Grandfather's Masonic Emblem
by Mary McGowan
(Fayetteville, GA USA)
I have my grandfather's gold Masonic emblem on a watch fob. Can I wear Grandfather's Masonic emblem?
I am a female (age 70) and want to know if I can have it put on my gold charm bracelet.
My grandfather and my father were both Masons and my father was also a Shriner. I have both his Shrine lapel pins and would love to incorporate them on my bracelet, also, if this would be an acceptable thing to do.
This is an excellent question and one that, due to the spiritual nature of Freemasonry, many people don't fully understand.
Freemasonry is a fraternity of men who believe in a Supreme Creator and, who choose of their own free will, to live their lives under our Creator's watchful eye, in brotherhood and harmony with all other men on the globe.
The wearing of your relatives' Masonic jewelry undoubtedly may make you feel closer to them and what they stood for and I applaud and fully understand your wish to honor their memory.
However, as Freemasons, here is how your father and grandfather would probably feel about this.
Freemasonry is somewhat akin to taking a private walk along life's highway, with God as your companion.
The reason Freemasonry is said to "Make Good Men Better" is because of the personal choice made by each man,... of their own free will, to be known as a man of good character.
In so doing, Freemasons must refrain from besmurching their personal character or the character of their fraternity of like-minded men with any form of wrong-doing.
Masonic memorabilia such as a Masonic apron, Masonic ring, Masonic lapel pin, cufflinks, Shrine jewelry, Scottish Rite jewelry, York Rite jewelry or any accompanying Masonic regalia is purchased by a Freemason after their having personally,... both physically and spiritually, mastered Freemasonry's many specific degrees.
While each degree is different in its underlying theme, each degree teaches honor and friendship as well as brotherhood and charity to all mankind, all under the watchful eye of the Supreme Architect of the Universe.
Freemasonry is the attempt to live in peaceful harmony with one another, while attempting to find and maintain a spiritual path.
Each degree builds on the preceding degree. The culmination of becoming a Master Mason is the ultimate and never ending quest for more light (knowledge)of that which our Creator wishes for him.
It is by virtue of this very private, personal, spiritual and continuing "Walk with God" that each of these men, in reverence, circumambulate around lodge altars around the world, each of which is dedicated to our Creator.
Thus, becoming a Freemason is to continue to quest for more light,...more knowledge,....and to seek to fulfill our Creator's plan for each of us.
No matter how dear a non-Freemason is, was or has been to a Freemason, the simple truth is that when a non-Freemason chooses to wear Freemason emblems, such as those of a special relative in their lives, they are, in actuality, usurping a piece of that special relationship that was earned by the Freemason, himself.
In other words, this would be somewhat synonymous with wearing an Olympic medal or Olympic ring that was purchased from E-Bay.
Other Olympians who understood the years of work involved, the mental and physical training and the total focus required to earn the prize of being "the best of the best", would view the buyer who proudly chose to wear such a ring as a person who is simply wearing an insignia that was unearned and not rightfully theirs.
Their view of him is as a person who never ran the race and never stood in that private Winner's Circle with God and mankind proudly rejoicing in the knowledge that they had fulfilled God's plans for them.
It is for this reason that members of the Freemason fraternity,... those who are still "running the race", feel an inner sadness for the departed Freemason whenever a non-Freemason (even though they are a relative), chooses to wear "Grandfather's Masonic Emblem".
This is how a true Freemason views this subject.
Now that you are aware of the spiritual nature of these emblems which you have inherited, the choice, of course, remains with you.
Thank you for writing to request more 'light' about this subject, Mary.
In helping you to understand the spiritual depth of wearing "Grandfather's Masonic Emblem", I join with each and every other Freemason around the world in continuing to honor your father's and grandfather's memories as members of the Freemason fraternity.
Yours in the faith,