Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On The Wearing of Rings

One of the things I remember reading early on last summer was that Masons aren't supposed to wear rings or put bumper stickers/emblems on their cars until they are raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.

I don't remember where I read it, and I don't know if the claim was made about North American Freemasonry in general, or if the writer was posting about their own jurisdiction and I didn't really make the distinction at the time.

I should read through it again, but I don't recall any mention in the Massachusetts' members handbook of who is "allowed" to wear rings or put stickers on their car. I certainly don't recall any mention of a proper way to wear one's ring (compass points out vs compass points in, on a certain finger, or whatever); it strikes me as a slightly fabricated topic of discussion, as though someone recently assumed that there must be some kind of tradition or significance, and kicked off a debate where none existed previously. I like this answer best. (via the comments on Bro. Shane Hale's recent post - congrats, Shane!) However, I may be totally off base here and flagrantly dismissing a matter that is much more important in other jurisdictions. My apologies if this is the case - if there are Grand Lodges (or local lodges, for that matter) with official stances or policies about the wearing of rings I'd love to learn about it.

I've been wearing my ring with the points out for fairly pragmatic reasons. It's easier for someone else to recognize it that way in most situations, and that's half the point of wearing a Masonic ring (at least it is for me.)

As for auto decals: there was one tucked into my handbook, and I received that right after my Entered Apprentice degree. I don't think it matters too much in Massachusetts. Plus, as far as I know there's nothing stopping anyone, including cowans and eavesdroppers, from ordering a whole Lodge's worth of regalia, rings, hats, bumper stickers, et cetera from someplace like LAFSCO... the ring (or the manner in which it is worn) does not the Mason make.


A.C. said...

(See also Bro. Tom Accuosti's take on the subject)

Tom Accuosti said...

It's easier for someone else to recognize it that way in most situations, and that's half the point of wearing a Masonic ring

You're shamefully advertising your fraternal links! Shame, shame! You can't wear your points that way, it's too blatant.

Now, please buy these decals, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs, and then sit down to watch the History Channel's latest expose which features well-known Masons.