[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: March 2001

From: <AUSHEP@aol.com>
To: masonry-ask@mit.edu
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 18:58:16 EST
Subject: Burial rites info please...
Message-ID: <dc.3f29096.27f3d498@aol.com>

Years ago we had a Masonic funeral for my father..... Could someone help me with understanding the significance of the one white glove laid on his casket...?

Thank you in advance,

Paula Tabor

To: AUSHEP@aol.com
Subject: Re: Burial rites info please...
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 28 Mar 2001 18:58:16 EST."

A white glove? In many lodges, Masons traditionally wear white gloves. (It's an old custom: this way a man is known for his character only, and a banker and a day-laborer can't be told apart by their hands.)

I have never seen a white glove used in a Masonic funeral service. Usually, a white apron is held up, or placed on the coffin.

Every Mason is given a white lambskin or leather apron during his initiation. It is a symbol of purity of life and conduct. In fact, Masons usually make it known to their family that they would like to be buried wearing their apron white apron.

(Unfortunately, even more often, Masons intend to tell their family the significance of the white apron, and that they would like to be buried in it, but they forget to, or never get around to it.)

I wish I could tell you why your father's lodge used a white glove during their service, but that is not a custom I'm familiar with. If you still have any of his old lodge notices, they'll tell you the address of the secretary of the lodge (and some of the other officers for that year). You could contact any of these men for answers to any questions you might have about your father's lodge activity and the significance of the funeral service.

| 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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