Monday, November 29, 2010

Call me Past Master?

This is the pocket watch given to me for my year as Master of the Lodge.

I have been mulling over how I should have brothers address me. I am a big believer in meeting on the level. The concept of meeting on the level with all brothers seems to exclude the use of separate titles. On the other hand, I spent a good part of a year and a half as well as three years as an officer taking care of the needs of the Lodge. I know I have led my brothers through a very successful year. This brings me to my quandary: should I have brothers address me as Brother Nick or Worshipful Brother Nick?

An amazing aspect of the Craft is the number of titles a brother can collect as he lives a Masonic life. I was fortunate enough to give the Hiram Award to a very worthy brother. He is very active in York Rite and its related degrees and has led all major bodies of the York Rite culminating in being Past Grand Commander. He gave me his Masonic resume for the ceremony and it extended over two pages. Without reservation I call him Worshipful Brother because of how hard he has worked for Minnesota Masonry and my lodge having served at least two terms in the chair.

My mind remains clouded; I just don’t know if I have earned the sacred appellation of Worshipful Brother. I worked hard for my lodge during my year but I also believe that I have not done as much as other brothers. Maybe I’m just being excessively modest. Hopefully, as I grow in Masonry and become a wiser brother, (Masonry is a progressive science after all), I will begin to accept the honor of Worshipful Brother as a representation of my service.

I also wonder if being addressed as Worshipful Brother creates an unnecessary separation between hard-working brothers who have never sat in the Oriental Chair and those who have. However, the brother serving as Master will expend many hours of extra work during his year. It is an honor to serve as Master of a lodge. As any Master knows, a lodge is essentially a small non-profit business with property, bills, and “employees.” This work is done without monetary gain. The job of Master takes you away from things that you would like to otherwise do, missing minor family obligations, driving to far off lodges instead of staying home during a heavy snow, and making phone calls on a Sunday night instead of relaxing on the couch.

I love Masonry. I love working and being of service to my brothers and their families. My hope is that one day, signing PM behind my name in a lodge guestbook will feel earned and not just given. Again, thanks to the brothers of Corinthian Lodge for letting me try new ideas and have fun. I hope to carry over some of those same ideas to Corinthian Chapter as I take on the role of High Priest. I am honored to carry the title of Past Master and I will carry it dearly for the rest of my life even if I am unsure now about my worthiness.


Raconteur said...

It's a tricky thing, but in support of using the title, remember that the honorific isn't for your benefit, it's for others. It honors the position and helps maintain its sacredness. It honors Freemasonry. And most importantly, it helps inspire young, new members that even they, at a young age, are worthy and capable of leadership.

Anonymous said...

I prefer not to be addressed as Worshipful, but would of course not be offended if someone chooses to do so.

Congratulations on your year in the East. Not you can make a good start at figuring out what you needed to know before you got there :)

Anonymous said...

Like Elginkevin, I also prefer not to be addressed as Worshipful Brother, and I'm also not offended when someone does choose to call me WB. However, I do tell people that I prefer to be called brother.