[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: August 2001

Message-ID: <000801c11c0c$5a339600$aa7554d8@cswnet.com>
From: "Doug & Kathy Davis" <dkdavis@CSWNET.COM>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>
Subject: Two quick questions....
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 15:43:49 -0500

I found this email address at http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/. I have a couple of questions that I couldn't find on the website.

What do the rings symbolize? Do all members receive one, buy one, or is it a level of some type?

Also, I was wondering what the different titles are. For example on the web site it says 'These pages by Rt. Wor. Gary L. Dryfoos'. What does the Rt. Wor. mean?

I will understand if you don't want to answer these questions, I was just curious. A friend of mine told me last night that his stepdad was a Mason, so I thought I would check out a site and see what it was.

Thank you, D


To: "Doug & Kathy Davis" <dkdavis@CSWNET.COM>
bcc: dryfoo
Subject: Re: Two quick questions....
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Sat, 28 Jul 2001 15:43:49 CDT."
             <000801c11c0c$5a339600$aa7554d8@cswnet.com> 
--------
} I found this email address at http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/.

Yup! That's my web-site alright!

} What do 
} the rings symbolize?  Do all members receive one, buy one, or is it a 
} level of some type?

There are various emblems associated with Masonry -- the "square and compasses" is the most usual, but there are several others. And if you look in the Pointers section of my web-site, you'll see there are a number of "side bodies" or "appendant orders" that Masons can also join, and these groups have their own emblems as well. So a Mason might decide to buy a ring with one of those emblems based on which of the side bodies he was most active in, or which of the appropriate emblems he liked best.

Rings aren't given out automatically, but sometimes a Mason's family or friends will buy one for him. In that case, it's always best NOT to completely surprise him, but to have a good idea of what kind of ring he'd prefer.

} Also, I was wondering what the different titles are.  For example
} on the web site it says 'These pages by Rt. Wor. Gary L. Dryfoos'.
} What does the Rt. Wor. mean?

Every Mason has the title "Brother", sometimes abbreviated "Bro."

When a Mason is elected by his lodge to be the presiding officer (usually for a term of a year or two) he is the "Master of the Lodge" and gets the title "Worshipful Master", and is addressed as "Worshipful" or "Worshipful Brother", abbreviated "Wor."

There are additional positions of responsibility or honor that a Mason can be appointed to by his grand lodge. (The grand lodge is the overall head body for all the lodges in each state.) One of the most important positions is to be the grand master's representative or deputy for a particular region (district) of the state. This title is "District Deputy Grand Master", and when a Mason is given that position, he is called "Right Worshipful", abbreviated "Rt. Wor." or sometimes just "R.W." Once a man has served his term as a DDGM, he is called R.W. for the rest of his life.

That title of Right Worshipful is given for other grand lodge appointments as well. In my case, the Grand Lodge of Russia contacted my own Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and asked our grand lodge to nominate someone as the "Grand Representative" from the GL of Russia to the GL of Massachusetts. My grand lodge honored me by nominating me for that position, and as long as I am a Grand Representative, I am addressed as "Right Worshipful" -- which I have to admit is kinda nice :-)

} I will understand if you 
} don't want to answer these questions, I was just curious.

Glad to answer them. There's actually very little that's secret or confidential about Masonry. (In fact there was a nice discussion about exactly that on the radio this morning, and the whole program is available for on-line listening at http://theconnection.org/archive/2001/08/0803a.shtml*)

} A friend of 
} mine told me last night that his stepdad was a Mason, so I thought I 
} would check out a site and see what it was.
}
} Thank you, D

Your friend should ask. I'll bet his step-dad would be pleased to answer whatever questions he could. And please tell both of them about this web-site.

Thanks for writing.


+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 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."
+===========================================================================

* Webpage for The Connection radio broadcast moved to http://archives.theconnection.org/archive/2001/08/0803a.shtml


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