Masonic clothing

Published: 22nd September 2010
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There are some distinctive forms of Masonic clothing and if you are new to this organisation it is a good idea to research this carefully so that you understand the meanings and purposes behind different traditional garments. A lot of emphasis is put on being 'properly clothed' in this organisation and this extends not just to the ceremonial regalia but also to everyday clothing worn to meetings and events.

Masonic Clothing

Masonic clothing is concerned with ensuring that members present a dignified, uniform appearance. Many refer to this uniformity of clothing as the 'livery of Masons' and this is designed to set the members apart and show their allegiance to their organisation. This livery typically consisted of a black suit, black necktie, black hat, white apron and white gloves. To wear the livery is an honour and is thought to date back to the times of the first Masons when clothing was an important distinction for a person's class and place in society. By dressing in the uniformed livery members showed that here at least they were all on equal terms. In modern day some Grand Lodges have strict and very specific rules for Masonic clothing and others just provide a more general outline of what members are expected to wear. For example some lodges state that the Collars of the Grand Officers should be 'gold or gilt metal' and the Apron of the Grand Master should be 'white lambskin'. Rules about when certain clothing should be worn are also set out in most Grand Lodges. For example some Lodges may require you to wear special robes when the Lodge is in session.

Masonic Hats

Masonic hats have a particular significance and are worn by the higher ranking Lodge officials to show their authority and status. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge holds the most honoured and prestigious position in the Lodge and will wear a hat to denote their rank whilst the other members uncover their heads to show respect. This is a traditional and recognised symbol of authority in most of the Western world. In most cases Masonic hats are worn usually only for ceremonial purposes when the Lodge is in session. Some Lodges may require the Worshipful Master to wear a hat at all times when appearing in the capacity of his position. There are many different traditional styles of Masonic hats in use. Some Grand Lodges state that this hat has to be constructed with a brim others simply require the hat to be black and made from silk. It is common for each Grand Lodge may have its own signature Masonic hat design and although these can be very different in style they all serve the purpose of creating a visible symbol of the Master's authority.


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