Archive for May, 2013
The Freemasons and the Masonic Ring
Today, Freemasons all over the world display their Masonic Rings as a symbol of the obligations taken when going through the steps of becoming a Mason. It is a visual statement and represents their membership of the largest and oldest fraternity known to mankind. The Masonic Ring represents the wearer’s “authenticity”, a concept that freemasons describe as a “cable tow,” a symbol that binds that person to freemasonry for all times. Public display of the Masonic Ring has not always been the case. Many times throughout history, the Masonic Ring was worn very discreetly or hidden from view of others because of the unjust stigma attached to Masonry in general. During those periods of time, many Masons wore a Masonic Ring similar to the one shown here. The Masonic Flip Ring was very popular during that period of time and still is. You can wear the Masonic Flip Ring as a signet ring or wear it displayed as a Masonic Ring. The Master Mason ring or Masonic Ring is also referred to as the Blue Lodge Masonic Ring. In the past, it was not unusual for a new member of the Masonic family to take several years to get through the steps of becoming an Entered Apprentice, then on to a Fellow Craft and then finally becoming a Master Mason. Nowadays it is not unusual for this process to take only a few months or even a few weekends. In some jurisdictions around the world, it may take as long as 7 years to become a Master Mason because of proficiency requirements in some jurisdictions. Once the Fellow Craft Mason completes the Master Mason degree, they are eligible to buy and wear the Master Mason Masonic Ring. Freemasonry is well known to be a secret society and is known for its traditions and features many rituals, signs and symbols. Yes it is true that the Freemasons have a “secret handshake”. The Masonic Ring and the symbols on the ring is representative of many of the obligations taken in order to become a Freemason. Those obligations require a certain behavior of the wearer. There are certain rules of etiquette that must be followed when wearing the Masonic Ring. The Masonic Ring is worn on the third finger of the Mason’s right hand. Typically the Mason will only wear one Masonic ring at a time even though there are many other types of Masonic Rings such as Scottish Rite Rings, Knights Templar Rings, and Shrine Rings etc.; that are all indicative of the Masonic family. Typically, a married Mason will wear their Masonic Ring on the opposite hand of the wedding ring. Sometimes the Masonic Ring is worn on the pinky finger of the right hand. There is much debate as to how to wear the Masonic Ring. Should the points of the compass be worn with the points pointed outward or inward toward the Mason? Although the Grand Lodges have not made a regulation, it is my belief that the points should be pointed away from the wearer. If one needs to be reminded of being a Mason, then that Mason should wear the ring with the points of the Compass pointing toward them. When the Masonic symbol is displayed on the side of a building, the points of the Compass and Square are pointing downward.
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The Symbolism of the White Gloves in Freemasonry
The act of presenting with a title or with the robes and insignia of an office or rank; namely investiture, is very closely connected with the investiture of the apron and the consideration of the Masonic Apron. In some countries, it is the custom to present the newly-initiated candidate with a white leather apron but also with two pair of Masonic gloves. One pair of gloves is to be worn by the Mason and the other pair is to be given to his wife or to the women to whom he is to be married. The practice of giving one pair of the white gloves to the wife or his betrothed is still the custom in much of Europe but the custom has for the most part been given up here in the United States. The Masonic gloves given to the candidate are intended to remind him that the acts of a Mason. The acts should be as pure and as spotless as the gloves given to the new Mason. The white gloves are still used in the United States and are worn as part of the duties of the lodge and its processions. In most lodges the white gloves are worn by the Mason in addition to the white apron. The white Masonic apron and the white Masonic gloves are symbolic of the “pure heart” and the “pure hands”.
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