Candidate – and Momentous for the Lodge. Masonic Etiquette requires that the Lodge Room be in complete silence, and the Officers at their stations with dignity. The Grand Lodge makes discussion of the ballot a Masonic Offense. 

Except for the Holy Bible, it – the Ballot Box – is the most sacred thing on the Altar.  Every Mason owes to his Lodge the duty of protecting it from poor material. (Nothing goes into it but the voting implements.)

Every mason owes to every petitioner a fair ballot – the ONLY protection the petitioner has against unfair discrimination, and unreasonable prejudice.

The Upright Man and Mason, true to his obligation and the tradition of the Craft, will never allow personal spite to influence his behavior at the ballot box.

That’s 2 more As and a B……and I shall BE…     – Gone.

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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