Masonic Funeral


http://forum.thefreemason.com/Topic43056.aspx
Print Topic | Close Window

By C.J. Allison - 28 June 2012 17:11
Has anyone ever attended a Masonic funeral?

A workmate was telling me he was at a funeral and the guy that had passed was a well known Mason. He said because of that he had a Masonic funeral and there was a good number of people there to pay their respects .

I was just wondering what actually happens at a funeral and how Masonic is it?

Is regalia worn?
By Mike Martin - 28 June 2012 17:17
Here in England there has never actually been such a thing as a Masonic Funeral BUT there did used to be a Masonic after proceeding following the funeral of a brother.

Unfortunately it has been proscribed by the UGLE for many decades due to Freemasons allowing non-Masons to get the wrong impression of what they are and are meant to do. There have also been reports of the brethren becoming too involved in the Masonic import and neglecting the feelings of the Widow and family.

You can read the Graveside Address here: http://forum.thefreemason.com/FindPost508.aspx

It should never be done without the full support of the Brother's family
By DaveLump - 28 June 2012 18:27
wow what a nice piece that is Mike. Thanks for posting that.
By Alan Campbell - 28 June 2012 19:52
What i have witnessed cj is the graveside prayer being recited by the lodge chaplain or a well versed brother( last thing you need on this occasion is someone who requires prompting), this is usually followed by members of the craft dropping a sprig of Acaccia into the grave. There are lots of variations that can be done, i even know of one brother who had is coffin lying in the lodge overnight before going to the church the following day.
By C.J. Allison - 28 June 2012 20:13
Alan Campbell (28/06/2012)
What i have witnessed cj is the graveside prayer being recited by the lodge chaplain or a well versed brother( last thing you need on this occasion is someone who requires prompting), this is usually followed by members of the craft dropping a sprig of Acaccia into the grave. There are lots of variations that can be done, i even know of one brother who had is coffin lying in the lodge overnight before going to the church the following day.


That is quite a nice idea. I was just interested how it would be done and that seems very fitting.

Is regalia worn at the funeral?
By Patrick McBlain - 28 June 2012 22:16
Yes regalia is worn, but jewels and apron tassels are covered with black cloth.

Cheers

Patrick
By Hussar - 29 June 2012 00:03
I attended one a couple of weeks ago it was covered in the Scottish edition of the sun so some of our Scottish members may of read about it. Here's a link to the local paper which makes a small reference to his Masonic membership. http://m.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/tragedy-as-victor-dies-at-son-s-wedding-1-2349035 The funeral was conducted by one of our PM's and now provincial Grand chaplain a few words were spoken then the sprigs of acacia were thrown in.
By Sentience - 29 June 2012 22:17
Have attended one but it wasn't treated as a Masonic funeral. Those that knew him wore morning dress only and there were short eulogies from a couple of people in compliance with the widows wishes.
By Berkshire Mason - 30 June 2012 07:49
I have only been to one funeral for a Brother. Not Masonic as such but there were hundreds of masons there and we all wore our provintial tie.

Also his coffin had an S&C brass badge on it..
By apr - 30 June 2012 10:33
I went to one fairly recently, after a member of my lodge sadly passed away.
Again, not a "full" masonic funeral, but he did have a square and compass on the coffin.

Before the coffin was committed, we filed down to the coffin in two's, giving the sign of fidelity before turning
away left and right.

Nobody wore regalia, but we did wear masonic ties.

Just a personal view but: I think the wearing of regalia may be acceptable on a high ranking mason, or an elderly
person who may not have had a big family. Otherwise I thing we should maintain a discreet presence.
By Alan Campbell - 30 June 2012 10:52
Got to disagree to a certain extent apr, if we are all on the level, then why should it be more acceptable for a high ranking mason to have brethren wear regalia and not someone from the coloumns?
By Monkey Brother - 30 June 2012 13:57
I was at my father's best friends funeral a couple of years ago, before I had joined the Craft. I'm not sure if it was a masonic funeral, or just a show of respect.

Like has been said before, I believe his coffin was in the lodge overnight, the members of a few lodges attended in regalia, and stood at the back (it's a very small church). The sprig of acacia was placed in the grave. There was a Mason on the door as we filed out.

That's all I really remember about it tbh.
By apr - 30 June 2012 15:01
Alan Campbell (30/06/2012)
Got to disagree to a certain extent apr, if we are all on the level, then why should it be more acceptable for a high ranking mason to have brethren wear regalia and not someone from the coloumns?


Just the way it is. We are all equal, but some are more equal than others.
By john dee - 30 June 2012 16:17
In the USA the custom of some GLs is that all Masons who attend a brother's funeral will be provided at the service with a plain white apron to wear regardless of rank.
By Alan Campbell - 30 June 2012 18:33
So you would say that some brethren are more deserving of a masonic burial (even although there is not really an official masonic funeral)?
By john dee - 30 June 2012 20:39
In the USA many members express an interest in having his Lodge perform a Masonic funeral upon their death. This is their right as a Mason. But how does one go about making this preparation and where can such a service take place?

First, a Masonic funeral is held at the request of a departed Brother or his family. - http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/how_to_conduct_a_masonic_funeral.htm

By David A - 30 June 2012 21:55
apr (30/06/2012)
Just a personal view but: I think the wearing of regalia may be acceptable on a high ranking mason, or an elderly person who may not have had a big family. Otherwise I thing we should maintain a discreet presence.

How so?

A certain phrase I heard somewhere comes to mind: "For he who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune's wheel is equally entitled to our regard"
By apr - 30 June 2012 23:40
Alan Campbell (30/06/2012)
So you would say that some brethren are more deserving of a masonic burial (even although there is not really an official masonic funeral)?


Your words, not mine
By Alan Campbell - 01 July 2012 01:46
Okay lets make this nice and clear. I am saying that everyone who is a mason should be entitled to, what we all believe is a masonic funeral, full regalia if they wish, coffin over night on the lodge, graveside prayer, sprigs of accacia being dropped into the grave. Now that is my words.

Now what is your position apr. Is it that all brethren are equal or that only high ranking masons are entitled to masonic honours. I know that is my words but it is also a question.
By SG-1 - 01 July 2012 08:10
As said by Mr Orwell :-)
By Mike Martin - 01 July 2012 09:00
Gentlemen, before this has a a chance to become an argument I'll ask you to stop!

Each one of us here is entitled to his own opinion, whether right or wrong. One man's opinion does not form the truth of a thing.

We all know that it is not correct that someone who may have been a grand something-or-other actually ranks any higher as a Freemason and so the possibility of that being a factor in whether brethren wear regalia at his funeral is well and truly baseless.
By tyler - 01 July 2012 09:08
A few years back I attended a masonic 'ceremony' in France of a good friend and brother in the funeral home where he was laid out in his masonic suit and wearing a lambs skin apron not in a coffin but on a 'bed' for want of a better word. I have to say I was apprehensive to go at first as I had not seen a dead person before. But I'm glad i did. It was a lovely ceremony and although tears afterwards great comfort that so many masonic brethren gave him a such a 'ritual' send off. His wife and son attended as well. I have often thought I would like that as I hope to leave me to a teaching hospital.
By sojourner - 01 July 2012 10:09
I have a very old copy of the "Lectures of the Three Degrees in Craft Masonry" (green book 1906), which details the funeral ceremony amongst other things such as toasts, poems, songs and muses, which concludes with the words:-

It is decreed in heaven above,
That we,from those whom best we love,
Must sever.
But hard the word would be to tell,
If to our friends we said farewell,
For ever.

And thus the meaning we explain -
We hope, and be our hope not vain,
That, though we part, we meet again.
A brief farewell; then meet again
For ever.
By Alan Campbell - 01 July 2012 12:20
Mike Martin (01/07/2012)
Gentlemen, before this has a a chance to become an argument I'll ask you to stop!

Each one of us here is entitled to his own opinion, whether right or wrong. One man's opinion does not form the truth of a thing.

We all know that it is not correct that someone who may have been a grand something-or-other actually ranks any higher as a Freemason and so the possibility of that being a factor in whether brethren wear regalia at his funeral is well and truly baseless.


Mike i'm not trying to cause an argument. I was not putting words into his mouth and just wanted to clarify where apr was coming from. but i will refrain and accept that he believes that high ranking masons are more entitled to a masonic funeral, if that is what he believes.
By Tom Cherup - 01 July 2012 17:34
Brothers, these services are for the living, not for the dead. Those who have died before us don’t care of the costs, or if one or many have are present and what rank they are at the service. It was just good for the family that his lodge had the time for them.

By apr - 12 July 2012 15:04
Alan Campbell (01/07/2012)


Mike i'm not trying to cause an argument. I was not putting words into his mouth and just wanted to clarify where apr was coming from. but i will refrain and accept that he believes that high ranking masons are more entitled to a masonic funeral, if that is what he believes.


Just to draw a line under this one, and I will say no more.

My point was, that a high ranking mason was more "likely" to have a masonic funeral, not more "entitled" to one.
By Tom Cherup - 12 July 2012 17:25
Here it must be a request by the family or brother of the craft and the service will be done.