Today I had my first experience at a Masonic Funeral. There have been a few other opportunities since I've been a Mason, but I never seemed to be around at the time they came up. This one was held at our Lodge room for brother Bob Dove.
I learned a few new things about Masonic practice. First, at a Funeral, none of the officers wear their usual Aprons, and every brother in attendance instead wears a white apron only, also lapel pins and other emblems of the craft were subtly discouraged (although permitted), to help emphasize the important symbols at the Funeral: The white lambskin apron, and the sprig of Acacia, and to show deference and honor to the deceased.
At first I was a little surprised by this, but then I found beauty in it, as it sets the "Lodge of Sorrow" apart from our regular Lodge meetings. Ironically, this coincides with Brother Ben Rowe's blog article for Today, which is partially in response to a comment I left on another post of his. I guess Ben and I seem to be playing like a tennis match, hitting the ball back and forth.
I took the opportunity to wear my original Lambskin apron, which I received as an Apprentice, and which has been tucked away in the closet since that time. It is typical for Brethren in Oregon to wear their original Apron only during their EA, FC, and MM degrees, then save it "to be placed upon the coffin which encloses their lifeless remains." We are not forbidden to wear it again, but the Lodge provides a stack of white linen aprons in the Tyler's room, which are for use during our regular meetings. I made the decision a while back that I wanted to wear my lambskin one instead of the linen because it would mean more to me. But, alas! It was too late, or so I thought, for I had become an officer, and one day I will wear a Past Masters apron, never again to wear the plain white Apron. But now I found a chance, in this Lodge of Sorrow, so I wore my lambskin Apron. I like to think that my Apron appreciated it too, as it got to say goodbye to one of its dear friends, and get a preview of what will some day be its own ultimate destiny. (I don't believe that my apron can really see and think, just for the record.)
In closing, Brother Dove was a good man and Mason. I did not know him as well as I should have liked to, but he has always been there in the Lodge, setting a good example of friendship and helpfulness. He will be missed.
Steps to the Endowment.
2 years ago