Masonic Funeral Rites
Every Master Mason in “Good Standing” is entitled to receive Masonic Funeral Rites. "Good Standing" is defined as the current years dues must be paid and not under Masonic Charges. So it is important that your dues be kept "up to date".
At the time of your death, your family should make your wishes known to the funeral home, or a lodge officer. If you want Masonic Rites at your death, you should discuss this with your family now. Make them aware that they must request this service.
There are very few occasions where Masonry is performed in public. These include laying of cornerstones, public installation of lodge officers, and Masonic Funerals. Attendance at a Masonic Funeral by a non-Mason could be his only exposure to our Fraternity.
The conducting of a Masonic Funeral is as old as the Fraternity itself. Long ago, in the time of Operative Masonry, the stonemasons buried their own. This custom has been carried on for centuries to our present day Masonic Funeral service.
A Masonic Funeral is the last tribute Masons can pay to a deceased Brother. In many ways, it is just as important to attend this service, as it is to attend a Regular Meeting. It is here that we “offer up to his memory the last tribute of our affection”. Poor attendance might cause one to think that the Brother was not well thought of. Good attendance might make one think that the Brother was well thought of. It is important that we make every effort to attend these services.
The Masonic Funeral Service is a beautiful piece of literature. It is simple, straightforward, and gives one the opportunity to reflect on their own mortality. No one can listen and not be affected by the powerful words, Mason and non-Mason alike.
The next time you read in the obituaries that Masonic Rites will be given for a departed brother, make sure you are there to help. It will only take 30-40 minutes of your time. Let us demonstrate before the world that we are men that practice brotherly love and affection, all the way to the grave.