[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: September 2001

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 11:22:26 -0500
To: masonry-ask@mit.edu
From: Randy Sherer <rsherer@earthlink.net>
Subject: question about my dad's passing 
(a 32nd degree mason).

I have a question that I can't seem to find an answer. My dad passed away on September the 5th. He was a 32nd degree mason and my family and I are confused on what should be done. I found the Masonic Funeral Service verbiage, but his wishes were for cremation and to have his ashes scattered at sea.

Is there anything we are to do with his apron or his ring? We wanted to do the right thing for him and his beliefs but don't know where to go for this information. I hope to follow in his footsteps someday and become a Mason.

Thank you very much for any help you can give us. I got your address from - http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ I have sent a copy of the obituary from the Houston Chronicle.


Randy Sherer - randyvision@yahoo.com

Dear Randy,

Yes, that's my web-site.

You should contact your father's lodge and ask them for advice. Do you have any of his lodge notices on hand? (Every lodge sends out a monthly notice of the coming meeting.) Does your mother know anyone in the lodge?

The lodge will want to perform a memorial ceremony for him in lodge. The Masonic funeral service would have been for your benefit, you and your family, not for the lodge's. If you are going to have a ceremony at the scattering, and would like some of the lodge members to attend, they will do so. You need to let them know your wishes.

Regarding the ring, you could keep it for a keepsake, although it isn't proper for a non-Mason to wear one. (Though sometimes a widow will want to wear it on a neck-chain.) Since you say you'd like to be a Mason someday, you might put the ring aside and keep it until then.

If you want to, you could also give the ring to the lodge and ask them to give it to a worthy brother, or to keep it as a memento, or whatever you and they decide is proper. Sometime people have the lodge sell (or auction) the ring in lodge and donate the money to a charity, for instance:

  • the Shriner's children's hospitals (free burn care, sponsored by Masons) or
  • Scottish Rite (that's what "32nd degree" means) charities, which include a wonderful program for dyslexic children, ot
  • a particular charity of your father's lodge, or
  • the charities mentioned in your dad's obituary.

He sounds like he was a wonderful man, and I'm sorry for your loss. Please give my regards and sympathies to your mother and your family.

I'm sure your father's lodge will want to be notified as soon as possible. If you can't find a lodge notice, or other way to find him, call the office of the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Texas (you're in Texas, right?) and they'll look up your father's information and put you onto the lodge secretary.

Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
|                                 | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
|                                 | R.W. Grand Rep. GL Russia near GL Mass.
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|  whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|  or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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