Memento mori

A friend and brother posted a link to a Zazzle site that is selling various and sundry items with the phrase, “You may address me as ‘Worshipful'”.


Masons would be a lot better off if we dropped the “Worshipful” stuff after a man vacated the East. Fifteen years later, it still jars me to go to lodge and be addressed as “worshipful brother”. Yes, I was honored to be trusted with the leadership of the lodge for a year, a long time ago. But I climbed down off that dais and now I’m just your brother, man. Just another humble laborer in the quarries, still trying to improve myself.*

Shoot, it’s been four years and I’m still not used to hearing “Illustrious” fronted onto my name. Probably never will be.

My wife used to remind me that I was only worshipful at the lodge. And later, that I was only thrice-potent (and now illustrious) down at the Valley. It was like she leans over my shoulder and whispers in my ear that all this was transitory, like they say Caesar’s servant used to do. Because it is and was and always will be.  Someday I’ll just be one of those guys whose picture hangs on the wall at my lodge, and the new brothers will say, “Who was that guy?” and they’ll see the name and the year on the frame, but nobody will really remember me anymore.  And that suits me fine.

I think I’ll skip this line of bling 🙂

* You can imagine how shocked I was when I visited a lodge in Virginia some years back and was not only conducted to the altar to be formally introduced, but was then given grand honors and seated at the Master’s left hand as a distinguished guest.  If you’re a Mason, you know that grand honors are (normally) reserved for Grand Masters, the Deputy Grand Master when he is acting for the Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, and anyone operating with a temporary grant of authority to stand in for the Grand Master, e.g., a special deputy assigned to clear up irregularities in a lodge’s accounting, or to “restore peace and harmony” in a fractious lodge.  As it happened, in Virginia at that time, the practice was also to give grand honors to a sitting Master or a Past Master who was visiting the lodge for the first time.  This was because he either was or had been at one time a member of Grand Lodge.  A couple of years later, I found out that I was one of the last visiting brethren who had received such a welcome, as the GL of Virginia very soon afterward put an end to that practice.  But at the time, the only thought that was going through my horrified mind was, “I did say I was a past MASTER, didn’t I?”