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.