Masonic Insights

Masonic Essentials…External & Internal

Square & Compass Promotions
7 min readJul 3, 2024
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It’s your lodge night (or maybe you’re visiting another masonic lodge) and, aside from your excitement, what do you bring?

What are “masonic essentials?”

We, at Square & Compass Promotions, cannot speak for every Mason but we can speak for our personal experiences and list those things we have found essential (or otherwise invaluable) to the enrichment and enjoyment of our Masonic experience.

These essentials can be divided into two categories: external and internal.



They say “the clothes make the man.” In the case of a masonic lodge, the more accurate statement is “the dress code makes the Mason.” The first essential every Mason needs is a set-of clothing that is in-line with the lodge dress code.

In Ontario, this usually means dark-suit, white shirt, and tie.

Other jurisdictions may not have a dress code (or may have a more casual dress-code).

Other jurisdictions may have a dress-code for officers, but not general membership.

It is up-to lodge administration to make sure all members (and especially applicants’) are aware of dress-code requirements.

A masonic lodge may have a benevolence fund that can assist a new member (or a new officer) in purchasing clothing in-line with the lodge’s dress-code (as was the case with this author).

Question: does your masonic body have a dress-code?


One part of the dress-code that is consistent across all jurisdictions (to be “properly clothed”) is the wearing of an apron. Depending on a Mason’s rank and jurisdiction, the apron will be different.

In many jurisdictions, a Lodge will give a member a personal apron upon being raised in the third-degree (the cost of this apron is often reflected in initiation fees or dues). It is important that members understand the importance of an apron, including the importance of its care and safe-storage.

As a member becomes an officer, the a masonic lodge may provide him with that office’s apron (as well as the collar and jewel, and any other implements’ belonging to the same), to be passed to the successive officer upon installation.

Even though the masonic lodge may own these aprons and accompanying items, it is incumbent upon every officer to take care of every item respecting his office, when in his possession, and to know where they are stored when he is not in possession of them.

Officer aprons, collars and jewel, wands, gavels, batons, and other such items are essential items in the governing and well-ruling of a lodge, and therefore every officer should know the location of these essentials at all times.

Should a member receive a “Grand Lodge Honour” (such as “Very Worshipful” or “Right Worshipful”), the member will again often receive an apron designating that honour. In some cases, these honours will require specific dress, collars, etc. When attending lodges (especially for official duties), it is essential that the honoured member bring his designated apron, as well as the appropriate dress, collars, etc.

When travelling, many masonic lodges have spare aprons for visiting brethren. Lodges may also be more lax regarding dress-code for visiting brethren (but it is still a sign of respect for a visiting brother to enquire about any dress code before visiting).

Bringing ones own apron to a new lodge (in a different jurisdiction), is a great way to start a conversation (you can even discuss the apron during the lodge meeting.

Question: what type of case do you use to carry your masonic apron?


Depending on masonic rank and history, different masons will have different jewels (i.e. Past Masters’ Jewel, a Rite jewel, etc.). These jewels are very valuable, both financially and in sentimental/historic value. It is always a good idea to have such jewels (along with rings, trinkets, etc) insured separately in any personal insurance policy.

Bringing jewels to a lodge meeting is an individual choice, and not necessarily “essential;” although the wearing of masonic jewels adds dignity and decorum to masonic dress.

Question: Do you have any masonic jewels? Do you wear them?

Dues Cards

After paying dues’, a member is entitled to that truly masonic ornament: the dues’ card.

A dues’ card is the physical representation of a member’s good standing within his lodge. It is often the first piece of “sure” information requested when that member is visiting a new Lodge.

A dues’ card is essential…as is its care. A damaged (or lost) dues card demonstrates a lack of interest in Freemasonry; it also increases the chance that a brother will not be allowed entrance within a lodge to which he is a visitor.

Note: So long as you can ensure the copy is safe from compromise, making a digital copy of your dues card is a great way to ensure its information is protected should the physical card become lost.

Note: Expired dues cards make great Masonic mementos, & look great in a photo album!

Questions: Do you know where your dues card is? Is it in good condition? Is it up-to-date?

Pen & Notepad (Or Electronic Equivalent)

Every time a mason visits a lodge (his or otherwise), that visit should be recorded in that lodge’s registry. If the visit is for a special event (such as a banquet, officers meeting, or informal coffee chat, etc.), hopefully the lodge or body holding the event will have a guest list, sign-in sheet, or some other record.

Individual masons can have the same thing! A notepad (or several notepads) listing the masonic meeting/special events or experiences one has had (along with the date of the attendance, any observations or memories from the attendance) make amazing mementos (especially after a 30/40/50 year masonic career).

Many professional wrestlers do this, keeping records of every match as well as wrestling-related activity in which they partake, carrying a pen and notepad with them at all times. The author has also heard of professional chefs carrying pens and notepads to write down recipe ideas if/when inspiration strikes.

The other benefit of carrying a pen and notepad: one never knows when inspiration will strike. If one visits a lodge in which he sees something, or hears something, he wishes to bring back to his lodge or which inspires an idea, taking a few moments to write this down is essential in ensuring the idea is not lost.

These notepads can expand into scrapbooks, in which a mason keeps summons, banquet tickets, photos, expired dues cards, and other such mementos.

The electronic version…

Many of our younger audience (or more tech-savvy audience) is probably thinking who needs a pen and notepad when everyone has a cell-phone with note-pad capability.

If one prefers electronics to manual, it is essential that (before bringing the cell-phone or any electronic device into the lodge) turn it to silent. It is also essential the device is fully charged, or the member brings a remote charger.

Question: Do you keep a scrap-book or other recordings of your masonic experiences?

Daily Essentials

Of course, aside from all of the above, “life” essentials are also “masonic” essentials.

When travelling to out-of-country masonic events, is is essential that mason has all necessary travel documentation, as well as being aware of the destination countries entry requirements; travel insurance is also an essential (especially health insurance).


Bringing all of the above is essential; but more is essential. Attending lodge with certain internal qualities is equally essential to the enrichment and enjoyment of a masonic experience.

These internal qualities include:

  • An open-mind! Every lodge experience is different. Some meetings can be more enjoyable than others. Some ideas might seem good, some bad. Keep an open mind!
  • Patience! Some lodge meetings will focus on administrative tasks such as the reading of minutes, paying bills, building upkeep and maintenance…otherwise known as “boring stuff.” While they may be boring, these tasks are also essential to the well-functioning of a masonic lodge or body. Being patient and paying attention to these tasks are vitally important parts of a members masonic education and will also pay dividends if/when that member takes on a leadership role within the lodge.
  • Charity! Masons are taught that charity is a particularly masonic virtue…which it is. Charity can be financial, but one can also be charitable with time, with friendship, with forgiveness, and with understanding. Sometimes, a meeting will not go well (it’s human nature, not everything goes well). In such cases, this author considers the importance of being charitable towards the lodge…by understanding people can mess up and returning to the lodge again!
  • Ideas! Do you have ideas as to what you would like to see in your lodge? Maybe you wrote an idea down in that “essential” notepad we discussed! Bring it to your lodge! If you think it is a good idea, others might too!
  • A positive attitude! A positive attitude is essential in life, but it is also essential in a masonic meeting! Make sure to bring yours!

Do you have any “masonic essentials?” Let us know what they are!

All opinions expressed are those of Square & Compass Promotions and the guest(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Windsor Masonic Temple and/or any masonic group.



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