The Masonic Trowel

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One of the Masterís most important responsibilities occurs at the death of a member of his Lodge. The Master, as the leader of the departed Brotherís Lodge, has certain duties, among which are the following:

1. Immediately call on the widow or family of the deceased Brother, and to express sympathy and condolences at the time of bereavement.

2. Offer the assistance of the officers and brethren of the Lodge.

3. Determine whether a Masonic Memorial Service is desired, or requested.

4. Make certain that you or a fully qualified Brother is available to perform the Memorial Service.

5. Arrange attendance of officers and brethren at the Memorial Service.

6. Maintain contact with the widow, and render whatever assistance is requested during the period of adjustment, following the immediate period of bereavement.

Keep the following points in mind in regard to the Memorial Service to insure the proper respect due to your departed Brother, his widow, your Lodge, and to Masonry in general.

First, faithful discharge of the duties listed.

Secondly, provide the best possible rendition of the Memorial Service. This is imperative, not only for the comfort provided to the family, but also for the good name of Freemasonry as exemplified on such occasion to the general public.

Third, give consideration to the Service itself, maintaining an uninterrupted continuity from beginning to end; complying with any reasonable request of the family that is not inconsistent to our established customs and instructions; and cooperating with any clergyman performing a religious funeral service in conjunction with our Memorial Service.

Fourth, make certain that the instructions contained within the Maine Masonic Textbook are fully complied with.

Fifth, establish a Telephone Committee charged with contacting Brothers to attend. A good turnout of members is important.

Sixth, be certain that a Lambskin Apron and twigs of Acacia are on hand for the Service and that white aprons, in sufficient number, are available for the Brethren attending.

Seventh, if a eulogy is requested by the family to be a part of the Memorial Service, or it be deemed appropriate, be certain that the Brother to give the Eulogy is well informed and prepared to render it. A short eulogy is appropriate, when well done, as part of the
Masonic Memorial Service.

Eighth, keep in mind that there are two types of Services; namely, (1) the Funeral Service; and (2) the Evening Memorial Service. The Evening Memorial Service may be used as a graveside service. There are instructions that must be observed for each Service. The Funeral Service is used very rarely and only at the request of the family.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014