The Guiding Light / Oct. 2015 9
The West Gate
This month, I will address lodge behavior. In studying the Grand Lodge Law book, it is very specific in how we should behave in the lodge room, the lodge itself, and out in public. The discussion might seem rather simple, but if one does not know the expectations, they might find themselves in an awkward situation. We all expect each brother to behave in a gentlemanly fashion, but there is a little more to it than just being a gentleman.
Our behavior in the lodge while constituted is very important. We should always hold the Worshipful Master in high esteem. We should also show the same respect to the Wardens and other Brothers. Brethren should never interrupt the Master. We should always stand to be recognized before speaking, and never interrupt another Brother who is speaking to the Master and the lodge. Our behavior during lodge should not be distracting, but respectful to the craft. Our language should be sincere and solemn. We should not hold side bar conversations during lodge that would detract from business.
Before and after lodge meetings, should be measured as well. We should refrain from being offensive, rude, or disrespectful to Brethren, wives, and guests. The law book makes the suggestion of avoiding politics and religion. Conversation should be free and easy so as not do cause disharmony. It is during this time that the Brethren should bond and build the fraternity.
And lastly, how we behave in public when around strangers that are not Masons is important. If in the company of Masons and non-Masons, be cautious in your words and actions. The law book states you are to salute one another in a courteous manner as you will be instructed, calling each other Brother, freely giving mutual instruction, as shall be thought expedient, without being overseen or overheard. Remember that you are in the presence of strangers and be mindful of what you say and do. Your words and actions should be respectful but do not allow the discovery of things that should not be intimated. Remember the honor of the Fraternity and the oath you took. You should act as a moral and wise man. Do not be fooled by and imposter Mason. Be careful to discover him as a true and genuine Brother.
Much of the above seems to be rather simplistic in nature, yet sometimes we forget our surroundings and become less conscious of our behavior. It can be simply summed up in this manner. Always behave like a gentleman in lodge and out. Remember the secrets and the oath you took. Be careful with our tongue. If you wish to learn more, pull out your law book and refer to Charges of a Freemason in Section VI, p. 61. Honor to the Fraternity and the Craft is paramount in your daily walk among friends and Brothers alike.
Randall S. King, Senior Warden