Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Masonic Funeral

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.


FD2L said...

I haven't attended a Masonic funeral yet as I will only go to a funeral if I know the deceased.

I had the oppertunity to wear my lambskin apron, when the Grand Master of Texas came and spoke at the Alamo. I have to say, that it felt good to wear it again.

Unknown said...

FDL2 I hope that you will change your mind and attend Masonic funerals. It is a duty that we undertook to each other when we became Masons.

The wearing of white aprons exclusively indicates that, especially in Death, we are all equal.

The graveside service is an opportunity to demonstrate not only "the sincerity of our past esteem", but also, "our steady attachment to the principles of the Order."

I have presided at the Masonic service in more than 100 instances, and the response, often by a stranger stopping me on the street and thanking me for the regard shown his relative, has been humbling, powerful, and genuine.

Many times I have been told that the Masons at the funeral, though they may have never met the deceased Brother, were the only ones who showed true regard for the Deceased and his family.

You will have done Masonry, the family, and your community a service every single time you participate in this duty.

Richard said...

Friday November 13, 2009 I will attend a Masonic Funeral for a brother of mine. He will be wearing the appron he recieved from his home Lodge in Tenino Washington in 1947. I will honor him by wearing the apron I received from my home Lodge in Santa Rosa, Ca in 1994. I will have my Past Masters apron with me, but it will stay in the case.

I know that my Brother will appreciate this honor. For you see my Brother is also my Father.

"Soft and safe be thy resting place.".

Al Tate said...

As a funeral director and a Past Master the MFR has a special place for me. Having done more than 200 Masonic Funerals, I am putting together a paper for the directors in my area, both for continuing education for them but to the brothers as well. I appreciate your comments as well as your sentiments.
I wear my father's white leather apron at all my Masonic funerals. He died a month before I was initiated in Newton, NC. and we did not use it when he was cremated.
At the time I knew little of the Craft, but as yellowed and wrinkled as it is, I now hold the apron dear to me. I encourage all our new brothers to wear their aprons any chance they can. A worn out apron is like a worn out bible. Peace be with you......Al

Anonymous said...

Masonry is santanic. They portray themselves for being good, by doing charity to different communities. New members pledge themselves for this cult, and most of them have been decieved. Masons, knowingly, or unknowing worship lucifer 'the light.' Back in the bible days, egyptians worshipped idol gods. what does egyptian symbolism have anything good to with christians? christians aren't supposed to the moon and the stars. As or if a mason gets promoted to higher rankings, then he will see that masons worship lucifer. People please do your research

Anonymous said...

Obviously the person who wrote that Masonry is connected with Satan has not done any research nor knows nothing about the craft. Does he not realize that the light we refer to are the words spoken by God at the creation of the world? Genesis chapter one verse three. "And God said "Let there be light!" and there was light".
Is this why he labels himself "Anonymous"? Because he does not want anyone to know who he is?

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