Traditional Observance

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by dlee12882, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. dlee12882

    dlee12882 Premium Member

    12
    11
    23
    Good day Brothers,

    My apologies, I was writing this from my computer and lost internet (at work) and apparently it submitted a partial post.
    I was wondering about visiting a local T.O. lodge in my area (Kansas City). From what I have been told the dress is usually a Tux. Do these lodges require that visitors be dressed as such as well or is this left up to the discretion of each Lodge. I am thinking about contacting the secretary just to be safe but I wanted to hear input from you all before hand. Thanks for reading and I apologize for the blank forum
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2015
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,393
    133
    Merry to meet, sad to part, merry to meet again. Merry to meet again, again, Merry to meet again.

    Singing, just another feature of TO lodges.
     
  3. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

    803
    841
    113
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess, since you are in KC, you are talking visiting about Inner quest Lodge #456. I pulled the following off their web site:

    "Inner Quest Lodge Stated Communications are open to all men able to prove themselves a Mason. Visitors are welcome and encouraged. We place great emphasis on the quality of the Lodge experience itself and request that all visitors provide the following courtesies:


    Contact the Worshipful Master or a member of the Lodge prior to your visit and express your desires. He will provide any necessary details on when and where future Communications will be conducted, as well as answer any questions you may have. We participate in an informal dinner gathering afterwards, which you are earnestly invited to attend. Certain arrangements must be made in advance to accommodate visitors properly.


    A dark suit and tie are a minimum dress requirement.


    One of the tenets of Inner Quest Lodge is that all Brothers are esteemed with equal respect and standing — from the newest Entered Apprentice in the Northeast corner of the Lodge to the Worshipful Master who presides in the East. As such, each Brother wears a simple and unadorned white apron in the Lodge."
     
    MarkR likes this.
  4. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    I just joined this forum and can answer any questions on the TO style lodge as I was Initiated, Passed and Raised in one. Yes, it is a more formal dress environment. A dark suit is fine for visitors. Members wear white tie and tails with a plain apron and white gloves. Unfortunately I have to had the opportinity to travel to other lodges just yet, so for me this is the norm although I am aware most do not operate this way. It works for me but I know many will be put off by the formal dress. There is a lot more to a TO lodge like higher dues and more focus on degree work. I attended my first Agape in July 2011 and was just raised last month.
     
  5. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

    858
    899
    113
    I am going to my first TO meeting tomorrow night and am looking forward to it.
     
  6. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    I am interested in hearing your perspective on the experience. I hope it is enjoyable.
     
  7. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

    1,007
    206
    133
    While I was in DC I stayed with an officer for Nine Muses Lodge which is a TO Lodge. I enjoyed visiting their Lodge.
     
  8. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

    858
    899
    113
    I don't know if attending the TO meeting was the best Masonic experience I've ever had, but it certainly belongs in the conversation. I wasn't going in blind; I know all about how things were going to take place, but once I got to see it and take part, I was blown away. I love the pomp and ceremony. To me, the formality is what makes Masonry stand out.
     
  9. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,980
    3,413
    183
    That is my problem with the TO designation: the implication that there is a lot more to them. My mother lodge does degree work in white tie. We have Agape. We call it dinner. My English lodge wears is either dark suit or stripy trousers. We have Agape. We call it a meal. I have yet to see what makes a TO lodge a TO Lodge, other than calling dinner by a pretentious name.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
    Bill Lins likes this.
  10. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

    858
    899
    113
    The difference between the TO lodge meeting I visited the other night and a standard lodge meeting around here is night and day. The dress, members and officers entering in procession, the music, you could never pull that off at a regular lodge. If you mentioned it, some of the members would be all for it; others would look at you like you are from another planet.
     
  11. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,980
    3,413
    183
    I know any number of UGLE lodges which have music and the officers process.

    I'm used to people looking at me like I'm from another planet.
     
    Bill Lins likes this.
  12. Brandon Smith

    Brandon Smith Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    I am a member of a non-T.O. Lodge, but have visited a local T.O. lodge several times. Here in Louisiana, the T.O. lodge is completely night & day from the typical lodge experience. Everything about attending lodge, in my travels, has been overly casual from the attire, meal, meeting, and fellowship. Any deep or real conversations about Freemasonry are non-existent. Attempts at bringing education and conversation about the craft have been all but completely shunned. However, when I visit the T.O. lodge the brothers are truly excited about everything Freemasonry has to offer. The meeting is a celebration of the craft if you will.

    Now, with that said, is the need for a term such as T.O. necessary? Or does it drive brothers further apart? Thats not a question I will attempt to answer. I can say, however, that when I leave a T.O. lodge meeting I feel amazing. I leave feeling that I want to continue to make progress in bettering myself and those around me. When I leave my lodge meetings I often feel disappointed, let down, and unsure as to why I wasted my evening hearing minutes and bickering.

    It sounds like the lodge experience for you, Bro. Cook, is much better than mine and those I know personally, and thus, makes the idea of T.O. unnecessary. I can respect that opinion. I visited a lodge in Colorado that was non-T.O., but had everything I sought in attending a masonic lodge meeting. I felt uplifted and if it were my home lodge I would feel no need to seek out another "style" of masonry.

    Just my opinion...
     
    RyanC, ShawnC, Morris and 3 others like this.
  13. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

    858
    899
    113
    Brother Brandon,
    You pretty much detailed it right there.
     
  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,980
    3,413
    183
    I can work with that.
     
  15. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    I've heard of a number of lodges using some "TO concepts" but not others. I like Brandon Smith's explanation very much. The problem with TO is the reputation or label Traditional Observance. Some take it to mean something arrogant or "elite." It's just another form of masonry. Any brother is welcome to visit or affiliate.
     
  16. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,980
    3,413
    183
    My view is a bit different: I object to the perception put forth by some that only a TO lodge takes ritual seriously or wears evening dress. Additionally there is a sense that some are dismissive of the bonds of fraternity found in a lodge in which clean jeans are the appropriate dress. It does, indeed, come across as elitism.
     
    Bill Lins and Brandon Smith like this.
  17. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,393
    133
    I'll offer two viewpoints.

    1) TO lodges have more requirements because those requirements were traditional so they keep the ones that work towards keeping Masonry what it should be.

    2) Non-TO lodges broke off the superfluous traditions so they only keep the ones that work towards keeping Masonry what it should be.

    The difference is up to the brother in the mirror.
     
    Brandon Smith likes this.
  18. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    Who puts that perception forth? I think that perception has to come from brothers outside of those in TO lodges. With the exception of brothers like myself who where raised in a TO lodge (7-8 brothers in Enlightenment 198) every other brother is active in more than 1 lodge and most would (and do) say that their mother lodges do excellent ritual work. We don't put down other lodges because most of us are active in those lodges as well.

    I am always surprised at how emotional brothers get about dressing up. We have a lodge uniform, that's it. In our case we decided on white tie and tails. Whether you are a lawyer or roofer you are dressed exactly alike. What can be more conducive to the bonds of fraternity than that?

    The other point I would make is that the one universal complaint I always hear from masons is the disappointment with boring meetings. In the case of TO lodges the brothers took it upon themselves to try and fix it by making lodge an event, not just some meeting. They did this by dressing up, adding music, processing in, masonic education, chain of union etc. Then afterward an Agape, not just a dinner, complete with various toasts and open discussion on the educational topic presented in lodge. Now instead of complaining about boring meetings those brothers can complain out something else....you just can't win.
     
    RyanC, MarkR and Browncoat like this.
  19. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

    192
    85
    28
    I find it humorous and ironic that some of the ones calling out "elitism" in T.O. Lodges are also posting their disdain for the way Widow's Sons look in another thread.

    Personally, I'm on Chapter 13 of Cliff Porter's book and so far everything I've read sounds very impressive and along the lines of what I thought Freemasonry would be.
     
    Bob Reed likes this.
  20. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    782
    639
    113
    At risk of going off on a tangent...

    I've never understood the aversion of some to dressing nicely to go to Lodge. As if putting on a coat and tie is such and inconvenience and dressing a little nicer than one would to do yard work is 'elitist'. Nobody calls the guy in a suit at a wedding or a funeral elitist.
    Now, if a man has a problem with purchasing a white tie suit that he is unlikely to ever wear anywhere else, I can understand his feelings from an economical point of view, but watching brothers from my own lodge get upset about wearing a suit confuses me.
     
    KSigMason, dfreybur and Companion Joe like this.

Share My Freemasonry