The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

planning a white table meeting

by Raymond Hollins
Published in MQ MAGAZINE - JANUARY 2005

The objective of a `white table' is to stimulate an interest in Freemasonry from wives, family and friends and to dispel fears and misconceptions that prevent suitable candidates from seeking membership of the Order.

Planning arrangements are crucial, and a satisfactory outcome depends on the quality and quantity of initial research and planning.  Responsibility for planning should not be left to one individual - it is a matter of teamwork.

Past Masters and officers should be well experienced to contribute to creative ideas, carry out research, e.g., history of the Lodge etc, and meetings should take place with the planning team to establish a sensible and practical format.

An agenda might be:

  • Open the Lodge
  • Read the minutes of the last regular meeting
  • Deal with any important items of business
  • Close the Lodge

Members remain in their places in regalia and the Director of Ceremonies invites ladies and invited guests - Masonic and non-Masonic may attend - to enter and are seated.  It is most important to maintain a friendly and relaxed atmosphere - a Lodge room may be unusual and solemn to the guests.  The Master gives a brief address of welcome and explains the purpose of the meeting.  He also introduces his officers with a brief explanation about who they are and their duties.

It is most important that the meeting is not advertised as a recruitment campaign.  A very brief history of Freemasonry can be given, perhaps a short résumé of the history of the Lodge, and an explanation of the layout of the Lodge room.
This is an opportunity for a member to pass around the Lodge to describe the furniture, the Warrant etc., and a description of the Lodge Banner and its history may be of interest.

Regalia worn by the principal officers and those depicting the Three Degrees, followed by those of Provincial Grand Lodge and Grand Rank is explained.

As reference is made to each item of regalia, a Brother wearing the apparel rises to his feet to display his apron, collar and jewels where appropriate.

As a finale, a carefully abbreviated version of the Charge to the Initiate can be read from the Junior Warden's pedestal or from a suitable lectern.

It is considered better to read the passages rather than to deliver a piece of Masonic ritual from memory, which is not appropriate for the occasion.

The Charge to the Initiate is by far the most powerful piece of public relations material that could be written or spoken in support of the aims and objectives of Freemasonry, and an edited version is therefore suitable for this meeting.

There then should follow a question and answer session.  Visitors at this stage may be deep in thought about what they have just witnessed, or somewhat overawed by the proceedings and atmosphere, and this may stifle a flow of suitable questions.

It would therefore be appropriate to select a few suitable questions, and `plant them' by prior arrangement in the audience.  This enables the Lodge to prepare well - considered answers in advance to important and difficult questions.

A last question about charity provides a wonderful opportunity for the Lodge Almoner or Charity Steward to explain the work of the four main Masonic charities and refer to the Non-Masonic grants given each year.  The meeting concludes with remarks from the Master.

The Lodge being closed, there is no reason why the Brethren should not procession out whilst the Closing Ode is sung, thus bringing the proceedings to a neat conclusion.

Guests are requested to remain in their places until after the procession has left, and then invited by the Lodge Director of Ceremonies to join the Brethren for pre-dinner drinks.

A copy of the Lodge Summons, together with other relevant or interesting material can be given to each guest as they retire from the Lodge room or at the end of the evening. The festive board can follow the traditions of an informal Ladies Night.

The quality of performance of the Lodge team will depend on the preparation, editing and timing of the material to be used.  The whole programme should not exceed about one and quarter hours.

Several rehearsals are essential to ensure a polished performance, to say nothing of the pleasure of doing something out of the ordinary as a great team effort.

back to top

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014