top of page

PGL Lanarkshire Middle Ward.

Masonic Etiquette.

Correspondence was read out from the PGL of Lanarkshire Middle Ward, received as a directive from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, concerning three items that the Lodge was being alerted to, as regards Masonic Etiquette. 1. Mode of Dress. 2. Floorwork and 3. Toasts. 4. Mobile Phones. As requested these items were read aloud in Lodge and a copy is printed below:

Dear Bro. Secretary,

As you are no doubt aware a Masonic Etiquette and Best Practice Booklet was prepared a number of years ago by the Grand Lodge. It is a very helpful and valuable book which can assist members of every Lodge to ensure that we all maintain the standards we have come to appreciate.

To this end the PGM recommends that Lodges should purchase a copy of the Booklet and make it readily available for the brethren to peruse. He would in particular like to highlight extracts from the Booklet which are worthy of reiterating to all –

Dress (Pages 8/9)

“The preferred clothing for Lodge meetings is a dark suit, white shirt, dark or Lodge tie, dark socks, and black shoes. This is not to appear sombre but to allow the various colourful lodge regalia, aprons, sashes etc, to be shown against a dark background for impact. For special meeting such as an Installation a Lodge may specify e.g., Dinner suits and white gloves or highland dress. Light coloured shoes or trainers are not acceptable.

If there are concerns regarding temperature, only on permission from the Chair may jackets and ties be removed.”

The Provincial Grand Master and his Commission encourage all brethren to dress appropriately and are of the opinion that jackets should not be removed during Meetings or at the Festive Board.

Floorwork (Pages 12/13)

All of this section is worth reading but in particular the last Paragraph on page 13 –

“In some Lodges it has become custom and practice to applaud or stamp feet after the delivery of individual parts of the degrees. This is incorrect and can be very discouraging to the brother who does not receive such recognition. It also breaks the atmosphere which may have been created. Accordingly, this practice must be discouraged. Instead, it is recommended that the Master at the end of the degree expresses the “wages of appreciation” to the degree team in general, with possibly a mention of an exceptionally well performed part or a first timer.”

The Provincial Grand Master encourages the acknowledgement of well worked ceremonial but agrees that such praise should be kept until the completion of the degree, where the praise for all the Office-bearers taking part can be properly given.

Toasts ((Pages 18/19)

“The first toast is always the reigning monarch (or head of state) and should simply be “Brethren, the loyal toast, The King”. “His majesty the King” would only be proposed if he was present. All stand.

The second toast although occasionally omitted is “the Craft”. All stand.

The next toast should be “The Grand Lodge of Scotland”. All stand unless a deputation from the Grand Lodge is present when the Grand Master or leader of the deputation remains seated. Should this be the case it is normal to have a formal introduction such as Right Worshipful Master, Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Distinguished brethren, and Brethren all.

In succeeding Toasts, the Introduction should be shortened to Right Worshipful Master, Distinguished Brethren and Brethren all.

It has become practice in some overseas lodges for those in receipt of overseas grand rank to remain seated at the Toast to Grand Lodge. This is wrong as the toast is to The Grand Lodge and not to individual brethren and only the brother who is the most senior and is replying to the toast should remain seated.

This also applies at the Festival of St. Andrews when the toast to Provincial and District Grand Masters is given. It is common to see most PGM’s and DGM’s remaining seated This is wrong and as for the toast to the Grand Lodge only the PGM or DGM replying should remain seated.

If the Provincial Grand lodge is present officially, then this would be the next toast with a reply requested. All stand except the leader of the Deputation.

Toasts which follow will depend on the type of meeting which is being held. Typically, this could be The Candidates, The Installing Masters, The Degree Workers, The Visitors, The Artists.

Most meetings conclude with the final or Tyler’s Toast which can be formal or in verse.”

In addition, the Provincial Grand Master has noticed that the practice of toasting The Reigning Monarch and The Craft at our regular harmonies has fallen into disuse, he would encourage all Monarch and The Craft at our regular harmonies has fallen into disuse, he would encourage all Lodges to immediately reinstate this practice. Thus, ensuring that all brethren are aware at all times of our loyalties. of our loyalties. The Provincial Grand Master would encourage you to make the brethren aware of all 3 of these extracts and his additional comments. He would suggest that the brethren should familiarise themselves with the Contents of the Booklet in general, which is an excellent guide to Masonic Behaviour. The Booklet is readily available from Grand lodge.

I would be grateful if in addition to the above items you would bring to the attention of all the Brethren the following item raised by the PGM –

Mobile Phones

The use of Mobile Phones within Masonic Meetings and at the Festive Boards is not an acceptable practice. While understanding that they are a modern replacement for the diary, their presence should be kept to a minimum. However, their use seems to be widespread throughout meetings, and it can only be assumed they are being used for non-Masonic purposes (texting, checking the internet for news etc.). This practice needs to stop immediately as again it detracts from the atmosphere and importance of our ceremonials.

Many thanks for your assistance in cascading this important information to the brethren of the Province.

Bill Paton – PG SecretaryRead in Open Lodge 2nd November 2022

bottom of page