Understanding Masonic funerals

The Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons show love and respect for their departed brothers. The guide will help you understand how.

Understanding Masonic funerals

What is a Masonic funeral?

When a member of the Masons passes away, he has the right to have a Masonic funeral. The Masonic funeral draws brother Masons from miles away. Each Masonic member comes to show his respect to the departed, offer support to the departed's family and to attend the funeral. A Masonic funeral is not only for male Masons. Some orders of Masons also have female members and will offer a Masonic funeral to members of either sex.

Masonic attire

During the Masonic funeral service, the Masons will don white gloves and aprons. Each Mason will speak about the symbols of Masonry. There is a strong focus on the importance of the sprig of acacia, which is the symbol of eternal life. They will also focus on the white lambskin leather apron -- the badge of the Mason -- which denotes a pure soul

Masonic funeral prayers

Each Mason will say a prayer for his departed brother (or sister) and for the well-being of the family. The Masonic Master will read from the Sacred Scroll of the Masons to pay tribute to the departed. The Masonic Chaplain will say a prayer, and the brother Masons will also join in to the litany.

Masonic symbol

The sprig of acacia, an evergreen tree bough, will be held up by the Master Mason in front of the congregation. The tree bough symbolizes the belief of the Masons in the eternal soul and their unwavering faith. An evergreen never loses its needles, regardless of the season, and its symbolism depicts the fact that a Mason never loses his faith in the fact that the soul remains imperishable.

Eulogy

If the family, or the departed, wishes a eulogy to be be performed by a close friend or family member, the person will be ushered up to speak in front of the congregation.

Masonic funeral finale

Following the eulogy, the Master Mason will speak again, and the chaplain will also offer a final prayer. The Masonic brothers will chime in with the final phrase to conclude the service: "So mote it be."

No mason is required to have a Masonic funeral when they die. The entire premise of a Masonic funeral is to allow the Mason brethren to show their respect and love for their brother who has passed on and to his family and loved ones. Although most Masonic funerals are conducted entirely by the Masons, in some rare cases a departed Mason may have a more conventional funeral service outside the lodge.

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