LODGE ETIQUETTE



ETIQUETTE & COURTESIES

1.  Discussions of sectarian religion, partisan politics, race or any subject which divides men into opposed schools of thought are prohibitive by Masonic law.

2.  There is a special lodge courtesy to be observed in all debates to any motion.  One speaks to the Master; the Master is the lodge.  One does not turn one's back on him to address the lodge without permission from him.  One stands when addressing the chair.  The spectacle of two brethren on their feet at the same time arguing over a motion, facing each other and ignoring the Master, is not one which any Master should permit.  But it is also one which no Master should have to prevent!

3.  Failure to obey the gavel at once is a grave discourtesy.  The Master is all powerful in the lodge.  He can accept or refuse to accept any motion.  He can rule any brother out of order on any subject at any time.  He can say what he will and will not permit to be discussed.  When a brother is rapped down, he should at once obey, without further discussion.

4.  It is a courtesy to the Master to advise him beforehand that you intend to offer a motion, or wish to bring up some matter for discussion.  You have the right to do it without apprising him in advance, just as he has the right to rule you out of order.  But the Master may have plans of his own for that meeting, into which your proposed motion or discourse does not fit.  Therefore it is a courtesy to him to ask him privately if you may be recognized for your purpose, and thus save him the disagreeable necessity of seeming arbitrary in a public refusal.

5.  A man in lodge is the servant of his brethren if he engages in any lodge activity.  Servants stand in the presence of their superiors.  Therefore, no Mason sits while he addresses an officer or another brother.  This does not refer to conversations on the sidelines while at refreshment, but to discussion on the floor during the business meeting.     

6.  DRESS CODE:  Many lodges have dress codes.  If you plan to visit a lodge, make every effort to discern their standards for proper dress before your visit.  If that is impossible, then you should dress as you would to attend church.  Few, if any, lodges will find fault with your dress if in a coat and tie, even though they may attend in more informal attire.  Some lodges have a "come as you are" standard, especially those lodges where many of their members are farmers and laborers.  For Palestine Lodge the acceptable dress code is:  No shorts or sandals without socks are permitted in the lodge room.  Neither is the wearing of any head wear permitted.  Clothing should be clean so as to not soil the upholstery of the chairs.  Shirts must have collars.   

7.  There is no smoking or any tobacco products permitted anywhere within the Masonic Temple building. 

8.  There is no such thing as a "Masonic Bible."  The only bible used in a masonic lodge is the Holy Bible inspired by God.  To use the term masonic bible might be perceived by the outer world into the belief that Masons have their own special bible that supersedes the Word of God.

9.  It is illegal to enter or leave the lodge room during a ballot.  It is discourteous to leave, or during a degree, except at the several natural periods which end one section and begin another.

10.  The ballot box nor anything else for that matter, is ever to be place on top of the three Great Lights in Masonry.  No part of the word of God is ever to be covered with the exception of the square and compass.  
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