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
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
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
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.