Hawaii 2010

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Masonic Rites?

I caught that magic moment between sunset and evening at the mall with the mall lights competing with the evening sky on my android camera.

 My father was a mason, and never once did he mention it. He wore the ring, and had a masonic ceremony when he died. I have observed a number of them including yesterdays funeral. It is clear that they have a departing ritual and that they use lots of scriptural and christian phrases in their service. I especially was struck by the idea of moving from the lodge to the celestial lodge.

It seems to be mostly an aging group, and I struggle to understand the draw.  They have all kinds of names they give each other to honor achievement.  Is this a grown up boy scout organization with religious overtones? It's ancient linkage seems to carry it back to a time when it exerted a more pervasive influence in the world.

Decades ago one of our presbyteries tried to enforce a rule that no man could serve in the masons and be an officer in the church. There was lots of heat stirred up over that fight.

Was my fathers silence based upon the fact that he did not see me as masonic material? If it played a role in his life in the past why continue the outward wearing of the ring if it meant little to him? Is it a type of works righteousness organization where you need to feel superior morally by working up a ladder?

I don't think it sold that well to the crowd at the funeral,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ealizhtHaving constant immediate entertainment in the home has changed so much of our cultural life. The Masonic lodge is one of the most prominent buildings in this small town. It has a chiming clock that is wound by hand and tolled the hours in what was a busy prosperous mill town and still counts the hours today in a town that is mostly closed store fromts and a significant amount of poverty. I think that fraternities and lodges served a purpose of entertainment and community that is lost today for men and women both. Our grandfather belonged the Odd Fellows and swore he would never set foot in a church. I wish I knd Snew the history of that remark but remember it being a source of tension in the family when we lived in Indiana. The Odd Fellows sent me to NYC to attend the United Nations teen forum in the late 50's. The Elks and Shriners are wonderful service organizations. All of the communal (in the good sense of the word) activities served a purpose in the community and many of them are dying in competition with the TV in the living room. I remember daddy studying his Masonic book. His brother-in-laws were also members. I am sure it is a Christian service organization. I know that it was a wonderful source of companionship and support for dad in FL. Aside. I don't remember the cellar in Oneonta. I probably was seldom in it. What a difference it is being raised in the same family with the distance in our ages. Can't believe I will be 70 in Oct. Lov to all, Judy