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masonic protocol

CHAPTER XII

THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER'S HANDBOOK

Grand Lodge, F.A.A.M. of the District of Columbia


Masonic Protocol is the formal code of etiquette for the Grand Lodge. Although the rules of the Masonic etiquette for the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia are not written down anywhere as official requirements, yet they do exist and have been transmitted from the past and accepted as the rules of polite manners and correct behavior, to be exercised while we are engaged in Masonic activities. Some of these rules may be set down as follows:

1. One of the peculiarities of the Masonic Fraternity is that a man attends a Lodge Communication or a Masonic gathering not as a private individual, but as a Master Mason. He is therefore to be addressed by his surname, i.e., "Brother Smith" rather than "Brother Bill."

2. A Masonís profane status or title should be of no concern in Masonic Lodge. His Masonic status or title are the governing criteria for his recognition in the Lodge.

3. The responsibility of every Mason is to maintain a respectful attitude toward the Grand Master, not necessarily for the sake of the man in the high office, but for the maintenance of the supreme importance of the office, The Grand Master is therefore never to be addressed at any Masonic gathering by his first name, no matter how close an individual may feel toward him. His proper address is "Most Worshipful." and when being formally received in a Lodge, he is accorded his full title, "Most Worshipful Brother (full name), Grand Master of Masons of the District of Columbia". Past Grand Masters are addressed as "Most Worshipful Brother (full name), Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia."

4. The Worshipful Master must be shown the same respect and courtesy we show the Grand Master. He should be addressed at all times as "Worshipful" and when an individual rises to speak or when called upon by the Worshipful Master he should salute the Master with the proper mode of recognition, both when he rises from his seat and when he is reseated. No other procedure is acceptable.

5. Although it is not formally inscribed in our Code, the dress of Lodge officers is tuxedo, white shirt, black tie and shoes. The dress for Master Masons when attending Lodge communications is business suits. It should be our practice to wear attire which will show respect and express the dignity of Masonry.

6. Prayers at Lodge functions should be in keeping with Masonic teachings. They should never be an expression of particular sectarian views or dogmatic creeds. It is a matter of courtesy and respect that all prayers, speeches and discussions at Masonic affairs avoid sectarian, controversial or political tones.

7. When the Grand Master visits a Lodge, nothing is supposed to follow his remarks except the closing. However, the Grand Master may, when the occasion is appropriate, waive the otherwise mandatory requirements.

8. When the Grand Master is out of the jurisdiction the next senior Grand Lodge officer is usually designated as "Acting Grand Master". This officer is received in the same manner as the Grand Master, having first recognized him by his incumbent Masonic title and thereafter as "Most Worshipful."

9. The Grand Master may, when he is unable to visit a Lodge, send a personal representative. He should be given every courtesy. He also should not be addressed informally during the closed meeting.

10. The procedures for the reception of the Grand Master and other officers of the Constituent Lodges appear on pages 245-248 of the Grand Lodge Constitution.

Much more can be said and written about Masonic protocol. Basically, it is all a matter of good taste and sensitive feeling, whereby the individual Brother is limited by certain specific rules.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014