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Masonic News & Views -- The Masonic Apron
February 05, 2012
Greetings Brother,

The Masonic Apron is our dearest and most important symbol. This plain and simple square of lambskin represents those qualities of character that we each should strive for in our every thought and deed: purity of life and rectitude of conduct. The origins of the apron being worn as a badge, like the origins of Freemasonry itself, are lost in the mists of time. Throughout its history though, the apron has always been worn as a badge of honor and worthiness.

Is it true that a Mason’s apron is more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter?

The word apron came into existence as the result of that type of verbal accident which etymologists call elision, which means dropping something. The phrase “an apron” came to be heard as “a napron.” For centuries the word napron meant a white square of cloth, and from that term came such others as napery, napkin, and nap.

The Operative Mason's apron was made of leather, and was designed to receive hard wear (usually it hung from his neck to his ankles). When William Preston wrote his monitorial lecture on the apron, he used white leathern apron as a symbol of purity and innocence.

The Order of the Golden Fleece was of high repute as an Order of Knighthood. It was established in 1429 by Phillip of Burgundy in Flanders. He selected the fleece for the badge because wool was the staple production of the country.

The order of the Garter was formed by Edward III of England in 1349 for himself and 25 Knights of the Garter.

That aprons were worn prior to these dates is well established. The Indian, Persian, Jewish, Ethiopian, and Egyptian aprons, though equally superb were distinctive from each other. Some were plain white, some were striped with blue, purple, and crimson; some were wrought gold, others were adorned and decorated with superb tassels and fringes. Through the ages the apron has been a most exalted badge of distinction.

The phrase, "When worthily worn," is often included in Masonic apron lectures. Freemasonry seeks to impress indelibly upon the minds of a candidate that the apron is a most distinguished badge and that if he wears it worthily he has added luster to its significance.(1) Apron lectures will often include an explanation of the Masonic apron such as the one below:

“This lambskin apron, plain and unadorned, which from time immemorial has been the peculiar clothing of all Free and Accepted Masons, is now yours to wear throughout an honorable life. And when you are a Master Mason and at last your weary feet shall have come to the end of their toilsome journey, and from your nerveless grasp shall drop forever the working tools of life; when amid the tears and sorrows of surviving relatives and friends, and by the hands of sympathizing Brother Master Masons, your body shall be lowered into that narrow house appointed for all the living, it will still be yours - yours to be deposited with the evergreen upon the coffin enclosing your lifeless remains, and with them laid beneath the silent clods of the valley.

“Let its pure and spotless surface be to you an ever present reminder of purity of life and rectitude of conduct; a never-ending argument for higher thoughts, for nobler deeds, for greater achievements. May no act of yours stain the purity of this fair emblem, or mar the record of your labors here on earth. And when your trembling soul shall stand, naked and alone, before the Great White Throne, there to receive judgment for the deeds done while here in the body, may it be your portion to hear from Him who sitteth as the Judge Supreme, the welcome words: "Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"”(2)

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

(1) Missouri Handbook of Freemasonry
(2) Entered Apprentice Apron Lecture, Colorado


Now, on with the news........................

Monday, February 6, 2012: United Lodge No. 5 will host a Regional School of Ritual Instruction beginning at 7:00 PM at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. Instruction will focus on Lodge protocol and etiquette, the Reception of Distinguished Guest ceremony, and Masonic ritual of interest to those Brethren present. RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer will instruct.
This school will be open to Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012: Central Crossing Lodge No. 674 will have work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry in conjunction with their Stated business meeting. The Lodge will meet at the Pythagoras Lodge hall located at 1704 Main Street in Cassville, MO. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, February 11, 2012: Monett Lodge No. 129 will host a MOCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the lodge hall located at 501 13th Street in Monett, MO.

Saturday, February 11, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will host a performance of "The Traitor" at 7:00 PM. This one act play is open to the public and is performed by members of the Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin. The drama takes place in a Masonic Lodge room in Virginia two years following the end of America's War of Independence from England. The characters include several of our founding fathers and, "...that foresworn and unhappy man whose name is nevermore uttered in a Masonic Lodge."
1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO.

Saturday, February 18, 2012: Brethren of Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422 will again be participating in the annual Sertoma Chili Cookoff. Discounted tickets are available for $12 from Brother Monta Wiggin; call (417) 350-3976. Or, you can pay $15 at the door. The event runs from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM and is held at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 E Saint Louis St., Springfield, MO. For more information visit the Sertoma Chili Cookoff Web site.

Save the Date! Saturday, February 18, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host the 97th Annual Washington's Birthday Celebration with Masonic Degree work by three different States. The 1st Degree will be performed by Grove Lodge No. 187 of Oklahoma; the 2nd Degree by Pittsburg Lodge No. 187 of Kansas, and the 3rd Degree by Webb City Chapter No. 119 Royal Arch Masons of Missouri. The 3rd Degree will be done in full costume and promises to be most impressive.
Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway in Webb City, MO. and the event will start at Noon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012: The Buckeye Ritual Club will meet at Canopy Lodge No. 284, 107 North 3rd Street in Verona, MO, at 6:30 PM for fun, fellowship and education on our beautiful Missouri Masonic Ritual. This month's education will focus on Opening on the 3rd Degree, Receiving a Petition, Balloting on a Petition, and Closing a Lodge.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is centered in the 44th Masonic District of Missouri, but of course all Master Masons are welcome. The club will meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and will travel to differing lodges within the 44th District. Click here to see the 2012 schedule. Mark your calendar and plan on coming out to have some fun with your Brethren.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is also on Facebook. Click here for the Buckeye Ritual Club Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will celebrate the birthday of Brother George Washington beginning at 6:00 PM. This will be open to the public and will include a Masonic Information Event for any and all who may have an interest in the Masonic fraternity. 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO.

Saturday, February 25, 2012: Republic Lodge No. 570 will host a conferral of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill beginning with breakfast at the lodge hall at 8:00 and the conferral of the Order at 9:00 AM. This is a fun and patriotic Order that also serves as a fundraiser for the hosting lodge. It is open to all Master Masons. For more information on the Sword of Bunker Hill visit WWW.SwordOfBunkerHill.org.

Saturday, February 25, 2012: A MoCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) event hosted by Mt Olive Lodge No. 439 will be held today from 10:00 Am to 2:00 PM at the Fordland United Methodist Fellowship Hall located at 266 North Maple Street in Fordland, MO (North of Lazy Lees).
For more information on MoCHIP visit MoCHIP.org.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will host a Region 'F' School of Ritual Instruction at the lodge hall in Sparta, Missouri: 7702 Missouri State Highway 14 East. Instruction will focus on the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry and will be conducted by RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer. There will be lite refreshments at 6:30 PM and instruction will commence at 7:00 PM.
All Master Masons are invited in.

Friday & Saturday, March 16 & 17, 2012: The Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin Spring Reunion to initiate and welcome new Scottish Rite Masons into the Order. Membership in the Valley is open to all Master Masons in good standing. For more information ask any member of the Valley of Joplin or contact the Valley office at (417) 623-3219 and visit the Valley of Joplin A.A.S.R online at JoplinAASR.com

On March 17, 2012, the Valley of Joplin Scottish Rite Masons will hold a drawing to award a new Chevy Camaro plus other prizes to holders of the winning tickets. Each entry is just $50 USD and there will only be 2,000 entries sold. For full details and to get your tax deductible entry for the drawing visit WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or find us on Facebook and "LIKE" the page at Facebook.com/WinANewCamaro.
We're a long way from our goal so please help spread the word. We truly appreciate your assistance.
And yes, you're welcome to purchase as many tickets as you like until the last one is gone.

Saturday, April 28, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will host a MoCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. At least 30 volunteers are needed to work this event.
For more information you may call the Lodge Secretary at (417) 425-0083. All volunteers must be signed up at least 12 days prior to the event.
For more information about MoCHIP please visit www.MoCHIP.org.

As you can see there's lots of Masonry going on in Missouri. See the links below to keep up with the latest or to submit information for your upcoming meeting.

For more news of upcoming events and special communications visit the Upcoming Masonic Events page on Masonsmart.com

For a calendar of Stated meetings for many of the Lodges and Masonic bodies visit the Masonic Calendar page on Masonsmart.com

For help locating a lodge building visit the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map page on Masonsmart.com

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