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A sloppy manner of saluting, of approaching the East or any other station , of standing, and of speaking to an officer, is a reflection on the Lodge for a failure to give to the office that respect which belongs to it.


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If a Master exacts of every member, and of every other officer, a faithful rendering of the form of etiquette that is to be accorded to his own office, it will create a more faithful observance of the form at every other station or place. The substance of an examination is fixed by the Constitutions of Masonry and our Methodical Digest. The manner in which it is to be conducted is the focus of etiquette and protocol. The Examining Committee withdraws with the visitor to a private place.

They are in an official relationship with him and therefore their manners are formal. They must keep in mind that their only purpose is to satisfy themselves that the visitor is, or is not, a Master Mason in good standing from a Regular Lodge under a Grand Jurisdiction with whom we are in amity. They are NOT called upon to test his proficiency in the ritual or to be personally inquisitive. If the Examining Committee has the right to satisfy itself that a visitor is a Master Mason in good standing in a Regular Lodge, the visitor also has a right to make sure that the Lodge he comes to visit is itself a Regular Lodge.

He may, therefore, ask to see its charter. But what if the Lodge is already in session and the charter is hanging on the wall over the Secretary's desk?? It is etiquette to grant his request to see the charter; on the other hand it is etiquette that we not disturb the Lodge by going to fetch it. In such an impasse dilemma the etiquette of the Lodge should take precedence. The visitor should be told in a friendly manner, that if he wishes to examine the charter, he must come at another time, and before Lodge is opened. If the visitor satisfies the committee, and if the visitor himself is satisfied, the visitor as yet possesses no right to enter until after the Worshipful Master has consented.

The Committee should conduct the visitor to the Anteroom and introduce him to the Tiler who in turn ceremoniously hands him over to the Junior Deacon. Visiting is a privilege, not a right to seek to visit a Lodge is every Master Mason's right and a Master may for good reasons of his own, refuse admittance to any visitor except the DDGM and Grand Lodge Officers. If the Master does refuse, Decorum requires that he call the Senior Deacon to his side and privately instruct him to go to the Anteroom to instruct the Tiler not to admit the visitor. A visitor may be refused admittance for reasons that do not reflect on him personally.

Such an occasion might be when a particularly sensitive piece of Lodge business is about to be conducted or if a reprimand is to be administered. Before I'm taken to task by my Brethren, let me state at the outset that I know the Grand Lodge of Virginia has not adopted and published any single list or set of rules that are "labeled Landmarks.

Therefore, the phrase "observe the Ancient Landmarks" is, to me, another way of saying, "Do not act in such a way as to destroy Freemasonry. They are to be found in the Book of Constitutions adopted by Grand Lodge in the year These "Landmarks" have a place in history. They focus on certain fundamental, ageless practices of ethical and moral behavior. There are some who say that Masonic etiquette, as a whole, is a basic principle and itself can be considered a Landmark.

If etiquette were to drop out of Masonry, the Craft as we know it would deteriorate, disintegrate and in short order would cease to exist. Protocol dictates that any correspondence intended for the Grand Master, District Deputy Grand Master, Grand Secretary, other Grand Officers, or members of Grand Committees in their official capacities which call for an official reply, shall be addressed in full and correct form. Even if a Grand Officer or Committeeman may be an intimate friend this rule is binding because, since the letter calls for official action, it may be referred to other Grand Officers, may go into an official file, or may even appear afterwards in printed records, in which event personal familiarity is out of place.

It is also a courtesy to a Grand Officer to include in the letter the writer's Lodge its name and number , address, and also its District.

Etiquette of Freemasonry

Since there are many Lodges in our Jurisdiction, no Grand Officer can be expected to carry each and every one in his memory. The letter should state the writer's own position in the Lodge, whether as a member, officer, past officer, or committeeman. To include such data in the correspondence may save the recipient the time and trouble to look it up.

Also, and sometimes this point is important, makes a more prompt reply to your inquiry possible. In some instances a letter addressed to the Grand Master or Grand Secretary may contain subject matter which will effect another Grand Officer or will be of special interest to him. In that event, a photo-copy or clean carbon copy may be mailed to the latter. When this is done, the correct form is to append a postscript to the letter to that effect, in this form: A hat is presented to the Worshipful Master during his Investiture as reminder to the Lodge that it his province, alone, to remain covered, while the rest of the Brethren remain uncovered during Lodge sessions and other ceremonial occasions.

The origin of this beautiful tradition is said to have been founded upon the wearing of a crown by King Solomon as a visible mark of refined dignity and authority. He should always remove his hat during prayer, in the presence of death including. The Master's hat should generally match his dress; formal silk hat for full dress, a Homburg style with a Tuxedo, and an ordinary hat for ordinary dress. Frivolous caps should never be worn. On Masonic occasions where non-Masons are invited, there are three rules of etiquette and protocol to be applied:.

Non-Masons are not asked or expected to participate in any ceremonies or formalities which are themselves Masonic. The non-Masons are present as guests; the Masons are the hosts; the guest-host relationship is therefore observed. There are some usages of etiquette which belong to esoteric Masonry and are never employed when non-Masons are present. Other usages are not esoteric and as such may be employed as are appropriate, at the discretion of the Worshipful Master.

The order-of-precedence protocol observed during Masonic processions, for example, are non-esoteric and may be used when non-Masons are present and at a Masonic banquet when ladies are guests. If a Lodge member believes that he has good cause to object to something that is occurring, or believes that something said or done wrongs himself or another, or questions the appropriateness or legality of something said or done, there is a specific way that rules of Masonic Etiquette and the practice of decorum would have him act:.

He rises and salutes the Master. He waits until the Master recognizes him. He states his objection, criticism, etc. He salutes and is seated. The Master makes a reply or takes action. The proceedings are resumed.

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In any event it is not for the member himself to decide or to take action, for that belongs to the Master. He merely states his objection and does not elaborate or discuss it, unless requested to do so by the Master. The member himself is finished with the episode when he has spoken and re-seated himself. In American Grand Jurisdictions there are one or two common variants of the uses of each Masonic title; the correct form for a particular Grand Jurisdiction can be found in its Proceedings, usually under the heading "Roster of Officers".

In the majority of Grand Jurisdictions the titles run as follows: The Grand Master has the title of "Most Worshipful". A Past Grand Master has the same title.

Care should be given to the form used during introductions. Because that was the year he was our Grand Master. He didn't earn the status of Past Grand Master until his successor was duly elected and installed! The same general principles apply, when referring to or addressing our appointed District Deputy Grand Masters. Every Mason carries the title "Brother".

This title is employed in Lodge whenever a Mason is addressed or referred to. It is considered a major breach of good manners and propriety to address or refer to him as "Mr. In many societies an office holder reverts to the same status at the end of his term which belonged to him before.

The rule in Masonry is different. A Lodge member who has held the highest office in the Lodge has for life a Masonic position of his own. It has its own identity and recognition and carries with it the title of "Past Master". Past Masters have a standing in Masonic Law; certain duties may be assigned to them. In etiquette they are entitled to a deference which belongs to their position; in protocol they are entitled to a certain order of precedence.

On their own part, Past Masters are bound to the same rules of etiquette that is observed toward the Worshipful Master by all other members of the Lodge. The preparation room is a sanctuary for the Candidate and the officers preparing him. It is necessary that it be closed-in and that its privacy is strictly preserved. It is a breech of good manners for the candidate to be under view or made the subject of unkind remarks. The officers preparing him act with dignity and are not expected to discuss with him anything in the Degree he is being prepared for.

It is proper to review any Degrees that he has already taken and coach him to respond to questions in the same form and tense that they are asked. For example; "Is it, Answer "I do," Instead of "yes, sir" and "no, sir" which in Lodge sounds unsuitable. When during its proceedings a Lodge is disturbed by any officers or members who are conversing, rattling papers, etc.

If the proceedings are necessarily brought to a standstill, until something necessary to the proceedings has been done, and the Master sees that the wait will last for some period of time, he may tap his gavel and say, "Be at your ease". In that event, and no other case is private conversation, roving about, informal visiting, etc. If it ever becomes necessary for a Master to rebuke a member who has been unruly, he may do so after Lodge is closed, in person, and in private.

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If it is required that a rebuke be administered while the Lodge is in session, the method to be used is at the Master's discretion but, the etiquette required of him is that he shall deliver it in a friendly, even-handed manner. Decorum dictates that it shall be dispensed in a way that will not attract undue attention to the matter or create an additional disturbance. The etiquette governing the conferral of Degrees is strict. There shall be no talking, whispering, or laughing, or any disturbances during the Degree work. It is not an occasion for mirth.

There should be no needless moving about. Nothing outside the Standard Work taught by the Grand Lodge Committee on Work shall be substituted for any portion of it.

Memorization Tactics for Freemasons

If costumes are worn they must be correct and appropriate. Detailed arrangements are always completed before the Degrees begin and not improvised while the Degree is in progress. If a speaker comes a long distance and appears at the request of the Lodge, the Master should ensure that he is met at the airport, train or bus, or at some specified time and place if he comes in his own car; that he is called for and conducted to the Lodge; and that he is comfortably seated in the Lodge. He should be introduced by the Master, and such information shall be given about him as will make the Lodge to feel acquainted with him before he begins his address.

The Master, or some officer designated by him, should remain at his side after Lodge is closed. He should be escorted to his hotel, train, or to his car if he came that way. If he has training aids or other baggage he should be given assistance transporting them. At that or a subsequent meeting the Lodge should adopt a suitable resolution of thanks, a copy of which should be mailed to him by the Secretary.

A Master's title of "Worshipful Master" in his own Lodge or in another Lodge or Jurisdiction is an official title, and wherever he goes it is entitled to recognition. If his own Grand Lodge is in Annual Communication his title gains him unchallenged admittance to the floor; if he visits another Lodge, it receives deference due his rank. The converse is also true when the Presiding Officer of a body in another Rite visits a Craft Lodge or when he sits in it as a member.

Although his title has no official standing, the application of Masonic protocol requires his "correct" title to be used, as a practice of good manners, when introductions are made. An unprecedented situation may suddenly arise in any Lodge. The Master may be caught unprepared by a condition that he and the Lodge had not encountered before, and not know of any pre-set rule to go by. In most instances etiquette is not involved.

In some, etiquette is the substance of the matter. Let's suppose that you have a visitor from another Grand Jurisdiction, where Lodge customs differ radically from our own, and the visitor does something or says something unexpected. In that event the Master does not first address himself to the visitor but to his members. He explains to them that the visitor is acting according to the rules or customs in fashion in his own Jurisdiction. By indirection, he makes it clear to the visitor in what way he has acted uncommonly in this Lodge.

Masonic Etiquette Guide | Region 12 Masonic Education

However, if not specifically invited by a Member of that Lodge, you must be prepared to prove yourself. You can expect to prove yourself up to the level of the apron you are wearing. It is also courteous to advise the Lodge that you will be attending so that your presence can be included in any catering arrangements. If you plan to visit a Lodge in another Jurisdiction including Overseas it is advisable to obtain a Travelling Certificate from Grand Lodge and to have a current Notice Paper indicating that you are in good standing.

When visiting another Lodge, there are four matters that you should address after you have introduced yourself to a member of the lodge as a visitor:. No, though it is generally accepted that, to maintain decorum and uniformity, brethren square the lodge in a clockwise direction. This, amongst other things, alleviates any uncertainty or misunderstanding. However, it is only necessary to perambulate clockwise when conducting a Candidate.

Brethren should always Square the Lodge — that is, move in straight lines parallel with the walls or mosaic pavement and make right angle turns when necessary. This includes Grand Officers when making a ceremonial exit from the Lodge. In no circumstances should Brethren traverse the Lodge diagonally. White gloves may be worn with a dinner suit at the discretion of the Worshipful Master. Gloves worn in the Lodge are an emblem of equality and purity.

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Gloves must be removed in the following situations:. The Grand Master should be contacted through the Grand Secretary. This does not mean that you may not approach the Grand Master socially and talk with him, but that any matter relating to the conduct of the Craft should be directed through the Grand Secretary. In your Obligation you have committed to acknowledge all signs and summonses.

It is therefore your obligation to your Lodge to submit an apology in advance of the meeting if you are unable to attend. This is particularly important if you have a part in the Ceremony as it allows time for a substitute to prepare to take over your role. Yes — as long as the Lodge Room is not set up as a working Lodge. This means prior to the Lodge being opened or when the Lodge has moved from Labour to Refreshment. Improper solicitation results from a Brother directly asking a person to become a Freemason.

However, all Brethren are encouraged to communicate the aims and principles of Freemasonry openly by word, action and personal conduct. The various ranks in Freemasonry and their precedence may be found in the Book of Constitutions and Administrative Regulations —Regulation R2. Should a Worshipful Brother be undertaking the duties of Grand Director of Ceremonies at an Installation or similar Masonic event, then he is given the courtesy of being addressed as Very Worshipful Brother for that event only. When addressing a Brother in Lodge who is not a progressive officer, he should be addressed by Rank Very Worshipful or Right Worshipful etc.

Grace should be said as soon as the Worshipful Master has taken his place at the table. In making that decision, the Worshipful Master will consider any special feelings that Brethren may have. As to whether or not, one is standing or sitting, the Sign of Fidelity will always be adopted whilst Grace is being recited.

In all circumstances, the Director of Ceremonies will inform the Brethren while calling on the Chaplain to recite the Grace. Once the Director of Ceremonies has called the Brethren to table, all consumption of food must cease until after the Chaplain has recited Grace. The Festive Board should be considered as an extension of the meeting and all Brethren should attend unless pressing personal reasons prevent it, in which case, they should advise the Worshipful Master.

However, this arrangement may vary from Lodge to Lodge but the important consideration is to ensure that an atmosphere of fraternal brotherhood is maintained. The Worshipful Master should be seated at an appropriate position for the formalities to be conducted and for official guests to accompany him. The Immediate Past Master should be seated immediately to the left of the Worshipful Master, whilst the most important Visitor is seated on the immediate right of the Worshipful Master, with other ranking Brethren occupying further seats to the right. Ensure that Visitors are seated according to their wishes and are not left to sit at the last vacant place.

Do not reserve positions by tilting chairs. This can inhibit free movement around the room. Consider placing a napkin over the back of a chair if a reservation is essential. Lodges have different methods of paying and collecting and should make it known when inviting Brethren to the Festive Board. However it is the responsibility of all Brethren attending to see if a contribution is required and then to take the necessary steps to make the payment. Brethren should leave their glasses on the table until such time as the toast is proposed, repeat the words of the Toast e. Toasts should not be drunk from bottles.

Brethren stand for the proposition of a toast. The format of the Loyal Toast is as follows:. Pause to allow time for the Brethren, leaving their glass on the table, to stand with their hands by their sides. The same question and response are directed to the JW in the south. There is no requirement to face a photo or other representation of the Queen when the toast is given.

This toast is always given when the Grand Master or any Grand Officer is visiting the Lodge in an official capacity. Do not forget the feint. After the Honours, the D. The proposer should welcome the visitors and may, if there are not too many, ask them to stand and be recognised.

His remarks should be kept short and if possible, contain some interesting anecdote. In responding to a Toast, the form of address should be:. It is not necessary to specifically address any other rank of Mason such as Right Worshipful or Very Worshipful Brethren. Always thank the proposer and the Brethren for their response.

Stand when the responder stands and sit after he has thanked the proposer and Lodge members. Honours are given after Toasts and are usually directed by the Director of Ceremonies. However, there are two forms of Honours that are standard across the Jurisdiction:. The Worshipful Master cries. Then to our parting toast tonight, your glasses firmly drain. The Mason feels the noble truth, the Scottish peasant told The rank is but the guinea stamp, the man himself the gold.