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.