The Masonic Funeral Service Done Well

Question, what is the most important function of a Masonic Lodge?  Is it initiating new members, taking care of widows and orphans, community charity, providing scholarships, marching in parades, esoteric study, brotherly bonding?

The answer is none of the above.  The most important function of a Masonic Lodge is to bury its dead. The Masonic funeral service is the most important act of compassion and service that a Masonic Lodge can perform for a Freemason and his family.

Yet too often not enough preparation, practice and elocution go into its performance. It’s often just one more chore, one more duty in the awesome responsibilities of a Worshipful Master.

Obtaining permission to ceremoniously bury members of the Black community in the 1770’s was a major concern of Prince Hall and prompted him to seek out Freemasonry to help him accomplish this end. It has been said by many scholars that way back in the operation of early English and Scottish Lodges, before the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, a funeral ceremony was part of their modus operandi.

If so then the best way for us to honor our grieving Brother’s family and the best way to honor our commitment to God and the best way to follow through with who we really are is to do justice to the ceremony of honoring and saying goodbye to a Brother who has been called to the Celestial Lodge above.

As you watch this video, see in it the fulfillment of that Masonic obligation well done.  And think about in your own Lodge of perhaps forming a Masonic Funeral Team who will memorize the service and deliver it with the feeling and the sincerity that befits a Mason and that will do justice to the departing Brother and to God who sits and reins in the heavenly Grand East forever and forever.

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About Fred Milliken

Fred is a Past Master of Plymouth Lodge, Plymouth Massachusetts, and Past Master of Paul Revere Lodge, Brockton, Massachusetts. Presently, he is a member of Pride of Mt. Pisgah No. 135, Prince Hall Texas, where is he is also a Prince Hall Knight Templar . Fred is a Fellow of the Phylaxis Society and former Executive Director of the Phoenix Masonry website and museum.

Comments

  1. "Canadian Brother" says:

    We have to respect our members who pass avey, but I don’t think that most important in Masonic Order is burring our death members. Somehow I will say that most important is our Three degrees where we learn all those allready mentioned:
    “Taking care of widows and orpfans, comunity charity, providing scolarship, marching in parades, esoteric study, broterly bonding, constant education and cultivation” and many more…
    After all, once you are death in few years if not months every body forget you, even our own family. That is part of our life…

  2. Bro. Brad Childs says:

    While I am not a member of Prince Hall, I am a huge fan of the work that they put on. I have seen a Third Degree in person, which thrilled me. Those Brothers seem to be more excited, more thrilled, and just have more passion in their work than what I am used to seeing.

    When the Last Rites are done well, it is beautiful, but the passion that this Brother, these Brothers, show is just amazing. A funeral, to me, is supposed to be a celebration of life, and these Brothers bring life. The passion is just amazing. I have been to less than ten Masonic funerals, each being so solemn, so joyless, like just repeating words that have no meaning. Then I see this one, on youtube no less, that makes me say, “that is how I want my Last Rites given!”

    When my spirit, having winged it’s flight to that House not made with hands, I would like this Brother, or one with such passion, to convey my Last Rites.

  3. Apparently this is one in a long list of the irregular clandestine or bogus lodges out in California. A short clarification, a brief mention of the fact would have been of a benefit, so there would have been no need to check the commission on bogus masonry to confirm the fact.
    So I am not entirely sure a regular mason would want this brother to perform the Last Rites.

    Regardless of this tiny little detail, when viewing just as a play with actors, I have to admit, it is very well performed. Ritual requires passion indeed. It is definitely not THE most important, but an important ritual, nonetheless.

  4. Custom Masonic Concepts says:

    This was absolutley BREATH TAKING!!!!!!!! that brotha ripped it from front to back with admoration and passion!!!!!!!!! im definitley saving this to show to my brothers!!!!!! REMARKABLE!! ide like to see him do an initiation passing and definitley a raising!!!!!!!!!

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