Masonic Etiquette

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word Etiquette as “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group”.  Nowhere is the knowledge of etiquette more necessary then in the Masonic Lodge Room when we are Open and Tiled! Having recently completed my term as Worshipful Master of my Lodge, I decided to share some of my views on “Masonic Etiquette” in hopes to educate newer Brethren.The Lodge has a scheduled time for the meeting to start. It is expected that the Brethren especially the officers to be up in the Lodge Room and clothed at that time. The Worshipful Master should not have to start the opening late because of tardiness. If you are late, you should wait until the Lodge is open before requesting the Worshipful Master’s permission to enter by having the Tiler announce that you are there and want to enter. Upon entering, you should go west of the altar and give the appropriate sign to the Worshipful Master before taking a seat.

Whenever moving about the Lodge Room, never walk between the Altar and the Worshipful Master. The Worshipful Master should have an unobstructed view of the Altar at all times.

Stand when either wanting to speak or speaking. Always give the appropriate sign and address the Worshipful Master. If you are making or supporting a motion, stand and address the Master you should not just shout out support or second while remaining seated. If discussing a motion, always ask the Worshipful Master’s permission to address another Brother directly.

There should be no side discussions. If you have to talk about something with another Brother, you should ask for permission to retire from the room to do so. Upon opening, the Master states that no private committees or other irregular and unmasonic conduct are strictly forbidden. Side discussions are exactly that. However, it is acceptable to help or explain things to newer Brothers as long as it isn’t disruptive.

While balloting, there should be no discussion. Also, you should not leave the room after balloting has started. If you are outside of the room when balloting starts you should stay outside until voting is over. If you are present, it is a mandatory duty for you to vote. This doesn’t just mean when the ballot box is going around but also on a vote of showing hands.

If these simple rules are followed, it will make our meetings and Masonry a much greater experience.

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