Apron Style variations across jurisdictions

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by bro.william, May 9, 2019.

  1. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    I'm confused. So , are you or are you not allowed to wear your personal apron ? I wear mine, except when I hold a chair. I bought mine so I didn't have to wear those nasty lodge aprons. I do get a Lot of compliments on it.
     
  2. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    You are ALLOWED as in no one will say anything. However, unless it is a PM's apron, it will be assumed that you think yourself "too good" to be on the level and wear the same apron as the rest of the Brethren. Right or wrong, that will be the reaction of the majority as I have overheard the mutterings in several Lodges where visitors or members wore their own, rather elaborate, aprons. I will note, these were not visitors from afar where individual aprons are the norm, but other Masons from the same jurisdiction.
     
  3. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    My everyday apron when not sitting in my TO lodge. For that I wear a regular UGLE PM apron. [​IMG]

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  4. Thomas Stright

    Thomas Stright Premium Member

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    Never understood apron envy...
     
  5. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    I have no need to try to one up my Brothers by having a nicer apron. For me, as a Jew, it is honoring the concept of hiddur mitzvah. A ritual object that is beautifully crafted enhances the religious experience by pleasing the senses.

    “In keeping with the principle of hiddur mitzvah,” Rabbi Zera taught [Bava Kama 9b], “one should be willing to pay even one third more [than the normal price].” Jewish folklore is replete with stories about Jews of modest circumstances paying more than they could afford for the most beautiful etrog to enhance their observance of Sukkot, or for the most delectable foods to enhance their observance of Shabbat."

    We place such a high emphasis on the apron in our ritual as the badge of our Order and then come to Lodge and put on a ratty linen one from the pile. How does that make any sense?

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  6. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    On the one hand, I can see how the scenario Keith describes could happen, and why. It's never an issue in my own jurisdiction: here, there are lots of different aprons, but they all conform to a standard, and you wear the apron that befits your degree or your office (past or present). Given that there appears to be more room in at least some US States for customisation, I can see why a person might want to walk carefully.

    On the other hand, my experience as a Christian priest echoes Bro. Winter's Jewish experience. Clergy who are into vestments tend to compare notes a lot, keep an eye peeled for a good thing, and look with admiration when a colleague acquires a particularly impressive bit of kit. I wouldn't suggest that lesser human qualities (jealously, vanity, etc.) don't ever rear their heads in these exchanges; of course they do. But, all in all, the driving instinct is "the beauty of holiness"; we wear expensive vestments because we value what we're doing in the holy spaces. In that respect, I agree with Winter: respect for the Masonic order and its values and for doing the work of the GAoTU should dictate that, even if we're going to use aprons from the lodge stock, the lodge stock ought not to be ratty and awful; it ought to be cared for and treasured.
     
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  7. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Just my 2c but personally I think a brothers apron should be his own and it should fit a standard as the jurisdiction dictates, Obviously visiting brothers are exempt.
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    This is my opinion because during our EA and FC degrees we use lodge aprons and masters provide their own, the E.A. and F.C aprons where in various states of disrepair when I progressed through my degrees, thankfully we have remedied the situation now.
    The above is my apron, given to me by a brother of my lodge, it belonged to his brother, it shows some age but it has been carefully maintained, the slightly plush suede still feels as luxurious as the lamb skin I bought my newborn to lay on.
    That apron is among my most treasured possessions, it’s the representation of all the work I have put into the craft to date and will doubtlessly continue to compound as I progress, doubtless I will end up with other aprons due to rank or appendant body but this is MY apron.
     
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  8. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    Yeah, I get what you're saying. My lodge has loaners for the EAs and FCs, all of which have seen better days. (In fact, you can tell that one of our "EA" aprons is actually an FC apron with the rosettes removed.) I can't say I've ever lost much sleep about that, simply because at the end we do get presented with our own personal MM aprons which are meant for daily wear, and the typical length of time between initiation and raising is only about a year. That said, I chose to buy my own – they're only about £20 each – because I wanted something to mark each stage of the journey. (And, perhaps one day, I can pass them along to one of my boys.) These are, as you put it, MY aprons – to quote the USMC Rifleman's Creed, "there are many like it, but this one is mine" – and I treasure them for what they symbolise, both together and separately, and for the fact that I earned them.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 2:49 AM
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